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Hi there, new to the forum. I'm currently in grade 12 and starting to apply to university. My longterm goal would be to get into University of Toronto or McMaster medical school. So the question is: Does the undergraduate school you do to matter in terms of Medical school acceptance? I know this topic has been discussed before but wanted to know if anything has changed. I currently live in Toronto and want to get away for undergrad and explore somewhere new like Ottawa or Northern Ontario (don't ask me why lol). Would going to schools like Uottawa or Northern Ontario which are ranked 10th or less in Canada hinder my chances in the longrun?  I've been browsing through the medical schools websites and the only thing that scares me a little is that very few people from smaller universities get accepted. Lets say I get a 3.8 GPA at UOttawa, would that be "equal" to a 3.8 at McMaster/Western in the eyes of the med school? (given program (biomed), extracirriculars and LORs are the same)

 

Would appreciate any advice on this matter,

Thanks!

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1. Apply to Mac HealthSci for undergrad. (very hard to get into)

2. Apply to any other school in a program that you would enjoy and one where you can get high marks. GPA is King. You really need a +3.9 and aim for 4.0.  Keep full course load through all 4 years.   A 3.8 at UofO is same as a 3.8 at MAC.

3. Some comments on premed101 suggest Engineering (due to course load)  and Nursing are difficult paths to Med School applications.  Not sure how valid this is.

4. Most premeds tend to go to the larger schools that also have medicine  (MAC, UofT, UWO, Queens). The larger schools allow for more course variety. Medicine on campus may have more EC and research opportunities.  You will also find more like-minded peers to prepare with (Applications, MCAT study).    That said - go where you can be successful.

   

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5 hours ago, Meridian said:

go where you can be successful

This. Don't underestimate the utility of knowing people who are taking and have taken the classes you will be in. You can definitely go in blind for the "experience", but in the long run, you can get yourself closer to that coveted 4.0 if you can expect the punches thrown your way.

But to answer your question, they don't care what school/program you're in as long as you cover the requirements and are competitive.

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No, the school does not matter. The reason you see most people get in from the larger schools is because that is where the majority of the applications come from. As the previous posters have said, the #1 most important thing is your GPA. Even a 3.8 is actually not very competitive in Ontario (doable but limits your options). You will want to aim for as close to 4.0 as possible. Do some research on which school/program would maximize that chance for you (whether that means staying close to home so your family can help you with meals/chores or getting a fresh start in a new environment depends on you and your circumstances).

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55 minutes ago, Intrepid86 said:

GPA considerations are one thing, but I always feel compelled to remind people to choose a place they'll enjoy being at. This is still four years of your life. 

not always unrelated as well - it is hard to do well in a program for 4 years that you don't like, in a city they don't like either. Can be done but it adds challenge.

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5 hours ago, Rabeprazole said:

This. Don't underestimate the utility of knowing people who are taking and have taken the classes you will be in. You can definitely go in blind for the "experience", but in the long run, you can get yourself closer to that coveted 4.0 if you can expect the punches thrown your way.

But to answer your question, they don't care what school/program you're in as long as you cover the requirements and are competitive.

always viewed that as one of the primary reasons for premed clubs - if there is information out there to get, that can be used to help you  - well go get that information. 

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11 hours ago, Meridian said:

1. Apply to Mac HealthSci for undergrad. (very hard to get into)

2. Apply to any other school in a program that you would enjoy and one where you can get high marks. GPA is King. You really need a +3.9 and aim for 4.0.  Keep full course load through all 4 years.   A 3.8 at UofO is same as a 3.8 at MAC.

3. Some comments on premed101 suggest Engineering (due to course load)  and Nursing are difficult paths to Med School applications.  Not sure how valid this is.

4. Most premeds tend to go to the larger schools that also have medicine  (MAC, UofT, UWO, Queens). The larger schools allow for more course variety. Medicine on campus may have more EC and research opportunities.  You will also find more like-minded peers to prepare with (Applications, MCAT study).    That said - go where you can be successful.

