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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Feeling discouraged

I'm feeling really discouraged today and having one of those "what the HELL am I doing?!?!?" moments. Honestly, the MCAT is scaring me so much that I've started researching other options if I don't get accepted here, such as applying to Australia where my GPA is higher, MCAT minimums are lower and competition (for international spots) is less fierce, but its also not without its downside.

The reality is that it takes the average Canadian applicant 2.7 attempts to get accepted - and as a "below" average candidate (I'm being realistic), I'm sure it would take me longer to up my ante, unless I'm extremely lucky. And I don't want to wait 3 more years! I feel like my life is on hold until I know if I get in or not and I can't "not know" for 3+ years. Its just not fair to my family, and I don't think I could take it.

At first I was really excited about the prospect of Australia. I've lived there before and really enjoyed it. Yes, it was hard being away from family and friends but at least I know what its like, and if I went to Brisbane, I already have some family and friends there already. I think I'd get a great education and luckily even if I were to do my residency over there I'd be able to come back and practice here in Canada without redoing a residency (in family medicine). Also, as the wife and mother of New Zealand citizens, I could actually get permanent residency standing in Australia very easily, which would allow me to do my medical residency training, if I were to not match in Canada or if we decided to stay. It also qualifies me for cheaper tuition.

That being said, after doing some research I've since found out that while I am able to apply as an international student and can switch over to being a PR/domestic student, the tuition benefits are not as great as they initially appeared to be. That is because domestic students get what is called CSPs (Commonwealth Supported Places), which are heavily subsidized by the government. But, the only way to qualify for that would be to become a PR first (meaning I'd have to move there first) and then apply in the same manner as Australian's - which is again very competitive, plus I'd have to write the GAMSAT (the Aussie version of the MCAT) and would have to physically attend interviews (as an international I could have my interview via Skype). If I were to apply as an international and switch over to PR status, I'd only qualify for a "full-fee" paying spot, which is still very expensive (and more than in Canada). I'm still trying to determine exactly what the cost of doing this in Australia would be but I'm worried that if its too expensive, I'm not sure if I'm willing to do it.

I don't know. Maybe I don't want it badly enough. Maybe my struggles with the MCAT are a sign its not meant for me. I can totally see why some people would give up this dream because, man is this hard.


  1. Delurking to comment :) i know exactly how it feels to feel like you're putting your life on hold for school and how unsettling it is to have so many unknowns but all i can say is, do not, DO NOT give up. You never know what the other applicants look like and you may have a certain edge others are lacking. Granted, i didnt apply to med school but i applied to a competitive program i never thought id get into and i did. Just keep busting your butt to study for the mcats and keep trying. Good luck! You can do it if you want to and you WILL get there if you keep trying.

  2. Thanks! I know, I'm not giving up - one look at an email from LinkdIn showing me the "jobs you might be interested in" reminded me why I am doing this.

  3. Hey Kasiunut! Stumbled upon your blog from Premed 101 and just wanted to send some good vibes your way. And I totallly understand your frustration. I am rewriting my MCAT for the third bloody time and I will never write this stupid horrendous thing again. I hate it! It ruins my summer every year and I don't have many premed friends so they don't understand that its hard. And I don't have support from anybody. My parents are sick of me and of me rewriting. But I hope I can send some support to you. I hate the MCAT too lol. But let's send each other good vibes and hope for the best. You have it tougher than I do - I don't have a family to support, so kudos on you :) Good luck my dear!

  4. I haven't read the entire post, but here is some advice. Look into American osteopathic schools. They like older applicants with life experiences.