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Non-traditional uGPA - 3.65, MCAT 522, Canadian

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by soccergurl1987, Aug 6, 2015.

  1. soccergurl1987

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    I posted earlier this year, but didn't yet have my MCAT or a school list, so I'm looking for more feedback now that I have both.

    Canadian Non-trad - uGPA/sGPA ~3.65; 4.0 GPA for my biology PhD (only 3 classes)
    Edit - MCAT balanced 522 (131, 130, 130, 131)
    1 first author paper, 2 internal authors. Will have couple more 1st author papers by graduation (~April); 6+ years of research (undergraduate project + PhD)

    Most significant ECs include:
    Work experience: 2 years tutor, 2 years (~25hrs/wk) retail (supervisor), 3.5 years work as unit clerk in hospital (~15hrs/wk), 5 years teaching assistant (curent) (~2000hours),
    Volunteer - 2 years mentor/tutor at a youth correctional facility (~150hours), 1 year Big Sister (~150 hours), 1 year soccer coach (current - 150 hours), 5 years manager/coordinator for 2-3 soccer teams (current)
    3 years in leadership positions in health related clubs during undergrad (~300-400hours)
    Soccer - 5+ years, other intramural sports (field hockey, basketball, flag football - 3 years) (all current) (lots of hours)
    I don't have any shadowing or clinical volunteering and I'm not sure that my job at the hospital will be considered enough clinical exposure - what do you guys think?

    So far my list includes:
    Georgetown
    SUNY - Syracuse
    Virginia Commonwealth
    Darthmouth
    Boston University
    Wayne State
    University of Virginia
    Saint Louis University
    Case Western
    Emory
    Duke
    Columbia
    Cornell
    University of Pittsburg
    Northwestern
    Yale
    Stanford

    Any other suggestions? I realize a lot of these are mega-reaches, especially given my GPA. I'm a little confused as to how I should apply given that my GPA is low relative to my MCAT. Any help would be much appreciated!!
     
    #1 soccergurl1987, Aug 6, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
  2. Banco

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    You have an excellent application; just to clarify though, you have clinical experience through the unit clerk position?

    Seems like a pretty good list. I would probably add a few more schools though just to be safe since Canadians have such a rough time. Look into Einstein, Central Michigan.
     
  3. soccergurl1987

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    Yes, I worked as a Unit Clerk in the intensive care unit and also briefly on a surgical unit in the hospital. I'm concerned about it because I had lots of contact with patients families, doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff, but very little direct contact with patients, so I'm not sure if it counts the same as something where I was working more directly with patients.
     
  4. Banco

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    If you had any contact with patients at all, play it up in your description; I mean you did it for 3+ yrs at 15 hrs a week, there must be instances where you interacted with patients. The experience sounds very good.
     
  5. GrapesofRath

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    This would be a fine application for top 20 schools as a US citizen. But alas as Canadians things work differently. I always cite this stat; 43% of US applicants are accepted to MD schools. 13% of Canadians are. You should not the much longer odds you face to the full extent before going through with this process.

    With that said here would be what I would say
    1) Stick with schools where your GPA is above the 10th percentile(only school this might be an issue is Yale).
    2) You need more lower tier schools. It's that simple. There's maybe 5 schools on here that don't have 35+ MCAT medians. You need more lower tiers. NYMC, Penn State, GW type schools are where you should start your search for this. I don't have the list of schools that take Canadians but you will want at least a dozen lower tiers regardless of how many bigger names you put in your list.
     
  6. soccergurl1987

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    Thanks! My GPA is right at the 10% cut-off (I bought MSAR), which to me seems like I'm most likely just wasting my money, but I can't not give it a shot. I'll look into adding a half-dozen more lower tier schools. I went through originally and looked at all 62, then narrowed it down by removing all the schools that had 0 or 1 person admitted like Goro/gyngyn (can't remember which) advises. I think there were a few other good options that I can include.

    What about adding schools like:
    Meharry
    Tulane
    Rosalind Franklin
    Central Michigan
    University of Kentucky

    I don't think that there are many other options that actually have >1 admitted international students that are lower tier. Would it be worthwile to consider applying DO? I've hesitated up to this point, because I've spent so much time in research, I'd like to have the opportunity to continue to do it, and because (and I could be mistaken), I read somewhere that you need shadowing hours/a recommendation from a DO to apply DO? I'm not sure how I'd go about getting that since I live in Canada.
     
