dreng12 got a reaction from rosiecreek in Unspecified campus?
Hi, I'm a current schulich med student. First off, congrats! I also got an unspecified offer, and ended up with my first choice (London). From what I know/remember, you have a very, very good chance of getting your top choice campus, they just can't officially guarantee it. You get priority for any spots opening up in your first choice campus above people on the waitlist, so it's very likely that a spot will open up where you want to it. When I was searching last year, I couldn't find anyone who didn't get their top choice from unspecified. It is kind of nerve wracking, because I don't believe they can tell you before you have to accept the offer, but I'd be pretty confident in saying you'll get the campus you want. Also, I don't believe it has anything to do with your GPA, it's just part of their offers system.
dreng12 reacted to rmorelan in Accepted To Unspecified Campus?
This will come up so I will answer it here
It means that the school cannot at this time give you the campus you want because other people that scored higher than you selected basically London as their top campus choice, so London as it stands prior to Waitlist movement is filled.
there will be waitlist movement and then spots will open up. No one can say now how many but usually it is quite a bit. You probably will get your campus choice (again that is likely London - if you want Windsor you just basically get it) but you have to wait to be sure.
dreng12 reacted to Nizatidineee in Making An Informed Decision About Mac
First of all, congratulations to everyone who got accepted to Mac (and other schools), and good luck to everyone on the wait-list! Everyone has worked so hard to get here, so just take a moment to appreciate how far you’ve come.
I’m making this post so that people can have the most information about McMaster as they possibly can (because I did not know any of this when I chose to go to McMaster over Western). With that said, these views are mine alone and may not reflect the views of the class.
Here are some of the best things about the McMaster curriculum: - No “tests”! We have “concept application exercises”, but usually they are not to be stressed over because most tutors understand that students are there to learn. This creates a relatively relaxed preclerkship environment. However, and this is a big thing, if you like didactic learning and knowing what you need to know for a certain topic, this curriculum is radically different. Oftentimes, students are not quite sure if they have covered the material in-depth, at least compared to other schools. Of course, there is a debate to be had whether most of this preclerkship knowledge is even relevant in the first place, but I have heard of more than one instance of a physician in clerkship speaking about how poor Mac students are with anatomy and pharmacology. It’s a reputation that exists, even if it may not be founded completely in truth (the pharmacology stuff is true, though!). - More free time than other schools (with one big exception!). At Mac, we have very little time dedicated to didactic lectures – most of our preclerkship is spent in tutorials or prepping for tutorials. Students are often quite helpful with resources, and the attitude of the students is almost uniformly good. So, we have more free time in preclerkship to explore our interests (horizontal electives), but it comes with a cost that may or not be important to you. In-between “first” and “second” year, our summer break consisted of one week. Ultimately, this was fine for a lot of people, but I found that many of my classmates felt burnt out by the middle of clerkship.
- 3 years! This is related to the other point. 3 < 4! Less tuition, less money paid to rent, etc. But without the extra year (and summers), it is more difficult to put together a research-heavy application, in my opinion. Obviously, this does not matter so much for something like family medicine, but if you are trying to become a dermatologist, there is just less time. I’ve found that the extra time we had in preclerkship did not overcome the fact that we had one less year to work with. Oftentimes in research, you are waiting a few weeks to hear from a supervisor, waiting another few weeks for someone else on the team to analyze results, so having 1-2 more hours of free time per day didn’t really impact my output. At the same time, if you have a family (and you want to finish med school as fast as possible) or you want a relatively noncompetitive specialty, Mac might be the best option for you. Now for my biggest issues about the program (some of which I believe are not adequately communicated to applicants beforehand):
McMaster makes students rank 16 streams (colour-coded) for clerkship and then a lottery happens in which an algorithm tries to give you what you ranked near the top. This process differs from the four-year programs in 4 key ways: (1) Students have to have a good idea of what stream they want by the end of March (only 7 months after beginning medical school!), because that is when rankings are due. In other words, they have to know what specialties they’ve ruled in and out by then because some streams are way better for some specialties and way worse for others. (2) The streams are quite uneven for elective weeks, which is a huge deal for CaRMS. . Some streams have 12 weeks of electives before CaRMS, whereas some only have 8! And, statistically, there are the same amount of people in each stream, so some people are unlucky and have up to 4 fewer weeks of electives before the CaRMS deadline (just within the same school, let alone others). (3) The other schools go through all of their cores first before having to go through their electives. At McMaster, it is pretty much random. For some streams, person x may have surgery first, and then a few weeks of electives, and then pediatrics core, and some more electives, etc. Person y may have psychiatry first, then a few weeks of electives, followed by OB/GYN, etc. So, you are not exposed to much at all before having to set up your electives (over 20 weeks ahead of time). What happens if you fall in love with anesthesia but it’s at the very end of your stream? Too bad. At the other schools, they complete all of their cores before doing any electives, which gives students a much better idea of what they want to do. I personally wish I had my internal medicine core before doing any of my electives because it would have given me a better knowledge base. (4) Because of this system, every one of the streams has one or two cores post-CaRMS (one is during the CaRMS period, which makes it “not count” as well). So, if you get light blue stream, for example, you can forget about matching to surgery because the core is post-CaRMS. This does not happen at the 4 year schools. I know of a friend who originally wanted to do internal medicine and he ended up in a stream that had internal post-CaRMS. Can he still match to internal? Probably, but it will be a lot more difficult without the letter of reference from your 6-week core. It depends how comfortable you are with leaving your fate to an algorithm – many students 2 years ago were put into their 8th ranked stream!