   

 

2 hours ago, Monkey D. Luffy said:

No, the school does not matter. The reason you see most people get in from the larger schools is because that is where the majority of the applications come from. As the previous posters have said, the #1 most important thing is your GPA. Even a 3.8 is actually not very competitive in Ontario (doable but limits your options). You will want to aim for as close to 4.0 as possible. Do some research on which school/program would maximize that chance for you (whether that means staying close to home so your family can help you with meals/chores or getting a fresh start in a new environment depends on you and your circumstances).

Thanks for all the replies. This gave me a little comfort in choosing UOttawa. Its really a city I'd like to be in for 4 year but was just very unsettling that only 5 U of T Med students are from there. (Which is where I would like to get a shot at)

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Short answer is no. 

There are people in my class who went to Quest, Trent, Alberta, Brock, Simon Fraser, Guelph, etc. I don't go to UofT but there's also quite a few at my school from Ottawa (probably around the same number if not more than the number of people from Mac).

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22 minutes ago, RichardUnderwoodMTB said:

 

Thanks for all the replies. This gave me a little comfort in choosing UOttawa. Its really a city I'd like to be in for 4 year but was just very unsettling that only 5 U of T Med students are from there. (Which is where I would like to get a shot at)

Going to uOttawa will not prevent you from getting to any medical school in the Country. I did my undergrad at uOttawa and did quite well in getting accepted to medical school. Furthermore, I know people from uOttawa that have gotten into almost every medical school in the country. I also know of people who have gotten into Harvard Med from uOttawa undergrad. All this to say it won’t prevent you from succeeding. 

I feel like the education is good at uOttawa  however the school spirit leaves a lot to be desired. It definitely has a commuter vibe.

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2 hours ago, RichardUnderwoodMTB said:

 

Thanks for all the replies. This gave me a little comfort in choosing UOttawa. Its really a city I'd like to be in for 4 year but was just very unsettling that only 5 U of T Med students are from there. (Which is where I would like to get a shot at)

Those 5 probably would've gotten in regardless of where they did undergraduate degrees, as long as they would've performed the same way. It's the student that matters, not the school. Simply choose the program and location that you believe will allow you to perform at your best.

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7 hours ago, Aetherus said:

Going to uOttawa will not prevent you from getting to any medical school in the Country. I did my undergrad at uOttawa and did quite well in getting accepted to medical school. Furthermore, I know people from uOttawa that have gotten into almost every medical school in the country. I also know of people who have gotten into Harvard Med from uOttawa undergrad. All this to say it won’t prevent you from succeeding. 

I feel like the education is good at uOttawa  however the school spirit leaves a lot to be desired. It definitely has a commuter vibe.

Thanks for the insight, if you don't mind me prying...what medical school did you end up in and how was your experience at UOttawa?

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I did my undergrad at a small university in Northern Ontario, and couldn’t have asked for a better experience! My classes were small, everyone was friendly, and there were a lot of opportunities to get involved in different research projects. Many of my classmates in medical school went to larger universities, and talk about how people in their programs were very competitive. I didn’t experience any of that in undergrad, fortunately. I agree with the posters above that if you go to school in a city that you want to be in, it’ll be a more enjoyable experience, and will be easier to do well in your program. There are some programs that do make it difficult to take the pre-reqs that some schools need/are covered on the MCAT (like nursing and engineering), but I would choose a program that interests you. Best of luck! :)  feel free to PM me if you have any questions. 

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On 12/4/2018 at 12:59 PM, RichardUnderwoodMTB said:

 

Thanks for all the replies. This gave me a little comfort in choosing UOttawa. Its really a city I'd like to be in for 4 year but was just very unsettling that only 5 U of T Med students are from there. (Which is where I would like to get a shot at)

Medical schools don't care where you did your undergrad at all. They don't care how "difficult" your GPA was to earn. If you think about it, it is very difficult for a school to really adjust for a "difficult school or program" in an objective manner that everyone would agree to. Difficulty of your GPA depends on so many other factors as well, including what courses you take, what electives you take etc., so schools would rather take everything at face value and look at other parts of your application instead. 

