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Some specific questions


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Hey wondering if anyone with experience can help:

 

1. Would you put a conference that you attended for 3 days (e.g. MonWHO simulation conference) as an entry under diversity of experience? or does it sound too much of a space filler?

 

2. Would you put your high school activities (say leadership positions) down?

 

3. For service ethics, they said you could put unstructured items. Would something like taking care of your sick mother count? (if it's like 600 hours but your verifier is only a family member) Would it sound sketchy to the reviewer?

 

I'd really appreciate your help with these questions! Thanks a lotttt!

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+1 ^ completely agree...

 

I thought highschool activities are specifically mentioned on the website as being irrelevant... at least they were when i applied. Maybe things have changed?

If it still says not to include activities from highschool I would follow their directions. You won't get brownie points by showing that you don't carefully read and follow directions most likely :P

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They seem to have removed any mention of high school restrictions from the help guide. This again seems to be a move that decreases any slight advantages an older/non-traditional applicant might have (i.e. more time to accumulate NAQ's), as students active in their community during high school can now add these to the application.

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They seem to have removed any mention of high school restrictions from the help guide. This again seems to be a move that decreases any slight advantages an older/non-traditional applicant might have (i.e. more time to accumulate NAQ's), as students active in their community during high school can now add these to the application.

 

If this is true, UBC is taking a step backwards. Older applicants should have an advantage, they have more life experience.

 

Quite frankly letting 19-20 year olds into medical school is terrifying.

 

High school ECs are a joke. Most people use their teachers and parents as references. People shouldnt be awarded for what they did in high school

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If this is true, UBC is taking a step backwards. Older applicants should have an advantage, they have more life experience.

 

Quite frankly letting 19-20 year olds into medical school is terrifying.

 

High school ECs are a joke. Most people use their teachers and parents as references. People shouldnt be awarded for what they did in high school

 

I'll play devil's advocate for kicks here: does having more life experience going into medical school necessarily equate to better doctors? Let's take an example of a 20 year old vs. a 30 year old applicant. Yes, the older applicant has 10 years more life experience going in, but at the end of their careers, the 20 year old will have 10 more years of experience as an actual doctor. If the lack of experience will hurt the younger applicant's ability to learn and practice, then sure, it may be more appropriate to select the older applicant, but if the only thing separating the two is the heftiness of their NAQ portion, maybe a closer look is needed.

 

So in admission to medical schools, what are these adcoms looking for? Yes, we want the students to have experiences outside of their schooling, but does that mean that an older applicant should have every advantage? What we should want in our medical school students is quality of character; yes, time and experience will tend to build character, but nothing says that a student that enters medical school can stop building character. Along that line of logic, adcoms are looking at two things: the current state of character, as well as a projection of how the applicant will grow. Density of activities, not necessarily sheer quantity, may be something that is considered.

 

(Again, as devil's advocate), one might consider this move a step much like the devaluation of international experience in recent years. Yes, international experience is beneficial, but it's discriminatory against those with less financial stability, and may not be predictive of medical ability. Similarly, looking only at quantitative measures of NAQ presents an inherently age-discriminatory system, which again may not result in better doctors. Allowing high school activities is an extension of the idea that the adcom uses the NAQ section to draw a sketch of the applicant: i.e. here is the background that they present, and based on the trend of their activities, they will continue to grow and learn along these lines. High school activities merely serve to give the adcom more to interpolate from

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I'll play devil's advocate for kicks here: does having more life experience going into medical school necessarily equate to better doctors? Let's take an example of a 20 year old vs. a 30 year old applicant. Yes, the older applicant has 10 years more life experience going in, but at the end of their careers, the 20 year old will have 10 more years of experience as an actual doctor. If the lack of experience will hurt the younger applicant's ability to learn and practice, then sure, it may be more appropriate to select the older applicant, but if the only thing separating the two is the heftiness of their NAQ portion, maybe a closer look is needed.

 

So in admission to medical schools, what are these adcoms looking for? Yes, we want the students to have experiences outside of their schooling, but does that mean that an older applicant should have every advantage? What we should want in our medical school students is quality of character; yes, time and experience will tend to build character, but nothing says that a student that enters medical school can stop building character. Along that line of logic, adcoms are looking at two things: the current state of character, as well as a projection of how the applicant will grow. Density of activities, not necessarily sheer quantity, may be something that is considered.

