Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums
med2021

Will There Be A New Ama Thread?

Recommended Posts

Hi there,

 

Will there be a new ama at some point before the deadline to accept offers? Excited to meet everyone and have a lot of questions with regards to making a decision! If not, then I'd love to shoot a queens med student some questions :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, I can totally make use of this I just got accepted to VFMP and Kingston and I'm gonna spend a good chunk of tomorrow writing down all the reasons I'd like to attend one or the other!! I'll post that here, otherwise I'm just excited for the facebook page, waitlisted or not, I cant wait to meet everyone!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't 100% decide where to go and here I have my parents talking about university rankings of UBC and Queens lol fml. Can someone tell me based on this limited information I have...why they think Queens would be a great choice? Please try to be objective to some degree, although I get why that'd be hard hahaha. I just finished my undergrad at UBC.

 

My future goals:

 

1. To get a fresh start - Obvious winner Queens

 

2. I'm interested in living in a BIG CITY in the LONG RUN (i.e. as a resident), Toronto is the goal, I'd at least want to try and make it out there eventually...would Kingston make this easier than staying in Vancouver? I want the university experience at Queens no doubt, but the career experience I'd like in a big city, Toronto by far being my number one choice, and Vancouver being my second if Toronto were not to work out (is that a realistic goal)? This will obviously take hard work and passion, but I'm willing to do that.

 

3. I'm currently pretty interested in Emergency Medicine or Medical Oncology (Isn't there a great internal medicine program at McMaster or something?)....in the long run what I mean is I see Ontario providing more opportunity in terms of having great residency programs to choose from vs. BC...and by extension isnt it easier to match to your own province (or is that just your own school's city)?

 

Based on this do you see one school providing any meaningful advantage over the other?

 

Questions about Queens and Kingston Specifically:

 

4. Curriculum wise, Queens already seems like a winner to me...however, I heard 3rd year rotations start later than other schools (apologies if this is phrased incorrectly)...is that a concern to anyone in any way? One thing I LOVED about Western was how they structured rotations in 3rd year to get you to try everything before it came time for electives.

 

5. I loved the Kingston vibe, the small community, and more...and while im excited to excel in med school, what I'm also just as excited for is to make new genuine friendships. I know that's feasible in any medical school, but is there anything about Queens and Kingston especially that brings its students closer together (activities in Kingston, ease of travel to nearby cities etc.)? I know this is kinda of an odd question, simply put I'm just wondering what advantage Queens may provide socially over UBC and maybe shoot some fun anecdotes my way?

6. Staff support and mental health support? Touchy topic, but in my opinion a very important one if life takes a turn for the worse! Does the faculty of medicine at Queens offer any such resources, are they effective? I read about the learner wellness center, is that med student specific (if so, that's pretty amazing!)

 

These are all the questions I could come up with off the top of my head....sorry if its a bit tough to follow (please ask me for clarification if so)! Can't wait to see your beautiful faces once the facebook page is up!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't 100% decide where to go and here I have my parents talking about university rankings of UBC and Queens lol fml. Can someone tell me based on this limited information I have...why they think Queens would be a great choice? Please try to be objective to some degree, although I get why that'd be hard hahaha. I just finished my undergrad at UBC.

 

My future goals:

 

1. To get a fresh start - Obvious winner Queens

 

2. I'm interested in living in a BIG CITY in the LONG RUN (i.e. as a resident), Toronto is the goal, I'd at least want to try and make it out there eventually...would Kingston make this easier than staying in Vancouver? I want the university experience at Queens no doubt, but the career experience I'd like in a big city, Toronto by far being my number one choice, and Vancouver being my second if Toronto were not to work out (is that a realistic goal)? This will obviously take hard work and passion, but I'm willing to do that.

 

3. I'm currently pretty interested in Emergency Medicine or Medical Oncology (Isn't there a great internal medicine program at McMaster or something?)....in the long run what I mean is I see Ontario providing more opportunity in terms of having great residency programs to choose from vs. BC...and by extension isnt it easier to match to your own province (or is that just your own school's city)?

 

Based on this do you see one school providing any meaningful advantage over the other?

 

Questions about Queens and Kingston Specifically:

 

4. Curriculum wise, Queens already seems like a winner to me...however, I heard 3rd year rotations start later than other schools (apologies if this is phrased incorrectly)...is that a concern to anyone in any way, one thing I LOVED about Western was how they structured rotations in 3rd/4th year to get you to try everything before it came time for electives.

