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Interview Chances Ontario's MCAT-THREE


Guest artef

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Guest artef

Hi all,

 

Ok - I have a statistical challenge for you.

 

Given you have an interview at Toronto, UWO and Queen's; and these schools have similar cut-offs but not identical; and these schools interview each ~450 for ~431 spots total. Make some supported assumptions regarding the degree of overlap (how many got interviews at Queen's and U of T, but got P on writing and didn't get one at Western), and then the probability you'd get into at least one of these schools, given all interviews results are exactly the same.

 

It seems pretty damn high doesn't it? Like around 90% with conservative assumptions. Does anyone want to refute this? Of course you have to give a good interview so you're not the bottom 10% but... that's almost too damn good.

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Guest Biochem10

hi, those are A LOT of assumptions you make there Artef! Of course, the chance of getting into one school after receiving 3 interviews is fairly good, but you definetly cannot assume that the same 450 people are interviewing at all three schools. The numbers are probably closer to 1000 people interviewing at all three schools.

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Guest ioncannon97

I have spent some time thinking about stuff like this. I then realized that it was pointless because with the amount of assumptions you have to make to calculate the chances, your results end up not being very reliable. I have realized that the best thing to do is to just not worry about these things and to do what I have to do while letting the probabilities and statistics take care of themselves.

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I've also done some thinking no this subject. I agree that I don't think you can assume that all three schools have the same interview group. If you consider your chances at each school independent, then your odds of getting at least one offer are:

 

1 - [PRODUCT(for each school) (1 - #Offers/#Interviews)]

 

You can get this information for each school at:

www.acmc.ca/AdmissionBook/AdBkWEB.html

 

My computer is crashing, so I'll finish this post later.

 

PD

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Guest Emila

Did anybody in previous years get 3, 4 or 5 interviews and not get in to any school?

 

People I've known that didn't get in anywhere usually only had 1 interview. So I thought people with more interviews had a pretty good chance.

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Guest Biochem10

Emila, I definetly think that the more interviews you have, the better your chances, but the I'm sure there are the those people who have one interview and get in and those that have 5 and don't. Just because you have "all the stats" to get the interview definetly doesn't mean that you'll be a good interviewee hence if you interview badly at all 5 schools then the chances are that you won't get in. Someone who applies to one school because that's where they really want to get in, gets an interview and performs well also has really good chances. These are all independent events, they don't necessarily add up to better chances. If, on the other hand, you are a good interviewee and you get 5 interviews then all the power to you because you'll probably get your pick!

 

Artef, sure, I was making up a number off the top of my head. My assumption is that there is about 200 people that interview at all 3 schools, and then 100 people that interview at 2 out of the 3 schools, and 100 that interview at one school, that makes about 800 in total. These assumptions are totally random, but I'm pretty sure there isn't more than 200 people who have MCAT cut-offs for Western & Queen's (combined Q and 10 in VR) and who can write a great essay for U of T.

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Guest strider2004

I previously had interviews at Ottawa, Queen's and Toronto and got in nowhere. The next year I had fewer interviews and got Queen's.

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Guest exhumedcorpse33

Strider2004,

 

Did you feel that you had bad interviews the first time around? What made you a stronger applicant the second time around?

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Guest aneliz

I know of one individual with a 4.0 GPA, killer MCAT's and great volunteer work on paper....they have interviewed at all five Ontario schools, and every other English speaking Canadian school except Dal. Twice. And they are not in. Why? Because they SUCK at interviewing. They are not good at presenting their ideas, thinking on their feet and conversing with people. They lack social skills, social graces, the ability to make eye contact while speaking and insight into others (ie non-verbal communication is WEAK!). They are often outright rejected after the interview - not waitlisted. They have been waitlisted several times but have never come off - which means that they must be pretty low down on the list.

 

Moral of the story: the interview will make or break you. At several schools, the interviewers have the ability to mark you 'not acceptable' - the kiss of death - and regardless of your 'on paper' stats and accomplishments, you will then be rejected. Getting multiple interviews DOES NOT guarantee you a spot...it is not just an 'odds game'. Getting multiple interviews demonstrates that you have the potential to be a good doc...it is up to you to prove it at the interview. You need to show that you are able to listen to others, think on your feet and communicate well. If you don't, you're gonna be toast, no matter how many interviews you have.

