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OMSAS – Sketch/Verifier Requirements

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Program information changes regularly. Refer to the application and the university’s website for up-to-date details.

Autobiographical Sketch (ABS)

The ABS is a detailed and comprehensive list of your activities since age 16, within any of the following categories:

List all activities that will give the admission committees insight into who you are.

Include structured and non‑structured experiences that demonstrate an ability to determine needs in your community and a willingness to play a part in filling those needs.

For instance, volunteer work is often perceived as only those activities that are coordinated by an organization. However, there are many forms of volunteer work.

For example, if you were raised in a farming community and helped to run a neighbour’s farm (e.g., when the neighbour was sick), this would be considered volunteer activity. Ensure you have a contact for each of the activities listed.

To ensure that full information is provided in the ABS, we recommend the following actions:

  • Consider and record (separate from your application) all activities since age 16 to prepare for the completion of this section.
  • Complete the application by arranging these activities into their appropriate categories.
  • Provide information in point form.
  • Do not forward supplementary pages, letters of recommendation, curriculum vitae, etc.

OMSAS collects this information on behalf of the medical schools. We will arrange the ABS in the order they require.

Note: If you are applying to the University of Ottawa, you will be prompted to identify the top 3 activities in each category (maximum of 18 in total) that you feel have best prepared you to apply to medicine.

You will need to provide specific details for all categories.

You must decide which information to include in your ABS, your individual school submissions and your verifiers list. We are unable to advise you on the ABS, as the universities want to see how applicants choose to present their information. Use your own discretion.

Note: You cannot make changes and/or corrections to your ABS or school submissions after you submit your application.

Contact the medical schools for further information about the contents of the ABS.


ABS Categories: Required Details

Employment

  • Specify your education level during employment (i.e., first year of university).
  • Indicate if the employment was during the summer or the academic year, before university or after graduation; if it was part-time or full-time; the total hours (per week or per month); and the start and end date.
  • Provide the location where the work took place.
  • Note your title and briefly describe your responsibilities.

Volunteer Activities

  • Specify your education level at the time of the activity (i.e., first year of university).
  • Indicate if the activity was during the summer or the academic year, before university or after graduation; the total hours (per week or per month); and the start and end date.
  • Provide the name of the organization and the location where the volunteer work took place.
  • Briefly describe your responsibilities.

Extracurricular Activities

  • Specify your education level at the time of the activity (i.e., first year of university).
  • Indicate if the activity was during the summer or the academic year, the total hours (per week or per month) and the start and end date.
  • Provide the location where the activity took place.
  • Indicate the type of activity: Individual, team or club activity (i.e., sports, arts, music, student governments, personal activities such as camping).
  • For sports activities, indicate the level you performed at: Recreational, varsity, intramural, provincial, national or international.

Awards and Accomplishments

  • Identify the type of distinction you received: NSERC, OGS (funds awarded to you, not your supervisor), Dean’s honour roll, university entrance scholarship, etc.
  • Specify when they were received (e.g., first year of university), where they took place and their duration.
  • Briefly describe the qualifications necessary for receipt and the competition implied, if known (e.g., 1,000 applicants for 50 scholarships).

Research

  • Specify your education level during the research (i.e., first year of university) and the title of the project.
  • Provide the location where the research took place.
  • Indicate the type of publication: Paper, abstract or presentation at a scientific meeting, etc. – accepted or published with a reference (submitted or in preparation).
  • Briefly describe your role in the research.

Other

  • Provide additional details.

Verifiers

For each activity mentioned in the ABS, provide the names, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses of contacts who can verify your involvement in that activity.

To associate a verifier with an activity, select “Add Verifier” from the drop-down menu or select a previously entered verifier. Where appropriate, you may use the same verifier for multiple activities.

The medical schools reserve the right to confirm the information provided in these sections by consulting your verifiers.

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