 

5. I loved the Kingston vibe, the small community, and more...and while im excited to excel in med school, what I'm also just as excited for is to make new genuine friendships. I know thats feasible in any medical school, is there anything about Queens and Kingston especially that brings its students closer together (activities in Kingston, ease of travel to nearby cities etc.)? I know this is kinda of an odd question, simply put I'm just wondering what advantage Queens may provide socially over UBC and maybe shoot some fun anecdotes my way?

 

6. Staff support and mental health support? Touchy topic, but in my opinion a very important one if life takes a turn for the worse! Does the faculty of medicine at Queens offer any such resources, are they effective? 

 

These are all the questions I could come up with off the top of my head....sorry if its a bit tough to follow (please ask me for clarification if so)! Can't wait to see your beautiful faces once the facebook page is up!

I don't think going to UBC or Queen's will have any impact on whether or not you will get into residency at UofT or McMaster.  We have people that match to those schools every year, but I'm sure UBC does too.  It's all about the strength of the applicant, and you can be a strong applicant no matter what school you come from.  If you really want to go to an Ontario school for residency, it may be more financially easier to achieve that by going to a school in Ontario (train/car ride versus plane to electives) but electives are expensive no matter what.

 

Our core clerkship rotations start in October of third year.  We have one core rotation after CaRMS (you'll already have matched while you are in the middle of it!) which can be disadvantageous if you're really not sure what you want to do.  (Also of note: even though you get to "try everything" before fourth year electives, you'll be applying for main block of electives in April of third year so you won't have gone through all of your rotations yet regardless of what school you go to.)  But the flip side of that is that we have a large number of pre-CaRMS elective time (14/16 weeks before applications are due, and another 2 weeks before interviews).  Its also kind of nice to not have to go out on elective once you've finished CaRMS.  We also have third year electives which can be nice for helping to figure out what you want to do, and its easier to get the electives you want during third year electives because not everyone's on electives then. (Disclaimed - I have no idea what UBCs elective schedule is like)

 

I think its easier to get to know your classmates at Queen's versus larger centres, because we have a small class size (100) and everyone lives very close to the school.  This all seems less relevant now that I'm in clerkship haha, where you mostly just see the people in your stream, but for some as introverted as I am I really liked the environment.

 

I've always felt really supported by the staff, and haven't really had a negative experience.  I haven't had any experiences with the mental health services.  I think we have a dedicated counsellor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't 100% decide where to go and here I have my parents talking about university rankings of UBC and Queens lol fml. Can someone tell me based on this limited information I have...why they think Queens would be a great choice? Please try to be objective to some degree, although I get why that'd be hard hahaha. I just finished my undergrad at UBC.

 

My future goals:

 

1. To get a fresh start - Obvious winner Queens

 

2. I'm interested in living in a BIG CITY in the LONG RUN (i.e. as a resident), Toronto is the goal, I'd at least want to try and make it out there eventually...would Kingston make this easier than staying in Vancouver? I want the university experience at Queens no doubt, but the career experience I'd like in a big city, Toronto by far being my number one choice, and Vancouver being my second if Toronto were not to work out (is that a realistic goal)? This will obviously take hard work and passion, but I'm willing to do that.

 

3. I'm currently pretty interested in Emergency Medicine or Medical Oncology (Isn't there a great internal medicine program at McMaster or something?)....in the long run what I mean is I see Ontario providing more opportunity in terms of having great residency programs to choose from vs. BC...and by extension isnt it easier to match to your own province (or is that just your own school's city)?

 

Based on this do you see one school providing any meaningful advantage over the other?

 

Questions about Queens and Kingston Specifically:

 

4. Curriculum wise, Queens already seems like a winner to me...however, I heard 3rd year rotations start later than other schools (apologies if this is phrased incorrectly)...is that a concern to anyone in any way? One thing I LOVED about Western was how they structured rotations in 3rd year to get you to try everything before it came time for electives.

 

5. I loved the Kingston vibe, the small community, and more...and while im excited to excel in med school, what I'm also just as excited for is to make new genuine friendships. I know that's feasible in any medical school, but is there anything about Queens and Kingston especially that brings its students closer together (activities in Kingston, ease of travel to nearby cities etc.)? I know this is kinda of an odd question, simply put I'm just wondering what advantage Queens may provide socially over UBC and maybe shoot some fun anecdotes my way?

