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Applying Internationally - Caribbean Vs. Ireland


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STATS:

Age 24

First four years: biological science, did not complete, switched into engineering in fifth year, starting year 2 of engineer in September

Cumulative GPA: 3.0, in most recent years 3.8 GPA however not a 5 course workload

ECs: volunteering in many university clubs, elementary school in my neighborhood, optometry clinic, started my own successful business 

I've worked full time at a chiropractic clinic during school years, had 4 summer internships with an Engineering firm

I realize I have no chances of getting into a Canadian or US medical school. I'm wondering if going to a Caribbean school or Ireland through Atlantic Bridge would be better.

Which school will allow me a higher chance of coming back to Canada, and if both chances are equally as low then which school will allow me to practice in the States at least?

I wanted to originally specialize in dermatology but I realize that is highly unlikely, however which one will give me a higher chance of specializing in something other than family medicine here in North America.

I desperately want to start my medical school career, circumstances in my life have prevented me from excelling while trying to complete my first degree, however after switching to engineering and the changes I've made in my life, my grades have drastically improved. 

Finally, if both of these options are poor, do you recommend that I follow through with option C: complete my engineering degree - 3 years left - and try to aim for a higher GPA, in engineering that is likely around a 3.4 (most people fail and all exams get curved due to the intensity). Write my MCATs and attempt to apply to Canadian or US medical school? (am I even competitive if I do that though or will I be wasting my time).

Thanks in advance for the advice!

 

 

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14 hours ago, JohnGrisham said:

if its a pre reqs and you got a D, youll need to retake anyways since usually schools require a c- or C minimum for pre reqs. Can't hurt to show improvement either way regardless of grade replacement

 

Do you know if I need a completed undergrad + MCAT for all DO schools? If i get my GPA up by retaking my science pre-reqs instead of doing engineering courses this upcoming fall, will that be enough?

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Write your MCAT first. With your GPA you wouldn't get into Ireland right now. You would need a high MCAT to have a good chance. 

If I were you, I would definitely pursue engineering as a career. If you choose medicine, you won't become a licensed doctor until you are 30 at least if you choose family medicine in Canada and likely mid 30s if you encounter any bumps along the road or choose a specialty. If you choose medicine now, you have to absolutely love it more than everything else in your life because this road you are thinking of taking is not only long, it is also hard. You won't be able to choose where you live for the next 10 or so years of your life, you are never guaranteed success and if you fail, you will be deeply in debt and your resume will look like you cannot finish anything you start and that won't look good either. 

 

 

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Never2.

While I understand after 5 years of undergrad you are impatient, you are trying to reach for something too fast from where you are.   Your GPA essentially excludes you from applying successfully to medicine anywhere.  

You have shown to yourself you can get better grades in Engineering which is promising.  Maybe you enjoy the course content better ?   Targeting a 3.4 GPA in Engineering is worthy, yet it will not be high enough to apply to Medicine in Canada/USA.  You will still need a +3.85 to be competitive (which indeed is possible). To do this you will need to dramatically change your approach to learning.

Continue your Engineering Degree. Take a full course load.  Aim for 3.90 GPA (yes seriously)  and settle for nothing less from yourself.   See where you are GPA-wise after another full year and then study for and write the MCAT the next summer.  Re-evaluate again after your MCAT result.

Don't abandon Engineering.   You can follow that path for very successful and well-paying career if Med School interviews do not come your way.
 

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Answers to the bolded:

1. Irish schools are better

2. Again, Irish schools. 

3. Do not do option C if your goal is to do Medicine/Dentistry. You'll not get high enough GPA in an engineering degree to make yourself a competitive applicant. If medicine is really what you wanna do, then abandon engineering right now because otherwise you'll be wasting your next 3 years. You have to think realistically. GPA IS KING for med school admission purposes, and med schools don't care what undergrad you got the high GPA from. Yes someone with a degree in knitting with the pre-reqs completed (and 3.9+ GPA in everything) is a better candidate for med schools than a 3.7 in Engineering. It's just how the game is. 

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I'm not sure if Ireland is better or not if you want the best chances of getting a residency, unless you can do your training in Ireland/EU/UK after med school. At least Caribbean schools let you do all your rotations in the US so you can get to know the residency programs there who will take you on after you graduate. I'm not saying I disagree, just raising some uncertainty about whether it would be better. 

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3 hours ago, prehealth101 said:

Answers to the bolded:

1. Irish schools are better

2. Again, Irish schools. 

3. Do not do option C if your goal is to do Medicine/Dentistry. You'll not get high enough GPA in an engineering degree to make yourself a competitive applicant. If medicine is really what you wanna do, then abandon engineering right now because otherwise you'll be wasting your next 3 years. You have to think realistically. GPA IS KING for med school admission purposes, and med schools don't care what undergrad you got the high GPA from. Yes someone with a degree in knitting with the pre-reqs completed (and 3.9+ GPA in everything) is a better candidate for med schools than a 3.7 in Engineering. It's just how the game is. 

