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This feeling is like a kid waiting for Christmas, but you don't know what day Christmas is and you don't know if you were good or bad...

I would actually prefer if they just said okay from now on the release date is say march 20th, hell even march 25th. Then we at least know.. having to wonder if everyday will be the day for most of ma

Just for future applicants, a little something passed down from this cycle I guess, accepted here and still have "Incomplete items outstanding", no need to wear away that F5 button.

Yep, same here. All that F5-ing I've been doing was a little misguided apparently

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Is it just me, or were the majority of accepted applicants this year some kind of varsity athlete?  Just based on who I know that got in, postings here and creeping their FB page (no shame) this seems to be a trend.  

haha well I was accepted and while I'm a regular runner, in terms of sports/hand-eye coordination I'm more of a picked-last-in-gym-class kind of person so......I actually know a few varsity athletes who were rejected, and non-athletes accepted! 

 

Seems to be a common correlation though, based off the conversations I've had with med students at interview weekends, and the amount of intramural sports teams they all have

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As with most things on premed101 forums, I think that it is easy to get caught speculating. I would agree that I've noticed a few applicants that have been varsity athletes. I think that even more, it seems lots of applicants come from non-science backgrounds especially music students. I never spent as much time looking into this for ontario schools, but I've only noticed music students getting into medicine at Dal. That being said, my perspective is extremely limited and an upper year student at any med school could clear this up much easier than a student who hasn't spent any time in a medical school class.

 

However, I also believe that Dal's application system leaves a great deal of room for students who have notable experiences or unique backgrounds. 30% of the application is your essay and autobiographical sketch. Also the 5% discretionary score, which is a bit of a mystery, but it could possibly be used for students with exceptional personal experiences. Many applicants, even myself when I first applied, were surprised at how low their score was on their autobiographical sketch and essay. I would say that when compared to students who were varsity athletes or students who went on international relief missions, my personal experiences were mediocre.

 

I think the key is still the interview. If you are applying again after being rejected, it could be difficult to make a drastic change to your ABS. Also as years pass, if you aren't in undergrad it can be difficult when you don't have the same access to student groups. And some items on your ABS are further in the past and could be more easily overlooked. As long as you have an average ABS, it is probably better to focus on ways that your current experiences can be better justified in your essay/interview as relevant for practicing medicine. 

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Congratulations to everyone who was accepted, I look forward to meeting all of you! :)

For those who received the news they were dreading - do NOT let this get you down. To get even this far you're an outstanding person, and always remember that. This was my third time applying to Dalhousie and the previous two times I was a decent margin off of the accepted average. After a bit of a grieving process (no point in sugar coating it, I was not in a great spot, but that feeling does fade, I promise), I tore apart my application and found any possible way to improve it.

 

The first thing I was told was my wording in my supplemental. When listing your activities, always list the most important part first (ie. President of Residence Council vs. Residence Council - President). These individuals are sifting through hundreds of applications, and are often looking for some key words, so having those front and centre only helps them see your awesomeness more clearly! 

Next was my letter. I am not one to ever feel comfortable selling myself or talking about what I've done, but you have to (in a non-conceited manner). Be raw, real, and be yourself in your letter. Be vulnerable. Let them know YOU as a person and how you would benefit the profession both at Dalhousie and afterwards.

Lastly, the dreaded interview. I'd done the free sessions put on at Dalhousie, but they never worked out for me (ie. MMI score last year was about ~8 points below the average). It was a bit of an investment, but this time around I paid for some actual coaching. Getting a structure and plan in place to answer any question abates any concerns you might have going into each room and really helps you feel confident. Also, a coach won't be afraid to tell you 'no, that answer is actually terrible', whereas I found friends and family, or even strangers, are apprehensive to say anything but 'that was a good answer'. 

 

If you keep trying and improving, it won't be a matter of IF you get in, but WHEN :). Looking forward to seeing you all in the class of 2021!

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Congratulations to everyone who was accepted, I look forward to meeting all of you! :)

 

For those who received the news they were dreading - do NOT let this get you down. To get even this far you're an outstanding person, and always remember that. This was my third time applying to Dalhousie and the previous two times I was a decent margin off of the accepted average. After a bit of a grieving process (no point in sugar coating it, I was not in a great spot, but that feeling does fade, I promise), I tore apart my application and found any possible way to improve it.

