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So I know this topic has been discussed a lot in the past, but there have been changes to both schools since then, I think. I would just like to know what this year's applicants think about the two schools and hopefully hear why you would choose one or the other (and congrats at having to make such a decision!) I mean, I hear great things about both schools from students there, and know about the major differences (3 vs 4 years, for eg.) Hopefully someone could give more insight...and any help from current students is greatly appreciated!

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actually the thing that did it for me (to have U of A as my top choice out of the two) was the anatomy lab. I understand at the U of C you have all sorts of access to many different aspects of the anatomy lab, but from what I heard/understood is that a lot of the dissections are done for you and/or are demos. At the U of A, you're in small groups, actually doing the dissections yourselves and it's something that's strongly incorporated into the curriculum. I believe that if I have a solid foundation with anatomy and really understand how all the systems are incorporated together (and not just as separate entities), it would really strengthen my knowledge and make me a better physician.

 

 

that among other things :P

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when I was trying to decide I talked to students and profs from both schools. the weaknesses I asked about at U of C we're confirmed by their own students and most (not all) of my concerns about the U of A we're dispelled.

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my major deciding factor was geography, in choosing uofa. i wanted to move out of calgary (my hometown), but wanted to stay close enough that i could visit home frequently. if geography does not matter, then i think the next bullet should be the 3yr vs 4yr program, and all the implications of that. the third is probably a function of uofc being a 3 yr program, but they put considerably greater onus on the student to learn their material -- the experience there can be what you make of it. some say you are at a disadvantage in carms when going to uofc, but year after year, they do fairly well here, so i am not too sure about that. but it is definitely more dependent on the student to make their experience better. my humble opinion, of course.

 

ultimately, i think these are the three main, significant differences between the schools that one should weigh before deciding one of the two, (and for me, in that order of importance too).

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Factors I considered:

 

(1) 3 yr vs. 4 yrs

(2) short summer break vs. 3-4 months of summer break in 1st & 2nd yr

(3) do u like flexibility of listening to podcasts or streaming lectures from home, and have more flexibility in planning your day around family, interests (not available @ UA)

(4) time for CARms (believe slightly more @ UA)

(5) cost of living, support system

(6) Flames vs. Oilers

(7) sports **utilities** (better & more opportunities in Calgary IMO)

 

** EDIT: supposed to say facilities

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Quite honestly, I don't think u can go wrong with either of these schools. They're both great schools. I forgot to add that the actual number of hrs b/t the 3yr UC prog & 4 yr UA prog is actually the same (source: Dr. Marrie). What did it for me, was the flexibility of being able to stream lectures @ home when i didn't want to go to school and be stuck in a lecture hall (b/c of sickness, or was just lazy and wanted to sleep in, or wanted to do something fun). This is only available @ UC. Also, I find the online lectures to be useful when studying. Sometimes, I zone out in lecture, and when I'm studying, I'll look @ a slide and be like wtf is this? haha... i find that having the online lectures there allows me to go back and get missing info. Hopes this helps, but seriously, i don't think a person could go wrong choosing either the UC or UA. Both GREAT school!

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One really important thing to consider is: Do you know what you want to be when you grow up? 3 years is really not a whole lot of time to make that decision when applying to CaRMS, esp. since at UC you apply at the start of your 3rd year. I'm heading into my 4th year, and I'm wishing I still had more time to decide. It really puts the pressure on you to figure out what you want early, especially if you want a more competitive specialty. Just something to consider, since most medical students change their minds a dozen times over the course of their schooling.

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Accepted at both UA and UC, struggling about where to go, but after several long talks with several current UA and UC med students, I decide to stay in Edmonton. Sorry for the UA waitlisted.

Sighduck, if you can't decide where to go, please visit both schools, talk directly to the students, they may give you some helps. For me, I am 22, would like to spend 4 years with the same age classmates better. I stayed 2 days in Calgary last weekend, it was so stressful, so I know Calgary is not the place for me!

Time is running out, good luck.

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Just to pick up on a point in your post LAboy1 (forgive me if I misunderstood), there are ~150 med students in the class of 2012 -- that is a fair number of people. Same with UofC. Now, with average ages you have to remember that it is indeed an average or median age -- I kind of wish they published a SD with the data as well to give an idea of the distribution. There are plenty of people at UofC who are 'young', and for the most part, there are a group of people in med that you'll just jive really well with. I think it'd be true UofC, UofA, wherever. Just wanted to make the point that even if UofC has higher avg ages, that you do indeed find people of all age groups in significant quantity at both schools. I think that is one of the successes of medical school admissions' systems.

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I had to choose between U of A and U of C this year, and I made a pretty comprehensive excel sheet comparing the two! This was created from over 20+ hours of conversations with students (past and present) from both schools and with attending physicians, a thorough look at each program's curriculum and stats, and the personal factors (e.g. friends and family) that I had to consider. If anyone wants to look at this excel sheet for reference or wants to chat, send me a message! :)Both schools are overall FANTASTIC and you won't go wrong with your choice if you trust your gut! I'm hoping this will help other people who have to make this decision, just keep in mind that what may be a pro for me might be a con for you and vice versa--it truly all depends on what you value. Good luck! 

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Hello cnect,

I was wondering if I could possibly look at this excel sheet! I’m applying in this cycle and want to get as much information as possible!

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11 hours ago, Tay said:

Hello cnect,

I was wondering if I could possibly look at this excel sheet! I’m applying in this cycle and want to get as much information as possible!

Totally! I'll DM you. 

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