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Admission Statistics 2014

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With the disclaimer that the claim is entirely spurious?

 

The question that you should be asking is are the physicians that come from mac health sci any better, the same or worse than the ones from other schools? with the caveat that it may never be answered satisfactorily 

 

But so many people complain about our program structure ad nauseum, make really short-sighted claims that discredit people's hard work (I doubt most hth scis even care anymore), but in fact 99% of the complaints I hear about the undergraduate experience are things that the BHSc program actively addresses. So you have a program which provides a holistic, individualized education, nobody wishes to recognize that but instead fixates on grading. Grades show little correlation to learning outcomes (search the literature for yourself) and a program that offers its students no flexibility or personability isn't one that will prepare you more for medicine.

 

The BHSc program offers tremendous opportunities for personal development, and the fact that we have these is simply a reflection of resource allocation realities, not because we are a "chosen" cohort to the exclusion of everyone else. In reality, every program should incorporate aspects of these

I) personal interviews with facilitators to monitor self-growth (this is a large part of the inquiry course everybody is quick to attack as "useless" "bird", while it was one of the most enriching and personally challenging courses i've taken)

II) an immensely supportive and engaged community in which you'll eventually know nearly everyone in your year 

III) many, many opportunities to work on group process and people skills

IV) communication courses in senior years which directly target soft-skills in speaking with people/dealing difficult situations

 

The reason health scis are successful isn't just grades. What about all the other aspects of the program? I had an easy time on a lot of topics that came up on CASper just because I had an opportunity to discuss those controversies within the context of the program. 

 

So basically everyone is hating when the program offers things that a lot of people would appreciate and benefit from.

 

Instead of this irrational disposition, why not advocate for changes within your spheres? It's not a bad thing that health science students have more flexibility in their schedules, have a cirriculum which balances soft skills and knowledge and doesn't try to fail its students. And based on the hundreds of health scis which are now successful med students/residents, it's not like we're going in disadvantaged - I would argue the opposite since the program promotes the more humanistic interpretation of medicine which is where medicine has been shifting towards 

 

LOL I respect you for actually taking the time to explain all of this in a reasonable manner. But let's face it, these people are never going to listen. Whenever a conflict arises between self-esteem and rationality, protecting one's self-esteem will always take precedence. 

 

If everyone's so concerned that this "program is a blight on the academic integrity of the whole undergraduate system in Ontario", why don't you send a complaint to the Council of Ontario Universities? I'm sure they'll love your commentaries on how a "4.0 mac health sci GPA requires less effort than a 3.5 GPA at any U of T undergrad"  ;) 

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LOL I respect you for actually taking the time to explain all of this in a reasonable manner. But let's face it, these people are never going to listen. Whenever a conflict arises between self-esteem and rationality, protecting one's self-esteem will always take precedence. 

 

If everyone's so concerned that this "program is a blight on the academic integrity of the whole undergraduate system in Ontario", why don't you send a complaint to the Council of Ontario Universities? I'm sure they'll love your commentaries on how a "4.0 mac health sci GPA requires less effort than a 3.5 GPA at any U of T undergrad"  ;) 

Well, hows this for a complaint. The students are allowed to drop the hard anatomy course at MAC health sci this year (BTW it is a mandatory course!! and they are allowed to drop it forever) because their marks are "Low". The dean allowed them to do that. Also, what about all the learnlink past exams, midterms, etc... that are probably against academic integrity and only open to health scis? I do not think we can ignore the fact that health scis are indeed a program designed for premeds to get a high grade....

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Well, hows this for a complaint. The students are allowed to drop the hard anatomy course at MAC health sci this year (BTW it is a mandatory course!! and they are allowed to drop it forever) because their marks are "Low". The dean allowed them to do that. Also, what about all the learnlink past exams, midterms, etc... that are probably against academic integrity and only open to health scis? I do not think we can ignore the fact that health scis are indeed a program designed for premeds to get a high grade....

