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mac-attack

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  1. Made an account just to reply to this post. For background, I'm a first year student at Mac, so I think I can comment well on the current curriculum and program. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions. 1. Match rates: Mac consistently has a good-great match rate. This past round, we matched all but 6 in the first round of CaRMS. The vast majority of people match well into their top choices of specialties+locations. I don't have the data right now but I'm sure it's out there. PM me if you really want it and I can try to find it for you. I will agree, however, that uber-competitive specialties such optho/derm might seem harder to match into from Mac. However, people do it every year despite the "challenges". IMO it's more about the person themselves: are they willing to seek out opportunities that their peers will not? Are they willing to put in the work studying that specific content themselves, which they would have done at any other medical school? And let's be real: how much of a typical class is going to want derm/plastics/ortho? The majority of people will end up in FM/IM/surgery and there are no problems with a perceived lack of competitiveness of Mac students in these areas. 2. Three years w/o summer is not that bad, and I don't think there is a real disadvantage when compared to 4 year schools with summer. 2a) Research: Most of my class right now is able to find the time to participate in side research, usually easy projects such as systemic reviews, meta-analyses, case reports, QI projects. Many people that I know are on track to publishing at least a couple papers by the end of med school. Opportunities to involve yourself in research are really easy to find, and we have admin facilitators in place to get you into contact with PIs if you are having trouble. Not only that, but I've had several of my tutors and preceptors offer research work to my groups over the year, unprompted. 2b) You graduate one year early and $tart the rest of your life sooner. See @Rorzo's comment above. At the end of first year, I'm not feeling any burn out and I'm looking forward to starting clerkship early. Yes, there's FOMO from seeing my friends at other medical school go on vacation and do observerships in cool places, but I also feel like I'm working towards my goal faster. Keep in mind that the rest of your life doesn't have any summers either. 2c) As for 3 vs 4 year competitiveness, my general perception so far is that most of the learning happens in clerkship anyways, and that pre-clerkship learning doesn't help you so much after a certain amount of standard knowledge. And I really do think that we reach that 'certain amount' here. We have a solid clinical skills program here and I feel really comfortable interacting with patients 1 on 1 already. 3. Shadowing pre-clerkship, clerkship, and community hospitals. Agree with some of the "unprofessionalism" comments made above, but also disagree in that I think that Mac's preclinical exposure surpasses that of other curricula. I'm able to shadow in pretty much any specialty I want, as long as I am willing to travel for some of them. Some people in my class are shadowing at least once or twice per week. Preceptors have pretty much been fantastic across the board. Shadowing and clerkship will be in a mix of academic hospital and community hospital. Both teach you different things. Academic centers will have more interesting cases but community hospitals will let you do more things hands-on, give you more responsibility, and have fewer residents. 4. A car is useful, and personally my life improved 5000x when I got one halfway through first year. Total cost of living is still less than other cities, and I'm able to go anywhere that I want. 5. No [real] exams and little mandatory lecture. I feel like I am studying different aspects of medicine for my career and clerkship down the road instead of for the exam on a system next week after which I'll forget everything. Caveat: you must be self-motivated and be able to regulate your own schedule. Otherwise, you'll pass, but will know less than what's ideal. The bar is low but the ceiling is really really high due to flexibility of the schedule and the assessment model. Generally well, I think Mac is very accommodating to non-trad students and many of them do just as well as, if not better than, other students. The new curriculum is better than our current one . They get dedicated CaRMS interview time, more time for integration, more vacation, experience all core rotations before CaRMS interviews. These are all changes that have been in development for a while that admin is rolling out finally. WRC and NRC have it good! For real, they have great communities and fantastic admin support because of the small class size. They often have better access to shadowing and anatomy than Hamilton students. Their buildings are really new and have great dedicated spaces for students. TBH everyone just watches lecture online anyways after the first few months so there's no difference in lectures after that. Overall, I think that there is a perception that Mac is less competitive than other schools due to the 3 year program. I don't think that's generally true. The program has a lot of flexibility and you can do with it what you will, so it is really about the individual student at the end of the day. Someone who is going to match into a very competitive is going to match into it from any school.
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