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James kingston

What is each med school "known for"?

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As title says, what is each Ontario med school known for? I know queen's for example is small class and high prof:student ratio, so maybe better one-on-one learning and a tighter community. Western seems to have a strong surgical training program, but that's probably more for residency rather than med school. What are each of the Ontario schools known for, and what are some misconceptions??

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U of T is known for research, and being extremely competitive. U of T students are also more likely to be gunners compared to any other school (this is fuelled by how the curriculum is structured and student mentality). 

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18 minutes ago, mcgillmdbd said:

U of T is known for research, and being extremely competitive. U of T students are also more likely to be gunners compared to any other school (this is fuelled by how the curriculum is structured and student mentality). 

Do you think the whole "gunner" atmosphere will hurt your chance of matching, or is that just more of an issue with dealing with annoying people lol? If you're going for a decently competitive specialty like EM for example, do you think going to UofT would hurt since you might not have the chance to make strong connections, especially if you wanna do your residency at UofT as well? 

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42 minutes ago, James kingston said:

Do you think the whole "gunner" atmosphere will hurt your chance of matching, or is that just more of an issue with dealing with annoying people lol? If you're going for a decently competitive specialty like EM for example, do you think going to UofT would hurt since you might not have the chance to make strong connections, especially if you wanna do your residency at UofT as well? 

The gunner mentality itself doesn't hurt your chances, it's just an issue with higher chances of dealing with annoying people like you said lol. U of T would definitely not hurt your chances for competitive residencies. 

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Stereotypes and random facts that i've gathered. 

UofT - med school - competitive, research heavy, pretentious, diverse patient population, big on competitive specialties, people want to stay local for residency

McMaster - med school - 3 years, PBL, no anatomy, research heavy (clin epi), verbal/EQ focused school, hippie, either super young or non-trad

Queens - med school - small, tight knit, less research, good matches in CaRMS, QuARMs, big on competitive specialties

Western - med school - high MCAT score school, SWOMEN, good matches in CaRMS, big on surgery

Ottawa - med school - GPA/EC school, french stream, chill laid back, lots of fam med matches

NOSM - med school - rural, northern ontario, small, nice, tight knit, friendly

 

 

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I feel like Mac is known for trying really hard with MedEd; designed the MMI, PBL, and CAsPER. Tends to be cool with going against the grain in things. 
 

People joke about our non-traditional training but... enh. It’s working for us. 

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1 hour ago, mcgillmdbd said:

U of T is known for research, and being extremely competitive. U of T students are also more likely to be gunners compared to any other school (this is fuelled by how the curriculum is structured and student mentality). 

There is no absolutely no evidence of this. The idea that UofT is filled with gunners is fuelled by UofT undergrads and med students from other schools. So, it is based solely on conjecture. The only accurate source of information is medical students at UofT themselves who can speak about the culture and environment of the education. I’m an incoming student so I contacted many many upper year UofT med students to ask about the class culture and the education environment; not one student has told me that UofT is competitive, or is filled with gunners. I have spoken to UofT med students who also completed their undergrad there and they said that the undergrad and med experience are completely different. While undergrad at UofT can be cut-throat and competitive, med students are separated into smaller academies where they have their own fb group, they share notes and material with each other, have tons of parties and social events, and enjoy a close-knit connection with each other. This is especially true for MAM, Fitz, and PB, which account for 2/3 of the UofT students. The only academy at UofT that is not as tight-knit is WB simply because the student count is higher (~90 compared to the other three which consist of ~50 students).

Gunners will exist at every school but the majority of the class will consist of kind, friendly classmates. 
 

Also, UofT changed their medical curriculum recently which is being received very favourably by the med students. We have Wednesdays off, lectures only on Monday and Friday in preclerkship, and the rest of the week is devoted to small group-based learning led by the students themselves or by a faculty member. 
 

