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Canadian with little shadowing, mediocre ECs, decent numbers

kidB

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Apr 16, 2009
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    Hey, could you please review my app and comment on my chances (in particular for schools in the north east)? Thanks.

    Citizenship: Canadian
    School: University of Waterloo
    Major: Honors Biomedical Science

    cGPA: 3.91
    sGPA: 3.94
    (the calculations for these aren't entirely correct, so let's just say they're 3.9s)

    MCAT: 36P (BS:12 PS:14 VR:10)

    ECs:
    - volunteering at local hospital
    - badminton club director and exec
    - research (2 summer fellowships and volunteering in another lab at school)
    - currently organizing the first mini-med school in town
    - shadowing (only maybe 20 hours with a radiation oncologist)
    - some other smaller things

    That's about it. I would definitely do some more shadowing if i have the chance, but I'm studying in a smaller town and physicians aren't very open to undergrad observers. I'll try for it this summer (I am applying next cycle). What do you think of my ECs? I feel they're not enough. I don't think I have 15 good ones. Also, can I list activities that I completed the summer after I graduated from high school?

    Thanks again, everyone.
     

    Catalystik

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      Are you asking about your chances at US schools? And if so, why? Your numbers look good for the incredibly-competitive Canadian application process.

      Would you mind editing and adding the total time frame for your activities (like how much time volunteering in the lab)?

      What is a mini med school?
       

      Rach83

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        Are you asking about your chances at US schools? And if so, why? Your numbers look good for the incredibly-competitive Canadian application process.

        Would you mind editing and adding the total time frame for your activities (like how much time volunteering in the lab)?

        What is a mini med school?

        I believe his MCAT score eliminates two of the ontario schools off the bat so it's probably wise to apply to a few US schools as well.

        OP, I think your chances are really good at US schools. Your academic stats are great. If you want to improve your chances I guess you could put a little effort into boosting your ECs (maybe some community volunteering or more leadership activities).
         
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        bannie22

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          Hey, could you please review my app and comment on my chances (in particular for schools in the north east)? Thanks.

          Citizenship: Canadian
          School: University of Waterloo
          Major: Honors Biomedical Science

          cGPA: 3.91
          sGPA: 3.94
          (the calculations for these aren't entirely correct, so let's just say they're 3.9s)

          MCAT: 36P (BS:12 PS:14 VR:10)

          ECs:
          - volunteering at local hospital
          - badminton club director and exec
          - research (2 summer fellowships and volunteering in another lab at school)
          - currently organizing the first mini-med school in town
          - shadowing (only maybe 20 hours with a radiation oncologist)
          - some other smaller things

          That's about it. I would definitely do some more shadowing if i have the chance, but I'm studying in a smaller town and physicians aren't very open to undergrad observers. I'll try for it this summer (I am applying next cycle). What do you think of my ECs? I feel they're not enough. I don't think I have 15 good ones. Also, can I list activities that I completed the summer after I graduated from high school?

          Thanks again, everyone.

          P for poor. I guess Queens and where else? I forgot, the schools that are looking for novelists arent gonna be interested in you.
          How much time at the hospital?
          If you can make your own med school, you dont need to go to one.
          Shadowing where? Legal?
          Yes definitely. I had activities in high school listed anyways.

          And listen to Cat and Rach.


          Nice GPA, but its Waterloo :p heheh
          ;)

          muhahahaha
          :caution:

          Also, let us know what you mean by North East.
          Do you mean Harvard?
          Do you mean SUNYs?
          Do you mean Jefferson?
          Do you mean Hopkins?

          Are you 3rd or 4th year?
           

          kidB

          New Member
          Apr 16, 2009
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          0
            Are you asking about your chances at US schools? And if so, why? Your numbers look good for the incredibly-competitive Canadian application process.

            Would you mind editing and adding the total time frame for your activities (like how much time volunteering in the lab)?

            What is a mini med school?

            Timeframes:
            - hospital - 3.5 hours/wk for 2 years
            - volunteering in lab - 3 hrs/wk. One semester and ongoing
            - badminton club exec - avg. 2 hrs/wk

            P for poor. I guess Queens and where else? I forgot, the schools that are looking for novelists arent gonna be interested in you.
            How much time at the hospital?
            If you can make your own med school, you dont need to go to one.
            Shadowing where? Legal?
            Yes definitely. I had activities in high school listed anyways.

            And listen to Cat and Rach.


            Nice GPA, but its Waterloo :p heheh
            ;)

            muhahahaha
            :caution:

            Also, let us know what you mean by North East.
            Do you mean Harvard?
            Do you mean SUNYs?
            Do you mean Jefferson?
            Do you mean Hopkins?

            Are you 3rd or 4th year?

            Mini-Med is like a lecture series for the general public taught by physicians and scientists. There's a couple running throughout North America.

            And pfft. I worked hard for my Waterloo grades :D

            And yep, that's exactly what I mean by North East. Should I even apply for Harvard or Hopkins and the like? Or should I be looking at more middle tier stuff?

            I'm 3rd year right now, but I'll be applying in my 4th. Perhaps I should wait another year and work on ECs since I really only get one shot at US schools. I'd really prefer not to though..I'm not sure what I would do for a year.
             

            Catalystik

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              Your numbers are fine for top US schools. However, as a Canadian applicant, you'll be held to a higher standard than a US applicant, thus it's important for your ECs to be all they can be. It looks like you have about a year of research overall, which is pretty average for applicants. It would help if you had a publication, though this isn't essential. Top US schools also tend to be research strong. It seems pretty unusual to me for an applicant from Canadian schools to be accepted without substantive experience, however, Bannie is proof that it can happen. One can compensate for a lack of heavy research by being a shining light in other areas. Typically this will be community service combined with stand-out leadership.

