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Jon Snow

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  1. I've posted in other places and been getting told "I'm not being objective" or "I'm distorting the true Mac experience." As a c2022 who choose to go to Mac, I think it is the best decision I have ever made. The flexibility is unparalleled, the environment and peers are so friendly, and the stress-free nature of it has been extremely beneficial to my mental health. To all students coming to Mac med, you have the opportunity to create an experience that fits your needs, participate in things you enjoy, avoid things that you don't. You will find people who are like-minded, kind and enthusiastic future doctors who will help you get through this time together. Medical school isn't supposed to be easy - but somehow McMaster makes it so and these last 9 months have flown by. I'm not trying to comment on how Covid-19 will affect your experience, I am sharing my time (both in person and online) has been overwhelmingly positive, and I am happy to answer anyone's questions about fears/concerns/rumours that they may have coming to McMaster.
  2. Yea some are pretty bad, I won't lie. But others actually are very stimulating, and if you come in having done the preparation, you can learn a lot more than a didactic presentation that could be achieved with an Osmosis video. There's a lot fewer lectures, and the ones delivered truly are high yield. For those that like didactic, the archived lectures get mixed reviews. I find them too long and boring personally, I have friends and tutorial mates that swear by them.
  3. I wouldn't be able to speculate on this. Perhaps Queen's students can attest to what their clinical environment is projected to look like. I do know the Ontario schools are doing their best to be equal in their rules to be fair to all medical students chances in CARMS, and are meeting regularly (the deans that is).
  4. If this is in reply to my comments, I am a first year student. Speaking from my personal experience, that does not represent the feelings of everyone going through this. Lectures have changed drastically. PBL believe it or not persists without a tutorial room, or whiteboard. Anatomy is also adapting to an online delivery. Again my perspective, as someone actively going through it. It's not easy, but then again this whole situation isn't easy either.
  5. The way I see it everyone is in the same boat. All clerks are pulled at the same time, and when they go back they will go back together. The capacity for horizontals might take a bit longer, but we have to remember that the clinical environment is not at all "normal." Most family doctors are working virtually, all elective surgeries are postponed, many walk-ins and hospitals are empty, others are very busy, and honestly quite dangerous. Any elective is not going to be representative of the career you can expect there for a while, plus putting learners can be taxing on limited PPE resources being diverted for arguably non-essential reasons, even with social distancing relaxing in the coming months. This is going to be the same regardless of which school you attend, I believe. Speculation on how this affects CARMS I think is kind of futile. They just announced changes to the c2021 match, which could change further. This could also have a domino effect into subsequent years, or it could not.
  6. Hi there, Thank you for sharing your thoughts as a 3rd year mac med student who had gone through the whole program. I think you bring up some excellent things for discussion, but I wanted to provide my personal perspective (a c2022) as someone actually going through the curriculum change, and online PBL. The roll-out of the new curriculum, while not ideal, has been changed quite a lot since the beginning of the year, and they seem to be striking a much better balance of what they were trying to achieve. Having more mandatory sessions was seen as cumbersome by some, however the nature of the sessions being "Active learning" and consolidating our learning has been actually quite refreshing and beneficial. Just like any medical school, lectures have varying levels of impact and differ on an individual basis given interest and past experience in a topic. Yes it wasn't perfect at first, however its at a much different place now. Also, if you prefer traditional lectures, there are archived lectures for basically every topic to supplement. The anatomy issue has been one that Mac has been weak with for a long time, so it would be easy to say this pandemic is nothing new. However, the anatomy department has been putting out weekly Anatomy talks and presentations that are extremely concise, well-delivered, and coordinate with the cases on hand (e.g. with MSK and Neuro right now). Its hard to ask for more given that going in to anatomy lab, or campus for that matter is taken off the table (and will be an issue for every medical school, until it isn't). There's a good chance these "LabTalks" will be here to stay as well, which would be a great bonus. The self-directed portion of it is basically unchanged. Resources are always going to be something everyone learns to develop on their own. One huge thing they added to the curriculum was Intro to Med, where the first few weeks of tutorial were really dedicated to honing PBL, introducing resources, and being comfortable with the system (as opposed to being thrown in the deep end as years past). While the learning curve will likely be steeper in an online setting, one could argue that if an online format is the only one that someone knows, they will make the best of that situation. Given that Mac emphasizes finding our own resources, creating your own PBL environment, the transition to online has actually been surprisingly doable, with my new MF group having never met in person, but still walking away from