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8 minutes ago, macgradfaq said:

Honestly, IMO, yes I think a 3 year school would be impacted more than a 4 year school. As explained by other posters, the lack of summer "catchup" is speculated to be a disadvantage. Tbh I dont know how COVID will affect the clinical exposure for all medical schools, though some posters here (rightfully) believe that 4 year schools have more time to recover from COVID.

I can't directly compare to other schools, but for the most part, Mac is pretty tight knit (pre-covid). You spend 5 medical foundations with different groups and get pretty close with them. Same thing goes for clerkship and the stream you are in! There are lots of clubs, IG, and research groups that run from the student body as well. I personally had a great time with my class and have made life long friends. Though, I wouldn't say this is unique to Mac! 

 

thank you!! (i'm out of reactions for the day again)

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6 minutes ago, William Osler said:

In terms of clinical exposure (the most important factor to specialty decision), c2023 will be the lowest priority for Mac Admin. c2021 in clerkship will be the first accommodated back to finish, then c2022 with post MF4 and the beginning of their clerkship in December as well. Horizontal electives will be hard to come by for a long while potentially.

Hey!

I think this is a pretty valid argument, but this would also be similar across most schools.

Idk how it's going to play out and my guess is as good as yours. I do know that Mac admin is receptive to feedback and will host very prompt town halls to gather concerns from classes, and then act on them. 

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2 minutes ago, macgradfaq said:

I think this is a pretty valid argument, but this would also be similar across most schools.

Idk how it's going to play out and my guess is as good as yours. I do know that Mac admin is receptive to feedback and will host very prompt town halls to gather concerns from classes, and then act on them. 

Everyone in first year will def be affected but shadowing as a MS1 at uOttawa or Western isnt as critical as horizontals in pre-clerkship esp in terms of specialty selection. Stream selection takes place in spring 2021 and ideally you would have narrowed down your interests to at least a couple of specialties (Internal and Peds or Peds and Family or Sug and Emerg) by then.

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53 minutes ago, macgradfaq said:

Hi Galaxsci, thanks for the comment!

Yes I did hear about this about C2022. From my knowledge, the required lectures are still grouped up into the mornings? I.e. most afternoons (if no tutorial) off to do at-least a half day of horizontals (pre-covid). Overall, you are correct and that there is less time for horizontals as compared to the past classes. I personally think it may be more than other schools though! 

However, If you are in C2022 I'm sure you can attest to this more than myself :)

Yep exactly! Still a reasonable amount of time to do the shadowing, but not as much as previous classes had and quite similar to other schools like Ottawa and Toronto (though I know Queens has quite a bit less than these three).

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1 hour ago, William Osler said:

Everyone in first year will def be affected but shadowing as a MS1 at uOttawa or Western isnt as critical as horizontals in pre-clerkship esp in terms of specialty selection. Stream selection takes place in spring 2021 and ideally you would have narrowed down your interests to at least a couple of specialties (Internal and Peds or Peds and Family or Sug and Emerg) by then.

c2022 here chiming in about stream selection. Our actual final streams are on hold for now as they reconfigure what clerkship is going to be like. They could have matched us and then switched streams, but they listened to feedback and will actually re-open stream rankings once again once the final reconfiguration can be made. 

Speculating here - given that horizontals will likely be hard to come by for a while, I imagine the timeline for stream selection could be requested to be pushed back as well to allow adequate time for career exploration. 

Also clerkship itself has been completely revamped - so while previously upper years did not complete some core rotations before CARMS, there will all cores completed before the CARMS deadline. Furthermore, with CARMS 8-week limit not even coming into effect until this 2021 cycle, the stress for getting all your electives in before CARMS is likely even less across the board. 

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1 hour ago, Psych said:

I've seen a lot of people mentioning having to choose a "stream" for clerkship- what exactly does this mean? Do you do different rotations depending on your stream? What streams are available, and when do you have to choose them? Thanks!

1) McMaster Future with COVID in Clerkship

Streams are the order of clerkship "cores" that you take which are mandatory. At McMaster this includes 2-6 week rotations in the following medical specialties: Obsetrics/Gynecology, Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, General Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Anesthesia, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Emergency Medicine. In addition, they determine when your "clerkship electives" which are the most important part of building an application in a specialty of your choice. You would get about approx. 16 weeks of clerkship electives in any specialty of your choice. 