  7. soccergurl1987

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    Thanks :)
     
  8. Banco

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    All of those are fine to add, except Meharry, which I THINK is mission based.

    Your GPA may be at the 10%ile for top schools, but you also have a PhD (which really caters your app for the top tiers) and other excellent ECs. You have a shot for sure. Overall grapes gave good advice about having a safety net though. I think you'll be fine with MD only.
     
  9. NotASerialKiller

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    I don't know all the details of how Canadians are treated, but just to warn you if you're compared to Canadian applicants and are not just considered OOS, then your GPA is not strong. @Banco was likely comparing it to US GPAs (like those listed on MSAR) but the scale is not the same. Don't want to discourage you, but I wouldn't operate under the assumption that you GPA will look good unless you know with certainty that you'll just be compared in the OOS pool.

    I can't find the thread, but we recently discussed the difference between Canadian and US GPAs. Although they're both on the 4.0 scale, the Canadian one is much more compressed and a 3.65 for us is substantially lower than a 3.65 in the US. Other Canadian applicants with MCAT scores in that range likely have at least a 3.8, most probably 3.85+

    Rest of your application looks great though, good luck!
     
  10. soccergurl1987

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    Ya I realize my GPA is poor. If only I could go back to undergrad and not be as much of a slacker :p

    What do you mean compressed? As far as I can tell I think my GPA would stay about the same. I used the grade conversion guide here: https://www.aamc.org/students/download/181676/data/amcas_grade_conversion_guide.pdf, but it looks to me like my school uses exactly the same conversion guide as the first one listed. The only exception might be for Ds (I don't know if we have D+ and D-, but I don't have anything below a B- on my transcript, so I don't *think* that should matter.
     
  11. GrapesofRath

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    When the odds of any Canadian applicant getting into a US MD school is 13% I hesitate to just say "your stats are great you'll be perfectly fine" like I would for 522 MCAT US Applicants. It's just that competitive. Imagine if the US MD applicant percentage rate was 13%? What would the stats for an average US MD Matriculant be? 3.85/34? Higher? Who knows, but hopefully you see the point.

    That said, you'll be a competitive applicant. Just throw in as many OOS lower tier schools as you can except for Meharry(you don't fit the MS). I'll also add while you are applying to a lot of big name schools that in itself is not horrible; you do have a 522 after all. It's just the need to cover your bases with all lower tier OOS schools as possible is key. And even then, there simply are no guarantees, much more so than for US applicants.

    Internationals who are open to DO's are far far more likely to find success in matriculating in a US medical school so if your goal is to practice medicine it is an option to strongly consider.
     
  12. NotASerialKiller

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    That chart shows: A = 4.0, A- = 3.7, B+ = 3.3

    Canadian schools: A+ = 4.0, A = 3.9, A- = 3.7

    Which looks similar enough until you check out what their letter grades mean.

    For most places: A = low 90s-100, A- = low 90s, B+ = high 80s

    Canadian schools: A+ = 90-100, A = 85-89, A- = 80-84

    Huuuuge difference there.

    edit: Sorry I actually used the standard OMSAS conversions for how Canadian grades are converted in this post. That chart at the bottom of the AMCAS page (for Canadian students) shows a similar trend, with anything over 87 (or 84 for whatever school that is) being converted to a 4.0
    Still much more forgiving than for US students. I didn't realized the difference because I've already been verified and apparently through that AMCAS Canadian conversion or OMSAS my GPA ends up pretty much the same.
     
    #12 NotASerialKiller, Aug 7, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
  13. Doudline

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    You'll get interviews everywhere you apply that accepts Canadians (beware of the programs making those claims but that haven't matriculated one in recent years - don't apply there).

    Your GPA is not "low" considering your MCAT. No one will doubt your academic abilities.
    Your activities/research are golden too, tippy-top tier.

    General statistics are only so useful, and especially unreliable at the extremes of the spectrum like you are.
     
    softeng likes this.

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