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Do I Have a Chance?


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I’m currently a fourth year chemical engineering student who recently discovered that I do not enjoy the industry nor the material that I’ve learned in the past few years. However, I remember being loving biology in highschool and remember being great at understanding and remembering the topics. Unfortunately, I don’t have any extracurriculars aside from working as a Teaching Assistant for Engineering courses (multiple semesters), and doing an engineering Co-op. Also, my GPA is very low, at about a 3.00 out of 4. I also have not taken any biology courses since highschool. I’m wondering if in the case that I manage to pull my GPA up slightly (maybe 3.10?), that I would have any sort of chance at getting in to med school? 

Any help would be appreciated, thanks!

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I totally agree with the last poster. If you are serious about this potential career path, having a competitive GPA, combined with demonstrating CanMEDS competencies through ECs, volunteering and work ( some of which you demonstrated already through co-op and volunteering) is the path you must follow. 

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Ah that’s really unfortunate. Since I’m relatively new and haven’t explored much of the medicinal field yet, I don’t really know what options I might have aside from med school. Do you guys happen to know of anything that I could look at where I still get to help patients? What about a Physicians Assistant?

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With your GPA, you may need to do some extra years or a second degree to even get into alternative health care programs. There's many alternatives to medicine, including nursing (RN and NP), respiratory therapy, medical lab science, physical therapy, occupational therapy, PA, etc. Here's the issue: every Canadian health care program is hard to get into. They all need a high uni GPA (usually 3.6-3.7 + cGPA) and most, if not all ,don't care about what field of undergrad degree you completed. Engineering is objectively hard....but there's no current way to standardize "hardness" between majors, so it is treated the same as all other degrees.

Try looking into healthcare programs that are high-school entry like those at the Michener Institute. Even those programs require a minimum cGPA of 2.7-3.0, if you have any uni experience. If you decide med is for you, be prepared to put at least 3 years of your life on hold to prepare a competitive application (do a 2nd undergrad, write and possibly re-write the MCAT, do extracurriculars, including hundreds to thousands of hours of volunteering, etc.). And that's just for a chance.....many competitive applicants apply 2-3 times before they finally get in. You're going to need to really want it to sacrifice that much of your life. Liking biology is not a sufficient motivation, in my view. If you are Ontarian, the process is much more competitive relative to some other provinces (just giving you a heads up if you are).  

 

 

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As mentioned, loving biology isnt enough to go all in and gun for med. I would very much recommend finding a volunteer position in which you can shadow a physician or at least work more closely in a hospital environment. You would need to be completely certain that's the only thing you want to do and no alternative path would suffice (e.g. nursing etc.). 

If you do this and are still stuck on med, you have a long path to follow. Your GPA is unfortunately insufficient at the moment. You could contemplate finishing your program and doing a 2nd undergrad or switching programs now and transferring credits to then finish as a bio major. Both options are hard and will add years to your plan. You would have to ensure you have the highest GPA possible (3.8+), and work to increase your ECs (quite drastically).

Have you thought of taking the summer to study for the MCAT to see how that goes and decide whether this is something you want to pursue?

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