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Almost a week has passed since offers came out and I'm still quite lost in making a decision. Of course, all are stellar options (hence the confusion!), but here are the main factors I've considered so far:

1) Community. Even though I was initially leaning towards UofT, this factor is what made me hesitate. I've heard both Queen's and Western has a supportive, collaborative culture, as well as a tight-knit community, which I really value. But I've also heard "community" is what you make of it, and a community can be found anywhere. Thoughts?

2) Opportunities. Toronto is renowned in terms of its research, staff, clinical opportunities, etc. But I've heard Queen's allows for hands-on training + one-on-one time for med students, since there are less residents/fellows in the room. Both appeal to me as different types of opportunities. (I'm not entirely sure about Western, but I believe it's more like Queen's.)

3) Location. Toronto is an incomparable city, and I've always wanted to live there for some part of my life (I'm not from there). Kingston is a very different vibe, though still beautiful with the many parks/biking trails/waterfront, and major plus: it's close to home. London is the weakest here since, despite being charming (with a gorgeous campus), it's very far from home.

If I had to narrow it down, I'd say UofT vs. Queen's (London is just so far!). I value a more laid-back, supportive experience, but I don't want FOMO from not choosing Toronto (both for the city and ample opportunities). Any input is much appreciated.

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I personally would go with Queens b/c I am not a fan of the gunner environment at U of T (not saying it will for sure be like that but I've heard stories from friends who go there). I am also not a fan of the weekly/biweekly/triweekly low stake tests at U of T. They are always held on Monday so you're whole weekend is wasted studying. However, I am not sure how Queens does it (Ottawa has one midterm and one final which I love). 

You can always go to U of T for residency or spend a summer there doing research if you really wanted to get that experience. I LOVE Toronto as a city and envision myself there one day but the environment is not right for me and I would not succeed. Think deep down about what you value and what you want out of this med school experience (as 4 years is a long) and try to envision yourself in both places and see where the best fit is

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you want to live in Toronto, do it. It isn't a guarantee that you will match to Toronto for residency or staff and if you want to live there this is your chance. Toronto does have a competitive environment and that is because of the way it is structured. Big city, lots of medical students, ambitious types are drawn to Toronto, Toronto is generally desired as a place to work and live. 

Queen's tends to match well and students there are well rounded and driven from what i've seen. Don't be fooled though by clinical rotations/opportunities in Toronto. One of the issues with Toronto is that clerkship teaching is not as good as what I had at McMaster. I find staff physicians here are busier with research and clinical obligations, residents are more overstretched and medical students are more likely to find themselves used for service than I feel at other centers. I don't think this is a big deal, but I do want to clarify that the best teachers tend to be those who have time to teach. 

 

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22 hours ago, Edict said:

Don't be fooled though by clinical rotations/opportunities in Toronto. One of the issues with Toronto is that clerkship teaching is not as good as what I had at McMaster. I find staff physicians here are busier with research and clinical obligations, residents are more overstretched and medical students are more likely to find themselves used for service than I feel at other centers. I don't think this is a big deal, but I do want to clarify that the best teachers tend to be those who have time to teach. 

 

Maybe its rotation/department dependent. But for Internal Medicine specifically (which I did both as a medical student and as a resident) the teaching was phenomenal. Definitely some variability to this, but on average the teaching was very good. It was the few things at UofT IM that was a strength. As a medical student when I rotated at other sites (which I wont list here) the teaching was definitely stronger at UofT (which was the other driving factor other than location for me to end up there in residency). 

Having done med school several years ago at UofT, I thought the teaching was pretty good throughout my core rotations (I do remember the teaching for surgery was sparse though, and the organized teaching was aimed only for the NBME exam)

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