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3 hours ago, OT98 said:

Hi everyone, I just finalized my decision to accept Mac's OT offer. Wondering if there are there any Facebook groups made for our class?

Hi! Congrats on choosing Mac!! Just wondering what made you choose Mac? I'm currently deciding between Mac, Western, and UofT but having a tough time deciding. I would really appreciate anyone's insights when comparing these three schools.

 

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Hi everyone!  I am also trying to decide between accepting an offer from Western vs. McMaster so I was hoping to hear more input on the pros and cons for each university! As of right now the

That's amazing, congratulations!! As of right now I think I'm leaning more towards Queens. I'm actually from London and kind of want to get out of the city and experience new things. However if I went

Hello Everyone,  I wanted to create this forum to discuss the pros and cons of OT schools in Ontario. Hopefully this forum can help us make decisions and meet new people haha! 

19 hours ago, Justacityboy said:

Does anyone have any insight on the availability of pediatric placements in the Ontario schools? I’m super interested in working with kids with autism so wondering if one school has more potential for peds placements than the others?

Well, the Sick Kids Hospital is in Toronto and it is an amazing site to do any form of paediatrics placement/practicum. It is a world renowned research hospital that is known for being quite innovative. 

 

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4 hours ago, bzzbzz said:

Hi! Congrats on choosing Mac!! Just wondering what made you choose Mac? I'm currently deciding between Mac, Western, and UofT but having a tough time deciding. I would really appreciate anyone's insights when comparing these three schools.

 

I was deciding between UofT and Mac, and I chose Mac mainly for it's location & catchment area. I feel both are great schools and have heard good things about the OT program at both, but McMaster will be more convenient for me in the long run. It's a hard decision! Are you currently leaning towards either one?

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On 5/14/2021 at 7:41 PM, OTOThopeful said:

I don't know much about the UofT program but here are my personal pros and cons for McMaster:

pros - beautiful campus, Northern Studies Stream, overall good program reputation 

cons - seems like a lack of international placement options, not a big fan of Hamilton, I had a friend who did her undergrad here so I visited a lot and it seemed to me that most housing near the campus is run-down with many people (6+) living in one house

could be a pro OR a con - PBL (honestly don't know if this style of learning will suit me well or not haha) + lots of presentations and oral communication in this program (I really dislike oral evaluations but might be good for me in the end to get used to this)

Thank you! these are good points. I did end up deciding on Mac, and I'll be commuting so don't need to worry about student housing.  I'm hoping PBL will be more of a pro than a con, that style of learning does appeal to me! Where are you accepting?

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11 hours ago, OT1999 said:

Hi everyone!

I applied to McMaster, UofT, and Queens, and was accepted to all 3. I’m still unsure of where I want to go but I’m 90% sure it’s UofT. 
To me, the placement opportunities are too good to pass up. I’ve talked to OTs who say that you want the biggest and best placement sites as a student so that you can learn the most during those years. They also look great on your resume when you’re applying to jobs after grad. 
As for the educational experience, someone currently in the program has given me tons of insight. The profs are the best in the field and recognized worldwide. Even though it is the biggest program, they care deeply about student mental health and make time to talk to students if they’re struggling. She even mentioned that profs remembered what she wrote her personal statement about. I was worried about all of this when I was considering UofT but it honestly sounds like the faculty is done amazing, and they have done a great job of online teaching too. 
Also for me, I’m excited to have the opportunity to live in downtown Toronto during my early 20s and make some memories :)

So those are my thoughts! McMaster is still definitely on my radar, but Queens isn’t because I don’t love their whole “small town placement” thing. I’m a member of the Queens Facebook group, and if anyone knows of one for UofT or Mac I would really appreciate it! 

