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miss_sunshine

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Everything posted by miss_sunshine

  1. Before I started med school, I thought that being in a class where 1/2 my classmates were younger and hadn't done at least an undergrad would be a bad idea and somewhat annoying. But, after spending almost two years with my classmates, I can tell you that for most of the med-p class, they are motivated, mature and dedicated to becoming physicians. Sure I think that maybe some of them would benefit from a few extra years of undergrad to learn "life lessons" and gain extra life experience, but when it comes down to patient care, I don't think there is any difference between the med-p's and those with an undergrad/masters/PhD. There are a handful of med-p's who many of my classmates think really are a bit immature and maybe not ready for med school but this is the exception rather than the rule. I would say that when we started in med-1, there was more of a difference between us and the med-p's but we both have a lot to learn from eachother and everything balances out in the end. Many of my tutors often express their dislike of the med-p system but I see the Quebec government's logic in having to fund less years of post secondary education. and like i mentioned, at graduation, everything balances out. sure, the guy with the PhD may have a bigger knowledge base to draw from but I find that med-p's are more motivated to pick up a book and do the extra reading and studying to catch up. I have noticed a different though between students at the french universities and mcgill. the french universities have a larger % of pre-meds/med-ps and from what I've observed, tend to have less maturity (gross generalization). At 2 of the french schools, students start med school directly after cegep (so at around 18-19 years old). I think that this is WAY too early to begin med school and that you need at least 1 year in university to broaden your knowledge base, mature and decide if med school really is for you. just my 2 cents...
  2. I haven't started clerkship yet but in the pre-clerkship (ICM) rotations, whenever our tutors would assign patients to interview, all the interesting cases seemed to be in French (maybe just the way it was at the hospitals I was at) and the french speaking students volunteered to take their Hx, etc... My french is minimal (non existent) and I have found that it can be difficult sometimes. I don't know what it will be like having to always find a translator to be able to communicate with french patients but I guess I'll see next year... Just something to consider. I do agree with you that you can get by VERY easily in Montreal knowing only english.
  3. both schools are absolutely fantastic. I can't tell you much about U of T but do know about mcgill's med program Simulation center: It's a great learning resource but so far (up to my 2nd year), I haven't spent THAT much time there. Yes, there are some skills sessions but working on manequins, no matter how realistic they are supposed to be, is not the same as on real people. It is a great learning experience but it's not exactly as great as i thought it would be. anatomy: we do have a dissection program but from what i've heard, it's no where near as in depth as U of T's. We only dissect the thorax and abdomen. For the other systems, we look at pre dissected prosections exams: mcgil is pass/fail for the first 2 years which is great facilities: lecture rooms are alright and the library is good as well but some of the hospitals really need to be renovated (although some of them, like the Jewish General, are undergoing extensive renovations and additions). Often, the wards aren't air conditioned, the spaces are cramped and there isn't a lot of space for lectures/teaching sessions. language: if you don't speak at least some french (or if you are unwilling to learn french), it will put you at a disadvantage. No matter what anyone else tells you, you will miss out on intersting cases. Although all patient records and teaching hospitals are english, MANY of your patients (maybe as high as 50%) will be francophone, often unilingual. I've seen many of my classmates miss out on patients because they can't comunicate with them. heterogeneity of teaching across hospital sites: experiences can differ DRAMATICALLY depending on where you are rotating for a particular rotation. This is probably true for any large school with multiple teaching hospitals though.. late exposure to clinical exam skills: we only start learning any clinical medicine in the last 1/2 of second year, including ANY physicla exam skills. we have a crash course in exam skills during January. I would have prefered intergrating it into the first year curriculum like other schools do because often the teaching feels rushed and varies a lot depending on who is your tutor nevertheless, I love mcgill and have thoroughly enjoyed my (almost) 2 years here. no school is perfect and I wanted to respond to one of the first posts here glorifying mcgill med. when picking a school, you need to consider so many factors including if the school is a good fit and whether you will be happy living in that city. Of course, this only applies if you are accepted to >1 school
