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If you want to get in after third year, your main concern will be your gpa and mcat. If you could please post these, I would be able to better assess your chances.

 

With respect to your EC's, they are on the weaker side. With respect to the OMSAS format, you are severly lacking in multiple area's. From what I gather, you have only had two jobs (edit, thats actually not too bad, a bit low but ok), you have very minimal awards and no research. This means that you have barely any activities for 3 out of the 5 sections. Your extracurricular and volunteering are ok, but a lot of your activities seem fairly stereotypical and a lot of your activities are from high school (which can be ok, i had quite a few from highschool, however the ones mentioned don't seem particularly strong). Furthermore, you have mentioned a couple of things, such as starting a blog, that you have not even started. This gives me the impression that these activities are purely done in order to pad your cv.

 

I don't mean to be harsh, I think you are on the right track however there are some pretty big holes in your cv. From what I hear, calgary is very heavy on the ec's so I think you might not fit their profile (they also prefer mature applicants).

 

Try finding new interests that will enrich your undergraduate experience while improving your cv. Research is not mandatory for med school, however in your case, i feel as though getting a research assistant position would adress many of the weaker areas in your sketch and would help you learn a lot.

 

If your gpa is stellar as well as your MCAT, you could wtill have a chance for admissions, but it wont be because of your sketch.

 

Don't give up, you still have loads of time to develop and get into medschool. For now, you should just relax and enjoy the holidays!

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On 12/25/2014 at 7:54 AM, Aetherus said:

If you want to get in after third year, your main concern will be your gpa and mcat. If you could please post these, I would be able to better assess your chances.

 

With respect to your EC's, they are on the weaker side. With respect to the OMSAS format, you are severly lacking in multiple area's. From what I gather, you have only had two jobs (edit, thats actually not too bad, a bit low but ok), you have very minimal awards and no research. This means that you have barely any activities for 3 out of the 5 sections. Your extracurricular and volunteering are ok, but a lot of your activities seem fairly stereotypical and a lot of your activities are from high school (which can be ok, i had quite a few from highschool, however the ones mentioned don't seem particularly strong). Furthermore, you have mentioned a couple of things, such as starting a blog, that you have not even started. This gives me the impression that these activities are purely done in order to pad your cv.

 

I don't mean to be harsh, I think you are on the right track however there are some pretty big holes in your cv. From what I hear, calgary is very heavy on the ec's so I think you might not fit their profile (they also prefer mature applicants).

 

Try finding new interests that will enrich your undergraduate experience while improving your cv. Research is not mandatory for med school, however in your case, i feel as though getting a research assistant position would adress many of the weaker areas in your sketch and would help you learn a lot.

 

If your gpa is stellar as well as your MCAT, you could wtill have a chance for admissions, but it wont be because of your sketch.

 

Don't give up, you still have loads of time to develop and get into medschool. For now, you should just relax and enjoy the holidays!

.

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I agree with Aethearus. You need research experiences. BTW research carefully before choosing a PI. Don't be a prestige-whore and go after those big labs which usually takes 5-10 years to get a paper out. The important thing is to get a paper out (a young PI and a clinical research project is a good combo IMHO). You also need clinical experiences, like hospital volunteering or even better doctor shadowing. Of course, if you can afford it, international healthcare experiences is always nice. Your soccer history is amazing but I would recommend you to do some similar things with a community health group such as Canadian Cancer Society (maybe try to apply for a committee position). 6 months is more than enough to get something meanful done.

 

One thing I would suggest, just based on my own experience, is to do your best but prepare for the worst. Don't sit around and wait and do nothing after you submit your application. Try to think what if you get rejected in this cycle and what you need to improve for your application and just keep working on it.

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Your ECs aren't weak. Long term commitment to a sport and varied involvement in the sport is good as well. Still keep getting involved In areas you are interested in and be a leader in your community.

 

GPA and mcat will be important for Your IP schools

 

However, aetherus makes good points on how you can improve and focus in on certain areas.

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Thank you for your response. I appreciate the honesty. I did not mention any awards or scholarships that I won, not because I didn't win any but because I did not realize that it was necessary in the post. I have won a handful of awards/scholarships. Also, like I said please assume that I will be doing research this summer even though I have not done any yet. Also I have been meaning to start this vlog for a year but I just have not gotten around to doing it. And I won't be applying to any school outside of Alberta so I think mentioning anything t do with OMSAS is irrelevant. I do still have some questions:

 

1)should I do the MCAT prep course in the spring/summer? How long does it take to study for it? I am really nervous for the VR section since English is my worst subject. How do I study for this section and what should I expect?

