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Hey guys I seriously need some guidance, I feel so lost :( . Not sure if this is the right forum. Sorry for the wall of text, but here it goes.

 

I’m going to be entering 4th year in September in a general sciences program in Ontario.

 

My GPA is as follows:

1st Year: 3.71

2nd Year: 3.94

3rd Year: 3.92

4th Year:  low 3.9 (expected)

 

Initially I was set on doing medicine. I took the MCAT and got 12/8/10 (spent roughly 3 months). I didn’t want to take the new MCAT, and so I took it again in January in hopes of getting a better VR score, managed to spend a solid 2.5 weeks studying, and basically got the same thing 11/8/11. I was extremely disappointed with my scores. I’m working full time this summer, I will have the month of august off. I have not touched ANY mcat material yet. If I start studying now, is it realistic to expect to do well if I take the new MCAT in September?

 

I have also considered writing it the following summer after I graduate, I don’t think I should rush it and do poorly on it. But if I want to get into medicine, what should I do afterwards, would doing a master’s be beneficial? Or should I stay with my Bsc, get a job, and keep applying? Getting a job would be tough with just a bsc plus if I stay out of school, I have to start paying back OSAP (going to have 50k debt from undergrad). My family is pretty poor, so I have been largely replying on OSAP and part time jobs.

 

It takes some people several tries to get into med, maybe I might not be smart enough. I have also considered other graduate programs such as Pharmacy and Optometry. I have all the preq courses to get into Pharmacy. But for Waterloo Optometry I still have to complete 3 prerequisites courses, I would have to take them after I graduate. Which has a better job outlook in Canada, optometry or pharmacy? I know that pharmacy is saturated. Some people have recommended that I get a Msc first, and then get a PharmD so that I could go to the pharmaceutical industry side.

 

I am also considering other drastic options such as starting a second bachelors in accounting and going for CPA.

 

What should I do?

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Hey guys I seriously need some guidance, I feel so lost :( . Not sure if this is the right forum. Sorry for the wall of text, but here it goes.

 

I’m going to be entering 4th year in September in a general sciences program in Ontario.

 

My GPA is as follows:

1st Year: 3.71

2nd Year: 3.94

3rd Year: 3.92

4th Year:  low 3.9 (expected)

 

Initially I was set on doing medicine. I took the MCAT and got 12/8/10 (spent roughly 3 months). I didn’t want to take the new MCAT, and so I took it again in January in hopes of getting a better VR score, managed to spend a solid 2.5 weeks studying, and basically got the same thing 11/8/11. I was extremely disappointed with my scores. I’m working full time this summer, I will have the month of august off. I have not touched ANY mcat material yet. If I start studying now, is it realistic to expect to do well if I take the new MCAT in September?

 

I have also considered writing it the following summer after I graduate, I don’t think I should rush it and do poorly on it. But if I want to get into medicine, what should I do afterwards, would doing a master’s be beneficial? Or should I stay with my Bsc, get a job, and keep applying? Getting a job would be tough with just a bsc plus if I stay out of school, I have to start paying back OSAP (going to have 50k debt from undergrad). My family is pretty poor, so I have been largely replying on OSAP and part time jobs.

 

It takes some people several tries to get into med, maybe I might not be smart enough. I have also considered other graduate programs such as Pharmacy and Optometry. I have all the preq courses to get into Pharmacy. But for Waterloo Optometry I still have to complete 3 prerequisites courses, I would have to take them after I graduate. Which has a better job outlook in Canada, optometry or pharmacy? I know that pharmacy is saturated. Some people have recommended that I get a Msc first, and then get a PharmD so that I could go to the pharmaceutical industry side.

 

I am also considering other drastic options such as starting a second bachelors in accounting and going for CPA.

 

What should I do?

Hey Huskies,

 

One word: relax. As a third year applicant I guess we are roughly the same age and I thought about many of the things you mentioned. I have a lot of buddies that are in the same position as you and although the future may seem as uncertain as ever you have to take things one step at a time. Your GPA looks just fine for medicine (especially if you benefit from the several wGPA schemes that schools have). The MCAT verbal score is on the lower end. A 10 (or even 9 in some cases) is much more competitive and I would suggest re-writing. The 8 may be doable if you are SWOMEN for Western U, for example, but will hurt your application at most other schools. You seem to score consistently well on the other two sections so I would focus on adapting a new verbal strategy and re-writing. With regards to the "what should I do if I don't get in?" question, it depends. Every person is different. I would highly advise against completing a master's "just to get into med school". Although a masters may help you expand your autobiographical sketch, you have to ask yourself about the alternatives. Medical schools are increasingly valuing masters applicants less and less (McMaster decided to throw grad applicants into the same pool as undergrads for the upcoming cycle). It all depends where you think your application is lacking. If it is the EC's, is there anything you feel that you can do in a year that would add value to your application more so than a year of research?

 

Finally, I would suggest really thinking about what field you want to get in to. You suggested options from Pharm to Accounting. I have plenty of friends that wandered into the field of medicine and now are not enjoying what they are doing. Medicine is a life-style due to the demanding nature of the field, you have to be sure about it (whatever 'sure' is to an undergrad). That being said, I also know people that wandered into Pharm as an alternative to medicine and now regret doing so. My point is, I would really encourage you to sit down and think about what you want to spend the rest of your life doing (and why). You can do whatever you want as long as you are dedicated, whether it takes one application or five.

 

Figure out what field you want to dedicate the rest of your life to and commit, indecision will hurt you the longer you carry it over your shoulders.

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I agree that you should take a big breathe and just relax for a second. Before I give my advice, you should know I wrote the MCAT 3 times, and my first 2 scores were both 11/8/11 so I have stood in your shoes before. I wrote a 3rd time, increased my VR by 1 point to 9, and got into Mac and UofT. Keep your head up and if med is what you want it can be done with a little perseverance.

 

Now, have a look at some of the weighting formulas for some schools and see where that puts you in terms of your GPA. Your yearly breakdown is much stronger than mine was so I don't think GPA is where the issue is. Potentially, your MCAT is most limiting so that is where you should focus your efforts in my opinion. A masters may help you, but that would depend more on what you hope to get out of it and what your ECs look like. Since my marks were a little bit lower and my ABS severely lacked research, an MSc was really beneficial for me and addressed the part of my application that was most weak. Working may be a good option though if you can find a job that will help your application and isn't just to pay back your OSAP.

 

Regarding your backup plan, I did my grad training in the Faculty of Pharmacy at UofT so I have several friends and colleagues with pharmacy degrees and their job prospects aren't as bleak as advertised. A lot of them are also doing research, not because lack of jobs, but because the pharmacy role is continually being expanded and there are lots of cool opportunities to have a career practicing and researching (you will need to study and write your PCAT though no?)

 

I can't speak to optometry, but I found grad school to be really rewarding. Definitely think it through though before you jump into it. Good luck with everything.

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