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I have a few questions for current McGill students (particularly OOP students):

 

1) I was made aware that I would need to be bilingual come 3rd year, I took french immersion up until grade 12, but I am concerned that not being able to speak fluently will impede my learning during clerkship.

2) How is the program structured, are there case based learning opportunities in addition to the lectures?

3) Is the class fairly diverse, as a non-Quebec student who does not speak much French, will I have a hard time fitting in or is the class fairly diverse?

4) What drew you to McGill and what are the most attractive features about McGill and it's medical program?

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I have a few questions for current McGill students (particularly OOP students):

 

1) I was made aware that I would need to be bilingual come 3rd year, I took french immersion up until grade 12, but I am concerned that not being able to speak fluently will impede my learning during clerkship.

 

2) How is the program structured, are there case based learning opportunities in addition to the lectures?

 

3) Is the class fairly diverse, as a non-Quebec student who does not speak much French, will I have a hard time fitting in or is the class fairly diverse?

 

4) What drew you to McGill and what are the most attractive features about McGill and it's medical program?

 

 

Was running through the forum and made an account specifically for this comment. In short, as a primarily Anglophone, I would personally choose another school over McGill.  Check your inbox for details!

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I have a few questions for current McGill students (particularly OOP students):

 

1) I was made aware that I would need to be bilingual come 3rd year, I took french immersion up until grade 12, but I am concerned that not being able to speak fluently will impede my learning during clerkship.

 

2) How is the program structured, are there case based learning opportunities in addition to the lectures?

 

3) Is the class fairly diverse, as a non-Quebec student who does not speak much French, will I have a hard time fitting in or is the class fairly diverse?

 

4) What drew you to McGill and what are the most attractive features about McGill and it's medical program?

 

We answered your question through your pm, but just so everyone has access:

 

1) The question of French language comes to us quite often, so here's our take on it: while it is described as a "requirement" in clerkship, people do manage without speaking French throughout the 4 years, but many will choose to brush up on their French during the first 2 years (much encouraged). French mainly comes into play because you will likely come into contact with French-speaking patients. Do note that most pts you'll encounter will likely also be able to understand English and speak it even though their mother tongue is French. If they absolutely don't speak a word of English, some students will ask around to get a translator. As an example when I was in the ER as a med-2, a med-3 flagged me down and asked me if I could help with translation for a consult in cardiology. In the worst case, you ask to see a different consult/patient for a very understandable reason - I don't think people would be judgemental of the fact that you can't speak French. Most people appreciate the effort to work around your limits much more!

 

As a side note, for clerkship, there are McGill sites that are very English and some sites to avoid because the pt population is francophone. For example, Lakeshore is a site where you'll likely only be speaking English, while Lasalle is a site where you'd struggling a little bit more since it serves a francophone population (do note that some people still make it work!). The Jewish, Saint-Mary's, the Glen as well as the Montreal General tend to be bilingual (English predominant though), but our English-only classmates seem to manage just fine without much French. When it comes to switching sites in clerkship, while we can't really choose where the school puts us, a lot of people ask to switch around when the schedule comes out, and while there are different reasons for why they would want to switch (ie particular specialty program director, level of stress, commuting distance, etc), language is definitely a reason that comes up!

 

Many students in the class are from an anglophone or allophone background, and in a variety of instances have had an education in English. If you are able to carry out a conversation in French in a fluent way, we think you should be fine in clerkship!

 

2) Med 1 and the first half of med 2 consist of FMD (fundamentals of medicine and dentistry). You will be going through a variety of blocks for a total of 10: public health, resp, cardio, nephro, endo and GI, immunology, infectious, MSK, reproductive, neuro and psych. Each block lasts between 1 to 2 months. During the block, in the AM you will have lectures that will be recorded, and the PM consists of small groups (ie case-based learning in groups of approx 15 students with one tutor), anatomy and histology labs, etc. Your days generally start from 8:30am, and usually end around 3:30-4:40pm. Some days are lighter, and some are heavier, and your days definitely vary in terms of types of activities (you will receive your schedule online, as the whole curriculum is currently online).

