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Should I throw in the gloves?


Guest confusious

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Guest confusious

I've been keeping an eye on a lot of the messages posted on this board but this will be my first time posting. First off I think this forum is awesome and I've found a lot of helpful information, keep up the good job. Well I guess I'll start off by explaining my situation. I have recently graduated with a B.Sc in Biochemistry and exploring my career options. I've always had a keen interest in medicine but at the moment questioning the possibility of becoming a doctor. Looking at the majority of the marks on this forum my marks are definitely mediocre and I just wanted some honest opinions from my peers about whether a career a medicine is a realistic goal. My GPA is ~3.5 and I scored a 29P on the MCATs (which I'm considering retaking to improve my odds). I would like to remain in Canada but with my grades I think I might have a better chance applying in the States. I'd appreciate any comments/advice, thanks in advance.

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Guest UofCMeds2005

If you want to be doctor - don't give up!!!

 

There are some people in my program that have stats similar to yours. My advice. But, if you want to improve your chances...

 

A) You could go to grad school - which will improve your chances (ie. papers etc) and give you a chance to pull up your GPA

 

B) Re-take the MCAT - The MCAT is not the be all end all, but the higher your score the better. So, if you do have time to re-take - go for it. But, your score is good.

 

C) Take a year off and vounteer with a program over seas. Schools - especially Calgary - love medical volunteer work in far away places.

 

My best advice to you is to be honest with yourself. Take a step back and look at the strengths and weaknesses of your application from an ad com perspective. Basically, do you have enough volunteer work etc. Then tighten up those areas that you may be sub-optimal in. Yes, there are people in my program with stats inferior to yours. But, they have incredible and outstanding apps in other areas - vounteer etc. So, without knowing the rest of your story...

 

If medicine is your dream - don't give up. It will be well worth it in the end. I didn't get in on my first try and if I had givenup I wouldn't be here.

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Guest Megs

Don't give up! I am far from experienced in all of this...just starting med school at u of a next year, but I didn't make it in on my first try, either. I had a good GPA (3.9 ish) but not great MCAT marks (27R, I think). And the real point is, applying is not too huge of a commitment. A couple of hundred dollars and you can apply to a few schools. The application process is busy, but after a couple weeks of working on it, you are done. Then you just have to wait, which doesn't have to be hard work. What I am saying is, you might as well apply because it doesn't hurt you at all! See how you fare, and then reapply again if you don't make it in! Good luck...and one more thing. I think that unique experiences really make an application stand out. Pick things in your life that make you different and they will undoubtedly notice you (and ask you about them in an interview). For example, I grew up on a cattle ranch and I was homeschooled. That is what we talked about in my interviews. They liked that I did some different things.

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Guest marbledust

Hey Confusions,

I was in a similar situation as you - my grades were good and so were my MCAT scores but I was afraid they just weren't good enough when I heard what other people's stats were. I was afraid to apply for that reason. I also came from a non-science academic background and was older than most of the other applicants.

 

But after spending a lot of time hanging around medical students and residents I realized I really wanted to be in medicine. I think a lot of people here will tell you that if you have the will to do it, there is a way to do it. I didn't get an interview my first year applying, so I went back and busted my butt in another year of science courses to raise my gpa. The next year I got an interview and made the waitlist. I think you have a good chance. You are miles ahead of where I was when I first looked at medicine - I had virtually no background in science when I finished my undergrad degree.

 

Good luck ;)

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I had a question, and this thread looks like as good a place as any to ask it.

 

How many times is too many?

 

Lord knows there are a lot of people who don't get in on their first try, or don't get in to the program of their choice (see above posts for evidence :D ), but at what point does determination become denial?

 

Or another way to phrase this, what is the largest number of applications finally resulting in a position that anyone knows of?

 

I'm willing to bet that I'll have to apply more than once, so I'd like to know if there are any 'unwritten limits' about how many times you can/should apply before you might have to accept that you're not destined for professional medicine. (God forbid :( )

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Guest UWOMED2005

I think that's a philosophical question, one with a personal slant, and one that I certainly would not be willing to tackle.

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Guest aneliz

I don't think that there is a definite rule....I remember hearing of one person that applied to one of the med schools something like 4 times before getting in....

 

That said, the general rule is that if you have applied to, and been interviewed by, the same school three times and you still haven't gotten off the waitlist, you should probably look elsewhere. This doesn't mean look to another career...maybe just to another school! Every school is looking for something a little bit different...not getting in at one school doesn't mean that you don't have what it takes to be a doc. Very few people get into every school that they apply to! As an example: one of my friends applied to Mac two years ago, rejected with no interview. They applied to all five Ontario schools the next year: outright rejected by Ottawa, interviewed by other four, accepted at UofT and Mac, waitlist at UWO and rejected post-interview by Queens.

 

Apply to as many schools as you can afford to...you never know what will happen! Your stats may be borderline, but at most schools, stats count for 50% or less of the final decision...and you can do a lot to maximise the other 50% of your application!

 

Good luck!

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The differing things that medical schools look for is really interesting to me. For a time it seemed like they kind of put your name on a whole bunch of lists, and then drew a line somewhere halfway down - trying to just collect the smartest of the smart. That each school is a little bit unique is a bit of a revelation...but it makes the process a little less daunting in that hopefully I have what SOMEONE out there is looking for ;)

 

Anyway, thanks aneliz! These boards are sweet...some of the nicest people around here. :D

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Guest marbledust

I have a friend who is a physician and she says she knows a fellow physician who applied to one medical school for 7 straight years before they were accepted. I don't know if they applied to other schools though. This person is now a successful specialist. Kinda makes me feel not so bad for applying 3 times :rollin

 

I guess the moral of the story is if you want it bad enough there might not be "too many" times

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"I guess the moral of the story is if you want it bad enough there might not be "too many" times" - Marbledust

 

Amen to that. I was a little worried about ticking off adcoms or administration staff, but that even seems a little silly in retrospect. ;)

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Guest UWOMED2005

They get hundreds to thousands of applications each year. Unless you have something notable in your application, they won't remember you. Don't worry about it.

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