Begin at the Beginning

The idea for this blog came from a well-received post about my journey to medical school, so I thought it appropriate to start with that post. This blog will mainly be about the intersection of medicine, law, and aviation, but from time to time I may write on other subjects, such as parenting, negotiation and mediation, and writing itself.

From May 9th, 2017:
Today, first round offers for U of T Med come out. I don't know anyone applying this year, but obviously not everyone is getting good news. I thought I'd share my story in case it helps. 

When I decided to change careers, I was an established professional pilot with the highest aviation license (Airline Transport Pilot License) and flight instructor rating (I trained commercial pilots to become flight instructors). I had a college diploma and a university degree. I did not get in. 

I decided that I needed to make myself eligible for more medical schools. While I had a physics and math background, I did not have a biology background. I knew I needed good grades, so I took distance education high school courses in biology and chemistry and then enrolled at the University of Guelph. They wouldn't even admit me as a science student - I was a non-degree arts student, which meant that I had to get waivers to enter science courses.

A year and a half later, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the College of Biological Sciences at Guelph. I applied again. I did not get in.

Having had an offer to go to law school, I enrolled at Osgoode Hall Law School. There I did well and truly enjoyed it. I worked hard and received a summer job and then an articling position at a Bay Street law firm. While I articled, I put one last application in to medical school. In the new year, I received a single interview.

At the end of my articles, I found out I was on the waitlist for U of T. I had to plan my life - so I went on job interviews for positions as a lawyer on Bay Street. I did not get in on the second round offers.

Just before I walked into a job interview, I received an offer for admission to the University of Toronto's Faculty of Medicine. While I was ultimately offered the job, I turned it down to go to medical school and I haven't looked back.

I applied to medical school in Canada a total of five times. I wrote the MCAT four times. I went back to high school. I got another degree and then a law degree. Even then many medical schools did not even interview me. When I got in, it was from the waitlist (and not even the first round off the waitlist).

If you didn't get in this year, my suggestion is to keep going on with your life. Do things you want to do, not because you think the admissions committee will want to see. If you're tenacious enough, you'll probably get in. And if you don't, you'll be happy with what you've done and will be prepared for more than just medical school. 

I am fortunate to have a very understanding and supportive wife, as well as an adorable daughter. This was not the plan when we got married, but rarely do things in life go according to plan. If you're lucky, you do what makes you happy and a better person, and you like where you end up.


  1. What amazing information. It is always a pleasure to read articles on medical education. Because I am a doctor and I have done my medical degree from St. Vincent Medical University . Your articles remember me my old days when I was just starting my career in this line. Your story is very inspirational for every student. Thanks again for this information.


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