              Your clinical experience is fine, being above the average. Your having some shadowing is good, considering it's not permitted in some parts of Canada. If you can get in 60-80 hours total split among 2-3 types of doctor, at least one being in primary care, that would be great. You have some leadership, but it's not clear how strong this is from your description. How many months have you directed the badminton club? Have you begun any inititives during your tenure? The mini med school has very good leadership potential; are you the one who arranges the speakers? Advertises? Directs committees on the tasks that need completion and follows up to be sure it's done? A description of how the group has grown under your leadership should be on the application. It might be worth waiting a year to apply to you can fully develop your ideas for this, which is also an excellent community service (if free).

              Other areas to consider developing that have a place on the application are Teaching/Mentoring, Artistic Endeavors, Sports, Hobbies, Presentations, and most important among these would be nonmedical Community Service.

              Most people don't list something in all 15 spaces. Nine to ten would be more typical. But they should count. And some will hopefully be of long duration.

              So, overall, if it's important to you, you have the potential to aim for top schools if you continue to develop your ECs. If you're in a hurry, you have a good chance of getting in somewhere with what you have among the mid-selectivity group.
               
              Last edited:

              bannie22

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                Your numbers are fine for top US schools. However, as a Canadian applicant, you'll be held to a higher standard than a US applicant, thus it's important for your ECs to be all they can be. It looks like you have about a year of research overall, which is pretty average for applicants. It would help if you had a publication, though this isn't essential. Top US schools also tend to be research strong. It seems pretty unusual to me for an applicant from Canadian schools to be accepted without substantive experience, however, Bannie is proof that it can happen. One can compensate for a lack of heavy research by being a shining light in other areas. Typically this will be community service combined with stand-out leadership.

                Your clinical experience is fine, being above the average. Your having some shadowing is good, considering it's not permitted in some parts of Canada. If you can get in 60-880 hours total split among 2-3 types of doctor, at least one being in primary care, that would be great. You have some leadership, but it's not clear how strong this is from your description. How many months have you directed the badminton club? Have you begun any inititives during your tenure? The mini med school has very good leadership potential; are you the one who arranges the speakers? Advertises? Directs committees on the tasks that need completion and follows up to be sure it's done? A description of how the group has grown under your leadership should be on the application. It might be worth waiting a year to apply to you can fully develop your ideas for this, which is also an excellent community service (if free).

                Other areas to consider developing that have a place on the application are Teaching/Mentoring, Artistic Endeavors, Sports, Hobbies, Presentations, and most important among these would be nonmedical Community Service.

                Most people don't list something in all 15 spaces. Nine to ten would be more typical. But they should count. And some will hopefully be of long duration.

                So, overall, if it's important to you, you have the potential to aim for top schools if you continue to develop your ECs. If you're in a hurry, you have a good chance of getting in somewhere with what you have among the mid-selectivity group.

                :thumbup:
                Brilliant as usual.
                 

                MB333999

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                  as a Canadian applicant, you'll be held to a higher standard than a US applicant

                  Is this true?? because I'm getting the impression that at many schools Canadians are just treated as OOS. I emailed northwestern about it but they havent got back to me yet. I did however get a response from WU..

                  Thank you for your email. American applicants are not given preference over Canadian applicants.
                  Admissions Office
                  Washington University School of Medicine
                   

                  kidB

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                  Apr 16, 2009
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                    Thanks for the insight, everyone. I'm thinking about picking up another volunteering role before applications. However, I feel that the adcoms will see that I'm trying to cram in ECs.

                    Also, that WU email is interesting. Maybe that's one more school on my shortlist :p
                     

                    MB333999

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                      yes cram cram away!
                      Im trying to make me list based on this whole international vs OOS status for Canadians. When I finish my list i would be happy to share it with you, or anyone else for that matter.
                       

                      Catalystik

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                        MB, have you seen this resource yet: US Schools policies on taking Internationals: Click on Advisor Resources, then click Medical School Admission Policies towards non-US Citizens. http://www.naahp.org

                        For WashU it says:
                        WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

                        WUSTL enrolls a small number of noncitizens each year. Anyone who is not a citizen of the US is considered an international student. Most Canadians are also considered international (depending on their visas). Noncitizens must place an amount equal to four years' cost of education into escrow prior to matriculation. Noncitizen students are eligible for MSTP institutional funding and merit-based financial aid.
                         

                        Catalystik

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                          Im trying to make me list based on this whole international vs OOS status for Canadians. When I finish my list i would be happy to share it with you, or anyone else for that matter.
                          I''d love to see a copy of your list when it's completed.
                           

                          MB333999

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                            I''d love to see a copy of your list when it's completed.

                            ill be sure to send it. im hoping to have it done within a month. If you dont hear anything from me after that there is a chance I forgot to send it so just pm or something :thumbup:

                            edit: I may actually finish it in a few days thanks to this new resource
                             

                            bannie22

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                              Let me save you some trouble.

                              Jefferson - OOS
                              Wayne State - OOS

                              Duke/Harvard - no distinction
                              (Despite this, it seems that American pre-med are generally more prepared for American med school since %accepted still better for American)

                              ie For Canada med schools, its strongly GPA biased, so many of us from Canada might have a bias towards working towards a stronger GPA rather than other aspects of the application.
                               
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