 

The individual that I know is BRILLIANT academically and is active in the community BUT they don't do well dealing with other people. In my opinion, they wouldn't make a great doc....they are more then smart enough...but its not all about marks and MCAT's people!

 

As for the UWO, Queen's, UofT question:

 

There is probably not as much overlap as you think. The cut-offs for each school are slightly different. The MCAT cut at Queen's is higher then at UWO...while the GPA cut at UWO is higher then Queen's. UofT...well, they have the essay component in there too....so people that interview at both UWO and Queens might get a PFO from UofT.... From personal experience last year, I only applied to UofT and UWO...not Queens...I know lots of people that didn't even apply to all 3 MCAT schools...and some that only applied to 1 of them. When I went to interviews, I would say, from talking to the other interviewees, that probably half the people there had interviewed at another Ontario school that year (including Mac and UofO). Maybe a quarter had interviewed at another of the MCAT schools and very, very few had interviewed at all three MCAT schools. I would guess that there are AT LEAST 850 different people in the combined UWO, UofT and Queen's interview pools and likely more. So the odds of getting in are in no way approaching 90%....I would put them roughly at 50% after you have an gotten to the interview stage. Not to stomp on anybody's hopes, but I think it is important to be realistic and not 'count the chickens' quite yet.

 

Good luck!

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Guest Koggetsu

man, after reading you guys' post, i'm starting to freak out about the interview and now I'm afraid I'm going to be like your friend cause I'm not that good at interviewing. I ahv ebeen to mock interviews but I think it comes don to u rather than practice. And the sad thing is that there isn't really anything much that your frined can do to improve and if that happend to me, I don't know what to do!!

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Guest peachy

I also thought Aneliz's post was really scary!! I just want to point out that while that particular person may indeed be the exact person who interviews are created to screen out, it doesn't automatically follow that everyone who is bad at interviewing is going to make a bad doctor! :) I'm good at dealing with people in general, I just suck at interviewing. [like, my friends don't believe me about how bad I am at interviews..] Two very, very different things in general.

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Guest Kirsteen

Hi there Koggetsu,

 

Don't be too afraid! However, don't also underestimate the value of "out loud" practice when it comes to interview preparation. Even if you choose not to undergo any more mock interviews, practice saying your thoughts and ideas out loud. I don't mean rehearsing and memorizing your answers either. Saying is quite a bit different from thinking, and although they may seem like closely-related functions, it's important that one connects to the other smoothly when you're trying to get your points across in the interview.

 

Cheers,

Kirsteen

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Guest doctorfunk

I agree completely with Kirsteen. Don't underestimate the difference between forming cohesive thoughts in your mind and actually articulating them.

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Guest Nightrider

yeah, I am a little freaked out by Aneliz' post as well, but I also know of someone who got 5 interviews, but didn't get in. He was a little, um, eccentric, shall we say. I think that even if you are not wonderful at interviewing, the interviewers should be able to see that you are "normal" (as much as anyone can be considered "normal")...at least I hope that is the case...

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Guest TimmyMax

Hi guys,

 

I think that the purpose of aneliz's post was to demonstrate the fact that there is a lot more to getting into medical school than stats and what appears on a piece of paper. The person she outlined sounds like an ideal candidate on paper, but since medicine is both an art and a science, there comes a time when as physicians, we will have to deal with people, and that medicine is very people-oriented- this is something that you cannot get away from. And this is often times what the adcoms are looking for when they interview- otherwise, schools would not interview their candidates at all- there wouldn't be a need for it.

The point she was trying to make (I think) was that there is more to getting into meds, medicine, life, etc., than the academic (GPA/MCAT) side of things. If you are someone with ZERO people skills whatsoever but have these great marks, etc., the adcoms will not feel that you have what it takes to be a successful doctor. And that's the bottom line.

While I'm sure that many of you were a little put off/intimidated by this post, please don't be! I never felt that my interviewing skills were that strong, but 2 schools disagreed with me to the point of offering me a place in their respective classes. So long as you be yourself and try not to be something that you are not, you will be fine. Just believe in yourself and always remember this- you were chosen for an interview because the school you applied to thinks that you have what it takes to be successful in their program. The interview is for you to prove to them that they are making the correct choice. That's all! :)

So while yes, there is more to this game than what appears on paper, please take this with a grain of salt. It sounds to me like this person was an extreme case. I wouldn't worry myself too much about this sort of thing aside from acknowledging the fact that these things happen. At this point, you and you alone are in control of your own destiny, so when the time comes, it's your chance to shine! :)

 

Best of luck!

