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dassy

Queen's 2018 Ama

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Hey everyone!

 

Continuing the tradition from last year, a few of us first year Queen's Medical students are creating a forum for discussion in an effort to get your questions answered. We know that there is always a lot of speculation and misinformation that gets passed around, so we're here to try to give you the facts. Hopefully this will provide you with a more credible source of informatiion regarding Queen's Medicine from real medical students.

 

We are happy to answer your questions about our experiences here at Queen’s and all about what life in Kingston is like.

Please be advised that we will not be disclosing personal information (e.g. GPA’s, MCAT scores, EC’s, etc). We are also not involved in, nor can we disclose details about the admission process or interviews (MMI or panel).

The three of us that are happy to take your questions are:

 

1) Dassy - Master's Student

2) Aetherus - 3rd Year Undergrad

3) Savac - 4th Year Undergrad

 

-----------------------

 

Edit: With interviews starting next week, we'd just like to remind you of the information/resources available to you.

 

Here's the link to the Queen's Medicine Interview Weekend website (https://meds.queensu...ty/mdinterviews). Full of information like hotel discounts, recommended restaurants, how to get to your interview, interview FAQ, etc.

 

If you have any questions about your interview, you can email our interview team at queensmdinterviews@gmail.com or post a question on this forum.

 

 

And don't forget to check out our interview trailers:

 

1)

 

 

2)

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If you had to compare your first year in medical school with your undergrad, which would you describe as more tough and stressful? Sorry if this is a repetitive question but I get different answers from different people so it would help to have more consensus on the subject :)

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We're super excited to answer your questions! With the MD/PhD interviews coming up, our class has started to get really pumped. We're finally approaching the interesting part of the cycle this year.

I can't wait to meet you guys, and I'm looking forward to answering whatever's on your mind

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If you had to compare your first year in medical school with your undergrad, which would you describe as more tough and stressful? Sorry if this is a repetitive question but I get different answers from different people so it would help to have more consensus on the subject :)

 

I'm interested to see their opinions on this one, but I'll give you mine.

 

I think that it's probably more tough in the sense that we're expected to know a lot more, and I think that you feel pressured when everybody in the class is so bright and seems to get it right away. That being said, I don't find it more stressful at all. We have an excellent support network here at Queen's, both in terms of the administration and our classmates. Also, we go out as a class quite frequently.

 

I felt a bit stressed for my finals, but not too much honestly. It's all about mental wellness. :)

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If you had to compare your first year in medical school with your undergrad, which would you describe as more tough and stressful? Sorry if this is a repetitive question but I get different answers from different people so it would help to have more consensus on the subject :)

 

I think it really depends on the person and their background. For many people, the first year of medical school (or at least the first semester) is a review of the courses they took in undergrad, such as anatomy, physiology, histology, etc. For those who don't have that background knowledge then first year is going to be more tough and stressful. You learn subjects at a much faster pace and you have more class hours compared to undergrad; which leaves you with less time to study more course material. However, medical school is much less competitive in that you only have to pass courses (>65%) and everyone is willing to lend a hand to help out everyone else. So while I personally found it much more tough than my undergrad (I had almost no background courses), I had a much better time and more fun learning the material because you're learning material that will actually help you in your future career. Hope that helps :)

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Hi! Looking forward to meet some of you this week :D Just a quick question so I can mentally prepare myself for what to expect on the day itself etc.:

 

How large is the group of applicants to the MD/Masters / PhD programs that make it to the interview stage? roughly?

 

Anyone in your current class from Vancouver / UBC? :)

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Hi! Looking forward to meet some of you this week :D Just a quick question so I can mentally prepare myself for what to expect on the day itself etc.:

 

How large is the group of applicants to the MD/Masters / PhD programs that make it to the interview stage? roughly?

 

Anyone in your current class from Vancouver / UBC? :)

Hey, good luck! I don't think I'll get to see you unfortunately :(

 

I'm not sure how large the group will be, but my gut tells me that it's not too many people. I think it's just a few groups for the MMI or something. I don't know all the details, and I'm not sure what I'm allowed to say given the information that I actually do have.

 

As for Vancouver/UBC: YES! We have people that are from Vancouver, people that went to UBC, and you better believe that we have people from Vancouver that also went to UBC :) Queen's doesn't give preference to applicants from any particular region, so we're from all over the place.

 

Also, if someone were to ask you today: Give me 3 reasons why I should go to Queen's as opposed to, let's say... UBC or UofT!

 

How would you answer him/her?

 

Oh man, great question. Glad you asked! To those from the other schools, don't take offense or anything. You're welcome to post your own AMA.

 

1) Better sense of community. As an example, about 13 or 14 students from Queen's managed to get into the official photo for UofT at OMSW, but not a single person from any school managed to photobomb us. The perks of having a small class of only 100 people mean that you become incredibly tight. I know everybody, and have had meaningful connections with all of them. I could probably tell you the home towns and previous schools for most of my classmates at this point.

