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I've Never Wanted to Go to Med School Before

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Hi guys,


Going to med school hasn't been a life-long dream. With that said, I'm now seriously considering it but there is a slight problem. I'm going into my 4th year of my undergrad (Psychology) and because I've only just started to seriously think of going into medicine, I have no idea where to start. I'm not familiar with any part of the premed process (just layman's stuff) and would appreciate all the pointers a newbie can get. Here are the pros, cons and neutrals of my situation:


- My biggest con: average in all my coursework is a ridiculously non-competitive 72% (it's not that I'm not capable, there are some 90s and high 80s in there- in "hard science" courses - but there are also some 40s and 50s - multiple reasons, no doctors note so I don't think it matters here).

- Prior to Psychology (B.Sc.) I was a General Sciences student and so I have probably already taken many premed courses (I take it that that's a separate evaluation?)



+ My last 4 years have been spent eating, breathing and sleeping volunteer work (fundraising, food bank, day camps, youth groups, Immigrant communities, First Nations communities, social justice, interfaith... the list is long but you get the point).

+ I haven't taken the MCAT and I'm guessing a good mark counts for something.



o I switched into Psychology last year which means that I've taken courses in a wide range of sciences (and arts, I'm minoring in French).



Is a second undergraduate degree in my near future?






P.S. I worked a stint at a podiatrists office as a receptionist .... does that count for anything?

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Go here (http://www.ouac.on.ca/docs/omsas/c_omsas_b.pdf) and calculate your GPA on the OMSAS scale, as this is the GPA evaluated by med schools. it does not take kindly to even a few low grades so you may find that your 72% average decreases on this scale. Do it per year, so you have a GPA for each year of undergrad and an overall GPA. This is step 1.


Did you take 5 courses a semester? Or less? Summer school grades don't count for most medical school, so don't include those. There is no seperate evaluation for science courses although this is often done in the states. A GPA over 3.7 is workable. Some schools, such as Western, only require that you have 2 full course (5/semester) years with a GPA higher then 3.7. Others, such as UOttawa, will weigh your last 3 years more heavily then the first (first year marks dropped, 2nd year marks x 1, 3rd year marks x 2, 4th year marks x3). Queens will take the last two year of your undergrad if your overall GPA doesn't meet their cutoff (somewhere between 3.7-3.8). UofT let's you drop your 4 lowest full year (so 8 semester courses) if you have 4 full time years of undergrad (5 courses/year). MacMaster needs a overall GPA > 3.00/4.00 but the average GPA of applicants is around 3.7-3.8. So once you know the OMSAS GPA for all your years, you can see what you need to do next and what schools you qualify for.


How long have your volunteering commitements been? I think that is hugely in your advantage as most people that decide they'd like to pursue med school later in the game don't have much in the way of volunteer activities.


The process involves filling out an online application (OMSAS). They will ask you for 150 word descriptions of all employement, volunteer, extracurriculars, awards, etc. You need verifiers that OMSAS can call/email to verify you've done these activities. You also need 3 reference letters, preferably 2 of those being from academic references. Some school have specific questions they will ask you to answer. McMaster has CASPer, an online ethics test that consists of watching videos and answering questions. The application is due Oct.1st.


Also, you"ll need to write the MCAT for all schools except UOttawa. All schools use the MCAT different. McMaster only looks at the verbal section, UofT uses it as a flag while Western has hard cut off scores.


Once you've got you're OMSAS GPA, I can tell you more info. Hope this helps!

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