Timmy

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Guest aneliz

My point was not to scare you at all but to illustrate the point that there is MUCH more to getting in then having spectacular stats on paper....you need to be human, have a brain in your head to back it up and be able to communicate effectively! My other point was that, just because you have all of these interviews, it is not just a game of probability and you are in no way 'guaranteed' an acceptance anywhere just because you got lots of interviews...It doesn't matter if you have X interviews and the total applicant pool is X...you aren't guaranteed an acceptance if you aren't good at the 'human' side of the application process (ie proving that you have a brain, a grasp on reality and can communicate)

 

The person that I mentioned in my last post is a truly 'spectacular case'. She is perfect on paper....she is a disaster in person....and I'm sure the contrast between the two is what kills her every time....I used her as an illustration...I'm sure that it is just as rare to have a person like her as it is to have a person that gets in to every english speaking school in Canada in the same year....know what I mean? It is not just that she is bad at interviewing, it's that she is bad at communicating...when you speak to her, she REFUSES to make any kind of eye contact....it is very disturbing....her speech patterns are 'eccentric' to say the least...as are her dress and mannerisms....she doesn't 'get' normal non-verbal communication and really doesn't read other people well....she is far from your typical applicant. These characteristics can be fairly easily picked up in an interview and are distinguishable from nervousness....interviewers are forgiving of 'nervousness' - especially the students on the panel....we remember what it was like! Please don't worry...I did not intend to scare you.

 

I was just pointing out that you could sit around all day and come up with elaborate formulae to predict the probability of getting an acceptance given an applicant pool of X size, your X number of interviews, etc....but really, none of it really matters, because YOUR chance of getting accepted is dependent on YOUR performance in the interview....something that is independent of the number of interviews that you have and the number of applicants in the pool....and there is no mathematical formula that can calculate it! Remember, it only takes ONE interview to get an acceptance! The best way to succeed is to do some serious reflection about what you want and why and get some practice at interviewing! Sorry if I traumatised any of you. :D

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Guest ioncannon97

yes, the case you are describing is a "spectacular case", but I thank-you for presenting it because it keeps us all humble and teaches us to always try to improve. For example, I often feel that I too dont make enough eye-contact when speaking, so reading about the case you described has made me realize that I need to fix that fact.

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Guest peachy

This comment about "She is perfect on paper....she is a disaster in person" still bothers me. It completely don't understand how somebody can be perfect on paper and yet a complete disaster in person. To be perfect on paper you need to have done things that exhibit the ability to work with people - held leadership positions, done research with others, earned good reference letters, volunteered successfully, and a host of other things.

 

How can somebody who is completely unable to work with people able to be such a successful person in the rest of her life? The point is not to rip apart this particular person - as you said, it's just an example. My point is that people ought to be judged on what they've done, and I just don't believe that somebody can present a perfect application without having at least passable people skills, because an application isn't perfect until you have evidence in it of working with people well.

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Guest aneliz

This was provided as an example only....

 

My point was that she appears (by MCAT and GPA) to be an outstanding applicant....on looking at her autobiographical sketch, she still looks pretty good....royal conservatory awards, track and field and swimming medals, volunteered at the hospital, volunteered with the humane society, president of a student organisation....she is also a good writer, able to express ideas well on paper and very intelligent....her writing is technically flawless and very well put together.....so, she looks pretty good on paper right?

 

When you actually meet her, she is one of those people that hits you as very strange. Her dress and mannerisms are 'odd' when compared to other's of the same age and socioeconomic and cultural group.....she REFUSES to make eye contact when speaking to you.....she doesn't read other's very well and her ideas are less then fluent when she actually has to articulate them rather then write them....she is timid, easily swayed by others and tends to back down when challenged....

 

When you look harder at her autobiographical sketch, you can see that her on paper accomplishments DO NOT show that she is successful in dealing with people. Her Royal conservatory awards are in piano performance ....which she has alway done alone....her swimming and track and field medals are from solitary events....she volunteered at the hospital....but all she did was push the food carts up from the kitchens to the wards...no real 'people' contact....she volunteeered for the humane society....cleaning out cages and walking the dogs...also alone....she is president of a student association....but not a major one (in fact I think that it had a total membership of about 5 people)....All of these things are painfully obvious in person....where they are not so much on paper. On paper she looks pretty darn good...when you actually meet her and try and picture her as a doc....totally different story.