 

2) Kingston is a great town when you're a student. Everything is so close, but it's still civilized such that you've got everything that you need. The atmosphere here is really quite incredible. Also our school spirit, both medicine and non-medicine, is truly something to behold. If you're doing multiple degrees in Ontario, you should definitely do one in Kingston to get the experience.

 

3) Being in a smaller centre, the learner to doctor ratio is better. There's way too many residents in a place like Toronto, so I've been told. I'm not sure on the validity of that, regardless of the amount of people that I've heard it from, but I can assure you that it's not the case here. I can't comment on UBC though.

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I would like to add a couple of things to Savac's list:

 

4) Amazing facilities: we have a brand new medical building which is state of the art. We have a 24/7 access to the whole building including more then 20 study rooms equipped with 60 inch sharp squid tv's. Furthermore, this building is only used for medical students, there are no office space in the building and no undergrads using the space (besides the anatomy lab). The anatomy lab is state of the art and does not smell like formaldehyde which is a game changer.

 

5) All clinicians in Kingston are affiliated to Queen's and have a real interest in teaching: queen's faculty are known to enjoy teaching and a lot of the docs in Kingston have done MEd. This means that pretty much any doc you contact welcomes students for observerships. I have done observerships in ophto, radiology, family medicine and I have set up another one in emergency medicine.

 

6) So many events: we always have optional events that you can join in on in order to get an inside scoop on various topics. There is also free food at most of these events.

 

7) our curriculum is very well structured. We have a very good blend of classes and small group learning. Also, since changing to this new curriculum, the first class to graduate got a 99% Carms match rate, with most people going into specialty. On the national level, queens has a reputation for graduating stellar physicians.

 

8) Queen's has something special about it. A lot of the docs who went to queens for any part of their training (including undergrad) feel to urge to come back and teach at Queen's. It is partially due to the community and partially due to people having some of the best years of their lives here at Queens and hope they can relive it!

To add on to Savac's post about greater sense of community, we have a facebook group where everyone helps everyone out! Every week someone posts a "things to do" and for pretty much every lecture, someone will post their notes. Queen's is the only school that people consistently attend classes (I know from interviewing at UofT that most people don't show up for class, which means you don't get to see your classmates everyday and therefore diminish the sense of community)

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In anticipation of interviews, I think it would be tremendously useful if all 3 of you could post some tips for preparing for Queen's MMI considering that the post-interview acceptance rate is approximately ~20%.  

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I am not sure if we can give specific tips on how to ace the Queen's MMI specifically without breaching confidentiality.

 

However, I can tell you that it is important to be yourself. Don't get thrown off by the small stuff. 

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I can't give tips for the Queen's MMI, but I can certainly give tips for the MMI in general.

 

The best tip of all is to know yourself really well, and by association know your ABS really well. This applies to every interview style I've ever done

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As per what is stated before, we will not be disclosing any information about the MMI, interview process, or admissions process. Please do not ask us these questions as we will not be able to answer them.

 

Ask us anything about the school, curriculum, city, etc. :)

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This is mainly a question for Dassy but anyone else is welcome to answer! I've noticed that Queen's has a relatively higher number of students with Master's degrees (around 1/3 of the class) compared to other schools in Ontario. In what ways do you find that having a graduate degree helps you in medical school (eg. finding more competitive research assistantship positions, etc) and possibly in the future as a physician? 

 

Also, what opportunities are available at Queens for students who want to pursue research while in medical school? I know other schools, for example Western, have summer research programs (some paid) for 1st and 2nd year medical students so I was just wondering if Queen's has something similar. Thanks!!

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This is mainly a question for Dassy but anyone else is welcome to answer! I've noticed that Queen's has a relatively higher number of students with Master's degrees (around 1/3 of the class) compared to other schools in Ontario. In what ways do you find that having a graduate degree helps you in medical school (eg. finding more competitive research assistantship positions, etc) and possibly in the future as a physician? 

 

Also, what opportunities are available at Queens for students who want to pursue research while in medical school? I know other schools, for example Western, have summer research programs (some paid) for 1st and 2nd year medical students so I was just wondering if Queen's has something similar. Thanks!!

 

You'll find that the higher proportion of students with graduate degrees is something you'll find with many schools - example, Mac and Uoft are also both around 25%. In my experience, my grad degree has helped me in different ways, such as I can read through scientific papers/figures at a quicker speed, you're pretty much an expert in your subject field; but it has some drawbacks, such as being out of school for a while so it's taken longer to remember how to study and write exams. It definitely will help in the future, as many academic positions require you to have a master's degree, which was a very important consideration for me. I can only speculate on how it will help for seeking positions - it will likely help because you have more research experience and more publications compared to most undergrads and thus you are a more competitive applicant.

 

There are lots of research opportunities here at Queens. Summer studentships are offered to fund a number of research projects for medicals students and you can also contact potential supervisors independently. We get emailed regularly about different research opportunities from upper year students looking for assistants or different conferences to attend.

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I know there are a couple people at Queen's med with kids or who are married so I'm hoping some of you have talked to them about this stuff.

 

How is the job situation in Kingston? I know most med students don't hold outside jobs, but my husband will need to find work and, as a blue collar sort of guy, it can be hard in academic towns to find that sort of work.

