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We Are Some First Year Year Ubc Medicine Students - Ask Us Anything!*


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I am so deeply relieved to say it is all okay and they accepted my letter of completion. For anyone who may be perusing this in the future, please send the letter of completion in a sealed and endorse

I'll take a stab at answering your questions.   What does an average week in first year look like (including time spent studying)?   We have class from 8 - 5 pm on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. F

Pretty much all your lectures will be in the LSC building on campus.  Lectures are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  On either Tuesday or Thursdays, you will have Family Practice visits (you will be

Do you have any advice on books to read besides "Doing it Right"   

 

You definitely do not need this book to get into medical school. Just wanted to put that out there. It's really expensive for what it is. There are plenty of free resources online, including this one from the Royal College, which covers a good range of topics: http://www.royalcollege.ca/portal/page/portal/rc/resources/bioethics/cases

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Hey!

 

So I've been having some difficulties in selecting a professional reference. I have performed a lot of academic research (+2 years) over my undergraduate degree. I was initially thinking about using my principal investigator as my reference. However, a majority of my research work was independently conducted, so I was rarely supervised by my PI. Although my PI said that she is willing to provide me a reference, I don't think it'll be the best one. 

 

I did work for a sales company for less than a year (about 4 months) before I went back to school. Although the experience was short, I surely got the opportunity to develop myself personally. I know for a fact that my manager would give me a great reference and will most likely discuss how much I improved as an individual. I was thinking about picking him as a reference, but there are two things that are holding me back:

 

1) My time working for the company was only 4 months...

 

2) Its a sales position. Although it's a great way to discuss some of the skills I've developed (ie. communication, social, professional etc.), I don't know if it's the best way to represent my being a competent doctor...

 

Your thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you!

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I need some advice about selecting a community reference. Should I select a faculty advisor for a student-led group that doesn't serve the community (but it does serve the student community; student journal at the University)? I have spent a few years working for this journal. This reference would be better than a reference I obtain from the volunteer coordinator at a place I have spent less than a year at.

 

Any advice?

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Questions:

1. Is there a competitive atmosphere in med school (I've noticed that this can happen during undergrad sometimes)?

2. What's something you now know about med school that you wish you knew before?

3. How did you guys prepare for interviews? 

 

Thanks :)

1. I personally was surprised at how much people help each other. So many people post useful links and resources. I've never had anyone not want to share notes. There are always going to be a few competitive ppl, but overall I don't find the atmosphere competitive at all. We are in this together.  

2. Oh god how I wish I had taken physiology. So much material. We don't have the review session in first semester anymore, so it's a lot to handle. Be prepared. For the people who don't have a strong science background, if you can do some general physiology review the summer before that would help. I'm just speaking from personal experience and I would have much preferred to have spent a few weeks of my summer doing that and being more prepared and less stressed during med school (I don't have a super strong science background fyi). ALSO, STAY ON TOP OF THE MATERIAL. FOR REAL (but ya, med school is still super fun :P)

3. I came up with a general plan for how to tackle questions and then practiced with friends (variety of Qs is important). I also recorded myself on camera and watched it back to see how i was doing (sounds weird, but is very helpful!).

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Haven't done the MMI in a few years, but I don't recall any stations that asked questions about you as a person. I think the goal of the MMI is to use situations to tease out your ability to think on your feet, communicate effectively and reveal any traits that might make you a strong candidate vs a not as strong candidate.

 

Having said that I know each year they have some odd stations that are being tested so who knows... Maybe they will have some stations that ask more personal/panel style questions.

 

good luck.

It's a mix. They want to find out about you as a person (so of course be prepared for that) and they also want to test your ability to think quickly about issues, communicate etc. 

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Thank you for offering this! I appreciate your input.

 

   For interviews, I was wondering if they are acting style, where you have to interact with multiple actors and solve a problem or situation, or are they one-on-one questions, where they could technically ask you anything, or are they a combination of both? My approach to preparing for these two different styles would be different, so I was hoping to have an idea which route to go down. If you can't answer this specific question, I understand.

 

   Thanks again!

Both. I would advise prepping for both one on one and stations with an actor. Acting stations test how quickly you can react to a slightly odd situation and also how you interact with people in different scenarios - these are all important things. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi!

