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Hi,

 
Thanks for spending your time to read my post. I am a Canadian high school student hoping to start university in 2016 September. I'm going to apply for admission in universities starting this October 2015. I'm still completing my high school courses and I'm sure I complete my high school with an average of 90-94%. I want to become a doctor in the future and I am interested in the sciences. I just can't figure out which university to choose for my undergraduate that will be best for applying into medical school in Canada later on. 
 
I live in Ontario so I prefer staying in Ontario for my university and staying in residence at the university will not be a problem anywhere in Ontario. I have heard people and my friends say that medical schools in Canada don't care which university you come from only the GPA and MCAT scores matter. I am really confused first I was thinking of going into Guelph or York for biomedical sciences or psychology. But as soon as I saw the statistics everywhere the most students who got accepted into medical schools were from McMaster, then UofT, and the Western. Guelph and York admissions into MD were very few. Now I can't decide whether I should go to McMaster, UofT, or Western rather than Guelph and York. I personally want to go to McMaster or UofT because of its reputation. My father says that University of Toronto won't kill you if you study hard over there you will succeed. He says you just gotta work hard and it will also prepare you for medical school. 
 
This is a great problem for me. If you guys can give me some advice or suggestion it will be appreciated. I am not scared of studying. And I did not study that hard in high school otherwise I could pull of a 95-97% too. So guys studying in university of Toronto please share your experience what's so hard over there why people are so scared. And I think that these top universities will provide me with more learning as they will have better professors who are more experienced. Please all suggest if I should take life sciences/biomedical or psychology.
 
Thanks,
 Aanish
 

 

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Your grades in h.s. are not particularly relevant. What is more important is your work ethic! A strong work ethic and studying smart for you is a major plus. It is becoming harder and harder to become accepted into medical school. All aspects of your growth & development are important, starting with academic performance, i.e. GPA.

 

Whatever university you choose for undergrad has no influence whatsoever upon acceptance into medical school. You would want to go to a university for undergrad where a) you maximize your chances for a higher & more competitive GPA, you are passionate about the program you selected, as you will likely do better when more interested and motivated, and c) select a program that will lead to another career other than medicine should you not get into medicine, e.g., another healthcare profession, teaching, whatever. Not everybody makes it notwithstanding top grades et al and you want to have at least a Plan B.  

 

The transition to undergrad can be difficult, even brutal to some. My advice: do not start ECs/volunteering until you have GPA under control; stay up-to-date with studies and assignments, don't get behind; develop good study and work methods and if you run into problems, go to counselling; do not allow distractions, e.g., a needy significant other can sink your GPA; study smart for you; treat your studies as your "profession" - treat them seriously as your top priority; develop strong stress & time management skills. 

 

It is a skill to learn how to learn.  During undergrad, I became a self-reflective, independent learner. I knew which courses I could skip lectures and I used the time saved to greater advantage and more efficiently. When I went to medical school, I skipped all the lectures as we received the lecture notes, and I was able to absorb/learn what was needed without devoting my time attending these lectures. Again, this proved efficient and I was already an independent learner. 

 

Take a look at CanMEDS competencies as these attributes are what adcoms look for in non-academic qualities. Leadership, scholar, collaboration, advocate, etc. So, in your employment and all activities, these qualities are important.

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Bambi told it all. If I could emphasize anything, it would be that the reputation of your program and university should not dictate your choice. Med schools don't care where you went*; the only reason that most matriculants come from Mac and UofT is because alot of premeds go there. Instead, read up on the curriculums, reach out to alumni, and choose what best suits you. And yes, make that GPA count when the time comes!

 

*Although I did hear that some med school no longer accepts applications from schools w/o a med school? Maybe look into that 

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You say living in residence at any Ontario university is no problem- thus it seems being away from home isnt a financial issue,so my suggestion is to do university in a different province such as BC or Alberta to get in province status there and be able to have better odds. While still being able to have IP status at Mac and also apply to Ontario med schools later.

