Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums
Sign in to follow this  
kerenza

Is UOttawa a low tier medical school?

Recommended Posts

LOL WHAT? man, where do people hear these stories xD. Canadian schools are pretty standard across the board, some do better in one aspect, and others in another. But you will come out a competent doctor out of any of our medical school in Canada. Unless you just strive for the border of passing and don't give a care that is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, kerenza said:

I heard that UOttawa is low tier. If so, why? Is the teaching not good? 

All Canadian medical schools provide similar quality of education and there is no high/low tier schools. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lower tier? Who got to decide that ha. 

Every year one school seems to get picked on ha.

Seriously the objective data does not suggest that is the case. Some people may not like their style but that goes for every single school.  

Edited by rmorelan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well sure....but those are all based on particular criteria. Then you have ask yourself if any of that has anything to do with actually training as a doctor. The first one was based on QS rankings that is produced by an arbitrary scale - at least somewhat arbitrary. For instance:

Academic reputation (30%)

This is a bit self fulfilling and not narrowly measured on medicine in particular. In particular it is not reputation of the school in training specifically medical students, and bigger schools will always have an advantage there. The measured outcome of the training at all the schools is the same so you would think the reputation would be the same - well no because yeah TO has many many other higher reputation programs than Ottawa does pulling things up. That has nothing do with again medical education.

Employer reputation (20%)

Totally meaningless here. There is not difference worth talking about between getting a job based on your medical school. For starters that is finished with 6 years ago or longer in some cases. 

Faculty/student ratio (10%)

Also meaningless for med school. A bigger hospital system would in theory have more staff but so what? 

International research network (10%)

Despite we the focus we seem to have locked into to research, it does not really impact anything related to med school. The CARMS match rates are basically the same between all the schools which is the only place it matters really, despite widely different research approaches etc. 

Citations per paper (10%) and papers per faculty (5%)

there is that research bias again (and I am rather academic in mind set - I still think it is not really all that important relatively speaking)

Staff with a PhD (5%)

They all have MDs. Adding the phd is showing that research bias again - seeing the pattern :)

Proportion of international faculty (2.5%) and proportion of international students (2.5%)

Not important at all.

Ok was all of that useless - maybe. But in any case it isn't nearly as dramatic as to rank these places extremely far apart as they are. 

People that do ranking, create this systems.....sounds like a great way to get free lunches and take trips while feeling important. In terms of actually anything of use? That is another matter. 

I will say this much - I am at Harvard now, and I am teaching regularly Harvard medical students as an instructor. They don't seem any different than the people I taught in Ottawa. 

oh any why 30% 20% 10% and so on for the categories? Who knows - it is all just something that was made up and sounds reasonable. Doesn't mean it is right, certainly doesn't mean it is based on actual science etc. 

Edited by rmorelan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, rmorelan said:

well sure....but those are all based on particular criteria. Then you have ask yourself if any of that has anything to do with actually trained as a doctor. The first one was based on QS rankings that is produced by an arbitrary scale - at least somewhat arbitrary. For instance:

Academic reputation (30%)

This is a bit self fulfilling and not narrowly measured on medicine in particular. In particular it is not reputation of the school in training specifically medical students, and bigger schools will always have an advantage there. The measured outcome of the training at all the schools is the same so you would think the reputation would be the same - well no because yeah TO has many many other higher reputation programs than Ottawa does pulling things up. That has nothing do with again medical education.

Employer reputation (20%)

Totally meaningless here. There is not difference worth talking about between getting a job based on your medical school. For starters that is finished with 6 years ago or long in some cases. 

Faculty/student ratio (10%)

Also meaningless for med school. A bigger hospital system would in theory have more staff but so what? 

International research network (10%)

Despite we the focus we seem to have locked into to research, it does really impact anything related to med school. The CARMS match rates are basically the same between all the schools which is the only place it matters really. 

Citations per paper (10%) and papers per faculty (5%)

there is that research bias again (and I am rather academic in mind set - I still think it is not really all that important relatively speaking)

Staff with a PhD (5%)

They all have MDs. Adding the phd is showing that research bias again

Proportion of international faculty (2.5%) and proportion of international students (2.5%)

Not important at all.

Ok was all of that useless - maybe. But in any case it isn't nearly as dramatic as to rank these places extremely far apart as they are. 

People that do ranking, create this systems.....sounds like a great way to get free lunches and take trips while feeling important. In terms of actually anything of use? That is another matter. 

I will say this much - I am at Harvard now, and I am teaching regularly Harvard medical students as an instructor. They don't seem any different than the people I taught in Ottawa. 

 

This.  I 100% agree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am genuinely impressed at how long we've made it without one of these monstrosities showing up...

 

But seriously.. 

If you genuinely believe that some poor intern sitting in Times Higher Ed London office's actually went out of their way to evaluate teaching quality and compared curriculums as well as matching results of each Canadian school to come out with their ranking, you're a lost cause. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Edict said:

I am genuinely impressed at how long we've made it without one of these monstrosities showing up...

