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Western Med Sci vs Queen's Life sci


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I got a scholarship for Queen's that covers my entire tuition, but I heard that keeping up a high GPA and getting involved in EC's is super hard in  the life sci program. This option is also a an hour further away from home. Despite being a smaller program (250) the fact that first year classes are 1000+ students is not so appealing about Queen's.

What makes things super conflicting is I also got a scholarship for Western's Medical sciences, which is a bit closer from home but I still have to live in residence. The scholarship here is worth almost $ 14K less. As someone who wants to specialize in neuroscience, Western's research and nsci opportunities would make it the better option. But the financial stability that Queen's provides will give me peace of mind.

So I'm wondering as students who have gone through this whole process, which one do you think offers the best path for a pre-med? Any insight??? 

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  • TimTamTom changed the title to Western Med Sci vs Queen's Life sci

In these situations it's important to be honest - Undergrad literally doesn't matter in the grand scheme imo.
You should consider an UG that may make you employable (ie Nursing, Comp Sci) because you should enter this decision 
ASSUMING you won't get into med right away. Whatever degree is easy for you to get high grades, and balance ECs is the one.

With your scholarships and proximity to home, I'd suggest western as it best situates you to your passion and that will help in ECs and internal motivation, but if finances is that big of a consideration you can't lose with Queens. Along the lines of assuming you don't get in ASAP, lessening the financial burden can help with playing the long game of becoming a doctor without worrying about having to give up prematurely due to financial constraints.

Good luck!

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On 4/29/2021 at 1:17 PM, Understandable said:

In these situations it's important to be honest - Undergrad literally doesn't matter in the grand scheme imo.
You should consider an UG that may make you employable (ie Nursing, Comp Sci) because you should enter this decision 
ASSUMING you won't get into med right away. Whatever degree is easy for you to get high grades, and balance ECs is the one.

With your scholarships and proximity to home, I'd suggest western as it best situates you to your passion and that will help in ECs and internal motivation, but if finances is that big of a consideration you can't lose with Queens. Along the lines of assuming you don't get in ASAP, lessening the financial burden can help with playing the long game of becoming a doctor without worrying about having to give up prematurely due to financial constraints.

Good luck!

 

Thank you for your response! I agree with everything you said, my only concern is whether the neuroscience specialization at Western is really that much better than Queen's that it's worth sacrificing a huge financial scholarship for ¯\_( ❛.❛ )_/¯

Also in response to what you said about undergrad not being important, won't doing a specialization in neuroscience increase someone's chances of matching to a neurology residency further down the line?

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On 4/28/2021 at 8:19 PM, TimTamTom said:

I got a scholarship for Queen's that covers my entire tuition, but I heard that keeping up a high GPA and getting involved in EC's is super hard in  the life sci program. This option is also a an hour further away from home. Despite being a smaller program (250) the fact that first year classes are 1000+ students is not so appealing about Queen's.

What makes things super conflicting is I also got a scholarship for Western's Medical sciences, which is a bit closer from home but I still have to live in residence. The scholarship here is worth almost $ 14K less. As someone who wants to specialize in neuroscience, Western's research and nsci opportunities would make it the better option. But the financial stability that Queen's provides will give me peace of mind.

So I'm wondering as students who have gone through this whole process, which one do you think offers the best path for a pre-med? Any insight??? 

Hey! I responded to you in another thread as well, but I just wanted to let you know that it is super not true that a high GPA and being involved in ECs is hard in Queen's life sci. I know a lot of people from Western med sci and it is a pretty much universal opinion that Western med sci is actually super hard to do well in. Med sci also has larger first year classes than Queen's. Basically your cons about Queen's are actually the cons about Western med sci haha. From the many many people I've talked to, Western med sci is much harder than Queen's life sci and first year classes are definitely bigger at Western 

Also, you can specialize in neuroscience in Queen's life sci as well and do a thesis in it :)

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16 minutes ago, Psych said:

Hey! I responded to you in another thread as well, but I just wanted to let you know that it is super not true that a high GPA and being involved in ECs is hard in Queen's life sci. I know a lot of people from Western med sci and it is a pretty much universal opinion that Western med sci is actually super hard to do well in. Med sci also has larger first year classes than Queen's. Basically your cons about Queen's are actually the cons about Western med sci haha. From the many many people I've talked to, Western med sci is much harder than Queen's life sci and first year classes are definitely bigger at Western 

Also, you can specialize in neuroscience in Queen's life sci as well and do a thesis in it :)

Although I agree that Western does have large classes in 1st year (think 400 ppl in a room), I disagree with the sentiment that it is difficult to do well. About 20% of western med sci grads go to med per year, so it is a program where people can succeed academically. 

