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James Nystead

McMaster Accepted/Waitlisted/Rejected 2019-2020

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1 minute ago, MDLD said:

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

I wouldn't be able to speculate on this. Perhaps Queen's students can attest to what their clinical environment is projected to look like.

I do know the Ontario schools are doing their best to be equal in their rules to be fair to all medical students chances in CARMS, and are meeting regularly (the deans that is). 

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Just now, Jon Snow said:

I wouldn't be able to speculate on this. Perhaps Queen's students can attest to what their clinical environment is projected to look like.

I do know the Ontario schools are doing their best to be equal in their rules to be fair to all medical students chances in CARMS, and are meeting regularly (the deans that is). 

that is a good point, it wouldn't be far if one school got looser restrictions. 

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1 minute ago, Jon Snow said:

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. 
 

My bad, but my points still stand.

Lectures have always been useless in McMaster because they are not designed to teach which is something people need when they are stuck at home. 

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Just now, Dr.Strange said:

My bad, but my points still stand.

Lectures have always been useless in McMaster because they are not designed to teach which is something people need when they are stuck at home. 

Yea some are pretty bad, I won't lie. But others actually are very stimulating, and if you come in having done the preparation, you can learn a lot more than a didactic presentation that could be achieved with an Osmosis video. There's a lot fewer lectures, and the ones delivered truly are high yield. 

For those that like didactic, the archived lectures get mixed reviews. I find them too long and boring personally, I have friends and tutorial mates that swear by them. 

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Me again. I won't be quoting anyone just because of how much has gone back and forth, but will respond to some general comments that have been made. While it is true that I am a third year mac student and may be withdrawn from the effects that this situation is currently having on the first-years, it is not entirely true that I do not know what the situation is like. As I have made clear, I have plenty of very close friends in their first-year who have expressed rather strong opinions about their discomfort in this rapidly evolving situation.

With that said, I will preface again by saying these are simply my own opinions and I am not claiming that anyone should take them as a holy grail. Let this instead inform part of your perspective when you make your final decision. I also want to thank everyone for the civil discussion and not personally attacking anyone :)

I should begin by saying (and this has been said by another user on this forum) that we should not solely paint a, and I quote, "rosey" picture of mac. It is true that McMaster is a fine school, and they have been excellent at responding to feedback and creating changes to the curriculum as students requested. Their flexibility and accommodation for students is no less of a job well done. However, the drawbacks to medicine at McMaster are still plenty, and are magnified in a situation like thisI have noticed this: we have been discussing why McMaster is a good school/bad school, but very little of it is focussed on how it will affect the incoming students in this new situation. That the school was able to respond previously to feedback and make changes accordingly is not helpful for students who are entering medical school from an online curriculum from the start. I'll address a few examples:

  • I have heard about the changes to the curriculum. I have no doubt that they have made the changes to better suit the class and improve on their flaws. But, again, the active large group sessions were made to be effective in a setting conducive to PBL (i.e., in person). These LGS sessions become extremely ineffective online for several reasons (also from evidence): 1) people are likely to pay less attention, 2) people are less likely to do pre-lecture preparations, and 3) when working from home, people would far rather view lectures on their own time rather than being forced to attend a session at a specified time (i.e., environment-induced habits). I do not disagree that there are ways for it to be effective. For example, and like a user has mentioned in this forum, the neuro TBLs seem to be very helpful and popular. Yet, it is the variability in the delivery and the usefulness of most lectures that is the problem. I cannot cite enough first-years who have complained about the LGSs being already quite long and cumbersome to attend in person, and I cannot imagine it being any better online. The online lectures that are posted from the past are great. But honestly, I am not paying for medical school to watch past lectures. I would be paying for current, up to date, and quality education with the amount of money it costs. 
  • Anatomy online is great. I am glad to hear that they are adapting to the situation and posting online resources. That being said, it is not possible to fully appreciate, especially for surgery gunners, anatomy without dissections and actual cadaveric specimens. So this does not solve the problem, it only puts a little bandage on it.
  • My point about PBL becoming extremely disengaging and discombobulated was not that it is not impossible to learn online. It will be very difficult to learn it online (coming from someone who had no previous exposure to PBL and already had problems adapting to mac's PBL in person) and that in and of itself is a problem for those either not familiar with PBL or the material. But the greater point here is that the PBL is taking place in a highly uncontrolled setting. Tutorials in person were very controlled settings in which students could learn actively and from each other, as well as from an experienced tutor. Though that does not change, the added element of not being in the same vicinity takes away from the effectiveness of PBL and instead creates additional distractions that I have no doubt students are already facing. For example, I know of several first-year students who instead of engaging in tutorial as much as they would before now do other work unrelated to tutorial. This is bad for both the student and his/her peers. 
  • The explanation that the transition for current students has been easier is not exactly a reason why we should believe the transition to an online self-directed PBL platform for new students will be easy. In fact, it will be extremely difficult. Take it from someone who had no clue what PBL was when it was done in person and still struggled like crazy.

