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Western Med Sci: Just finished 3rd year, cumulative 4.0, AMA

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Basically what I said above. I just finished my third year at Western Med Sci! I know choosing a university is tough (I had a really tough time choosing) and trying to determine how you'll do at university is stressful, but let me know what questions you have and I'll do my best to answer them! 

Also, despite being in third year, I can definitely answer questions about first year and all other years. I've been pretty engaged with helping out first years, so I know a decent amount about all years (or at least I like to think I do haha).

Update: I just got into med school, so feel free to ask those questions as well.  
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Do you have any advice on applying to club executive positions? What are they look for?
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Pretty sure all club exec positions are elected (except first year rep). They're looking for exactly what you'd expect: Somebody who's been involved in the club, somebody who people in the club know, and somebody who'll be good in whatever job they're trying to do.
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Regarding med school, do you know anything about the priorities the universities put on what province you're from? Like I know some school reserve most of their seats for students from their own province, especially Ontario. But I'm concerned about this since I'm not an Ontario resident and I'm not sure if going to school here would deem me an Ontario resident and give me priority :-/ If this is the case then wouldn't everyone just be much better of studying in their home province?
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I know that I will become the resident of Alberta and Ontario which is a plus for me going iut of province.
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Wait I thought students studying in Ontario without residing there full time (since the age of 14 or whatever it says on the mcmaster website) weren't considered Ontario residents.
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link that to me
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http://mdprogram.mcmaster.ca/md-program-admissions/how-we-select/geographical-status
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"Attendance at a university in Ontario for at least three years by June of the year of possible entry to the program satisfies the second requirement."
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Hi there! As a first year I feel inclined to participate in a variety of clubs but I also don't want to overload. But I'm afraid that if I don't go for an executive position in first year it'll put me at a disadvantage in future years if I do decide to go for an exec. role. Do you have any advice on how many clubs is a reasonable amount and if it would be bad if I didn't go for a executive role right in first year?
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Hey! I wouldn't worry about it too much. I didn't have an exec role in anything until my third year (mind you, I had three exec roles that year...). It's good just to get to know the people in the clubs in first year, engage in whatever the club does, and then once you've done a lot of stuff with them, go for an exec position. You don't want to be an exec of a club you don't like cause they it's just pointless extra work.
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Since advanced functions is not mentioned as a prerequisite for medsci (it is a prerequisite for calculus tho which is needed to apply), will it not be used to calculate your top 6 marks if you get higher in a different class?
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Exactly.
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How important are clubs for med school? I honestly enjoy being in and watch tv or going out with friends than participating with school clubs. Do you think if do volunteer work during the summer stuff I like as in research, volunteering at hospitals, etc I'd be okay? I hate how the stuff that every applicant does like what I mentioned above is seen typical of med school applicants because those are actually my interest and i don't want to do anything else :/
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You'd probably be ok with doing research, volunteering and stuff like that, but you'd need to find a way to demonstrate leadership. School clubs are one way people do that (join the club and then become an exec of the club), but there are plenty of other ways to demonstrate that quality. The other benefit of clubs is that it shows you have a life and have interests outside of school. So if you can demonstrate you do stuff other than school (sports, music, interests) and demonstrate that you're a leader without using clubs, you're probably fine
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Hey, I'm kind of worried about the "3 reference letters" part for med school applications. Granted, I'm in first year, but I can't think of anyway I would make a close enough relationship with 3 professors or faculty members enough so that they could provide what would probably be the most important reference letter of my life, especially given that I'm out of province and can't stay here during the summers to get to know anyone. So, how important really are reference letters in the application, and how difficult it is to get them?
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I didn't use a prof for a reference letter at all. You need "academic references", but that doesn't necessarily mean they need to be a professor who has taught you. Many people use a high school teacher or a research supervisor instead. Furthermore, one of your references should probably be a person who knows you in a more "community" setting, like a volunteer leader or something along those lines.
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Hi, 

I am currently in my second year of undergrad and my gpa is rather low. Should I just give up hope for getting accepted into med school or do you think I still got a shot ? 

Also, how did you study for courses such as cell bio where it’s heavy content ? Did u just memorize ? I am having trouble finding the best study method for me. 

Thank you
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You need to be realistic with yourself, but at the same time, you don't want to entirely give up on it. Remember that some schools drop your worst courses or your worst years, so you'd still have a good chance at those schools.

Cell bio and other memorization heavy courses are a bit annoying because they do require a lot of time to memorize the details. I found the best way to do those courses was to memorize by myself, then get together with 2 or 3 friends and group study to help consolidate the concepts in my mind.

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How is gpa calculated? I know there's a chart on the omsas website but I'm a little confused. Do you average your % mark and then convert? or do you convert to gpa and then average? Do you think that if I do well (85+ and 90+ which is 3.9 and 4.0 respectively on 4/5 of my subjects but do bad (75%) it'll ruin my gpa for med school?
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you convert to gpa and then average - in other words, gpa rewards consistency. so yes, a 75% could drop your mark considerably. with an average your high marks balance out your low ones, but with a gpa, that doesn't happen.
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Hi, just wondering what courses you took in third year and how you found them?  Im currently in second year med sci and just started thinking about what I want to specialize in, I'm most likely thinking of doing a double major.  
Also, have you heard anything about the microbiology and immunology module or pathology module?
Thanks for keeping up with this thread!