 

Second half of med 2 is called TCP (transition to clinical practice): a mid-ground between lecture-based learning in FMD and clerkship, we get exposed to a variety of specialties such as internal medicine, neurology, surgery, family medicine, pediatrics, anesthesia, ophthalmology and radiology. Some of the specialties we act as clerkship students, some less so. TCP is quite unique here at McGill, it helps orient us to clinical work, so we're much more ready once clerkship starts.

 

Med 3 and med 4 are standard clerkship years. Much like everywhere else across Canada, we rotate through a variety of specialties and have anywhere between 19 to 24 weeks of elective time. 19-20 should you choose to do clerkship in Montreal. 23-24 should you decide to go to Gatineau, which is an option 10-15 people choose each year. But that's another discussion!

 

3) The class is incredibly diverse. Class age range is somewhere between 18-41, of course it varies slightly every year. There are people from all kinds of educational/social/financial/ethnic/etc backgrounds. Masters in literature, 2-3rd careers, students with children, lawyers, engineers, teachers, business people, professional athletes, honestly the list is quite long. Many people are not French-speaking or fluent French-speaking and are from out of province (but who have QC residency because their parents now live here or who were born here but left in early childhood, for eg), so you'll fit right in!

 

4) So this question is a bit personal and you'll get different answers depending on who you ask, but if we tried to be as inclusive as possible, McGill offers first and foremost an opportunity to get a great medical education. We learn from world experts in a variety of subjects. Pre-clerkship, the curriculum is new but has gone through the first years when it was still getting polished, so by the time you come in, you will be learning in a comprehensive curriculum. The anatomy dissection program is not only unique to McGill, but not many other schools in Canada also have it. In clerkship, the academic hospitals generally have solid teaching and cases to learn from. If you are interested in research, McGill is a great place to be! It is not difficult to find research mentors or people who are interested in the same subjects. The diversity of the student population at McGill is quite unique, there are people from all kinds of backgrounds, which makes the class very interesting. Going outside the campus, McGill is located in downtown Montreal, which is multicultural, vibrant, open and interesting city to live in. The cost of living is much better compared to the other big cities in Montreal. Last but not least, coming to McGill gives you a great opportunity to solidify your French language, while you can probably get by just fine by speaking English in downtown Montreal, it really isn't that difficult to start picking up the language little by little just by using it everyday!

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Heeey I was wondering if anyone knows what they mean by "studies currently in progress must be at a level comparable to past academic performance." Where do they draw the line between "comparable" and "non comparable" ? 

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Heeey I was wondering if anyone knows what they mean by "studies currently in progress must be at a level comparable to past academic performance." Where do they draw the line between "comparable" and "non comparable" ? 

 

Good question, very arbitrary - there's no number to tell you how "comparable" it must be. If it makes you feel better we've really never heard of anyone being denied entry into medicine because of a "non comparable" academic performance. 

 

Make sure you pass though. 

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Can't give any official answers because we don't have access to that kind of data, but McGill Medicine has definitely made progress for some of the criteria. 

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I was wondering what topics are covered in the first unit, molecules/global health? Are there a lot of biochem & genetics topics, given the 'molecules' bit?

 

Also, are there exams at the end of every organ system unit, or only during the R&E weeks? If only during the R&E weeks, do you think that is better from the student perspective, as opposed to taking the exam right after each organ system unit?

 

I also noticed in the curriculum schema that there was no endocrinology unit. I assume endo topics are integrated into the other units?

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1) there is almost no biochem taught and genetics is given throughout the curriculum. Unit A is very much focussed on public health, with some basic science thrown in.

2)exams are at the end of every Unit, with some units having a midterm and a final. R+e exams are cumulative exams that focus more on clinically relevant topics (i.e., No need to know the Krebs cycle for that exam but will have to what's the most likely diagnosis given x symptoms)

3)endo topis are integrated throughout and if I rremember correctly a lot was in the GI block.

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I also have a few questions regarding the curriculum for the first year:

 

1) What is R&E?