 

2) If I get in after 3rd year do marks in 3rd year matter at all? If I get in after 4th year do marks in 4th year matter at all?

 

3) Anything else that you recommend?

 

Thanks again

No problem! If you have a bunch of award and scholarship then that changes everything. I only mentioned OMSAS as a guideline of the different sections since I don't know how the sketch is set up for Alberta and Calgary. In Ontario, the 5 sections are the following (work, volunteer, extracurricular, scholarships and research). I think if you have some scholarships/awards as well as some research experience you will be in a decent position. But your CV will most definitely not be the part of your application that will make you stand out.

 

With respect to the mcat, it takes about 3/4 months of studying if you are working a full time job (in a research lab). Depends what you will be doing during the summer. There is two different options for you. Either you schedule for the end of the summer and write it once when you are rly ready or you write it earlier in the summer which gives you some time if you need to rewrite. Also, the MCAT will be changing in 2015, so there won't be a vr.

 

No your marks don't count in 3rd year when you apply in 3rd year. Same in 4th hear. Essentially as soon as you send in your application, time freezes with respect to the application process.

 

What I recommend is to maintain a high Gpa, put the effort into the mcat as it will determine a big portion of your application, and get involved in some research (if this interests you) and just generally find Ec's that you find interesting and that you can excel. Short term commitments are generally not as valuable as long term commitments but 6 months is generally considered a decent time.

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If you want to get in after third year, your main concern will be your gpa and mcat. If you could please post these, I would be able to better assess your chances.

 

With respect to your EC's, they are on the weaker side. With respect to the OMSAS format, you are severly lacking in multiple area's. From what I gather, you have only had two jobs (edit, thats actually not too bad, a bit low but ok), you have very minimal awards and no research. This means that you have barely any activities for 3 out of the 5 sections. Your extracurricular and volunteering are ok, but a lot of your activities seem fairly stereotypical and a lot of your activities are from high school (which can be ok, i had quite a few from highschool, however the ones mentioned don't seem particularly strong). Furthermore, you have mentioned a couple of things, such as starting a blog, that you have not even started. This gives me the impression that these activities are purely done in order to pad your cv.

 

I don't mean to be harsh, I think you are on the right track however there are some pretty big holes in your cv. From what I hear, calgary is very heavy on the ec's so I think you might not fit their profile (they also prefer mature applicants).

 

Try finding new interests that will enrich your undergraduate experience while improving your cv. Research is not mandatory for med school, however in your case, i feel as though getting a research assistant position would adress many of the weaker areas in your sketch and would help you learn a lot.

 

If your gpa is stellar as well as your MCAT, you could wtill have a chance for admissions, but it wont be because of your sketch.

 

Don't give up, you still have loads of time to develop and get into medschool. For now, you should just relax and enjoy the holidays!

This is some solid advice! I would like to add on. Make sure you do not just do things for your CV as it may show on the interview. Being genuine is important as well. Just my 2 cents

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This is some solid advice! I would like to add on. Make sure you do not just do things for your CV as it may show on the interview. Being genuine is important as well. Just my 2 cents

I completely agree with this, this is what I was trying to get to in my post. Find stuff you enjoy, you will gain much more from it.

 

With respect to the mcat. If you are working full time and doing a bunch of Ec's 4 months is a good time to set aside for the mcat. If you are purely studying the mcat, you don't need as much time (but you are probably doing it wrong as well lol)

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I agree with Aethearus. You need research experiences. BTW research carefully before choosing a PI. Don't be a prestige-whore and go after those big labs which usually takes 5-10 years to get a paper out. The important thing is to get a paper out (a young PI and a clinical research project is a good combo IMHO). You also need clinical experiences, like hospital volunteering or even better doctor shadowing. Of course, if you can afford it, international healthcare experiences is always nice. Your soccer history is amazing but I would recommend you to do some similar things with a community health group such as Canadian Cancer Society (maybe try to apply for a committee position). 6 months is more than enough to get something meanful done.