I’m also mainly deciding between UofT and Mac! Not really Queen’s because I’ve heard their curriculum is not as up-to-date at least in terms of innovating the field. For example, UofT encourages LEAP placements where OTs don’t traditionally work and I believe Mac also does the same (through what they shared at their cafe-open house). Queen’s program is more the traditional work-in-hospitals route which is just a little less appealing to me. I’m from GTA area so Hamilton just has the appeal of novelty to me whereas I do think UofT would afford “superior” placements. I think I’m 60-40% for UofT right now!

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20 hours ago, OT98 said:

Hi everyone, I just finalized my decision to accept Mac's OT offer. Wondering if there are there any Facebook groups made for our class?

I am also accepting Mac's OT offer - haven't seen a Facebook group yet but would you want to start a group chat?

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1 minute ago, OT1999 said:

I would love to join a group chat as well! :)

OK do you guys just want a FB messenger chat? PM me with your Facebook names (and maybe what your profile pic is in case a few names come up) and I can make one. it will be for Mac students

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On 5/14/2021 at 11:08 AM, Keke said:

Hi Guys,

I got accepted into OT for Queens but I am debating whether to accept or not. I was offered a full time permanent job as a research coordinator (managing all facets of a study) at one of the top research institute in Ontario.

Pros of this job: stable, permanent, benefits, growth opportunities, working in healthcare along physicians and making contributions towards the future of healthcare-- and right out of undergrad a really good position to be in. 

OT obviously has many pros as well and it was something I wanted to do undergrad. Im just on the fence because I know how hard it is to secure a full time permanent position esp during COVID Era. But I'm not sure if I should give up going to OT school for this?

Any advice would be appreciated. 

Hi there,

I'm so glad I came across your post because I'm in a similar boat. I have been a research coordinator for less than a year and see a lot of career advances in this stream and am also passionate about it. I have been somewhat iffy about OT school but applied anyway. I'm on the waitlist for UofT and now I'm wondering what the best move is if by chance I get an offer. I love to hear what you end up doing, best of luck :) 

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20 hours ago, bzzbzz said:

Hi! Congrats on choosing Mac!! Just wondering what made you choose Mac? I'm currently deciding between Mac, Western, and UofT but having a tough time deciding. I would really appreciate anyone's insights when comparing these three schools.

 

Hey i’m also having a tough time deciding between mac and western! The international opportunities at western are quite interesting & I have a lot of friends that have gone there and loved it so i’m definitely being swayed in that direction but would love to hear your opinions and discuss further pros and cons! 

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51 minutes ago, OptimisticOT22 said:

Hey i’m also having a tough time deciding between mac and western! The international opportunities at western are quite interesting & I have a lot of friends that have gone there and loved it so i’m definitely being swayed in that direction but would love to hear your opinions and discuss further pros and cons! 

With the current situation in the world I don’t know how great the international opportunities will be unfortunately! I mentioned before but my friend just graduated from Mac and has an amazing program and she has a great full time job and thriving! Also my friend got into western for psych masters and has said housing prices are insane and had been difficult to find a place. I don’t know if any of this helps ! But goodluck

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10 minutes ago, OTap said:

With the current situation in the world I don’t know how great the international opportunities will be unfortunately! I mentioned before but my friend just graduated from Mac and has an amazing program and she has a great full time job and thriving! Also my friend got into western for psych masters and has said housing prices are insane and had been difficult to find a place. I don’t know if any of this helps ! But goodluck

Definitely something to consider! Thank you for this, I guess i’m worried about PBL AT mac since I have never experienced it and it’s not something i’m used to! Congrats to your friends, I hope she is able to find some housing

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14 minutes ago, OptimisticOT22 said:

Definitely something to consider! Thank you for this, I guess i’m worried about PBL AT mac since I have never experienced it and it’s not something i’m used to! Congrats to your friends, I hope she is able to find some housing

I think PBL is different and interesting, especially cause it’s different from other schools. My friend that went there didn’t have any issues with this learning approach and clearly helped in a beneficial way due to her current situation of getting a job right away. - and thanks so do I!!