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Bambi told it all. If I could emphasize anything, it would be that the reputation of your program and university should not dictate your choice. Med schools don't care where you went*; the only reason that most matriculants come from Mac and UofT is because alot of premeds go there. Instead, read up on the curriculums, reach out to alumni, and choose what best suits you. And yes, make that GPA count when the time comes!

 

*Although I did hear that some med school no longer accepts applications from schools w/o a med school? Maybe look into that 

 

They definitely cannot be unwilling to accept applications from schools w/o a medical school.

 

The thing about those statistics is I would want to know whether or not they are looking at where you last went to school or do they look at where you did your UG? How many of those UofT students were actually undergrads and got in straight after and how many were masters or PhD students.

 

Also McMaster has health sciences which does affect the numbers disproportionately. What is definitely true is that there isn't any discrimination based on school so if York is sending fewer students to medicine than that just means York students aren't doing well enough on the application process.

 

While it is true that UofT has more life sci's than other schools I don't believe that Mac and Western have significantly more life scis than a school like York.

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They definitely cannot be unwilling to accept applications from schools w/o a medical school.

 

 

Unfortunately it's actually true, in a sense. Calgary now requires undergraduate classes be done at a "medical/doctoral granting institution" or each course must be able to be shown as transferable to such a school.

 

From the applicant manual:

 

In order to be eligible, you must have completed, by the time of application, two full-time years of university education at an MD-PhD-granting institution or have completed two years of full-time post- secondary studies that are fully transferable to an MD-PhD granting institution. In order for an academic year to be considered full-time, applicants are required to complete at least 24 credits from September through April and grades must have been recorded for at least 18 credits (i.e. courses were not taken on a P/F basis). The two full-time years can be completed at a non-MD-PhD school if there are 24 credits in transferable courses per year. If requested, the applicant must be able to identify the MD-PhD institution at which their course work would be granted credit.

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Unfortunately it's actually true, in a sense. Calgary now requires undergraduate classes be done at a "medical/doctoral granting institution" or each course must be able to be shown as transferable to such a school.

 

From the applicant manual:

 

 

Medical/doctoral as in any university that grants PhDs or MDs?

 

While still unfair as it excludes liberal arts schools it should mean that schools like York are still eligible. That seems ridiculous if its true that they want PhD and MD granting schools. In addition, aren't UG credits transferrable between institutions? Would that allow someone from York or Acadia to apply because they can say their credits are transferrable to a school with a medical school?

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Medical/doctoral as in any university that grants PhDs or MDs?

 

While still unfair as it excludes liberal arts schools it should mean that schools like York are still eligible. That seems ridiculous if its true that they want PhD and MD granting schools. In addition, aren't UG credits transferrable between institutions? Would that allow someone from York or Acadia to apply because they can say their credits are transferrable to a school with a medical school?

 

Credits, besides first year courses and basic second year courses, don't transfer that easily at all. 300-level and 400-level rarely have transfer equivalents. American medical schools look at the schools you did your undergraduate in, so I won't be suprised if Canadian medical schools start taking this into account in the future.

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Medical/doctoral as in any university that grants PhDs or MDs?

 

While still unfair as it excludes liberal arts schools it should mean that schools like York are still eligible. That seems ridiculous if its true that they want PhD and MD granting schools. In addition, aren't UG credits transferrable between institutions? Would that allow someone from York or Acadia to apply because they can say their credits are transferrable to a school with a medical school?

As long as the courses transfer to one of these said schools, it is fine.

 

Very few schools in Canada would be affected

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As long as the courses transfer to one of these said schools, it is fine.

 

Very few schools in Canada would be affected

 

I believe they have to be direct equivalents, not some general transfer such as BIO 3XX. If this wasn't the case, then the new policy really doesn't make any sense because any course that doesn't have an equivalent at the school can be transferred as a general credit. Thus, I see this affecting year 3 and 4.

 

Edited. Made my point clearer.

