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but before i give up...

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I was looking at myself as a non trad student (graduated with a non-science undergrad, am now completing a masters in public health)


I've reviewed my undergrad transcripts, and the requirements for medical schools (at least in Ontario) and discovered that i don't really have much of a hope for getting in.


My final cgpa was 7.4 (which I believe translates into a 3.10), although it was 8.2 in my final year (a 3.86), and I've taken two undergrad courses since then with 4.0 marks in each. However, as I've been reading other non-traditional posts, I'm learning that it is incredibly unlikely that there's much I can do to recover from that, even if I do go back to school, since most of the non-trads I've read about seem to have had stronger original gpas.


I'm having a hard time giving up on this dream, though, and so I was wondering if anyone knows of a good pre-med counsellor I can talk to, to go over my options (if any) before I give up on this entirely. I'm currently at U of T, but i'm from ottawa. does anyone know if either of these schools have med programs that offer that kind of service? who (if anyone?) did people talk to when trying to map out this phase of their life.


ANY advice is appreciated.

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Several schools use wGPA (Ottawa does). The weighting often heavily favours later study, and may ignore results from >3yrs of study ago. Sample calcs are on the Ottawa website. Look carefully at how the other schools do it too before you decide the situation is hopeless. Also, it's worth contacting the various admissions offices to ask if you could mount a competitive application or not (they won't be specific, but will help you with generalities), and also what they count and do not. Once you mix up undergrad and postgrad, plus odd other courses, things get complex.


Queen's told me that once you were away from studying for a while, they only looked at the last 20 courses - but as they thin enveloped me, I have no idea if that mattered in my case (could have been my MCAT result). I did one more year of post-grad undergrad to meet all the Ottawa pre-requisites, and got a GPA of 3.96, so that may have helped a lot there.


So, you may find that one more year of study makes you competitive somewhere.


One thing is clear - DO NOT give up at the first hurdle, otherwise medicine won't want you, and you won't deserve it. Persist until you either get in, or it becomes clear that you cannot make it. Also, don't assume things and give up because you think you have interpreted the policy correctly -check with the schools if you can.


Best of luck.

Best of luck.

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I had originally planned to go back for some science prereqs after my masters, although it seemed as though i needed to either get a completely new undergrad or at least go full time for two years.


That was totally manageable, but when I reviewed the OMSAS package, I got the sense that none of those grades would really matter, unless they were part of a new degree, and even then, that degree would be combined with the first one...


I guess my ultimate confusion centers around not being sure when it becomes clear that I can't make it. Is it clear now, given my grades? How do you know when to keep hoping, and when to be realistic about your chances and do something else? I'd love to go over my situation in detail with someone with some experience in that. I'm getting the sense that I need to actually get in touch with someone at the individual schools to see about my situation. I wish that there was a pre-med counsellor at more schools, but i guess that might not exist. Did other people just consult the individual school admissions offices and piece together information?

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Yeah it is hard to get advise from a standard university advisor - its just that the med school app system is pretty complex, changes all the time, and those advisors are usually responsibile for many other programs as well. That and there really aren't that many people (porportionally at least) trying to get into med school. Thats what drew me to the form in the first place actually :) When things quite down a bit you can contact the med schools themselves, who can help you a lot more I find.


In your case the problem is that you can never really say it is over due to something external. People have done entire second/third degrees to get in ( a number of people did this year), and we have people getting in who go back to school and get at age 40+. It is only over when you feel it is over (which is probably not that useful if you are looking for some external confirmation that you should stop :)).


But what we can give is some indications about your chances etc, and any "tricks" that might help you. You are looking at Ontario I suppose becuase you are reading the OMSAS guide.


Ottawa says in the OMSAS guide that:


A candidate who does not reach the interview on the

basis of his/her undergraduate grades at the

baccalaureate level and/or through the graduate review

policy cannot qualify for a future application by

returning to another undergraduate program of study.


which others have concluded means you cannot go back and do more undergraduate work for that school after graduate work (although I haven't really haven't looked into this before). Personally I have no idea what else this could be referring to, so I believe Ottawa is probably out.


Queens has three streams of admittance I believe. The first is cGPA for which you are too low. The second is a graduate student stream but they are a bit vague on the details:


Candidates who do not make the cut-offs

based on their undergraduate GPA but who will have

completed graduate work prior to admission are

considered by the Admissions Committee, who utilize

specific guidelines to move candidates forward for further

review. It should be noted that these candidates must also

meet the cut-off established for the MCAT.


However you could apply under that (you have nothing to lose). Second there is a best last two year policy, which I believe you can obtain by doing a single year of undergraduate work (which you would likely have to do anyway for the prereqs). No where does it say you must have both years in the same degree etc. You would need to get a nice high average in that year.


Next there is Western, which will let you take a special fifth year in order to get the required GPA. Now this is where it gets a bit tricky (I believe) - you cannot actually start a new degree for that year you are missing, if you do Western will make you finish the degree - but you can go to university and not be in a degree program and take full time courses. If you obey their rules for a fifth year, and get over 3.75 then you would automatically reach the interview stage at Western. You would have to check but no where does it actually say that special year cannot be after a graduate degree (I believe). Also western doesn't have prereqs.


Now if this works, you could actually apply to western this year (as in Sept 2009), as you are allowed to apply with only one year over the cut offs (which you have, your 3.86 year). You could get a conditional acceptance if you get over 3.75 in your special year. This is a route you should look into, I am speculating here a bit, but as far as I can tell no where does it say you can't do this. In theory you could get into med school then for Sept 2010 if you get through the interview stage. Best of all if this works and you don't get in but did get hit the requirements for interview, you could in theory keep applying year after year until you do get in without doing any more school(assuming GPA/mcat score don't radically change). Now you cannot do first year courses in that year so any prereqs you would want to get would have to be 2nd year and above, and if you do this make sure you follow the other fifth year rules. (you could do prereqs in the summer though).


All of this depends you currently having the MCAT scores to hit Western's cut offs. If you don't then you have this summer to get them, or your will have the following year to reach them and you app would be delayed.


Now lets see, Toronto, and Mac look doubtful unless you do a lot more undergrad, NOSM is mostly rural but will not consider your first undergrad at all if you do another one and thats it for Ontario.


Are you considering a phD by the way? If you do you might consider moving out of province, whereby you would eventually become in province for school that put more weight on the MCAT than gpa. Something to explore more later perhaps.


There are a few other possiblities as well, but that is probably enough for now :)

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Iam in a similar situation like yourself

but you might find the that

graduating with a non-science undergrad might be a blessing for you, i would recommend u enroll in fulltime studies for 1 year, write the mcats while doing ur masters (or do them after, if ur not confident)


u have no sciences courses, so the pre-req would be ur sciGPA in the US. if u can get a 3.6-.7 that would be very good, it would also be part of ur post bacc. profile, and that will fit nicely in with an increasing trend in ur undergrad, combine that with a masters, add a dash of 2-3 publications , shawdowing, volunteering (incl. internationally), and +30 MCATS...


i believe you would get into the usa and possibly queens with a profile like that...there is not more a 3.0 gpa student can do (aside from going back to undergrad)

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