 

One thing I would suggest, just based on my own experience, is to do your best but prepare for the worst. Don't sit around and wait and do nothing after you submit your application. Try to think what if you get rejected in this cycle and what you need to improve for your application and just keep working on it.

I will, respectfully, disagree with you on that point. That shouldn't be the primary objective of research, especially not for an undergraduate student. Is pursuit for publications, especially in top notch journal, a reality in the academic world? Absolutely, but I think the OP has a lot more to learn before aiming for that. It's nice to have them for sure, but I feel like that attitude degrades the whole purpose of clinical research. As well, you do NOT have to have research on your CV to get into medical school. It does help for some schools (eg. U of T), and more importantly, it is beneficial once you're undergoing medical training or practicing as a clinician. If the OP has zero interest, please don't pursue it because it will feel like a chore. That time is probably well spent somewhere else.

 

As for your second point, again, that is false. U of C released a statement last year (in conjunction with AAMC) where they discouraged people from going abroad for volunteering. Let's be honest... half of it comprises of tourist activities and the other half is helping people. While that is nice and all, there are people that need help in our own communities. It will not look more impressive to adcoms than a "normal" activity in your city. As well, it has become so cliche that it isn't even unique anymore. Lastly, there is a concern for lack of opportunity for some applicants. Like you said, some people can't afford them (I can't...), so that is another reason why schools do not put a lot of weight into it. 

 

I apologise if I sound too critical, but these type of responses perpetuate the idea that there is a "formula" you need for ECs, and further decreases applicant diversity, in my opinion. Just my two cents on the whole topic, and by no means am I an expert on this matter. I am not even in med school yet, and may never be.  :P

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I apologise if I sound too critical, but these type of responses perpetuate the idea that there is a "formula" you need for ECs, and further decreases applicant diversity.

Well...I do believe there is a rather general formula for ECs when applying for med school, in my opinion, and I would love to hear everybody's opinions so feel free to criticize me. I think you need to show:

 

1. you want to become a physician (hospital volunteer, physician shadowing)

2. compassion for humanity (community works)

3. research (this one is fairly recent in my opinion and may only help with UofT. However, due to the sheer competitiveness in recent years, if two applicants are equal in everything else and one has a paper and one doesn't, I believe the one with a paper may have a bit edge over the other person, just saying).

4. academics (mcat + gpa)

5. leadership (could be demonstrated through your community works by running some projects).

6. sports/art achievement??? (not sure about this one)

 

I'm not saying you need to have everything on this list to get into medical school (I sure don't) but at least you may want to strive toward them.

 

By the way, in no way was I saying that having international experiences is even remotely required to get into med school. I'm just saying it adds diversity to your profile if you can afford it that's all. I come from a poor family too so I sure don't have the money to go on an African trip, but if I have the luxury then why not?

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Well...I do believe there is a rather general formula for ECs when applying for med school, in my opinion, and I would love to hear everybody's opinions so feel free to criticize me. I think you need to show:

 

1. you want to become a physician (hospital volunteer, physician shadowing)

2. compassion for humanity (community works)

3. research (this one is fairly recent in my opinion and may only help with UofT. However, due to the sheer competitiveness in recent years, if two applicants are equal in everything else and one has a paper and one doesn't, I believe the one with a paper may have a bit edge over the other person, just saying).

4. academics (mcat + gpa)

5. leadership (could be demonstrated through your community works by running some projects).

6. sports/art achievement??? (not sure about this one)

 

I'm not saying you need to have everything on this list to get into medical school (I sure don't) but at least you may want to strive toward them.

 

By the way, in no way was I saying that having international experiences is even remotely required to get into med school. I'm just saying it adds diversity to your profile if you can afford it that's all. I come from a poor family too so I sure don't have the money to go on an African trip, but if I have the luxury then why not?

 

I'd find those activities to be the most interesting personally :P

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Well...I do believe there is a rather general formula for ECs when applying for med school, in my opinion, and I would love to hear everybody's opinions so feel free to criticize me. I think you need to show:

 

1. you want to become a physician (hospital volunteer, physician shadowing)

2. compassion for humanity (community works)

3. research (this one is fairly recent in my opinion and may only help with UofT. However, due to the sheer competitiveness in recent years, if two applicants are equal in everything else and one has a paper and one doesn't, I believe the one with a paper may have a bit edge over the other person, just saying).

