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3rd year Canadian medical student happy to answer questions! Options ▼
DrJay
#21 Posted : Monday, May 07, 2012 12:54:22 PM
Rank: Senior Student


Joined: 5/3/2012
Posts: 93
TH3U wrote:
is med school actually extremely hard as people claim...like will an average b student from high school have any shred of chance surviving in med school. And how hard was the mcat? Do you believe you someone who did not major in sciences but majored in psychology or something but took some science courses have chance of doing good on the mcat?


1. I think how well you do in undergrad is a better indicator of how well you will do in medical school. High schools across Canada are very different - a B in one high school might be an A in another. Since there are fewer universities in Canada, it's a lot easier to know where you stand, since you are being compared to many more students. Also, undergrad is of course harder than high school, and you will have to work harder. If you can handle undergrad, you can definitely handle medical school.

The material you learn in medicine isn't harder than the stuff you learn in science / kinesiology. The difference is that in medicine there's a lot more information to know. If you can handle science/kin-type courses in undergrad, and you're willing to put in the effort, you can handle medical school.

2. The MCAT isn't easy, but it's definitely a test where the more you study and prepare, the better you will certainly do. I think that people in science programs who are used to doing multiple choice tests and who are already taking physics/bio/chem courses will of course be more comfortable with the MCAT than people who don't normally take science courses. But if you are a psych major, took physics/chem/bio/orgo and felt OK, you will probably be OK for the MCAT.

TD Canada Trust Scholar 2006
University of Toronto M.D. Candidate, Class of 2013

MedHopeful.com - my blog with advice and entertainment on undergrad, scholarships and medical school.

Get Started - an introductory guide for premeds to learn about applying to medical school.

Mac Health Sci Application Guide - my advice for the McMaster Health Sciences supplementary application.

EssaySensei.ca - where I provide 1-on-1 essay help for applications to medical school, scholarships, awards and programs.
DrJay
#22 Posted : Monday, May 07, 2012 2:38:05 PM
Rank: Senior Student


Joined: 5/3/2012
Posts: 93
Just wrote this, inspired by this thread:

Can I do ANY undergrad program and get into med school?

The short answer is yes, absolutely. You can do any undergrad program you want and get into medical school. Whether it's engineering or science or business or arts - it's definitely possible to get into medical school.

How do I know? I just look at my medical school classmates and all the variety in their educational backgrounds. While it's true that most med students have a science background, that's because most students who want to do med school choose to do science for that very reason - it's not because med schools prefer it.

That being said, the MCAT has a lot of science, and so of course a background in science makes taking the MCAT a bit easier. But if you're willing to put in the work, no matter your background, doing well on the MCAT and getting into med school is certainly possible.

In addition, a lot of medical school is like a science undergrad. There is a lot of rote memorization and multiple choice tests. Those with a science background will be used to it. Students from a different program may find some challenges. For example, some engineer classmates of mine say it was a challenge to move from "understanding" in engineering to a lot more "rote memorization" in med school. I'd suspect a similar challenge occurs for students who are used to readings/essays in an arts program.

So if that's the case, why shouldn't all premeds just take science? Well for one, getting a good GPA is a big deciding factor for med school admissions, and you will probably get a better GPA in a program you enjoy. In addition, what if you don't get into med school? It's a very competitive process and the truth is the odds are against you. It's important to think about what you can use with your undergraduate degree in the event med school doesn't work out. If you are picking your undergrad degree, e.g. in science, solely to get into medical school, you need to accept the possibility that things might not work out. If this isn't okay with you, then perhaps getting a degree more practical for you and that could lead to an acceptable alternative career is a better choice.

In conclusion, while coming from a non-science background might pose some challenges in the admissions/medical training process, you are the deciding factor in your success. If you want to be a physician, and are willing to put in the extra work, you can do it, no matter what undergrad program you take. Just remember that it is a competitive process and you need to be willing to accept the possibility medical school might not work out for you, and plan accordingly.
TD Canada Trust Scholar 2006
University of Toronto M.D. Candidate, Class of 2013

MedHopeful.com - my blog with advice and entertainment on undergrad, scholarships and medical school.