2) How does the "transition to clinical practice" differ from the rotations done in 3rd year? They seem to include the specialities that are often found during core rotations.

3) What does the "Research Fundamentals" entail? Is it a research methods course or is it a research project you undertake throughout your first year and a half?

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1) R+E weeks happen after every 2-3 blocks. You usually have 3 exams during the week: 1 end of block exam, 1 practical anatomy exam (60s to ID a pinned structure on a cadaver) and 1 R+E exam (cumulative exam from all the blocks you've seen so far which is more focussed on clinical knowledge versus basic science)

2) TCP is a low stress transition period where you begin going into clinics but still have some lectures as well. You have no patient responsibility but get to hone your history taking and physical exam skills. It's very chill.

3)maybe a med 1 can chime in because they've changed this course from when I did it and might change it again for next year.

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For Research Fundamentals we were put in groups of 6-8 with a researcher leading the team (we got to rank who we wanted to be with, some are also clinicians and some are pure researchers). We had to meet 4 times, and there was some variation in terms of the course structure for each group. In mine, we each picked a paper in the researcher's area of interest (aka also ours since we chose the researcher we wanted to be with) and then evaluated it, followed by proposing our own research question/methodology to fill in the gaps of the paper and then presenting this to the group. 

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I was wondering what topics are covered in the first unit, molecules/global health? Are there a lot of biochem & genetics topics, given the 'molecules' bit?

 

Also, are there exams at the end of every organ system unit, or only during the R&E weeks? If only during the R&E weeks, do you think that is better from the student perspective, as opposed to taking the exam right after each organ system unit?

 

I also noticed in the curriculum schema that there was no endocrinology unit. I assume endo topics are integrated into the other units?

 

We go through "Blocks" (units) which each cover an organ system, except the first one (Block A) which is public health.

 

Molecules/biochem/genetics come up as relevant to each organ system. So, for example Block B is Respiration so the genetics focuses on genetic defects of the lungs, mutations in genes (enzymes, etc. related to this) pertinent to this, etc.. Molecules have a bigger role I'd say in Block E (Gastro) and F (immunology). Endocrine is mostly in Block E (Gastro) when we learn about diabetes, the thyroid (though it does come up briefly in other blocks as well).

 

There is a final exam after each block, which focuses on that organ system. The longer blocks will have a midterm. R&E is then a cumulative exam, it's during "R&E week": The final exam for the most recent block you did, the R&E exam, and the anatomy exam covering the most recent blocks you haven't been tested on are all during the same week. So for example, our first R&E 'week' was in December. We had a final exam for Cardio (Block C), an anatomy exam that covered the anatomy from Blocks B and C (resp and cardio), and R&E exam (covered Blocks A,B and C) during that last week of school. Our second R&E week had the final exam for Block E (gastro), anatomy exam covering Blocks D (renal) and E, and then an R&E exam. This second R&E exam covered topics from all the previous blocks, but with an emphasis on the most recent ones (D and E). Final exams are more detailed, R&E is supposed to be more broad.

 

So, right now we're covering infection (Block G. We just finished immunology, Block F), and next is Block H (movement). So we'll have final exams after Blocks F and G, and then to end first year we'll have a final R&E week during which we will have a final exam for Block H, an anatomy exam and an R&E exam (emphasis on the most recent blocks that have not yet been on an R&E exam).

 

Hope that makes sense :)

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We go through "Blocks" (units) which each cover an organ system, except the first one (Block A) which is public health.

 

Molecules/biochem/genetics come up as relevant to each organ system. So, for example Block B is Respiration so the genetics focuses on genetic defects of the lungs, mutations in genes (enzymes, etc. related to this) pertinent to this, etc.. Molecules have a bigger role I'd say in Block E (Gastro) and F (immunology). Endocrine is mostly in Block E (Gastro) when we learn about diabetes, the thyroid (though it does come up briefly in other blocks as well).

