Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums
Sign in to follow this  
medigeek

What level of French proficiency is required for Mcgill's Montreal sites (family medicine residency)

Recommended Posts

Hello,

I wanted to know what level of proficiency is required for those sites? The website says high school french is required but how does it play out in the day to day life of a resident? Do most patients speak english? Do most staff communicate in english a majority of the time? 

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, Praise_Kek said:

Toujours aussi drôle de voir que le bilinguisme existe uniquement au Québec et que les autres provinces maîtrisent seulement l'anglais.

Other than small pockets of French speakers elsewhere, French is neither necessary nor used virtually beyond Quebec borders, which explains the bilingualism in Quebec almost exclusively. Practice makes perfect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Bambi said:

Other than small pockets of French speakers elsewhere, French is neither necessary nor used virtually beyond Quebec borders, which explains the bilingualism in Quebec almost exclusively. Practice makes perfect.

Totally agree with Bambi!  English is now the "lingua franca" of much of the world.  OP - if you decide to go for McGill, you should commit to French.  Incoming physicians have struggled with licensing due to demanding (exigeant) French requirements within the province (link).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, medigeek said:

Are there any English sites where you can get away with basic French proficiency? Especially if you're looking to quickly improve?

I don't think so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Bambi said:

Other than small pockets of French speakers elsewhere, French is neither necessary nor used virtually beyond Quebec borders, which explains the bilingualism in Quebec almost exclusively. Practice makes perfect.

J'sais pas si t'es au courant, mais le Canada est un pays bilingue dont les deux langues officielles sont le français et l'anglais.

Si le français est si optionnel que ça, vous devriez arrêter d'être des hypocrites et affirmer que le Canada est un pays anglophone, that's it.

Ça réglerait pas mal de problèmes. Le Québec pourrait devenir un pays.

Small english & loyalist citizens from post-USA Declaration of Independance would finally leave Quebec alone instead of crying 24/24.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Praise_Kek said:

J'sais pas si t'es au courant, mais le Canada est un pays bilingue dont les deux langues officielles sont le français et l'anglais.

Si le français est si optionnel que ça, vous devriez arrêter d'être des hypocrites et affirmer que le Canada est un pays anglophone, that's it.

Ça réglerait pas mal de problèmes. Le Québec pourrait devenir un pays.

Small english & loyalist citizens from post-USA Declaration of Independance would finally leave Quebec alone instead of crying 24/24.

Yo praise_Kek - chill!  C'est Québec qui vient de déclarer que Bonjour-Hi n'était pas acceptable.  Et talk to the Irish and Scotts who contributed to the work from digging out the Lachine Canal (maybe they don't count?) to starting des grandes companies, not to mention all the other immigrants.  Wait - did I forget to mention French education in Montreal was restricted to Catholics until the mid 60's?  Yes - Canada deux grands pouvoirs colonials unis forget about First-Nations.  Don't shoot the messenger Praise_Kek - Bambi dit la vérité..  Et tu veux savoir quelque chose?   Québec travaille à empêcher des non-francophones d'apprendre le français dans les autres provinces - team player, indeed (link).      

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/8/2017 at 11:40 AM, Praise_Kek said:

J'sais pas si t'es au courant, mais le Canada est un pays bilingue dont les deux langues officielles sont le français et l'anglais.

Si le français est si optionnel que ça, vous devriez arrêter d'être des hypocrites et affirmer que le Canada est un pays anglophone, that's it.

Ça réglerait pas mal de problèmes. Le Québec pourrait devenir un pays.

Small english & loyalist citizens from post-USA Declaration of Independance would finally leave Quebec alone instead of crying 24/24.

Le gouvernement fédéral canadien est bilingue, pas le pays au complet, et non plus les provinces. Nous sommes une fédération; ceci signifie que chaque province est souveraine dans ses domains de compétence exclusives tels qu'énumérés à l'article 92 de la loi constitutionnelle. Une province a décidé de devenir officiellement bilingue, soit le Nouveau Brunswick; les autres ne le sont pas.

Constitutionally, certain aspects of the nine non-bilingual provinces must be bilingual - Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba must enact provincial statutes and regulations in both languages. The Courts are to be bilingual (this doesn't mean every judge must understand both languages). The French minorities in the 8 English-only provinces, and the English minority in Quebec have a right to schools in their language "where numbers warrant". Provinces are free to extend minority language rights beyond the constitutional minimum, but they are not required to do so.