It’s really not a good idea to speak about what each school is “known” for unless you have accurate, reliable information. We should be working to dispel stereotypes and myths that are being perpetuated, not reinforce them.

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6 minutes ago, Edict said:

Stereotypes and random facts that i've gathered. 

UofT - med school - competitive, research heavy, pretentious, diverse patient population, big on competitive specialties, people want to stay local for residency

McMaster - med school - 3 years, PBL, no anatomy, research heavy (clin epi), verbal/EQ focused school, hippie, either super young or non-trad

Queens - med school - small, tight knit, less research, good matches in CaRMS, QuARMs, big on competitive specialties

Western - med school - high MCAT score school, SWOMEN, good matches in CaRMS, big on surgery

Ottawa - med school - GPA/EC school, french stream, chill laid back, lots of fam med matches

NOSM - med school - rural, northern ontario, small, nice, tight knit, friendly

 

 

Yah I've also heard UOttawa scaring their students into backing up into fam med a lot, don't know if that's a good or bad thing. Also idk if UWO is high on MCAT anymore, since their cutoffs are pretty low now with the introduction of those essays. 

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6 minutes ago, Birdy said:

I feel like Mac is known for trying really hard with MedEd; designed the MMI, PBL, and CAsPER. Tends to be cool with going against the grain in things. 
 

People joke about our non-traditional training but... enh. It’s working for us. 

Well I think the 3 year program + no summers for research really does hurt some folks, wouldn't you say? I'm personally aiming for something along the lines of PM&R or EM (so both lifestyle specialties continuing to get more competitive lol), but I'm very open to changing my mind and don't wanna go in with a bias. I'm just worried the shortened period might have me rushing and not picking the "perfect fit" specialty (if there is such a thing). 

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17 minutes ago, Edict said:

Stereotypes and random facts that i've gathered. 

UofT - med school - competitive, research heavy, pretentious, diverse patient population, big on competitive specialties, people want to stay local for residency

McMaster - med school - 3 years, PBL, no anatomy, research heavy (clin epi), verbal/EQ focused school, hippie, either super young or non-trad

Queens - med school - small, tight knit, less research, good matches in CaRMS, QuARMs, big on competitive specialties

Western - med school - high MCAT score school, SWOMEN, good matches in CaRMS, big on surgery

Ottawa - med school - GPA/EC school, french stream, chill laid back, lots of fam med matches

NOSM - med school - rural, northern ontario, small, nice, tight knit, friendly

 

 

What do you mean by Western is big on surgery? Like a lot of their grads match into surgery? Or that their surgery residencies are good programs?

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8 minutes ago, James kingston said:

Well I think the 3 year program + no summers for research really does hurt some folks, wouldn't you say? I'm personally aiming for something along the lines of PM&R or EM (so both lifestyle specialties continuing to get more competitive lol), but I'm very open to changing my mind and don't wanna go in with a bias. I'm just worried the shortened period might have me rushing and not picking the "perfect fit" specialty (if there is such a thing). 

Mac students have the option of taking an additional year for research and some do additional electives. Not many do it, but it is possible. Lots of Mac grads do PM&R and Emerg. Everyone I knew who was gunning for those matched to them. 

I think people agonize more over finding a “perfect fit” specialty than is warranted, and I say this as someone who did precisely that. People do switch residency programs not infrequently, and there are alternate paths to many types of work.

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5 minutes ago, Birdy said:

Mac students have the option of taking an additional year for research and some do additional electives. Not many do it, but it is possible. Lots of Mac grads do PM&R and Emerg. Everyone I knew who was gunning for those matched to them. 

I think people agonize more over finding a “perfect fit” specialty than is warranted, and I say this as someone who did precisely that. People do switch residency programs not infrequently, and there are alternate paths to many types of work.

Great way of putting it, nice to see that it's not as bad as I thought haha!

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27 minutes ago, James kingston said:

Great way of putting it, nice to see that it's not as bad as I thought haha!

