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Dr.Strange

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  1. Basicallly get ready to be online for the foreseeable future, possibly into next year it has already been announced internally in the med school. I suggest thinking about your goals very carefuly and think internally what specialty you may want in the future because Mac will have limitations to decide in the clinical enviornment because of the nature of its 3 year program. There probably won't be shadowing oppurtunities (horizontals) before deciding specialities at McMaster compared to other schools, I suggest thinking long and hard. It's a shame because McMaster's 3 year program is normally very good but COVID is a wrecking ball.
  2. Lol you haven't read the arguments. McMaster obviously has good match rates just like every other school in Canada. It is about extenuating circumstances under COVID-19 for career exploration. You are citing statistics under normal circumstances, that doesn't reflect the current pandemic.
  3. That seems silly there is a lot of luck involved in getting into med school. If you get an offer to McMaster and that is your first choice then take it but don't be stupid and give up a guaranteed chance to become an MD.
  4. Those waste of time lectures became mandatory starting with the lower years this year and will continue with the incoming class. The flexibility of Mac is very much not what it used to be and is far from the past. Nobody cares about the curriculum it is going to be online for every school in the first year anyways. People will have difficulty deciding specialties since McMaster is much faster pace than other schools with crucial decisions earlier on. Now they have to make those career decisions without ever even entering hospitals probably within their first year when they have to decide at McMaster specifically. If not for COVID, McMaster is a great school despite the whole lottery ordeal but down the line effects are very hard to predict.
  5. That's the problem I fear to come because they can't do those horizontals that are so essential to career exploration because of COVID-19. Especially at Mac where you have less time to decide
  6. I agree that Mac is a great school normally. The only thing I feel like you are missing is how COVID-19 is affecting. We don't get the oppurtunities to fall behind like other programs do. That's the whole point of a 3 year program. As a school, Mac has sacrified break time in an effort to speed up the process but this does not allow for extenuating circumstances and COVID-19 is a major one. Other schools can be more flexible with more time. It's very simple. Lectures (LGSs) are meant to be interactive at Mac that's what makes them great, but that is very difficult to do online. Other schools can easily teach online because they teach most didactically. PBLs are also meant to be interactive and when people aren't in person it is very difficult to stay engaged because you don't have a common workspace like a whiteboard.
  7. It's about being informed. Interest groups are not that helpful but maybe you have a different opinion. Mostly people just go for the free pizza and it is not that helpful. I don't see how 1 hour of a club meeting can be more informed than spending half a day or a full day with a specalist and actually seeing the patient population you would want to work with.
  8. Yup Mac does a lot of lotteries within the program it isn't suprising in the slightest
  9. Been asked this question a lot in PMs so here it goes, I will advise you to keep your eyes open. In every year, students come into medical school "thinking they know what they want" when every year they really don't. Premeds know nothing of the medical field because they haven't experienced anything yet. No matter what people tell you or some half-measure to compensate for it, you need to be in the hospitals to know what you want to do. Every year most people from (in your case) august 2020 to march 2021 have to narrow down specialties to 2 at most and they will need to pick 1 if they want to start early for something very comeptitive (ie plastic surgery, dermatology, ophthalmology, etc.). Students will change their mind up to 10 times before March but they can only do this because they get to see the clinical enviornment. People get stressed without COVID, I'm sorry to say but this will be worse for incoming McMaster students. For example, some people think they love the brain because it is the coolest organ they have learned from textbooks. Then they get to see neurosurgery and say, wow I hate the lifestyle, I hate that I have to wake up every night and not sleep at all, I hate that my days are 12 hours long, I hate how much risk it has, and more. All of these things no matter how much you read won't help you. The only way to decide your future for something as patient-centered as medicine is to early on be in the hospitals AND SEE PATIENTS. I have been getting lots of questions from PMs about choosing specialties. The unfortunate reality is that people generally struggle picking specialties in time before clerkship since you have less than a year to plan in advance. When students every year enter, they will go on a lot of shadows (horizontals) to see doctors. Your first year at Mac will be online, you will not have these oppurtunities, and you will be at the bottom of the food chain, anyone who tells you otherwise to decide before Post-MF4 (summer electives) and clerkship is lying to you or trying to sell their school. I will tell you why. Right now many residents (specialty trainees) are not being trained how they should be for a variety of reasons. For example, surgical residents who are not doing elective surgeries to train because the province stopped them for