4. academics (mcat + gpa)

5. leadership (could be demonstrated through your community works by running some projects).

6. sports/art achievement??? (not sure about this one)

 

I'm not saying you need to have everything on this list to get into medical school (I sure don't) but at least you may want to strive toward them.

 

By the way, in no way was I saying that having international experiences is even remotely required to get into med school. I'm just saying it adds diversity to your profile if you can afford it that's all. I come from a poor family too so I sure don't have the money to go on an African trip, but if I have the luxury then why not?

 

maybe add some baking soda and chocolate chips to that recipe???

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It appears to me that most of your ECs are very short-termed, like campus tour guide (couple of days?), frosh leader (~1 month include prep), speaking at assemblies etc. There are only around 3-4 that lasted more than 2 months, and some of them are from high school. I would suggest that you try to get involved in some long-term activities. Like others have mentioned, research is a good place to start. Also, maybe go outside of the box and try things that are not soccer and school-related. For example, you can volunteer at an art gallery, learn badminton, help a homeless shelter etc. Make your ECs say "I'm a caring person who is not afraid to try new things". Good luck :)

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Wow, as a second year student I think you have a pretty strong list of EC's .. way more than me in second year and I got interviews so I think you are in good shape. Plus, the fact that you have the soccer focus I think makes you unique. Not so sure about the "formula" for getting in - "need to do research" ... "need to do this"...  "need to do that"... I truly believe helping out in the community is important, and I believe research is a fundamental cornerstone of science - but I think it's important also to do research that one is truly passionate about and to do work around the community that is meaningful. 

 

Edited to add: but take my advice with a grain of salt since I didn't actually get in .. yet :) 

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On 12/28/2014 at 7:59 AM, angel20259 said:

Wow, as a second year student I think you have a pretty strong list of EC's .. way more than me in second year and I got interviews so I think you are in good shape. Plus, the fact that you have the soccer focus I think makes you unique. Not so sure about the "formula" for getting in - "need to do research" ... "need to do this"...  "need to do that"... I truly believe helping out in the community is important, and I believe research is a fundamental cornerstone of science - but I think it's important also to do research that one is truly passionate about and to do work around the community that is meaningful. 

 

Edited to add: but take my advice with a grain of salt since I didn't actually get in .. yet :)

.

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May I ask what schools you applied for? And may I ask if they give you a report upon receiving the rejection? If so ca you please tell me what feedback you received (GPA, MCAT, most importantly for me what they thought of your ECs) Thanks!

 

I applied for UofT, Queens, and Mac. I got interviewed at the three schools and sadly rejected by all (well at Queen's I was waitlisted).I wrote a post last year about my rejections http://forums.premed101.com/index.php?/topic/77658-rejected-but-not-giving-up/#entry885757. I think what held me back was the interviews - in my post I wrote that I thought I did fairly well on them, but looking back now I realize that it went pretty badly for the most part  ^_^ I was totally unprepared and in general I'm not the best at articulating my opinions and expressing my thoughts. They didn't give me a report about my rejection (although I really wish they did!) but I guess my list of EC's was pretty average considering that a lot of the other members here have some really impressive accomplishments. As for the GPA and MCAT part of it .. I'm not sure how much they value the academic part of the applicant's file these days once you meet certain cut offs - it seems like a lot of the schools value the experiences of the applicant a lot more. And the interviews. What do you guys think?

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For UofA your EC's shouldn't be too bad as long as your GPA is up to par. For UofC they may be weak.

I think research and all the extra stuff is good and all but from my experience I don't think UofA cares too much about EC as much as other aspects. Again, this is only from my experience. Just be good enough to get the interview and focus on destroying the MMI. 

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For UofA your EC's shouldn't be too bad as long as your GPA is up to par. For UofC they may be weak.

I think research and all the extra stuff is good and all but from my experience I don't think UofA cares too much about EC as much as other aspects. Again, this is only from my experience. Just be good enough to get the interview and focus on destroying the MMI. 

 

This show you what I want to say about this topic

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Can you please explain why my ECs are weak for UofC. I know that a big part of the application itself is how you describe your ECs so is that why they seem weak to you as I have not elaborated on the experiences on my post? Thanks

I don't really know specifics because I've never applied to UofC. But from what I hear, they require much more depth in your ECs.they want more quantity and quality.

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