Since healthcare, education and professional licensing are largely matters of exclusive provincial jurisdiction, the federal official bilingualism is largely irrelevant in the health field.

That said, learning multiple languages is good for the brain and good for the soul. There is some research suggesting that it reduces the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Vive le Canada!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2017-12-08 at 11:40 AM, Praise_Kek said:

J'sais pas si t'es au courant, mais le Canada est un pays bilingue dont les deux langues officielles sont le français et l'anglais.

Si le français est si optionnel que ça, vous devriez arrêter d'être des hypocrites et affirmer que le Canada est un pays anglophone, that's it.

Ça réglerait pas mal de problèmes. Le Québec pourrait devenir un pays.

Small english & loyalist citizens from post-USA Declaration of Independance would finally leave Quebec alone instead of crying 24/24.

loooolllllll 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2017-12-08 at 9:45 AM, BTJJ said:

French isn't that complicated. If you were able to master Organic Chemistry, learning French should not be a problem.

Are u referring to a full blown PhD or just 4 or 5 courses at the undergrad level /s?  If u look at Bambi’s post above, u would see there’s not a strong rational to do this.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, calcan said:

Are u referring to a full blown PhD or just 4 or 5 courses at the undergrad level /s?  If u look at Bambi’s post above, u would see there’s not a strong rational to do this.  

It depends what one wants to do. Millions and millions of people get through life knowing only one language. If you want to learn a second (or third, or fourth or fifth) language, it's not that hard. Millions of people manage to speak multiple languages as well.

Do you want to understand, discuss and write about the nuances in Voltaire's prose? This might take a lifetime of study. Do you want to be able to talk about Les Canadiens at a pub in Hochelaga? You'll never learn this in school or from books. Do you want to learn a basic formal French to carry on basic conversations? A course or two and a bit of regular practice and you'll be on your way.

To learn another language there are only two pre-requisites - desire and opportunity. In North America the opportunities to speak languages other than English are less than in Europe, so if one has the desire, one has to create the opportunities. On many university campuses there people from around the world. A common activity is to seek out native speakers of your target language and meet for coffee once or twice a week - you then combine a social event with a learning opportunity.

There is no need to study the language as an academic discipline.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure - I agree with most of your post. But, I think you misunderstood the point of my post.  You mentioned mastering Organic Chemistry as an analogy to learning French - I merely pointed out that most people don't do PhD or do a lot of courses at the undergrad level in reference to your analogy (I put /s to indicate "sarcasm").   Typically "master" refers to a high level of proficiency in this case Organic Chemistry.  Besides, I think the comparison demeans the ophthalmologist who has failed the written French test 7 times as well as the 70-80 physicians who aren't able to be licensed because of the written French test imposed by the Québec government.

But what you're saying I essentially agree with.  I'd argue Spanish is probably the second most used language overall in NA, but French in Canada.  In fact, I personally have done what you've said in terms of language exchanges.  Personally, besides English and French, I can speak basic Spanish and German, and know a few words in many other languages.  And yes, immersion and practice is the key.  Practising physicians in Québec will have done this - the French test is at another level entirely, and I'd argue that academic study is in fact precisely is what is needed to pass the written French test.

 From the link above :

"As of March 31, 73 doctors in Quebec held temporary licences to practise medicine because they had not passed the French test, according to the College of Physicians.

Omar, a consultant ophthalmologist at the Montreal Retina Institute, specializes in retinal and macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in the Western world.

Omar has failed the written portion of the test seven times. In one case, he failed because of grammar mistakes and the fact that his essay was 190 words long instead of the required 200."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The perils of imprecise online communication. The "Organic Chemistry" to which I referred was the full-year introductory course that most pre-med student take, and that most students accepted into medicine will have aced, not the discipline as a whole. Thus by "mastering", I was simply referring to acing that introductory course - not achieving true mastery of the discipline as evidenced by a PhD and a distinguished research and teaching career.

French grammar and vocabulary are far simpler that most of the knowledge a med student will have processed in his undergraduate studies.