COVID-19 are now behind in their surgeries. Many non-surgical residents have been sent to the COVID-19 ward areas to help with demand so now they are not getting trained in their specialty fields. All these residents need more time in the clinical enviornment because they still need to graduate on time. Residents take first priority. Secondly, all medical students have been not allowed at the clinical enviornment or in hospitals because of COVID-19. They don't care if you are deciding specialiteis because that is what they had to do. McMaster has already announced that the class of 2021 will be first priority after residents to return to the clinical enviornment which is not for another few months (and possibly longer if there is a second peak in COVID-19 cases but nobody if that will happen). Then it will be the class of 2022 which need to start clerkship but they will probably be pushed signficantly back and if they haven't explored specialties by now, well they are probably screwed and they will go through clerkship and have to decide with less experience because the province demands everyone graduate on time. Then at the very very bottom ARE YOU GUYS where you have no medical use as incoming students. You are least priority to get into the clinical enviornment because you are the newest with the least training. Clerkship students actually benfit the hospital by helping out, you guys as incoming students slow doctors down more than you can help because you all know nothing, so it will be a long time before they let you guys go back to clinical experiences because we don't have that luxury now. McMaster and students can spin this anyway they want but if you are not getting into the clinical enviornment with a good amount of time before important elective selections (at McMaster this is March 2021 for you guys) then you will just not have enough time to explore specialties. McMaster is a fantastic school and I believe it is the best school if there are no interruptuions in their normal schedule but COVID-19 has thrown a meteor right through it. If people want me to cite statistics, I can post them here to PM them to you about specialties. You have to decide for your own benefit. If you think you can decide a specialty without much clinical experience, then go for McMaster, if not go for a four-year program. Simple as that. You can either start making important decisions about specialties in March of 2021 at Mac or the summer of 2022 at a four year program. Tl;DR - Read the bolded (lol sorry for the long post) or PM me.
  10. Pediatrics and OBGYN are very comeptitive and if you want them you will usually have to decide even earlier than other people normally do at McMaster since it moves fast. Internal medicine is sometimes comeptitive but just average. Family medicine is not competitive overall but gets much much much more comeptitive if you want a specific location. Remember that all compeittion goes up if you want a specific city/school for specialties which may become a concern if you have a partner (which many do by the end of med). I will advise you to keep your eyes open. In every year, students come into medical school "thinking they know what they want" when every year they really don't. Premeds know nothing of the medical field because they haven't experienced anything yet. No matter what people tell you or some half-measure to compensate for it, you need to be in the hospitals to know what you want to do. Every year most people from (in your case) august 2020 to march 2021 have to narrow down specialties to 2 at most and they will need to pick 1 if they want to start early for something very comeptitive (ie plastic surgery, dermatology, ophthalmology, etc.). Students will change their mind up to 10 times before March but they can only do this because they get to see the clinical enviornment. People get stressed without COVID, I'm sorry to say but this will be worse for incoming McMaster students. For example, some people think they love the brain because it is the coolest organ they have learned from textbooks. Then they get to see neurosurgery and say, wow I hate the lifestyle, I hate that I have to wake up every night and not sleep at all, I hate that my days are 12 hours long, I hate how much risk it has, and more. All of these things no matter how much you read won't help you. The only way to decide your future for something as patient-centered as medicine is to early on be in the hospitals AND SEE PATIENTS. I have been getting lots of questions from PMs about choosing specialties. The unfortunate reality is that people generally struggle picking specialties in time before clerkship since you have less than a year to plan in advance. When students every year enter, they will go on a lot of shadows (horizontals) to see doctors. Your first year at Mac will be online, you will not have these oppurtunities, and you will be at the bottom of the food chain, anyone who tells you otherwise to decide before Post-MF4 (summer electives) and clerkship is lying to you or trying to sell their school. I will tell you why. Right now many residents (specialty trainees) are not being trained how they should be for a variety of reasons. For example, surgical residents who are not doing elective surgeries to train because the province stopped them for COVID-19 are now behind in their surgeries. Many non-surgical residents have been sent to the COVID-19 ward areas to help with demand so now they are not getting trained in their specialty fields. All these residents need more time in the clinical enviornment because they still need to graduate on time. Residents take first priority. Secondly, all medical students have been not allowed at the clinical enviornment or in hospitals because of COVID-19. They don't care if you are deciding specialiteis