 

THE END.

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Guest artef

Aneliz,

 

Thank you for an every impassioned, realistic response. I guess there were just many people I met at the interview socials that were NOT like that person you know. I kept thinking, these people are all fairly similar in conversation...within a certain range--sure some were more introverted, some were more outgoing. But I couldn't really tell if anyone was a standout or a doomed disaster! Everyone seemed to have worked really hard to get where they are, and because the ones I met were out at the socials, they were generally responsive to meeting new people and getting to know them, etc. So hence the unrealistic (but neccessarily for the type of probabilty question I was posing) "Given the interview chances are all equal" assumption above.

 

The crux of your argument rests on the people skills of people who get immediate acceptances. I guess a better question to ask is...how those overlaps correspond to the fact that Queen's went 135 people INTO their waiting list last year and Western sometimes exhausts theirs. That is, it's not so much how stats will determine if someone will get in, but how stats will determine the personal attributes of those who do get in.

 

A problem for everyone: If the MCAT-three had lower GPA and MCAT requirements, they probably scarifice next to nothing on the IQ of the incoming class, but gain a better pool of candidates, so that these overlaps do not allow a great proportion of "second-string candidates" to enter: This way, when they seek the best, they would get the best.

 

What is the result of these policies at MAC (GPA = 3.0) or Ottawa (GPA can be as low as 3.3)?--And is it worth it? And is it fair?

 

 

 

Yours,

 

Art.

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Guest strider2004

The first year I applied, I was probably too young and immature(applied at 20). I did a lot of growing up the next year though most who know me will still say I'm a kid. I'm not talking about being a baby, but just noticing the things around you, thinking deeper about issues.

 

As for interviews, I do pretty well in them now, but after being on the other side (as an interviewer), I don't like them.

 

1.) What are they looking for in an applicant? They've made interviews such a big deal this past while, it's like the committees think all the current doctors are social outcasts. Not every specialty in medicine requires people to be outgoing and social. I don't mean to pick on pathologists...but really! How much people skill do you need to be a pathologist? You need to be very very smart but you don't have to be charming. Canada needs more pathologists but it's not a profession many people go into. Why? Maybe it's because the interview process SCREENS OUT all those budding pathologists out there. There are so many career options out of medicine that every personality has a place (even a few that fit DSM-IV criteria).

 

2.) It's not very objective. Sure there is a list of things that interview committees should examine in an applicant but it boils down to how you get along with the panel. It's like what an ER resident once told me about CaRMS "The interview is just a formality. You go out to the bar afterwards and then they decide if they can stand being with you 8 hours a day for the next 5 years". The people that I marked poorly - was it because I didn't think that they've done enough to get into med school? NO! It's because they gave me weird vibes. Would they give everybody a weird vibe? Not necessarily. I ended up letting in 7 of my 11 interviews. Only one came though which means the rest probably got accepted into other schools. How's that for interview overlap?

 

3.) Who cares if you can properly form an ethical argument? They teach you how to do it in school anyway. Health care? Same thing! The ideal interview should be the applicant spending an hour talking about what they love. Then you'll see how they fit into the whole scheme of medicine. If the conversation dies, it's because you're off track. Get them back on track to their passion. If they have no passion, if nothing makes them happy, then maybe I'd screen them for depression.

 

The ideal interview would bring out a person's sincerity. "would do you do in your spare time" "I like to help people" So what, like this person has a half hour break between classes so she goes out looking for someone to help? Whatever. I'd rather hear that she hangs out with her friends. At least it's honest.

 

Just be yourself during the interview. Don't come off looking like a crackhead or be stiff as a pole and you'll do fine.

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Guest Biochem10

Strider, you are too funny, I especially liked your crackhead comment. That really puts things in perspective. Umm...can I say I browse this site in my spare time... I guess that would be kind of pathetic.

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Guest Koggetsu

damn! after hearing your post Strider, I suddenly got a whole lot more confident about this interview thingy, and I wish and hope that most people on the interview board think like you do (although I doubt it cause I feel that thats one of the reasons u didn't like doing the interviews maybe? ) and its too bad that you are not doing interviews anymore.

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