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I took a bunch of physiology-related courses in third year (phys, phys lab, histo, cell phys, path, etc.). I generally found them good with the exception of path (I thought it was a ton of pure memorization and it wasn't nearly as easy as other people hyped it up to be). I didn't do a double major, but a few of my friends did and they thought it went pretty well. It all depends on whether or not you want to do a thesis or not. If you think you'd like research even a bit, a thesis would probably be a good idea.

As for the microimm or the path modules, I've heard good things about both from people who liked them. The downside to both of those modules is that they're among the smaller modules, so you're somewhat isolated from the other people in med sci starting in third year.

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At western, if you have a 79.6 in a course is it rounded up to an 80?
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Yeah!
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What was your average in highschool vs at uni? Also, what was one of the most tough things course wise in uni?
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My average in high school was around 95 and my average in uni was around 96. The toughest course in uni was probably second year stats and the reason it was so tough was because the exams were full of trick questions that you REALLY needed to know the material to get right.
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not sure if this has been asked or not but what module did you end up going into?
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I entered Physiology in third year and I planned to switch to IMS had I done a fourth year. The reason for IMS was because I realized I didn't really like research and wasn't too keen on doing a thesis.
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you are my goals omg i love reading this thread
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Awesome, thanks! I'm in the middle of a pretty busy week rn, so it's always nice to hear :)
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We're allowed to switch into IMS if we don't like our module? omg that's perfect because I want to do Physiology for my module but I'm afraid I won't like research.
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As long as you have the prereqs for going into that module's fourth year, you can switch into anything you want.
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What do you think of doing a double major in phys and path
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That might have a lot of required courses, but if you like both of those things, it shouldn't be too bad. For the record, most people choose a double major in IMS and something else, which gives them the opportunity to take a broader selection of courses.
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pressed enter by accident and wanted to add do you think doing a double major is better worse equal to doing an honours specialization/regular specialization?
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Doesn't really matter, it all depends on your opinion on research. There's no objective difference between the two in terms of prestige or further opportunities after graduation; you get a med sci degree regardless. If you want to do a thesis, do the honours spec and if you don't, you can do the double major.
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do you need a 4.0 to get into med school? i'm not worried so much about the 4.0 - like i'm on track to get around a 3.9 right now but i'm just worried it means i don't understand the content that well.
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You don't need a 4.0, although it's definitely helpful for the admissions process. Once you get in, 3.9 still means you have a good understanding of the material and it's definitely enough to do well once you get into med school.
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Besides chem I have 4.0s and 3.9s but I really bombed my chem midterm (i'm talking 55%) achieving a high gpa just feels impossible now do you think a 3.8 is competitive average for med school. I know its just first year but I really wanted to get into a med school after third year :(
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3.8 will definitely make it tougher depending on the school. There are people who get in every year with a 3.8, but it's much more difficult to get in after 3rd year (in particular) with a 3.8 because you're competing with people who are getting their GPAs weighted. If you can still do well in the rest of first and second year (and the rest of this chem course), you can boost it up and increase your odds though!

Also, getting in after third year isn't necessarily all good. Sometimes I kinda wish I got in after 4th year, so that I got to finish undergrad with my friends and I was the same age as the majority of my classmates. Plus it's always nice to delay the start of "real life" by a year haha
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What is everything you did to achieve Med School? Classes, GPA, volunteer activities, research? I'd be interested to hear your  "story" and what you've achieved to be where you are now
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Good question, it's a bit difficult to answer though because I don't like going into specifics for a couple reasons: 1. I'd like to remain anonymous. 2. I don't want people thinking the things I did are the "only" things you can do (if you talked to my class, you'd get 100+ different answers). I'll do my best in any case.

Classes: I took stuff that would be interesting to me and things I was good at. I was good at science and generally enjoyed it, so I did a med Sci degree. I was a very typical pre-med in this sense; I took the standard, large med Sci courses in first and second year and skewed towards the "pre-med" courses in third year as well (phys, cell phys, phys lab, path, med chem etc). 

GPA: Not much to say here. I got a 4.0 due to a combination of studying hard, studying smart (arguably most important), making an effort to understand the material whenever possible, and being a relatively bright person. 

Volunteer/EC: I did cool stuff wherever possible with a skew towards leadership activities. I picked areas of interest (student government and mentorship were probably mine) and did some cool things with them. Also engaged in other volunteer positions (camps, hospital, music etc) that I enjoyed or thought would be useful to people. It DOESN'T MATTER what you do for this area as long as you excel at whatever you do and you do things that help people/you enjoy (also, leadership always helps). 