 

6. Staff support and mental health support? Touchy topic, but in my opinion a very important one if life takes a turn for the worse! Does the faculty of medicine at Queens offer any such resources, are they effective? I read about the learner wellness center, is that med student specific (if so, that's pretty amazing!)

 

These are all the questions I could come up with off the top of my head....sorry if its a bit tough to follow (please ask me for clarification if so)! Can't wait to see your beautiful faces once the facebook page is up!

 

Just adding to what Epona said for 5-6: I'm a really outdoorsy person so I've really enjoyed Kingston so far. We did a couple of hikes in the Fall (a bunch of preclerks went), which I'm really looking forward to again. Our class also went to Montreal for the weekend in November. Kingston's pretty close to Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, so it also makes general travel to these cities easier. While I did not go, a few of my classmates also went on a "History of Medicine" weekend trip to Ottawa a couple of months ago, so there are quite a few opportunities to travel with your classmates! And as was already mentioned, most people live pretty close to campus, which makes it easier to see one another outside of class time.

 

As for learner wellness: We have a mandatory wellness meeting in first year where we meet with a staff advisor 1-on-1 and discuss any difficulties that we may be having. While I haven't accessed any other resources, I have heard that the counsellors are very helpful (they work specifically with residents and medical students at Queen's), and the faculty always stresses to us that we should have a low threshold for accessing these services. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm trying to decide between Queens, U of T, and UBC here, so any insight from you Queens people would be appreciated. Here are some of the things I'm considering:

 

Location: I'm from BC, so UBC would be preferable to the other schools with respect to proximity to family/friends. Otherwise, I sort of like the idea of being in a large urban centre, so U of T takes second place (I think). I really like the Kingston vibe though.... :(

 

Clinical/Research opportunities: I get the feeling that UBC and U of T might have greater breadth in this regard. Could any of you Queens folks comment on access to specialties, other niche experiences, etc. at Queens?

 

Social: The dynamic seems a bit tighter-knit at Queens. I like the idea of being part of a smaller, closer class. On interview day I straight-up asked a U of T med student about the social dynamic at that school and he said it can be a bit cliquey, so that is concerning to me. 

 

Curriculum: I have no idea - just too many things to compare.

 

Any insight would be appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't 100% decide where to go and here I have my parents talking about university rankings of UBC and Queens lol fml. Can someone tell me based on this limited information I have...why they think Queens would be a great choice? Please try to be objective to some degree, although I get why that'd be hard hahaha. I just finished my undergrad at UBC.

 

My future goals:

 

1. To get a fresh start - Obvious winner Queens

 

2. I'm interested in living in a BIG CITY in the LONG RUN (i.e. as a resident), Toronto is the goal, I'd at least want to try and make it out there eventually...would Kingston make this easier than staying in Vancouver? I want the university experience at Queens no doubt, but the career experience I'd like in a big city, Toronto by far being my number one choice, and Vancouver being my second if Toronto were not to work out (is that a realistic goal)? This will obviously take hard work and passion, but I'm willing to do that.

 

3. I'm currently pretty interested in Emergency Medicine or Medical Oncology (Isn't there a great internal medicine program at McMaster or something?)....in the long run what I mean is I see Ontario providing more opportunity in terms of having great residency programs to choose from vs. BC...and by extension isnt it easier to match to your own province (or is that just your own school's city)?

 

Based on this do you see one school providing any meaningful advantage over the other?

 

Questions about Queens and Kingston Specifically:

 

4. Curriculum wise, Queens already seems like a winner to me...however, I heard 3rd year rotations start later than other schools (apologies if this is phrased incorrectly)...is that a concern to anyone in any way? One thing I LOVED about Western was how they structured rotations in 3rd year to get you to try everything before it came time for electives.

 

5. I loved the Kingston vibe, the small community, and more...and while im excited to excel in med school, what I'm also just as excited for is to make new genuine friendships. I know that's feasible in any medical school, but is there anything about Queens and Kingston especially that brings its students closer together (activities in Kingston, ease of travel to nearby cities etc.)? I know this is kinda of an odd question, simply put I'm just wondering what advantage Queens may provide socially over UBC and maybe shoot some fun anecdotes my way?