Get Started - an introductory guide for premeds to learn about applying to medical school.

Mac Health Sci Application Guide - my advice for the McMaster Health Sciences supplementary application.

EssaySensei.ca - where I provide 1-on-1 essay help for applications to medical school, scholarships, awards and programs.
DrJay
#23 Posted : Thursday, May 10, 2012 11:44:36 AM
Rank: Senior Student


Joined: 5/3/2012
Posts: 93
Another message I wanted to share, something I think is really important for anyone interested in medical school:

Why "wanting to help people" is not a good enough reason for medical school

If you are reading this thread, presumably you are interested in becoming a doctor. But why?

Before you read on any further, I'd like you to spend a few minutes reflecting on the question: "why do you want to do medicine?"

It's a short yet challenging and important question. It's important because every medical school is going to ask you this question, whether on an application or in an interview. More importantly, medicine is not a walk in the park - unless you know why you are interested in medicine, you may end up realizing it is not everything you hoped for.

The difficult thing about a career in medicine is the ambiguity. In all seriousness, ask yourself, how much do you really know what medicine is about? What a doctor does everyday?

For myself and many of my peers, we had no frickin clue what it meant to be a doctor. I shadowed here and there, which I'm sure many of you have done as well. But until you actually have to do what a doctor does (and believe me, we don't even do this until the 3rd year of medical school when we start our clinical rotations), it's hard to know what type of medicine you would want to do, and perhaps, even whether medicine as a whole is right for you. C'est la vie I guess.

But I digress. So why do you want to do medicine? I mean, until you actually do it, your personal reasons are all you have to go by, so let's get back to that. While there are many (valid reasons), including "I am interested in medical sciences", "I like having a respected, well-paying job" (the one that no one admits to but is true), etc. probably the most common reason people admit to is "I want to help people".

Now don't get me wrong, if you tell me you want to do medicine because you want to help people, I believe you. I don't doubt it at all. I'm glad so many people want to make a positive difference in the world. But if this is your only or primary reasons, you should step back and reflect on that.

There are many great professions that "help" people. In fact, most professions, no matter how great or small, "help" people in some way. Teachers help students learn and master material. Social workers can really help and change the lives of vulnerable clients. Scientists can help find new and better ways for us to live our lives. In health care, nurses play a crucial role in helping to cure illness and maintain human health.

It's not a matter of whether you want to help people. The bigger question is to ask yourself how you want to help people. Because we all help people in our own, but often different ways.

You need to ask yourself "how do doctors specifically help people, and do I want to help people that way?"

I encourage all premeds to search for the answer to that question. Read, talk to people, do whatever it takes. If you find the answer to this question and you still want to do medicine, then go for it. If you can answer yes to that question, medicine may be a very rewarding profession for you. If your answer is no, then perhaps it is time to think whether an alternate career would be more rewarding for you.

Believe me, it is not an easy question, but I believe it is one of the most important questions you need to ask yourself before dedicating yourself to medicine.
TD Canada Trust Scholar 2006
University of Toronto M.D. Candidate, Class of 2013

MedHopeful.com - my blog with advice and entertainment on undergrad, scholarships and medical school.

Get Started - an introductory guide for premeds to learn about applying to medical school.

Mac Health Sci Application Guide - my advice for the McMaster Health Sciences supplementary application.

EssaySensei.ca - where I provide 1-on-1 essay help for applications to medical school, scholarships, awards and programs.
DrJay
#24 Posted : Sunday, May 13, 2012 1:24:28 AM
Rank: Senior Student


Joined: 5/3/2012
Posts: 93
Hey everyone, another post I wrote, hopefully some of you find it helpful:

Do I need to do research to get into medical school?

There is often a mad scramble among premeds to do "research". Students freak out when they fail to get a professor to say yes to them. Unlike school clubs or volunteer work, research isn't something you can just sign up for - you have to convince a professor or researcher to say yes.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, "resarch" in the premed world refers to the non-curriculum activity of working with a scientist supervisor and his/her team to uncover new knowledge or apply current knowledge to produce something new. For premeds, such scientist supervisors are usually university professors or physician researchers working at a teaching hospital or university.