Again, to all the anxious incoming first-years wondering whether you should accept mac or not, I implore you that you do not simply focus on what is good at Mac. A lot is good at Mac, but a lot of it was good and improved upon with the intention that it would work in-person. The drawbacks need to be considered too and you should inform your decision from a balance of these two perspectives. If I was to go back in time and decide to choose McMaster during this time, I would have hesitated very strongly. My in-person experience was extremely positive, but I know for a fact that for myself and for the subset of peers that I know, starting online and only knowing my peers online using the McMaster approach to teaching would have been negative

I hope you all can make a decision that works for you. All the best!

Cheers. 

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2 hours ago, 706RntoMD said:

Result: Accepted (Waterloo)

Timestamp: 12:00 am

cGPA: 3.67

CARS: 131

CASPer: better than last year, lol

Year: Graduate of 2016

Geography: IP

Button: Yes/No??? I don't know what this means?

Already accepted! So thrilled!

 

Congrats girl!!! So excited for you!!!

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Result: accepted (hamilton)

Timestamp: 8:05am (it actually went into my spam folder lol)

cGPA: 3.78

CARS: 129

CASPer: obviously really good

Year: graduated in 2018 & currently working

Geography: IP

Button: no

feeling sad that my only acceptance was through a lottery. not ecstatic about the idea of attending mac but i know i should be grateful for the opportunity. 

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Honestly, there’s a metric ton of luck with the process as it is anyways, both before and after the interview, the lottery has just brought it to the forefront of everyone’s minds. I went from no interviews three cycles in a row to four acceptances this time, wth (largely) the same app compared to last year. Aside from maybe just finally getting a chance to interview somewhere, I didn’t really improve, just got lucky with who read the app and essays, maybe who interviewed me, etc.

Getting in is almost more of a logistical hurdle once you’re competitive (which you obviously are), and def not something you should take personally. Where you'll make your mark is in med school and beyond with the the people you meet, the patients you treat, and the choices you make. I understand not being thrilled about Mac, they’re not my flavour either (no offence to the ppl who disagree, power to you!), but now you have the opportunity to make that difference in your own life and in the lives of others, so don’t feel like it isn’t earned (at least with any more luck than anyone else); grasp it with two hands and be the best Doctor you can be.

Tbh you’re one of the ppl I’ve been rooting for since joining the forums @inkbat haha, so I’m real happy things worked out for you; best of luck in the fall!

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On 5/12/2020 at 7:51 AM, JayKay said:

Can you not accept Mac as well as wait on Dal as they are in 2 provinces? 

That’s my plan just not sure if I’ll be able to back out after/what will happen with my deposit!

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33 minutes ago, TheFlyGuy said:

Honestly, there’s a metric ton of luck with the process as it is anyways, both before and after the interview, the lottery has just brought it to the forefront of everyone’s minds. I went from no interviews three cycles in a row to four acceptances this time, wth (largely) the same app compared to last year. Aside from maybe just finally getting a chance to interview somewhere, I didn’t really improve, just got lucky with who read the app and essays, maybe who interviewed me, etc.

