Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums
iwearglasses

Picking Mac over other schools?

Recommended Posts

Is there anybody else who got accepted to both Mac + another school and is thinking of taking the Mac offer?

Mac has been my #1 choice for a while but I'm getting increasingly worried at the number of people I am hearing of flocking to other schools if given the chance. Is there some reason this is the case?

I'd also love to hear from current or former Mac students what their experience has been at the school :) 

Thanks in advance for the insight!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, iwearglasses said:

Is there anybody else who got accepted to both Mac + another school and is thinking of taking the Mac offer?

Mac has been my #1 choice for a while but I'm getting increasingly worried at the number of people I am hearing of flocking to other schools if given the chance. Is there some reason this is the case?

I'd also love to hear from current or former Mac students what their experience has been at the school :) 

Thanks in advance for the insight!

Congrats! Mac's a great choice. I was deciding between Mac and a four year program two years ago. Feel free to message me with any questions. 

Anyone reconsidering Mac specifically because of this situation is silly and needs perspective. 

Share this post


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

Is there anybody else who got accepted to both Mac + another school and is thinking of taking the Mac offer?

Mac has been my #1 choice for a while but I'm getting increasingly worried at the number of people I am hearing of flocking to other schools if given the chance. Is there some reason this is the case?

I'd also love to hear from current or former Mac students what their experience has been at the school :) 

Thanks in advance for the insight!

Congrats on the offers! My partner is first year mac med. The curriculum changed starting their year and the feedback from the class, prior to COVID, wasn't very positive. Feel free to message and my partner can answer any questions you have!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, iwearglasses said:

Is there anybody else who got accepted to both Mac + another school and is thinking of taking the Mac offer?

Mac has been my #1 choice for a while but I'm getting increasingly worried at the number of people I am hearing of flocking to other schools if given the chance. Is there some reason this is the case?

I'd also love to hear from current or former Mac students what their experience has been at the school :) 

Thanks in advance for the insight!

The problem with McMaster is that you will guaranteed be starting online this year. Mac is a 3 year program without summers which means very little time to explore what specialty you want to do. It is not just about exploring but also about building connections because residency is all about "who you know". Since you will be all online, you will have very very little time to decide a specialty and this will bring a lot of chaos and stress. Many friends of mine at mac have gone through this frustration without COVID, but now with COVID it will be a lot worse. At least in another school with summers, you will have more time to explore and build connections. 

For example, if you want opthamology, dermatology, or any other competitive specialty. Without being in person with these staff in that field you want, you will not build those connections. Other schools with summers will have the time to make this up, but McMaster won't. Right now because of COVID the classes of 2021 and 2022 are struggling due to the 3 year program structure and are very worried about not matching to residency/specialties. You will be in the same boat. 

The other issue is with McMaster is that they are lottery based for a lot of things. Their electives are determined by lottery internally, their anatomy program is lottery based which means some people don't get the full anatomy experience, and they barely have a pharmacology curriculum. 

McMaster also made all their lectures/classes mandatory last year so their idea of "self-directed learning" is not what it used to be. 

TLDR; COVID is a big problem for a 3-year school and Mac has many other problems due to consistent lotteries and flaws in the curriculum. Feel free to PM me if anyone has any questions or want me to elaborate. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm actually in a similar situation, I got an offer to both Mac and Ottawa, but I'm sticking with Ottawa. This is a personal decision, but the way I see it this is one of the biggest decisions I'll make. Where I end up going will not just impact my next 3-4 years, but also stick with me for the rest of my career too, so I want to make sure I don't look back on this with regret.

 

There's already so much negative news going around about the lottery class, both in medical schools and in the general public, and I decided that it wasn't worth being a part of that if I don't have to. I put all this work in to become a doctor and I don't want to start cutting corners now. That's just what I ended up doing though, everybody's different.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, FinallyAccepted23 said:

I'm actually in a similar situation, I got an offer to both Mac and Ottawa, but I'm sticking with Ottawa. This is a personal decision, but the way I see it this is one of the biggest decisions I'll make. Where I end up going will not just impact my next 3-4 years, but also stick with me for the rest of my career too, so I want to make sure I don't look back on this with regret.

 

There's already so much negative news going around about the lottery class, both in medical schools and in the general public, and I decided that it wasn't worth being a part of that if I don't have to. I put all this work in to become a doctor and I don't want to start cutting corners now. That's just what I ended up doing though, everybody's different.

What do you mean by "cutting corners"?

Share this post


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

What do you mean by "cutting corners"?

I've seen a few posts on this forum say that the lottery class controversy might not affect residency and general perceptions of McMaster physicians. This is a possibility, but I see this as cutting corners. After spending so much time accounting for every iota of detail in my application and ensuring I meet all the criteria of the schools, it just doesn't feel right to suddenly shrug off something as consequential as this. Like, many of us here worked our buts off to get 3.9+ GPA averages, but then it just feels wrong to be content with getting in by a coin flip and a compromised reputation.

Premeds are used to being meticulous and even sometimes perceived to be neurotic (for better or worse), so why choose to be a part of the lottery class in the hopes that it might not influence you down the line (when it's currently the biggest controversy to come out of canadian medical schools in a long time) when you don't have to?

