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James Nystead

McMaster Accepted/Waitlisted/Rejected 2019-2020

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2 hours ago, Peanuts29 said:

Of course you will want to be part of their program. You will suck up as much as possible just like I did for med school to go where I need to go. That is the hierarchy of medicine my friend. Wouldn't you also not know why they look down upon you just like you don't know why people get rejected to med school. 

Wow, I'm actually so glad you're not joining my medical school. Good luck buddy :)

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Result: Accepted (Niagara)

Timestamp: 8:09am

cGPA: 3.86

CARS: 128

CASPer: Felt pretty decent, but who knows really. No other interviews to gauge it by.

Year: PhD complete

Geography: IP

Button: No

Seems likely I was looked on favorably by the RNG lottery, unless my CASPer was amazing and the PhD bonus was retained, but even then probably still lottery. Niagara was def my fav campus even though I listed Hamilton first for other reasons, but even still I think I'll be declining (likely in favour of Toronto). Hang in there wait-list folks, I hope you all make it off the list and into a program, you're all troopers!

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c2021 Medical Student at Mac here:

For everyone that got accepted today, congrats! It wasn't an easy road to get here, and it is very well deserved for you to be where you are now. If the lottery did not work out in your favour, I am sorry for how things played out - I know this isn't the most satisfactory way for the school to handle things, no matter their justification. I wish you best of luck in next year's interview cycle. 

I wanted to give my opinion on some of the concerns I've seen here for anyone who might find it useful. 

1) PDs/ CARMS committees will stigmatize you for being apart of this lottery cohort:

No, no one gives a shit. I promise you that. Talking to a fair share of program directors, chiefs, and staff that make up selection committees, there are many things that can make or break your application, but generally, it boils down to: how good your reference letters are, whether or not you did electives in the program you're applying to, your personal statement, and to a lesser extent, EC's like research (i.e., what's your story?). They do not give a shit that you got in because Mac used a lottery this year. Pre-interview rankings are determined using scoring scales in the aforementioned categories - that, and if you're a douchebag at meet and greets etc. The notion that you would reject a Mac offer solely because there was a lottery system this year is borderline laughable and there will be many students who would gratefully be bumped off the waitlist to take your spot. Not a single staff, resident, or upper year student who I've talked to about this since the news came out shares the sentiment that you will be disadvantaged because of the lottery. 

2) Concerns around Mac's 3 year program.

Admittedly, there are disadvantages to being in a 3 year program. The biggest one and only one I've felt is that you get less elective time, which can make it difficult if you decide that you're interested in a different program than you originally thought. For the most part however, the elective time you DO get it sufficient, and the PD's I've talked to about this are fully aware that students have change of heart (which may lead to less elective time in X specialty) during clerkship, in which there are other ways to show interest in a program  if that's the case (personal statement, ECs, etc.) Addressing some of the other concerns here: Not once have I felt that my shortened pre-clerkship/clerkship program put me at a disadvantage in terms of clinical performance or experience. My personal opinion is that your peers from other schools may have a larger knowledge base (having been in more lectures etc.), but this difference is extremely marginal, and imho Mac has made me a more resourceful than they are, which is arguably handier. You get plenty of time in pre-clerkship to explore different specialties as well, though I could see some impact from COVID on this. Either way,  everyone eventually finds their niche, and preceptors don't really give a shit about how much you know (to an extent), as long as you perform reasonably, are keen, and have good interpersonal skills, they will be impressed. As for not having summers, you have way more than enough free time as a pre-clerk to do all the research you need. You don't need a summer just to do research for CV building, and the post-MF4 elective system is essentially a break for you as well. 

There are many legitimate reasons for wanting to choose another school (and congrats if you got multiple admission offers!), but just make sure that your decision is informed and grounded in reality. Reach out to residents, med students, etc. to find out more about the school, they will gladly take time out of their day to talk with you! 

I hope some of the incoming students found this useful, and I'm excited to meet you all in the fall! If you have any questions, feel free to DM me. 

 

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11 minutes ago, spicydicey said:

c2021 Medical Student at Mac here:

For everyone that got accepted today, congrats! It wasn't an easy road to get here, and it is very well deserved for you to be where you are now. If the lottery did not work out in your favour, I am sorry for how things played out - I know this isn't the most satisfactory way for the school to handle things, no matter their justification. I wish you best of luck in next year's interview cycle. 

