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Backup Plans


drock411

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Hey everyone,

I am going to apply next year to a few med schools, and it seems that no one can count on getting in, even if you apply a lot of places.

That said, I was wondering what everyone's backup plans were if they were not to get in? I know if I want to apply to some other program were I not to get in for the next school year I would have to apply at the same time as med school applications usually (sept-oct).

 

I'm also wondering what factors to consider in a backup plan?

-I would probably want something that only lasts one year so if I got accepted to med school I wouldn't have to try and defer.

-What would the various commitees like to see me doing (other than the same EC's that I am doing now, volunteering etc..)

-Also it would be nice to have something that might end up in a career...in case after 4 or 5 applications its still not looking good

 

Sorry for the essay, any input on this subject would be appreciated.

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Me too so far...

 

I need to stay in Halifax if I don't get in, for money, family and gf reasons. This hurts the MSc. idea since I don't have an honors degree so the chances of getting in to one of the 3 schools around here are smaller.

I don't qualify to try education because I don't have a second teachable/concentration and i don't see any real way to do one by the end of next year (why cant psych or philosophy count! ahha).

Work seems like the only real option....but even then I have to eventually get in or work retail for the rest of my life.

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This is a question I'm struggling with right now! I got accepted into my backup plan of an MSc-SLP, but if I don't get into med this year, I would like to try for the next year, and I don't really want to quit out half way through a masters program, it seems like a waste to start it and not finish, plus the program is pretty competitive, so it would be a waste of a spot that could have went towards someone else. Not to mention that the tuition for that program isn't cheap either! I could defer if I get in next year, and finish my MSc first, but again I feel like it is of little benefit to me if I'll never use it, plus I think after going straight from high school to undergrad to grad school, I might need a break before carrying on to med school, and I will have some pretty hefty student loans racked up by then!

At the same time, there is no guarantee I will get into med next year if I don't get in this year, so maybe it would be a good idea to start training for another career in the meantime!

Too many decisions!

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I have a question re: backup plans. If you want to do a thesis-based Masters, of course you tell potential supervisors, med is first choice, I am on waiting list, but if I do not make med, I am sincerely interested in research, would like to work in your lab. But if I was a supervisor, I would totally pick someone else....

 

And isn't there some contract? If you sign it, does that mean if you get off waiting list, you can't go to med?

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Generally speaking, med schools will *reject* your application if you are not in the "last stages" of your degree, ie. the end of a PhD or the last year of a master's (my current program is just one year :)).

 

Queen's, for example, specifies that graduate degrees must be complete by Aug. 1st prior to registration - Dal simply states that they must be done. I think there are a few instances where you can get a deferral in unusual circumstances, but generally med schools do not want to be seen as "stealing" grad students who are not done or close to being done their programs.

 

Oh, and do NOT tell potential supervisors that med is your first choice. Tell them that you're applying, yes (though generally better to wait until you've started), and focus on the research and the graduate work - you won't succeed otherwise.

 

Grad students don't sign contracts apart from TA work, though, or perhaps for an RA.

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I'm in 4th year right now, applying to grad school later on.

 

But like...med is a huge decision. How can you suddenly "decide" in September you want to do med? Oh I see..you're saying like WAY after when you're applying for med again as a grad student and need references? Lol...But I heard it's better to be more honest.

 

Well I guess my major concern now is what to do if I'm on the waiting list (if I don't get completely rejected). I have a feeling a potential supervisor is gonna be very mad in the event I get OFF the waiting list and tell them "Oops, can't go to your lab anymore, sorry". Because doesn't that mean they could've lost out on other students whose spot I was hogging? But I want to protect myself too in case I don't get off the waiting list...and then have no supervisor.

 

Argh so confusing...my head is already starting to hurt.

 

Edit: I didn't read properly..my brain really is fried. I see what you're saying now. So should I even mention I'm on a waiting list for med? Or just ignore that detail when I'm applying for supervisors?

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It's late enough in the year that it's more or less too late to apply for grad school for September... though there are some schools (like Dal) which have later deadlines.

 

I'd say that you shouldn't really be applying for grad school if you're on the waiting list - you should be serious about it, and if you're not, it will come out in your statement of interest. When would you apply?

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Me too so far...

 

I need to stay in Halifax if I don't get in, for money, family and gf reasons. This hurts the MSc. idea since I don't have an honors degree so the chances of getting in to one of the 3 schools around here are smaller.

I don't qualify to try education because I don't have a second teachable/concentration and i don't see any real way to do one by the end of next year (why cant psych or philosophy count! ahha).

Work seems like the only real option....but even then I have to eventually get in or work retail for the rest of my life.

 

What if you went back to do your Honours? It would only be one year, and you could volunteer, etc., and apply for the next cycle.

 

I really enjoyed my Honours year, and it does open doors for other things if you don't get in. Good luck! :)

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It's late enough in the year that it's more or less too late to apply for grad school for September... though there are some schools (like Dal) which have later deadlines.

 

I'd say that you shouldn't really be applying for grad school if you're on the waiting list - you should be serious about it, and if you're not, it will come out in your statement of interest. When would you apply?

 

Deadlines for applications to grad studies are sometimes flexible - if you decide you want to potentially apply, contact some professors with areas of research you find intesterting and see what they tell you.

 

As long as you are upfront with respect to your intentions, I don't see any reason to discount the idea of applying to grad studies if you decide you want to have a backup plan. This is a pretty common occurence. Some supervisors avoid individuals with intentions of going to medical school, some do not.

 

I first interviewed with my current M.Sc. supervisor while on the waitlist at Western 2 years ago. I was very upfront with him, didn't confirm my position until I knew Western's class was full, and gave him the opportunity to decide whether or not he wanted to have me in his lab. Despite not having any prior research experience, I have proven to be a strong and productive grad student - this benefits the lab and my supervisors' career. In return, I have had the opportunity to investigate my interest in research, have markedly improved my CV, and have developed a repore with my supervisor that has generated strong letters of reference. All this is to say - I think its best to let the prof decide whether or not they want you in their lab, knowing your priorities if you decide to pursue grad studies (that decision is another topic).

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That's a pretty damn good idea....I hadn't thought of that. To be honest I could probably fit in my Honors and a minor (which I was considering cramming into next year anyway).

That might be what I end up doing!

Thanks a lot!!

 

Glad I could help! If you do end up doing that, I hope you have as good an experience as I had. Good luck!

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