  4. unfortunately, being on the IP waitlist isn't a great place to be. The reality is that most of the accepted IP applicants accept their spot and study at McGill for a number of reasons: low tuition, great reputation, great city, etc... The waitlist won't start moving until late May/early June when the Ontario acceptances become firm. Although the stats aren't in your favor, don't give up hope. You may just be at the top of the list and might get a call. do your best on your finals to keep you gpa up in case you need to reapply next year and try to think of what on your application could be improved for next year. good luck and maybe you'll be joining on 2012 class in august
  5. I was in a similar situation in my first year (U1) with less than 15 credits that semester (14 credits). I called the admissions office and asked them and got the same answer as you. Being the paranoid person that I am i decided to add another course to not give mcgill med any reason to lower the score on my application even though I was told I could submit a letter explaining why that semester was 1 credit below the required magic number of 15. If I were in your shoes, I would add maybe a 1 or 2 credit independent studies course so that you have 15 or maybe a bird course to get to the rightnumber of credits. It's your choice and you could stick with the 13.5 but if you don't get it, it would be horrible to always think that maybe somehow that 13.5 didn't work in your favor. As others have pointed out, there are people who are in my class who have less than 15 but I didn't want to take any chances with my application (and I was applying to other schools that also needed a 15 credit/full course load)
  6. no mcgill doesn't have a laptop program like other med schools do. honestly, you don't need a laptop if you have access to a computer at home. In the first year and a half, we are given notes for each unit and most of us write notes directly on the handouts. If anyone brings a laptop to class, it is for checking email/playing games during class and not for taking notes. During the day, there are computers everywhere in mcintyre (less so in stratcona) that you can use for checking email during the day, etc.. During the clinical years, you are on the wards and carrying your laptop with you is not possible. You can always leave it in your locker but i'd be worried about theft. Most of us carry palms around that have WiFi. there are computers in the hospital that you can use (unfortunately, facebook is blocked.... )
  7. oh i rememberthat first day in the anatomy lab very vividly... there were a few of us who felt a little lightheaded. i would like to add that, along with whatever was mentioned above, having a wide range of extracurriculars shows that you can balance doing well with school with interests outside the classroom. once you're in med school, it gets so much harder to maintain a good life-work balance even though its so important to have a life outside of med school to keep you grounded and sane. EC's are a good way for adcoms to judge how well you can handle balancing activities with school work.
  8. i don't know too much about it and I'm not sure if anyone in my class went this route, but it's very expensive for what you get. It's located near the main campus so its great location-wise since the dent lab is on the main campus. hospitals are further away (dent rotations are at the montreal general, maybe a 25 min walk away..). the traditional meal plans is for theundergraduate residence halls. there are other meal plans that you can buy to use at the campus food services (any student can buy these) but its very expensive (especially considering what you get) and the food selection is pretty limited. montreal has so many great restaurants/take out locations that the meal plan is useless, imho. the only advantage to grad housing is that you get to live with other graduate students and meet people outside of med/dent. otherwise, you can get a great appartment (if you want roommates, once med and dent acceptances get sent out, there will be many people looking for roommates) for much less than housing and with much larger living space (and a shower/bathroom that you dont have to share with everyone on your floor!). well this is just my two cents...
  9. Every year there is at least 1-2 med p's who either don't make the 3.5 cut off or decide that medicine isn't for them. Usually around 1 but can be 2 med-p's. it isn't so rare although usually there are other reasons why they don't make it (family issues affected their gpa, deciding thta they want a difference profession). also, you need to consider that everyyear, there are small number of people who fail a year or decide to defer, etc.. In my year, in first year we had one person who failed (he was in the class ahead of us) and joined us in first year, then in second year, two more people joined our class (not sure if they took time off or if they failed med 2). So what I'm getting at is that even though there are a few med-p's who don't join the med-1 class, it is balanced by those who join our class from upper years. If Michel Dansereau said 71, then it's 71.not to be discouraging, but very few applicants (IP applicants) decline their spots at mcgill so the waitlist doesn't move much. most of my friends who didnt get in though (they were waitlisted) got in the following year.
