Third time applicant, Canadian, 3.75cGPA, 3.69sGPA, 507 -->507-->516 MCAT


Full Member
Jan 12, 2020
  1. Pre-Medical
I am a Canadian premed, about to finish up my thesis-based master's degree - I'd appreciate any insight/feedback!

I have applied to medical school twice thus far:
1. First cycle (2017-2018), only applied to MD schools and stats were as follows: GPA 3.65, sGPA 3.64, MCAT taken twice - 1st attempt August 2016 - score 507 (128/125/127/127); second attempt August 2017, same score (breakdown: 126/124/128/129)
One interview invite from the University of Arizona - Tucson (which I had to turn down because I realized that although international students could apply, you need to be a US permanent resident or US citizen in order to matriculate).

I really shouldn't have applied the first time but I gave in to the pressure of needing to get into med school right away after undergrad. I was more prepared to apply the second time but my master's project was at risk of being extended by a year so I only applied to 10 MD schools, and applied to DO schools extremely late in the game.

2. Second application cycle (2019-2020), took the MCAT for the third time in May 2019 and got 516 (128/128/130/130); GPA 3.75, sGPA 3.69. Applied to 10 MD schools early-ish (finished all secondaries by early Sept), applied to 3 DO schools VERY late (submitted primaries in mid Jan, 2020). As DOs are extremely rare in Canada and I didn't have a LOR from a DO, I didn't think I would have a shot at osteopathic med schools.
Received an interview invite from AZCOM, and I am currently on the waitlist. I know I shot myself in the foot by applying to DO schools so late, but I feel more prepared to apply very early this cycle (2020-2021).

**represents additions for the upcoming cycle

Clinical hours:
Total 850 (** plus 80 more since last cycle)
Providing psychosocial & informational support to adult cancer patients & caregivers
Rural health internship abroad (worked with a US MD doctor)
Hospital volunteering (general tasks, patient visiting etc)

15 hours peds oncologist
90 hours neurosurgeon
100 hours primary care (through the rural health internship abroad)

Community service & ECs:
400+ hours (**90 more since last cycle) - president of non-profit organization that provides swimming lessons & aquatic therapy to kids with physical & developmental disabilities, and those coming from low income families
500+ hours - various peer mentorships, science literacy advocation, leadership, tutoring stuff

**Thesis based master's - 2 international conferences, 2 first- author pubs (submitted, not accepted yet)
*1 third author paper, comprehensive review paper
1000+ hours of research in undergrad in psych and neuro-onolocy labs (2 poster presentations, no pubs)

Various leadership awards (**2 new leadership awards since last cycle, both granted by my school's faculty of medicine) and few scholarships (small, $5,000 and under)

Are there any areas that seem lacking? I was supposed to shadow a primary care doc from Feb-June but he had to cancel due to COVID19.
I have a list of MD and DO schools that I'm eyeing but would appreciate any school lists as well. Thanks in advance!
Last edited:


Full Member
Jan 12, 2020
  1. Pre-Medical
That's a nice MCAT improvement. What did you do differently the third time?

Thank you! I did a lot more practice tests and passages third time around, and approached CARs completely differently (started doing practice passages 4 months prior to my test date, did 3-4 passages everyday. First focused on getting answers right and reasoning through the questions, then about 3 months out, focused on timing. Didn't follow any kind of strategy, except highlighting dates and names. Only used Jack weston, Khan academy and AAMC packs - jack weston mostly for getting my timing down because their passages can be a hit or miss in terms of imitating the actual CARs section). For the other sections, just practiced a lot (khan academy and AAMC practice passages), and for psych, I read through the 300 page khan academy doc that's circulating (either on SDN or reddit - I forget - but it's very comprehensive so I'd highly recommend sifting through it).
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