 

3rd year health sci here, I just wanted to clear up some misconceptions.  Anatomy was never a compulsory course, it wasn't until recently however that the average student was aware that they could opt out of it.  However, exiting the course is not easy; proper justification has to be given to administrators.  Saying that the mark will be "low" is not enough and will definitely just get you ridiculed by the office.

 

Past resources are stored on learnlink in the same way that someone would put them on google drive.  There is nothing more dishonest about it.  Of course if such resources were taken against the rules, that would violate academic integrity, but I've yet to find a single instance of that happening.  The academic coordinator is fairly disciplined when it comes to sharing.  Plus, you make it sound as if health scis hoard the information like gold, but in reality everyone I know is more than willing to distribute it to peers in other faculties.

 

I don't mind constructive criticism against any program, but honestly most of the stuff against BHSc recently has been unfounded and demeans those who have earned their marks.  Only a small fraction have 4.0s, and I can confidently say that they truly worked their hearts.  Ironically, the lowest marks on my transcript are the BHSc courses which in my opinion are comparable to the average life science course in terms of difficulty.

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3rd year health sci here, I just wanted to clear up some misconceptions.  Anatomy was never a compulsory course, it wasn't until recently however that the average student was aware that they could opt out of it.  However, exiting the course is not easy; proper justification has to be given to administrators.  Saying that the mark will be "low" is not enough and will definitely just get you ridiculed by the office.

 

Past resources are stored on learnlink in the same way that someone would put them on google drive.  There is nothing more dishonest about it.  Of course if such resources were taken against the rules, that would violate academic integrity, but I've yet to find a single instance of that happening.  The academic coordinator is fairly disciplined when it comes to sharing.  Plus, you make it sound as if health scis hoard the information like gold, but in reality everyone I know is more than willing to distribute it to peers in other faculties.

 

I don't mind constructive criticism against any program, but honestly most of the stuff against BHSc recently has been unfounded and demeans those who have earned their marks.  Only a small fraction have 4.0s, and I can confidently say that they truly worked their hearts.  Ironically, the lowest marks on my transcript are the BHSc courses which in my opinion are comparable to the average life science course in terms of difficulty.

 

I agree that most of the stuff against BHSc is indeed unfounded, but a lot of it is grounded in truth. Having been through the program myself, I can certainly empathize with those who think that this program is "a blight on the academic integrity of the whole undergraduate system in Ontario" (lol). I'm going to present some facts:

1) Third year space med -- virtually everybody gets as 12 in that course. This weekly 3-hour course consists of weekly presentations that you prepare and present IN CLASS. There is an essay worth 100% of your mark at the end of the term. So throughout the term, you show up for your weekly 3-hour session, prepare and present your presentation. Except for the essay at the end of the term, there is no studying, no evaluations, no preparation or readings for anything. Everybody I've talked to who has taken the course has gotten an A+.

2) Global health ELE -- the global health specialization has a 5-credit course in third year, where you go on an exchange for four months. This course is "A+ or fail". Virtually everybody gets an A+ for this 5-credit course. That's a whole half-year of A+'s. So you go on the exchange, you work hard, and you get five A+'s on your transcript. Note: until recently, I think two years ago, this course has been completely revamped and they no longer give A+'s to everyone, but a lot of the people who have been through the global health specialization has taken this 5-credit course, which may explain why their grades are so high. 

3) Second year habits -- a mandatory pass/fail course for main stream health sciences students, which consists of meditation, yoga, and dancing. To be fair, many people say that this is a really useful course and I'm sure it has certainly helped students with stress management, but is there any other program in Ontario where you would find this type of mandatory pass/fail course? If, let's say a student at UofT or Western, wants to take something like this to lessen their workload, would they be able to? 

 

So, those who defend the program, what do you have to say about this? 

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3rd year health sci here, I just wanted to clear up some misconceptions.  Anatomy was never a compulsory course, it wasn't until recently however that the average student was aware that they could opt out of it.  However, exiting the course is not easy; proper justification has to be given to administrators.  Saying that the mark will be "low" is not enough and will definitely just get you ridiculed by the office.