So do you really need to do research to get into medical school?

The short answer is no, you don't. There are many medical students who never did an ounce of "research" but still get in. That being said, doing some sort of research can strengthen your application in many ways.

First, doing research instantly gives you access to a potential academic referee. Most medical schools like to see at least one of your reference letters come from someone in academia at the university level. Most undergrads don't know any of their classroom professors well enough to get a letter. Especially if you are in a science program where your classes can have as many as 1,000 students, it's pretty hard to stand out. But working in a small team environment with a professor can lead to a solid, academic reference letter.

Secondly, many physicians are also researchers. In particular, when admissions committees ask physicians to help interview applicants, they ask their own faculty members - who by definition will often be researchers. As academic physicians, they will naturally be impressed by applicants who have done research and who are likely to contribute to the future of medical research.

Thirdly, it helps enhance the academic aspect of your application. Many applicants have great grades. Research will help you stand out even more.

Does it matter what kind of research you do?

Any research is good research. Of course, the more relevant your research is to medicine and health care, the better. And if your supervisor is a physician, then of course, your reference letter is even better.

But as an undergraduate student, it's often not easy to get a physician researcher to say yes. If you want to do research, get your feet wet in anything that you can. The fact that you've done some is great in the first place. But again, it is by no means mandatory, and if you dont' want to do it, then don't - it says nothing about you as a future physician. Many physicians are also not interested in research whatsoever.

Do I need to have publications and conference presentations?

While those would be fantastic to have, many medical students who have done research don't have any publications or conference presentations. It would most definitely strengthen your application, but definitely not necessary to get in.

Hopefully that helps answer questions you might have about research and getting into medical school. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!
TD Canada Trust Scholar 2006
University of Toronto M.D. Candidate, Class of 2013

MedHopeful.com - my blog with advice and entertainment on undergrad, scholarships and medical school.

Get Started - an introductory guide for premeds to learn about applying to medical school.

Mac Health Sci Application Guide - my advice for the McMaster Health Sciences supplementary application.

EssaySensei.ca - where I provide 1-on-1 essay help for applications to medical school, scholarships, awards and programs.
d0nut
#25 Posted : Sunday, May 20, 2012 1:26:36 AM
Rank: Frosh




Joined: 7/7/2011
Posts: 20
Thank you for this wonderful thread.

I am in my senior year of high school and I have been very interested in pursuing medicine for quite some time now. I was wondering how you feel about IMG (International Medical Graduates) and the process of coming back to Canada after studying medicine abroad.

Specifically, I was thinking about attending a 6-year Medical University/School Program in Eastern Europe, and then coming back to Canada to do practice. I have heard from many that it is a great opportunity because you finish school faster and you could reside in Europe to practice (which is very appealing to me).

However, if I do decide to study medicine in Canada (but attend a med school abroad), then what complications would occur? I know for a fact that more pressure is put on IMG students when it comes to getting a job or even residency. They are looked down upon because of the fat that they took an alternative route and are not Canadian-based students.

IF you know any information regarding IMG, please let me know as time is running out and I need to decide what to do!


P.S. Roughly how many years of schooling does a Canadian doctor (studying entirely in Canada) undergo?
"Success doesn't come to you, you go to it."
DrJay
#26 Posted : Sunday, May 20, 2012 4:43:31 PM
Rank: Senior Student


Joined: 5/3/2012
Posts: 93
d0nut wrote:
Thank you for this wonderful thread.

I am in my senior year of high school and I have been very interested in pursuing medicine for quite some time now. I was wondering how you feel about IMG (International Medical Graduates) and the process of coming back to Canada after studying medicine abroad.

Specifically, I was thinking about attending a 6-year Medical University/School Program in Eastern Europe, and then coming back to Canada to do practice. I have heard from many that it is a great opportunity because you finish school faster and you could reside in Europe to practice (which is very appealing to me).

However, if I do decide to study medicine in Canada (but attend a med school abroad), then what complications would occur? I know for a fact that more pressure is put on IMG students when it comes to getting a job or even residency. They are looked down upon because of the fat that they took an alternative route and are not Canadian-based students.