  10. I believe that it only applies to IMG's (or international students who studied medicine in Quebec and want to stay for residency) who choose to do their residency in Quebec. They must sign some sort of agreement staying they will practing in a rural region for X amount of years before they can leave Quebec or practice in an urban setting. There's lots of rumors floating around and I can't guarantee that this is correct but it is what I've heard the most.
  11. during BOM (first year and a half), you've got plenty of free time and depending o nthe unit (and the number of smallgroups, which are mandatory), you can take quite a few days off during the week. Wednesday afternoon classes are mandatory (physicianship lectures). I started off BOM going to 99% of lectures for unit 1-2 but then my class attendance decreased as I started going through the material on my own. Some units are more suited to "independent" learning than others (for example, the included lectures notes may be better or the readings in the textbook closely follow the lecture). The easiest units to skip class (for me at least) were 6-8. Lectures are now recorded as well (video and audio). It's great because you can have time during the day to do other things as long as you still study the notes/text. I find I learnt better this way than passively absorbing the material in class. in later parts of med school, ICm for example, the amount of free time is variable as we are split into groups and each tutor has a different schedule and amount of time free to spend teaching us. Some groups start at 7:00 (my group for example), while others start at more decent hours but run later into the day(6-7 pm).
  12. The international waitlist actually moves quite a bit (the OOP waitlist does as well but only once the other schools start to give out their answers in May-June). Most of the people who apply as international apply to many other schools and dont have the same allure (ridiculously low tuiton for IP) for McGill as IP students do. The only waitlist that doesn't move is the IP for reasons I've mention above and that it is the only english med school in quebec
  13. i have to agree with solocup. Do whatever interests you. I can't believe that people think certain science programs are more "prestigious" than others. if anything, from what i've heard from my classmates, physio is actually one of the most challenging life science undergraduate programs at mcgill. I didn't have a physio background and I did well on the mcat and very well in my first year of med school. I think it's better to enjoy your undergrad and worry about the material in med school when you get there. as a side note, if you really want to take a course that will help you in med school, take an anatomy course.
  14. 1. The hardest part was dealing with all the uncertainty. Although I knew that I had dedicated 110% of myself towards getting into med school, nothing is ever certain and after I had submitted my applications, I found I was doubting myself a lot. It wasn't until I sat in the amphitheatre on the first day of orientation that it finally felt real. 2. The best part is sitting in that amphitheatre on the first day of orientation/classes and taking a deep breathe and realizing the adventure is about to begin...