I wanted to give my opinion on some of the concerns I've seen here for anyone who might find it useful. 

1) PDs/ CARMS committees will stigmatize you for being apart of this lottery cohort:

No, no one gives a shit. I promise you that. Talking to a fair share of program directors, chiefs, and staff that make up selection committees, there are many things that can make or break your application, but generally, it boils down to: how good your reference letters are, whether or not you did electives in the program you're applying to, your personal statement, and to a lesser extent, EC's like research (i.e., what's your story?). They do not give a shit that you got in because Mac used a lottery this year. Pre-interview rankings are determined using scoring scales in the aforementioned categories - that, and if you're a douchebag at meet and greets etc. The notion that you would reject a Mac offer solely because there was a lottery system this year is borderline laughable and there will be many students who would gratefully be bumped off the waitlist to take your spot. Not a single staff, resident, or upper year student who I've talked to about this since the news came out shares the sentiment that you will be disadvantaged because of the lottery. 

2) Concerns around Mac's 3 year program.

Admittedly, there are disadvantages to being in a 3 year program. The biggest one and only one I've felt is that you get less elective time, which can make it difficult if you decide that you're interested in a different program than you originally thought. For the most part however, the elective time you DO get it sufficient, and the PD's I've talked to about this are fully aware that students have change of heart (which may lead to less elective time in X specialty) during clerkship, in which there are other ways to show interest in a program  if that's the case (personal statement, ECs, etc.) Addressing some of the other concerns here: Not once have I felt that my shortened pre-clerkship/clerkship program put me at a disadvantage in terms of clinical performance or experience. My personal opinion is that your peers from other schools may have a larger knowledge base (having been in more lectures etc.), but this difference is extremely marginal, and imho Mac has made me a more resourceful than they are, which is arguably handier. You get plenty of time in pre-clerkship to explore different specialties as well, though I could see some impact from COVID on this. Either way,  everyone eventually finds their niche, and preceptors don't really give a shit about how much you know (to an extent), as long as you perform reasonably, are keen, and have good interpersonal skills, they will be impressed. As for not having summers, you have way more than enough free time as a pre-clerk to do all the research you need. You don't need a summer just to do research for CV building, and the post-MF4 elective system is essentially a break for you as well. 

There are many legitimate reasons for wanting to choose another school (and congrats if you got multiple admission offers!), but just make sure that your decision is informed and grounded in reality. Reach out to residents, med students, etc. to find out more about the school, they will gladly take time out of their day to talk with you! 

I hope some of the incoming students found this useful, and I'm excited to meet you all in the fall! If you have any questions, feel free to DM me. 

 

Since you are a c2021 Medical Student, you have not gone through the CaRMS/residency matching process. Medical Students know nothing of what the match process is like unless you have sat on residency boards/selection committees. 

Staff are usually not completely upfront with medical students. The matching system is largely based on personal pride and opinion. There are many staff doctors on residency boards that believe they are more "elite" than McMaster for reasons such as this lottery situation. The lottery has only made their impression worse. All current medical students, including yourself, have been pulled out of all clinical duties until at least July due to covid-19. Therefore, I find it hard to believe that you have been speaking with a representative amount of doctors that sit on residency committees to determine and tell people that the lottery decision is irrelevant. 

I enjoyed my time at Mac, but I can tell you now that many are looking down upon the lottery decision. They are especially concerned that future medical students who are getting offers without interviewing may not be prime future candidates. Even though these students may be able to prove otherwise in clinical duties in the hospitals, you cannot discount the potential bias people may have against a medical student who got in through a lottery.

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Result: Accepted (Hamilton)

Timestamp: 8:08am

cGPA: 3.93

CARS: 131

CASPer: Practiced a lot so I think it went ok but the whole day was a blur

Year: 3rd year UG

Geography: IP

Button: No

Will be accepting!

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"At this time, you will begin to play the important role as McMaster ambassadors to the incoming class. They are going to enter our medical school under very difficult conditions – very likely beginning their medical training in an entirely virtual setting."