 

I know it's probably a busy and chaotic time for those who are preparing for interviews. Wish you all the best of luck. 

 

I am (as are most of the people on this forum) a UBC med "hopeful". I've been wanting to be a physician ever since I can remember. I had moments of doubting after my undergrad years whether I was "good enough" after the first time I applied. After a couple of years being in the workforce and just living life, I've realized it was too soon to give up. I had a few friends who were in the same boat as me, try and try again and finally make it. Reading posts on this forum really motivated me as well.

 

Anyway, I do have several barriers and hurdles in applying and I was wondering if there was anyone who might be able to provide some advice out of experience. I know this is jumping 10 steps ahead of the game, but one thing that I worry over is that I don't have a solid academic reference.

 

Most if not all of my courses in undergrad were classes of 200 students, and I had very little face time with the professors. Considering that and being out of school for 2+ years, I don't have anyone I could reach out to to ask for a reference (a good personal reference). I know I have a few great professional references I would be able to provide, but again they aren't in the "academic" category. So I was wondering if anyone has experience not submitting an academic reference. I did read somewhere that there aren't very "strict" rules considering this as each student's background is different. Would anyone be able to provide some insight? 

 

Also, I was wondering if for the Non-academic portion of the application, we could include experiences that have been as a part of a community volunteering course. The hours are not long term, but the experience itself was eye opening so I was wondering if that would be something that is appropriate to put on the application. 

 

My other question is if verifiers have to be someone who is a supervisor. Is it appropriate to put a friend as a verifier for a hobby or a tutor student for tutoring? 

 

My last question is directed towards current UBC Med students. What do you find great about the program? :)

 

I would appreciate the wisdom and insight. Thanks! 

 

 

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Hi!

 

I know it's probably a busy and chaotic time for those who are preparing for interviews. Wish you all the best of luck.

 

I am (as are most of the people on this forum) a UBC med "hopeful". I've been wanting to be a physician ever since I can remember. I had moments of doubting after my undergrad years whether I was "good enough" after the first time I applied. After a couple of years being in the workforce and just living life, I've realized it was too soon to give up. I had a few friends who were in the same boat as me, try and try again and finally make it. Reading posts on this forum really motivated me as well.

 

Anyway, I do have several barriers and hurdles in applying and I was wondering if there was anyone who might be able to provide some advice out of experience. I know this is jumping 10 steps ahead of the game, but one thing that I worry over is that I don't have a solid academic reference.

 

Most if not all of my courses in undergrad were classes of 200 students, and I had very little face time with the professors. Considering that and being out of school for 2+ years, I don't have anyone I could reach out to to ask for a reference (a good personal reference). I know I have a few great professional references I would be able to provide, but again they aren't in the "academic" category. So I was wondering if anyone has experience not submitting an academic reference. I did read somewhere that there aren't very "strict" rules considering this as each student's background is different. Would anyone be able to provide some insight?

 

Also, I was wondering if for the Non-academic portion of the application, we could include experiences that have been as a part of a community volunteering course. The hours are not long term, but the experience itself was eye opening so I was wondering if that would be something that is appropriate to put on the application.

 

My other question is if verifiers have to be someone who is a supervisor. Is it appropriate to put a friend as a verifier for a hobby or a tutor student for tutoring?

 

My last question is directed towards current UBC Med students. What do you find great about the program? :)

 

I would appreciate the wisdom and insight. Thanks!

Question 1: I'd suggest contacting your profs from classes you did well in. Send them an email and see if they would be open to writing a reference. If you had the same prof for a couple of classes and did well that could work too. You can always suggest volunteering with them if they do any research to help add to your letter. Worked for me.

 

Question 2: include everything in your NAQ that you've done that shows you are well rounded. Volunteering. Work. Tutoring. Running. Again, this is how it worked for me a few years ago... Maybe some newer student can speak to this in a bit more current detail.

 

Question 3: your verifier can be pretty much anybody. As long as they can speak directly to what you are putting on the application. Chances are they won't be contacted, but you need to have somebody who knows what you put down and can speak truthfully about your involvement in whatever task it is they have to verify.

