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Yet Another Canadian Applicant

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by mcpherv, May 26, 2008.

  1. mcpherv

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    Hi guys,
    I am a Canadian that is currently on the waiting list at the University of Western Ontario. However, I'm trying to evaluate my chances in the US should I not hear back from UWO and have to reapply.

    MCAT:
    P: 10 V: 10 B: 11 WS: Q
    31Q

    Note: I have to rewrite my MCAT in order to apply to the States, I believe, as I wrote it in Aug 2005. Let's assume that I score low 30s on a rewrite.

    My AMCAS GPA stats are:

    cGPA: 3.63
    BCPM GPA: 3.54
    Grad School (currently M.Sc.): 4.0

    My overall GPAs are a little low, but they are weighted down by a poor second year, during which time I had extenuating personal circumstances. I am not sure how that will be looked upon by US schools.

    Undergrad year by year GPA:
    1st year: 3.8
    2nd year: 2.8
    3rd year: 3.9
    4th year: 4.0

    Note: All studies have been completed at Queen's University, which is arguably one of the better schools in Canada.

    I am currently close to finishing up a M.Sc. in Biochemistry, however, if this cycle does not work out, I will be re-classifying to the Ph.D. stream in my graduate studies. I will thus be applying next year for entrance in 2010 and will have a Ph.D. by the time I matriculate.

    Extracurriculars/Research Productivity
    - Should have 2 first author papers by this Fall
    - 1 oral presentation at a conference, 3 poster presentations (one at an international cell signalling conference)
    - TA for a 4th year Honours research project

    - High School Student Council President
    - University orientation leader
    - 5 years intramural hockey
    - 1 year on the executive committee of intramural hockey league
    - Couple other committees

    - 2 years hospital volunteering 2 hours/week
    - 1 summer as high school youth summer volunteer program mentor to high schools students volunteering at the hospital

    - Major self-directed learning project in which I taught myself electronics, and created an online discussion group where I and others applied modified the electronic circuits in a home theatre projector
    - Extensive travel throughout my life; have lived in 4 different countries, attended Canadian boarding school in high school overseas, travelled a lot
    - Summer jobs as a clerk in a major international organization

    - various other leadership positions, many of relatively short duration

    I am aware that I am lacking clinical exposure and will be attempting to rectify this in the coming year by seeking out doctor shadowing opportunities. However, since I will be a PhD student, time commitments will likely prevent me from having more than about 50 hours by the time I apply next year.

    Any comments on which level of schools I should be applying to and general suggestions would be very much appreciated.
     
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  3. SilentNight

    7+ Year Member

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    I would say if you have to reapply go for the low/mid tier private US med schools. Such as NYMC, Drexel, GWU, etc.

    I hope that you get into UWO though because reapplying would really be stressful again.

    Good luck! :)
     
  4. jimCAN

    2+ Year Member

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    there is a link in the regular premed forum on the MSAR stats and it sheds some light on the canadian students ... there are several which look at canadians on par with americans although they may not accept as many...

    apply early and i agree with Silent with the type of schools. when would you write the mcat
     
  5. mcpherv

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    Thanks a lot for the sentiments - I hope it works out this time as well! I'm already a re-applicant in Canada, having been waitlisted at UWO 2 years ago as well.

    Also, thanks for the recommendations on the level of schools - I have been a little unsure as to how schools would look at me, as I am Canadian, have a bad year, but will have a PhD...
     
  6. mcpherv

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    Thanks - I'll have a look for the MSAR Canadian stats.

    I think I'll be planning on re-writing the MCAT next spring - that should allow me to have my scores early so I can get the applications in early as well. Sound like a fair plan?
     
  7. paradocs we are

    paradocs we are In love with you
    2+ Year Member

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    have you considered UBC?

    As for U.S. schools, I personally think you have a great chance at Wayne State, Detroit. Also, you may want to consider MSU, SLU, BU, GWU, SUNY Upstate, UVM....
     
  8. hp540

    hp540 3 pages per minute
    5+ Year Member

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    mcpherv, if you haven't already, visit the US forum on Premed101.com

    US schools will not apply special GPA weighting schemes like many of the Canadian schools.

    Think carefully before you decide to rewrite the MCAT. There's no guarantee you'll improve significantly to make much of a difference in your application.

    Unfortunately, your 4.0 MSc GPA will not help make up for your undergrad performance. However, it's quite obvious Year 2 is an outlier so make sure you mention that in your AMCAS primary.
     
  9. mcpherv

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    Yes, I had applied to UBC the first time I applied to medical school, during my 4th year of undergraduate study. I pretty much got blown off (although I don't really blame them - objectively, looking just at my first 3 years of undergrad marks, I wouldn't have given me much of a look either), which turned me off applying again this last time. I obviously would be applying there as an OOP applicant, which makes it very difficult. My prereq average would probably be in the high 70s, while my overall is in the low 80s, most recent 60 credits approx 85. Not sure I'd be competitive, but definately worth a shot next time around. From what I understand, my graduate degree doesn't get me much in their selection process, though.

    Thanks a lot for the suggestions on the schools - I'll look into those.
     
  10. mcpherv

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    Yeah, I'm going to have a more in-depth look at that forum on pm101. I posted this yesterday when the forum was down - besides, considering I have a few oddities with my application, I figured I'd ask and see what people said.

    I completely agree regarding the MCAT rewrite - and this is exactly why I did not rewrite it in the last couple of years. Additionally, I made the decision not to rewrite after seeing that Queen's had set thier cutoffs to 10/10/10 P for the 2007 cycle. It was a real letdown when it came out this year that they had raised their WS cutoff all the way to R... However, all of this said - in order to apply to the States, from what I understand I need an MCAT score that is less than 3 years old. I absolutely want to be in medical school immediately following the Ph.D. if UWO doesn't work out this year, so I think I need to explore my options in the US. Obviously, I also need to make sure I put adequate effort into my rewrite to avoid scoring lower than before... I think I underperformed on the first attempt so hopefully scoring the same or higher is a realistic scenario.

    I had read that US schools don't really look at Grad school GPA, however I had heard from a friend that was successful in his US applications that they look at GPA trends. Considering my 1st, 3rd, 4th and Grad GPAs, as you say, my second year is an obvious outlier. Do you have any insight into how likely it is that schools will acknowledge this and *somewhat* forgive this drop in marks? Thanks for the advice regarding mentioning it in my AMCAS primary - I will make sure to do this.
     
  11. paradocs we are

    paradocs we are In love with you
    2+ Year Member

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    Just remember that if you are seriously considering applying to U.S. schools, you need to apply early and to many places. Early means in the J months. Don't make my mistake. Mdapps: 8389. There's hope.
     
  12. mcpherv

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    Thanks a lot and will do.
     
  13. mcpherv

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    Just a follow-up: I just got accepted off of the waitlist at UWO! Thanks to everyone for their help here!
     

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