I'm trying to decide between both McMaster Life Science Gateway and Western Medical Sciences. I know there are hundreds of threads on this (I've done a ridiculous amount of research), but I feel as though my situation is a little different and I would love to hear some perspective.
Western's Med Sci often is regarded to be a solid choice for 'premeds'. I do like the program's courses and specializations. However, I'm a person of colour and I strongly value diversity, as it contributes to my own motivation and comfortability. I'm not a big partier, but I understand that's a school reputation and may not actually impede on my experience. I know there is some diversity at Western, but it doesn't match McMaster's. McMaster's Life Science is often called difficult, but I don't know if its difficulty is extremely different in comparison to Med Sci or whether or not that should be a deciding factor. The Life Science Gateway specializations are somewhat interesting, however, I am really interested in the Honours Biology and Pharmacology and Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization programs that are offered after 2nd year. I like that these programs offer co-op (BioPharm), and business experience and networking (BDC), allowing me to have a bit more of a sturdy backup plan. McMaster is also closer to me (30-40 minute drive), whereas Western is 2+ hours away, and I do value being close to home.
By checking the first year course calendars, the programs are identical in first year. 2nd year Med Sci is a bit rigid (fewer electives, but I could be wrong?), whereas depending on what I specialize in 2nd year, I have a little more flexibility at Mac. I wasn't able to tour either of the campuses in person due to COVID-19 closures.
I understand GPA is an important factor, but I'm wondering how big the difference is and whether or not it should sway my decision. Ultimately, McMaster appeals more to me as a school due its diversity and community, but Western's program does produce med students and is more 'reputable' (whether or not reputation means anything significant is neither here nor there, lmao).
Thankyou in advance for your time & input. I appreciate it!