 

Past resources are stored on learnlink in the same way that someone would put them on google drive.  There is nothing more dishonest about it.  Of course if such resources were taken against the rules, that would violate academic integrity, but I've yet to find a single instance of that happening.  The academic coordinator is fairly disciplined when it comes to sharing.  Plus, you make it sound as if health scis hoard the information like gold, but in reality everyone I know is more than willing to distribute it to peers in other faculties.

 

I don't mind constructive criticism against any program, but honestly most of the stuff against BHSc recently has been unfounded and demeans those who have earned their marks.  Only a small fraction have 4.0s, and I can confidently say that they truly worked their hearts.  Ironically, the lowest marks on my transcript are the BHSc courses which in my opinion are comparable to the average life science course in terms of difficulty.

First of all, anatomy is a mandatory course for you guys.... so your administrators did let those people drop a mandatory course indefinitely. 

http://academiccalendars.romcmaster.ca/preview_program.php?catoid=7&poid=4062. Btw, I laughed at your comment the fact that the average student just realized they can drop a course in the middle of the course. I mean no one ever does this in other faculties (due to academic and financial penalities)! you make it sounds like it is normal....

 

Second of all, what possible reason would they let >30 people to drop it? In other faculties, you cannot just drop courses like that after the course drop deadline, if you do, you can fail. Why would it be okay for just you guys to do this?

 

Lastly, learnlink does have past midterms/exams.... but let's be honest, the majority of health scis wont share (I have asked before) but those who share are generally very nice people and I did appreciate their help. 

 

We all work very hard, I have sure those who got 4.0s worked very hard, but there is no denying that this program is designed to boost up the students' marks

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I agree that most of the stuff against BHSc is indeed unfounded, but a lot of it is grounded in truth. Having been through the program myself, I can certainly empathize with those who think that this program is "a blight on the academic integrity of the whole undergraduate system in Ontario" (lol). I'm going to present some facts:

1) Third year space med -- virtually everybody gets as 12 in that course. This weekly 3-hour course consists of weekly presentations that you prepare and present IN CLASS. There is an essay worth 100% of your mark at the end of the term. So throughout the term, you show up for your weekly 3-hour session, prepare and present your presentation. Except for the essay at the end of the term, there is no studying, no evaluations, no preparation or readings for anything. Everybody I've talked to who has taken the course has gotten an A+.

2) Global health ELE -- the global health specialization has a 5-credit course in third year, where you go on an exchange for four months. This course is "A+ or fail". Virtually everybody gets an A+ for this 5-credit course. That's a whole half-year of A+'s. So you go on the exchange, you work hard, and you get five A+'s on your transcript. Note: until recently, I think two years ago, this course has been completely revamped and they no longer give A+'s to everyone, but a lot of the people who have been through the global health specialization has taken this 5-credit course, which may explain why their grades are so high. 

3) Second year habits -- a mandatory pass/fail course for main stream health sciences students, which consists of meditation, yoga, and dancing. To be fair, many people say that this is a really useful course and I'm sure it has certainly helped students with stress management, but is there any other program in Ontario where you would find this type of mandatory pass/fail course? If, let's say a student at UofT or Western, wants to take something like this to lessen their workload, would they be able to? 

 

So, those who defend the program, what do you have to say about this? 

 

1) You're right, health sci offers some really easy courses.  Space med definitely comes to mind, and first year inquiry was certainly one as well.  However, other than first year inquiry, we can't generalize those courses to everyone in BHSc because chances are, most BHSc students won't even join.  Space med is notoriously difficult to get into, which means that the majority of 3rd years will do a more challenging and productive inquiry course.  Plus, every program has the occasional bird course, so why is it damnable when BHSc does?  There are many challenging BHSc courses actively taken by health science students which more than makes up for the occasional easy one.