 

There is a final exam after each block, which focuses on that organ system. The longer blocks will have a midterm. R&E is then a cumulative exam, it's during "R&E week": The final exam for the most recent block you did, the R&E exam, and the anatomy exam covering the most recent blocks you haven't been tested on are all during the same week. So for example, our first R&E 'week' was in December. We had a final exam for Cardio (Block C), an anatomy exam that covered the anatomy from Blocks B and C (resp and cardio), and R&E exam (covered Blocks A,B and C) during that last week of school. Our second R&E week had the final exam for Block E (gastro), anatomy exam covering Blocks D (renal) and E, and then an R&E exam. This second R&E exam covered topics from all the previous blocks, but with an emphasis on the most recent ones (D and E). Final exams are more detailed, R&E is supposed to be more broad.

 

So, right now we're covering infection (Block G. We just finished immunology, Block F), and next is Block H (movement). So we'll have final exams after Blocks F and G, and then to end first year we'll have a final R&E week during which we will have a final exam for Block H, an anatomy exam and an R&E exam (emphasis on the most recent blocks that have not yet been on an R&E exam).

 

Hope that makes sense :)

 

 

That's really helpful, thank you! :) 

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We go through "Blocks" (units) which each cover an organ system, except the first one (Block A) which is public health.

 

Molecules/biochem/genetics come up as relevant to each organ system. So, for example Block B is Respiration so the genetics focuses on genetic defects of the lungs, mutations in genes (enzymes, etc. related to this) pertinent to this, etc.. Molecules have a bigger role I'd say in Block E (Gastro) and F (immunology). Endocrine is mostly in Block E (Gastro) when we learn about diabetes, the thyroid (though it does come up briefly in other blocks as well).

 

There is a final exam after each block, which focuses on that organ system. The longer blocks will have a midterm. R&E is then a cumulative exam, it's during "R&E week": The final exam for the most recent block you did, the R&E exam, and the anatomy exam covering the most recent blocks you haven't been tested on are all during the same week. So for example, our first R&E 'week' was in December. We had a final exam for Cardio (Block C), an anatomy exam that covered the anatomy from Blocks B and C (resp and cardio), and R&E exam (covered Blocks A,B and C) during that last week of school. Our second R&E week had the final exam for Block E (gastro), anatomy exam covering Blocks D (renal) and E, and then an R&E exam. This second R&E exam covered topics from all the previous blocks, but with an emphasis on the most recent ones (D and E). Final exams are more detailed, R&E is supposed to be more broad.

 

So, right now we're covering infection (Block G. We just finished immunology, Block F), and next is Block H (movement). So we'll have final exams after Blocks F and G, and then to end first year we'll have a final R&E week during which we will have a final exam for Block H, an anatomy exam and an R&E exam (emphasis on the most recent blocks that have not yet been on an R&E exam).

 

Hope that makes sense :)

Following on that same topic, let's say you had to read one or two books before the session started, what would you read?

 

I'm currently reading "The House of God" and I intend to further delve into the bates guide to physical examination and history taking.

 

Any other Must before classes start? 

 

Just as a FYI, no need for the "just enjoy your summer" part as I read this kind of stuff to get away from everyday life.

 

Thanks in advance to all.

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Following on that same topic, let's say you had to read one or two books before the session started, what would you read?

 

I'm currently reading "The House of God" and I intend to further delve into the bates guide to physical examination and history taking.

 

Any other Must before classes start? 

 

Just as a FYI, no need for the "just enjoy your summer" part as I read this kind of stuff to get away from everyday life.

 

Thanks in advance to all.

Read "Intern" by Sandeep Jauhar. It's just a great book overall that gives you kind of the mindset of how it is to come out of med school, with a light hearted twist

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I'd love to get current student's honest opinion on this:

 

For anyone coming into the MDCM first year class NOT from Med-P, are the Med-Ps kind of cliquey? 

 

To be honest and fair being "clicky" can happen to anyone in the class, not just med-ps. Being in the same classroom for 1.5y at the beginning of your medical education can feel for some people as if they were back in high school, but one thing for sure is that most people tend to get to know their small groups very well, and those tend to be very background-diversified.

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