Getting in is almost more of a logistical hurdle once you’re competitive (which you obviously are), and def not something you should take personally. Where you'll make your mark is in med school and beyond with the the people you meet, the patients you treat, and the choices you make. I understand not being thrilled about Mac, they’re not my flavour either (no offence to the ppl who disagree, power to you!), but now you have the opportunity to make that difference in your own life and in the lives of others, so don’t feel like it isn’t earned (at least with any more luck than anyone else); grasp it with two hands and be the best Doctor you can be.

Tbh you’re one of the ppl I’ve been rooting for since joining the forums @inkbat haha, so I’m real happy things worked out for you; best of luck in the fall!

oh my goodness! you're so kind, i really appreciate this message :wub:

congratulations on your 4 offers, that's incredible! i'm sure you'll be an amazing doctor.

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Hey guys!

I know there's a lot of hate going around lately with McMaster's decision to go with a lottery system, and I just wanted to share my perspective on it, since I know a lot of people are worried that the class of '23 will be stigmatized because of this or see it as unfair. As a disclaimer, this is just my point of view on it, and I recognize that being accepted may make it seem as though I'm just trying to justify it because I got in - and I'm sure to some extent that's true. But for what it's worth, I started to change my perspective around Sunday evening, during the time with (thanks to the buttongate lmao) I was convinced I was getting rejected.

When the announcement first came out, my emotions went from confused, to baffled, to really effing angry in the span of a couple hours. I couldn't believe that everything was coming down to luck after everything. I was thinking that even though through interviews people typically have a 30-70% (ish) chance of getting in, of course I convinced myself that my chances would be better since I was prepared(TM). But after the emotions cleared and I really started to think about it, I realized that every other of the 540 incredibly qualified interviewees would be thinking the exact same thing. We often hear about how so much of the application process boils down to luck, but I think that the label of 'lottery' was so infuriating because it took away the illusion that we had more control over the process than we really do. Obviously, this system isn't perfect either; the top 100 pre-interview scored applicants obviously wouldn't have been guaranteed admission, but definitely had a higher chance than the rest of the lot based on historical trends reflecting their scores.

For those arguing that McMaster should have gone with virtual interviews, I understand the logic - I shared the same thinking too. However, I think not having virtual interviews was actually more fair than having them would have been... hear me out. While of course the assessors would have tried to remain as objective as possible, there are some things that of course would affect how they perceive you. Total technical failure aside, imagine this: two people performed very similarly on the interview, but one had connection issues that caused their video/audio to cut in and out or be very choppy. Of course it would be harder to understand them, and naturally frustration that stems from that could easily impact the interviewer's mindset, and by extension, their perception of the interview. Not only this, but while I myself am very fortunate to be able to say that I could have gone ahead with a virtual interview no problem, there are many more who are much more severely impacted by COVID - people close to them sick/dying, mental health concerns given the abruptly changing world, etc. Is it fair to say that they should have to suck it up and try to give their peak performance when they're dealing with so much?

Finally, one thing that really helped me handle the panic was the guaranteed interview next year. I recognize that this will cause somewhat of a disruption to the application process next year, but chances are, many of those who got an interview this year are already likely to get another one next year regardless, given that they were already in the top tier this year. If anything, while I'm thrilled that they are, I think that McMaster could have justifiably gotten away without doing so. While not perfect, in the end we as interviewees really did have about the same chance now as we would have otherwise, and guaranteeing an interview next year, if anything, actually makes those chances better for those of us that sadly didn't make it this year. The same number of people would have gotten rejected/waitlisted even with interviews, but had the circumstances not changed, there's no guarantee that these all would have gotten an interview again next year. 

Again, I realize that this is just my perspective on it, and I had to really spend a lot of time thinking it over to realize that it wasn't actually that far off from how the selection process would have been. And for anyone worried that the class will be stigmatized, keep in mind: every single one of the applicants that made it to interviews is incredibly qualified and deserves to get in. Unfortunately, there will always be more of us than the classes can accommodate, and until the medical school admissions process (for every school) finds a better solution to this, it will always be, to some extent, a lottery.

I hope this helps. Keep working hard, friends - in the end, a year is nothing when you're looking at a 40+ year dream career!