Part of the email from the dean of undergraduate medical education to current medical students

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1 hour ago, Stethoscopular said:

Since you are a c2021 Medical Student, you have not gone through the CaRMS/residency matching process. Medical Students know nothing of what the match process is like unless you have sat on residency boards/selection committees. 

Staff are usually not completely upfront with medical students. The matching system is largely based on personal pride and opinion. There are many staff doctors on residency boards that believe they are more "elite" than McMaster for reasons such as this lottery situation. The lottery has only made their impression worse. All current medical students, including yourself, have been pulled out of all clinical duties until at least July due to covid-19. Therefore, I find it hard to believe that you have been speaking with a representative amount of doctors that sit on residency committees to determine and tell people that the lottery decision is irrelevant. 

I enjoyed my time at Mac, but I can tell you now that many are looking down upon the lottery decision. They are especially concerned that future medical students who are getting offers without interviewing may not be prime future candidates. Even though these students may be able to prove otherwise in clinical duties in the hospitals, you cannot discount the potential bias people may have against a medical student who got in through a lottery.

Thanks for sharing this 

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2 hours ago, Stethoscopular said:

Since you are a c2021 Medical Student, you have not gone through the CaRMS/residency matching process. Medical Students know nothing of what the match process is like unless you have sat on residency boards/selection committees. 

Staff are usually not completely upfront with medical students. The matching system is largely based on personal pride and opinion. There are many staff doctors on residency boards that believe they are more "elite" than McMaster for reasons such as this lottery situation. The lottery has only made their impression worse. All current medical students, including yourself, have been pulled out of all clinical duties until at least July due to covid-19. Therefore, I find it hard to believe that you have been speaking with a representative amount of doctors that sit on residency committees to determine and tell people that the lottery decision is irrelevant. 

I enjoyed my time at Mac, but I can tell you now that many are looking down upon the lottery decision. They are especially concerned that future medical students who are getting offers without interviewing may not be prime future candidates. Even though these students may be able to prove otherwise in clinical duties in the hospitals, you cannot discount the potential bias people may have against a medical student who got in through a lottery.

Fair enough, probably took an overly aggressive stance, especially considering I am a junior. I don't think it's accurate to say I know nothing of what the match process is, though I can only share what I've heard from the docs and PDs I've talked to. Of course, this information may not be representative of all programs, as as you mentioned, there are some preceptors who are elitist and hold biases against mac. As always, the truth likely lies somewhere in between. Based on the people I've talked to, both pre and post COVID, I still firmly believe that the lottery won't ultimately be a deciding factor in a candidate going unmatched. The people I've talked to do not care, but like you said, there are likely those that do. 

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4 hours ago, Peanuts29 said:

I'm getting a lot of anger for bringing up a legitimate concern of mine. If this is how people at Mac are going to respond to me genuinely asking if this is a problem, then it is not helping. 

I get everyone in the top 500 worked very hard (I am one of those people this year) and I may have been part of the lottery myself. If people think doctors are going to remember how they divided the 200 into lottery and non lottery and remember the circumstances, that won't happen. People remember headlines, that's why new articles use them. 

I get what people are saying but it is not a risk I'm willing to take.

People will always prefer merit over lottery. Put yourself into the shoes of someone hiring someone for a job, people don't want to take risks of picking someone who never went to an interview who could be smart on paper but crazy in person. 

Again, I believe everyone here deserves to get into medical school and I wish them the best of luck. I'd like to have a rational conversation rather than hate. 

PLEASE DON'T ACCEPT WESTERN

-Western Med 2022

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3 minutes ago, MDWoman said:

Was there anyone that actually received an email saying rejection? I feel like the remaining 350 applicants are all on the waitlist despite what Mac is saying

Yeah honestly, I'm so conflicted about this. I feel like there's literally no rejections for Mac rn or maybe just a very small amount? No idea. No numbers were really specified about how many are rejected, admitted, waitlisted. It's also the first day so I'm not trying to think too much about the polls or anything, only people really on the forums are the waitlist people. I think around 25 people posted with offers and around 30-35 waitlists, so could be 200 offers, 350 waitlists, or maybe 200 offers, 300 waitlists and 50 rejections? I have no idea. All we can do is wait and we might get a better understanding tomorrow if people start getting accepted off the waitlist.