You have to choose them in March 2021 and they typically cause a signficant amount of anxiety/stress for medical students a month before the due date. This is because there are 8 options that you rank to get in another lottery (yes I know, another lottery at Mac sorry. There's a lot of them at Mac)

To answer you question, no you don't do different rotations based on your stream, BUT the ORDER changes. This is extremely important for residency applications. For example, let's say you are wanting pediatrics. In this case, you would need to really sit down and think about when your pediatrics core rotation is because you will want to do well in that to get your training to go to other schools and compete across Canada for a spot or you will want to do well to get a good reference letter. This also relates to specialties I didn't list as well. For example, cardiac surgery will want internal medicine and general surgery before your electives to get enough experience so that you don't look stupid on your electives. This is very complex and is very much something that comes with time. 

Most important part is choosing these streams/order of your mandatory clerkship rotations and electives is very dependent on what specialty you want in the future. Unfortunately, due to COVID, you will most likely not be able to narrow down specialties by the time of entering the stream ranking lottery. You will most likely have to guess and take risks of not matching to a specialty you like down the line if it is something even averagely competitive.

2) McMaster Compared to Other Schools for Training and Clerkship

COVID has really messed up McMaster's approach to being the kind of doctor you want because there are no summers and less time in training. In schools like Ottawa, Toronto, UBC, and Western, you have much more training in a borader range of specialties, you have the summers to decide and explore, and there is a buffer zone to make up for COVID. Unfortunately at McMaster there is no buffer zone for extenuating circumstances so you might be screwed by this when deciding your future (which is in less than a year). 

Choosing your stream is not the only factor but it is the start of a series of choices and lotteries you enter that determine your fate and all relate to one another. Your first year will be online and because of that you will have to make uninformed decisions/lotteries that affect your lifelong career since there are no summers available.

I'm very sorry that your experience won't be the same as others before you because of McMaster's curriculum format. If any questions, please PM or quote me. Hope this helps. 

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5 minutes ago, Dr.Strange said:

This is because there are 8 options that you rank to get in another lottery (yes I know, another lottery at Mac sorry. There's a lot of them at Mac)

Just want to point out that a ranked lottery is how clerkship streams are determined for most medical schools and to omit that and take advantage of the buzz around the word "lottery" is misleading. 

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3 minutes ago, premed647 said:

Just want to point out that a ranked lottery is how clerkship streams are determined for most medical schools and to omit that and take advantage of the buzz around the word "lottery" is misleading. 

Wait till they find out that Post MF4s are handed out by lottery... (yes, an actual lottery that had some receive 4 electives and other receive 0)

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4 minutes ago, premed647 said:

Just want to point out that a ranked lottery is how clerkship streams are determined for most medical schools and to omit that and take advantage of the buzz around the word "lottery" is misleading. 

This is true but the difference at McMaster is that you are rushed for time to decide a specialty compared to other schools which is why the consequences of lotteries are much more relevant. 

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1 hour ago, Psych said:

I've seen a lot of people mentioning having to choose a "stream" for clerkship- what exactly does this mean? Do you do different rotations depending on your stream? What streams are available, and when do you have to choose them? Thanks!

In addition to what @Dr.Strange said, stream determines order of cores which is important because depending on your specialty of choice for electives, other schools reuire you to have certain cores done before you can take part in those electives at other schools. 

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1 minute ago, William Osler said:

Wait till they find out that Post MF4s are handed out by lottery... (yes, an actual lottery that had some receive 4 electives and other receive 0)

This is also true but for people who aren't aware, Post-MF4s are clinical experiences that people use to determine specialties down the line. Like I said, lots of lotteries, it is just a reality of McMaster that has been worsed becaused of COVID 

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1 minute ago, William Osler said:

Wait till they find out that Post MF4s are handed out by lottery... (yes, an actual lottery that had some receive 4 electives and other receive 0)

This is also misleading. Most post-MF4 electives are secured by students submitting applications to placement contacts. The ranked lottery is a work in progress that not all specialties and all locations have signed on for yet, which is why few people receive their electives through the lottery. 

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3 minutes ago, premed647 said:

This is also misleading. Most post-MF4 electives are secured by students submitting applications to placement contacts. The ranked lottery is a work in progress that not all specialties and all locations have signed on for yet, which is why few people receive their electives through the lottery. 

This is misleading. Just to name a few McMaster Post-MF4 specialty lotteries: Family medicine, palliative care, pediatrics, urology, internal medicine, neurology, obsetrics and gynecology, etc. 

I love McMaster but be realistic to people during COVID instead of painting a reality that will be different for them. They should be prepared for their future as McMaster students

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A word to applicants in general - be wary of those who paint an overly optimistic or overly pessimistic view of a certain school. The reality is never that black or white. Be especially wary of what you hear on a public forum, where people can hide behind a keyboard and write whatever they want without having to stand behind their words. Question their intentions and whether they have your best interests in heart. Whatever you hear, corroborate it by asking real people you know. If you don't know anyone personally, all the schools have Facebook groups. Make posts or message upper years. Regardless of which medical school it is, we would be happy to help you and connect you to the right resources. 