Number 3 is not universally true. OP already apparently did a year of engineering and did well(or did i misread?).

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53 minutes ago, JohnGrisham said:

Number 3 is not universally true. OP already apparently did a year of engineering and did well(or did i misread?).

If i read it correctly, OP got 3.8 in his 1st year of Engineering with reduced workload. As impressive as that is, even 3.8 barely cuts it for Canadian med schools that look at two best years.

Both US MD/DO schools average all your grades. 3 more years of engineering would hardly raise the 3.0 cGPA up to a competitive level i.e. you're out of luck for the states as well.

If the OP wants to get into med school, he/she needs to abandon Engineering. At my undergrad, 70s were considered good marks for those Engineering courses and the one's that ended up near 3.5 were considered the outliers. Yes you could say this isn't universally true, but it is in most cases. 

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27 minutes ago, prehealth101 said:

If i read it correctly, OP got 3.8 in his 1st year of Engineering with reduced workload. As impressive as that is, even 3.8 barely cuts it for Canadian med schools that look at two best years.

Both US MD/DO schools average all your grades. 3 more years of engineering would hardly raise the 3.0 cGPA up to a competitive level i.e. you're out of luck for the states as well.

If the OP wants to get into med school, he/she needs to abandon Engineering. At my undergrad, 70s were considered good marks for those Engineering courses and the one's that ended up near 3.5 were considered the outliers. Yes you could say this isn't universally true, but it is in most cases. 

Upwards trends help with US schools. 3-4 years of 3.8+ will potentially make them competitive depending on ECs and MCAT. A very strong MCAT can help offset.  

Again, this forums obsession with how hard engineering is funny. Yes the courses are hard, but also because grades don't really matter for professionals - you don't have as much premed competition either. Balancing act. 

I would stay the course with engineering, it is a great stable back up. Slowly bring up courseload, focusing on getting near 4.0. 


 

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On 6/11/2017 at 6:52 PM, prehealth101 said:

Answers to the bolded:

1. Irish schools are better

2. Again, Irish schools. 

3. Do not do option C if your goal is to do Medicine/Dentistry. You'll not get high enough GPA in an engineering degree to make yourself a competitive applicant. If medicine is really what you wanna do, then abandon engineering right now because otherwise you'll be wasting your next 3 years. You have to think realistically. GPA IS KING for med school admission purposes, and med schools don't care what undergrad you got the high GPA from. Yes someone with a degree in knitting with the pre-reqs completed (and 3.9+ GPA in everything) is a better candidate for med schools than a 3.7 in Engineering. It's just how the game is. 

 I would say that overall I agree with everything here. Unfortunately, I think the decision to stick with engineering leaves you at a fork in the road, OP. Its very difficult to get into medicine through engineering at all, never mind when you are trying to come back from marks that are dragging you down from earlier in your education. I think its a bit harsh and not a holistic way for med schools to do things, but I think this is a situation where your plan B (engineering) is really going to harm your plan A (getting into med school). Its still worth considering if the job prospects are worth it for you though...

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On 6/10/2017 at 8:03 AM, Edict said:

Write your MCAT first. With your GPA you wouldn't get into Ireland right now. You would need a high MCAT to have a good chance. 

If I were you, I would definitely pursue engineering as a career. If you choose medicine, you won't become a licensed doctor until you are 30 at least if you choose family medicine in Canada and likely mid 30s if you encounter any bumps along the road or choose a specialty. If you choose medicine now, you have to absolutely love it more than everything else in your life because this road you are thinking of taking is not only long, it is also hard. You won't be able to choose where you live for the next 10 or so years of your life, you are never guaranteed success and if you fail, you will be deeply in debt and your resume will look like you cannot finish anything you start and that won't look good either. 

 

 

Is this only if I choose to go outside of North America? Does this apply to pursuing a DO school in the states even?

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12 hours ago, nevertoolate1993 said:

Is this only if I choose to go outside of North America? Does this apply to pursuing a DO school in the states even?

Yes it does unfortunately. The only benefit of DO is that you are much more likely to one day become a doctor, but everything else holds true. Think about everything you want to accomplish in life in the next 10-15 years in terms of potential relationships/marriage in terms of cities you've always wanted to live in, in terms of small town vs mid size vs big city, in terms of closeness to family and friends. Questions like, if you did meet someone, are they going to be even able to follow you around wherever your job takes you? Would you be able to accept living in cities you've never imagined yourself living in for the next 10-15 years? These are all things you are giving up to pursue medicine. You also have to add on that you will very little free time if you are pursuing this goal since unlike most careers where you are done work when you are done work, medicine never ends. You will always have studying or research to do when you aren't working and once you are staff you will always have patients to take care of when you aren't working. Medicine is more of a lifestyle than a job. 