I was a late comer to liking EM. Came into med school planning on FM with extra reproductive health. Detoured to OB/Gyn for a while. Did my emerg block and an elective and loved it. Decided on FM since I definitely wanted to continue with reproductive care as well. Currently planning to apply for +1 EM (will be doing part time emerg whether or not I get it) and will do part time emerg and have a primary care reproductive health focused clinic in addition.  So even though I flip flopped in med school during my short three years (it’s really 2 until you’re doing carms) I am super happy with where I am. 

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54 minutes ago, pinkneuron said:

What do you mean by Western is big on surgery? Like a lot of their grads match into surgery? Or that their surgery residencies are good programs?

I think out of the Ontario schools, Western and Queens seems to produce the most surgical keeners as a %. But also Western has a rep for the most hardcore surgical programs. You come out of these programs a top surgeon or you drop out. 

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1 hour ago, bruh said:

There is no absolutely no evidence of this. The idea that UofT is filled with gunners is fuelled by UofT undergrads and med students from other schools. So, it is based solely on conjecture. The only accurate source of information is medical students at UofT themselves who can speak about the culture and environment of the education. I’m an incoming student so I contacted many many upper year UofT med students to ask about the class culture and the education environment; not one student has told me that UofT is competitive, or is filled with gunners. I have spoken to UofT med students who also completed their undergrad there and they said that the undergrad and med experience are completely different. While undergrad at UofT can be cut-throat and competitive, med students are separated into smaller academies where they have their own fb group, they share notes and material with each other, have tons of parties and social events, and enjoy a close-knit connection with each other. This is especially true for MAM, Fitz, and PB, which account for 2/3 of the UofT students. The only academy at UofT that is not as tight-knit is WB simply because the student count is higher (~90 compared to the other three which consist of ~50 students).

Gunners will exist at every school but the majority of the class will consist of kind, friendly classmates. 
 

Also, UofT changed their medical curriculum recently which is being received very favourably by the med students. We have Wednesdays off, lectures only on Monday and Friday in preclerkship, and the rest of the week is devoted to small group-based learning led by the students themselves or by a faculty member. 
 

It’s really not a good idea to speak about what each school is “known” for unless you have accurate, reliable information. We should be working to dispel stereotypes and myths that are being perpetuated, not reinforce them.

I am very well aware about the differences between undergrad and med culture at U of T, and you don’t need to explain to me the differences between the two. Since you’re an incoming student yourself, I wouldn’t necessarily 100% trust your perspective on the school either. Of course, the upper med students will not tell you that U of T is competitive, they are happy, and I assure you almost every med student is satisfied with their medical school (not just U of T, but likely every other medical school in Canada). 
 

When I said U of T is competitive, I didn’t mean that everyone is a gunner or out to get their classmates. Simply put, U of T highly values research and extracurriculars and thus produces competitive students, and this is facilitated by the structure of the curriculum (which I already mentioned and then you tediously elaborated on; I meant it as a good thing). If you look at Carms data, you’ll see more U of T students listing top competitive specialties as their first choice (along with McGill I believe) and yes I’m factoring in the large class size of U of T. This is what I meant by high(er) chances of encountering gunner students at U of T. 
 

What also makes U of T more competitive are the giant renown hospitals it runs, and the sheer amount of students, residents, staff and opportunities that come with those. Also keep in my mind that many students from Ontario Med schools eye Toronto for research, networking and residency, making the overall atmosphere more competitive compared to other medical schools. 

This is not a bad thing, and it’s not a false stereotype I was enforcing in any way. I’m sure U of T med students are kind, and I have known many of them as well. You’re going to have a great time at U of T, and it will be what you make out of it. Chill.

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3 hours ago, James kingston said:

Yah I've also heard UOttawa scaring their students into backing up into fam med a lot, don't know if that's a good or bad thing. Also idk if UWO is high on MCAT anymore, since their cutoffs are pretty low now with the introduction of those essays. 