 

But seriously.. 

If you genuinely believe that some poor intern sitting in Times Higher Ed London office's actually went out of their way to evaluate teaching quality and compared curriculums as well as matching results of each Canadian school to come out with their ranking, you have no hope. 

 

 

I talked to someone at my university who had such a terrible opinion of McMaster med it was actually a bit frightening. He got all worked up called the school discriminatory because they don't allow many 30+ people in and he said their 3 year program/curriculum is the "worst in Canada" and their students are worse compared to other medical schools lol. Pretty sure he was upset at getting rejected (if I had to guess) but still the fact that people hold opinions like these is nonsensical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, VigoVirgo said:

 

I talked to someone at my university who had such a terrible opinion of McMaster med it was actually a bit frightening. He got all worked up called the school discriminatory because they don't allow many 30+ people in and he said their 3 year program/curriculum is the "worst in Canada" and their students are worse compared to other medical schools lol. Pretty sure he was upset at getting rejected (if I had to guess) but still the fact that people hold opinions like these is nonsensical.

I'm actually more willing to talk to people who discuss the curriculums of each school. The 3 year versus 4 year difference is a real thing, the ethos and philosophies of a school do matter to some degree. I've had my own issues with the McMaster curriculum, but that comes from an informed view on the inside. 

Genuinely speaking, you should take what people who hold extreme views say with a grain of salt though 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Edict said:

I'm actually more willing to talk to people who discuss the curriculums of each school. The 3 year versus 4 year difference is a real thing, the ethos and philosophies of a school do matter to some degree. I've had my own issues with the McMaster curriculum, but that comes from an informed view on the inside. 

Genuinely speaking, you should take what people who hold extreme views say with a grain of salt though 

Just out of curiosity, what are your quips with the McMaster curriculum? I know they have optional anatomy and it's largely self-learning/group problem learning based, but don't know much more than that

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, brady23 said:

Just out of curiosity, what are your quips with the McMaster curriculum? I know they have optional anatomy and it's largely self-learning/group problem learning based, but don't know much more than that

That's really all you need to know lol. People who are driven do really well. People who need to be taught have a hard time, but turn into good doctors eventually because they learn the hard way.

Side note: I thought mac had a higher average age than most schools?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, PhD2MD said:

That's really all you need to know lol. People who are driven do really well. People who need to be taught have a hard time, but turn into good doctors eventually because they learn the hard way.

Side note: I thought mac had a higher average age than most schools?

Calgary has the highest average age of med students. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorta random, but someone on here used the 2016 Canadian Medical Students Statistics earlier and found the average age upon receipt of the MD to be 27.26.. if you weigh-average the 2/17 schools to be 3-yr programs (Calgary + Mac) and then 15/17 schools to be 4-yr programs, then you get around 23.38 as the average age of entry to medical school. Some of the french schools have a 5-yr MD program, but for the sake of simplicity, I have ignored that complication.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, la marzocco said:

Sorta random, but someone on here used the 2016 Canadian Medical Students Statistics earlier and found the average age upon receipt of the MD to be 27.26.. if you weigh-average the 2/17 schools to be 3-yr programs (Calgary + Mac) and then 15/17 schools to be 4-yr programs, then you get around 23.38 as the average age of entry to medical school. Some of the french schools have a 5-yr MD program, but for the sake of simplicity, I have ignored that complication.

I guess I am not super surprised by that - the average number of tries to get into medical school is in the ball park of 2 (it was 2.6 a decade ago but I haven't tracked), and there are a lot of masters/phd people pulling up the average as well. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/3/2018 at 5:22 PM, brady23 said:

Just out of curiosity, what are your quips with the McMaster curriculum? I know they have optional anatomy and it's largely self-learning/group problem learning based, but don't know much more than that

To sum it up, I feel the program is too progressive. Many of the innovations they have created while well meaning, i feel have negative consequences. Change for the sake of change, if you will.

1. Anatomy is optional - Everyone knows this, but what people don't know is it isnt good even if you attend all the sessions. The faculty to student ratio is bad, 1:12 and the specimens are so old that many structures are unrecognizable. Anatomy at Mac was basically similar to a museum with a guided tour. You walk in, take a look at the exhibits, listen to guide a bit, and wander off whenever you want. There is very little contact time in anatomy. 

2. Huge emphasis on the social aspect of medicine - From a contact hours perspective, as much as 1/3rd of the mandatory contact hours are spent discussing the social issues in medicine. The issue is that much of it is quite one-sided and political, and much of it isn't really all that relevant. My issue with it was more that given the medical school seemed to leave the actual learning of medicine itself to us, it was ironic that they didn't leave us to learn the social and ethics side of medicine to ourselves.. 

3. Clerkship set up - To sum it up, electives are too early in clerkship, this disadvantages Mac clerks by making them look incompetent when visiting schools and it also forces them to make specialty decisions incredibly early, we booked our first electives at the beginning of 2nd year. Some streams will have finished most of their electives just 3 months into clerkship. 

