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Help me decide + questions about 2nd undergrad


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I'm in a bit of tricky situation and could use some help in deciding what to do in the coming year or two. This will be a tl;dr, so bear with me...For those with knowledge about obtaining a second undergrad, scroll to the bold part.


About me: completed undergrad in ’09 in Ontario (Toronto born and raised). Bad first year (suspension) but last two years are great and would meet Queens/UWO requirements in terms of GPA. MCAT not good enough though. I realize that due to my unique situation my only real chances at med school in Canada are Queens and UWO.


So I plan on writing MCAT this Jan-April and finally ace it. Now, ASSUMING I do well on MCAT, this would mean the earliest I could start med school (if I am fortunate to get in) would be Fall 2012. So my question is, what to do from Fall 2011 until then? I figure I have three suitable options: work, Masters, another undergrad. Let’s consider them one by one:


Work – Pros: can make a very good living (been doing this since ’09 graduation) Cons: not something I want to do forever, in trouble if admissions requirements increase and I’m forced to go back to school anyway (i.e. delays potential med school admission by at least one year). Also, even if I ace MCAT


Undergrad – Pros: would pave the way for a viable career path if med school does not work out (i.e. do a psych undergrad and then postgrad studies). Cons: according to UWO, I cannot apply to their med school unless I am in the last year of this second undergrad program. Assuming I can finish said undergrad in two years (I would have many transfer credits so this is plausible), earliest I could get in is Sept 2013. This sucks because on the merit of my first undergrad I would meet their GPA cut off (If I have misinterpreted their position on this someone please correct me). Also concerning is what if I don’t do as well in second undergrad degree as I did in the first? They look at your most recent right? I could shoot myself in the foot.


Regarding a second undergrad, for Queens I don’t know how they would treat it (I’m guessing the same as UWO). Would getting another undergrad change my chances for Mac, Ott or UofT?


Masters degree – Pros: beneficial to Queens if I fall slightly below the two year undergrad GPA cut, does not hurt my UWO chances if I don’t get straight A’s. Cons: does good nothing for UWO (and little for MAC), not being interested in program, limited options for a 1 year program, and costs more than doing an undergrad.


Thanks to you all and good luck to those applying this admissions cycle.

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I cannot respond to your specific scenarios regarding ontario based schools, but I can say this... do what you want to do. If you want to get a second undergrad then do it, if you want a master's then do that, or work full time. The important thing to remember is try to avoid setting such a rigid timeline... Do what you want to do because you want to do it, not because you think it might give you a leg up... if you meet the requirements and have a solid set of EC's and your GPA is solid that is all you can do.


When I was 17 I said I wanted to be in med school by the time I was 20... then when I was 20 I said 21... but before I knew it I was done my undergrad and coping with my fiance being diagnosed with leukemia... I got a job working as a social worker, bought a house, volunteered like crazy, started acting (again) and continued to focus on building up my application for a time when I could apply and be ready for medical school. I'm 25 years old now but I feel like this is what I was supposed to do.


Don't hem yourself in with deadlines that you have no control over. You'll save yourself a lot of stress and worry if you focus on the things you want to do and will be so much happier beause of it.


Good luck!

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