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  1. Hey there! Just wanted to clarify before I begin that I'm only familiar with the OT curriculum and not so much the PT curriculum. I say this only because your username is PT19944. It is hard to explain the Mac OT curriculum because you're going to learn so much!! You graduate from OT school as a generalist- i.e., you learn assessment and treatment in working with pediatrics, adolescents, adults, & seniors. You learn about the OT role in hospitals, schools, long-term care, community, etc., and all about the OT role various areas of rehab such as cognitive rehab, physical rehab, environmental modifications, neurological rehab, mental health assessment and treatment, and so much more. You typically take Professional Reasoning & Skills, and Inquiry & Integration in every term of Mac OT school. PRS is where you learn your skills and I&I is more theory based. In term 1 you learn solid interviewing skills in PRS, and about OT models of practice in I&I. You will also be taking a foundational knowledge course in term 1 that covers anatomy, research, and social sciences. They really jam a lot of content into the short 8-9 week term. In year two you take PRS & I&I as well as the evidence-based practice courses which is where the projects are initiated. If you have a topic of interest for a research project, you can run with it! My current project was a sequential mixed-methods study we conducted over a period of 6 months and are presenting at the national OT conference. There is absolutely opportunity for research Let me know if you have any additional questions! I hope this helped.
  2. You're too nice! Send any questions, any time. I'm happy to help my future colleagues!
  3. Yay! Congrats on choosing McMaster and for beginning your OT journey! The weekly schedule in year 1 is pretty extensive. Expect to be in class from 9-4 Monday, Tuesday, & Thursday and have PBT for 2.5 hours on Friday. You will likely have most Wednesdays off. Your first academic term will go from Sept-Nov with placement for 4 weeks in Nov-Dec. Not many classmates had jobs throughout the program. There were some that worked weekends. Expect to be pretty busy in term 1 and 2 for sure. Rooms and houses are typically posted right now! I recommend looking here: https://macoffcampus.mcmaster.ca/classifieds/category/gradfacultystaff-rentals/. & Look in the Westdale and surrounding area around McMaster. I lived on the Mountain in Year 1 and deeply regretted it with the commute + paying for parking at mac + walking from the parking lot (~20 mins to our building). Living in Westdale/within walking distance to school is well worth it. The OT student council made last year's Facebook group. Our class (Class of '19) will be handing the torch over to the Class of '20 within the next week as we finish up the program. If you don't see one by July- make one! So excited for you! OT school is a wild ride. Welcome to an extremely rewarding and exciting career!
  4. Thank you for the thanks! I came into the program without any prior anatomy knowledge as well. It was tough, I'm not going to lie. I had to put a lot of time and effort into studying for anatomy at home, and in the lab studying the specimens. In Term 1, you're only in class for 8 or 9 weeks and then you go on placement for 4 weeks. You learn just as much anatomy in those 8 weeks that you would in a full course in undergrad. It is a lot of information and it is fast-paced but it is absolutely doable! And the first two academic terms fly by so fast that it'll be over in no time. I wish you all the best!!
  5. Hi there, My GPA was 3.8 but I know the GPA cutoff for an interview for our class was 3.72. Once you're offered an interview at Mac and you do the MMI, your GPA is only considered 25% of the final decision, and the majority of the decision is made based on how you did on the MMI (75%). You get offered an interview based on your GPA, but the deciding factor really is your MMI. I did MMI training to prepare for it. My friend, who applied for the Doctor of Dentristy program at another university, and I did it together so we'd have better chances of doing well. The workload is definitely a lot. However, absolutely doable. If you're a hard worker and you're willing to put in the time and effort, you'll do great. I found Term 1 of Mac OT to be very time consuming because I had no prior anatomy background and I spent all of my free time studying for anatomy. You'll be expected to be on campus and in-class at lot during this program. I think in Term 1 you have most Wednesdays free.