Yep there's a mandatory meeting with an academic advisor who tries to strongly suggest backing up with family. He's actually not terrible if you show him a good plan and strong CV. He will just tell you to be comfortable with the potential of going unmatched  No school will ever tell you to go all in for one specialty, it's not in their interests. 

To clarify things about Ottawa, while there is a lot of family med grads, it's about the same as all schools but u of t (more unmatched, less people actually applying to family). It's also known for pumping out ER residents. They are know for producing exceptional clerks. Along with queens there's a very low learner to staff ratio, which gives one experiences you wouldn't get at some other schools. A lot of residents will agree that Ottawa students function very well on the wards. 

This is just anecdotal but the few u of c students I've worked with tend to be pretty meh. (only worked with them when they were on elective at the beginning of clerkship). If blame the 3 years but mac students tend to perform a bit better so I'm not sure if it's just because the system is different in Calgary compared to Ontario or something like that. 

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8 hours ago, Birdy said:

I feel like Mac is known for trying really hard with MedEd; designed the MMI, PBL, and CAsPER. Tends to be cool with going against the grain in things. 
 

People joke about our non-traditional training but... enh. It’s working for us. 

How's the three year program working out for your clerks now that they've missed half their clinical education?

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9 hours ago, James kingston said:

Yah I've also heard UOttawa scaring their students into backing up into fam med a lot, don't know if that's a good or bad thing. Also idk if UWO is high on MCAT anymore, since their cutoffs are pretty low now with the introduction of those essays. 

I don't know if "scare" is the right word, they're just very clear that the best way to diminish your chances of going unmatched in the first round of CaRMS is to apply to family medicine. Everybody needs to make the choice for themselves whether they would rather match to family medicine as a second choice or risk having to enter the second round or another year of CaRMS. This attitude does result in Ottawa having a very low rate of unmatched grads every year (this year was 2 people I believe). As an MD2020 uOttawa grad, I can also say that many people in my class had family medicine as their first choice, and many people matched to other specialties across the board at many different schools

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2 hours ago, QueenStan said:

How's the three year program working out for your clerks now that they've missed half their clinical education?

They haven’t missed half. They’ve missed 3.5 months out of 16. They’re returning next month, I believe. I don’t know what Mac is planning (I’m a resident, I don’t keep up on everything the med students do) but I’m pretty sure they have options to recover some of the time. 

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9 hours ago, mcgillmdbd said:

I am very well aware about the differences between undergrad and med culture at U of T, and you don’t need to explain to me the differences between the two. Since you’re an incoming student yourself, I wouldn’t necessarily 100% trust your perspective on the school either. Of course, the upper med students will not tell you that U of T is competitive, they are happy, and I assure you almost every med student is satisfied with their medical school (not just U of T, but likely every other medical school in Canada). 
 

When I said U of T is competitive, I didn’t mean that everyone is a gunner or out to get their classmates. Simply put, U of T highly values research and extracurriculars and thus produces competitive students, and this is facilitated by the structure of the curriculum (which I already mentioned and then you tediously elaborated on; I meant it as a good thing). If you look at Carms data, you’ll see more U of T students listing top competitive specialties as their first choice (along with McGill I believe) and yes I’m factoring in the large class size of U of T. This is what I meant by high(er) chances of encountering gunner students at U of T. 
 

What also makes U of T more competitive are the giant renown hospitals it runs, and the sheer amount of students, residents, staff and opportunities that come with those. Also keep in my mind that many students from Ontario Med schools eye Toronto for research, networking and residency, making the overall atmosphere more competitive compared to other medical schools. 

This is not a bad thing, and it’s not a false stereotype I was enforcing in any way. I’m sure U of T med students are kind, and I have known many of them as well. You’re going to have a great time at U of T, and it will be what you make out of it. Chill.

I’m pretty chill. Also, I appreciate your comment. While you think mine was tedious and unnecessary I think both of our inputs are valuable in allowing students have a better understanding of schools. So, thank you for your response.
 

