MD Program Admissions

A leading edge 3-year MD program at the University of Calgary

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Update for Applicants

January 9th, 2017 by Dr Ian Walker

So, recognizing that I have been uncharacteristically quiet this cycle, we do have a few updates for people.

  1. We are still finishing off the file reviews.  Some applicants are done, some are not.  When your four file reviews are complete, your status will change automatically in UCAN.  Whether your status changes early or late in the process means exactly nothing.  It all depends on who your reviewers were and when they did their work.  There are still several hundred reviews that have not been completed.
  2. We anticipate having all the reviews done within about 10 days, and making interview offers by the end of the month.  Can’t be more precise about that.  Due to some staffing challenges (see below) we are running a little later than usual.  We are sorry about that, but it is largely outside of our control.
  3. Applicants invited to interview will be sent information on the interview format so that they know what to expect when they arrive.  The interview process takes 4.5 hours, and we do three groups a day.  There is no advantage to being in any one group over another.
  4. We have a very small office.  Myself and two full time staff people.  Sadly, our Admissions Coordinator is off on an extended sick leave for now, so we are making do with skeleton staff.  This is why we may not be able to respond to emails in a timely fashion or return phone calls.  Bear with us.  We are hoping things will improve when we can get some temp help in to the office.

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13 responses so far ↓

  • Hi Dr. Walker,

    I’m curious, does your office keep track of where unsuccessful applicants end up? What do they ultimately end up doing?

    I think this information would benefit prospective applicants in giving them a balanced perspective.

    Thank you.

    • its an interesting idea, but no, we don’t. Although the information would be interesting, I am not sure that it would be particularly useful for us as a program.

      • Thanks for your reply. I agree with you; this step wouldn’t benefit your program as a medical school, but it would should a sign of good faith and definitely help out prospective applicants. As you’re well aware just applying is a big effort, often requiring years of schooling, financial costs and opportunity costs.

        I would be interested in seeing how much longer unsuccessful applicants are in school for, and what careers they end up having. It would provide insight into the true costs of an unsuccessful applicant.

        • Yes, you are right. It would be interesting. On the long list of things we have to do, however, it is currently not something that we would have the time or resources to do. Actually not sure how one would go about identifying what happens to unsuccessful applicants given privacy concerns.

          • Thank you for your reply.

            While I agree that privacy must be maintained, I don’t think it its an actual barrier to tracking this kind of data. It would be no different than tracking alumni at an institution and seeing where they end up, or in medicine seeing where newly minted physicians match. Schools currently do this by having participants fill out an anonymous survey and can then compile the data.

            You could include basic questions like did you require further training, how much longer did that take, where did you end up, etc.

          • No question that we could do that. Of all the research questions I have at my feet, however, this is just not one that I have the time to pursue at this point in time. I would certainly read such a study with interest if someone else were to do it though…

  • Hi Dr. Walker,

    With regards to the possible need to void all interview registrations, I am from out of town and had booked my flight right after confirming my spot and prior to your message being sent. I am therefore concerned about possibly not getting the same interview spot during the re-registration. Is there any way to retain your selected interview date if you have already made travel arrangements?

    Thank you for your help.

  • Hi Dr. Walker,
    I was just wondering how many people you invited to interview this year?
    Thanks, good luck with the staffing issues!

  • Thank you for the update! When can we expect to see our file review scores on UCAN?

    • We release the scores after the application cycle is complete in order to be fair and release to everyone at once. We are criticized for that every year, and get that people would like to see their scores sooner. I have to point out, again, that people seem to over-value those scores. their primary role is to point out areas of significant weakness relative to the applicant pool. I actually am not sure that they help applicants particularly much, but Freedom of Information legislation requires that we make them available.

  • This post seems to be hidden. I found it by typing in “update” in the search box. Not sure why that is but please fix this for future posts.
    Also, should we expect interview results this week?
    Thank you!