 

Also, how are the elementary schools and daycare situations? My kids - oldest is in grade 2, youngest starts kindergarten in September - will need after school care. We send our kids to early French immersion so making sure we have access to EFI schools is important. We plan to grow our family in the next few years so will need daycare at some point during med school. Knowing this ahead of time helps!

 

Housing wise - is there much in the way of family housing near the campus? With kids and pets, we like having a yard, and we don't do apartments.

 

Curriculum and facilities-wise, Queen's is obviously a fantastic choice. It's the city I need info on. :)

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I know there are a couple people at Queen's med with kids or who are married so I'm hoping some of you have talked to them about this stuff.

 

How is the job situation in Kingston? I know most med students don't hold outside jobs, but my husband will need to find work and, as a blue collar sort of guy, it can be hard in academic towns to find that sort of work.

 

Also, how are the elementary schools and daycare situations? My kids - oldest is in grade 2, youngest starts kindergarten in September - will need after school care. We send our kids to early French immersion so making sure we have access to EFI schools is important. We plan to grow our family in the next few years so will need daycare at some point during med school. Knowing this ahead of time helps!

 

Housing wise - is there much in the way of family housing near the campus? With kids and pets, we like having a yard, and we don't do apartments.

 

Curriculum and facilities-wise, Queen's is obviously a fantastic choice. It's the city I need info on. :)

 

This is some pretty specific questions, but I will do my best to answer them to the best of my ability (I grew up in Kingston).

 

Job situation: I'm not very familiar with the job market in Kingston, however I do know that Queen's hires a bunch of people to work in multiple different aspects (for example, working with the athletics department). 

 

Elementary school wise, there is 2 primary and 2 secondary francophone schools (catholic and public) and at least 1 french immersion primary school (that I know of). Daycare wise, I wouldn't be able to comment unfortunately.

 

Houses: What do you imply by near campus. If you have access to a car, you can find houses about 10-15 mins away (My neighbourhood is approx a 12 min drive and has a french immersion school within the neighbourhood). If you want walking distance, you can probably find something that accommodates kids and pets but not sure if there will be a yard as well (it will be downtown).

 

I hope this answers some of your questions!

 

If you want any more specific details, just pm me :)

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Any idea on when billeting will be available?

 

Will the link for it go up before booking for interviews or later on closer to the interviews?

 

I asked the person coordinating the interview weekend, and I will edit this post when she replies

 

Edit:

 

The online form for billeting is already set up actually. It's on the website that was put together for the interview weekend. You should receive an email soon that contains additional information, which will include the link to the website.

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Hey Aetherus,

 

You got in as a third year. I'm interested to hear your opinion on what makes a third year applicant successful. If you could name a few general personal qualities that you think separate a "younger" applicant what would they be? Maturity is the obvious one but I'd like to hear more. 

 

I applied at the U of Alberta last year and was rejected post interview. However, looking back I feel like this year has been well worth an extra year of... i don't know... perspective mostly. That being said, I really feel like another year of waiting wouldn't provide the same experience. I'm also wondering if anyone else felt that way?

 

P.S. Queens is quickly moving up on my "top schools" list of the ones I've applied to. 

 

 

Edit: I secretly hope to meet Aetherus

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Congratulations to everyone who was invited to interview at Queen's today! And to everyone who didn't, I know personally how disappointing that rejection is, but I know for sure that you are all amazing applicants! There is always an excess number of qualified applicants applying to medical school, with around 4000 applying to Queens every year for ~500 interview spots. Good luck with your other interviews or future application cycles.

 

We are ridiculously excited to meet all of you at the interview weekends and can't wait to show you why Queen's is the best medical school :)

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Here's the link to the Queen's Medicine Interview Weekend website. Full of information like hotel discounts, recommended restaurants, how to get to your interview, interview FAQ, etc.

 

https://meds.queensu.ca/central/community/mdinterviews

 

If you have any questions about your interview, you can email our interview team at queensmdinterviews@gmail.com or post a question on this forum.

 

We're very excited to meet you all in the coming weeks!

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When do we hear back about the Clinical Skills Workshop?

 

Also, if we ARE driving, what would be the cheapest place to go that is within 1 km or so of the interview location? I know they say there's a $12 parking lot on campus, but is anywhere else better?  

 

Are there opportunities for research throughout the school term? I'm not sure if Queen's is very research-heavy.

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When do we hear back about the Clinical Skills Workshop?

 

Also, if we ARE driving, what would be the cheapest place to go that is within 1 km or so of the interview location? I know they say there's a $12 parking lot on campus, but is anywhere else better?  

 

Are there opportunities for research throughout the school term? I'm not sure if Queen's is very research-heavy.

 

 

Everyone who signed up for the Clinical Skills Workshop was able to get their first choice timeslot!

 

There is street parking available in many areas, but this is limited so don't count on finding a spot. I'll try to ask people who regularly drive where they park.

 

There are a lot of opportunities for research here! A few upper years and actual researchers emailed our classes about opportunities to help with their research. Also in second year we create our own research proposal that we have the opportunity to actually pursue during the summer.

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