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inkbat

choosing between schools (queen's, western, mac)?

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i don't want to be presumptuous and i'm definitely not expecting to be accepted to all 3 of the schools where i received interviews (i'd be ecstatic with just one acceptance!!). on the other hand, due to the current circumstances i've got a lot of time to just sit around and think, and in order to stay positive/motivated i'm thinking about where i'll end up this coming september - i.e. fantasizing about which school i would choose if i were accepted to all 3 by some freakish act of god.

does anyone have any thoughts, experiences, opinions to share? what would you personally do if you were accepted to these 3 schools?

 

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my current thoughts:

mac
pros - 3 year program (i've taken 2 years off school since i finished undergrad so would be nice to save some time), closest to home, did my undergrad here and liked living here, generally have a preference for bigger cities
cons - not a fan of PBL, kinda want to go somewhere new, ?less of a community feel

queen's
pros - smallest class size, beautiful campus & facilities, faculty is apparently excellent, kingston is super cute (although small), prefer their curriculum to mac's
cons - far from home, extremely small town compared to what i'm used to

western
pros - nice campus, really liked the community vibe when i went for my interview, also prefer their curriculum to mac's
cons - london depresses me, far from home

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30 minutes ago, Bambi said:

Based upon all you say, I’d go with Mac if given the choice.

interestingly, when i read this comment, i started to think of all the reasons i didn't want to go to mac (and added some to my cons list). maybe my subconscious is telling me something haha. what made you say that mac is the best choice based on what i've listed? :)

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Close to family is an important consideration, if you have that choice. Also, you might want to practice there and there is the home school advantage. All in all, it appeared to be the right choice if you have the option. Also, there is saving a year.

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Honestly I wouldn't judge PBL before you try it. For us at UBC, CBL is a super critical part of the curriculum and is honestly such a great way to focus on clinical judgement as well as review the material you see in lecture (plus you make friends!) Based on what you said, I would choose a place that makes you the happiest and that you are comfortable attending, it seems like Mac may be a good option but you gotta decide for yourself. Good luck!

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A few more important factors should be weighed in your decision. Do you know what specialty or area of medicine you are interested in? If the answer is no, or you are interested in something highly competitive (plastics, derm, Ophtho), I would strongly suggest not going to a 3 year program. There is a real disadvantage of not having any summers off. Furthermore, the elective schedule is less idea at 3 year schools and it makes it harder to make a good impression.

I can only speak to Queen’s as I graduated from there. I absolutely loved my time at Queen’s. In my biased opinion, it is the best school in Canada. I have posted several times in the Queen’s forum as to what makes it a great school but here are a few points:

1. Collegiality: Being the smallest class in Canada, you get very close to all your peers. However, I think there is so much more to the collegiality on display at Queen’s. This extends throughout your career. People identify as Queen’s alumni and anytime I work with a staff that graduated from Queen’s there is instant bonding over this. Furthermore, even after graduating, our class stays in touch. I’m currently in a major city across the country from Kingston and we have a Facebook messenger group with all of the recent Queen’s grads to set up times to hang out or to help each other out. 

2. Academic Excellence: I truly believe our curriculum is expertly designed to teach you all the things that are clinically relevant and that you will require going forward in Residency. We do very well on the LMCC Part 1, Part 2 and our match rate is consistently amongst the best in the country with several people matching to the most competitive specialties. 

3. Clinical Teaching: Queen’s Faculty are all on alternative payment models in which they have a base salary. This means they can spend the time to teach you in clinic or in the OR without it negatively impacting their income. This results in a fantastic learning environment as a clerk.

4. Faculty: The faculty are fantastic and super supportive. The associate dean Dr. Tony Sanfilippo is a gem. He will have regular town hall meetings with all the medical students to keep them updated on everything going on in the medical school. I don’t know of any other school that has this level of interaction with the administration.

5. Kingston: Kingston is absolutely beautiful. It’s small but there is always something to do. There is 50k + students during the school year so it is always pact with people and buzzing with life. You are right on Lake Ontario and the St-Lawrence River so lot’s of water. A lot of history as well as it was the first capital of Canada. 

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I have also been dong the same thing. Too much time on my hands now so its nice to day dream.  I had interviews at Queens, Mac and Ottawa. 

I kind of want to go to mac as its the best choice logistically  for me. My family, boyfriend, friends are all here,  I love the city and did my undergrad here so some clubs I would want to continue with. 

However, I understand the disadvantages to mac, 3 year program, some do not like PBL. And for my self my biggest worry is that a lot of people say Mac does not have a community feel to it and that makes me sad.  I was hoping I would get to see what Mac was like at the interviews but now that chance is gone.  

Can anyone speak to how Mac does in terms of Collegiality? I really want to make close friends with my peers and faculty. 

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6 hours ago, Aetherus said:

Do you know what specialty or area of medicine you are interested in? If the answer is no, or you are interested in something highly competitive (plastics, derm, Ophtho), I would strongly suggest not going to a 3 year program.

i'm actually interested in a specialty that appears to be one of the least competitive ones based on the CaRMS data i've seen, so hopefully it won't matter too much - although, of course, there's the possibility that i change my mind.

thank you so much for sharing your perspective on queen's! based on everything i've heard & seen of it, i feel like it might be my first choice, but i'm almost too scared to let myself think that because it has the lowest acceptance rate. 

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5 hours ago, MDLD said:

And for my self my biggest worry is that a lot of people say Mac does not have a community feel to it and that makes me sad.  I was hoping I would get to see what Mac was like at the interviews but now that chance is gone.  

Can anyone speak to how Mac does in terms of Collegiality? I really want to make close friends with my peers and faculty. 

i have been worried about the same thing! hoping someone will be able to weigh in :)

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19 hours ago, inkbat said:

i'm actually interested in a specialty that appears to be one of the least competitive ones based on the CaRMS data i've seen, so hopefully it won't matter too much - although, of course, there's the possibility that i change my mind.

thank you so much for sharing your perspective on queen's! based on everything i've heard & seen of it, i feel like it might be my first choice, but i'm almost too scared to let myself think that because it has the lowest acceptance rate. 

Feel free to reach out if you find yourself having to make a decision in a few weeks from now.

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On 3/29/2020 at 12:46 PM, Aetherus said:

I can only speak to Queen’s as I graduated from there. I absolutely loved my time at Queen’s. In my biased opinion, it is the best school in Canada. I have posted several times in the Queen’s forum as to what makes it a great school but here are a few points:

lol. if I could redo it then I'd choose to have every single knuckle cleanly broken instead of enrolling where I did.  Repairable and would be over faster (not one of the three mentioned). rlol.

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