IF you know any information regarding IMG, please let me know as time is running out and I need to decide what to do!

P.S. Roughly how many years of schooling does a Canadian doctor (studying entirely in Canada) undergo?


This is a very good question. Let me preface this by saying I have never researched this topic, and my knowledge/understanding on it is extremely limited. So please don't take what I write as 100% confirmed true.

My impression is that if you do medical school outside of Canada/U.S., it is very difficult to get into a Canadian residency program. Non Canadian citizens who do medical school and residency outside of Canada/U.S. have it even worse. How tough is it? I don't know. But my impression is that it's pretty damn tough. You are in a different pool from Canadian trainees, and the quota for outside Canadian grads is extremely small for every specialty.

Even if you are a fully licensed doctor from another country, you are extremely likely to have to get into a Canadian residency and be retrained before you are allowed to practice here. Maybe the United Kingdom is an exception, but I'm not even sure of that. And getting into Canadian residency from the outside, like I said before, is tough. I have met IMGs, fully practicing doctors in other countries, spend years here applying to Canadian residencies and not getting in. It's sad to watch.

If you don't go to a Canadian med school, your next best option is the U.S., if you ever want to come back here. I'm not sure what your chances are though even with that.

I think it's important for applicants to really think about this. It's not a good idea to think you'll just become a doctor in another country and come back here without doing your research. If you are considering your route, please please please do your homework and look up your likelihood of coming back here, and be willing to accept the consequences.
TD Canada Trust Scholar 2006
University of Toronto M.D. Candidate, Class of 2013

MedHopeful.com - my blog with advice and entertainment on undergrad, scholarships and medical school.

Get Started - an introductory guide for premeds to learn about applying to medical school.

Mac Health Sci Application Guide - my advice for the McMaster Health Sciences supplementary application.

EssaySensei.ca - where I provide 1-on-1 essay help for applications to medical school, scholarships, awards and programs.
DrJay
#27 Posted : Sunday, May 20, 2012 4:44:44 PM
Rank: Senior Student


Joined: 5/3/2012
Posts: 93
This question came to me recently from a high school student pondering about the future.

Is getting into medical school a realistic goal?


I think it’s a very good and mature question to ask.

The vague but true answer is “it depends”. Medical school is competitive in Canada. For example, in 2011, there were 5,409 applicants for 953 medical school spots in Ontario. This equates to about 1 in 6 applicants getting in on a single try. Of course, medical school isn’t a one shot deal - many individuals apply more than once before getting in.

You need to be able to reflect on your own personal situation.

In general, high school is a poor marker of university performance. Some high schools are much tougher than others. Some students are just better than university than they are at high school. And since medical schools only care about your university marks, you won’t really know your “chances” until you go through university and see for yourself.

Once you are in university and have done a few years, then you can really reflect on how realistic medical school is for you. By then you will have an idea of your GPA, the major first hurdle in being competitive for medical school. I would say you generally need a >3.70 GPA to even have a shot at medical school. A >3.90 GPA would make you competitive for any medical school.

If your GPA is <3.70 after 3-4 years of university, then you need to do some reflection on whether medicine is still something you want to do. Because if it is, you will need to probably do more school to boost those grades. But of course, you need to ask yourself why you weren’t obtaining those higher grades in the first place. The truth is some people are just naturally better at school than others. Some people just work harder at school than others. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses.

Is a hard work ethic good enough to get anyone into medical school?

Unfortunately I don’t think so. Most things in life require a certain starting point to succeed in. Also it’s challenging to work hard at something you are finding difficult anyways. My basic point is that, for most students, you need to go through university first before you can assess what your chances are.

I know the numbers are daunting, but don’t count yourself out early on without giving yourself a chance. When you are young is the time to take risks.
TD Canada Trust Scholar 2006
University of Toronto M.D. Candidate, Class of 2013

MedHopeful.com - my blog with advice and entertainment on undergrad, scholarships and medical school.

Get Started - an introductory guide for premeds to learn about applying to medical school.