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EDIT: Remember that your (c2023) entire first-year is likely to be online. 

Hi everyone, third year mac student here to give my two (or three) cents about this situation. 

Firstly, congratulations to everyone who received an offer and all the very best to those who are on the waitlist. If you were hit with the R, there are good things coming! It was already a huge accomplishment to have been in the top ~550 students. 

That being said, I wanted to shed some light on my experience as a mac med student and how it might translate to this year as you all decide where to go. I've noticed a wide range of opinions here, sometimes getting a little personal - before I speak to my experience, I would like to preface by saying that these are simply my own opinions and experiences. But, they are informed (and I will try to be as objective as possible). I will not be entertaining any responses that try to rudely argue the contrary. I personally loved my time at McMaster, but I feel as though mac did an injustice to its applicants this year and I want everyone to feel like they are making choices not out of a black box but from a position of clarity. I am not discouraging you from accepting a mac offer, I am only pointing out the flaws and hurdles you might experience this upcoming year.

There are a few things to consider when deciding on whether one should go to Mac this year: 

  • COVID's impact on a 3 year program, especially with the recent curriculum change
  • Public perception of the lottery system

To speak to the first point, McMaster implemented, as I'm sure you all know by now, a new curriculum this past year. Though I have not first-hand experienced these changes, many of my closest friends who are in their first year currently have experienced some discontent with its implementation and delivery. In their defence, they are excellent at taking feedback and revising the program delivery, but the curriculum remains mostly the same. In that light, its development did not take into account (and understandably so) a situation like COVID. Many of the online lectures right now that are mandatory feel forced and with all that is going on, tiring to sit through (re: "active learning sessions"). Mac has also traditionally had a weak focus on anatomy, but self-directed students were always able to go to the lab themselves and learn from preceptors. This is no longer possible, and will likely be impossible into the foreseeable future for c2023s. In other words, an already weak anatomy curriculum (and by weak, I mean severely lacking) has become tremendously weaker. Speaking of self-directed learning, this process was quite a bit easier when resources like professors, mentors, and friends were available to guide us in person. This is also no longer the case. We do not get our own resources - we have to find them ourselves, which I am fine with, but there is a huge barrier right now in how to reach out to students who may be finding this process difficult. Imagine if you're new to PBL and what that would look like? Actually, I have heard from several students from the first year class that their tutorials and other PBL sessions are a huge mess - disengaged, ineffective learning, and altogether clumsy facilitated sessions because what was designed to be done in-person is now being done online. In my opinion, it almost seems like schools that are non-PBL and engage in a more traditional format are currently satisfying their students much more. 

Also consider that the majority of planning for one's future career was done through horizontal electives (which are already an absolute pain to get - we can't even seek out our own supervisors, we have to go through a pre-approved system that has so many problems), a family medicine experience (which I loved and so did many others), and the post-MF4 electives (which will likely not exist going forward until this situation resolves). There is no more opportunity to engage in any of these and regardless of what anyone says, these are absolutely crucial in narrowing down your options. Plot this with the fact that Mac is three years - meaning by the end of the first half of your first-year you should have an idea where you want to go so you can pick your appropriate clerkship streams - this whole covid situation becomes tragic to any first-year mac med student.

As for the second point, sure it may be true that no one (especially during a CARMS interview) would outright question the c2023 class for being a lottery. I don't think they would either - and if they did that would be ridiculous. But this whole process of admission is gaining media attention quickly and won't be forgotten as quickly as people think it will be. It's very easy to say that no one will remember these things a few years from now. But people remember things, and medicine is something that is generally always in the public view. That means people won't forget and will internalize, as we all do, the fact that the class was chosen by lottery.

All of this doesn't mean that you shouldn't go to Mac. But it does mean that you should think carefully about what you prefer and how you want your medical education to pan out. You only get to be in medical school once, and while it is true that there are many more things past medical school, it is also true that a LOT of learning comes from medical school that eventually gets transferred over into how you perform as a clerk, and subsequently, as a resident.

Cheers,

Just someone who wants you to make a good choice so you can be the best doctor you can be. 

