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Hey!

Have you considered Biomed at Trent? Thats the program I graduated from and I'm now at Schulich Med. The biomed program has the advantage of an internship in your fourth year - I was able to rotate through 6 different specialties shadowing physicians and spent 10-20 hours at the hospital a week in my second semester. This resulted in a lot of great advice and mentorship. I was the student representative on the biology department committee while I was there so I can assure you that Trent is working hard on building up their repertoire of 'medically focused' classes. I took histology, pathophys, immunology, pharmacology, developmental biology, and a lot of other very cool courses and felt that they were a huge part of my preparation to take the MCAT.  Now that I'm in med school they've also served as a fantastic foundation.

Trent was an amazing experience and theres so much opportunity. I was on the rowing team after trying it out as a novice in my first year, and ended up being the president of the club in my fourth year. I also had awesome reference letters because I was so close to my professors. As for like minded people, I found a lot of friends with the same work ethic as me even if they were headed different directions. I've heard horror stories about 'pre-meds' and how cut throat it can get at other schools (not saying every school is like this, just some individual stories I've heard) and I didn't experience any of that at Trent. It was a super supportive environment all around. I also think the hands on curriculum is a huge advantage because I learned so much about writing lab reports, which has translated well to writing articles for journal submission. In terms of sending students to professional schools I graduated from the first cohort of biomed, there were ten of us and four of us are now attending medical school and others have been attending multiple interviews this cycle (which would be their second cycle applying). There are also a few of us at very well respected masters programs across the country. 

I'm obviously biased towards Trent, but the opportunities and connections that you'll make at a small school will definitely allow you stand out when applying to med - they did for me! Trent is super undergraduate focused which is why you don't see them all over the research world like you might at other schools, but thats hugely advantageous when you're looking for summer research, a thesis advisor, etc...

If you want to chat more about Trent or have any questions DM me! 

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Hey, I did western med sci and it sounds like you have a really solid understanding of the pros and cons of the program! Just a note on one thing you said in the beginning, you're right in saying that about 20-30% of the people who make it into 3rd year med sci actually go to med, which is only about 50-60% of the people who initially started med sci in 1st year. If it were up to me, I had a great time in med sci and would do it again, but there are people in my class who "took the road less travelled by" and went to smaller schools like Guelph or Trent and still ended up in the same place. Feel free to DM with any questions! 

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The first two years of Western Med Sci were the easiest in the whole 4 years. If you're going for a GPA competitive for medical school, that's the least of your worries. Honestly it's probably an advantage tbh because if you can't make the average, it's a good wake up call at 2nd year to either radically change up your studying habits or your career path. Of your entire list of pros/con, I think the main reason to pick Western is because you will have more liked-minded classmates. People who don't want medicine are going to get cheesed if you voice your dissatisfaction with a 70-79 grade, whereas premeds understand completely. Also, competition isn't a necessarily bad thing.  It's good to have people with the same goal in mind around; it keeps you up to date and on your toes.

As for how 'hands-on' a course is, IMO the fewer labs the better. These are useful skills for certain fields of basic science research, not medicine.

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On 4/24/2020 at 2:07 PM, CHG said:

Hey!

Have you considered Biomed at Trent? Thats the program I graduated from and I'm now at Schulich Med. The biomed program has the advantage of an internship in your fourth year - I was able to rotate through 6 different specialties shadowing physicians and spent 10-20 hours at the hospital a week in my second semester. This resulted in a lot of great advice and mentorship. I was the student representative on the biology department committee while I was there so I can assure you that Trent is working hard on building up their repertoire of 'medically focused' classes. I took histology, pathophys, immunology, pharmacology, developmental biology, and a lot of other very cool courses and felt that they were a huge part of my preparation to take the MCAT.  Now that I'm in med school they've also served as a fantastic foundation.

Trent was an amazing experience and theres so much opportunity. I was on the rowing team after trying it out as a novice in my first year, and ended up being the president of the club in my fourth year. I also had awesome reference letters because I was so close to my professors. As for like minded people, I found a lot of friends with the same work ethic as me even if they were headed different directions. I've heard horror stories about 'pre-meds' and how cut throat it can get at other schools (not saying every school is like this, just some individual stories I've heard) and I didn't experience any of that at Trent. It was a super supportive environment all around. I also think the hands on curriculum is a huge advantage because I learned so much about writing lab reports, which has translated well to writing articles for journal submission. In terms of sending students to professional schools I graduated from the first cohort of biomed, there were ten of us and four of us are now attending medical school and others have been attending multiple interviews this cycle (which would be their second cycle applying). There are also a few of us at very well respected masters programs across the country. 

I'm obviously biased towards Trent, but the opportunities and connections that you'll make at a small school will definitely allow you stand out when applying to med - they did for me! Trent is super undergraduate focused which is why you don't see them all over the research world like you might at other schools, but thats hugely advantageous when you're looking for summer research, a thesis advisor, etc...

If you want to chat more about Trent or have any questions DM me! 

Thank you so much for all the info! I'm defiantly on board with going to Trent now. :)

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I honestly very much regret going to Western for  Medsci. Contrary to what someone else said, the first two years were much harder than upper years (all of my friends also agree on this). The professors make it so impossible to get 90+ and when you go to them for help, 9 times out of 10 they treat you like garbage. You really have to consider the cohort your competing against, and the mentality they have. Of course, it’s great to have friends who are equally motivated, but sometimes this competitiveness becomes so toxic. I’ve heard of someone who purposely changed notes before giving them out so that other people do badly and it is well known within western to not trust “med sci kids.” I still did fairly well in the first couple of years, but the environment that I was in was not what I had hoped. In upper years, I managed to pull off nearly all 90’s because you really start to understand your strengths and best way to study, but if I could go back I definitely would not choose this program. Although western does send a lot of students to medical schools, I believe it’s because there are way more people who want to go to medical school at Western than at Trent for example. Just my two cents! 

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