  6. Hey everyone, I understand this can be a very stressful time for all of you. I applaud you all for putting yourselves out there and for applying to some of the best programs in the country! I am a year 2 Mac OT student and I'm here if anyone has any questions! Wishing each of you the best of luck on this daunting but incredible journey!
  7. You'll get a break between the end of your first placement and the beginning of Term 2 classes. I am also from another province and got to spend 2 weeks with my family in Christmas last year
  8. Hey! Sorry for the late reply. The program gives you a list of required textbooks vs. optional textbooks for the program. There are no required textbooks per term. I bought most of the required textbooks because they're super useful and resourceful and they'll be great for my future professional library. However, the majority of my class has only bought 3-4 essential books and use the ones in the library when needed (it isn't often- maybe sometimes for class readings but mostly for PBT). The Health Sciences bookstore sells OT books second-hand. I got my mental health for OT book at the bookstore used for less than $100. Us year 2's will come meet with your class during O-week to recommend which books we think are absolutely necessary vs. optional. Edit: I also ordered a lot of my textbooks used off amazon! There are lots of options, but the majority of the books you will not need to purchase because they're accessible at the library next door. I just like having them as a resource.
  9. Hi there! Welcome to Mac OT! We used Moore's Clinically Oriented Anatomy 7E for term 1 and Quick Reference Neuroscience for Rehabilitation Professionals (3rd ed) for term 2. Highly recommend both if you don't have an anatomy background. They saved my life. Review: muscles, innervation, and action of muscles if you would like to get ahead. It's a lot of info to learn over 8-weeks.
  10. Hey there! Welcome to Mac OT! I am also from another province and know exactly the situation you're in. I moved to an apartment on the Hamilton Mountain last year and it takes me around 50 minutes to get from my house to IAHS (our building) in the morning via car. It's typically a short 15 min drive but traffic in the morning is nuts. It is super inconvenient. I am moving closer to campus in September. Walking distance is absolutely a plus. We also have classmates who commute. If you are considering living away from campus and plan on buying a parking permit, the permit isn't cheap and buy it early!! I have a classmate who commutes and went to buy one the first week of school and they were all sold out, she has to pay $8/day for parking. I got my permit the last week of August and for one year it was $500 ish dollars. I do not have an anatomy and physiology background but I did struggle with A&P during term 1. I studied almost every day for anatomy in terms 1 and 2. They don't expect you to know anything but it's not an entry-level course either because of how fast-paced it is. If you don't have an anatomy background, it may be helpful to review the muscles of the body, their innervation, and the action of the muscle over the summer for term 1. Term 2 is neuro. These terms are only 8 weeks long and the anatomy is jam-packed so prepare to study. Take care & good luck!
  11. Hi there! Welcome to Mac OT! Looking forward to welcoming you to the OT family during O-Week in Sept! We have a lotttt of classmates who commute from TO, Mississauga, Guelph, Kitchener, etc. It hasn't been ideal but they make it work. The class is also very cognizant of our commuter classmates and have offered couches during storms and we accommodate group work accordingly. Make some friends who live in Hamilton just-in-case during the Winter months. The weeks are jam-packed full of classes and activities so be prepared to come to Mac 9-4, 4 days a week like the program told you over the phone. During term one, it was 9-4 every day except Wednesday. However, you don't actually get a lot of Wednesdays off because they schedule things like inter-professional education days and things like that during this time. Also, in term 1 the Wednesday is almost essential for you and your group to complete group work together so it's hardly ever a day-off so to speak. The second term was similar, but with most Wednesdays off. In term 3 which I'm in now, I'm only on campus 3 days a week. But I know in year 2 it gets quite heavy again. While some people do commute, I've heard that it is quite a struggle with the amount of work we have to do. I know a lot of the commuters who are commuted during year 1 are looking for a place for this September. I hope this is helpful for you to make a decision re: commuting. Good luck and see you in Sept!