4. Lack of support - The school itself doesn't really seem to care where and to what their students match to (and whether or not they are happy with it). The focus is entirely on matching somewhere, anywhere. As a result, they don't really care about making those changes to optimize CaRMS for students applying for competitive specialties or locations.

5. Happy to be average - The ethos of the school itself seemed to be, aim to be average. A lower than average pass rate on MCCQE pt 1 was explained away by being a 3 year school. In committee meetings, they still had difficulty admitting that testing students had a positive effect on board pass rates. Rumors of poorer performance in first year residency was explained by being a 3 year school and that "we will catch up", without a reference to the fact that we still had to compete with 4 year students when it came to CaRMS. Lower than average match rates to competitive specialties are not a concern to them. 

Ultimately, I feel that their curriculum, while well meaning, is not in touch with the reality of clinical medicine, or as they would put it, different from the "hidden curriculum". When it comes to what medical students want, which is to match to their top choice in CaRMS, i feel that the school doesn't really set their students up for success as well as other schools might. 

The argument that Mac proponents make is that: "well the motivated ones still do well". Yes, but the motivated ones will do well if you dropped them in antarctica with a few books and a pen. Reminds me of the remark: "What do you call the medical student who graduates bottom of his class? Doctor." Medical schools, more so than any other program are responsible for not only their best graduates but their poorer performing ones, everyone is going to be treating patients one day.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, PhD2MD said:

That's really all you need to know lol. People who are driven do really well. People who need to be taught have a hard time, but turn into good doctors eventually because they learn the hard way.

Side note: I thought mac had a higher average age than most schools?

Mac actually takes a much higher number of students after 3rd year ug than other schools and a few more older students than other schools. All in all, I don't think Mac's avg age is higher than other schools. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with much of what you wrote, my perspectives below:

On 11/3/2018 at 10:16 PM, Edict said:

1. Anatomy is optional

I think mine was the last "mandatory" anatomy year. I agree that the mandated sessions were awful. That being said, the prosections and staff were actually very great, and would be happy to teach or talk about anything if you came outside of assigned hours. I think Mac realized that they let students be flexible in how they learned in every thing else, so why not let some people learn anatomy from prosections and discussing with staff, and others watch videos or read texts or do colouring books or whatever, which I think its an improvement.

2. Huge emphasis on the social aspect of medicine

Mac definitely emphasizes this but its value is subjective. I thought some was a little much, but many of my classmates were into it. None of it I thought was overtly political or one-sided. (Unless that one side was to be ethical lol)

3. Clerkship set up

Yes it sucks if you don't have it all planned out from the start or get a bad roll with your stream. I understand why it's set up the way it is, and changes were made at the end of our tenure to improve it, but its really the limitation of a 3 year school in a city the size of Hamilton, where only x number of students can rotate through a specialty at any one time, and you have multiple years overlapping. Doing electives so early into clerkship feels crappy but on the other side of it I think that the places you work with understand, and really electives are more about working well with others and showing interest as opposed to sheer knowledge, and can confirm this now as a resident.

4. Lack of support

Yes the career councillors were useless. They had no personalized input and had the same advice for everyone about applying broadly and backing up. Clearly they cared about a high overall match rate than your individual situation. That being said I found a lot of the staff physicians that had teaching roles, as well as senior staff, and admin personnel were very supportive and did go above and beyond.

5. Happy to be average

I didn't get this impression. Maybe our year was the lower than average pass rate? I heartily disagree about first year residency performance, at least from my experience anecdotally. Our match rate was relatively low, but we still had lots of people match to competitive things. I think the way Mac works is that there is less of a safety net since everything is so self directed. You can self direct yourself into a hole without anyone stopping you. No testing means the driven people who would have succeeded on tests succeed anyway, and the struggling ones perhaps would have have been held back or kicked out and other schools prior to the match. Is this better? I guess its a matter of opinion. I think the surprise fail/unmatch rate is probably similar to other schools.

Ultimately, I feel that their curriculum, while well meaning, is not in touch with the reality of clinical medicine, or as they would put it, different from the "hidden curriculum".

I disagree with this. Mac has a system which is better for some people than others, just like U of T has a system which is better for some people than others. If your brain works that way and you learn by connecting the dots on your own, the tutorial system is great. I personally get very little out of didactic lectures so I feel a lecture heavy school might have been less effective for me. Some people will thrive on lectures. Obviously some people don't have the luxury of choosing what med school to go to, but if you do this should be considered. Like I said maybe its easier to fail at Mac, the help is there, but you have to ask for it. Is that an important lesson in itself? I personally have seen that if someone does a couple horizontal electives in the first few months and decides that vascular surgery is the path for them, and they find a staff mentor and tell them that, then they will have a ton of support towards that goal. But someone silently struggling is really going to struggle.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×