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53 minutes ago, OnKoMed said:

PLEASE DON'T ACCEPT WESTERN

-Western Med 2022

Thank you? Seriously, I bring a valid argument for an unprecedented decision literally all of us were making jokes about in the general chat, and I get hate. Many people on here were laughing that the selection formula could be a lottery and it turned out to be true. It is only right that I would consider this in one of the most important decisions in my life of choosing med schools. If you don't like what I'm saying then disprove it but don't just spread hate especially since we are all trying to enter a field that is about helping others. The lottery is a scary label to just be starting with. 

The bigger reasons is I'm choosing Western is that because Mac is a 3 year program, it will be much more rushed in every regard than Western with summers. In Mac I need to know my specialty (or an idea) by apparently February of 2021 and I barely even know where I will live for med lol, let alone what specialty I want. I don't like that, I can't experiement with specialties for a long time because of COVID and I don't want to feel that pressure. Considering once you get matched to your specialty it is permanent, I want to make a well informed decision and not be rushed to choose because of COVID. I rather have the summers at Western to make things up. I also can not do clinical skills learning virtually at McMaster until COVID is up...

Barely any vacation time means I will have to learn physicals virtually (which seems dumb like imagine using a stethoscope over a computer) just to keep up with a fast pace 3 year program which just doesn't seem worth it to me considering you only apply to specialties once.

If anyone is going to insult me because I don't like the frustration McMaster will give me as a program if I chose it over Western, then don't bother quoting me. If you want to discuss my ideas I am always down to do that. 

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20 minutes ago, waterbottl said:

Hi everyone, third year mac student here to give my two (or three) cents about this situation. 

Firstly, congratulations to everyone who received an offer and all the very best to those who are on the waitlist. If you were hit with the R, there are good things coming! It was already a huge accomplishment to have been in the top ~550 students. 

That being said, I wanted to shed some light on my experience as a mac med student and how it might translate to this year as you all decide where to go. I've noticed a wide range of opinions here, sometimes getting a little personal - before I speak to my experience, I would like to preface by saying that these are simply my own opinions and experiences. But, they are informed (and I will try to be as objective as possible). I will not be entertaining any responses that try to rudely argue the contrary. I personally loved my time at McMaster, but I feel as though mac did an injustice to its applicants this year and I want everyone to feel like they are making choices not out of a black box but from a position of clarity. I am not discouraging you from accepting a mac offer, I am only pointing out the flaws and hurdles you might experience this upcoming year.

There are a few things to consider when deciding on whether one should go to Mac this year: 

  • COVID's impact on a 3 year program, especially with the recent curriculum change
  • Public perception of the lottery system

To speak to the first point, McMaster implemented, as I'm sure you all know by now, a new curriculum this past year. Though I have not first-hand experienced these changes, many of my closest friends who are in their first year currently have experienced some discontent with its implementation and delivery. In their defence, they are excellent at taking feedback and revising the program delivery, but the curriculum remains mostly the same. In that light, its development did not take into account (and understandably so) a situation like COVID. Many of the online lectures right now that are mandatory feel forced and with all that is going on, tiring to sit through (re: "active learning sessions"). Mac has also traditionally had a weak focus on anatomy, but self-directed students were always able to go to the lab themselves and learn from preceptors. This is no longer possible, and will likely be impossible into the foreseeable future for c2023s. In other words, an already weak anatomy curriculum (and by weak, I mean severely lacking) has become tremendously weaker. Speaking of self-directed learning, this process was quite a bit easier when resources like professors, mentors, and friends were available to guide us in person. This is also no longer the case. We do not get our own resources - we have to find them ourselves, which I am fine with, but there is a huge barrier right now in how to reach out to students who may be finding this process difficult. Imagine if you're new to PBL and what that would look like? Actually, I have heard from several students from the first year class that their tutorials and other PBL sessions are a huge mess - disengaged, ineffective learning, and altogether clumsy facilitated sessions because what was designed to be done in-person is now being done online. In my opinion, it almost seems like schools that are non-PBL and engage in a more traditional format are currently satisfying their students much more. 