 

2) I don't know much about global health but I've heard the same as you - alumni had a really easy time with the ELEs in the past.  Yes it might have been unfair, but only like 15% of a year is in global health anyways and recent changes to the specialization are making it significantly more demanding.

 

3) Habits lessened the workload, which i think was the intention considering it is taken alongside some of the most challenging second year courses like anatomy and stats.  Rarely are students under that much pressure in a semester, so I don't think we should fault the program for trying to help the students cope.  It wasn't to boost GPAs, it was to prevent students from burning out.

 

First of all, anatomy is a mandatory course for you guys.... so your administrators did let those people drop a mandatory course indefinitely. 

http://academiccalendars.romcmaster.ca/preview_program.php?catoid=7&poid=4062. Btw, I laughed at your comment the fact that the average student just realized they can drop a course in the middle of the course. I mean no one ever does this in other faculties (due to academic and financial penalities)! you make it sounds like it is normal....

 

Second of all, what possible reason would they let >30 people to drop it? In other faculties, you cannot just drop courses like that after the course drop deadline, if you do, you can fail. Why would it be okay for just you guys to do this?

 

Lastly, learnlink does have past midterms/exams.... but let's be honest, the majority of health scis wont share (I have asked before) but those who share are generally very nice people and I did appreciate their help. 

 

We all work very hard, I have sure those who got 4.0s worked very hard, but there is no denying that this program is designed to boost up the students' marks

 

You're preaching to the choir here.  I know what is and is not actually mandatory - yes, I realize anatomy is listed on 'required courses' but students have always been able to opt out.  Also, what is there that's funny or confusing about me saying that the average student realized he/she could opt out?  BHSc students, like myself in second year, have always assumed that anatomy was firmly compulsory but I suppose some discontent students this year made the knowledge mainstream halfway through the semester.  Furthermore, students regularly drop out of courses at all stages.  I'm not exactly sure what's happening this year, so I don't know if >30 have dropped, but I'm confident that if the students exited after the final deadline, they were appropriately penalized.

 

There's nothing wrong with having past midterms/exams if they were obtained properly, so I still don't see how learnlink violates academic honesty.  And as far as I know, the majority of health scis are polite and generous; I find it more likely that it was how you asked that caused you to get rejected.

 

Finally, you make it sound as if there is overwhelming evidence that BHSc is nothing more than McMaster's stepping stone for premeds.  Meanwhile, my experience has shown that BHSc actively encourages students to explore non-medical professions and to focus less on the 4.0.  The higher-ups do not condone mark inflation at all.  As I've said before, the lowest marks of many health scis are from the health sci courses, which suggests that BHSc is one of the poorest options for a boosted mark.  

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1) You're right, health sci offers some really easy courses.  Space med definitely comes to mind, and first year inquiry was certainly one as well.  However, other than first year inquiry, we can't generalize those courses to everyone in BHSc because chances are, most BHSc students won't even join.  Space med is notoriously difficult to get into, which means that the majority of 3rd years will do a more challenging and productive inquiry course.  Plus, every program has the occasional bird course, so why is it damnable when BHSc does?  There are many challenging BHSc courses actively taken by health science students which more than makes up for the occasional easy one.

 

2) I don't know much about global health but I've heard the same as you - alumni had a really easy time with the ELEs in the past.  Yes it might have been unfair, but only like 15% of a year is in global health anyways and recent changes to the specialization are making it significantly more demanding.

 

3) Habits lessened the workload, which i think was the intention considering it is taken alongside some of the most challenging second year courses like anatomy and stats.  Rarely are students under that much pressure in a semester, so I don't think we should fault the program for trying to help the students cope.  It wasn't to boost GPAs, it was to prevent students from burning out.

 

It seems like most of your arguments center around the fact that "well we shouldn't generalize because not all health sci students take these bird courses". The issue is, there are definitely easy courses at other universities, but I'm pretty sure there are no courses at Western or UofT in which 100% of the class gets an A+ with minimal work. 