each tutorial feeling very satisfied with our performance. Perhaps the hardest part of being online has been sitting through the traditional, live lectures actually which can be disengaging. However, when delivered in an interactive manner like our Neuro TBL sessions with questions, and break-out discussions during the lecture with our tutorial, they are really engaging and stimulating. Given how responsive admin has been to feedback, I imagine lectures will definitely continue to hone the interactive portion, and make it engaging and stimulating (the best they can under the circumstances). Summary: - Lectures when delivered properly are actually quite helpful, and not taxing to attend - Anatomy is actually adapting and adding online resources to make up for lack of classroom - PBL teaches you to be resourceful, and many tutorials have taken the new environment in stride - Having been at home for 2+ months I don't feel my learning has been severely impacted given the circumstances and I think that says a lot. Happy to answer any more questions people may have
  7. Honestly one of my favourite parts of being here (c2022). I was nervous commuting, and that I would find it tough meeting people. It was so wrong. I think within the first month I knew 80% of the class, and I can confidently say now I probably know the name and face of 95% of my classmates. There are tons of social events run through the school (and unofficial ones - happy to DM if you want more details lol). Having 0 stress assessments means you can always go out an celebrate a friend's birthday, or just for fun (there was probably a stretch of 5-6 weekends I was not home lol). Having this sort of social experience is probably not going to exist anywhere come September, but once things start opening up more (social distancing even more relaxed) I think it is very possible given that the schedule is flexible, tests are not that hard (or often) and the people are unbelievably friendly. Even within tutorials and pro-comp you get pretty close with your groups. With different MF groups I have done dinners, wine nights, a tutor invited all his students past and present to their house for a Christmas potluck. It is a very close envioronment, that is always changing and meeting new people every MF (which can be good and bad lol). I've made some of my best friends here at Mac who are all super close. If you're the type of person that likes to meet people (or not) this school has an amazing social environment.
  8. c2022 here chiming in about stream selection. Our actual final streams are on hold for now as they reconfigure what clerkship is going to be like. They could have matched us and then switched streams, but they listened to feedback and will actually re-open stream rankings once again once the final reconfiguration can be made. Speculating here - given that horizontals will likely be hard to come by for a while, I imagine the timeline for stream selection could be requested to be pushed back as well to allow adequate time for career exploration. Also clerkship itself has been completely revamped - so while previously upper years did not complete some core rotations before CARMS, there will all cores completed before the CARMS deadline. Furthermore, with CARMS 8-week limit not even coming into effect until this 2021 cycle, the stress for getting all your electives in before CARMS is likely even less across the board.
  9. A small number of each class do an "enrichment year" for various reasons, and I think anecdotally this does increase their chances of matching. Seems to be more for extremely competitive specialties, that people kind of came later to the game to and I don't think necessary at all to match well. Often its also people pursuing something they are passionate about as well, and the program is flexible to allow you to pursue those (within reason I believe)
  10. Was initially accepted off waitlist, but declined this offer today - hope it goes to someone! (OOP)
  11. Status: OOP acceptance initially, then declined Timestamp: May 9 GPA: 3.9 something cumulative?? MCAT: 524 Interview: First one but I thought it went really well, enjoyed the city and people but want to stay closer to home posting for any OOP waiting for waitlist movement
  12. I am in a similar situation making this decision, except McMaster is IP for me (my parents actually live basically next to the campus). Apart from the 3 vs. 4 argument, what are some other factors that set these schools apart?
  13. Result: Waitlisted initially, accepted May 22 1:28 p.m. Geography: OOP GPA: 4.0 - I think there is a different conversion here MCAT: 524 Degree: BMSc Phys/Pharm EC: Fairly diverse, sports, research, clinical volunteering, and a couple unique Interview: Panel was actually pretty rough, not what I expected. Some MMIs were right up my alley, a couple were iffy. Congrats to those accepted, I am now in the situation where I have to make a decision between this and staying in Ontario. Incredibly grateful for this situation, absolutely loved UofA!
  14. Result: Accepted - Hamilton Campus Timestamp: May 14 7:45 AM cGPA: 3.94 CARS: 130 Interview: Felt that a few stations were iffy, especially the acting. There were a couple that went really well, articulated some unique ideas really well, got the interviewers engaged. Year: 4th year UG Geography: IP This is a dream come true, being from Hamilton, driving passed Mac everyday on my way to high school, always hoping this day would come. I am almost certainly going here, congrats to everyone who received offers and waitlists - I am excited to meet you all! I have no qualifications to encourage those who did not receive an offer, all I can say is that this process is extremely grueling and confusing at times, I have heard countless times that persitence is key, and I hope you don't give up!
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