Do I have a chance at getting into University of British Columbia (UBC) medical school?

Aug 26, 2015
4
0
Status
Pre-Medical
This is going to be a bit long, but please bear with me. First things first: I'm a UBC Science student going into 4th year, but I'm on co-op (working as part of my degree) so I won't be back in school until next September. Right now, I'm working in clinical research, interacting with physicians and patients on a daily basis.

After a few months of working at this job, I've been thinking that I'd really like medicine. I love the problem solving in diagnosis, the interaction with patients, the authority/ability to give information to people who need it, and the collaboration/team effort with other doctors. Of course, med school has always been at the back of my mind since high school, but I never really knew if I wanted to do it for the rest of my life or whether it would be a good fit for me. But now that I've had a chance to see the daily life of a physician, I'd like to have a serious try at med school.

However, my overall average is only 81% (B-), and unfortunately the courses that are bringing it down are my med prereqs. My prereq average is 77.7% (C+) -- actually higher than I'd first thought! But still low compared to the mean for this year's entering class (84.73%). I had a hard time staying motivated in second year, and got 68 and 69 (still B-'s) in physical and organic chem, respectively. I really liked intro biochem and did pretty well, but then overestimated my ability to study during the summer after a two-month trip and got another 68 in 3rd year biochem.

So a few questions:

1. Should I re-take organic chem and the 300-level biochem? I think if I took them again now, I'd actually enjoy them. I did like the material first time around, but for organic chem I hated the flipped classroom model the profs tried the year I took it, and biochem I was dumb and took in the summer. Would med schools care if I improved in my re-takes?

2. If I study really hard for the MCAT, and do well, do I stand a good chance of getting in? Or is my prereq average just too low to be worth holding out any hope?

Hope this is clear. If you have any other advice for me, I'll gladly take it.
 
OP
E
Aug 26, 2015
4
0
Status
Pre-Medical
My last 60 credits add up to 80.5%.

Does UBC really not care at all? So they only look at grades and extracurriculars?

Thanks!
 

stevesteve123

5+ Year Member
May 13, 2011
114
37
Status
My last 60 credits add up to 80.5%.

Does UBC really not care at all? So they only look at grades and extracurriculars?

Thanks!

pre-interview invite --> grades + extra curricular = 50% + 50%

after interview --> interview 50% + grade/EC 50%

your last 60 and overall @ 80% is gonna handicap you, big time
you are gonna need amazing and i mean amazing EC's (olympic athelete, saved 1000's of orphans in africa, publish in nature ...etc etc) to have a decent shot

o and i assume you are a BC resident? if not ignore all the above because out of province standards are even higher
 
OP
E
Aug 26, 2015
4
0
Status
Pre-Medical
pre-interview invite --> grades + extra curricular = 50% + 50%

after interview --> interview 50% + grade/EC 50%

your last 60 and overall @ 80% is gonna handicap you, big time
you are gonna need amazing and i mean amazing EC's (olympic athelete, saved 1000's of orphans in africa, publish in nature ...etc etc) to have a decent shot

o and i assume you are a BC resident? if not ignore all the above because out of province standards are even higher
Thanks for your reply. I am a BC resident, thank goodness. Besides improving my ECs, what else could I do between now and graduation to improve my chances? I would re-do the courses I did badly in, but UBC doesn't let retakes if you passed. If I work my butt off when I get back to school and improve my grades, does it matter or will my pre-req average still wreak havoc on my application?

I've also been thinking about doing an MSc in pathology or a diploma in medical imaging post-grad; would it be better to apply after going through one of these programs?
 

stevesteve123

5+ Year Member
May 13, 2011
114
37
Status
Thanks for your reply. I am a BC resident, thank goodness. Besides improving my ECs, what else could I do between now and graduation to improve my chances? I would re-do the courses I did badly in, but UBC doesn't let retakes if you passed. If I work my butt off when I get back to school and improve my grades, does it matter or will my pre-req average still wreak havoc on my application?

I've also been thinking about doing an MSc in pathology or a diploma in medical imaging post-grad; would it be better to apply after going through one of these programs?
just my opinion but i think your best bet is to take more classes to bring up your last 60 (and to a lesser degree, your overall). Remember it is capped at 90% so try to aim for 90% or higher on your last 60 credit.
 
OP
E
Aug 26, 2015
4
0
Status
Pre-Medical
just my opinion but i think your best bet is to take more classes to bring up your last 60 (and to a lesser degree, your overall). Remember it is capped at 90% so try to aim for 90% or higher on your last 60 credit.
Just to clarify, do you mean admissions usually only look at applications with 90%+ averages? I am taking extra classes already as I'm doing a double major in English Literature. but that also means that I don't have time for "bird" courses, or time to take any psychology or sociology which might be helpful later. Would you recommend ditching the double major and taking a variety of electives instead in my last couple of years? It would be a tough decision on my part, simply because I've always wanted to do a double major in science and arts since I was in high school, but I'm not sure that it would be useful or even beneficial for getting into med now that I'm actually really interested in applying. Thanks for your help!
 

stevesteve123

5+ Year Member
May 13, 2011
114
37
Status
Just to clarify, do you mean admissions usually only look at applications with 90%+ averages? I am taking extra classes already as I'm doing a double major in English Literature. but that also means that I don't have time for "bird" courses, or time to take any psychology or sociology which might be helpful later. Would you recommend ditching the double major and taking a variety of electives instead in my last couple of years? It would be a tough decision on my part, simply because I've always wanted to do a double major in science and arts since I was in high school, but I'm not sure that it would be useful or even beneficial for getting into med now that I'm actually really interested in applying. Thanks for your help!

no they assign you an AQ (academic score) that you receive full points for if you are 90% or above and discounted for all grades below 90%.
Eg. 25 total points for AQ, if you have 90% (last 60 and overall) you get 25 for your application file for the AQ section. if you have 85% you might get 20/25 for AQ (i do not know their formula but 90% is max, they changed it from 85% a few years ago because there has been so many competitive applicants they wanted to delineate)
 

UBC2014

2+ Year Member
Aug 25, 2014
883
407
Status
Medical Student
no they assign you an AQ (academic score) that you receive full points for if you are 90% or above and discounted for all grades below 90%.
Eg. 25 total points for AQ, if you have 90% (last 60 and overall) you get 25 for your application file for the AQ section. if you have 85% you might get 20/25 for AQ (i do not know their formula but 90% is max, they changed it from 85% a few years ago because there has been so many competitive applicants they wanted to delineate)
This is incorrect and outdated, specifically to stevesteve123's posts in this thread. There are no caps, and many of the nuances they have mentioned are from application cycles a few years ago. Things are much different in current cycles.

For current application procedures, please visit the UBC Medicine Admissions website Directly.

All your answers can be found there OP.