 

Oh yeah, and I've taken stats. Health sci stats is a lot easier than the stats courses that students in other programs take lol. I'm pretty sure there are no other universities that have mandatory, easy, pass/fail courses because "health sci students can't handle the workload".

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It seems like most of your arguments center around the fact that "well we shouldn't generalize because not all health sci students take these bird courses". The issue is, there are definitely easy courses at other universities, but I'm pretty sure there are no courses at Western or UofT in which 100% of the class gets an A+ with minimal work. 

 

Oh yeah, and I've taken stats. Health sci stats is a lot easier than the stats courses that students in other programs take lol. I'm pretty sure there are no other universities that have mandatory, easy, pass/fail courses because "health sci students can't handle the workload".

 

Do 100% of the year take spacemed?  Like I said, only a small portion do so it's still obviously unfair to generalize courses like that to the whole program.  

 

I'm not sure how HTH SCI 2A03 was taught when you took it or how much pre-existing experience you have with math.  What I can say however, is that in the past two years, HTH SCI 2A03 was a very challenging course for the average second year and generally reflected in poorer marks.  Stats 2B03, probably the most comparable stats course, has garnered a lot of positivity whereas in BHSc, the learning experience was certainly inferior.  If you want to throw around anecdotal evidence, I would say that HTH SCI 2A03 was one of the most difficult and stressful courses I've taken, slightly better than orgo.  I doubt that similar comparisons would be drawn for Stats 2B03.  

 

Habits attempts to teach valuable...well habits, so BHSc shouldn't be criticized for trying to improve student experiences.  More importantly, if a student wanted to boost their GPA, habits is just a waste of time due to the pass/fail nature.  Personally, I would have felt much better dropping habits to do an easy course, such that anatomy/stats would make less of an impact while also adding a good (meaningful) mark.

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Stop being butthurt guys. GPA isn't the only criteria required to get into med school. You can't cheat your way out of MCAT and extracurriculars and both of these are very important as well. Also, getting a 3.9+ GPA is possible in most programs with some dedication. I am not in Mac health sci but who cares. Life ain't fair.

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All Mac health sci students who apply to uoft or any med school for that matter should submit an essay explaining why they feel they are ready for the rigors of medical school considering that they have graduated from a program where even a mildly dull monkey can achieve a 3.95+ gpa.

 

Furthermore, A reference letter testifying that the Mac health sci applicant can in fact tie his or her own shoes should be mediatory in order to confirm basal level intelligence.

 

Lastly, all Mac health sci students should be required to submit a video demonstrating their ability to count backwards from 10 in order to have their wildly inflated gpa considered.

Haahahahahhaha

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Unfortunately you can't just say there's 'more to life than an undergraduate program' in the context of this thread, because everybody knows the most important factor for most schools is your GPA regardless of the rigor of your program. The issue is not with Mac Health's Sci's program - in fact I think it is great. The program seems to actually teach students as opposed to being just a hurdle to get through to get into medical school. I think it is the model program. The problem is our medical admissions is not adapted to suit that model, but still uses GPA criteria to select based off the old system of undergraduate programs, where GPA is more or less proportional to the amount of hours you put in to memorize slides for an exam... namely U of T, western, queens, etc.

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It's not a secret that GPA is important for getting into med school. So once you realize you want to do med school, maybe think about getting yourself into a program or courses where you can achieve the highest possible marks instead of whining about how some programs inflate grades.

 

I got into "easier" and "harder" schools/programs and picked a tough program to get good grades in (queens life sci). Thinking back, maybe I should have picked another program at queens or another school where I might have been able to achieve higher grades (either because average grades are higher or because maybe i'd just be better at those courses)... but I didn't do that and so then I had to just do my best and live with my GPA as it was.

