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How are medical students evaluated at McMaster?

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Pure pass/fail. No formal rankings, although on OSCEs, OSPEs, PPIs, and end of rotation exams you will get information on where you are relative to others.

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Do you have anatomy at McMaster or is it entirely optional?

Are tests short answer or MC? And is there a strict cutoff for passing these or are they qualitatively marked? 

Is the only way to get flagged by having low scores on your progress tests?

Just curious about the Mac curriculum :)

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5 minutes ago, brady23 said:

Do you have anatomy at McMaster or is it entirely optional?

There is anatomy and imaging/POCUS, 2-3 hours every week in some units and every other week in others (although not cadeveric ); bellringers 1-2 times per MF; attendance at both the sessions and the bellringers are optional (I never understood why people didn't go as they are quite usefull for learning).

Are tests short answer or MC? And is there a strict cutoff for passing these or are they qualitatively marked? 

Short answer (in pre-clerkship anyway) about once every 3-4 weeks, there is a grading scheme from 1-5 although it can be rather subjective; but they are for learning and not evaluation per say.

Is the only way to get flagged by having low scores on your progress tests?

Poor results on an OSCE as well or overall poor performance during an MF (and of course professionallism). Not actually sure what happens after though.

Just curious about the Mac curriculum :)

During clerkship for evaluation however there is at minumum a mutiple choice exam at the end of every rotation, often these are NBMEs (an american standardized exam for a specific discipline which is commonly used in canadian med schools) with a cutoff score for passing. Again i'm not sure what happens if you dont pass.

 

I overall would not say that we dont have evaulations; what I would say is that there is not as much of a focus on learning discrete information without integration for the purposes of a test as I see in some of my peers at other schools. This is a great strategy for undergrad courses where a 90 + is the goal, but wont really build consolidation and integration that is key to actually using your strong knowlegebase.

 

 

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On 5/24/2018 at 4:15 PM, brady23 said:

Do you have anatomy at McMaster or is it entirely optional?

The anatomy at Mac is as above, but it is also optional. The other issue is that it isn't great anatomy teaching. Typically, students walk around a few specimens and hear an anatomist talk about them and point things out. Sometimes there is more formal chalkboard based teaching, but generally student-teacher ratio isn't the greatest. The anatomists do their best given the resources they have, but the resources just aren't enough. There are maybe 5 cadavers in total for students and usually 1 or 2 are on display at any given time. The issue is the specimens are in such a state of decay that structures are difficult to identify. We often joke that the health scis get better anatomy teaching than med students do. There is an optional dissection course but medical students have to enter a lottery and there is no priority given to us over other faculty of health science students. Additionally, even if you won the lottery, it often conflicts with tutorials since these aren't coordinated. The bellringers weren't very challenging, it was all very basic anatomy. 

I think the anatomy teaching at Mac is certainly good enough for most doctors, but for any budding surgeons, you would really need to do a lot of studying on your own. 

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1 hour ago, ninja7292 said:

During clerkship for evaluation however there is at minumum a mutiple choice exam at the end of every rotation, often these are NBMEs (an american standardized exam for a specific discipline which is commonly used in canadian med schools) with a cutoff score for passing. Again i'm not sure what happens if you dont pass.

Are these what people call "shelf" exams?

Yes, NBME = shelf

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