May 11, 2019 8:34 pm

Calgary medical students mentor the next generation of doctors

WATCH: University of Calgary medical students participated in a conference Saturday aimed at helping prospective students prepare for med school. Michael King reports.

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Some students who have gone through the process call it one of the most challenging times in their lives.

Applying for medical school not only takes outstanding grades, but also mental fortitude and preparation.

That’s why this weekend’s conference MedX Calgary is looking to help potential applicants link up with current med students who have successfully navigated their applications.

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Tanmoy Newaz, president of MedX Calgary, said his group aims to help under-represented students make connections in their field, all without having to fork out hundreds of dollars for traditional networking events.

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“The low-income students, the students that may not have the resources because of other possible reasons, family reasons,” said Newaz. “Anything that may have inhibited them from getting the resources they need to get into medical school.”

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Geraldhine Lopez is one of the students who took advantage of Saturday’s conference.

After she graduates from her general science degree in June, she plans on applying to the medical program at the University of Calgary.

Lopez asked current med school students how they navigated preparing their admission packages.

“There are so many steps and we have to be careful with each step,” said Lopez. “If we make a mistake, we’re going to regret it.”

Lopez said she hopes the connections she made will become valuable resources as she progresses through the program.

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The conference offered tips on studying for the Medical College Admission Test and practice interview scenarios.

But current medical students like second-year Mustafa Alsaiedy reminded prospective ones that it’s not all about grades.

“It’s not just about having a 4.0 GPA. You have to have the volunteering [experience] and you have to be involved in the community,” said Alsaiedy. “You have to be a real person and be involved in every element of life.”

Alsaiedy said he looks forward to helping other students prepare for what he calls a challenging career.

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