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Hey guys,

 

I am having trouble deciding between the two schools and I would really like so advice from upper years and current students. These are both great schools and I feel so happy to be able to choose from them, but honestly every day I am split. 

 

Here is what I have so far:

 

McGill:

+ cheap tuition
+ 6 months of pre clinical
+ from what I heard - easier to get research - less competitive 
- a lot of patients in french, my french is decent but not the best
- uphill battles during winter - I am not made for winter
 

 

Toronto:

+ more research
+ English downtown (more familiar with the location)
+ better temp. in winter
- more competition - all research is competitive to get 
- tuition and living cost difference (comes to about 70-80K difference when I did the math)

 

I do want to match in UBC or UT. I am most likely not going for a competitive specialty, but I am still interested in EM. (Two+1 is most likely the best option for me)

 

 

Thank for your help and insights! 


 

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4 hours ago, Vendar said:

- more competition - all research is competitive to get 

just my 2c having done my undergrad at UofT: research is not difficult to get if you have any kind of past track record. it's competitive for a fresh first year undergrad with 0 background but if you have done research before, profs will be very willing to take you on. Your status as an MD student will also help significantly as it signals academic excellence and maturity; the MD dept is also known to really want to help students succeed (unlike in undergrad amiright) so they'll likely personally advocate for you to potential supervisors

I don't exactly have a choice since UofT is my only acceptance, but the research scene here would be the least of my worries

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8 hours ago, Vendar said:

I do want to match in UBC or UT. I am most likely not going for a competitive specialty, but I am still interested in EM. (Two+1 is most likely the best option for me)

I read one line and made my decision, choose UofT. All schools like to take their own, but some schools reaally like to take their own and UofT is one of those schools.

From a poll of entering PGY1s that had a 88% response rate, the top 3 most represented med schools were UofT 27%, Mac 9%, Queens 8%.

https://twitter.com/jthlam/status/991032331321331712

In all actuality, it seems like your reasons are pretty balanced, but ultimately what cinches the decision is that you want to do residency in Toronto or BC. 

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@Edict it's weird that you're advocating for going to UofT to get a UofT residency, when you yourself didn't do an MD at UofT, and landed a UofT residency. Is the home school advantage so insurmountable that we should simply pick schools where we want to do residency? Especially when you'd prefer going to a different school for your MD?

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4 minutes ago, Lactic Folly said:

http://carms.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Table_29_Match_Results_by_School_of_Graduation_English.pdf

There is a large proportion of students matching to their home school in other provinces as well, so I do wonder how much of that is due to applicant preference vs the preferences of the program. Can't speak to UofT specifically though.

Thank you for this link! I'm really happy to see that so many McGill students matched outside of Quebec. As an OOP student, that makes me comfortable with the likelihood of matching to a program outside of Quebec, and potentially at UofT.

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9 minutes ago, canada747 said:

Thank you for this link! I'm really happy to see that so many McGill students matched outside of Quebec. As an OOP student, that makes me comfortable with the likelihood of matching to a program outside of Quebec, and potentially at UofT.

You get more granularity here: http://carms.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Table_42_Distribution_of_Matched_CMGs_From_School_of_Graduation_to_School_of_Residency_English.pdf

You see that 19 McGill grads matched to U of T in the first iteration of 2017 CaRMS. I also won't be too quick to dismiss @Bambi and @Edict's views however, they have gone through the CaRMS process themselves. 

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5 minutes ago, la marzocco said:

You get more granularity here: http://carms.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Table_42_Distribution_of_Matched_CMGs_From_School_of_Graduation_to_School_of_Residency_English.pdf

You see that 19 McGill grads matched to U of T in the first iteration of 2017 CaRMS.

OK. So what I see here is that the home-school advantage is certainly real, especially at UofT PGME for UofT MD grads. At the same time, UofT PGME accepts the most non-UofT MD grads from McMaster, Queen's, Western, and Ottawa (Ontario schools), and then McGill.

As an aside, does the school where you do your residency dictate your long-term job opportunities? ie, if I do end up doing a McGill residency, could I still easily find a position in Toronto? Ultimately that's the most important thing. Even residency is temporary.

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4 minutes ago, canada747 said:

OK. So what I see here is that the home-school advantage is certainly real, especially at UofT PGME for UofT MD grads. At the same time, UofT PGME accepts the most non-UofT MD grads from McMaster, Queen's, Western, and Ottawa (Ontario schools), and then McGill.