 

Question 4: I can't answer this question with respect to the current curriculum since the 2019 class is going through a different medical school experience. However, UBC Medicine is a solid program. You will get a fantastic education, like every other Canadian school. The program has smaller distributed sites or a larger Vancouver based cohort if you want a big group. Vancouver is a nice place to live so that helps too. It's expensive here and because the program is so large you can feel a bit lost at times.

 

Hopefully that helps.

 

Good luck.

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Can anyone comment on how long the optional seminar on site preferences is? and also how long is the campus tour (and is there a lot of walking involved, or are you moved around by a shuttle)? thanks!

 

The site info session should be around half an hour, if I remember correctly. Go to it if you're not under time constraint, it's a really good way to see what the different sites are all about, and there will be first year students from each site there to sell their site! The interview video is also being shown right after it, and if I do say so myself, it's quite well done ;) Though I might be biased since I was involved in its making. 

 

The campus tour is on foot, no shuttle. Usually the groups are very small, so it can be tailored oftentimes towards what you'd like to see. They're also led by first year students so it's a good time to ask them burning questions!

 

Also consider going to the coffee house (happening right now) and the wine and cheese (on sunday)!

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Hi!

 

I know it's probably a busy and chaotic time for those who are preparing for interviews. Wish you all the best of luck. 

 

I am (as are most of the people on this forum) a UBC med "hopeful". I've been wanting to be a physician ever since I can remember. I had moments of doubting after my undergrad years whether I was "good enough" after the first time I applied. After a couple of years being in the workforce and just living life, I've realized it was too soon to give up. I had a few friends who were in the same boat as me, try and try again and finally make it. Reading posts on this forum really motivated me as well.

 

Anyway, I do have several barriers and hurdles in applying and I was wondering if there was anyone who might be able to provide some advice out of experience. I know this is jumping 10 steps ahead of the game, but one thing that I worry over is that I don't have a solid academic reference.

 

Most if not all of my courses in undergrad were classes of 200 students, and I had very little face time with the professors. Considering that and being out of school for 2+ years, I don't have anyone I could reach out to to ask for a reference (a good personal reference). I know I have a few great professional references I would be able to provide, but again they aren't in the "academic" category. So I was wondering if anyone has experience not submitting an academic reference. I did read somewhere that there aren't very "strict" rules considering this as each student's background is different. Would anyone be able to provide some insight? 

 

Also, I was wondering if for the Non-academic portion of the application, we could include experiences that have been as a part of a community volunteering course. The hours are not long term, but the experience itself was eye opening so I was wondering if that would be something that is appropriate to put on the application. 

 

My other question is if verifiers have to be someone who is a supervisor. Is it appropriate to put a friend as a verifier for a hobby or a tutor student for tutoring? 

 

My last question is directed towards current UBC Med students. What do you find great about the program? :)

 

I would appreciate the wisdom and insight. Thanks! 

 

I would agree with hking03's answers to the questions! I'm a first year, so I can answer your last one. I've really enjoyed my time so far. The people are great - both my classmates and the professors. The new curriculum is headed in the right direction - they introduce concepts in spiral form and tell us clinical correlates and teach us the clinical diagnoses pieces really early on. I've gotten tons of comments from preceptors and physicians I've shadowed that our year is showing much more advanced knowledge than they expect for a first year. That being said, the curriculum is new and still being hammered out, so there are a lot of administrative issues. It can be frustrating at times navigating a system that's brand new. But I think in a few years, when everything is smoothed out, UBC will pump out excellent physicians. What's great about the program is that if you want to be on the sites, you become literally bffs with your classmates, there's only 31 other of them, afterall. It's a good mix of CBL and lectures based learning. The people are friendly and we all help each other out. Also - it's Vancouver, what's not to love?

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  • 3 months later...

What are people's thoughts on commuting vs living on campus for first year medicine at VFMP? I live around a 1 hr bus ride to UBC so it would be around 2 hrs a day spent commuting, is it doable?

It's doable, but if you have the means (or simply LOC/student loans), it would free up a lot of time moving closer. But it depends on your living situation as well, with family etc and free rent/food etc.

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What are people's thoughts on commuting vs living on campus for first year medicine at VFMP? I live around a 1 hr bus ride to UBC so it would be around 2 hrs a day spent commuting, is it doable?

having split medical school up into commuting and living close by I would say you should live close by.

 

Also, try areas around vgh. It makes more sense for years 2 and 3 and partially 4.

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