 

(Again, as devil's advocate), one might consider this move a step much like the devaluation of international experience in recent years. Yes, international experience is beneficial, but it's discriminatory against those with less financial stability, and may not be predictive of medical ability. Similarly, looking only at quantitative measures of NAQ presents an inherently age-discriminatory system, which again may not result in better doctors. Allowing high school activities is an extension of the idea that the adcom uses the NAQ section to draw a sketch of the applicant: i.e. here is the background that they present, and based on the trend of their activities, they will continue to grow and learn along these lines. High school activities merely serve to give the adcom more to interpolate from

 

Ok thats fine and I see what you are saying. I currently am a 2nd year medical student in the US. My class is VERY diverse. When we started, the youngest person in my class was 20 years old and the oldest was 37 I believe.

 

My school, like most, will make med students right away practice interacting with patients. 9/10 times the students who had no problems interacting with patients,in a smooth natural manner, were the older students. The youngest people in my class were usually the ones stuttering and nervous. Why? Its just life, the older students have had more time to interact with people and in reality, have interacted on average with an older group of people (they arent hanging around 20 years all the time).

 

Of course, this is just the initial phase of medical training. So lets fast forward 3 years later when students start residency. As a resident, you make significant decisions and patients especially look up to you when compared to rotations in 3rd/4th year.

 

Take any adult patient over the age of 30 (ie the majority of patients most likely). I guarantee you the majority of them will trust and relate more to an older student that some 23-24 year old who may not even have facial hair and probably looks like their child or grandchild.

 

Lets compare two people: A 21 year old who goes straight from undergrad to medical school and a person who graduated, took 5 years off, and started medical school. The older person has more likely experienced more of life problems and faced the REAL world. Anyone who has taken time off after undergrad can tell you how much the real world sucks (struggling to find a job, getting paid nothing, trying to pay off loans, starting a family?). The 21 year old knows nothing outside of student life. Sure, doing ECs allows that student to meet a variety of people of backgrounds and ages..... but the older student also has that....and in more quantity most likely.

 

Anyway, if you start medical school you will see. With how much Bullsh*t goes on in high school with ECs, its not a fair playing field. People who go to private schools for example load their resumes up with things that many people in public school cant experience. My sister attended a private school and her resume got very thick, very quick with things she was barely involved in. Yet her teachers encouraged her to use them as references and she could exaggerate her roles. This is just one flaw in the high school EC thing.

 

I will say this: all of my undergrad and current ECs are much more legit than my high school ECs....and im sure that is a common trend.

 

Good luck applying friend. I hope you get accepted and you can see what I mean. Of course this will be irrelevant if you are one the youngest students. For the record, im the average age student and im not a nontraditional

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UStoCanadaHopeful,

 

Great post -- I appreciate how you actually took the time to back up your statement as oppose to many others who simply just play the "older age = better doctor" card. I want to point out one thing though. I am also a second year medical student at UBC.

 

My class is also incredibly diverse. I believe the age range and distribution is also similar. However, I see this diversity as something that is necessary in a class which is meant to serve the population at some point in the future. My experience is that many of those who are younger are much more ambitious with their careers. It is the younger ones that are running for class president positions, electing to represent UBC Med at nation wide meetings, and really just simply taking much more initiative with their position as medical students. They aren't afraid of long residency hours because they are not married or have families to support.

 

I am an older individual myself, am married, and at some point in the near future will want to have a child with my husband. There is no way I would ever pursue a career in a sub-specialized surgery or in an interventional arm of internal medicine (one of our lecturers quoted ~80hours/week for interventional cardiology). I already have a few years in the work force and simply do not have the time or energy to pursue something so vigorous. Because of this, family medicine is something which I have set my path towards. On the other hand, many of these younger individuals would never even consider family medicine. To them, it seems like a boring experience and it is apparent after speaking to a few of them that they would rather prefer a career path with, if you may, more "glitz and glam".

 

The point I'm making is that a diverse class with a diverse age is necessary given the vast amount of career choice that is possible with an MD. We need the older folks like myself just as much as we need the young ambitious gunners.

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Ok thats fine and I see what you are saying. I currently am a 2nd year medical student in the US. My class is VERY diverse. When we started, the youngest person in my class was 20 years old and the oldest was 37 I believe.

 

My school, like most, will make med students right away practice interacting with patients. 9/10 times the students who had no problems interacting with patients,in a smooth natural manner, were the older students. The youngest people in my class were usually the ones stuttering and nervous. Why? Its just life, the older students have had more time to interact with people and in reality, have interacted on average with an older group of people (they arent hanging around 20 years all the time).