Mac Health Sci Application Guide - my advice for the McMaster Health Sciences supplementary application.

EssaySensei.ca - where I provide 1-on-1 essay help for applications to medical school, scholarships, awards and programs.
KingKhan03
#28 Posted : Sunday, May 20, 2012 11:37:45 PM
Rank: Frosh


Joined: 4/27/2012
Posts: 7
Hey Dr.Jay really nice of you to be posting on here out of your busy schedule, I have a quick and precise question. Im not much of a "math" guy, I can get 80's but not 90's similar with physics, im more of a Bio and Chem student where getting 90's is a breeze. Having a lack of interest or not being good at Physics and Math; will this affect MedSchool and MedSchool applications? Will this also have an impact on my Undergrad as I'm going into Kinesiology.

Thanks!
DrJay
#29 Posted : Sunday, May 20, 2012 11:52:05 PM
Rank: Senior Student


Joined: 5/3/2012
Posts: 93
KingKhan03 wrote:
Hey Dr.Jay really nice of you to be posting on here out of your busy schedule, I have a quick and precise question. Im not much of a "math" guy, I can get 80's but not 90's similar with physics, im more of a Bio and Chem student where getting 90's is a breeze. Having a lack of interest or not being good at Physics and Math; will this affect MedSchool and MedSchool applications? Will this also have an impact on my Undergrad as I'm going into Kinesiology.

Thanks!


Nope, it won't matter at all. I encounter very little math in medical school.
TD Canada Trust Scholar 2006
University of Toronto M.D. Candidate, Class of 2013

MedHopeful.com - my blog with advice and entertainment on undergrad, scholarships and medical school.

Get Started - an introductory guide for premeds to learn about applying to medical school.

Mac Health Sci Application Guide - my advice for the McMaster Health Sciences supplementary application.

EssaySensei.ca - where I provide 1-on-1 essay help for applications to medical school, scholarships, awards and programs.
KingKhan03
#30 Posted : Monday, May 21, 2012 12:12:27 AM
Rank: Frosh


Joined: 4/27/2012
Posts: 7
DrJay wrote:
KingKhan03 wrote:
Hey Dr.Jay really nice of you to be posting on here out of your busy schedule, I have a quick and precise question. Im not much of a "math" guy, I can get 80's but not 90's similar with physics, im more of a Bio and Chem student where getting 90's is a breeze. Having a lack of interest or not being good at Physics and Math; will this affect MedSchool and MedSchool applications? Will this also have an impact on my Undergrad as I'm going into Kinesiology.

Thanks!


Nope, it won't matter at all. I encounter very little math in medical school.




Thanks! Im not sure if you would know, but how about for my undergrad? Im going to York for Kin as its close to my house.
armis
#31 Posted : Monday, May 21, 2012 1:21:37 PM
Rank: Frosh




Joined: 2/9/2012
Posts: 6
Hi Dr.Jay
I have a question???
I am a grade 12 student and i have to choose my university for the next year.
i have got accepted to numbers of universities, but i have narrowed them down to York
(Health and kin) and Mcmaster(life sci). I have gathered some info about them but im still not sure which to choose.
In your opinion which one is more towards med school?
Thnx
DrJay
#32 Posted : Monday, May 21, 2012 1:52:54 PM
Rank: Senior Student


Joined: 5/3/2012
Posts: 93
KingKhan03 wrote:


Thanks! Im not sure if you would know, but how about for my undergrad? Im going to York for Kin as its close to my house.


It depends on the courses you take. You might need to take one calculus course in 1st year Kin (check the website to make sure). Other than that, I doubt you'd need math/physics - but I never did York Kin so you should probably read the website/talk to your science counsellor to make sure.
TD Canada Trust Scholar 2006
University of Toronto M.D. Candidate, Class of 2013

MedHopeful.com - my blog with advice and entertainment on undergrad, scholarships and medical school.

Get Started - an introductory guide for premeds to learn about applying to medical school.

Mac Health Sci Application Guide - my advice for the McMaster Health Sciences supplementary application.

