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Whats My Best Option?

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First time poster here looking for some advice. Like most non-trads I made the decision to pursue medicine later in life than most, and at the time I was 25 and didn't even have a university degree. When I was 20 I took 2 full-year university courses, got a C in one, and an F in the other (stopped attending and didn't bother to withdraw...REALLY regretting that decision now!). But thankfully my in-province school (University of Manitoba) allows you to drop your worst 30 credit hours when you apply. 


I am now 31 years old, finished my undergraduate degree in Health sciences last year with a gpa of 4.0 on a 4.5 scale. Converting each year using OMSAS gives me the following numbers:

Year 1: 3.93

Year 2: 3.66

Year 3: 3.56

Year 4: 3.73


When I include the year I did when I was 20 (2003-2004), my cGPA comes to a whopping 3.425. I wrote the MCAT twice last summer, scoring a 24 (7/9/8), and a 30 (10/9/11). The first test was taken with about 4 weeks of studying, and approximately 0 minutes of sleep the night before, probably should have just voided it but was hoping I made a lot of lucky guesses. 


I applied to the U of M this past fall with these stats:

aGPA: 4.109 (on a 4.5 scale)

MCAT:  30 


I was given an interview, but recently learned that I didnt get in. I knew with my lower end MCAT and gpa i would have to nail the interview, and I didnt quite do that. So now Im at a bit of a crossroads as far as what my next step should be. My GPA pretty much eliminates me from contention as an OOP applicant anywhere else in Canada, as does my MCAT. I had been thinking about the Caribbean, mainly SABA, but I have concerns over how I would finance that, and also about the residency prospects of being an IMG.


I was hoping not to have to write the new MCAT but Ive slowly come to terms with the fact that if i want to get in to school here, Im going to have to. Recently i've also been looking into the US as an option, but I'm not familiar with their application process, and considering my situation, i'm not sure how favorably they would view me as a candidate. I do have a fair number of ECs, such as


  • Tutor at an adult-ed school in math and physics - 1 year
  • Volunteered at a local hospital geriatric inpatient facility coordinating activities such as bingo - 1 year
  • Volunteered in a hospital research department writing literature reviews - 1 year
  • Students for Development CIDA internship in Brazil working with indigenous populations affected by land conflicts - 3 months
  • Held a position as a Student Council representative for my health sciences program within a larger faculty council- 1 year
  • Member of a student-led advising/support group for 'mature students' - 4 years 
  • Winner of an undergraduate research award which allowed me to work on a project with one of my professors over a 16 week period. No publications. 
  • Various other academic distinctions such as Deans honour list, scholarships/bursaries, and an award as the top student in my graduating class

So basically I'm wondering if my current resume would make me competitive at any MD schools in the US? Or should I rewrite the MCAT and try again at my IP school? OR should I just accept the fact that i'm getting too old for this and just go to SABA already?

I'm targeting sept 12 as a date for an MCAT rewrite, so would this be too late If I want to apply to the US this cycle? I've read that you need to apply as early as possible to have a chance. Any advice would be appreciated, thanks! 


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UofM is your best shot, your recent GPAs are pretty strong - focus on the MCAT retake and re-apply to UofM one more time first before applying to the US.

You do not need to apply to SABA or foreign schools, you will be competitive and get into UofM. If not then apply to USMD schools after another application cycle. Sept 12th is a bit too late for US MD schools given your current profile.

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Thanks Gohan. I forgot to mention that my AMCAS gpa's would be 3.50 science and 3.50 cumulative as they consider both A's and A+ to be a 4.0

Thats fine, they will realize that your GPA is drawn down to those few bad grades  - if you recalculate it based on only your most recent 4 years of course work, what is your AMCAS? 


Again, I would not suggest applying to US schools this upcoming cycle - as that attempt at hacking together an application will take away precious time from your MCAT retake.


Instead, focus on your MCAT retake - only work minimally if you need to to survive, otherwise put it all in on your MCAT (and as well enjoying summer time with friends/family etc, keep balanced!) and ace that. And apply again this upcoming cycle to UofM. 


Get another interview and prosper.


Is your Sept 12th MCAT okay for being valid for UofM? I know some schools have cut-off dates for MCATs to be considered in a given app cycle.

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Yes sept 12 is the last day they will accept a score. That gives me just over 11 weeks to study. Based on the past 4 years my science GPA is the same, cumulative goes up to 3.78. 

You got this, just focus and do your best. You already got a 30 once, now get it up as more as you can!

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