Also consider that the majority of planning for one's future career was done through horizontal electives (which are already an absolute pain to get - we can't even seek out our own supervisors, we have to go through a pre-approved system that has so many problems), a family medicine experience (which I loved and so did many others), and the post-MF4 electives (which will likely not exist going forward until this situation resolves). There is no more opportunity to engage in any of these and regardless of what anyone says, these are absolutely crucial in narrowing down your options. Plot this with the fact that Mac is three years - meaning by the end of the first half of your first-year you should have an idea where you want to go so you can pick your appropriate clerkship streams - this whole covid situation becomes tragic to any first-year mac med student.

As for the second point, sure it may be true that no one (especially during a CARMS interview) would outright question the c2023 class for being a lottery. I don't think they would either - and if they did that would be ridiculous. But this whole process of admission is gaining media attention quickly and won't be forgotten as quickly as people think it will be. It's very easy to say that no one will remember these things a few years from now. But people remember things, and medicine is something that is generally always in the public view. That means people won't forget and will internalize, as we all do, the fact that the class was chosen by lottery.

All of this doesn't mean that you shouldn't go to Mac. But it does mean that you should think carefully about what you prefer and how you want your medical education to pan out. You only get to be in medical school once, and while it is true that there are many more things past medical school, it is also true that a LOT of learning comes from medical school that eventually gets transferred over into how you perform as a clerk, and subsequently, as a resident.

Cheers,

Just someone who wants you to make a good choice so you can be the best doctor you can be. 

Thank you for your time writing this, it was very useful 

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1 hour ago, waterbottl said:

To speak to the first point, McMaster implemented, as I'm sure you all know by now, a new curriculum this past year. Though I have not first-hand experienced these changes, many of my closest friends who are in their first year currently have experienced some discontent with its implementation and delivery. In their defence, they are excellent at taking feedback and revising the program delivery, but the curriculum remains mostly the same. In that light, its development did not take into account (and understandably so) a situation like COVID. Many of the online lectures right now that are mandatory feel forced and with all that is going on, tiring to sit through (re: "active learning sessions"). Mac has also traditionally had a weak focus on anatomy, but self-directed students were always able to go to the lab themselves and learn from preceptors. This is no longer possible, and will likely be impossible into the foreseeable future for c2023s. In other words, an already weak anatomy curriculum (and by weak, I mean severely lacking) has become tremendously weaker. Speaking of self-directed learning, this process was quite a bit easier when resources like professors, mentors, and friends were available to guide us in person. This is also no longer the case. We do not get our own resources - we have to find them ourselves, which I am fine with, but there is a huge barrier right now in how to reach out to students who may be finding this process difficult. Imagine if you're new to PBL and what that would look like? Actually, I have heard from several students from the first year class that their tutorials and other PBL sessions are a huge mess - disengaged, ineffective learning, and altogether clumsy facilitated sessions because what was designed to be done in-person is now being done online. In my opinion, it almost seems like schools that are non-PBL and engage in a more traditional format are currently satisfying their students much more.

Hi there, 

Thank you for sharing your thoughts as a 3rd year mac med student who had gone through the whole program. I think you bring up some excellent things for discussion, but I wanted to provide my personal perspective (a c2022) as someone actually going through the curriculum change, and online PBL. 

The roll-out of the new curriculum, while not ideal, has been changed quite a lot since the beginning of the year, and they seem to be striking a much better balance of what they were trying to achieve. Having more mandatory sessions was seen as cumbersome by some, however the nature of the sessions being "Active learning" and consolidating our learning has been actually quite refreshing and beneficial. Just like any medical school, lectures have varying levels of impact and differ on an individual basis given interest and past experience in a topic. Yes it wasn't perfect at first, however its at a much different place now. Also, if you prefer traditional lectures, there are archived lectures for basically every topic to supplement. 

The anatomy issue has been one that Mac has been weak with for a long time, so it would be easy to say this pandemic is nothing new. However, the anatomy department has been putting out weekly Anatomy talks and presentations that are extremely concise, well-delivered, and coordinate with the cases on hand (e.g. with MSK and Neuro right now). Its hard to ask for more given that going in to anatomy lab, or campus for that matter is taken off the table (and will be an issue for every medical school, until it isn't). There's a good chance these "LabTalks" will be here to stay as well, which would be a great bonus.