EssaySensei.ca - where I provide 1-on-1 essay help for applications to medical school, scholarships, awards and programs.
DrJay
#33 Posted : Monday, May 21, 2012 1:56:27 PM
Rank: Senior Student


Joined: 5/3/2012
Posts: 93
armis wrote:
Hi Dr.Jay
I have a question???
I am a grade 12 student and i have to choose my university for the next year.
i have got accepted to numbers of universities, but i have narrowed them down to York
(Health and kin) and Mcmaster(life sci). I have gathered some info about them but im still not sure which to choose.
In your opinion which one is more towards med school?
Thnx


Medical schools won't really care which one you take.

Kinesiology would probably provide you with courses more useful if you do get into medical school (anatomy, physiology, etc.).

I'm not sure what is involved in health sciences, but remember most of medical school is learning about human anatomy/physiology, pathophysiology of diseases, and how to diagnose and treat. Human anatomy/physiology you can learn in some undergrad courses. Pathophysiology of diseases (why diseases happen and how they happen) are in some undergrad courses too.

So if you're hoping to take courses that will help you understand medicine and health more, you should read the course packages and see which ones are relevant. If you're asking which ones look better to medical school, the answer is it doesn't matter. Medical schools care more about what your GPA is.
TD Canada Trust Scholar 2006
University of Toronto M.D. Candidate, Class of 2013

MedHopeful.com - my blog with advice and entertainment on undergrad, scholarships and medical school.

Get Started - an introductory guide for premeds to learn about applying to medical school.

Mac Health Sci Application Guide - my advice for the McMaster Health Sciences supplementary application.

EssaySensei.ca - where I provide 1-on-1 essay help for applications to medical school, scholarships, awards and programs.
armis
#34 Posted : Monday, May 21, 2012 4:06:54 PM
Rank: Frosh




Joined: 2/9/2012
Posts: 6
Thank you for taking your time .Its really great to have a such experienced person to answer our questions.

Just few more questions
I know york is a good option in terms of GPA,but how about research
Are they gonna care which university applicants have done research for?
What do you think about York university's research level?

by the way, what program did you specialized in for your undergrad?

Thanks

DrJay
#35 Posted : Monday, May 21, 2012 4:28:07 PM
Rank: Senior Student


Joined: 5/3/2012
Posts: 93
armis wrote:
Thank you for taking your time .Its really great to have a such experienced person to answer our questions.

Just few more questions
I know york is a good option in terms of GPA,but how about research
Are they gonna care which university applicants have done research for?
What do you think about York university's research level?

by the way, what program did you specialized in for your undergrad?

Thanks



I did life sciences in undergrad.

I'm not sure how easy it is to get research experience at different universities. That's something I suggest you talk to older students at various schools, or the science counsellors at different schools.

Research isn't mandatory for medical school, but it certainly boosts your application.

I don't understand your question about York university's research level. But for someone who is in undergrad, if you just want to get your feet wet in research, it doesn't matter where you do it, as long as you can get the experience.

Good luck.
TD Canada Trust Scholar 2006
University of Toronto M.D. Candidate, Class of 2013

MedHopeful.com - my blog with advice and entertainment on undergrad, scholarships and medical school.

Get Started - an introductory guide for premeds to learn about applying to medical school.

Mac Health Sci Application Guide - my advice for the McMaster Health Sciences supplementary application.

EssaySensei.ca - where I provide 1-on-1 essay help for applications to medical school, scholarships, awards and programs.
armis
#36 Posted : Friday, May 25, 2012 4:46:58 PM
Rank: Frosh




Joined: 2/9/2012
Posts: 6
Hi Dr jay
just one more question i promise to be the last question

Does mcat scores heavily depend on the university that you choose???