  12. Hi there! Sorry for not replying earlier. I didn't receive a notification for this. Unfortunately, I have no knowledge of the U of T program so I cannot comment on the differences. Mac was my top choice applying for OT school so I didn't look into U of Ts program. The self-directed approach at Mac is very rewarding. The program helps guide you through this process through year-one and teaches you strategies to be very self-directed in year-two. Our class is very close-knit and supportive which makes the experience so much more enjoyable. We do a lot of class activities outside of school which is helpful for relieving the stress and mingling. The profs are great as well. As for the catchment area, I completed my first placement up North through the Northern School of Medicine by choice. And for my second placement, I was placed in Hamilton. During second placement, your choices are ranked and everyone got one of their top 10 choices (all my choices were in Hamilton). I only know of one situation where a student was placed somewhere they weren't expecting but made the best of it, and it turned out to be a great experience. Placement opportunities were vast! Because we do have such a large catchment there are so many different placement opportunities which also gives you a great perspective of what its like to work outside the Hamilton area and helps you develop the skills to find unfamiliar resources/funding opportunities/services. I know some of my classmates who do not have a car and the school has been accommodating so far. Problem-based learning is working well for me. I enjoy working in small groups of 6 and working through OT scenarios using a team approach. Sometimes it's tough depending on your group as it would be working with any group, but you learn to work through it and develop strategies to get through which I found was essential on placement working in a team capacity with other professionals (during rounds, working with PT/OTA/PTA/SLP, etc.). We are paired up with a year 2 buddy to help guide us through the program. In our professional reasoning and skills class, clinicians from the community come in to teach us and they're also our tutors for our problem-based tutorial groups so there are countless opportunities for networking. I hope this helps!
  13. Congratulations and welcome to Mac OT! Have you heard of Mac off-campus student housing? They have a specific section on their website for graduate student rentals near campus. A lot of my classmates got their housing this year from the website: https://macoffcampus.mcmaster.ca/
  14. Hi all, I'm a current first-year student in Mac's OT program willing to answer any questions you may have pertaining to our program! I understand the position you're all in right now and I'm sure the additional support would be helpful to some.
  15. Hi there, I am a first year OT student at Mac and I may be able to provide some insight. There is a lot of information about the OT program, and the Mac and U of T programs are both quite different so if you have any specific questions please let me know. For now, i'll just provide my personal opinion of the Mac program. Personally, I love Mac's problem-based learning. In the first year, small groups of 6-7 students meet twice a week to discuss OT scenarios and work through problems together. I have learned a significant amount during PBT sessions and our class has built some incredible relationships this way. Our class is very close-knit. If you're a quiet person that doesn't really like to share verbally or work in a group setting, you will struggle in PBT. I still encourage you to challenge yourself with this because it teaches you a lot about working as a team which I have learned through placement experiences, is HUGE in healthcare. In the first year, we get most of July and all of August off. This summer our last exam is July 5 and we don't return until after Labour Day. In the second year, it's the full 12 months of class/placement. Mac's placement catchment area is quite large which I know has been an issue for some of my classmates. Mac offers the northern placement through the northern school of medicine which I completed during my first placement and highly highly recommend this experience! The staff at Mac are incredibly knowledgeable and are truly interested in student success. Some of my classmates may argue with this statement, but coming from a much larger program at a different university in Canada, I am confident in saying Mac's OT profs genuinely care and are passionate about the field. I love Mac. Not going to lie, the first term was a little confusing and questionable with regards to what we were learning (it was mostly theory). But now we're in our 3rd academic term and have completed two clinical placements, I now better understand the Mac program and why it teaches the way it does. Please let me know if there's anything else I can add. This was just a super general overview. Congratulations on getting accepted to two amazing programs. I'm confident in saying no matter which program you choose, either is a great choice and you'll be trained as an amazing occupational therapist. Welcome to the profession! Edit: I now realize you were comparing Mac to Western. I'm sorry for the oversight. Both are still amazing programs.
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