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Hi all, I'm from Ontario and have been lucky enough to receive two offer of admissions this year. One from McMaster for the Waterloo campus (not my first choice) and one from UBC for the Vancouver campus. 

I don't know which one to accept. I don't know what type of specialty I want to do yet, and I've heard if that's the case then 3 year programs like Mac aren't a good choice. I'm also not thrilled about being at the Waterloo campus. However it is pretty close to home which is a plus. 

Vancouver is a beautiful place and ubc is a great campus. I like that it's 4 years which will give me time to do a little more exploring for what I want to do. But I'm worried about the cost of living there and the fact that it's far from my family and that I have 0 connections out there. Not even a friend of a friend of a friend lol. 

One other lesser thing on my mind is that if I accept ubc and not McMaster then I can remain on Western's waitlist (I'm SWOMEN and would perfer to stay in London/do a 4 yr program). I mean this is not really shaping my desicison but it's something. 

Can anyone give any insight into which they think is a better program /what other things I should consider? 

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2 minutes ago, KingKunta_chickenwings said:

Hi all, I'm from Ontario and have been lucky enough to receive two offer of admissions this year. One from McMaster for the Waterloo campus (not my first choice) and one from UBC for the Vancouver campus. 

I don't know which one to accept. I don't know what type of specialty I want to do yet, and I've heard if that's the case then 3 year programs like Mac aren't a good choice. I'm also not thrilled about being at the Waterloo campus. However it is pretty close to home which is a plus. 

Vancouver is a beautiful place and ubc is a great campus. I like that it's 4 years which will give me time to do a little more exploring for what I want to do. But I'm worried about the cost of living there and the fact that it's far from my family and that I have 0 connections out there. Not even a friend of a friend of a friend lol. 

One other lesser thing on my mind is that if I accept ubc and not McMaster then I can remain on Western's waitlist (I'm SWOMEN and would perfer to stay in London/do a 4 yr program). I mean this is not really shaping my desicison but it's something. 

Can anyone give any insight into which they think is a better program /what other things I should consider? 

One, congrats! Two, UBC does require you to make a non-refundable $1000 deposit if you accept, so I suppose the deadline  for that would influence things as well?

Three, Vancouver is a bit more expensive to live in, but I would pick the type of learning your best suited towards over costs, since Vancouver is still doable. You will almost certainly connect with other med students. Everyone I spoke to at every one of my interviews felt that their cohort was the best part about med school. You're going to be around mostly super awesome people, so I wouldn't worry about being lonely or not having a support network too much. I moved to Ottawa from BC for my undergrad knowing no one and I am still friends with the people I met during that time even though they all live in Toronto now and I'm back in BC.

UBC's curriculum is that spiral schedule, with a mix between PBL and lectures. Mac is just CBL afaik. Think of all the differences between the schools/locations and put them into a pros and cons list! That can help clarify things :) 

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I have the exact same issue but in reverse. Also accepted to Mac and UBC but I am from UBC with all my family and support here. The main push to Mac is the 3 year program as I am already a bit older, but I also feel like the extra time to figure out what I want to do in a 4 year program is a big plus... Really conflicted about the 3 year vs 4 year program as a non-traditional/older student. 

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Im in the exact same situation with an offer from UBC and Mac's Waterloo Campus. I did my undergrad at UBC and my friends and family are all here so that was enough to sway me. But I personally think BC is fantastically beautiful and amazing in general which often makes up for the cost. In terms of connections here, you will def find a good friend group at UBC very quickly, we are very friendly. For me the other big issue is that I don't know what I want and I may want something competitive which makes UBC's program a much better personal choice.

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Regardless of what you decide, wait until the deadline for accepting, at least in past years some Ontario schools release a few waitlist offers before the deadline. 

Personally, I would recommend choosing UBC. You will make friends there and enjoy it. Vancouver is a beautiful city with so much to do and if it means anything to you, very few people I know from Vancouver ever want to leave. You also get 4 years to make your decision and the curriculum at UBC sounds fantastic. UBC has an unbelievable amount of elective time, which is absolutely great if you do end up wanting to match back to Ontario as well. You get the advantage also of having all the specialties available and accessible to explore and do research with and you also get in person lectures. There have been ongoing problems with the VC system at the Mac regional sites for years and despite student concerns, these issues still remain unaddressed or partially addressed. I think it definitely hurts the learning experience somewhat.

Another thing to consider and this will depend on you, is do you prefer the bigger class vs smaller class sizes. Personally, I prefer the larger classes because they are great for people who like to socialize as well as for people who like to remain anonymous, and you always feel like you are involved and not left out. 