 

Of course, this is just the initial phase of medical training. So lets fast forward 3 years later when students start residency. As a resident, you make significant decisions and patients especially look up to you when compared to rotations in 3rd/4th year.

 

Take any adult patient over the age of 30 (ie the majority of patients most likely). I guarantee you the majority of them will trust and relate more to an older student that some 23-24 year old who may not even have facial hair and probably looks like their child or grandchild.

 

Lets compare two people: A 21 year old who goes straight from undergrad to medical school and a person who graduated, took 5 years off, and started medical school. The older person has more likely experienced more of life problems and faced the REAL world. Anyone who has taken time off after undergrad can tell you how much the real world sucks (struggling to find a job, getting paid nothing, trying to pay off loans, starting a family?). The 21 year old knows nothing outside of student life. Sure, doing ECs allows that student to meet a variety of people of backgrounds and ages..... but the older student also has that....and in more quantity most likely.

 

Anyway, if you start medical school you will see. With how much Bullsh*t goes on in high school with ECs, its not a fair playing field. People who go to private schools for example load their resumes up with things that many people in public school cant experience. My sister attended a private school and her resume got very thick, very quick with things she was barely involved in. Yet her teachers encouraged her to use them as references and she could exaggerate her roles. This is just one flaw in the high school EC thing.

 

I will say this: all of my undergrad and current ECs are much more legit than my high school ECs....and im sure that is a common trend.

 

Good luck applying friend. I hope you get accepted and you can see what I mean. Of course this will be irrelevant if you are one the youngest students. For the record, im the average age student and im not a nontraditional

 

Again, I would definitely agree that older students will tend to be more successful initially than their younger counterparts initially, but the confidence and comfort with responsibility is something that can be developed over time, and I don't believe that the formative, developmental years are indicative of future success and effectiveness. Yes, the patients are still patients, and yes, they still deserve adequate levels of care and competency, but using that period of time as a major determining factor may not be beneficial for the healthcare system in the long run.

 

But I've definitely seen examples where you're absolutely right regarding the patient perceptions of doctors. I've seen a few oncologists, young, brilliant, nice people who are looked down upon by their patients simply because they don't have the traditional "look" of a doctor. Accordingly, this probably affects the ability of the oncologist to care for their patients, but conversely, I've also seen more than a few close-minded patients who also look down on female oncologists. So yes, perception is important to a degree, but letting patient preference to dictate over other abilities has a slippery slope of its own.

 

And honestly, I really can't speak to the levels of corruption/exaggeration of other applicants. You're probably right in that many of the high school activities can be exploited, but if a particularly ambitious and cunning pre-med were to choose that path, so are many other activities. All I can hope (naively) is that those are the minority, and that these changes help the adcom make the best decision possible, rather than confuse.

 

My class is also incredibly diverse. I believe the age range and distribution is also similar. However, I see this diversity as something that is necessary in a class which is meant to serve the population at some point in the future. My experience is that many of those who are younger are much more ambitious with their careers. It is the younger ones that are running for class president positions, electing to represent UBC Med at nation wide meetings, and really just simply taking much more initiative with their position as medical students. They aren't afraid of long residency hours because they are not married or have families to support.

 

I am an older individual myself, am married, and at some point in the near future will want to have a child with my husband. There is no way I would ever pursue a career in a sub-specialized surgery or in an interventional arm of internal medicine (one of our lecturers quoted ~80hours/week for interventional cardiology). I already have a few years in the work force and simply do not have the time or energy to pursue something so vigorous. Because of this, family medicine is something which I have set my path towards. On the other hand, many of these younger individuals would never even consider family medicine. To them, it seems like a boring experience and it is apparent after speaking to a few of them that they would rather prefer a career path with, if you may, more "glitz and glam".

 

The point I'm making is that a diverse class with a diverse age is necessary given the vast amount of career choice that is possible with an MD. We need the older folks like myself just as much as we need the young ambitious gunners.

 

Thanks a bunch for your input. Just spitballing here, but it's possible that the powers that be came to much the same conclusions that you did, and these shifts in the system are intended to introduce more diversity. I haven't looked closely at the stats, but if the adcom thought there weren't enough young MD's coming out, maybe this change was a way to artificially change the make-up of the class. I won't comment on whether this is a good or bad thing, since I don't really know, but it'd be neat to be able to talk to the higher-ups about their reasoning.

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