The problem with your initial comment was that it implied the infamous stereotype of UofT med being cut-throat and competitive between the med students, which I don’t think you believe to be the case either. But since you didn’t clarify what you meant by the curriculum and student mentality, it could sway people into falsely thinking UofT med students are out to get each other. 
 

This entire conversation is important because there are a lot of valuable nuances that are being missed by stroking a broad brush on each school. For what it’s worth, if anyone is even remotely concerned about gunners, high student numbers, high learner number, or a competitive culture, MAM is a great campus that does not have any of the stereotypes you have described about UofT. 
I’m sure the same nuances could be explored about other med schools, and that would be a very healthy conversation to have.

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28 minutes ago, bruh said:

I’m pretty chill. Also, I appreciate your comment. While you think mine was tedious and unnecessary I think both of our inputs are valuable in allowing students have a better understanding of schools. So, thank you for your response.
 

The problem with your initial comment was that it implied the infamous stereotype of UofT med being cut-throat and competitive between the med students, which I don’t think you believe to be the case either. But since you didn’t clarify what you meant by the curriculum and student mentality, it could sway people into falsely thinking UofT med students are out to get each other. 
 

This entire conversation is important because there are a lot of valuable nuances that are being missed by stroking a broad brush on each school. For what it’s worth, if anyone is even remotely concerned about gunners, high student numbers, high learner number, or a competitive culture, MAM is a great campus that does not have any of the stereotypes you have described about UofT. 
I’m sure the same nuances could be explored about other med schools, and that would be a very healthy conversation to have.

You're right in the sense that my initial commet was vague.; I never meant that the competition was among the medical students themselves. Since this was posted in the medical students forums, I didn't worry too much about promoting false stereotypes since I assumed most people here are familiar with U of T's medical school.  Your explanation about the curriculum and academies is certainly helpful for who are unfamilair with U of T. I simply didn't appreciate how you called my comment evidenceless and assumed I was feeding into negative/false stereotypes. 

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25 minutes ago, mcgillmdbd said:

You're right in the sense that my initial commet was vague.; I never meant that the competition was among the medical students themselves. Since this was posted in the medical students forums, I didn't worry too much about promoting false stereotypes since I assumed most people here are familiar with U of T's medical school.  Your explanation about the curriculum and academies is certainly helpful for who are unfamilair with U of T. I simply didn't appreciate how you called my comment evidenceless and assumed I was feeding into negative/false stereotypes. 

That's fair. I expressed some inaccurate assumptions as there wasn't enough context for me to consider. I'm glad we could understand each other's point of view. Best wishes.

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10 hours ago, DocBrown9 said:

Yep there's a mandatory meeting with an academic advisor who tries to strongly suggest backing up with family. He's actually not terrible if you show him a good plan and strong CV. He will just tell you to be comfortable with the potential of going unmatched  No school will ever tell you to go all in for one specialty, it's not in their interests. 

To clarify things about Ottawa, while there is a lot of family med grads, it's about the same as all schools but u of t (more unmatched, less people actually applying to family). It's also known for pumping out ER residents. They are know for producing exceptional clerks. Along with queens there's a very low learner to staff ratio, which gives one experiences you wouldn't get at some other schools. A lot of residents will agree that Ottawa students function very well on the wards. 

This is just anecdotal but the few u of c students I've worked with tend to be pretty meh. (only worked with them when they were on elective at the beginning of clerkship). If blame the 3 years but mac students tend to perform a bit better so I'm not sure if it's just because the system is different in Calgary compared to Ontario or something like that. 

Incoming med student here, this is some really interesting info. I'm wondering where this data is for Ottawa - specifically the ER residents part. I'm staying open minded for specialities, however, EM currently sounds the most salient (lifestyle, culture, training, patient population, practice etc) for non surgical specialties. I've also heard Ottawa has a phenomenal EM program for PGME. I'd love to get some more information.

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