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Undergrad applying to med school in the future... Help!

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I'm an undergraduate, and this fall will be my first year at the U of M. I haven't yet decided my major, but I'm leaning towards biotechnology or biochemistry. I will be taking the prerequisite requirements for medicine, which I'm really hoping to get into.

I know med school is really competitive, and I've done a lot of research about it, but I'm still confused about what I need (other than a high gpa and mcat score) in order to apply. I've read online that I need volunteer work and should shadow a doctor (is this required/recommended for application to the U of M?).

Also, when is the best time to take the MCAT and how often can you retake it?

Do most people study by themselves or buy study guides like the Kaplan?

Sorry, I know I have a lot of questions!

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Slow down junior. Don't bog yourself down stressing about what is so far away for you. Things will come in time. Especially if you will major, you will possibly in your first year find your calling. Bottom line, good GPA + good MCAT + life experience will complete an application. There is a reduced weight these days on extra-currics, but they are important to do to help shape yourself. Volunteering is essential to get a prospect of humanity and to help you socially - and medical experience is nice to have to start to understand the system, understand the users of the system, and help you decide if that truly is what you want to do.


As I said, don't bog yourself down with details now. Enjoy your 1st year.

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Hi there!

I'm also starting my first year at the UofM .... ahh only a little bit over a week till orientation/first day!!! :P


I've been a long-time lurker of this site so I'm very knowledgable about medical school applications. From what I gather, other than a great GPA and great MCAT scores medical schools require a well-rounded applicant (in terms of extracurriculars-->> that show leadership, volunteerism etc.. etc..) They also factor in letters of recommendations, how your undergraduate program prepared you for a career in medicine.... Basically you have to show them how your life experiences have contributed to your determinism of wanting to become a doctor.


Also, depending on what medical schools you're interested in they weigh all these factors (i.e. GPA, MCAT, LORs, interview, extracurriculars) differently.


I hear that the MCAT is best taken after 2nd year--because you'll have all 1st year science courses + second year organic chemistry as great preparation for the MCAT. I, myself intend on writing it after 2nd year. You can write the MCAT as many times as you require--but keep in mind that most(?) if all medical schools in Canada will use your latest score, not your best.


I think it depends on the person, and their different needs/studying habits ... taking a course vs. self studying.


And no, shadowing a doctor is not required for any medical school in Canada. People do so because they want a better idea, and in-depth insight of what a doctor actually does.

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You can write the MCAT as many times as you require--but keep in mind that most(?) if all medical schools in Canada will use your latest score, not your best.


This is incorrect. Most, if not all, Canadian Medical Schools use your best score, not your latest with the exception of Toronto which uses your latest. However, Toronto only looks at your MCAT scores as a flag, so as longs you meet the cutoffs, your application will proceed into further examination. Also depending on the school, some sections are weighed higher than others (Manitoba) and in other instances (Calgary, Mac), some sections are not weighed at all. Most schools from what I understand look at MCAT pre-interview, while UBC doesn't look at MCAT until post-interview.


Hope this somewhat clarifies any misconceptions

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