Research: I did some research during second year and the subsequent summer. I didn't publish anything or even have a poster presentation to put on my app, but most people in third year don't. What I could do was talk about my research, why it was important, and why I thought it was pretty cool. And while you probably should have some research to write on the app, you need to be able to talk about it in an interview. 

Overall: You want to make sure you have a well rounded application in all senses if possible. GPA is king, so try to aim for a 3.9+ GPA (3.93+ if possible). Try to do some leadership and interesting extracurriculars. Show you're a good citizen and like to help people. Add some personality to the ABS. And just be a decent, reasonable person. Yeah I know, when you distill it down, it sounds way easier than it actually is. But good luck with it :) 


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Hey, thanks so much for continuing to reply to this thread even after a year. Do you have any tips of the biochem 2280 final? I feel that I know the material well but a lot of past students say its killer because some questions are so random. Also, this year they took down the biochemistry personal trainer app so we can't access the test-like questions previous students had. Thanks in advance, and I hope you're enjoying med school!  

Also, if you have any tips for the stats 2244 final please share.
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Sorry didn’t realize there were more questions here, hope the finals went well!
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Does it matter if you took coop in your undergrad when you apply to med school?
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I’m sure the coop would be helpful in terms of providing you cool jobs to write about in your autobiographical sketch and/or essays, but I don’t think it would impact your application in any other way.
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Hi, I'm currently debating between Western Med Sci and Mac Life sci. It would be great if you could share your opinions not only based on the program pro's and con's, but as well on school environment as well. I am interested in knowing what the major differences are between the programs and the pro's and con's of each. I am curious in knowing about student life and which school has a better atmosphere. I am also personally interested in perusing music as well, which school would be better to accommodate for that. Let me know about all of your personal opinions of these schools and these programs in particular.
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Hey, I don’t really know THAT much about Mac life sci, so I don’t think I can comment on too much there. I can definitely talk about western, but I’d recommend you chat with somebody who went to Mac for better insights about their program.

At western, I thought a huge pro was the school itself. It’s a really cool, fun school with a lot of great opportunities for leadership, social involvements, and following interests. However, if you’re more of the introverted type and don’t enjoy parties and sports and things, it might be more difficult to find people you like to hang out with, particularly because other introverted people would be less likely to join clubs and things where you might meet. It’s not impossible by any means, I had both quite introverted and very extroverted friends, but it’s more difficult. 

Also, I thought the med sci program was more or less a generic science program, though I REALLY appreciated the fact that all our courses could be human-focused or general science, rather than animal/plant focused. Unlike Mac health sci, there isn’t anything super interesting or differentiating about the program. 

The one thing I will say about Mac life sci that I’ve heard from multiple people is that you might feel like somewhat of a “second class citizen” there. It’s no secret that health Scis tend to get some preferential treatment and that combined with the fact that most people in life sci didn’t get into health sci may be enough to create a strange vibe around the program. Its not that they’re actually treated poorly, but they can feel as though they’re less than the health Scis from time to time. That’s just one perspective and I’m sure there are tons of people who love life sci, but ive heard this as well.

No idea about music unfortunately, I didn’t take any music courses and don’t know anyone who did. Good luck with the decision! 
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Thanks that really helps! 
Do you find that since getting into third year med sci is not guaranteed that most people do not make the cut? Did you find there was a big gap between second and third year?
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It's not guaranteed, but the majority of people definitely make the cut. I wouldn't say it's a substantial majority, but definitely over 50%. You pretty much need to maintain an 80% average in your first two years to get a spot in third year med sci, which isn't super easy but isn't THAT difficult either as long as you don't have many other concerns outside of school to deal with at the time (mental health, family stuff, working many jobs etc.).

As for difficulty, I don't think third year was any more difficult than second year. However, they're both substantially harder than first year (in most people's opinions) because a good portion of first year is review from high school.
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How big were your first year classes compared to how big they are now?
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What made you pick Western Med Sci?
What others Unis did you apply to?
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I applied to Mac health sci and life sci, brock sci, u of t life sci, and queens sci on top of western. Never visited u of t or brock and never seriously considered Mac life sci, so I have no idea why I applied to any of them. 

First off, I didn’t get into Mac health sci. At the time, I likely wouldn’t have gone even if I did get in, but in hindsight, that wouldve been a stupid decision because health sci is awesome for your GPA and apparently quite interesting. In any case, I didn’t get in, so I never had that choice. 

The only other school I seriously considered was queens and i just got a better vibe from western. When I visited both campuses, I felt like I would fit in better at western. I had a couple friends who went to western med sci at the time and they could attest to the fact that the program wasn’t overly difficult (like u of t is rumoured to be) and it was a nice atmosphere to be in. Both programs seemed to be relatively similar, so my decision was mostly based on the fact that I felt like i would enjoy western more. I know, it sounds really weird to choose my University based off a feeling during one visit, but it ended up working out great. Hope that answers your question!
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THANK U!!! Because of ur helpful tips I got a 4.0 this semester. THANKS!!!
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That's pretty sick, congrats! Good to know the tips are helpful!
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