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Monday, August 12, 2013

Monday, October 8, 2012

First Year

It's been a while since I posted, but things are going well.  Time management is definitely the key to success.  I still get in all my workouts and have plenty of time to study and keep caught up.  MSU does block style exams so the amount of information per  exam can be overwhelming, but its doable.

I'm also enjoying the opportunity to participate in electives.  More later...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Being a Canadian Applicant.....

The intent of this post is help Canadian Applicants make educated choices to which DO programs they should apply to.  I will list the Canadian friendly school followed by my thoughts as to what the admissions committee values.

AZCOM- Very Canadian friendly.  MCAT 27 and over (however I was interviewed), GPA not as important.  Interview was pretty easy going.  Overall, I liked the school.

NOVA- MCAT 27 + and as a result did not get a chance to interview in 2 application cycles

Western (Pomona)-GPA over MCAT, was offered interview but withdrew

KCUMB-GPA over MCAT.  They seem to interview a lot of people.

LMU DCOM- MCAT/GPA about equal.  Ave stats will get an interview.  Wanted to go but admitted to MSU.

UNECOM/LECOM/AT STILL kirksville - Probably will admit Canadians only if stats are much higher than their average matriculant.

TouroCom NY- Really only look at MCAT Bio.  GPA can be average.  My interview was a little more stressful than others as they kept focusing on my career change.

CCOM- MCAT emphasized.  27+

MSU-By far the best choice for Canadians to apply to; especially with the new Canadian Initiative Program.  Seem to evaluate the total application.  Interviews not mandatory.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

DO shadowing and exposure to the Osteopathic Profession

Probably the most important factor that influenced me to apply to DO school was meeting Dr. Warren Willey, an osteopathic physician in SE Idaho, who practices bariatric and family medicine.

Dr. Willey is the author of several general health and nutrition books and provides health specific, sport specific and physique specific nutritional counselling.  After reading his book "Better than Steroids", I decided to contact Dr. Willey to set up a consultation concerning my own nutrition as I wanted to learn more about how I could optimize my nutrition for marathon running.

Through the course of my consultation, Dr. Willey enlightened me about the Osteopathic Profession and over the course of the next year I flew to Idaho on 3 occasions to shadow and listen to Dr. Willey lecture.  Furthermore, I began to seek out other avenues to expose myself to osteopathic medicine and attended the Michigan Osteopathic Association Family Medicine Meeting last June, as well as register for additional CME courses in Manual medicine.

These key experiences solidified my desire to change careers and ultimately gain acceptance to DO school.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The MCAT

One of the major factors that had prevented me from applying to medical school in the past is the MCAT.  The MCAT is a mandatory standardized test that must be taken for medical school admissions in the US.

For me, this represented the biggest hurdle, especially since I had not taken premed classes since 1994, and I wasn't planning on upgrading any.  Also, I was practicing dentistry full time in my own practice.

My only options were to take the test and apply to DO schools in the US or not take the test and apply to a few MD schools in Ontario (Northern and Ottawa).  Realizing that I wanted an osteopathic education, I decided to sign up for the next available test.  I studied 2.5 months, while working.

In retrospect, I should have taken a review course to relearn the content, and do many more practice exams than  what I did.  I ultimately scored a mediocre 25 (7P, 9B, 9 V) and was left somewhat satisfied.  I knew that applicants were getting accepted with that score, but would it be enough for a Canadian?  I decided not to retake it and focus on other aspects of my application.  My GPA was a solid 3.76.  I was hoping that my previous success in a doctoral program and clinical experience would be enough.  I decided to increase my exposure with more DO shadowing and CME courses.  I would have to find a school that valued what I could offer.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Elements of a good candidate.

It's been quite a while since I applied to school and I learned a lot through this process.  Long gone are the days of submitting applications in the mail, as everything is now submitted online.  The first part of this process was to fill out my AACOMAS application.  Its a centralized application service that will submit all of your basic information to the schools you apply to ---Personal Statement, MCAT scores, Grades, Extra curricular activities and so forth.  Timing is everything when you apply to Medical School in the US as applicants are admitted on a rolling basis.  Therefore, the earlier you apply, the greater the chance of admissions.  I learned this lesson the hard way, as I was wait listed at 2 schools after applying very late in the 2010/2011 cycle.  However, as you will see, not being admitted for fall 2011 was a blessing in disguise.

As I take you through this journey, I will bring you back to key factors that influenced my decision and obstacles I overcame to ultimately gain admittance to Osteopathic Medical School.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Introduction

Life sometimes surprises you.  I never thought in my life that at age 35 I'd be returning to school.  The purpose of this blog is to describe my transition from a dentist to physician, specifically a DO physician.  

So let's start at the beginning.  I'm a 35 year old dentist of 10 years.  I graduated with an honors degree in physiology from the University of Western Ontario in 1994, and completed my DDS degree in 2002 from Marquette University School of Dentistry.  About a year and a half ago, I became educated about DO as a profession and decided to apply to medical school.  

Next...more about my experiences leading to career change, the mcat, interviews and Canadian friendly DO schools