Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums
Sign in to follow this  
whatdoido

Want Toronto for the City but Western for the School- What to Choose?

Recommended Posts

Hi,

I was lucky enough to receive a few acceptances this cycle. I have narrowed down my choice to either Schulich (London campus) or Toronto. I have been very indecisive about this (considering today is the literal last day to choose, lol). I have quite a few friends at Schulich med, and from what they tell me, I enjoy Western's learning style (it seems more on the relaxed side). However, I really love the idea of a big city & the diversity it offers (I come from a very small, boring town). Anecdotally, I have heard the culture at UofT is much more stressful, competitive, cutthroat, and that students are much, much more stressed than at Western. I guess I was just wondering if it would be worth choosing a more stressful school just for the city? Can anyone share any insight/wisdom/opinions? Is what I heard about UofT true?

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, whatdoido said:

Hi,

I was blessed enough to receive a few acceptances this cycle. I have narrowed down my choice to either Schulich (London campus) or Toronto. I have been very indecisive about this (considering today is the literal last day to choose, lol). I have quite a few friends at Schulich med, and from what they tell me, I enjoy Western's learning style (it seems more on the relaxed side). However, I really love the idea of a big city & the diversity it offers (I come from a very small, boring town). Anecdotally, I have heard the culture at UofT is much more stressful, competitive, cutthroat, and that students are much, much more stressed than at Western. I guess I was just wondering if it would be worth choosing a more stressful school just for the city? Can anyone share any insight/wisdom/opinions? Is what I heard about UofT true?

Thanks

I feel that there will be med students at the top who are cutthroat at every school - if you put the top of the top high-performing neurotic people together and have them compete against each other for residency spots, this is bound to happen anywhere. If you go to a city you don't like, you might be miserable and whatever benefits in education may not override that. The medical school experience is so much of what you make of it - you can control your friend group and how you respond to stress but you cant really control where you live once you commit

Just my $0.02

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've also just been accepted this cycle (and have chosen Toronto's MAM, for full disclosure), so grain of salt and all that, but it's interesting that you've heard that Toronto students are generally more stressed. I know a few people in each of Toronto (both UTSG & MAM) and UWO (only London) in pre-clerkship, and the vibe I've gotten is that the Western students actually tend to be more on the stressed side, at least this past year (I get the sense its due to curriculum issues though, to be fair, which may be ironed out). So I think it might vary depending on who you talk to. It seems true that there are more gunners in Toronto for sure, though I've been told not to worry much about this, because you'll run into people who are cut-throat everywhere you go and the med experience is largely what you make of it. On the clerkship side, I've heard that Toronto is more stressful, but again, this is anecdotal/through the grape-vine, so can't be sure.

What I've been told repeatedly though, by everyone regardless of the school, is to try to choose a place where you'll be optimally happy and supported. You'll be spending at least 4 years wherever you are (more if you try to use the home-school advantage for residency in the same place), and having the support & motivation to do well and pursue opportunities you might be interested in despite the challenges of the program is a key thing. Its a tough call between the friends you have in London (which is a great social support to have), and the city of Toronto (as London isn't very diverse at all), but it seems to boil down to the personal decision of which is more important to you between being comfortable trying to make new friends and stay remotely connected to the ones you have by choosing Toronto, or trying to find things to do and a way to be happy in the city of London (depending on how small the town is you're used to there's a fair bit to do there). You'll get a great education wherever you go, so I'm not sure there's a wrong choice, just food for thought. Good luck with the decision (and any current student please feel free to correct anything I've discussed)!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I accepted my Western offer today! This was after deliberating for a few weeks over UofT, Queen's and UBC. All in all, I was attracted to the program because it was a good blend of both a big school and a small school (Big enough that there are a lot of specialties to shadow and clinical opportunities), but still had the tight-knight community relaxed vibe. I have a few friends at Schulich and they all very much enjoyed the program and people. My sister just graduated from UofT Medicine and she had some mixed feelings about it, especially year 3&4, so she kind of swayed me in the other direction a bit. Honestly, you're in such a good position so don't stress too much! You have good choices either way :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, whatdoido said:

