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OMASAS GPAs:

 

First Year : 3.6

Second Year : 2.92 (3.7 first semester, destroyed 2nd semester due to personal issues)

Third Year : 3.54 (was part time for second semester and only year without 5 fce)

Fourth Year : 3.7

Fifth Year : will begin in the fall

 

I honestly have no idea where to even begin. I have very limited ECs. Was planning on completing the MCAT this summer, but I am not sure schools will even count the current MCAT once MCAT2015 rolls around (does anyone know how current MCAT scores would work beyond 2015?).

 

Anyway. I feel at a loss. I finally felt like I've found my calling with respect to what I wanted to do in the future after a very long time of "finding myself." I've taken time off to work and feel sort of hopeless with respect to future prospects. I've recently discovered and become extremely interested in neuroscience and psychobiology. I want to pursue a masters in psychology at UofT's CPIN collab program but am again bogged down by 0 research experience. I am trying to contact professors to perhaps volunteer this summer and maybe secure a 4th year independent research project which I can sort of extend into my MSc. I just don't know how to get my foot through the door or approach the future.

 

I'd love to get some advice from you knowledgeable people. Thank you!

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Thank you everyone!!! You guys have been so supportive - it's a bit mind blowing. As for the big news: I was accepted!   Although this is a really great success for me, I just want to emphasize that

Post-application update:   Guess I was wrong about Queen's! Got my first interview there! Woo hoo!    Thank you all for your support and kind words. I thought I'd missed my opportunity for medicine,

Holy crap. I can't believe it's been 3 1/2 years since I started this thread! The Queen's interview I had earlier this year didn't pan out and I unfortunately got wait-listed. It was definitely a grea

OMASAS GPAs:

 

First Year : 3.6

Second Year : 2.92 (3.7 first semester, destroyed 2nd semester due to personal issues)

Third Year : 3.54 (was part time for second semester and only year without 5 fce)

Fourth Year : 3.7

Fifth Year : will begin in the fall

 

I honestly have no idea where to even begin. I have very limited ECs. Was planning on completing the MCAT this summer, but I am not sure schools will even count the current MCAT once MCAT2015 rolls around (does anyone know how current MCAT scores would work beyond 2015?).

 

Anyway. I feel at a loss. I finally felt like I've found my calling with respect to what I wanted to do in the future (psychiatry) after a very long time of "finding myself." I've taken time off to work and feel sort of hopeless with respect to future prospects now that I just turned 24. I've recently discovered and become extremely interested in neuroscience and psychobiology. I want to pursue a masters in psychology at UofT's CPIN collab program but am again bogged down by 0 research experience. I am trying to contact professors to perhaps volunteer this summer and maybe secure a 4th year independent research project which I can sort of extend into my MSc. I just don't know how to get my foot through the door or approach the future.

 

I'd love to get some advice from you knowledgeable people. Thank you!

 

I'm in my third year of medical school and it's been a long time since I did the MCAT, but I think scores are valid for 5 years. Someone should correct me if I'm wrong. Study for it and see how you do, but with a GPA around 3.4 it's unlikely you'll be a competitive med school applicant. I don't know your complete profile, so I'm not going to say it isn't possible.

 

Being interested in a field of science is fine, but actually doing research is different. It's not for everybody. Admittedly, I didn't do any prior to medical school... but I do know you need to make sure you enjoy it, or else doing an M.Sc is going to be tedious. A grad degree could be a realistic option for you. I don't know what you're job right now is, but I'm going to assume it's only temporary since you're actively considering other routes.

 

Make the most of your 5th year. Look at program requirements, get contacts, talking to current grad students might be helpful. There's nothing wrong with the plan you have in place.

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Do you think it would be better to do a masters or use that same time for external research, ECs, volunteering etc.? I feel as if I really want to focus on my Queens and UWO applications. I am willing to sacrifice the pursuit of a MSc if its not the best option.

 

you have the general issue of GPA (lots of posts about that - it is a really common problem). In the end a masters won't help you if you don't have the foundation GPA to get past that initial cut offs. One more full time high GPA year will let you apply to western and queens - actually you can if you do the mcat this summer and do well apply under conditional status for western.