As an aside, does the school where you do your residency dictate your long-term job opportunities? ie, if I do end up doing a McGill residency, could I still easily find a position in Toronto? Ultimately that's the most important thing. Even residency is temporary.

There are two views on that. During residency, you continue to expand your network and you can start figuring out locums and opportunities post residency in that area - a lot of opportunities are stumbled upon through connections, so in that regard, this view has its merits. OTOH, this profession is portable across Canada - as long as you're a CCFP or Royal College certified, you can carry those credentials to where you would like to settle. The only caveat is that urban centres are definitely saturated. There are simply too many variables to account for - especially CaRMS. I would seriously consider Bambi and Edict's views because you can see the rest of the Ontario schools do match quite well to U of T (aside from NOSM). So staying in the province does have an appreciable impact.

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2 hours ago, canada747 said:

@Edict it's weird that you're advocating for going to UofT to get a UofT residency, when you yourself didn't do an MD at UofT, and landed a UofT residency. Is the home school advantage so insurmountable that we should simply pick schools where we want to do residency? Especially when you'd prefer going to a different school for your MD?

Sorry, I was being hyperbolic in my previous post. These advantages are there but they are not insurmountable. There are structural factors to benefits of staying at your home school for residency. First, schools like UofT typically allow their own students first dibs on electives with the ability to book late electives as well (this applies to home schools in general), whereas AFMC electives are harder to get, there are limits to how many you can do at each school etc. Second, being at your home school makes for easier networking, and in smaller specialties this is crucial, the devil they know is better than the devil they don't. Of course, you can also bomb your chances at your home school if they know you well enough to realize they don't like you that much, so this can be a double edged sword. Third, I would say that when it comes time to reviewing an application, if all things being equal, you will most likely have more Toronto reference letters if you are a student from Toronto, and these will be from names they recognize, again playing to the devil they know vs the devil they don't.

With that being said, these aren't insurmountable, you can almost think of this like playing the same game on easy mode vs normal mode. You can still beat the game on normal mode, but there are always going to be a few people who don't and amongst those people who don't, some of them would have made it by taking an easier route.

Ultimately, I believe UofT doesn't have any medical school preferences re: non-Toronto schools, the reason Mac and Queens were the 2nd and 3rd choices also has something to do with the fact that people at Ontario schools are more likely to want to go to Toronto in the first place.

For anyone deciding, you do have to weigh the pros and cons. If getting to Toronto for residency/staff is the one absolute most important thing in your life, then you have to weigh that against your desire to be in McGill or Montreal for 4 years. If you feel that you want both Montreal for 4 years and Toronto for residency and you wouldn't be happy in any other way, then do it, you don't want to be unhappy for 4 whole years thinking "what if.. i chose McGill and still matched Toronto, I could have had my cake and ate it..."

Re: your question about finding staff positions in GTA without having done residency in Toronto. I agree with @la marzocco it is the same story, it is widely dependent on what specialty you end up in, what the job market is like, community vs academic, how competitive you are as a candidate. General rule remains the same, "the devil they know over the devil they don't all things being equal".

Last thing, none of this is guaranteed at all, there are always surprises in the match. Sometimes these matches come down to being in the right place at the right time. One wrong decision, one lucky move, can make the difference, so don't put your entire life/hopes/dreams onto something that isn't in your hand.

 

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1 hour ago, canada747 said:

OK. So what I see here is that the home-school advantage is certainly real, especially at UofT PGME for UofT MD grads. At the same time, UofT PGME accepts the most non-UofT MD grads from McMaster, Queen's, Western, and Ottawa (Ontario schools), and then McGill.

As an aside, does the school where you do your residency dictate your long-term job opportunities? ie, if I do end up doing a McGill residency, could I still easily find a position in Toronto? Ultimately that's the most important thing. Even residency is temporary.

I think there is a definite advantage in doing postgraduate training where you want to work, especially if it's a more competitive urban area. For example, you could start tailoring your training to a department's anticipated needs if there is opportunity (e.g. upcoming retirement). That being said, there is still the fellowship phase for many specialties, where you could arrive in a city and start to network that way, albeit on a tighter timeline.