 

6. Staff support and mental health support? Touchy topic, but in my opinion a very important one if life takes a turn for the worse! Does the faculty of medicine at Queens offer any such resources, are they effective? I read about the learner wellness center, is that med student specific (if so, that's pretty amazing!)

 

These are all the questions I could come up with off the top of my head....sorry if its a bit tough to follow (please ask me for clarification if so)! Can't wait to see your beautiful faces once the facebook page is up!

 

Just my 2 cents, one of my close buddies actually did his undergad at UBC before going to Queens for med. He also had the same idea about moving into a small town and trying out something different for a change. He ended up not liking it because he only realized how much he loved and gotten used to being in big city once he moved to Kingston. So if you are a big city person, thats a very important factor to keep in mind because 4 years is a long time of your life. When it comes to residency, program directors don't really care which school you come from, they like competent people from everywhere. Here at UofT at least, ive seen way more residents who did their med school at UBC for example than from Queens. Another factor to keep in mind is that clerkship is a very demanding time, and having your established support network around (family and friends) is a big bonus. As for the opportunities, I think that you will have way more resources and subspecialties at a big school like UBC, hence more exposure and chances to make meaningful connections, and also much more research opportunities too to solidify your chances for CaRMS. Also, if you are looking to cross the border one day, going to a school from (UofT,UBC,McGill) will make a big difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just my 2 cents, one of my close buddies actually did his undergad at UBC before going to Queens for med. He also had the same idea about moving into a small town and trying out something different for a change. He ended up not liking it because he only realized how much he loved and gotten used to being in big city once he moved to Kingston. So if you are a big city person, thats a very important factor to keep in mind because 4 years is a long time of your life. When it comes to residency, program directors don't really care which school you come from, they like competent people from everywhere. Here at UofT at least, ive seen way more residents who did their med school at UBC for example than from Queens. Another factor to keep in mind is that clerkship is a very demanding time, and having your established support network around (family and friends) is a big bonus. As for the opportunities, I think that you will have way more resources and subspecialties at a big school like UBC, hence more exposure and chances to make meaningful connections, and also much more research opportunities too to solidify your chances for CaRMS. Also, if you are looking to cross the border one day, going to a school from (UofT,UBC,McGill) will make a big difference.

 

Oh man, those are solid points... I'd really love to hear what more people think about this. On one hand, a tight knit class and fresh faces means a great deal to me but have the freedom to do research year round, and that support system is certainly advantageous. What seems to be the deal breaker here is that UBC med students appear to match to Toronto residencies just fine (provided they work for it of course)...The end goal really is Toronto, I really do want to try something new. If I had applied to UofT (and gotten in, it'd be a no brainer to go there)...so ultimately does one school really give me an advantage over the other in terms of a Toronto residency?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh man, those are solid points... I'd really love to hear what more people think about this. On one hand, a tight knit class and fresh faces means a great deal to me but have the freedom to do research year round, and that support system is certainly advantageous. What seems to be the deal breaker here is that UBC med students appear to match to Toronto residencies just fine (provided they work for it of course)...The end goal really is Toronto, I really do want to try something new. If I had applied to UofT (and gotten in, it'd be a no brainer to go there)...so ultimately does one school really give me an advantage over the other in terms of a Toronto residency?

 

 

 

Current Queen's medical student who grew up in Toronto. I was in a similar situation deciding between Queen's vs. "big city" schools and considered both residency matches and research before making my final decision. First, I recommend taking a look at "CaRMS Match Reports (Table 42)" which provide information on the school of graduation and matched school of residency. Here's one from 2016: http://www.carms.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Table_42_Distribution_of_Matched_CMGs_From_School_of_Graduation_to_School_of_Residency_English.pdf

 

I relied on this information when making my decision rather than just anecdotal evidence. I can say in recent matches, nearly or above 30% of Queen's graduates matches to Toronto, making it consistently the second highest percentage of students from a school matched to Toronto (behind Toronto, ~50% and typically McMaster follows third, ~25%). It's important to look at percentages to appreciate the proportion rather than just numbers- as Queen's does have a smaller class size. To specifically answer your interest between UBC/Queen's, on average, I don't see more than 20 UBC graduates matching to Toronto from a class size 2.5x larger than Queen's (31-35 students match to Toronto in the past three years). This is just to answer your question most in the most literal form, and not in regards to what specialty, etc. as UBC too matches very well. This information also reflects what I have personally seen working in Toronto in years past- next to their own graduates, I meet more residents from Queen's and McMaster.