Hi,

I was blessed enough to receive a few acceptances this cycle. I have narrowed down my choice to either Schulich (London campus) or Toronto. I have been very indecisive about this (considering today is the literal last day to choose, lol). I have quite a few friends at Schulich med, and from what they tell me, I enjoy Western's learning style (it seems more on the relaxed side). However, I really love the idea of a big city & the diversity it offers (I come from a very small, boring town). Anecdotally, I have heard the culture at UofT is much more stressful, competitive, cutthroat, and that students are much, much more stressed than at Western. I guess I was just wondering if it would be worth choosing a more stressful school just for the city? Can anyone share any insight/wisdom/opinions? Is what I heard about UofT true?

Thanks

i have heard that uoft is a bit hard but that doesn't mean western is easy (it does have a bit of the same reputation). i agree that gunners will be everywhere. plus at the end of the day its all pass fail. uoft is literally ranked higher than yale so i think its warranted. both are amazing schools and i think you'll be fine regardless of your choice. i might be a biased as my family is in toronto but the city it is on another level. the transportation, entertainment, food etc. in london can't compare to toronto. not to mention all of the huge clinical opportunities that are only available in a big city like toronto. you're going to be attending this school for the next 4 years and living in the city so i definitely think its an important consideration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some students I have talked to from Western have said they are experiencing difficulties with the new curriculum change and also felt isolated. Idk about you but personally, I don''t think I could ever pass up a UofT admit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While London is no Toronto, compared to a small town there will still be new places to explore with beautiful green spaces, a lively campus, some summer festivals and good places to eat!

I've lived in London my whole life so Ive gotten bored of it...but There's still enough to do especially if you're only there for 4 years 

 

Share this post


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

i have heard that uoft is a bit hard but that doesn't mean western is easy (it does have a bit of the same reputation). i agree that gunners will be everywhere. plus at the end of the day its all pass fail. uoft is literally ranked higher than yale so i think its warranted. both are amazing schools and i think you'll be fine regardless of your choice. i might be a biased as my family is in toronto but the city it is on another level. the transportation, entertainment, food etc. in london can't compare to toronto. not to mention all of the huge clinical opportunities that are only available in a big city like toronto. you're going to be attending this school for the next 4 years and living in the city so i definitely think its an important consideration.

To be fair, national/international rankings aren't necessarily indicative of education or student quality. They're largely based on the research productivity of the university, and in terms of that, UofT is king. Take it from a guy who chose to go to UofT life sci because I saw that No.1 in Canada ranking, only to find the teaching quality to be subpar in many cases, and little to no support or empathy for student among the administration. But perhaps you are right... the ranking does attract a certain type of person to the school (believe me I've met more than my fair share of pre-med gunners for one lifetime). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, zxcccxz said:

To be fair, national/international rankings aren't necessarily indicative of education or student quality. They're largely based on the research productivity of the university, and in terms of that, UofT is king. Take it from a guy who chose to go to UofT life sci because I saw that No.1 in Canada ranking, only to find the teaching quality to be subpar in many cases, and little to no support or empathy for student among the administration. But perhaps you are right... the ranking does attract a certain type of person to the school (believe me I've met more than my fair share of pre-med gunners for one lifetime). 

those rankings........seriously they are kind of stupid. The metrics they use? Questionable on a practical level. A way for some people to generate attention and receive money for it but not often more than that.

Plus they always lump entire schools together. Take as an example Waterloo. It has world class engineering and computer science programs. How does that relate to the entire school as a whole? Is everything at that level? No - and that matters if you are interested in particular things. 

Things they measure - research funding, size of library collections, number of graduate students.......maybe indirectly measure something useful but in terms of practical particular medical school training? Very limited (I went to Western for 4 years for medical school - did not sign a single book out of their library). Look at what they are actually measure to see where the totals for those rankings come from - you will likely be surprised. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made the same choice when I started medical school - I wanted to live in Toronto but I liked Western's program better.  I chose to go to Western and I mostly don't regret it.  I found living in London pretty terrible, but honestly you get so busy that you tolerate it. Four years passes pretty quickly.  You also save a TON of money living in London.