I think the advantage for matching to the same school for residency is there but less pronounced, and would mostly be due to increased familiarity with the home school candidates, and perhaps the thought that local grads are more interested in staying for residency, plus the logistical factors as Edict mentioned above.

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7 minutes ago, Lactic Folly said:

I think there is a definite advantage in doing postgraduate training where you want to work, especially if it's a more competitive urban area. For example, you could start tailoring your training to a department's anticipated needs if there is opportunity (e.g. upcoming retirement). That being said, there is still the fellowship phase for many specialties, where you could arrive in a city and start to network that way, albeit on a tighter timeline.

I think the advantage for matching to the same school for residency is there but less pronounced, and would mostly be due to increased familiarity with the home school candidates, and perhaps the thought that local grads are more interested in staying for residency, plus the logistical factors as Edict mentioned above.

 

12 minutes ago, Edict said:

With that being said, these aren't insurmountable, you can almost think of this like playing the same game on easy mode vs normal mode. You can still beat the game on normal mode, but there are always going to be a few people who don't.

OK. So what I'm reading here is this: it's better (slightly, and at a qualitative/subjective level) to go to the MD school that has the residency position you want. BUT, it's not impossible to land residencies anywhere anyways.

So, if I choose the school I want to go to (McGill) and it doesn't align with the school I want a residency at (UofT, maybe - things change in 4 years idk), I'm not at a significant disadvantage, but a potential disadvantage or I lack the potential advantage of going to UofT for my MD. Ultimately, the advantage only comes in through a subjective "who-you-know" type of thing, which (if I did nothing in med school and didn't network at all) may not even happen.

Decision made: going to McGill. Sorry to anyone on the OOP waitlist who wanted my spot!

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4 minutes ago, canada747 said:

 

OK. So what I'm reading here is this: it's better (slightly, and at a qualitative/subjective level) to go to the MD school that has the residency position you want. BUT, it's not impossible to land residencies anywhere anyways.

So, if I choose the school I want to go to (McGill) and it doesn't align with the school I want a residency at (UofT, maybe - things change in 4 years idk), I'm not at a significant disadvantage, but a potential disadvantage or I lack the potential advantage of going to UofT for my MD. Ultimately, the advantage only comes in through a subjective "who-you-know" type of thing, which (if I did nothing in med school and didn't network at all) may not even happen.

Decision made: going to McGill. Sorry to anyone on the OOP waitlist who wanted my spot!

*drives to LCBO.

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6 minutes ago, canada747 said:

 

OK. So what I'm reading here is this: it's better (slightly, and at a qualitative/subjective level) to go to the MD school that has the residency position you want. BUT, it's not impossible to land residencies anywhere anyways.

So, if I choose the school I want to go to (McGill) and it doesn't align with the school I want a residency at (UofT, maybe - things change in 4 years idk), I'm not at a significant disadvantage, but a potential disadvantage or I lack the potential advantage of going to UofT for my MD. Ultimately, the advantage only comes in through a subjective "who-you-know" type of thing, which (if I did nothing in med school and didn't network at all) may not even happen.

Decision made: going to McGill. Sorry to anyone on the OOP waitlist who wanted my spot!

Glad that you made your decision, but for anyone else reading there's one other important point to highlight.

Although you may think you're certain what residency you want, many many many people change their minds during med school. So yes everything mentioned in this thread is true, but if you change your mind then that entire factor is moot. In my view consideration of what city you'd be happiest in can be even more important. If you're enjoying your life you'll have an easier time, potentially making it easier to make connections, explore different specialties and even get better evals if you happier in general.

Also especially for someone who is uncertain about their french skills, give some thought to whether dealing with french patients would be a large source of stress. I'm not saying it's a reason to avoid McGill entirely, but if the idea of communicating with french patients fills you with dread, it's something to think about. If you genuinely want to improve your french along the way it could also be a positive!

 

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20 minutes ago, Hellothere77 said:

Although you may think you're certain what residency you want, many many many people change their minds during med school. So yes everything mentioned in this thread is true, but if you change your mind then that entire factor is moot. In my view consideration of what city you'd be happiest in can be even more important. If you're enjoying your life you'll have an easier time, potentially making it easier to make connections, explore different specialties and even get better evals if you happier in general.

I completely agree - it would be a bad idea to make a present decision based on a future desire that may not be the same when the time comes anyways.
 