The most likely reason not many UOttawa students ended up at UofT Med is because few people want to do what you want to do and go more remote and away for undergrad.

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On 12/4/2018 at 11:04 AM, Intrepid86 said:

GPA considerations are one thing, but I always feel compelled to remind people to choose a place they'll enjoy being at. This is still four years of your life. 

Some true. If you don't enjoy the place/program then this can have such a big impact on well-being as well as impact on your GPA.

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Currently a medical student at uOttawa. You can definitely come here for undergrad and get into medicine anywhere in the country. Your gpa, ECs, and mcat score matter much more than where you went for undergrad. If you're wondering why only 5 people from uOttawa undergrad went to u of t for medicine, its likely that most people who are from ottawa who did their undergrad in ottawa would prefer to also go to med school in ottawa or somewhere closer to home such as queens. From my experience in uOttawa med, there are definitely a decent number of people from ottawa in my class, and I have a few friends who chose Ottawa over Toronto because they wanted to be close to family. 

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50 minutes ago, m_jacob_45 said:

Currently a medical student at uOttawa. You can definitely come here for undergrad and get into medicine anywhere in the country. Your gpa, ECs, and mcat score matter much more than where you went for undergrad. If you're wondering why only 5 people from uOttawa undergrad went to u of t for medicine, its likely that most people who are from ottawa who did their undergrad in ottawa would prefer to also go to med school in ottawa or somewhere closer to home such as queens. From my experience in uOttawa med, there are definitely a decent number of people from ottawa in my class, and I have a few friends who chose Ottawa over Toronto because they wanted to be close to family. 

Any thoughts on Biology vs. BioMed vs Health Science at UOttawa? Been accepted into all three but can't decide which to take...they are all so similar yet so different haha

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8 minutes ago, RichardUnderwoodMTB said:

Any thoughts on Biology vs. BioMed vs Health Science at UOttawa? Been accepted into all three but can't decide which to take...they are all so similar yet so different haha

I went to Western for undergrad, so I'm not that familiar with the differences between programs...

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1 hour ago, RichardUnderwoodMTB said:

Any thoughts on Biology vs. BioMed vs Health Science at UOttawa? Been accepted into all three but can't decide which to take...they are all so similar yet so different haha

They are actually quite different. If you want to take science classes then take Biomed. If you want to take more classes focused on determinants of health etc take Health Sciences. Biology is strictly inferior to Biomed as there are more prerequisite courses and less flexibility then Biomed. If you want, your Biomed degree can look exactly like a biology degree in terms of the courses you take. The opposite is not true. I would do Biomed if I were you.

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1 hour ago, Aetherus said:

They are actually quite different. If you want to take science classes then take Biomed. If you want to take more classes focused on determinants of health etc take Health Sciences. Biology is strictly inferior to Biomed as there are more prerequisite courses and less flexibility then Biomed. If you want, your Biomed degree can look exactly like a biology degree in terms of the courses you take. The opposite is not true. I would do Biomed if I were you.

Thanks, the only thing I'm not crazy about are all the pure sciences/math/physics involved in BioMed. Shouldn't both Biology and BioMed grant you a bachlors in science BSc? Or is BioMed a different degree all together? 

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19 minutes ago, RichardUnderwoodMTB said:

Thanks, the only thing I'm not crazy about are all the pure sciences/math/physics involved in BioMed. Shouldn't both Biology and BioMed grant you a bachlors in science BSc? Or is BioMed a different degree all together? 

Usually bioMed is a Bsc degree. Health science can be also a Bsc or a BHs (or something similar). Things are always perfectly standardized. (like a degree in computer science ha can be a Bsc, BMath, BComp, or BA as another example of just flexibility in the system). 

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