However, that being said, I don't think the difference between the neuro departments is enough to forfeit 14 k in tuition. That is more of a consideration that I would take for a grad program. As long as you don't feel super strongly about being closer to home, I would take the full scholarship.

 

souce: i went to western med sci

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5 minutes ago, smalltowncelery said:

Although I agree that Western does have large classes in 1st year (think 400 ppl in a room), I disagree with the sentiment that it is difficult to do well. About 20% of western med sci grads go to med per year, so it is a program where people can succeed academically. 

I totally agree that it's possible to do well (it is in any program), but I also don't think it's fair to say that it's "not difficult" to do well. I've talked to probably 20-30 students in western med sci (many of them in my class) and they've all said that it is a very difficult program. It's good to know that you found it relatively easy, but many didn't! Just something for OP to keep in mind. Of course, it is a fair point that you can do well in any program if you're motivated and interested in the subject material. Many people give the advice that the best program is just the one that you're the most interested in.

Having said all that, I still strongly believe based on my experience and the many people I've talked to that Western med sci is quite a bit more difficult than Queen's life sci. That's not to say that med sci is impossible to do well in, but many people find it difficult. Also, you're not taking into account that there is a lot of selection bias in your 20% go to med school point- western med sci is a program that strongly draws motivated pre-meds who can succeed despite a difficult program so this likely accounts for a lot of the reason why med sci has a high med school matriculation rate

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Just now, Psych said:

I totally agree that it's possible to do well (it is in any program), but also don't think it's fair to say that it's not difficult to do well. I've talked to probably 20-30 students in western med sci (many of them in my class) and they've all said that it is a very difficult program. It's good to know that you found it relatively easy, but many didn't! Just something for OP to keep in mind. Of course, it is a fair point that you can do well in any program if you're motivated and interested in the subject material. Many people give the advice that the best program is just the one that you're the most interested.

Having said all that, I still strongly believe based on my experience and the many people I've talked to that Western med sci is quite a bit more difficult than Queen's life sci. That's not to say that med sci is impossible to do well in, but many people find it difficult. Also, you're not taking into account that there is a lot of selection bias in your 20% go to med school point- western med sci is a program that strongly draws motivated pre-meds who can succeed despite a difficult program so this likely accounts for a lot of the reason why med sci has a high med school matriculation rate

100% I agree with all your points - about the selection bias too. I guess I was also in a smaller specialization (~ 40 people at the end of 4th year) and everyone found it fine but that also could just be the people I knew there! I also don't know anyone from Queens so I can't comment on the relative difficulty.

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27 minutes ago, smalltowncelery said:

100% I agree with all your points - about the selection bias too. I guess I was also in a smaller specialization (~ 40 people at the end of 4th year) and everyone found it fine but that also could just be the people I knew there! I also don't know anyone from Queens so I can't comment on the relative difficulty.

Makes sense! Honestly I think OP would be fine in either program, like I said I think most people give the advice that best program and school to choose is just the one that you think fits your needs and personality the best. I just wanted to make it clear to OP that Queen's is at the very least not more difficult than Western med sci and class sizes aren't any larger (and are probably smaller), since they seemed to have the idea that it was

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey homie, look into the GPA conversion chart (OMSAS? forget what it's called). That will tell you how med schools will consider GPA.
There is a big factor here if Med is your singular goal - some schools have it so 85+ is essentially a similar grade (3.9/4), meaning you can kind of min/max to enhance your GPA with more lifestyle balance. Western used to be good for this, and I think York or some western schools not so great, so can add to your decision.

For your point about neuroscience undergrad, i don't think it will help much to match neuro. It will show long term devotion to the field and can help craft your narrative for interviews/personal statement, but it won't be that big of a competitive advantage - however, if you're interested in neuroscience, you may do well in the courses, and then continue that interest in medicine. In that case, you should do neuroscience cause you like it/ would work hard at it regardless of how it will affect your career down the line.

just my pretentious 2 cents as usual.

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