When I sat for the Quebec government French proficiency test, I barely had to speak the language to pass. That was in 1996; perhaps things have changed in the last couple decades.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps you're the exception to the rule?  Or perhaps your exposure to French was more formal which helped you pass the written part of the test?  It's also true that knowledge of written French doesn't necessarily imply ability with spoken French, as you mentioned above.  Perhaps you’re a native speaker of a different language? The ophthalmologist's case is sadly far from unique, as evidenced by the 73 other physicians mentioned in the article.  At this point, one half-course in organic chemistry, typically from CEGEP, is all that is required for medical school within the province.  Outside of Québec, there's little formal requirement for organic chemistry for med school within Canada (although knowledge of OChem is expected on the MCAT).  Personally, even after taking two university-level half-courses in French, I still don't feel completely at ease with written French.  It’s not the first time this situation has been described in  media here’s a somewhat bitter account by a psychiatrist who left Québec after being unable to pass the test. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, calcan said:

Perhaps you're the exception to the rule?  Or perhaps your exposure to French was more formal which helped you pass the written part of the test?  It's also true that knowledge of written French doesn't necessarily imply ability with spoken French, as you mentioned above.  Perhaps you’re a native speaker of a different language? The ophthalmologist's case is sadly far from unique, as evidenced by the 73 other physicians mentioned in the article.  At this point, one half-course in organic chemistry, typically from CEGEP, is all that is required for medical school within the province.  Outside of Québec, there's little formal requirement for organic chemistry for med school within Canada (although knowledge of OChem is expected on the MCAT).  Personally, even after taking two university-level half-courses in French, I still don't feel completely at ease with written French.  It’s not the first time this situation has been described in  media here’s a somewhat bitter account by a psychiatrist who left Québec after being unable to pass the test. 

This is precisely what I am worried about. The OQLF proficiency test seems so onerous. Coupled with the fact that Quebec makes OOP CMGs' ability to work in Quebec so difficult, I am not sure if I will end up trying to get licensed in Qc. :( 

I had to sign a contract when I joined as an OOP student at McGill. Basically saying that I need to perform 4 years of service (i.e., ROS) or pay a "penalty" of $300K if I do decide to practice in Qc...

"By signing this contract, you undertake, in the event you remain in Québec to practice medicine, to practice in an institution determined by the Minister and, upon receipt of your licence, to provide full-time, exclusive, insured medical services for four (4) consecutive years based on the terms and conditions described in this contract. In the event you do not comply with this commitment, you undertake to pay the Ministère de la Santé et des services sociaux the amount of $300,000 or a pro rata amount corresponding to the time you did not provide the services that you undertook to provide."

This seems all too backwards to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2018-01-09 at 11:09 AM, la marzocco said:

This is precisely what I am worried about. The OQLF proficiency test seems so onerous. Coupled with the fact that Quebec makes OOP CMGs' ability to work in Quebec so difficult, I am not sure if I will end up trying to get licensed in Qc. :( 

I had to sign a contract when I joined as an OOP student at McGill. Basically saying that I need to perform 4 years of service (i.e., ROS) or pay a "penalty" of $300K if I do decide to practice in Qc...

"By signing this contract, you undertake, in the event you remain in Québec to practice medicine, to practice in an institution determined by the Minister and, upon receipt of your licence, to provide full-time, exclusive, insured medical services for four (4) consecutive years based on the terms and conditions described in this contract. In the event you do not comply with this commitment, you undertake to pay the Ministère de la Santé et des services sociaux the amount of $300,000 or a pro rata amount corresponding to the time you did not provide the services that you undertook to provide."

This seems all too backwards to me.

No news on the contract, unfortunately.  However, I did come across an article suggesting that the OQLF is going to change the exam for professional orders - essentially it's going to be supposedly less trichable and more reflect the professional competencies needed - for instance using another gender of a noun will no longer be considered automatically an error.  French is tricky though, since even I can recognize a few cases where changing the gender completely changes the meaning of the word - ex: la or le poste.   Nonetheless, I think it's a movement in the right direction, although I'm not sure of how all the details would work - i.e. it mentions a group discussion as part of the exam which seems like it could be a weak point.  But I think for example the psychiatrist's plaintes concerning the process of French language accreditation are largely addressed.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, marrakech said:

No news on the contract, unfortunately.  However, I did come across an article suggesting that the OQLF is going to change the exam for professional orders - essentially it's going to be supposedly less trichable and more reflect the professional competencies needed - for instance using another gender of a noun will no longer be considered automatically an error.  French is tricky though, since even I can recognize a few cases where changing the gender completely changes the meaning of the word - ex: la or le poste.   Nonetheless, I think it's a movement in the right direction, although I'm not sure of how all the details would work - i.e. it mentions a group discussion as part of the exam which seems like it could be a weak point.  But I think for example the psychiatrist's plaintes concerning the process of French language accreditation are largely addressed.  

Interesting - the revamped exam does make more sense.

Ha. That contract... not sure when they will do away with it :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×