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I'm a Canadian student entering my final year of undergraduate study. I've changed majors once throughout my undergrad and have had to take more time than have anticipated completing my undergraduate degree. I've spent the last two years taking four courses a semester as opposed to five. I've recently decided to pursue med school, for reasons. I had a GPA of 2.1 in my first year, however I've been on an upward trend from there, getting a 3.8 GPA last year. I'm currently sitting at a GPA of 3.2 overall, however I'll be finished school at the end of Fall. Because I don't feel like I'm adequately prepared or financially ready to handle this years cycle, I'm waiting it out and taking a year off from my studies. 

I'm wondering what other Canadian students have done to increase their chances of getting into medical school with a low GPA. Because I enjoy research, I've contemplated attending graduate school, but realistically do I even stand a chance? Have I completely and permanently ruined my chances of medical school?

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I'm a Canadian student entering my final year of undergraduate study. I've changed majors once throughout my undergrad and have had to take more time than have anticipated completing my undergraduate degree. I've spent the last two years taking four courses a semester as opposed to five. I've recently decided to pursue med school, for reasons. I had a GPA of 2.1 in my first year, however I've been on an upward trend from there, getting a 3.8 GPA last year. I'm currently sitting at a GPA of 3.2 overall, however I'll be finished school at the end of Fall. Because I don't feel like I'm adequately prepared or financially ready to handle this years cycle, I'm waiting it out and taking a year off from my studies. 

 

I'm wondering what other Canadian students have done to increase their chances of getting into medical school with a low GPA. Because I enjoy research, I've contemplated attending graduate school, but realistically do I even stand a chance? Have I completely and permanently ruined my chances of medical school?

Provide a year by year breakdown, with credit values for the year. Then we can provide better help and direction.

 

Also your province.

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Nova Scotia.

Year 1: GPA 2.125

Year 2: GPA 3.078

Year 3: GPA 3.186

Year 4: GPA 3.156

Year 5: GPA 3.8

 

It was in the middle of my third year when I made a switch from Psychology to Biology. 

In my 4th year I realized that I love ochem, and in my 5th year I became a chemistry minor.

For most of my degree I shied away from hard science because I didn't think I could handle it.

I was reluctant to take a Biology major due to chem and math requirements. 

In an ironic twist, I did the best in my math and chem requirements.

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Nova Scotia.

Year 1: GPA 2.125

Year 2: GPA 3.078

Year 3: GPA 3.186

Year 4: GPA 3.156

Year 5: GPA 3.8

 

It was in the middle of my third year when I made a switch from Psychology to Biology. 

In my 4th year I realized that I love ochem, and in my 5th year I became a chemistry minor.

For most of my degree I shied away from hard science because I didn't think I could handle it.

I was reluctant to take a Biology major due to chem and math requirements. 

In an ironic twist, I did the best in my math and chem requirements.

Can you put the credit weightings by the years?  That is an important distinction too.

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Going over my transcript I realize that I've actually had a lighter course-load than I remembered.

I've had some withdraws. In year 1 and 3 I've taken 5 courses in the fall and 3 in the winter.

In year 2 I took 5 fall classes and 4 winter classes.

 

Year 1: 80%

Year 2: 90%

Year 3: 80%

Year 4: 80%

Year 5: 80%

 

I'll be taking 4 courses in the fall this year.

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I would also suggest a second degree. A graduate degree will do very little to alleviate lower grades (by med admissions standards) for four years. Also, be sure to maintain a full 5/5 course load in those years if you choose to go down that path. I wouldn't bother looking at the MCAT until you know you have a strong couple of years maintaining a high gpa.

 

I'm unfamiliar with the programs you're speaking of at Dal, but most of those types of programs I've seen are offered through sort of special technical schools specifically related to health. I'm not sure how their course credits would be evaluated. If medicine is your goal, I would definitely confirm that the course credits in those programs would be valid for medicine admissions. However if they're not and you're genuinely interested in pursuing one of those routes as a career path, you could certainly have a fulfilling and challenging career that is still in the medical field!

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What about a second BSc in chemistry?

I have a chemistry minor + electives already,

I figure it would speed things up since I've already obtained a lot of the core requirements.

I'd say go for it if you are enjoying chem! 

Just make sure you take 5 courses per term (required for Dal) and get at least a 3.3 GPA per year

You'll still need to take another year after those 2 before you'd start med, since you need to have completed 2 full-time, consecutive years before you apply

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Going over my transcript I realize that I've actually had a lighter course-load than I remembered.

I've had some withdraws. In year 1 and 3 I've taken 5 courses in the fall and 3 in the winter.

In year 2 I took 5 fall classes and 4 winter classes.

 

Year 1: 80%

Year 2: 90%

Year 3: 80%

Year 4: 80%

Year 5: 80%

 

I'll be taking 4 courses in the fall this year.

I highly suggest you take 5 courses per term in your 6th year. Follow UWO's rules and other best 2yr/last 2yr schools.

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Have you looked into applying for government loans? Even if you did not qualify before, if you have been out of highschool for a certain number of years the income of your parents won't be taken into consideration. A large amount may come in the form of bursaries that you won't need to pay back.

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Government loans wont finance me because I've been relying on them for so long to finance previous years.

It was suggested to me that I should try to claim having generalized anxiety disorder to continue receiving funding but I feel like that's kind of sleazy.

Plus, I feel like claiming that I have GAD or depression would hurt my chances of medical school in the future, because how can I handle med school if I have GAD/depression.

 

 

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Well, can you think of a reason that you didn't do well in your first few years? Maybe you really do have an undiagnosed issue that has prevented you from reaching your full potential. Making an appointment with a counselor may shed some light.

The diagnosis of GAD or depression is not shared with the med schools so there isn't an issue there.

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I did struggle in my first few years and found myself in a rut. I had talked to counsellor in the past but found myself leaving worse off than had I not seen a counsellor at all. It made me feel hopeless but I managed to turn all of those negative feelings around by throwing myself into my studies. It was distracting and therapeutic, because it gave me "me" time.

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I'm trying to, but I can't figure out how to finance it due to this being my 6th year.

I have to pay out of pocket and can am still going to be a 1,000 dollars short. 

If you're saying you can' take a full courseload, find a way to anyways.

 

Dal will NOT let you apply without a 100% courseload for your last 2 years. I can't stress enough how important it is to meet the requirements of your home province school, unless you have a GPA>3.9ish and/or a really high MCAT

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I did struggle in my first few years and found myself in a rut. I had talked to counsellor in the past but found myself leaving worse off than had I not seen a counsellor at all. It made me feel hopeless but I managed to turn all of those negative feelings around by throwing myself into my studies. It was distracting and therapeutic, because it gave me "me" time.

A year off to work and volunteer, as Gohan suggested, may be helpful in giving you time to reflect on exactly what happened during your undergrad degree. When you're immersed in studies it's tough to be able to identify issues and solutions since you have many things on your mind.

I don't see counselors as being able to solve problems, but rather help you identify them.

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