 

The mcat should work for 5 years and the schools will have to shortly figure out how they are managing the introduction of the new test - exciting times, no one is exactly sure how they will manage it.

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  • 1 year later...

So a bit of an update from last year. What do you guys think would be my best option in spite of the 3.68 from 4th year. That disqualifies me from applying for Western unfortunately.

 

OMASAS GPAs:

 

First Year : 3.6

Second Year : 2.92

Third Year : 3.54 (2nd semester was part time; only semester without FCE)

Fourth Year : 3.68

Fifth Year : 3.97

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Thank you guys for your replies. Yes, I am beginning to realize that I may have to do another year to become competitive for various schools. It's really embarrassing to admit that it's taken me 6 years (5 years in school and 1 year off in the interim) and I am still not there. And I will probably have to do another year. But the journey's been a very valuable lesson in humility, hard work, dedication and figuring out what my passions truly are. I finally got a UofT 4.0, something that's been 6 years in the making. But I worked hard and I did it. Med school seems attainable now, not just a pipe dream.

 

Thank you to all of your supportive, helpful and non-judgmental replies. Best of luck in your own journeys :)

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  • 10 months later...

Just a little update on my part.

 

OMASAS GPAs:

  • First Year : 3.6
  • Second Year : 2.92
  • Third Year : 3.54 (part time year)
  • Fourth Year : 3.68
  • Fifth Year : 3.97
  • Sixth Year: 3.96
In addition, these are probably my most salient ECs currently:
  • 150 hous Hospital 1
  • 100 hours day clinic at Hospital 2
  • RAing for lab 1 (~50 hours; expect 200-300 hours before application)
  • Research volunteer at lab 2 (~expected 100 hours before application)
  • Mentorship program (50 hours)

I am currently studying for and writing the MCAT in August, so don't have the scores for that yet. I'd love some input/advice guys!

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Just a little update on my part.

 

OMASAS GPAs:

  • First Year : 3.6
  • Second Year : 2.92
  • Third Year : 3.54 (part time year)
  • Fourth Year : 3.68
  • Fifth Year : 3.97 
  • Sixth Year: 3.96

In addition, these are probably my most salient ECs currently:

  • 150 hours ICU at Hospital 1
  • 100 hours day clinic at Hospital 2
  • RAing for lab 1 (~50 hours; expect 200-300 hours before application)
  • Research volunteer at lab 2 (~expected 100 hours before application)
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters (50 hours)

 

I am currently studying for and writing the MCAT in August, so don't have the scores for that yet. I'd love some input/advice guys! 

 

alright! now we have something work with....

 

Clearly on track now for Ottawa, need the mcat scores for Western and Queens - so seriously nail that test. Make it your mission in life. Time to computer your cGPA just to see where you stand for Mac (on the lower end GPA wise but still might be possible), and I should ask if the wGPA applies for TO (how many courses did you do in that part time year, did you drop any courses in other years). Triple check to make sure you meet Westerns rules for courses. 

 

Other things - is the US an option at all?

 

making progress I see on the ECs as well, good, good.

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Your progress is amazing. Congrats on turning things around and giving yourself a legitimate shot. As others have said, you need to kill the MCAT to reach the cutoffs for Queen's and Western. You also have a chance with Ottawa as well. McMaster can be a bit of a shot in the dark sometimes, but it may be possible with a very strong CARS score. Similarly, with a strong CARS score, I believe you would also be able to use your best three years at UofC and that would leave you with a 3.87--competitive for OOP. I'm not sure about UofA--I would check how they calculate the wGPA.

 

As for ECs, I think it does look like you're a "late bloomer" with your experiences that you've recently taken on. I don't know if that's necessarily detrimental or if it just indicates that you found your passion further down the road. Are there other experiences you've had outside of those listed above which have been meaningful to you and that speak to the canMEDS roles? Employment, music, sports, leadership roles, etc.?

 

What is your part-time course distribution? Is it less than 4 credits?

 

Congrats, again. Not many people are able to step on the gas like you have recently.

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Thank you guys for your encouraging replies. I meet the course requirements for all the Ontario universities. The part time year was 4 and 2 credits, for each semester (as opposed to 5 and 5). I will likely appeal this due to extenuating circumstances.