 

Secondly as for research, I know many Queen's students who perform research during summers and some continue their research throughout the year. Typically, research during the year does slow down as realistically speaking, you're already quite busy! I believe Queen's recognizes that student are interested in research and therefore provides numerous scholarships to support preclerks to perform research regardless of where it is. I've known classmates from all different years who do research at Queen's, anywhere across Canada (Toronto, UBC included), and internationally (yup!).

 

I could also add in here briefly to reflect on what many other Queen's student have already said about clerkships. These will be your important years to find (or confirm) your interests, establish connections and prepare for your residency applications. Majority of Queen's students set up their clerkship rotations all across Ontario and Canada- and a good proportion will choose Toronto for their rotations (whether it be closer to home for myself and many others or if they have intentions to do residency there).

 

Hope this helps!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These stats are very misleading. Less UBC grads match to uoft not because they cant, but rather because they dont want to (their primary choice is to match to UBC). If you look at the stats, 142 matched to UBC which is often the first choice for UBC students. If they had wanted to match to UofT, they would have (provided they worked). Plus, alot of Queens students are from Toronto originally, hence the drive to go back there for residency. In total when comparing the match rate to big city residencies (UofT+UBC respectively), Queens had 31+7 out of 100 match which is 38% match rate. Whereas UBC had 19+142 out of 287= 58% match rate to big cities. Clearly UBC triumphs in this area. This is a more accurate scale when looking at who gets their preference. In my opinion, UBC doesnt compete with Queens, UBC is more in par with UofT and McGill, hence the majority decline their offers to queens for these 3.

When it comes to research, sure all schools try to give students a chance, but being in a bigger institution means a chance to participate in much more prestigious and impressive research opportunities. You will have a bigger chance to play a role in high impact research at UBC, simply because much more impactful and impressive researchers get to work at top schools like UBC in the first place.

Finally, for the tight knit feeling, remember that queens is not divided like UBC. Sure UBC has 287 students, but they are divided up to 4 campuses, so at the end you are looking up to about the same class size per campus.

 

Hope this helps!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Raw statistics here are not misleading but rather how you choose to look at them is open to interpretation. I was specifically answering to Maverick and how his "end goal really is Toronto, I really do want to try something new... a Toronto residency." Hence, I answered directly about school of graduation matches to Toronto. I recognize the comparison between U of T and UBC, and I agree they are much more similar to one another. But answering the OP's question, a greater number (and higher percentage) of Queen's graduates matches to Toronto than UBC graduates.

 

In regards to research, from experience and mentors: don't let the school define what you can and cannot do. This similarly applies to how you should not let any school define what type or style of doctor you want to be. Simply being placed in a school with a reputation for research does not equate to your research quality, abilities or capacity. I dislike the wording that essentially puts down other schools implying that they do not participate in high impact research/have impactful researchers.

What I can say is: if you do research at Queen's, more times than not you will have very direct and personable research experience with your mentors. You can get this elsewhere, but it very often the case here. Whether this is more valuable to you as a learner, you can only decide for yourself. 
I debated this value with the "big name" potential many times myself. After working between very big and very small labs for years, I humbly appreciate and value the connections, learning experience and likelihood in playing a more significant role in publications that come from a smaller environment.

 

In the end, you are a medical student performing research for someone else and you are building upwards to become a good researcher- don't rely on a school's "name" in research to carry more meaning than the actual work you accomplish yourself (the former can only get you so far). What I was trying to get across earlier was that if you did want to seek out "higher impact" (whatever that may be) research, Queen's is VERY supportive of that as well. Queen's students have performed research at top prestigious schools worldwide. Maverick and others similarly deciding, you can PM me about this. 

 

Either way, you've got two great choices between UBC and Queen's. Congrats! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm trying to decide between Queens, U of T, and UBC here, so any insight from you Queens people would be appreciated. Here are some of the things I'm considering:

 

Location: I'm from BC, so UBC would be preferable to the other schools with respect to proximity to family/friends. Otherwise, I sort of like the idea of being in a large urban centre, so U of T takes second place (I think). I really like the Kingston vibe though.... :(

 

Clinical/Research opportunities: I get the feeling that UBC and U of T might have greater breadth in this regard. Could any of you Queens folks comment on access to specialties, other niche experiences, etc. at Queens?