I mean lets make it easier is it true that those who go to mcmaster and study for mcat will get a better score than those who go to york and study for it in the same amount?

your advice was really helpful to me and im pretty clear about my university
Thank u so muchhh
despairless
#37 Posted : Friday, May 25, 2012 6:28:16 PM
Rank: Senior Student




Joined: 1/22/2012
Posts: 116
Hi Dr. Jay,
There's a chance I could go to med school so I was wondering what courses I should take first year to prepare for the MCAT/med school. I am going into Kinesiology at McMaster next year so I have 6 mandatory courses and 4 electives(technically 3 because I'm required to take a math). I am definitely taking chemistry with one of my electives but as for the other 2, I'm not sure. Should I take biology or is my courses for Kin 1st/2nd year already covering the biology part of MCAT/med school? I know physics is also going to be on the MCAT but I haven't even taken grade 12 physics so I don't know if first year is going to work out for me. What do you think?
Thank you very much! :)
McMaster Kinesiology Class of 2016


DrJay
#38 Posted : Friday, May 25, 2012 11:12:21 PM
Rank: Senior Student


Joined: 5/3/2012
Posts: 93
armis wrote:
Hi Dr jay
just one more question i promise to be the last question

Does mcat scores heavily depend on the university that you choose???

I mean lets make it easier is it true that those who go to mcmaster and study for mcat will get a better score than those who go to york and study for it in the same amount?

your advice was really helpful to me and im pretty clear about my university
Thank u so muchhh


No problem, ask as many questions as you like :)

No, your MCAT score has nothing to do with the university you choose. Your MCAT score is directly correlated to how hard you personally prepare for it.

In general, both in terms of the MCAT and how well people do in university - it depends on how hard the student works way more than the university you go to. There are successful students at every university.

Good luck!
TD Canada Trust Scholar 2006
University of Toronto M.D. Candidate, Class of 2013

MedHopeful.com - my blog with advice and entertainment on undergrad, scholarships and medical school.

Get Started - an introductory guide for premeds to learn about applying to medical school.

Mac Health Sci Application Guide - my advice for the McMaster Health Sciences supplementary application.

EssaySensei.ca - where I provide 1-on-1 essay help for applications to medical school, scholarships, awards and programs.
DrJay
#39 Posted : Friday, May 25, 2012 11:20:45 PM
Rank: Senior Student


Joined: 5/3/2012
Posts: 93
despairless wrote:
Hi Dr. Jay,
There's a chance I could go to med school so I was wondering what courses I should take first year to prepare for the MCAT/med school. I am going into Kinesiology at McMaster next year so I have 6 mandatory courses and 4 electives(technically 3 because I'm required to take a math). I am definitely taking chemistry with one of my electives but as for the other 2, I'm not sure. Should I take biology or is my courses for Kin 1st/2nd year already covering the biology part of MCAT/med school? I know physics is also going to be on the MCAT but I haven't even taken grade 12 physics so I don't know if first year is going to work out for me. What do you think?
Thank you very much! :)


I would take 1st year bio, chem, physics and 2nd year organic chem before doing the MCAT. Those are the most helpful for sure. I don't know if those are all part of McMaster's kin program, you'd have to check the course requirements and perhaps an academic advisor there.

Usually 1st year physics (as long as you're not taking physics for physics majors) is reasonable, as long as you've had a bit of basics in physics (e.g. gr. 11 physics). But it also depends on how comfortable you are with it. But I do think physics on the MCAT will be a LOT easier if you take 1st year physics regardless - the only concern students might have is if they'd get a bad mark. That's something you need to decide for yourself.

Good luck!
TD Canada Trust Scholar 2006
University of Toronto M.D. Candidate, Class of 2013

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ManUtd123
#40 Posted : Saturday, May 26, 2012 12:49:58 PM
Rank: Senior Student


Joined: 3/6/2011
Posts: 53
Hey, I'm really grateful for you posting here and answering our questions!

I'm in a serious dilemna right now. I need to choose which University to go to, within a couple of days. I narrowed down my two options to York Biomed and UofT Life Sci, due to location. I want to ask you should I avoid UofT Life Science due to the reputation of being a very difficult program? I hear stories of individuals not making it into med school because of UofT crushing their GPA. Should I go to an easier program such as York Biomed? Also, I know in Canada reputation does not matter, but if I were to apply to US med schools would reputation of University matter?

Also, this might seem to be too general of question because all med schools have different criteria for acceptances, but what is a good GPA to aim for in undergrad, to become a competitive applicant.
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