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On 5/16/2021 at 4:51 PM, OT98 said:

I was deciding between UofT and Mac, and I chose Mac mainly for it's location & catchment area. I feel both are great schools and have heard good things about the OT program at both, but McMaster will be more convenient for me in the long run. It's a hard decision! Are you currently leaning towards either one?

Hi! Both are definitely super good schools! I feel like I change my mind everyday. So great to hear you were able to come to the best decision for you. 

Originally, I was leaning towards Western, but now feel like I am leaning towards Mac?? I really felt like I got a good impression of McMaster from the student preview days, interviews, and applicant cafe. I just feel like the teachers, clinicians and students are all super proud of their program, which is a nice feeling. I am a bit wary of PBL, but hope it just better prepares you for your career. 

I got the impression that UofT's curriculum is heavily theory based, which I don't know if I would like as much, but is hard to tell without being in the program. Living in Toronto also feels like both a pro and a con, so I'm not sure where I land on that. Any thoughts are super welcome! 

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7 hours ago, OptimisticOT22 said:

Hey i’m also having a tough time deciding between mac and western! The international opportunities at western are quite interesting & I have a lot of friends that have gone there and loved it so i’m definitely being swayed in that direction but would love to hear your opinions and discuss further pros and cons! 

I agree the international opportunities at Western sound incredible. I know it might be less likely an option with the pandemic, but I am kind of hoping things will start to improve by the time we are in the program. :)

That's so great you have been able to talk to people who are actually in the program! I feel like the biggest struggle for me has been trying to get a read on Western's culture. I felt like Mac's info sessions gave a really good impression of their school pride / culture within the community. Do you have any ideas from your friends of what Western's culture is like? 

Western: 
Pros: international learning opportunities (fingers crossed), mentorship groups (this is my fav part of western's curriculum), intensives let you study a topic more in-depth

McMaster: 
Pros: mandatory mental health placement (personally is a pro, but I guess could be a con depending on your interest), NOSM stream, community clinicians seem very involved in the program
Pro/Con: PBL + SDL - not sure where I land on these lol

For both, I guess we might have to commute far for placements, but struggling to think of cons. Would love to hear what you think!! 

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Hey guys Im thinking of making a FB messenger chat for people accepting Western OT 2021, if you want to be added in it please send me a message with your FB name! I believe the class of 2022 said they would make a facebook page for us around mid-may but we can use this chat to talk to each other until then! 

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Hi everyone! 

I am also trying to decide between accepting an offer from Western vs. McMaster so I was hoping to hear more input on the pros and cons for each university!

As of right now these are the pros/cons that I have gathered:

Western:

Pros: More well-developed international placement opportunities and greater flexibility for applying for these placements throughout the degree (Mac only lets you apply for international opportunities for the final placement, and rarely for the 3rd one); the campus is beautiful; a focus on social justice and inclusion issues; a longer and more flexible break during the summer after 1st year (i.e., it appears that you get 8 weeks off and the option to complete the 8 week placement either in May/June or July/August); the program appears to end a month earlier so it might make you more competitive for job applications.

Cons: the cachement area is more limited for placements; less hands-on opportunities; stricter restrictions for those who have course/program performance issues (i.e., they look at components of grading more closely and don't seem to be as flexible as Mac in terms of opportunities for remediation if you struggle); they don't seem to be as forthcoming with information on the program details (Mac was much more accessible).

McMaster:

Pros: great reputation for being at the forefront of OT research; the faculty and other admin staff seem lovely (very enthusiastic about their program); you end the program with a chance for publication (I've heard that hospitals provide higher starting pay if you have a combo clinical/research background which can lead to other job opportunities); the campus is nice (albeit not as nice as Western in my opinion); PBL appears to mirror case huddles that actually occur in practice for healthcare settings so it seems like it would be beneficial for skill development; more connections to clinicians/chances to work through relevant case discussions and theories with them (Western has the two intensives, but these appear to be fairly similar to the PBL sessions which occur much more often at Mac, and not only in the second year); they appear to emphasize bringing everyone up to speed for an even playing field based on content covered (whereas I found Western's website gave off the impression that they expected you to already have done a decent amount of research before starting the program); the mandatory mental health placement is a definite pro for me as I believe that most physical issues can bilaterally impact on mental health in general, so it would be great experience in preparation for any future job prospect. 