20 minutes ago, Hellothere77 said:

Also especially for someone who is uncertain about their french skills, give some thought to whether dealing with french patients would be a large source of stress. I'm not saying it's a reason to avoid McGill entirely, but if the idea of communicating with french patients fills you with dread, it's something to think about. If you genuinely want to improve your french along the way it could also be a positive!

 

Oui, cette idée est trés important! J'aime français, et je peux parle français, mais avec un peu de difficulté. Je crois que je peux devenir bilingue apres quatre ans au Montreal.

Les McGill OOPers ont besoin d'un club pour pratiquer notre français! (ou franglais maintenant lol)

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Just now, canada747 said:

I completely agree - it would be a bad idea to make a present decision based on a future desire that may not be the same when the time comes anyways.
 

Oui, cette idée est trés important! J'aime français, et je peux parle français, mais avec un peu de difficulte. Je crois que je peux devenir bilingue apres quatre ans au Montreal.

Les McGill OOPers ont besoin d'un club pour pratiquer notre français! (ou franglais maintenant lol)

Huh? What that Spanish?

Anyway, if you can get a few sentences out on the fly you're already in a good place. Even some of the anglophones from Quebec have very iffy french, or just haven't used it in a long time. You should be fine, enjoy Montreal!

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8 minutes ago, canada747 said:

Oui, cette idée est trés important! J'aime français, et je peux parle français, mais avec un peu de difficulte. Je crois que je peux devenir bilingue apres quatre ans au Montreal.

Les McGill OOPers ont besoin d'un club pour pratiquer notre français! (ou franglais maintenant lol)

Quand vous seriez à Montreal ou même avant d'y arriver ici, pratiquez sans arrêt avec tout le monde. Aux cafés, restos, et autres personnes.

Étant en Montréal vous permet de vous intégrer et être submergé dans la langue française!

Ainsi faites des activités en Français. Écoutez Netflix en Français, des chansons en Français en lisant les paroles de ces chansons. Et même lire les livres que vous avez déjà lu dans le passé mais maintenant en Français. Vous connaissez déjà le contexte en Anglais mais là vous allez le lire du côté Français.

Profitez-en!

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16 minutes ago, RMTtoRNtoMD said:

Quand vous seriez à Montreal ou même avant d'y arriver ici, pratiquez sans arrêt avec tout le monde. Aux cafés, restos, et autres personnes.

Étant en Montréal vous permet de vous intégrer et être submergé dans la langue française!

Ainsi faites des activités en Français. Écoutez Netflix en Français, des chansons en Français en lisant les paroles de ces chansons. Et même lire les livres que vous avez déjà lu dans le passé mais maintenant en Français. Vous connaissez déjà le contexte en Anglais mais là vous allez le lire du côté Français.

Profitez-en!

Il faut vraiment chercher des opportunités de pratiquer en français à Montréal, car dès qu'on commence à parler avec un accent anglophone, beaucoup de monde vont changer à anglais.  C'est pas la même hors du Montréal.  

One has to seek out opportunities to practice French in Montreal, because the moment one starts speaking with an anglophone accent, many people will switch to English.  It's not the same outside of Montreal.  

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5 minutes ago, marrakech said:

Il faut vraiment chercher des opportunités de pratiquer en français à Montréal, car dès qu'on commence à parler avec un accent anglophone, beaucoup de monde vont changer à anglais.  C'est pas la même hors du Montréal.  

D'accord, ce n'est pas un problème. Si les francophones parlent en anglais avec moi, je vais parler encore en français hahahaha. Ce thread n'est pas sur la topique (UofT v. McGill) originale plus.

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5 minutes ago, marrakech said:

One has to seek out opportunities to practice French in Montreal, because the moment one starts speaking with an anglophone accent, many people will switch to English.  It's not the same outside of Montreal.  

That is true in the tourist parts of Montreal. Maybe one shouldn't practice in a Café during busy hours. But on Uber rides and other calm situations. And ask to speak in French and say that s/he would like to practice the language. Its worth the effort.

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12 minutes ago, RMTtoRNtoMD said:

That is true in the tourist parts of Montreal. Maybe one shouldn't practice in a Café during busy hours. But on Uber rides and other calm situations. And ask to speak in French and say that s/he would like to practice the language. Its worth the effort.

Any neighbourhood downtown or in the "English parts" - yes.  Possibly if one moved more east or north then there'd be more of the immersion experience - although these are further away from McGill.  

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