 

At any point along the way in my high school or undergrad journey towards medicine I could have spent more time educating myself on what is the best course or program or school to do to get into med school, and everyone has access to that kind of information too. It is up to you whether you decide to seek out that information, and also whether you decide to choose each course based solely on how easy it is to get a 4.0 vs. whether you decide based on a balance of several factors (your strengths, location, interest in the courses in a program, etc).

 

I think people need to stop blaming different schools or programs for their differences in grading. You have the choice of what program to go into and can research ahead of time. You also have the choice to talk to program heads about perceived unfairness or change programs if you don't like the marks you are getting. I got into med the second year I applied, and maybe I would have gotten in sooner or to more schools if I had done an undergrad program that I might have found easier. But it's up to me to criticize my own decisions rather than say other courses/programs are unfair for marking easier/harder. We all have access to the information if we choose to look for it and carefully evaluate it.

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Stop being butthurt guys. GPA isn't the only criteria required to get into med school. You can't cheat your way out of MCAT and extracurriculars and both of these are very important as well. Also, getting a 3.9+ GPA is possible in most programs with some dedication. I am not in Mac health sci but who cares. Life ain't fair.

 

Mac Health Sci is pretty fair compared to QuARMS. QuARMS kids do cheat their way out of MCAT and only need to maintain a 3.5 GPA for two years. Now, life really isn't fair lol  :lol:

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I think this thread is going a bit too far and there should be some boundaries of respect in this thread. I am not in Health Sci but I have spent many years at McMaster.  Not everyone get perfect GPAs in the program. Yes, there may be individuals who took really easy/bird courses and do get those perfect GPAs (but that's their own choice and this also occurs at other schools).  I've also met individuals who transferred into the program after their first year who have told me that they had the same workload (also due to the fact that they took courses that interested/challenged them). There's also many former health sci students in the MD/PhD program, which evaluates students more rigorously... at least five (see the website). http://mdphd.utoronto.ca/affiliations/student .

 

Anyways, everyone is their own individual person and we shouldn't be judging someone based on an undergraduate program or the three of the 40 undergraduate courses that were mandatory (there's more than 80 available health sci courses and many students take courses outside the program). There's more to life than an undergraduate program.

 

As for "evaluating us more rigorously", I don't know what you mean by this. The MD/PhD program focuses on different aspects of academic success than the MD program i.e. potential to be a future clinician scientist. I was a much better candidate for the MD/PhD program than I ever was for the MD program. Please don't use the MD/PhD program as some sort of pinnacle of excellence, our program's focus and admission criteria is different but not necessarily better than the MD program. 

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Guys, stop hating/arguing. It's all the same once you are in med school.

I've participated in some of these debates myself in previous years, but realized that it is worthless. Haters gonna hate.

 

I've personally never felt I was "not ready" for med school. Neither have my friends from health sci.

 

-Health Sci Grad.

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Guys, stop hating/arguing. It's all the same once you are in med school.

I've participated in some of these debates myself in previous years, but realized that it is worthless. Haters gonna hate.

 

I've personally never felt I was "not ready" for med school. Neither have my friends from health sci.

 

-Health Sci Grad.

 

On the contrary, I encourage all premeds to argue to satisfaction on here before entering medical school, as it is exceptionally unwise to speak badly of your classmates' programs once you are part of the crew.

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On the contrary, I encourage all premeds to argue to satisfaction on here before entering medical school, as it is exceptionally unwise to speak badly of your classmates' programs once you are part of the crew.

 

This is true. There's a lot of eye-rolling when it comes to Health Science students, but their undergrad program really isn't easier than any other and they're doing every bit as well as any of the other student in the program. Anyway, I agree that you'd better get your negative feelings (unfounded or otherwise) out now because no one will listen to you if you go around slamming others while in med school (especially if based on something like what undergad they did). 

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I know seven people that are currently in health sci and they are among the brightest and/or most motivated people I know.  I have no doubt in my mind that almost all (if not all of them) would have extremely high GPAs regardless of their university and program.  Aside from GPA, they are all very well rounded people and would be top candidates for medical school if they had attended Western, Queen's or any other university.

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