Cons: international placements are less flexible/less advertised; the PBL style does seem intimidating especially given the fact that I'm a mature student who graduated from a much more didactic program back in 2018; the whole self-directed/PBL style of learning seems like a larger time commitment on top of the 16-18 hours of classes (I could be wrong since I can't find anything on Western's website in terms of the time allocated for courses) - I wouldn't mind this, but I'm considering working a job to help finance the degree.

Does anyone have any further input on campus culture/atmosphere, rental costs, or any other topics for comparison? 

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3 hours ago, xxscarlettexx said:

Hi everyone! 

I am also trying to decide between accepting an offer from Western vs. McMaster so I was hoping to hear more input on the pros and cons for each university!

As of right now these are the pros/cons that I have gathered:

Western:

Pros: More well-developed international placement opportunities and greater flexibility for applying for these placements throughout the degree (Mac only lets you apply for international opportunities for the final placement, and rarely for the 3rd one); the campus is beautiful; a focus on social justice and inclusion issues; a longer and more flexible break during the summer after 1st year (i.e., it appears that you get 8 weeks off and the option to complete the 8 week placement either in May/June or July/August); the program appears to end a month earlier so it might make you more competitive for job applications.

Cons: the cachement area is more limited for placements; less hands-on opportunities; stricter restrictions for those who have course/program performance issues (i.e., they look at components of grading more closely and don't seem to be as flexible as Mac in terms of opportunities for remediation if you struggle); they don't seem to be as forthcoming with information on the program details (Mac was much more accessible).

McMaster:

Pros: great reputation for being at the forefront of OT research; the faculty and other admin staff seem lovely (very enthusiastic about their program); you end the program with a chance for publication (I've heard that hospitals provide higher starting pay if you have a combo clinical/research background which can lead to other job opportunities); the campus is nice (albeit not as nice as Western in my opinion); PBL appears to mirror case huddles that actually occur in practice for healthcare settings so it seems like it would be beneficial for skill development; more connections to clinicians/chances to work through relevant case discussions and theories with them (Western has the two intensives, but these appear to be fairly similar to the PBL sessions which occur much more often at Mac, and not only in the second year); they appear to emphasize bringing everyone up to speed for an even playing field based on content covered (whereas I found Western's website gave off the impression that they expected you to already have done a decent amount of research before starting the program); the mandatory mental health placement is a definite pro for me as I believe that most physical issues can bilaterally impact on mental health in general, so it would be great experience in preparation for any future job prospect. 

Cons: international placements are less flexible/less advertised; the PBL style does seem intimidating especially given the fact that I'm a mature student who graduated from a much more didactic program back in 2018; the whole self-directed/PBL style of learning seems like a larger time commitment on top of the 16-18 hours of classes (I could be wrong since I can't find anything on Western's website in terms of the time allocated for courses) - I wouldn't mind this, but I'm considering working a job to help finance the degree.

Does anyone have any further input on campus culture/atmosphere, rental costs, or any other topics for comparison? 

Seems like you may have more pros for mcmaster! I think I’ve mentioned it before but the OT at my clinic really enjoyed mcmaster and said that the PBL was a lot better than the regular learning style. Also I highly doubt international placements will be happening or they will be extremely limited and might not be as great with the pandemic (unfortunately). 
 

Rental costs may be the same but western may be abit more expensive.. my friend is paying 850 per month.. which is insane!! (She’s in a masters there) a family friend of ours just graduated from mcmaster and she enjoyed her time there, found housing easily and liked the culture there.. not too sure about western! 
 

hope this helps in some way! 