 

With engineering, you can feasibly find jobs anywhere, which allows you to be flexible where you settle. Engineers find jobs in different countries while physicians have to go through licensing which makes many countries impossible. Engineers graduate earlier, make money earlier and have better work-life balance as a whole. Physicians may make more than an engineer when they are 50, but if you look at the sacrifices they make to get there you really start to see the full picture. 

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Edict said:

Yes it does unfortunately. The only benefit of DO is that you are much more likely to one day become a doctor, but everything else holds true. Think about everything you want to accomplish in life in the next 10-15 years in terms of potential relationships/marriage in terms of cities you've always wanted to live in, in terms of small town vs mid size vs big city, in terms of closeness to family and friends. Questions like, if you did meet someone, are they going to be even able to follow you around wherever your job takes you? Would you be able to accept living in cities you've never imagined yourself living in for the next 10-15 years? These are all things you are giving up to pursue medicine. You also have to add on that you will very little free time if you are pursuing this goal since unlike most careers where you are done work when you are done work, medicine never ends. You will always have studying or research to do when you aren't working and once you are staff you will always have patients to take care of when you aren't working. Medicine is more of a lifestyle than a job. 

 

With engineering, you can feasibly find jobs anywhere, which allows you to be flexible where you settle. Engineers find jobs in different countries while physicians have to go through licensing which makes many countries impossible. Engineers graduate earlier, make money earlier and have better work-life balance as a whole. Physicians may make more than an engineer when they are 50, but if you look at the sacrifices they make to get there you really start to see the full picture. 

 

 

 

Despite all this, I still want to pursue it, medicine is my passion and I don't mind the sacrifices that come with it if I can practice in something that I love and interests me. Can you please advise me based on this? I'm willing to do what it takes, I just need to overcome my past GPA.

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On 6/11/2017 at 11:54 PM, JohnGrisham said:

Upwards trends help with US schools. 3-4 years of 3.8+ will potentially make them competitive depending on ECs and MCAT. A very strong MCAT can help offset.  

Again, this forums obsession with how hard engineering is funny. Yes the courses are hard, but also because grades don't really matter for professionals - you don't have as much premed competition either. Balancing act. 

I would stay the course with engineering, it is a great stable back up. Slowly bring up courseload, focusing on getting near 4.0. 
 

Yes, it's entirely possible to get into medicine doing an engineering degree, several people I know are premeds in engineering and, from what I've heard so far, they're doing decent enough to be considered competitive. Also, from McMaster's admission statistics, 3 matriculants of the class of 2019 came from an engineering background. Not a large percentage, but doable. It does depend on the person though, you'll need to learn how to study effectively and work hard for it, but if you can do it, engineering is a great backup plan for medicine.

However, if you have your heart set on medicine and do not actually want to be an engineer for any length of time, don't bother. Go with an easier degree and pull your GPA back up.

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3 hours ago, nevertoolate1993 said:

Despite all this, I still want to pursue it, medicine is my passion and I don't mind the sacrifices that come with it if I can practice in something that I love and interests me. Can you please advise me based on this? I'm willing to do what it takes, I just need to overcome my past GPA.

I would consider going back to a life sci degree, it is hard to get the GPA you need which is 3.8+ to get into medical school. See how well you do on your MCAT practice tests first before making any drastic decisions. If you are scoring near what you need to get into medical school in Canada based on your MCAT, then this is a path you can consider. If you aren't, I really would reconsider medicine entirely because at that point it is just too much stress and risk to go through with it. I'm just worried because medicine is definitely romanticized outside of the field and it seems like the perfect career to too many people when the reality is much more realistic, not bad, but realistic and so I caution against sacrificing and risking so much for what might just turn out to be just another job. 

I do think if despite all this you want to do it, take baby steps. See how you are doing on your MCAT before committing yourself to a new major. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On June 15, 2017 at 1:12 PM, lulu95 said:

Yes, it's entirely possible to get into medicine doing an engineering degree, several people I know are premeds in engineering and, from what I've heard so far, they're doing decent enough to be considered competitive. Also, from McMaster's admission statistics, 3 matriculants of the class of 2019 came from an engineering background. Not a large percentage, but doable. It does depend on the person though, you'll need to learn how to study effectively and work hard for it, but if you can do it, engineering is a great backup plan for medicine.

However, if you have your heart set on medicine and do not actually want to be an engineer for any length of time, don't bother. Go with an easier degree and pull your GPA back up.

I was an engineer before I did medicine. It was a brutally difficult undergrad, especially in the first half of the degree when they are trying to fail out large portions of the class (we started with 256 people and only 129 of us were still around at graduation). Everybody in my class who graduated was crazy smart.

 

I didnt didn't decide to do medicine till my last year of engineering. Luckily my marks were good enough to get in (I had the 3rd highest marks in my discipline) but I wouldn't recommend doing engineering if you know you are trying for medicine. It's way too difficult to get the marks you need to get into med. It takes a huge amount of effort to just pass courses and survive the cull of students in the first half of the degree. 

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