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A few general questions from a first time visitor

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Sweetest Thing, Dec 5, 2002.

  1. Sweetest Thing

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    Hey all, new here (as if you couldn't tell by my one post).

    Anyway, a few questions...

    1) How many years of undergrad do American Medical Schools wish for undergrads to have?

    2) Everyone is talking about GPAs of around 3.3 . I just came back from a meeting at UToronto (yes, I'm Canadian) where they said the GPA is 3.7 to be competitive. IS this true?

    3) I'm in my 2nd year of university (Sophmore, I suppose?) I read somewhere that I should take my MCAT at the end of my junior year--in April. The only problem is, this conflicts with school exams (it's a year away, but still). Has anyone done this? When IS the best time to take an MCAT?

    4) Is anyone else form UofT and witnessed the unbearable competition? WE had a webboard for Biochem. People impersonated the TAs and gave out wrong answers so that people would fail. Nice, eh?
     
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  3. 14457

    14457 Guest

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  4. pocwana

    pocwana MD/MBA candidate c/o 2008
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    Originally posted by Sweetest Thing
    Hey all, new here (as if you couldn't tell by my one post).

    Anyway, a few questions...

    1) How many years of undergrad do American Medical Schools wish for undergrads to have?
    as many as it takes to complete your prereqs and (for most schools) to obtain a bachelors. usually a minimum of 3, with no maximum. i'd say most applicants fall in the 3-5 range, but there are numerous exceptions

    2) Everyone is talking about GPAs of around 3.3 . I just came back from a meeting at UToronto (yes, I'm Canadian) where they said the GPA is 3.7 to be competitive. IS this true?
    you can get in with a 3.3. you might not get in if you have a 3.7. obviously a 3.7 is better, but you have to take everything else into account.

    3) I'm in my 2nd year of university (Sophmore, I suppose?) I read somewhere that I should take my MCAT at the end of my junior year--in April. The only problem is, this conflicts with school exams (it's a year away, but still). Has anyone done this? When IS the best time to take an MCAT?
    take your mcat when you're ready, which is usually when you're done with prereqs. taking some upper div would help too, i.e. biochem. the traditional applicant takes this test during april of their junior year during all sorts of exams. it sucks, but you just do it. you usually neglect your other classes while studying for the mcat, then catch up.

    4) Is anyone else form UofT and witnessed the unbearable competition? WE had a webboard for Biochem. People impersonated the TAs and gave out wrong answers so that people would fail. Nice, eh?
    no, not from UofT and no, that's not nice. that sucks. some people on this board, too, might be prone to pull a similar stunt. take everything, including what i say here, with a grain of salt. nothing is the be all end all guaranteed way of med school acceptance, but there are several things that will guarantee rejection.
     
  5. badassy

    badassy Senior Member
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    The GPA statement is true, here in Canada it is indeed high. Ottawa is around 3.8 for people for arent frankaphones, McMaster is 3.0, Western is 3.6 this year I believe. I believe Queens is 3.56. In my opinion a 3.7 would be something you need to actually be competitve in all medical schools of ontario for the exception of McMaster.
    Sucks doesn't it?
     
  6. BrainDrain

    BrainDrain Member
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    I went to UofT and that stuff is not surprising at all. The competitiveness definitely sucks. I remember the first day of 1st year Biology when the prof announces, "I know all of you want to get into medical school, but the truth is, 9 out of 10 of you won't." So yeah, you are conditioned from day1 to be one of the 10% that do get in.

    And about that info about needing a GPA of 3.7 to be competitive...you need to keep in mind that most schools let you drop your worst year, so 3.7 is not that high if you look at it that way.
     
  7. traveller4ever

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    Hi,
    I'm at U of T as well. Yes, the competition is ridiculous--I had one ex-friend who said to me that she would backstab anyone who got in her way..... apart from that, i somehow "lost" my physics notes first year. It blows over. It's my last year here, and don't worry, once ppl get to higher levels, the classes are way smaller and the class dynamics are much better.....
    not to say that it doesn't get any less competitive.

    Regarding MCATs, most of my friends wrote them in august. I wrote mine twice-once in Aug/ one April. I don't think it makes too much of a difference. I recommend that you take the MCATs after 2nd year in August, and then see how it goes. Esp, the general chem/orgo will be relatively fresh...
     
  8. Sweetest Thing

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    You people are wonderfully helpful :)

    But why is the average for med schools so much higher in Ontario, than it seems everywhere else?
     
  9. Jumpu

    Jumpu Tiger Mom/Physiatrist
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    I am also a former UofT'er. I moved to the states after marriage and started over again, which helped to raise my GPA that was not so embarassing anymore. I believe the GPAs are higher in Ontario because they limit the number of seats and therefore there are more applicants than matriculants compared to here in the States. there is this feeling in Canada that there are too many professional people running around and the government wants to limit that especially when you consider its the government that pays, not the patient.
     
  10. warpath

    warpath Officer Cadet
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    Actually, my sister is also a second year at UofT. She's in St. Michaels. I, on the other hand went to McMaster. If you're also applying to Ontario schools and you want to take advantage of their 3-year undergrad requirement, take the MCAT in August right before 3rd year. This is what I did. I applied in my third year, and got into the 2 american schools I interveiwed at and no Canadian schools. I got a BSc instead of Honours BSc, but I understand that your school has stopped offering BSc so you can't do that. Almost all schools require a degree here in the States. Some (eg. Jefferson) only require 3 years undergrad coursework.

    Badassy: don't be fooled. If you have a 3.0 you have no chance in hell of getting into Mac. This is because they rank applicants according to GPA and the essay (50/50). Since they interveiw about 400 out of around 2000 applicants, you have to be in the 80th percentile or so (after they've combined your GPA and essay ranks). Now if you have a 3.0, you're already hovering around 0 percentile on the GPA ranking so that even if you're in the 100th percentile on the essay, you're only in the 50th percentile overall. They put the 3.0 cutoff, so they can get the application money.
     

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