 

And as a final note - congratulations. You've made it very far and you should all be proud of yourselves. 

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5 minutes ago, premed647 said:

A word to applicants in general - be wary of those who paint an overly optimistic or overly pessimistic view of a certain school. The reality is never that black or white. Be especially wary of what you hear on a public forum, where people can hide behind a keyboard and write whatever they want without having to stand behind their words. Question their intentions and whether they have your best interests in heart. Whatever you hear, corroborate it by asking real people you know. If you don't know anyone personally, all the schools have Facebook groups. Make posts or message upper years. Regardless of which medical school it is, we would be happy to help you and connect you to the right resources. 

 

And as a final note - congratulations. You've made it very far and you should all be proud of yourselves. 

Of course reality is never that black and white, agreed. All schools are good but you have to know who you are as a person and how COVID will affect YOU. 

Instead of questioning intentions, how about disproving anything people have said. Everything said is available to them or will be in the near future through Medportal they can check for themselves. 

Talking to people is always better I do agree, but remember that people will always leave stuff out about the curricum in person because of fear of getting in trouble about giving valid criticism. Just look what happened to the guy who wrote a feedback letter to McMaster in the class of 2022.  

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2 minutes ago, Dr.Strange said:

Of course reality is never that black and white, agreed. All schools are good but you have to know who you are as a person and how COVID will affect YOU. 

Instead of questioning intentions, how about disproving anything people have said. Everything said is available to them or will be in the near future through Medportal they can check for themselves. 

Talking to people is always better I do agree, but remember that people will always leave stuff out about the curricum in person because of fear of getting in trouble about giving valid criticism. Just look what happened to the guy who wrote a feedback letter to McMaster in the class of 2022.  

What’s this letter thing? Sounds spicy 

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4 minutes ago, penguin1234 said:

What are competitive specialities? Would you be able to rank all of them in terms of competitiveness?

In addition, how do we find out what cores are needed before electives in specific specialties? Like someone mentioned that cardiac surgery will want internal medicine and general surgery? 

This changes every year slightly - go to carms.ca Data to see the different specialties and their associated match rates. Derm, Plastics, Ophtho, Emerg, ENT are the classic suspects 

To find out what cores are required before electives at each school, go to the AFMC student portal website for the school and specialty to see their requirements. 

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3 hours ago, IMislove said:

What’s this letter thing? Sounds spicy 

The letter is not the FAQ, it was a letter sent it by a lower year student giving feedback about the new curriculum after it was encouraged by the program and he was in a worse situation for doing so. I didn't agree with all of it (like how he should have chosen another school over McMaster) but he gave a lot of valid criticism and didn't like how McMaster wasn't transparent with new curriculum making lectures (that people didn't like in the past) mandatory before accepting offers.

2 hours ago, penguin1234 said:

What are competitive specialities? Would you be able to rank all of them in terms of competitiveness?

In addition, how do we find out what cores are needed before electives in specific specialties? Like someone mentioned that cardiac surgery will want internal medicine and general surgery? 

 

Competitive Specialties (there are total about 33 including subdivisions) Include: 

1-most competitive) Ophthalmology

2) Dermatology

3) Cardiac Surgery

4) Emergency Medicine

5) Neurosurgery

6) Plastic Surgery

7) Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery (ENT)

8) Neurology - Pediatric

9) Nuclear Medicine

10) Vascular Surgery

11) Obstetrics and Gynecology

12) Anesthesiology

13) Radiation Oncology

14) Pediatrics

15) Neurology PHPM including FM

16) General Surgery

17) Psychiatry

18) Diagnostic Radiology

.

.

.

~33-the least competitive) Always Family Medicine

There are lots of specialties that bounce around. For example, Orthapaedic surgery and urology weren't compeittive this year but historically have been very compeittive. Sometimes Physical Medicine and Internal medicine can be competitive but it changes year to year. 

For reference for evidence: https://www.carms.ca/pdfs/2020-carms-forum.pdf

Also note that these are stats across the country. If you want a particular school or geographical location, then things get much more comeptitive. For example, even family medicine in Torotno can be competitive despite it being the least comeptitive overall as a field across the country. Same applies to general fields like Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. 

To answer your question about core requirements, go here: https://www.afmcstudentportal.ca/

Note: What AFMC is telling you is what is mandatory but doesn't tell you what makes you a good student to impress on references. For example, maybe they don't require general surgery at some places, but those suturing skills are going to be damn necessary to impress in any kind of surgical specialty and you would learn that mostly on your core. 

 

 

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