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I am currently in grade 12 and always thought i wanted to be a doctor. But in the last year or so i have gained a interest in engineering. At this point i dont know what i want to do. I got into an engineering program at Carleton and was thinking of accepting that then taking the extra classes required to apply to medical school at university of Ottawa if i decide that's what i want to do.

 

Only thing is that everyone says engineering is very hard to get a good GPA with. I want to take this because i want to have a solid backup if i don't get in. only i worried that by choosing this i am actually completely killing the chance of getting in to med school.

 

any advice would be appreciated especially if anyone who has taken a similar got in and there experience with the whole thing like what there gpa was how difficult the classes in engineering were to get good grades in things that that  

 

Also i was reading the requirement page and it said that the MCAT is not required so the applicant academic record will be scrutinized that much more closely. If i take the MCAT does that mean they will go easier on the gpa. 

 

thank you in advance 

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Yes, in general, engineering is a very dense GPA killer program making it harder to get good grades. It's hard but not impossible.

In uOttawa, a good proportion of the graduating classes from the faculty of engineering are honoured Summa Cum Laude (GPA > 90%) so the general rule of thumb is that if this program seriously interests you, you will do well!
As I cannot speak for them, I encourage you to speak to multiple eng students to get a grasp of the difficulty of the program.

 

As for the requirements, for now, the MCAT is not required (= they won't even look at your score) in Ottawa so the application process weighs heavily on ABS, GPA and Caspers.

However, you are right, the MCAT will be advantageous in other med schools such as UofT, McMaster, Queens, UofA, USA schools... ect and will take away a bit of the weight from the GPA. 

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I'm a firm believer that if you pick an undergrad program you love, you will do well and work hard to get good grades. That being said, engineering is traditionally a challenging program, and getting good enough marks to compete with other Canadian medical school applicants won't be a walk in the park. A friend of mine did a degree in biotech (chem eng and biochem) and got accepted, so it's definitely not impossible!

 

You also have to think about having/making time for extracurricular activities. Grades are important to get schools looking at your autobiographical sketch, however, you need to have a solid sketch to be able to get the interview.

 

Finally, the MCAT and Casper tests may take some of the weight off your GPA, but I would argue your GPA is your gateway to being accepted. Other past or current applicants may have different opinions or insights to offer, so I would definitely keep asking around. Nothing is set in stone, so if you choose engineering now you can always change your mind later. :)

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It seems like a high GPA would be the name of the game at Canadian Medical Schools, anybody else care to comment?

 

Absolutely, however, even applicants with a 4.0 are rejected routinely. Being a brain in a box won't do it, you need to demonstrate being well rounded with CanMEDS competencies and altruism. Also, knowing how to market yourself in the ABS and Narratives is very important! And then, there is the MCAT for most of the schools.  

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