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Dr. Suleiman Furmli

I always knew I wanted to become a doctor one day because of my own personal health encounters as a child and then realizing my love for biology and science throughout elementary school. Most importantly, I loved being around people and found the thought of being able to help others super rewarding. Most others, including yourselves, probably have a similar story. Where my story took an interesting turn is when I realized that I wasn’t sure exactly how to make my dream come true. I didn’t actually have anyone I knew who was a physician that had trained here in North America to give me advice on how to navigate this process. When I did speak to people about it, I got conflicting information and most of the information made it seem super straight forward.

My father was a taxi driver and every time he would pick up a physician, he would always ask them for their phone number or e-mail and ask them if it was ok for me to call them and get their advice - it was super cute and adorable! My father taught me the value of seeking people’s advice and being bold in doing so. With that in mind, I attended medical school open-houses and other similar events and tried to surround myself around people in the medical admissions field to learn more about why it was so difficult to gain acceptance and what were the things I had to work on to make me most prepared to become a competitive applicant.

Until high school I was able to follow most of the advice I was given - get decent grades to get into university and spend time serving the community and gaining experience in the hospital environment. The plan was then to go to a prestigious university, get good grades, continue to volunteer, do some academic/research work, get some reference letters, write my MCAT, put in my application, complete medical school and voila! But once Grade 12 and University hit, thats when the entire plan fell apart. With all the possibilities of Universities and program to chose from, I was completely lost. After navigating that step, my grades started to drop cataclysmically from 90s to 60-70s and I knew I was not heading in the right direction. I started to panic, felt depressed and hopeless and saw my dream slipping away from me.

I started to consider other careers that weren’t as competitive but that would also give me the ability to make a difference and help people. I spoke to my parents about it because they also really wanted me to become a physician and I didn’t want to let them down before deciding to put down the reins. As you can imagine, my parents didn’t let me accept defeat and pushed me forwards once more. I then once again started to do more research one how to master school and increase my grades - I spoke to my professors, other exceptional students, read books, attended seminars and started to implement what I learned and experiment on myself and my study habits. My grades started to drastically increase until I was consistently hitting 4.0s in my last 2 years. I followed the same strategy for all the other areas: research, awards, MCAT, extracurriculars, employment, reference letters, the medical school application and finally, the interviews. And thankfully it worked and I was accepted to one of the top 3 universities in the world for Medical School : The University of Toronto.

After having mastered these areas myself, I started to then coach and mentor other students and started seeing the same results. Seeing how much of an impact these hundreds of hours of learning and practicing lessons have made for myself and others, I’ve now started to compile them into documents like this guide, books (upcoming), and complete courses to help serve your needs and make this information and knowledge easily accessible to other students like yourself.

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