The self-directed portion of it is basically unchanged. Resources are always going to be something everyone learns to develop on their own. One huge thing they added to the curriculum was Intro to Med, where the first few weeks of tutorial were really dedicated to honing PBL, introducing resources, and being comfortable with the system (as opposed to being thrown in the deep end as years past). While the learning curve will likely be steeper in an online setting, one could argue that if an online format is the only one that someone knows, they will make the best of that situation.

Given that Mac emphasizes finding our own resources, creating your own PBL environment, the transition to online has actually been surprisingly doable, with my new MF group having never met in person, but still walking away from each tutorial feeling very satisfied with our performance.  

Perhaps the hardest part of being online has been sitting through the traditional, live lectures actually which can be disengaging. However, when delivered in an interactive manner like our Neuro TBL sessions with questions, and break-out discussions during the lecture with our tutorial, they are really engaging and stimulating. Given how responsive admin has been to feedback, I imagine lectures will definitely continue to hone the interactive portion, and make it engaging and stimulating (the best they can under the circumstances). 

Summary:
- Lectures when delivered properly are actually quite helpful, and not taxing to attend
- Anatomy is actually adapting and adding online resources to make up for lack of classroom 
- PBL teaches you to be resourceful, and many tutorials have taken the new environment in stride 
- Having been at home for 2+ months I don't feel my learning has been severely impacted given the circumstances and I think that says a lot. 

Happy to answer any more questions people may have :)

 

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8 minutes ago, Jon Snow said:

Hi there, 

Thank you for sharing your thoughts as a 3rd year mac med student who had gone through the whole program. I think you bring up some excellent things for discussion, but I wanted to provide my personal perspective (a c2022) as someone actually going through the curriculum change, and online PBL. 

The roll-out of the new curriculum, while not ideal, has been changed quite a lot since the beginning of the year, and they seem to be striking a much better balance of what they were trying to achieve. Having more mandatory sessions was seen as cumbersome by some, however the nature of the sessions being "Active learning" and consolidating our learning has been actually quite refreshing and beneficial. Just like any medical school, lectures have varying levels of impact and differ on an individual basis given interest and past experience in a topic. Yes it wasn't perfect at first, however its at a much different place now. Also, if you prefer traditional lectures, there are archived lectures for basically every topic to supplement. 

The anatomy issue has been one that Mac has been weak with for a long time, so it would be easy to say this pandemic is nothing new. However, the anatomy department has been putting out weekly Anatomy talks and presentations that are extremely concise, well-delivered, and coordinate with the cases on hand (e.g. with MSK and Neuro right now). Its hard to ask for more given that going in to anatomy lab, or campus for that matter is taken off the table (and will be an issue for every medical school, until it isn't). There's a good chance these "LabTalks" will be here to stay as well, which would be a great bonus.

The self-directed portion of it is basically unchanged. Resources are always going to be something everyone learns to develop on their own. One huge thing they added to the curriculum was Intro to Med, where the first few weeks of tutorial were really dedicated to honing PBL, introducing resources, and being comfortable with the system (as opposed to being thrown in the deep end as years past). While the learning curve will likely be steeper in an online setting, one could argue that if an online format is the only one that someone knows, they will make the best of that situation.

Given that Mac emphasizes finding our own resources, creating your own PBL environment, the transition to online has actually been surprisingly doable, with my new MF group having never met in person, but still walking away from each tutorial feeling very satisfied with our performance.  

Perhaps the hardest part of being online has been sitting through the traditional, live lectures actually which can be disengaging. However, when delivered in an interactive manner like our Neuro TBL sessions with questions, and break-out discussions during the lecture with our tutorial, they are really engaging and stimulating. Given how responsive admin has been to feedback, I imagine lectures will definitely continue to hone the interactive portion, and make it engaging and stimulating (the best they can under the circumstances). 

Summary:
- Lectures when delivered properly are actually quite helpful, and not taxing to attend
- Anatomy is actually adapting and adding online resources to make up for lack of classroom 
- PBL teaches you to be resourceful, and many tutorials have taken the new environment in stride 
- Having been at home for 2+ months I don't feel my learning has been severely impacted given the circumstances and I think that says a lot. 