I don't mean to rub anyone the wrong way, as I said it's a personal decision, this is just my thought process behind it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, FinallyAccepted23 said:

I've seen a few posts on this forum say that the lottery class controversy might not affect residency and general perceptions of McMaster physicians. This is a possibility, but I see this as cutting corners. After spending so much time accounting for every iota of detail in my application and ensuring I meet all the criteria of the schools, it just doesn't feel right to suddenly shrug off something as consequential as this. Like, many of us here worked our buts off to get 3.9+ GPA averages, but then it just feels wrong to be content with getting in by a coin flip and a compromised reputation.

Premeds are used to being meticulous and even sometimes perceived to be neurotic (for better or worse), so why choose to be a part of the lottery class in the hopes that it might not influence you down the line (when it's currently the biggest controversy to come out of canadian medical schools in a long time) when you don't have to?

I don't mean to rub anyone the wrong way, as I said it's a personal decision, this is just my thought process behind it.

It is very hard to tell how the lottery will affect the future, nobody has a crystal ball. I would recommend that if the lottery is going to be something you worry might affect you down the line and you have other options then go for it, but this is personal preference. At the end of the day all schools end up creating doctors, but COVID has brought a lot of uncertainty that I don't think anyone can account for. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

I am a McMaster graduate currently undergoing residency in Toronto. After skimming these posts, I can see how stressful the situation must be for current applicants. I definitely sympathize as I was once in your shoes and would like to shed some light on the situation. Currently the medical schools are in a state of disarray and there's a high degree of uncertainty in many levels of organization.

It's likely that many of you will be partaking in online classes for the start of your medical program and will probably have difficulty getting experience in a clinical setting due to the high volume of stress being placed on the medical system. It'll likely be more difficult for you given the added stress placed on your first year to decide on a career path, which was already stressful for me. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking as a senior resident in a medicine program that has also been involved in CaRMS selection. Your evaluators will NOT care the process by which you were selected for medical school. They will barely even recognize that. What will matter is your interpersonal skills and clinical competence. Period.  

All medical schools will be adversely affected by COVID. This is not a Mac unique problem, Mac being a year shorter wont matter because all schools will have to contend for overlapping cohorts contending for experiences. There is only so much clinical availability for opportunities. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, FinallyAccepted23 said:

I'm actually in a similar situation, I got an offer to both Mac and Ottawa, but I'm sticking with Ottawa. This is a personal decision, but the way I see it this is one of the biggest decisions I'll make. Where I end up going will not just impact my next 3-4 years, but also stick with me for the rest of my career too, so I want to make sure I don't look back on this with regret.

 

There's already so much negative news going around about the lottery class, both in medical schools and in the general public, and I decided that it wasn't worth being a part of that if I don't have to. I put all this work in to become a doctor and I don't want to start cutting corners now. That's just what I ended up doing though, everybody's different.

Great decision, you won't regret it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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 especially when it is on the news lol. The lottery is a scary label to just be starting with and I don't think anyone wants to take that risk imho. 

The bigger reasons 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.

I have other reasons I'm picking Western over Queens, PM for details. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I posted this elsewhere too, but I'll post it in here just so more people can see it :)

-----

 

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. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of great points in this thread with regards to how CaRMS, future employers, etc will not care at all about how you get into medical school. I agree with this, and if this is the only thing that matters to you, Mac is still a great choice. However, I have already received frankly disgusting vitriol for posting my acceptance on social media, and I am aware of at least one other individual who has also been targeted (we think by the same person). I have no desire to be harassed or looked down upon by my peers for the next 3 years, and as someone who is lucky enough to hold an acceptance to another school, I will personally be distancing myself from this drama. All the best to the class of 2023.

EDIT: since I didn't post this elsewhere, stats are 3.97 and 129 CARS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, premed9876 said:

Lots of great points in this thread with regards to how CaRMS, future employers, etc will not care at all about how you get into medical school. I agree with this, and if this is the only thing that matters to you, Mac is still a great choice. However, I have already received frankly disgusting vitriol for posting my acceptance on social media, and I am aware of at least one other individual who has also been targeted (we think by the same person). I have no desire to be harassed or looked down upon by my peers for the next 3 years, and as someone who is lucky enough to hold an acceptance to another school, I will personally be distancing myself from this drama. All the best to the class of 2023.

EDIT: stats are 3.97 and 129 CARS.

I’m so sorry to hear that. I hope the person who did this to you gets reported. Making fun of another students’ medical school offer is unacceptable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/12/2020 at 10:39 AM, iwearglasses said:

Is there anybody else who got accepted to both Mac + another school and is thinking of taking the Mac offer?

Mac has been my #1 choice for a while but I'm getting increasingly worried at the number of people I am hearing of flocking to other schools if given the chance. Is there some reason this is the case?

I'd also love to hear from current or former Mac students what their experience has been at the school :) 

Thanks in advance for the insight!

Hey, just wondering. Did you end up deciding whether you were going to accept Mac?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...