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kingmaker

THE BEST UG PROGRAM: Paramedicine at UFTSC? EASY?

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Hi there, 

So I am currently a high school student in Grade 11, and am considering to go into the medical stream. My first semester grade 11 marks, in my opinion, are good, but are not necessarily that stellar (currently averaging at 89). During second semester, I'm doing better with an anticipated average of around 93 (mostly business courses, hardest course is functions).

Considering the fact that medical school heavily weigh GPA as well as MCAT, I was just wondering if this program is a "GPA killer"? From what I know, in this program, the college courses taken at Centennial College count as university credits and are presumably easy and high-school like in nature. As a result, I assume these are an easy way to bring up your GPA. However, the UofT courses (the mandatory life science ones) are considered hard and are specifically calibrated to bring the averages down if too high (bell curve). Is that true? One of the main factors that contribute to this program to be first on my list of choices is the fact that in addition to getting a degree, you also get a useful diploma which enables you to get a highly demanded job, as a paramedic.

Other programs that I am considering are either a bio program at either Ryerson or Brock (to simply get a higher GPA) as well as Life Science at McMaster. With these programs, however, the potential possibility of not making it into medical school can be devastating. However, if the correct courses are taken, there is a chance to venture my way into dentistry or podiatry. Ultimately, what do you think would be the best course of action for me?

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Yes it is true that the courses are specifically calibrated to bring the averages down - but this isn't exclusive to UofT. UofT is notorious for it, but it also happens in other schools (such as Mac - exception = health sci program).

I would recommend you to keep it simple and enter a program you truly like. Take a look at the required courses for each program and read the course description. If a majority of the mandatory courses are appealing to you and gets you excited to take it - enter the program. It also doesn't hurt to google individual courses and do research on how hard the individual courses are.

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Seems like a small program so I doubt anyone here knows much about it. UofT difficulty is exaggerated but there is an element of truth to it.

Find successful & smart friends, work hard, and you'll do well. IMO students tend to rise to the level of their peers and competitiors.

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It looks like a very specialized program obviously aimed at producing qualified paramedics.  Things to look for - does it include full university course-load in all years so you qualify for wGPA at medical schools.  Some Med schools require you to be working towards a 4 year University undergrad degree.  Is this a 4 year Honours degree (or a 3 year with college content added on).  Don't make assumptions on how hard the college content is. It will be practical in nature but could be hard to get high grades.

My gut feel is this is not a good way to approach medicine.   Maybe someone on here knows more about it.

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A bit of my own opinion, but I think an Arts & Science background is quite valuable for medicine. Most Arts & Science degrees allow the flexibility to take science prerequisites to fulfil the academic requirements, while training you to think and ask meaningful questions about how things sit in the broader context of the world. Although many Canadian schools have reduced or eliminated prerequisites; this just allows you to cast the widest net possible for all Canadian medical schools. Psych, economics, philosophy, and literature courses in undergrad have aided me so much in understanding the broader questions of life and the fabric of society. Some on this forum would argue that the social sciences courses may jeopardise the GPA due to the subjective nature of the courses. But, for me, I didn't find that to be an issue, I think my profs in the arts were just as reasonable in their marking. I have an immense appreciation for the arts. It makes you see problems in a more wholly manner. I think the paramedicine program may be too niche and would pigeon hole you right out of high school. Anyways, that's just my two cents.

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Another program that's not talked about much on this forum is UBC's integrated science program. A lot of premeds use it to take easy GPA boosters for medicine. A downside to going down that path would be a lack of professionality, but I'd say it's as good as Mac Health Sci in terms of getting extremely high GPA's. 

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5 hours ago, kingmaker said:

Hi there, 

So I am currently a high school student in Grade 11, and am considering to go into the medical stream. My first semester grade 11 marks, in my opinion, are good, but are not necessarily that stellar (currently averaging at 89). During second semester, I'm doing better with an anticipated average of around 93 (mostly business courses, hardest course is functions).

Considering the fact that medical school heavily weigh GPA as well as MCAT, I was just wondering if this program is a "GPA killer"? From what I know, in this program, the college courses taken at Centennial College count as university credits and are presumably easy and high-school like in nature. As a result, I assume these are an easy way to bring up your GPA. However, the UofT courses (the mandatory life science ones) are considered hard and are specifically calibrated to bring the averages down if too high (bell curve). Is that true? One of the main factors that contribute to this program to be first on my list of choices is the fact that in addition to getting a degree, you also get a useful diploma which enables you to get a highly demanded job, as a paramedic.

Other programs that I am considering are either a bio program at either Ryerson or Brock (to simply get a higher GPA) as well as Life Science at McMaster. With these programs, however, the potential possibility of not making it into medical school can be devastating. However, if the correct courses are taken, there is a chance to venture my way into dentistry or podiatry. Ultimately, what do you think would be the best course of action for me?

I have not heard of anyone doing that program and getting into medical school. If you are okay with the idea that the program may not give you the GPA that you need to get into medical school and you really want to be a paramedic, do it, but if your goal is medicine and paramedicine is a backup, then don't. 

The tried and true will be doing a life sci/med sci program. However, a lot more people take this path and we here probably don't know much about this program you are asking about. 

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On 2018-04-14 at 7:43 PM, FeelingTheBern said:

Yes it is true that the courses are specifically calibrated to bring the averages down - but this isn't exclusive to UofT. UofT is notorious for it, but it also happens in other schools (such as Mac - exception = health sci program).

Mac is known for bringing averages down? Never heard about that, looks like something I need to look into. Life Science at Mac was my first choice prior to my discovery of the program. 