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I believe they have to be direct equivalents, not some general transfer such as BIO 3xx. If this is the case, I can see courses in year 3 and 4 having transfer problems. No fear mongering intended here, just experience I had transferring courses.

Weird, guess well see how it actually plays out for applicants.

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Your grades in h.s. are not particularly relevant. What is more important is your work ethic! A strong work ethic and studying smart for you is a major plus. It is becoming harder and harder to become accepted into medical school. All aspects of your growth & development are important, starting with academic performance, i.e. GPA.

 

Whatever university you choose for undergrad has no influence whatsoever upon acceptance into medical school. You would want to go to a university for undergrad where a) you maximize your chances for a higher & more competitive GPA, you are passionate about the program you selected, as you will likely do better when more interested and motivated, and c) select a program that will lead to another career other than medicine should you not get into medicine, e.g., another healthcare profession, teaching, whatever. Not everybody makes it notwithstanding top grades et al and you want to have at least a Plan B.  

 

The transition to undergrad can be difficult, even brutal to some. My advice: do not start ECs/volunteering until you have GPA under control; stay up-to-date with studies and assignments, don't get behind; develop god study and work methods and if you run into problems, go to counselling; do not allow distractions, e.g., a needy significant other can sink your GPA; study smart for you; treat your studies as your "profession" - treat them seriously as your top priority; develop strong stress & time management skills. 

 

It is a skill to learn how to learn.  During undergrad, I became a self-reflective, independent learner. I knew which courses I could skip lectures and I used the time saved to greater advantage and more efficiently. When I went to medical school, I skipped all the lectures as we received the lecture notes, and I was able to absorb/learn what was needed without devoting my time attending these lectures. Again, this proved efficient and I was already an independent learner. 

 

Take a look at CanMEDS competencies as these attributes are what adcoms look for in non-academic qualities. Leadership, scholar, collaboration, advocate, etc. So, in your employment and all activities, these qualities are important.

 

Thank You Bambi..

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Bambi told it all. If I could emphasize anything, it would be that the reputation of your program and university should not dictate your choice. Med schools don't care where you went*; the only reason that most matriculants come from Mac and UofT is because alot of premeds go there. Instead, read up on the curriculums, reach out to alumni, and choose what best suits you. And yes, make that GPA count when the time comes!

 

*Although I did hear that some med school no longer accepts applications from schools w/o a med school? Maybe look into that 

 

Thank you. By the way where did you go for your undergraduate could you please share your experience?

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I believe they have to be direct equivalents, not some general transfer such as BIO 3XX. If this wasn't the case, then the new policy really doesn't make any sense because any course that doesn't have an equivalent at the school can be transferred as a general credit. Thus, I see this affecting year 3 and 4.

 

Edited. Made my point clearer.

The good news is that they changed this. Originally they were only going to look at courses that transferred directly but they've since changed it because they realized that it would affect a lot more people than they thought. Therefore, they will accept the course as long as it transfers to any general credit at any MD granting University in North America. Another thing is that only 8/10 courses need to be transferrable (assuming a person takes a full course load).

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Hey Aanish, what that table is really saying is that people get into med school from everywhere. You should therefore choose a program/university that is the most suitable to you.

 

Also, Guelph is awesome :) If you have any questions about what it's like here, feel free to PM me.

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Hey Aanish, what that table is really saying is that people get into med school from everywhere. You should therefore choose a program/university that is the most suitable to you.

 

Also, Guelph is awesome :) If you have any questions about what it's like here, feel free to PM me.

I completely agree with this - I've heard awesome things about Guelph. I'm sure any Ontario university is fine - I got in from the University of Waterloo with a co-op degree. Initially I had been really worried that I should have taken a more 'traditional' path or gone to a school with a med school but it worked out in the end and really didn't hinder me at all! To echo again what Sauna said - pick the option that works best for you! In terms of biomed versus psychology, I would recommend taking whichever is more interesting to you!

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