 

The first thing I was told was my wording in my supplemental. When listing your activities, always list the most important part first (ie. President of Residence Council vs. Residence Council - President). These individuals are sifting through hundreds of applications, and are often looking for some key words, so having those front and centre only helps them see your awesomeness more clearly! 

 

Next was my letter. I am not one to ever feel comfortable selling myself or talking about what I've done, but you have to (in a non-conceited manner). Be raw, real, and be yourself in your letter. Be vulnerable. Let them know YOU as a person and how you would benefit the profession both at Dalhousie and afterwards.

 

Lastly, the dreaded interview. I'd done the free sessions put on at Dalhousie, but they never worked out for me (ie. MMI score last year was about ~8 points below the average). It was a bit of an investment, but this time around I paid for some actual coaching. Getting a structure and plan in place to answer any question abates any concerns you might have going into each room and really helps you feel confident. Also, a coach won't be afraid to tell you 'no, that answer is actually terrible', whereas I found friends and family, or even strangers, are apprehensive to say anything but 'that was a good answer'. 

 

If you keep trying and improving, it won't be a matter of IF you get in, but WHEN :). Looking forward to seeing you all in the class of 2021!

Excellent advice! I second a lot of it

 

Another thing I'll add on is in terms of interview prep, I didn't pay for any courses or coaching, but one thing I found myself drawing a lot on in my MMI was going to talks at my school about health related/social issues. I did a bit of searching around on facebook pages for health professions at my school, and organizations like the aboriginal center, etc., and found talks on a weekly basis to attend in the fall term. Reading about these issues is one thing, but hearing stories from the people who have lived it, and discussing the issues with them afterwards,  is 100x more effective, and really got me into the mindset of thinking about other's perspectives. Kind of unconventional, I know, but having talked about things like health inqualities, harm reduction, etc. really made me more confident discussing these things in the MMI

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I definitely second everything everyone else has said about re-applying.  :) Another word of advice: include literally anything that you think is relevant or irrelevant on your application. I just went back through mine, and I dug up absolutely anything in my past that I could include. For example, I included the languages I speak in my extracurricular/recreational activities, and in the description, I mentioned that I want to run a multilingual practice. Back when I was considering optometry, I shadowed a bunch of different optometrists one March Break, and I included that, too. I even included a blog I was regularly posting to during my second year.

If you hit up the gym or go running regularly, put it on there. If you helped raise tiny baby goats on some remote farm one summer or mowed the lawn for your elderly neighbours, put it on there. If you babysit your friend's little Satan spawn, put it on there. Anything and everything will help you.

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Is it just me, or were the majority of accepted applicants this year some kind of varsity athlete?  Just based on who I know that got in, postings here and creeping their FB page (no shame) this seems to be a trend.  

I don't do any sports at all, and I was accepted this year. I think it's more to do with the variety of activities you did and how many hours you put in. Last year I had next to nothing in the medical activities department and no sports, and I still had above average in the supplemental section because of other activities.

 

You also have to think about what activities are going to give you the most to talk about in the interview. For example, I used my experiences from piano teaching in several of the stations. In MMI you can talk about the same experience in pretty much every station as long as it's relevant, since they don't know what you said in other stations (note, however, that this does not work in the panel interview at MUN).

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Even compared to last year though the difference looks pretty big. I'm wondering if it has anything to do with the whole new admissions committee. It's got me a bit worried haha I have 2 left feet too!

 

I was accepted this year and I haven't been involved in varsity sports AT ALL and for good reason. I joined a rec soccer league this past summer and dislocated my thumb in the first game... sports were never my forte! One thing that they told me 2 years ago is to get involved with something on a National level. For example, I am a gymnastics judge and this past year I earned eligibility status to judge national level competitions. I was told that they like to see applicants involved in their talents/hobbies at a high performance level, and although many applicants may achieve this through varsity sports, there are many other ways to do so!

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I got accepted this year and have absolutely zero athletic ability and I'm definitely not overly musical. I think whoever said that a variety of activities which suggests that you are well-rounded is key. Additionally consistency is important-- volunteering once or twice at a whole bunch of different events doesn't count as much as making a long-term commitment to an endeavor.

 

This is completely second-hand but a friend of mine was not accepted last year and the feedback he was given was that the minimal number of extracurriculars (outside of volunteering) hurt his extra/supp score. 

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