Leaving home won't be easy, but I personally think this is a great opportunity to do it and if you do want to come back for residency, the strong foundations and ample elective time (albeit with some out of province restrictions i believe) will help you match back.  

 

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4 hours ago, RainbowKitten said:

I have the exact same issue but in reverse. Also accepted to Mac and UBC but I am from UBC with all my family and support here. The main push to Mac is the 3 year program as I am already a bit older, but I also feel like the extra time to figure out what I want to do in a 4 year program is a big plus... Really conflicted about the 3 year vs 4 year program as a non-traditional/older student. 

I think you have very valid and reasonable points. May I ask, are you a non-traditional student in the sense of doing a non-science undergraduate degree? 

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12 hours ago, Edict said:

I think you have very valid and reasonable points. May I ask, are you a non-traditional student in the sense of doing a non-science undergraduate degree? 

In both senses. I am a little on the older side (28) and also from a non-science undergraduate degree. 

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I would go for UBC and their 4 yr program, which will give you the time to choose where to land a career. Not having friends there is not an issue. I too had to move for med school where I knew nobody. I bonded with several classmates and we became and remain best friends, although now as residents we are all over and rarely see each other, but make the effort for marriages and special events. Having the extra time will give you space I. Which to select your field. A little about myself, I knew what specialty I wanted since a child, interviewed and did not get it. However, I also applied for FM which I knew I would thoroughly enjoy; and for a competitive surgical specialty that I never gave a thought to 6 weeks before CaRMS application deadline. Bottom line, I was open minded and flexible, I applied to three different fields, each one of which would have made me happy, and the surgical specialty chose me. Become minded, don’t worry about your age, take the 4 yr program, enjoy med school and enjoy r & r only during summers, and choose more than one field.

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Thank you everyone for your input! I really appreciate everyone's comments here.

 

@Persephone Thank you! It was a good idea to take a look at the actual curriculum. I like how UBC's curriculum looks much better, and I think that it's better suited for me. 

@RainbowKitten Congrats on your offers! I get where you're coming from. I've seen on here that slightly older students tend to lean towards the 3 year program. But then again it is not exactly easy to uproot yourself. I wish you the best in making your decision! 

@FlameGrilledChicken Congrats on your offers as well! Your points about staying in BC make good sense. 

@Edict @Bambi Thanks for the insight. Everything has me leaning towards UBC, mainly the extra time in a 4 year program and benefits associated with this, being on a main campus, opportunity to make great new friends and the fact that the province seems like an amazing place to live. The only things I'm concerned about are a) being in a large class size. I'm definitely someone who thrives in smaller groups, but I get the sense that the large group tends to break up into smaller ones as the school year starts (things like tutorials, small group learning, everyone finding their social group). The other thing I'm worried about is cost of living. I know that I'll be able to pay for everything with a line of credit but it worries me to be in so much debt. I'm sure I'll be able to pay it off eventually but something about being in a large amount of debt bothers me. It's mainly psychological though, and comes from the fact that I come from a very low income background. But this is something I'm going to have to just accept I suppose, no matter where I end up going.

Overall I'm heavily leaning towards UBC. @FlameGrilledChicken @RainbowKitten if you guys are at VFMP and end up accepting it we might be classmates!

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On 5/12/2018 at 2:18 PM, RainbowKitten said:

In both senses. I am a little on the older side (28) and also from a non-science undergraduate degree. 

If you are a non-science graduate, I would really recommend considering UBC. There are a lot of added challenges as a non-science graduate in adapting to the Mac PBL system. One of the big issues is the fast paced nature, for example, one of the first lectures you will have will be on cardiac arrhythmias and there is some expectation that you understand the basics of the heart to understand the lecture. The other issue is that because people come from different backgrounds into Mac, the PBL system often means most groups will have mostly people who did science undergrads and occasionally someone with a Masters/PhD in science and someone with a non-science background. This can result in some growing pains when it comes to deciding what objectives to focus on in tutorials. I've heard of some non-science graduates being disappointed with PBL tutorial groups for that reason. 

Ultimately, i think being near your family, having time to decide the specialty and the UBC curriculum would outweigh the year you save by going to McMaster. 

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I too come from a low income family, I have lived off debt since leaving high school, I have what I consider an enormous debt now in residency, I am not concerned as it will be paid of after residency. It is not an issue. I like where you are leaning. :P

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For me personally, being close to home was important. Med school will be draining at times, and it was rejuvenating being close to family and friends.

Also, if you do want to stay close to home for residency, that's more likely by going to that school.

Either way, a tough decision but congrats! 

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