- Match results. This year, around 20 students did not match from McMaster (first iteration), the worst year in Mac’s history, I believe. Now, there are a ton of confounding factors here – perhaps more people applied to competitive specialties this year than in the past. Maybe the students did not adequately back up, etc. We’ll never know, but it is worth considering that this was their worst year ever. With that said, perhaps it will inspire some change within the curriculum to make sure nothing like this happens again. - Anatomy and pharmacology. At the Hamilton campus, we don’t have cadavers for people to work on. There is a lottery (once again), so a handful of students get to do a workshop with cadavers. The bigger issue is pharmacology. For as long as I’ve been at Mac, students have complained about how poor their foundation in pharmacology is, and I don’t know if they are making any meaningful changes for the incoming class. If you have an understanding resident or physician in clerkship, it will probably be fine, but I’ve heard horror stories of people going to Toronto or Vancouver, and getting yelled at due to their lack of knowledge. Perhaps this is a case of the grass being greener on the other side of the fence, but I know a few people who feel like they were not properly informed of these things before making a decision (especially the clerkship lottery). I probably would have made a different choice if I had this information, so I thought I would provide it here.
dreng12 reacted to TechToMD in Good Luck Everyone!
Decisions come out tomorrow and I am so excited for everyone!
If I could offer everyone a suggestion that I read myself by someone on this forum a couple of years ago. Take a piece of paper tonight and write out how you feel. Write out your dreams, what you hope to achieve, what you want from your profession, and how excited you are at the thought of becoming a doctor.
Once you get in, time flies and it can be easy to get bogged down and lose sight of how big of an achievement it really was. I really enjoy reading back on what I wrote the night before I was accepted when things get hectic and it helps me, so I just wanted to share.
Medical school can be really tough, especially in clerkship (wow I'm actually going into clerkship in a few months....), but it it is really rewarding and it's nice to remind ourselves about that once in a while.
All the best.
dreng12 reacted to pixie094 in Uoft Interview Discussion 2017
I called the admissions office and inquired about any leftover interview spots. I was told that the detailed file reviews are still ongoing at this point and thus, there are still interview spots to be filled accordingly. Not really sure if that means we can expect another wave or if there are just indicidual spots left. But the way the response was worded, I'm hopeful for at least one more wave. I was also told that more invites and rejections will be sent out up until the end of March. So I guess for those of us still waiting to hear back, there is hope and we will have to continue to hold our breath for now.
dreng12 reacted to Chromosome in Why Queens?
Here are a few things that I absolutely love about the program:
1. It's a small program! I've really found it to be fairly tight-knit, and you get to know everyone in your class (and a bunch of the upper years) very quickly. Everyone is very supportive and helpful, and all of the upper years have been so wonderful in helping us settle in.
2. Kingston is small, but so, so beautiful - and the med building and hospital are right by the water! There are also a lot of hiking places that are a reasonable distance from here, which I love!
3. The faculty is incredible. They really give us a lot of support (whether it be for academics, personal wellness, etc.). Additionally, physicians are always very willing to have you come and do observerships with them, or even to just come and chat with them and ask them any questions you may have. We usually get 1-2 half days off per week, so this gives you a lot of time to explore specialties you might be considering (or it just gives you time to do other things you enjoy!).
4. We were working with standardized patients by the second week of class. This was something that I was really intimidated by in the beginning, so I really liked being exposed to that very early on.
5. All students are placed into mentorship groups, that consist of faculty, residents and students of all four years. You stay in these groups for as long as you're at Queen's, so it really allows you to get to know others even more, who are in different stages of their training. It's a lot of fun and everyone is really great
6. Kingston is fairly close to several of the bigger cities - our class went to Montreal together one weekend!
In terms of research, I haven't been involved in any during the academic year, but when I contacted potential supervisors for the summer, they were all very willing to meet with me to discuss the possibility further. Perhaps someone else can comment on that?
Hopefully this gives you a little bit more insight into the program I'd be happy to answer any other questions about the program/school/city!
dreng12 reacted to Sauna in What To Wear On Interview Day?
I've been procrastinating on these forums so much ever since interview invites and I noticed that the first page of the "most replied to" threads under the "Medical School Interviews" is basically all about either MMI prep resources or what girls should wear:
A combined total of 25 pages of KNAWLEDGE! Happy reading
dreng12 got a reaction from ballsortahard in How Should A Engineering Student With No Science Background Prepare For The Mcat?
I'm in the process of apply to med school while in my fourth year of engineering, so I definitely would say that it's possible! And I really do think that the skills you learn in engineering help with some aspects of the MCAT.
For example, physics and chemistry should be a piece of cake for you, as well as the math that is associated with those subjects. For the rest, there definitely is a fair amount of content to learn but it is manageable. My program (nanotechnology engineering) requires me to take organic chemistry and biochemistry, so I already had some background. From that, I did about 5 months of self-study with Kaplan books and found that I was able to get through the rest of the content without too many problems. I think physics and chemistry are two of the subjects that require the most understanding/calculations, a lot of the other topics are more pure knowledge/memorizing.
In terms of what direction to head in, I would think about what else you want to be doing over the next year or so. Here's some factors I would consider:
Finances: Can you afford to be in school for an extra year or take intensive prep courses? Do you need to be working during this time? Knowledge: Do you want to just prep for the MCAT, or prepare yourself for med school while you're at it? Taking courses might be overkill for the MCAT in some cases, but I'm sure would be valuable for first year med school. Self-discipline: Can you hold yourself to a study schedule or do you need some external teaching/guidance? Obviously there's tons of options, and I don't think there's one right answer - do whatever fits your needs. For me self-study worked well with the time I had, and I was able to keep myself fairly on track.
Sorry that this is more questions than answers, but I hope it provides some good things to think about. Let me know if you have any other questions, or if you want me to point you to some good self-study resources