Either choice will be a good one and also have drawbacks.  Go with your gut.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also accepted Western over UofT! I was hesitant about the change in curriculum but I talked to some students who just finished first year and they said that the problems were largely in first semester. They also mentioned that the administration was very willing to hear feedback and they are hopeful that the incoming students will have a much more positive experience :)

I think regardless of which school you go to, the class that has to deal with the change in the curriculum gets the short end of the stick and then the following year is better (this was also the experience of a friend when her class dealt with the change in the uoft curriculum a few years ago). 

Also, I’ve heard that the first two years of pre-clerkship and how much you end up learning/ retaining is largely up to you and what you make of it - so regardless of which school you go to you will have the resources to succeed :) 

Lastly, I also echo previous comments that mentioned how important it is to really consider what you value and making sure that you are close to network of social support! No matter where you decide to go, you will be able to be successful! Congrats on all of the offers, that’s an incredible accomplishment! :) 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m from toronto but go to western right now and have been in London for 5 years! If I were offered toronto, or even lucky enough to get an interview there, I would have chosen toronto for the city and supportive surroundings, along with the great opportunities that comes with being in such a large urban centre.  London is not a bad city at all despite what people say but I must say that it took me a good 3 years to really find the spots in the city that I actually liked, and have eventually grown to love it! Never really found food spots that I enjoy but I’ve become a better cook and save money that way haha. Toronto is an amazing place and is extremely diverse, there’s something for everyone there and I would have loved to go to UofT ultimately. 
 

either way, there are going to be especially competitive people in both programs but the friends I have who go to UofT have found their “people” and formed a community with those who share their interests/values and really love it there. You have a tough choice though because aside from the major difference in city vibes, both are incredible schools (I’m going to schulich) and have so much to offer! :) good luck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't speak for Toronto but my experience at Western (while I was doing my masters) was that it's extremely collaborative. I was able to collaborate on tons of projects and be very productive without feeling burnt out or anything like that. In terms of the city - I feel like what London does not have is different options for going out. But that is super subjective since some people love going out in London! If I could choose I would have chosen Montreal but McGill wasn't down :( 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

U of T can be a bit of a grinder I've heard, but also consider that if you are looking to stay in the GTA for residency, there might objectively be an advantage in that regard to choosing U of T, depending on what specialty you're interested in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For anyone who's in a similar situation, I've lived and studied in both London and Toronto so will provide my own personal experience

Toronto
Pro: 
- Love the city and everything it has; pubs, bars, clubs, food, etc- you name it. If you live downtown, everything is in the walking distance.
-UofT campus is very beautiful, though its in the middle of downtown of the city. You need to try brown food struck if you ever visit uoft.
-Alot of festivals and events happen in the city
-You can go watch the raptors teehee

Cons:
- Gets super busy; TTC (public transit) is TERRIBLE, always crowded and late
- rent will be 2~4 times the amount of rent in London
-People are closed off/independent
-For someone like me who's lived in the city for the bulk of my life, I got tired of Toronto and wanted to live somewhere that wasn't such a big, urbanized city


London
Pro
- School atmosphere is just phenomenal; incomparably more vibrant. I also found people to be alot more inclusive and conversational than UofT/Toronto
-Love that it's not so urban but it's not like an isolated rural area. It has everything you need; groceries, food, clubs, bars, better public transit (which is free for students)
-Cheap rent
-Will enjoy your time alot more as a student
-campus also beautiful
-loud luxury will come here to perform here and there because they are Western grad 

Cons:
- If you are used to big city, it will be a bit of transition; You have to goto nearby mall or downtown for bulk of restaurants and such
-heard the program has new curriculum (the upcoming year will be the 3rd year to adopt new curriculum). I talked to couple of my friends and they just seem to enjoy/having fun with it, but can't speak for everyone
- if your family lives in toronto, it will be a 2 hour commute :(  But the commute hits different when you are going back with your friends  (which is what i do)

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...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...