because that is what they had to do. McMaster has already announced that the class of 2021 will be first priority after residents to return to the clinical enviornment which is not for another few months (and possibly longer if there is a second peak in COVID-19 cases but nobody if that will happen). Then it will be the class of 2022 which need to start clerkship but they will probably be pushed signficantly back and if they haven't explored specialties by now, well they are probably screwed and they will go through clerkship and have to decide with less experience because the province demands everyone graduate on time. Then at the very very bottom ARE YOU GUYS where you have no medical use as incoming students. You are least priority to get into the clinical enviornment because you are the newest with the least training. Clerkship students actually benfit the hospital by helping out, you guys as incoming students slow doctors down more than you can help because you all know nothing, so it will be a long time before they let you guys go back to clinical experiences because we don't have that luxury now. McMaster and students can spin this anyway they want but if you are not getting into the clinical enviornment with a good amount of time before important elective selections (at McMaster this is March 2021 for you guys) then you will just not have enough time to explore specialties. McMaster is a fantastic school and I believe it is the best school if there are no interruptuions in their normal schedule but COVID-19 has thrown a meteor right through it. If people want me to cite statistics, I can post them here to PM them to you about specialties. You have to decide for your own benefit. If you think you can decide a specialty without much clinical experience, then go for McMaster, if not go for Ottawa. Simple as that. You can either start making important decisions about specialties in March of 2021 at Mac or the summer of 2022 at Ottawa. Tl;DR - Read the bolded (lol sorry for the long post)
  11. Yes people have bad internet but even if they do, doesn't that mean they wouldn't be able to do med school online for the first year from home with that bad internet... Replacing something that is somewhat unfair and then removing the meirt based post-interview process is not a good solution. If people have bad internet, then maybe they could do things without video for the entire interview, and just do it with audio only. There are other possible solutions than no interviews at all or no merit at all. Calgary and Queens both managed with online MMIs. Mac just didn't want to bother.
  12. why would they make a lottery? why would they cancel interviews? why would they release the selection formula like 3 days before? All questions you would think I shouldn't have to ask but welcome to Mac my friends
  13. Definetely there is great people eveywhere I wouldn't worry
  14. The letter is not the FAQ, it was a letter sent it by a lower year student giving feedback about the new curriculum after it was encouraged by the program and he was in a worse situation for doing so. I didn't agree with all of it (like how he should have chosen another school over McMaster) but he gave a lot of valid criticism and didn't like how McMaster wasn't transparent with new curriculum making lectures (that people didn't like in the past) mandatory before accepting offers. Competitive Specialties (there are total about 33 including subdivisions) Include: 1-most competitive) Ophthalmology 2) Dermatology 3) Cardiac Surgery 4) Emergency Medicine 5) Neurosurgery 6) Plastic Surgery 7) Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery (ENT) 8) Neurology - Pediatric 9) Nuclear Medicine 10) Vascular Surgery 11) Obstetrics and Gynecology 12) Anesthesiology 13) Radiation Oncology 14) Pediatrics 15) Neurology PHPM including FM 16) General Surgery 17) Psychiatry 18) Diagnostic Radiology . . . ~33-the least competitive) Always Family Medicine There are lots of specialties that bounce around. For example, Orthapaedic surgery and urology weren't compeittive this year but historically have been very compeittive. Sometimes Physical Medicine and Internal medicine can be competitive but it changes year to year. For reference for evidence: https://www.carms.ca/pdfs/2020-carms-forum.pdf Also note that these are stats across the country. If you want a particular school or geographical location, then things get much more comeptitive. For example, even family medicine in Torotno can be competitive despite it being the least comeptitive overall as a field across the country. Same applies to general fields like Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. To answer your question about core requirements, go here: https://www.afmcstudentportal.ca/ Note: What AFMC is telling you is what is mandatory but doesn't tell you what makes you a good student to impress on references. For example, maybe they don't require general surgery at some places, but those suturing skills are going to be damn necessary to impress in any kind of surgical specialty and you would learn that mostly on your core.
  15. Of course reality is never that black and white, agreed. All schools are good but you have to know who you are as a person and how COVID will affect YOU. Instead of questioning intentions, how about disproving anything people have said. Everything said is available to them or will be in the near future through Medportal they can check for themselves. Talking to people is always better I do agree, but remember that people will always leave stuff out about the curricum in person because of fear of getting in trouble about giving valid criticism. Just look what happened to the guy who wrote a feedback letter to McMaster in the class of 2022.
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