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Long Time Since I Have Been Here... I Need Some Advice

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Hi all, 

I am not sure if you guys do remember me, but I use to be active on these forums long time ago. I decided to become inactive on these forums due to me being unsure about what I wanted to do in my life. Without me boring you death, I spent a lot of time contemplating what I would want to do with my life and have continuously landed on the idea of medicine. 

Because I have decided to do medicine and since I have been out of the loop for a while, I need your guys help in figuring some stuff out. I would really appreciate your help and guidance. 

Here is some little bit of information about me and my current situation to provide a little bit of background about my situation and self. 

Currently I am doing a 2nd undergraduate at U of T in Kinesiology. I did my first undergraduate at U of T and graduated with a cGPA of 3.21. In my first undergraduate, I started with a cGPA of 2.12 and pulled it all the way up to a 3.21. As you can imagine, I really had to work hard and pull some decent grades throughout my years in my first undergraduate. However, even though I was able to pull some decent grades in my first undergraduate, I knew that my grades were not going to be good enough for med school as except for a few semesters took a full course load (I knew that if i was going to pursue  medicine, I would be doing a 2nd undergraduate and therefore there was no need to take courses I really had no interest in) and I didn't have the preq's for the MCAT. As a result, I didn't apply to medical school anywhere (not even the Caribbean, as when i was active on these forums, I remember being told that the Caribbean's is a last resort).  

After finishing my first undergraduate, I went and worked at St. Michael's hospital where I did some research and shadowed an interventional cardiologist for 1 year. In this time frame that I worked with this interventional cardiologist, I got to explore the field of medicine and see all the different demands/lifestyles and aspects of this field and published some research papers (and continuing to publish) in various medical journals. From this experience, I realized for sure medicine was my goal and therefore decided to do my 2nd undergraduate. 

Now here I am doing my 2nd undergraduate, and I got few questions. 

1) My current undergraduate mark is a 3.6 (from 1 semester). I want to know if med schools look at practical courses that are not counted as academic courses in my program. They are worth 0.33 and just have a letter grade assigned to them and are calculated separately from my Academic GPA. These courses are like activity courses. I know in physiotherapy, they do not count that as a course in their GPA calculation. Is it the same for med school?

2) I was thinking of applying to the states as well. I did not know this before but I could have done a SMP. If i had known this early, perhaps i would have done that than a 2nd undergrad. A 2nd undergrad as you all know is truly a pain. I want to know is, with my 2nd undergraduate, can i still apply to the US. From what i have researched here, it is a yes and that they will look at all my marks throughout. However, I would like to confirm that.

3) With regards to the US med schools, I believe it is still 2 orgo, 2 physics, 2 general chem and now i have read 0.5 biochem or english depending on the school you want to go to. Now I did general chem at U of T in my 1st degree and got a 66 in that course. It was a first year course and do a variety of stupid reasons I got the grade i got. I am unsure, if i should take CHM138 and 247 in the summer to satisfy the course requirements for the 2 orgo chems for the states. I have not done chem in a while, and to be honest I am a bit afraid to take it. Being my 2nd undergrad and all, I don't want to risk getting a horrible grade on my transcript. Not sure what I should do, Should i just aim for Canada? The same situation applies for physics, however i have never done physics before. There is a bit of physics in my degree and I do feel comfortable with it. Based on this i have thought about taking grade 11 and 12 physics in adult school and then take 1 year physics so that I won't get destroyed in that course. Thoughts on this as well?

4) I am not sure where I stand atm with my stats. Can someone please provide me with some information regarding my status. As I have mentioned I currently stand a 3.6 (it will be rising more after this year is done). My first undergrad GPA is 3.21. I have done various EC like publishing a paper, traveling to south america to provide medical aid, playing cricket, creating and coaching a cricket team at my high school, various jobs in the summer, camping, white water rafting etc... I know i have not wrote the MCAT and therefore do not have an accurate picture of where i stand, but I wanted to know am i on the right direction? Any advice would be appreciated. 

5) In regards to the MCAT, do i need to take orgo chem, physics etc to be ready for it? That is if i don't go to the states and just aim for Canada, will i be able to understand the material for the MCAT and do well on it?

I apologize if this seems redundant. I have search this forum as well as various other sites for information, but i have not gotten any solid information. I found this site to be helpful back in the day and therefore I am asking for some help once again. I apologize if this is in the wrong section and if anything may not make sense at first. Please reply to this thread and i will clarify it asap. 

Thanks for taking the time to read this,


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1) I think you should ask schools directly.


2) Yes but they will combine that with your 1st degree grades. My grades from 2nd degree was counted as post bacc studies in the US so that had their own separate category, which was good because that high mark won't be muddled by averaging with your 1st degree grades.


3) Is the general chem you took CHM151? If yes, then I don't think you can take CHM138 because they are exclusions. I wold suggest taking 247 and another upper year organic chem course. Be careful though because I thought 247 was brutal and upper year organic chem is probably even harder. Physics 1 at UT was absolutely awful (worse than 247). It is one of the hardest courses I have ever took in my life. So...be careful...


4) To be honest....I don't think 3.6 is good enough. It's barely enough for US if it was your only degree and you'd have to couple that with a killer MCAT and great clinical experience. It's not enough if it is your 2nd degree when your 1st one is 3.21. I have the exact same 1st degree GPA at UT (to the hundredth decimal places) and I was rejected pre-interview at all of the 12 US schools I applied to after the first year of my second undergrad (AMCAS GPA 4.0). 

Your GPA is not competitive for Canada (unless maybe you get a 15 on VR and you apply to Mac with an incredible CASPER... chance=winning the lottery)


5) I personally think you don't necessary need university science classes to do well on the MCAT...I did horrible on my first year sciences to the point that I retained nothing but a phobia of physics and organic chemistry, and I did pretty good on the MCAT. If you are unsure, get the MCAT books and see if you understand it. 


I would suggest doing whatever you can to fix that 2nd degree gpa, NOW. You still got a chance since you've only finished 1 semester, but if it stays 3.6, you pretty much have no chance at North American MD schools. I'm not trying to scare you but getting a near 4.0 GPA should really be the most important thing for you right now. There's a thread right above your's about being obsessed with gpa in 2nd degree. That is how much 2nd degree-ers worry about their GPA. Personally, I would not recommend doing a second degree at UT, especially since you did bad in your first one at the same school. 99% of the kinesiology programs in Canada will give you a higher GPA than what you have at UT right now. To be honest, I would suggest considering transfer to another University.It's probably not the thing you want to hear but it is a possible solution.

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