Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums

medschool vs olympics

Recommended Posts

I was wondering how does MCAT work in regards to entering med school and if you have any advice in what year i should grad with my undergrad. Here is my dilemma: I am a high performance athlete and i compete on the international level. The problem is I want to go to med-school and while both are very important in my life I want to schedule both so that I can reach my fullest potential in both.


The 2012 Olympics will land in my peak years and I want to spend some time preparing for those. Being a varsity athlete the school want us to take a 12 credit semester not 15. Which is on average 4 courses not 5. That leaves us to graduate after 5 years. In Canadian schools athletes are only allowed to compete for their school for 5 years until which they are cut off and expected to graduate. My thing is I dont know if I want to take the five years, even if it okayed by UBC, which it is, becasue that would put me at 24. However if I go to school in the summer I can finish in 3 more years and have extra time to prepare olympics and build up my volunteer/traveling resume for med school. I want to work in the third world so getting this experience is pretty crucial. My problem is I dont want to go to med school until after 2012 because I want to focus on my athletics, but if I grad in 2009 then I will be out of school for 3 years rather than only 1 if I do the full 5 years.


If I have a big gap how will that affect my academic chances of getting in. Do I have to write the MCAT right before I send in my application or can I write it right after I graduate and keep my scores valid until time I am ready to apply? I am trying to balance everything and try to keep my chances high of getting in, afterall medicine is my whole future not my athletics. I think 2012 will be the best year for me to apply to med because this is the average age of acceptance, median is around 23. I am just not sure if the big gap of no school will do me good or if I will end up forgetting everything especially when I go and write the MCAT.



Being a world class athlete I hope will help show UBC that I am successful in all areas of life not just academics which is I think what they want, so doing well and spending time focusing on the olympics will (I hope) benefit my medicine career not hinder it. I know I have it in me to make it to the top of the podium. Its all in a matter of timing. I dont know whether I should go to school in the summer or not. I hope you can offer some suggestions. thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey there,


Congratulations on trying to achieve both of your dreams - med school and the Olympics. I wouldn't worry about the age when you matriculate into medical school, nor how many years you are out of university, remember those are numbers from the average medical student, and the average medical student does not compete at the Olympics. Olympians have gone onto medical school (Curtis Myden at Calgary comes to mind) so it is definitely possible. Some schools need full course loads (5 credits a year) like UWO. Others do not, Queen's comes to mind. Regarding the MCAT, your scores typically expire after 5 years. You may want to time that to when you want to apply and when you feel you will know the material best.


Good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with blinknoodle.


Don't worry about full-time/part-time and when you'll graduate in terms of how that will affect your med school admissions. School admission policies could change but as of this year:


UBC, Queen's, and McMaster do not require you to be a full-time student. U of T also doesn't (although if you are a part-time student then you are subject to different GPA weightings).


The only two schools I know of where it really matters is Western and Calgary. At both Western and Calgary, you need to complete a minimum of two years of full-time study. At Calgary, full-time is defined as no less than 4 full courses (or 8 half), although 5 full courses is preferred. At Western, full-time is defined as 5 full courses (or 30 credits). Note that full-time/part-time generally refers to courses in the regular school year (Sept-Apr) and does not include summer courses.


You can write the MCAT right after you graduate provided you apply for med school within 5 years or so. Therefore, if you wrote it in 2009, you would be able to use those scores for 2013.


I would not worry about what the median/mean ages of med school admissions are. There are people who get in at 19 and there are people who are in their 40s. Although the extremes are rare, I think admissions is based more on your desire to go into medicine, your personal qualities, and your academic/extracurricular qualifications, than your age.


Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

100's of people go to med school every year.


a special few people are talented enough to participate in the olympics.


your talent has provided you with a once in a lifetime opportunity. i'd say focus on the olympics and look at med school afterwards. just know that you have to keep your GPA and MCAT high, and do whatever you feel is best to maintain them, even if that means working on them after 2012.


just my thoughts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Olympics and med school are definitely doable. We have 2 former olympians in our class! The only advice I would add is that if you are applying to UBC, they are really big on "diversity". One of my classmates was an NCAA div 1 athlete but didn't get an interview at UBC because his non-academic wasn't high enough! Crazy huh! UBC has their 5 categories that they score your non-academic on (see UBC forum), and if all your "eggs are in one basket" then your score kind of suffers. So try to fit some different things into your busy schedule. Another reason to take the longer route maybe?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

my sport is wrestling. where do I find the 5 diversity thing on the UBC forum the last guy was talking about? Anyone know?

thanks for the advice ...it helps


The 5 categories are:


Service Ethic

Working with others

High Performance



On the main page, if you go down to the link to University of British Columbia Medical School and then do a search for (any of) these 5, you'll get links to past discussions about them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...