 

Social: The dynamic seems a bit tighter-knit at Queens. I like the idea of being part of a smaller, closer class. On interview day I straight-up asked a U of T med student about the social dynamic at that school and he said it can be a bit cliquey, so that is concerning to me. 

 

Curriculum: I have no idea - just too many things to compare.

 

Any insight would be appreciated.

 

Just to play devil's advocate, on interview I asked the same question about social dynamics to a Queen's med student, and received essentially the same answer you received. He said that while he knew the names of all his class (or could get a refresher on the picture wall if he didn't :P), not everyone is friends with one another -- you simply get along with some people, and others you won't. Cliques will form, and this is to be expected whenever you have a large group of people! That being said, I think there's free reign to meet/befriend any and all people in your class at the beginning!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These stats are very misleading. Less UBC grads match to uoft not because they cant, but rather because they dont want to (their primary choice is to match to UBC). If you look at the stats, 142 matched to UBC which is often the first choice for UBC students. If they had wanted to match to UofT, they would have (provided they worked). Plus, alot of Queens students are from Toronto originally, hence the drive to go back there for residency. In total when comparing the match rate to big city residencies (UofT+UBC respectively), Queens had 31+7 out of 100 match which is 38% match rate. Whereas UBC had 19+142 out of 287= 58% match rate to big cities. Clearly UBC triumphs in this area. This is a more accurate scale when looking at who gets their preference. In my opinion, UBC doesnt compete with Queens, UBC is more in par with UofT and McGill, hence the majority decline their offers to queens for these 3.

When it comes to research, sure all schools try to give students a chance, but being in a bigger institution means a chance to participate in much more prestigious and impressive research opportunities. You will have a bigger chance to play a role in high impact research at UBC, simply because much more impactful and impressive researchers get to work at top schools like UBC in the first place.

Finally, for the tight knit feeling, remember that queens is not divided like UBC. Sure UBC has 287 students, but they are divided up to 4 campuses, so at the end you are looking up to about the same class size per campus.

 

Hope this helps!

Equating UBC matches to UofT matches is flawed logic. The two don't share the same board, and ultimately, just because someone managed to match to UBC doesn't mean that they'll be able to match to UofT, partly because, like you said, they likely live in BC and have more related experiences there, versus Toronto. While they're similar in that they're both in big cities, they're in cities with different health concerns and systems, and schools with different histories.

 

As for "about the same class size per campus", that couldn't be further from the truth. Though the 287 students are divided up to 4 campuses, it's not an equal division; VFMP has a class size of 192 students, which is almost double that of Queen's.

 

The point regarding having better chances to participate in high impact research at UBC is good though. While you could always contact researchers by phone or email, being nearby gives you an option to talk with them in person and develop a better connection than cold calling them. This not only gives you a better chance at being able to do research with them, but also gives you the chance to judge whether they're someone you'd like to work with and to whom you'd be willing to commit a whole summer (or more).

 

I can't really say anything more specific about each school, just wanted to add on/clarify the comment above. I do have a question though, tagging onto the idea of going to the US later in life. It's been said that US schools care about where you did your undergrad/med school when considering applications for med school/residencies respectively, but does that apply for where you did your residency as well, when you apply for fellowships? What I mean to say is, if you don't do your med school in UofT/McGill, but complete your residency there instead, how would that be viewed? Not really intending to go there, but curious about this as an option nonetheless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm trying to decide between Queens, U of T, and UBC here, so any insight from you Queens people would be appreciated. Here are some of the things I'm considering:

 

Location: I'm from BC, so UBC would be preferable to the other schools with respect to proximity to family/friends. Otherwise, I sort of like the idea of being in a large urban centre, so U of T takes second place (I think). I really like the Kingston vibe though.... :(

 

Clinical/Research opportunities: I get the feeling that UBC and U of T might have greater breadth in this regard. Could any of you Queens folks comment on access to specialties, other niche experiences, etc. at Queens?

 

Social: The dynamic seems a bit tighter-knit at Queens. I like the idea of being part of a smaller, closer class. On interview day I straight-up asked a U of T med student about the social dynamic at that school and he said it can be a bit cliquey, so that is concerning to me. 

 

Curriculum: I have no idea - just too many things to compare.

 

Any insight would be appreciated.

 

I would like to summarize the key points in comparing UBC vs. UofT (2017).