 

Some additional ECs include:

-various jobs during the year/summers

-3 years of hospital volunteering 2006-2009

-mental health club executive

-attendance at mental health club seminars, writing neuroscience club journal articles as well as presentations

-various other personal endevours/experiences that cause me to gravitate towards a clinical field

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I'd go for one more year to knock that 3.54 off your record - but apply this year. You are really close for Ottawa - assuming your ECs are fine. I'm not sure what their wGPA distribution was for accepted students, but the Mean was 3.9. (https://www.afmc.ca/pdf/ADMISSION_REQUIREMENTS_EN.pdf )

 

Best of luck.

 

Was the mean 3.9 using their weighed formula (of the last 3 years)... or was it the cGPA? I ask because  I wonder if those schools saying "we'll look at your best/last 2/3 years" and they'll end up looking at all years anyway - particularly if the competition is tough and they are trying to weed peeps out.   

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Was the mean 3.9 using their weighed formula (of the last 3 years)... or was it the cGPA? I ask because  I wonder if those schools saying "we'll look at your best/last 2/3 years" and they'll end up looking at all years anyway - particularly if the competition is tough and they are trying to weed peeps out.   

 

if they say they only look at certain years then that is what they do :) competition is always tough - thousands of applicants to each school. If they have rules they follow them.

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As for your ECs, I think you could group some of your experiences to make them very strong and also show commitment to specific areas over a longer period of time. I would caution against using personal experiences like babysitting your nephew in the top 10 or top 3 essay portion of applications as many of these experiences will be shared by other applicants. Unless they offered you a highly unique perspective, I think using other experiences might be in your best interest. That said, many others will be using hospital volunteering, so perhaps it's also about your presentation. Be sure to touch on canMEDS roles, regardless.

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  • 5 months later...

So a post-summer update on my part. I only applied to four schools this cycle:

  • Ottawa wGPA: 3.92
  • McMaster cGPA: 3.62
  • Queens/Western wGPA: 3.97

 

I also just got the results of my Sept 23rd MCAT. I was a bit surprised at verbal because I felt decent while writing it, maybe a bit rushed for the last 2-3 passages. But I averaged a 10 on the old AAMC verbal tests, with a rare 8/9 or 11 here and there:

  • Chem/Physics: 127 (10 on previous MCAT)
  • CARS/Verbal: 125 (8 on previous MCAT)
  • Biology: 129 (12 on previous MCAT)
  • Psychology: 130 (13 on previous MCAT)

 

So it seems that Queens/Western are out of the running because of the MCAT scores. I am considering a re-writing it in May. Until then, I've been doing research I am really interested, while maintaining my volunteer commitments! 

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  • 3 months later...

Post-application update:

 

Guess I was wrong about Queen's! Got my first interview there! Woo hoo! :D  :D Thank you all for your support and kind words. I thought I'd missed my opportunity for medicine, but your reassurance and positivity made me stay the course. Even if this interview doesn't pan out, I am infinitely more confident now. Thanks to your guys' nudging, I pushed myself to get involved in a lot of clinical research, which I find I am enjoying so much, and learning so much from. I don't even feel as if I am stuck in limbo (while waiting for applications) because of it.

 

I remember the song I was listening to when I first posted this thread - feeling super lost. Re-listening to it right now, and I can honestly say that the non-trad forums have been the most supportive collection of people ever. I love you all.

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Post-application update:

 

Guess I was wrong about Queen's! Got my first interview there! Woo hoo! :D  :D Thank you all for your support and kind words. I thought I'd missed my opportunity for medicine, but your reassurance and positivity made me stay the course. Even if this interview doesn't pan out, I am infinitely more confident now. Thanks to your guys' nudging, I pushed myself to get involved in a lot of clinical research, which I find I am enjoying so much, and learning so much from. I don't even feel as if I am stuck in limbo (while waiting for applications) because of it.

 

I remember the song I was listening to when I first posted this thread - feeling super lost. Re-listening to it right now, and I can honestly say that the non-trad forums have been the most supportive collection of people ever. I love you all.

 

Amazing! Quite happy for you. Nail that interview! Show the same passion you show here at that interview and they'll love ya

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