Happy to answer any more questions people may have :)

 

Are you worried with horizontals not possible. 

I am glad you have found the transition online doable. 

thank you for your time. 

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@Jon Snow

How is it that you know about the virtual experience of a first year if you are a third year? I don't think you can say anything with certainty. 

The lectures have been useless for a long time I wouldn't cite that as a reason to go to Mac alone. There is a reason why nobody showed up to them before they became mandatory.

Anatomy has always been awful at McMaster, med students wanting surgical fields in the future have always needed to go in for extra time that takes a toll on work-life balance. 

PBL teaches you to be resourceful but this was something taught early on in person and idk how it would work online. 

I think it is important to be transparent with people about what McMaster is like and not painting a rosey picture. People should know what they are getting into. 

My perspective is that if you have a healthcare background (for example nursing) then it might be easier to do a 3 year program which will have the first year mostly online. Someone in nursing might know what the medical fields are like without shadowing/doing horizontals. Someone without this background I could see freaking out when it comes time to start picking specialties less than a year from now (COVID probably going to extend this long at McMaster which is why everyone starting online). 

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1 minute ago, MDLD said:

Are you worried with horizontals not possible. 

The way I see it everyone is in the same boat. All clerks are pulled at the same time, and when they go back they will go back together. The capacity for horizontals might take a bit longer, but we have to remember that the clinical environment is not at all "normal." Most family doctors are working virtually, all elective surgeries are postponed, many walk-ins and hospitals are empty, others are very busy, and honestly quite dangerous. 

Any elective is not going to be representative of the career you can expect there for a while, plus putting learners can be taxing on limited PPE resources being diverted for arguably non-essential reasons, even with social distancing relaxing in the coming months. This is going to be the same regardless of which school you attend, I believe. 

Speculation on how this affects CARMS I think is kind of futile. They just announced changes to the c2021 match, which could change further. This could also have a domino effect into subsequent years, or it could not. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Jon Snow said:

The way I see it everyone is in the same boat. All clerks are pulled at the same time, and when they go back they will go back together. The capacity for horizontals might take a bit longer, but we have to remember that the clinical environment is not at all "normal." Most family doctors are working virtually, all elective surgeries are postponed, many walk-ins and hospitals are empty, others are very busy, and honestly quite dangerous. 

Any elective is not going to be representative of the career you can expect there for a while, plus putting learners can be taxing on limited PPE resources being diverted for arguably non-essential reasons, even with social distancing relaxing in the coming months. This is going to be the same regardless of which school you attend, I believe. 

Speculation on how this affects CARMS I think is kind of futile. They just announced changes to the c2021 match, which could change further. This could also have a domino effect into subsequent years, or it could not. 

 

just wondering, do u think schools that are in cities that are not as populated (Kingston for example) might be able to allow their students to do electives since there isn't many covid cases

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3 minutes ago, Dr.Strange said:

@Jon Snow

How is it that you know about the virtual experience of a first year if you are a third year? I don't think you can say anything with certainty. 

The lectures have been useless for a long time I wouldn't cite that as a reason to go to Mac alone. There is a reason why nobody showed up to them before they became mandatory.

Anatomy has always been awful at McMaster, med students wanting surgical fields in the future have always needed to go in for extra time that takes a toll on work-life balance. 

PBL teaches you to be resourceful but this was something taught early on in person and idk how it would work online. 

I think it is important to be transparent with people about what McMaster is like and not painting a rosey picture. People should know what they are getting into. 

My perspective is that if you have a healthcare background (for example nursing) then it might be easier to do a 3 year program which will have the first year mostly online. Someone in nursing might know what the medical fields are like without shadowing/doing horizontals. Someone without this background I could see freaking out when it comes time to start picking specialties less than a year from now (COVID probably going to extend this long at McMaster which is why everyone starting online). 

If this is in reply to my comments, I am a first year student. Speaking from my personal experience, that does not represent the feelings of everyone going through this. 

Lectures have changed drastically. PBL believe it or not persists without a tutorial room, or whiteboard. Anatomy is also adapting to an online delivery. 

Again my perspective, as someone actively going through it. It's not easy, but then again this whole situation isn't easy either. 
 

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