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21 hours ago, xxscarlettexx said:

Hi everyone! 

I am also trying to decide between accepting an offer from Western vs. McMaster so I was hoping to hear more input on the pros and cons for each university!

As of right now these are the pros/cons that I have gathered:

Western:

Pros: More well-developed international placement opportunities and greater flexibility for applying for these placements throughout the degree (Mac only lets you apply for international opportunities for the final placement, and rarely for the 3rd one); the campus is beautiful; a focus on social justice and inclusion issues; a longer and more flexible break during the summer after 1st year (i.e., it appears that you get 8 weeks off and the option to complete the 8 week placement either in May/June or July/August); the program appears to end a month earlier so it might make you more competitive for job applications.

Cons: the cachement area is more limited for placements; less hands-on opportunities; stricter restrictions for those who have course/program performance issues (i.e., they look at components of grading more closely and don't seem to be as flexible as Mac in terms of opportunities for remediation if you struggle); they don't seem to be as forthcoming with information on the program details (Mac was much more accessible).

McMaster:

Pros: great reputation for being at the forefront of OT research; the faculty and other admin staff seem lovely (very enthusiastic about their program); you end the program with a chance for publication (I've heard that hospitals provide higher starting pay if you have a combo clinical/research background which can lead to other job opportunities); the campus is nice (albeit not as nice as Western in my opinion); PBL appears to mirror case huddles that actually occur in practice for healthcare settings so it seems like it would be beneficial for skill development; more connections to clinicians/chances to work through relevant case discussions and theories with them (Western has the two intensives, but these appear to be fairly similar to the PBL sessions which occur much more often at Mac, and not only in the second year); they appear to emphasize bringing everyone up to speed for an even playing field based on content covered (whereas I found Western's website gave off the impression that they expected you to already have done a decent amount of research before starting the program); the mandatory mental health placement is a definite pro for me as I believe that most physical issues can bilaterally impact on mental health in general, so it would be great experience in preparation for any future job prospect. 

Cons: international placements are less flexible/less advertised; the PBL style does seem intimidating especially given the fact that I'm a mature student who graduated from a much more didactic program back in 2018; the whole self-directed/PBL style of learning seems like a larger time commitment on top of the 16-18 hours of classes (I could be wrong since I can't find anything on Western's website in terms of the time allocated for courses) - I wouldn't mind this, but I'm considering working a job to help finance the degree.

Does anyone have any further input on campus culture/atmosphere, rental costs, or any other topics for comparison? 

Hi, I feel like you perfectly captured the same pros and cons I am facing when deciding between Western and McMaster. Another pro for Western is that they place you in mentorship groups with other students and a clinician that runs throughout the entire program. These sound kind of similar to the small groups at Mac. 

My biggest struggle is that McMaster really sold me on their program during their info sessions; the students, faculty and community members all seem super proud of their program. They also seem really confident that PBL helps to set their students up for success but this does seem a bit intimidating. For Western, I love everything I have read about their program on their website, their areas of research really align with my interests and I really like the sounds of their curriculum. But I haven't been able to get a read on their culture or student experience. I would really appreciate any insight people have about the atmosphere at Western in particular / in comparison to other schools.

 

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1 hour ago, ot_lea2021 said:

For those who attended the U of Toronto’s OT zoom open house today, what do you think of it?

I appreciated the Q&A opportunity! Frankly, compared to McMaster’s Applicant Cafe, I felt much more interested and inspired by their sense of camaraderie and community. I also got the sense that UofT is best if you want to work in Toronto long-term. Since I’m open to working outside of Toronto, I don’t feel UofT’s curriculum is necessarily superior to McMaster in terms of research. Right now, I’m debating just UofT and McMaster, less so Queen’s. Thanks for reading my long thoughts. Happy to hear yours! :)

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