  15. There was a previous post where this was addressed (in a thread about laptops) but you don't need any medical equipment for 1st year. We only order equipment (stethoscope/bp cuff/etc) in 2nd year. I guess you could buy it already but from talking to upper year students, the company that sells us equipment usually has good prices and offers a good warranty (something you might not get if you buy abroad since warranties are usually only valid in the country that the product was purchased in). As for textbooks, I addressed it in a post in the thread I mentioned above but don't buy every book on that list. The only books you need are those for Anatomy (netter's atlas + a text suchas Gray's for Students or Moore's). Some other books may be helpful such as a physiology textbook (the recommended in Berne and LEvy) but I didn't buy this book and did very well. For one of the units, we are actually givena free text book (on CD)! In the neuro/CNS unit, there are some books that you can buy that may be helpful but that is really far away for you right now. If you want to buy them, I would buy either the Blumenfield "Neuroanatomy through clinical cases", Nolte "The Human Brain" and maybe a neuroanatomy atlas (such as Haines). I would especially recomend the Blumenfield book. A lot of my classmates purchase "review" style books such as those from the "made ridiculously simple" series or the BRS series. They are great for reviewing concepts (especially in the physiology sections) and are small and portable so you can review anywhere. BRS Physiology was extremely popular and has practice questions at the end. Last year we had a used textbook sale so there should probably be one soon. It was extremely crowded last year and people started lining up a couple hours before doors opened. From what I've heard, most people came out empty handed. If you want to buy used textbooks, start looking now as they sell out quickly. I suggest to check the gateway used textbook section regularly (you don't have to be a member to check the listings) or check http://www.mcgill.ca/classified. You might be able to pick up some books at a good deal and avoid the high bookstore prices or the crowds at the used textbook sale
  16. You will need access to computer for example to chekc your mcgill email (mcgill med's offical method of communication to students) as well to type up assigments/research stuff for small groups, etc.. You do NOT need to buy a laptop if you have access to a computer at home or elsewhere. I spent the money on a new laptop before starting med I and have brought it to school less than 10 times all year. One person in our class has a tablet (a lenovo) and used to bring it all the time to class but doesn't anymore because it isn't necessary. We are given all the notes we need and powerpoint printouts are usually included in those notes. The only time a laptop is useful is for workin g on assignments/papers before they are due or watching youtube videos in class Gabalt mentioned textbooks. I have to agree with him with his point on NOT buying the histo textbooks. I bought them and wasted the money on them (both are untouched). Please don't go and buy all the textbooks on the list. The ones you need are: Netter Anatomy Atlas, Rohen COlor Atlas of Anatomy (has actual photo's of specimens in the book), Gray's Anatomy or Moore's Anatomy and lippincott biochem. I also found some of the "review" style books helpful. If you have any questions about books or anything atall, send me a PM.
  17. I have many friends who did biochem and enjoyed the program. Biochem is difficult but I wouldn't say anymore difficult that physiology. There is a lot of focus on chemistry (organic, physical and analytical) so if you don't like chemistry, stay away! I've heard that physiology can be quite difficult. I don't know anything about anatomy but microimm is alright. The courses are interesting and I find that it is easy to do well in something that you are interested in. Every major will have a couple really hard courses so pick something you are interested in. A lot of people from microimm apply and get accepted into medical school
  18. both are great schools and congratulations on getting into both schools and having an opportunity to make a choice between these schools. whichever you pick, you can't go wrong. both schools offer a similar teaching style (lots of traditional didactic teaching) and have many teaching hospitals where you will be exposed to many specialties and types of patients. Both are research heavy schools and not really PBL focused schools (such as Mcmaster). Both have excellent reputations although other people on this forum have mentioned that McGill tends to be better known in the U.S. Tuition can make a big difference and Montreal has a much lower cost of living (and in my opinion, the best city in canada...)
  19. I'm looking into buying a review book for path and for pharm and was considering: Lippincott Pharm BRS Pharm Katzung Pharm BRS Pathology Goljan Rapid Review Baby Robbins I wasn't planning on buying Big Robbins because we have access to it online-is this a mistake? I don't see myself using it often because it is so heavy and I won't be carrying it around. I'm limited on funds and would prefer to buy one review book each for pharm and path if I can get away with it. Thanks in advance
  20. you can expect it to move around 5-10 spots up the waitlist usually around mid to end of may.
  21. trustwomen makes a good point. It would be great if I lived near the 107 bus because it stops at McIntyre, Strathcona and the Royal Victoria hospital (all without having to walk up the hill in the winter, which seems to last forever in montreal). As a plus, these neighbourhoods are also generally quieter than downtown.
  22. To get a good place, you must find something for july 1st. The best appartments (price/location/nice places) are taken very early. I would recommend that you start searching now. If you don't mind living further from campus and communiting or if you don't care about what kind of place/price, then wait until later.
  23. Last year, I received a phone call telling me that I was admitted before I received the letter in the mail.
  24. couldn't agree more. I included every job I had over the past 3-4 years (most of which were very un-glamorous).
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