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On 2018-04-14 at 10:56 PM, la marzocco said:

A bit of my own opinion, but I think an Arts & Science background is quite valuable for medicine. Most Arts & Science degrees allow the flexibility to take science prerequisites to fulfil the academic requirements, while training you to think and ask meaningful questions about how things sit in the broader context of the world. Although many Canadian schools have reduced or eliminated prerequisites; this just allows you to cast the widest net possible for all Canadian medical schools. Psych, economics, philosophy, and literature courses in undergrad have aided me so much in understanding the broader questions of life and the fabric of society. Some on this forum would argue that the social sciences courses may jeopardise the GPA due to the subjective nature of the courses. But, for me, I didn't find that to be an issue, I think my profs in the arts were just as reasonable in their marking. I have an immense appreciation for the arts. It makes you see problems in a more wholly manner. I think the paramedicine program may be too niche and would pigeon hole you right out of high school. Anyways, that's just my two cents.

Lol. Personally, I also find the social sciences to be extremely easy, as I do well at analyzing text and elaborating on ideas that I’m trying to convey. Writing also comes natural to me (not trying brag at all). This year, I’m taking Ancient Civilizations as well as Econ at a Grade 11 Uni level and am finding them super easy and don’t even consider them real courses that I need to study for. The problem, however, occurs in the subjectivity of the teacher. In English, which is an art (similar to social science imo), I would consider myself a relatively strong student. I’ve been getting high 80s - mid 90s. Last year though, I had a teacher who was an extremely hard marker. She also openly shows favouritism towards certain students and their marks reflect that. I finished the course with a 73. After that experience, I’m somewhat sceptical of taking social science or English courses due the heavy influence that the teacher’s opinions and values hold . Imo, it’s not worth the risk. I would rather stick to courses that I know I could get a high 90 in if I put in a sufficient amount of effort, rather than courses where I have to repeatedly adjust and manipulate my work and overall style to get a good mark. 

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On 2018-04-15 at 0:16 AM, Olle said:

Another program that's not talked about much on this forum is UBC's integrated science program. A lot of premeds use it to take easy GPA boosters for medicine. A downside to going down that path would be a lack of professionality, but I'd say it's as good as Mac Health Sci in terms of getting extremely high GPA's. 

I’m in Toronto. Not too sure about a UG degree in BC. Too much work, risk and personal sacrifices involved. In my circumstance, don’t think it’s worth it.

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On 2018-04-14 at 8:19 PM, 1D7 said:

Find successful & smart friends, work hard, and you'll do well. IMO students tend to rise to the level of their peers and competitiors

Same. I feel more motivated when I have a smart friend in my class, who thinks they can get a higher mark than me. Personally, I’m a person who thrives off competition. However, all my high school friends are sadly planning to venture out into business or law. IMO, though, I think that there is a fine line between a program being hard and competitive (like Mac Life Sci) and a program being hard for the sole purpose of just being hard and prestigious (like UofT Life Sci).

^ don’t know if u actually understand what I mean.

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13 hours ago, kingmaker said:

 

Mac is known for bringing averages down? Never heard about that, looks like something I need to look into. Life Science at Mac was my first choice prior to my discovery of the program. 

all institutes, courses, and profs are supposed to keep the class average at a certain range.

TA are instructed by their profs when they grade their students' assignments too high or too low.

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2 hours ago, FeelingTheBern said:

all institutes, courses, and profs are supposed to keep the class average at a certain range.

TA are instructed by their profs when they grade their students' assignments too high or too low.

There is a good reason for this. If they didn't have policies like this, we would have rampant grade inflation worse than what it is right now. The reality is that grades typically should stay relatively similar. A slow trend up or down is acceptable, but this policy is in place to stop rampant grade inflation. McMaster Life Sci doesn't discriminate any more than most other life sci programs, sure it is not grade inflationary like Health Sci, but it is as good a program as most other standard Life Sci programs with the exception of UofT. 

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1 hour ago, Edict said:

There is a good reason for this. If they didn't have policies like this, we would have rampant grade inflation worse than what it is right now. The reality is that grades typically should stay relatively similar. A slow trend up or down is acceptable, but this policy is in place to stop rampant grade inflation. McMaster Life Sci doesn't discriminate any more than most other life sci programs, sure it is not grade inflationary like Health Sci, but it is as good a program as most other standard Life Sci programs with the exception of UofT. 

Yeah I agree 100%

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3 hours ago, FeelingTheBern said:

 

4 hours ago, Edict said:

There is a good reason for this. If they didn't have policies like this, we would have rampant grade inflation worse than what it is right now. The reality is that grades typically should stay relatively similar. A slow trend up or down is acceptable, but this policy is in place to stop rampant grade inflation. McMaster Life Sci doesn't discriminate any more than most other life sci programs, sure it is not grade inflationary like Health Sci, but it is as good a program as most other standard Life Sci programs with the exception of UofT. 

Just stumbled across this, and I'm totally hijacking, but I'm curious about UofTs rep? I assume you're saying their life sci is a stronger program?

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23 minutes ago, PhD2MD said:

Just stumbled across this, and I'm totally hijacking, but I'm curious about UofTs rep? I assume you're saying their life sci is a stronger program?

I'm not saying that. I'm just saying it seems to be harder to get the grades you need for med school coming from UT life sciences. 

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If you're confident medicine is the path for you, but you're unsure whether you'll be able to attain the 90+% average etc to get into UofT, have you considered a program such as CIMT College's Pre-Health Sciences Diploma? One year program, with guaranteed acceptance into a number of well respected universities!

Perhaps something to consider.... Good luck with your decision!

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