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Previous mac grad and current senior resident here (not at mac). Loved my time there and had a great experience. I have been through CaRMS and have been involved with our admissions process so I actually know how it works.

COVID - Nobody knows how long pandemic mode is going to last, or what lasting effect it will have on medical education. I know that clerkships are resuming relatively soon, and most of mac's clinical and group stuff are in groups <10 so hopefully it will be minimal, but your ability to do electives etc will be affected, and nobody can predict to what degree. This of course applies to all medical schools, however I feel this is significantly more detrimental at a 3 year school (applies to calgary too) For family you'll be fine but even in a normal year you have to hit the ground running and figure out what you want to do quick, and the delays may get in the way of that. I think if I had multiple acceptances and I didn't know at all what I wanted to do or wanted a super competitive specialty I would either strongly consider the 4 year school or consider I'd very likely do the extra 4th year.

LOTTERY - Here is the honest, 100% truth. Nobody with any actual importance to carms gives a shit about the lottery, and they will not give a shit in 3 years. They know that everyone interviewed was qualified, and in real life some people will have bad days on interviews and it doesn't really correlate. In any case your cams application is all about medical school/elective performance, nobody looks at med school application performance. I've never heard of anyone asking or caring, for carms or anything else, if someone was accepted off the waitlist for medical school, so why would the lottery be any different? Talking to PDs and reading commentary by influential staff, a lot have actually commented that they are interested in the lottery as a method to bypass implicit bias in interviews, which I don't know if I personally agree with, but the opinion outside of this forum and other premed circles is certainly not all negative. When carms time comes, people will have priors on mac med grads vs UofT med grads, for example, but mac generally matches at the same rate as the other Ontario schools, and the lottery won't affect that.

All that being said, if the lottery makes you feel like you'd rather go somewhere else, mac's ethos may not actually be for you, so you do you, and go where youre comfortable!

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44 minutes ago, Ontario have mercy said:

Does anyone know if its alright to accept the offer on May 25 or if I should accept it earlier (administrative lag because we also need to email another form)?

according to the offer form:

Please complete and return this form to the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University MD Admissions, by email to: drochn@mcmaster.ca by May 26, 2020 (or by offer expiry date).

i would think this means we can accept the offer on the 26th - i'm personally wondering if it's due at 11:59pm or another time of day.

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17 minutes ago, inkbat said:

according to the offer form:

Please complete and return this form to the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University MD Admissions, by email to: drochn@mcmaster.ca by May 26, 2020 (or by offer expiry date).

i would think this means we can accept the offer on the 26th - i'm personally wondering if it's due at 11:59pm or another time of day.

I'm in the exact same boat and I heard Queen's sends waitlist offers the morning of the 26th.

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1 minute ago, Ontario have mercy said:

I'm in the exact same boat (good waitlist at Ottawa and waitlisted at Queen's) and I heard Queen's sends waitlist offers the morning of the 26th.

yeah it seems like queen's often starts sending offers 14 days after the initial offer date! i guess you and i are both holding out for queen's till the 26th? :p 

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Just now, inkbat said:

yeah it seems like queen's often starts sending offers 14 days after the initial offer date! i guess you and i are both holding out for queen's till the 26th? :p 

Yup I'd just like to know (maybe by emailing Mac) if we can accept till 11:59 PM on the 26th or if it needs to be earlier. 

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1 minute ago, Ontario have mercy said:

Yup I'd just like to know (maybe by emailing Mac) if we can accept till 11:59 PM on the 26th or if it needs to be earlier. 

i've asked someone who attends mac med, but if they don't know then i might email mac! let me know if you find out!

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9 hours ago, inkbat said:

i've asked someone who attends mac med, but if they don't know then i might email mac! let me know if you find out!

It’s the case for Ottawa so I wouldn’t see why it wouldn’t be the case for Mac too? (Accepting by 11:59 PM)

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5 hours ago, tomcat365 said:

It’s the case for Ottawa so I wouldn’t see why it wouldn’t be the case for Mac too? (Accepting by 11:59 PM)

is it the case for ottawa? i didn’t know that!

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