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al301330

French Stream at OttawaU - Electives + Residency

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Hi there, 

Could current students expand on how studying in the French Stream affects one's chances at residency? Is it beneficial or is it limiting in that English programs look down upon a French UGME?  Additionally, would all my electives need to be in French and necessarily be at Montfort, or is there flexibility in that regard? 

I'm currently deciding between the French Stream vs McMaster, and any input on what it's like to be a student in French at OttawaU would be great! (I'm fully bilingual so learning in French itself is not a concern)

Thank you!

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I do not think english programs look down upon French programs. I think it is quite the opposite. I feel being fully bilingual allows you to pursue residency programs in both english and french (this is a huge asset). It is awesome only having 48 in your class. It doesnt matter what language you studied in, in fact it may even be an asset that you studied in french. Students from Laval have matched to surgery at Western. There are also "simulated clinics" (one-on-one practice with simulated patients, in front of actual doctors who give you feedback) in the french stream at uOttawa as far as I know. Choose the program based what you think is a better for you. I dont think you can go wrong with either McMaster of uOttawa French Stream. Good luck to you! 

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There is lots of things that I could talk about regarding why the French stream is so awesome, but I'll try to keep it short! During your first two years, you can do electives in your free time at any hospital you choose to. Some electives aren't easy to secure at TOH (Emergency, for example), but are easier to secure at Montfort Hospital, so that's an advantage for the francophone students. In your 3rd year, you are mostly based at Montfort, except for some core rotations like Paediatrics (and for some Mandatory Selectives) that are done in English. In 4th year, the year you actually do your electives for residency, you are not obligated to choose a specific hospital and you can (and should) do your electives all over the country. So basically, there is no disadvantage to the French stream since you have the opportunity to go do your electives in other hospitals and you can also apply to francophone residency spots if you want to.

Also, you need to take into account what kind of curriculum you want and how likely you are to choose what specialty you want quickly because Ottawa and McMaster are very different. In Ottawa, you get to do all your core rotations in 3rd year and then have 10 weeks of electives right at the beginning of your 4th year (sept/oct) so you can visit schools and get good references for CaRMS. What I learned after speaking to a McMaster student is that because of the 3 year program some students only get to do some of their electives and core rotation after they submit their application for residency. This can play to your advantage if you know what specialty you want early in your studies so you can start doing electives earlier and get reference letters than rather than later like in Ottawa. But if you are like me and you have no clue what you might like and need some time to figure it out, you might appreciate doing all your core rotations first and then doing your electives later. That being said, I do not fully know how the curriculum at McMaster is so maybe you should ask the student at this school to confirm! 

I hope this helps!

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