 

1. Number of Learners

Comparing class sizes, UBC is slightly larger than U of T (288 vs. 259). However, UBC's students are spread among 4 campuses; IMP, NMP and SMP with 32 students each while VFMP has 192. U of T is split between 2 campuses, St. George and Mississauga. If I remember correctly, there are 59 students in Mississauga and 200 in St. George. At UBC, 33.3% of their students are distributed to smaller campuses while U of T has 22.7% of their class at Mississauga, if we consider it a satellite campus. IMP, NMP, SMP and VFMP are spread out more geographically than St. George and Mississauga, reducing the competition between students for clinical experience, research opportunities, volunteer opportunities, etc.

 

Once you reach clerkship, getting clinical experience becomes extremely valuable for residency applications. Everyone has electives but the amount of hands-on time you get differs. Toronto is known to have a large number of fellows and residents in their hospitals. If the attending is there, and there is a fellow or 2, the senior resident will have very little to do, and you'll have literally nothing to do but twiddle your thumbs as a clerk. This can be a very poor learning experience. At residency interviews, there are always stories of people who went to small campuses that had A LOT more hands-on experience than someone who went to a large center. 

 

U of T actually lists small class size as a benefit to Missisauga, #2 here (http://uoftmeds.com/news/9-10-great-things-about-mississauga) but their class is not that small compared to IMP, NMP and SMP.

 

2. Funding numbers

U of T has more overall funding than UBC but it has to compete with 5 other medical schools in Ontario for funding. When the government funds projects/centres, it tends to focus money on one particular school. For example, let's say NOSM is really good at Aboriginal Health research because of their geographic benefits. The government funds major research projects and builds a research center. But then the government has no incentive to fund the same thing another 5 times at the other schools. In Ontario, you'll find that research in some areas are actually better at schools other than U of T (I'll leave it up to you to figure out which). U of T is obviously a leader in many research areas though, just not ALL of them as you might believe. The 5 other schools combined together train more students than U of T and also get a large part of the research funds. UBC is the only medical school in BC so it tends to get all the medical research dollars in BC. For example, UBC has Canada's largest integrated brain centre, the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, for integrated research in neuroscience, psychiatry and neurology.

 

At a macroscopic level, you might be very happy that U of T gets a ton of research funding per year but how much of that actually trickles down to the average medical student? In another post I mentioned that CREMS (http://www.md.utoronto.ca/research-scholar-programs), the research program for U of T medical students, only funds about 10 students per year out of 259! That's only 3.8% of the class and the numbers have been decreasing year over year. Although the number of available projects is limited, the program is open to all first year U of T medical students. Talk about competition! (All Canadian medical schools are pass/fail so unless you actually fail first year, everyone is in good academic standing).

The number of student/mentor pairs accepted into the program is dependent on the available CREMS funding. For 2017, we expect to be able to fund 10 students. Qualified student/mentor pairs will be determined by a CREMS Advisory Committee.

The Research Scholar Program is open to all first-year U of T medical students. Only students in good academic standing are eligible.

 

Let's look at UBC's Summer Student Research Program (http://med-fom-faculty.sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2012/02/SSRP_historical_application_and_funding_information.pdf). In the most recent 2012 data, the school funded 62 MD projects and 39 non-MD projects. Even with eligibility rules limiting the number of projects, they fund 100 projects a year. Their SSRP acceptance rate is around 50%! It is clear that UBC is willing to fund MD and even non-MD research. From 2004 to 2012, their numbers of increased significantly as well. Overall, it is clear that research funds are much more abundant for UBC medical students than U of T medical students.

 

3. Residency

A long topic, but all I'll say is that residency programs tend to prefer applicants from their home schools. Why? It's complicated but one easy thing to think about is the relationships you'll build if you spend 4 years at one school. The faculty might've taught you before, you might've shadowed them at some point and maybe you even did research with them. The things you learn about someone longitudinally are much more valuable than what you might feel about someone during a 2 week elective where they're on their best behaviour.

 

If you want to go to UBC for residency, then go to UBC. If you want to go to U of T for residency, then go to U of T.

 

4. Competitiveness

 

Competitiveness is hard to gauge for an entire school but just know at both schools, the people who want competitive specialities are extremely hard working. The people who tend to say that their school is not competitive are probably aiming for easier specialities. Don't let that lead you to believe that everyone is non-competitive, there are always cut-throat people out there. If many students are attracted to U of T due to prestige, they're probably more likely to be very competitive. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...