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HiHopes

Collegiality, Culture And Environment

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Hi there current or past UofA medical students,

 

I was wondering if you could give me insight about the UofA MD program's culture and attitudes as someone who's been inside and gone through it. I am asking because I honestly quite dislike heartless competition among peers. I am not a fool and I know that ultimately, there is a degree of intrinsic competition for those who are attempting to get into competitive specialties. I also kind of get a feeling I know where I am going within medicine and will be studying hard to meet that vision. I just mean that I don't really have the time or masochistic inclination to have to survive cutthroat interactions with people who are supposed to back me up (as I am supposed to back them up). 

 

What's your experience? Did you find your class showed sportsmanship if you will? Is there really such a thing as a "UofA MD kind of person" in terms of their higher grade requirements?

 

I know this area is super fuzzy and subjective. If I get out of this application cycle with a Calgary acceptance as well, I really want to pick the university that gives me a better fit. Because I know more about the Calgary program and the people within said program, I feel like I connected a bit more to the culture and environment of the Calgary school. 

 

Next, is there a strong sense of community and culture from the UofA MD program? Will I just be doing a degree there, or is there space for me to kind of live through a legacy that's unique to that school?

 

Also, does anyone have any updates on how this coming class is going to work lecture-wise? They gave us a big talk about how they're listening to student concerns and they're thinking of changing how mandatory classes work and of uploading class videos ahead of time and all that. Is this just talk, or have they shown some real concern?

 

I hope you guys understand where I am coming from and that you share the good and bad from personal experience! Cheers.

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What's your experience? Did you find your class showed sportsmanship if you will? Is there really such a thing as a "UofA MD kind of person" in terms of their higher grade requirements?

 

I know this area is super fuzzy and subjective. If I get out of this application cycle with a Calgary acceptance as well, I really want to pick the university that gives me a better fit. Because I know more about the Calgary program and the people within said program, I feel like I connected a bit more to the culture and environment of the Calgary school. 

 

Next, is there a strong sense of community and culture from the UofA MD program? Will I just be doing a degree there, or is there space for me to kind of live through a legacy that's unique to that school?

 

So congrats for your acceptance. Speaking as a waitlister, I feel that you should feel honoured to be accepted to such an amazing medical school!  Regarding living through a legacy....perhaps create your own and make that count!  Good luck with all of your future plans. :)

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HiHopes, as someone from Edmonton, I'd take what is said in the linked thread with a grain of salt. The original poster seems a bit jaded with his experience especially when he talks about Edmonton. Example being the sun is never out when we are in fact the 3rd sunniest place in Canada. I'd also be encouraged by the apparent change in weightings for the application process/admissions with a lower average GPA for interview invites and a much more personal interview than years past. Lastly, I'd recommend basing your opinion of what it'd be like to go to the U of A by your interactions with the Year 1s during your interview day, whatever impressions you may have had

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You're asking a question that no one can really answer. How can anyone on this forum predict the behaviour of individuals they know nothing about?

I attempted to specify that I wanted people's opinions of their respective classes because, representative or not of the 2021 class, that's the only reference I can ever have. I do need to extrapolate a little bit based on the information.

 

 

Most of your questions are at least somewhat answered in this previous thread:

 

http://forums.premed101.com/index.php?/topic/89148-why-u-of-a-med/

I did read all of it! I wanted an updated opinion from the newer students.

 

 

HiHopes, as someone from Edmonton, I'd take what is said in the linked thread with a grain of salt. The original poster seems a bit jaded with his experience especially when he talks about Edmonton. Example being the sun is never out when we are in fact the 3rd sunniest place in Canada. I'd also be encouraged by the apparent change in weightings for the application process/admissions with a lower average GPA for interview invites and a much more personal interview than years past. Lastly, I'd recommend basing your opinion of what it'd be like to go to the U of A by your interactions with the Year 1s during your interview day, whatever impressions you may have had

Massive grain of salt. Person was indeed pretty bitter, it seems. I did have a good time in Edmonton, although I honestly preferred the pre-interview event and atmosphere at UCalgary. Ultimately, it will be an immense honour if I go to Edmonton. Similarly if I am lucky enough to get accepted into Calgary and decide. I really am thinking ahead on the very fortunate case in which I get into both schools and have to pick. What a dream!

 

 

So congrats for your acceptance. Speaking as a waitlister, I feel that you should feel honoured to be accepted to such an amazing medical school!  Regarding living through a legacy....perhaps create your own and make that count!  Good luck with all of your future plans. :)

As said before, it really would be an honour to accept it and go to the UofA! Honestly, ranking and prestige are not things that I really consider important in picking. It doesn't hurt, however, to perhaps be going into a school with such leadership and baggage as that :D In regards to creating a legacy... I'm not really a vox populi kind of guy :P 

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Last year I was most interested in the U of C and U of A.

 

Ended up choosing the U of C as I felt the culture and people there were a better fit for me. I also liked the city and weather much more and could potentially see myself living in Calgary long term. I also liked the clinical presentation based curriculum and the lesser emphasis on basic science unless clinically relevant. At the time 3 years seemed like a better deal too.

 

U of A has some wonderful facilities and that was the main draw for me. My thoughts now on a 4 year program: summers would be nice for a break, so would having more time to reflect on your experiences, explore different fields within medicine and the ability to spend time over the summer building one's CV.

 

I had an idea of what I wanted to do prior to going into med school and so far haven't veered too far off of that, so that was helpful in my case. If you really don't know what you want to do or are younger/don't have as robust of a CV then a 4 year program will likely be a good option.

 

Also consider that when you go to med school if you move to a new city or even a new province (depending on the applicant's situation), you will likely lose all of your professional connections and have to find new opportunities where you can become involved and take on a leadership role, which isn't exactly easy depending on what your previous interest/experience is and what is available in your new place of residence. This can be kind of overwhelming when you're also living on your own and having to deal with moving, adjusting to med school itself and then trying to make new social connections as well.

 

Strong time management skills are essential if you want to pursue any competitive specialty by contributing to research as well as other ECs and of course doing well academically. This is perhaps heightened in a 3 year program.

 

Other things people may consider would be the # of elective weeks, clerkship structure, pre-clerkship curriculum design.

 

You really can't go wrong with either school. Just try and weigh the pros/cons of each school as per your personal situation.

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Being in this medical school for almost 2 years now, I have yet to see any sliver of this "cutthroat" competition, because honestly, ain't nobody got time for that. Medical school is quite a bit of work, so people just support each other in every way possible. Literally everyone I have met so far has been the most helpful, respectful, sharing individuals you could ever meet. 

 

You will never go wrong in picking either school, but if you'd be basing your decision on the presence of a culture of collegiality, support and wellness, UofA will be a perfect choice.

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