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why did you pick the school you did?

Guest mosquitoba

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Guest mosquitoba

Hey all - there was an awesome thread here earlier before the "attack" where people outlined their reasons for choosing whichever school they ended up choosing. I’m in a position where I have to make a choice relatively soon, and I’m really struggling with it. I’ve been accepted at U of C, U of M, and Queens (waitlisted at UWO)… I’m trying to decide between U of M and Queens, and am having such a hard time! I was hoping someone here could outline what helped them in their decisions, which might help clarify mine…




-Cheaper tuition (~$8000/yr)

-Family and friends for support/relaxation

-Med school is attached to the major teaching hospital in the province

-Med students are given a lot of responsibility during clerkship

-Very supportive administration/faculty

-Curriculum revision in recent years has resulted in the development of a stronger curriculum

-New “Clinical Learning Centre” is being built

-Brodie Centre is nice, lots of resources in the NJM library

-Teaching time is mixed between small group, lecture, tutorial, and self-directed learning

-Lots of summer opportunities (BSc Med, Rural Week, Early Exposure, Summer Work Program)

-Has a medical genetics program, which is something I’m interested in (chance to do observerships, electives)



-I did my undergrad in Manitoba, and it’d be nice to go somewhere else for my MD

-CLC is not done yet, no guarantee that I will actually get to use it in my first year

-U of M Bannatyne campus is not in a great neighbourhood




-Great reputation

-Beautiful campus

-New Clinical Education Centre

-Students I met there seemed happy, friendly, and proud of their school



-Personally, I’d rather finish rotations before beginning electives, and I’d like to start electives as soon as possible

-Much more expensive!


How much exposure do Queen’s students get to strange cases? With U of M, I am familiar what kinds of things go through the hospital (basically everything, since it’s the major hospital here) – what kind of role do the hospitals in Kingston play? One thing I like about Queen's was the tight-knit community atmosphere I got there... any insight on what the atmosphere is like at U of M? How easy is it to get electives at other universities?


Anything to add/correct, please let me know! Thanks...


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Guest studentz



When I got down to establishing my list I came up with the following, in order of preference:






I was accepted by the first 3, waitlisted at Queen's, which obviously didn't matter.


My reasons for UM over Queen's were as follows:


- I liked Winnipeg more than Kingston

- The hospitals are MUCH larger and are the major centres for the whole province

- It was cheaper

- they said it was P/F

- I liked the organization of the last two years a bit better


BUT if I actually had to choose between Queen's and UM, I don't know which I would have chosen as I wouldn't need a plane to get home from Queen's and it's cold as hell in Winnipeg (these probably aren't concerns for you).


Why did you rule out Calgary? I'd take UC over the other two given the new facilities, optional research program, 3-year curriculum and the city.

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Guest mosquitoba

Hey Studentz - thanks for the reply! Congratulations on your multitude of acceptances, and it would have been nice to be classmates. I think actually I may have interviewed the same day as you at Queens based on your other posts (March 6th in the morning?). I declined Calgary, despite the new facilities and the awesome location, because I felt (after some thinking) that the 3-year program wouldn’t be the best option for me. I am unsure of which specialty I’d like to pursue, so the more time I have to explore options the better! I also want to travel, and without a summer break that’d be difficult to do.


Winnipeg IS cold, but it’s a dry cold… haha… ok, I’m just used to it, and have no trouble with our winters. And we have awesome summers!! I think I am nearing a final decision, but it has been really tough! I liked the atmosphere at Queen’s a lot, and the campus is amazing. I think I would be missing out on that by going to the U of M, but in my opinion, for my personality, I think that U of M’s curriculum format might win out over Queen’s. ·        I’ve heard that it’s not a great idea to do all your education in one place, and that is causing me to hesitate. However, I guess it’s always possible to go away for electives or residency. And hey, with that extra $8000 a year saved on tuition, I could go on some pretty sweet trips! Anyway, where are you going Studentz? UWO was a lot of fun, and I didn’t apply to U of T, but I can imagine that you also had some difficult decisions to make!




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hmm, i'll add here


My choices before receiving acceptances/rejections etc were:

1) MUN

2) UofA

3) Dal


I was accepted to MUN and Dal and waitlisted at UofA, which made the decision easy considering the above.


My choices were made on the opposite arguments as above. I wanted the smallest school with the least research money. The smaller you go, and the more rural your placements, the more hands on experience you get (heard many tales of emerg surgery with only a meds student to assist the doc in holding human parts in surgury in small towns contrasted to the large urban centres where you MIGHT be allowed to watch and take notes). Not to mention the class atmosphere is much less stressfull and cooperative as opposed to the competitive nature of the "research based" schools. So really, everything that makes a school appealing to the traditional prestege seeking med student, was what I avoided in my selections. I really feel that MUN will offer me the best opportunity to develop my clinical skills and lead a balanced lifestyle (ie. be happy), and it's pretty well known for cranking out good family docs too.


disclaimer: the only reason I was so antiDal was that I did my undergrad here

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Guest studentz

Hey Mosquitoba...looks like we were at Queen's together (luckily I got out of there before that storm got too bad). I know what you mean when you compare the campuses of Queen's and UofM; I was surprised at how far the main campus is from the Bannatyne campus in Winnipeg. However, the UM class seems pretty tight (make friends with westsimba, another 09er; I chilled with him during our interview and he's really nice) and the Brodie Centre was great. As for the tuition savings, you would have opportunities: I know a few of the people at my Manitoba interview mentioned that some classmates went to Europe before their placements at UofM's AIDS clinics in Africa during the summers. It is nice to have a change sometimes, though, and most people at Queen's regardless of their level of study have a great time.Tough choice, but I don't think you can make a bad decision.


About that dry cold...my research supervisor's secretary is from Winnipeg and she said the exact same thing! She cautioned me about the mosquitos though.


I ended up choosing UofT in what was probably the hardest decision I've ever made. I loved both programs, but the UWO scholarship and differences between the schools (traditional vs systems-based, varied learning methods vs endless lectures, clerkships and electives mixed vs UWOs nice 3rd and 4th years etc.) made it very tough to choose.


Ultimately it came down to personal factors which I couldn't put a price on, my feeling that UofT's teaching methods suited me better (I don't learn much from sitting in lectures, and given what I heard about UWO's second year, I'd have to put a lot of extra time in to work through the material), and the broader set of opportunities at Toronto (research, exposure to things I wouldn't see elsewhere, international health program etc.). I also realized that the only people with really negative things to say about Toronto were at other schools and the students at my interview weekend were the most relaxed, diverse, and friendly of those at all my weekends, putting an end to the competition myth. I know either way I couldn't have mad a bad choice.


I think we'll all agree that after going through the interview circuit, the quality of schools available to Canadians is pretty impressive.

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