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Guest artef

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Guest artef

Western's curriculum is most often described as taught by system, that is, the anatomical, physiological and clinical aspects of each system is taught and then another system is thoroughly taught. UofT on the other hand is described as being in blocks, that is, anatomy of everything is taught, then something else of everything is taught. (These are generalizations not rules.)


At the Queen's tour, however, I seemed to have forgotten to ask about this from the students' point of view. I had either thought the Web site was enough or had too many martinis. I understand the basic ideas of phase I, IIa and IIb pre-clerkship and have looked over the timetables, so I definitely have more than a basic idea. But what is valuable is the students' POV which I am missing: would any current Queen's student care to comment on their curriculum? Is it organized in a coherent way? Are information presented at one time linked with information presented at an other? Are the lectures presented in an interesting manner? Are the profs interesting (I seemed to get an unanimous NO from UWO and UofT about theirs...)? Is there the right mix of PBL and lecture?

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Guest lcloh

Hi artef,


I'm not a Queen's student but I'm not quite sure who you've been talking to such that you've gotten the impression that it's a unanimous "NO" that Western profs are interesting. As a Western med, I find that profs are much like at any other school - there are a number who truly shine and make lectures interesting and then there are those who you can tell aren't really into it. To generalize all the profs as being boring is pretty incorrect... I can count more profs than I have fingers who are interesting! :)




Edited to add the word "count" so I don't look like a grammar-challenged freak. ;)

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Hey artef,


I'd say Queen's curriculum is organised in a pretty straightforward, logical way, exactly how'd I'd want it (that's why I'm here! :) ). The phases/blocks division works pretty well, and makes for pretty straightforward integration with PBL. There are some gaps sometimes, like a prof will mention a patient's EKG stuff, and we haven't done cardiology stuff yet ("So you see the PQ interval is increased - have you done PQ intervals yet? No? Oh. Well, you see, this just means his heart is messed up..."), but I don't think that can entirely be avoided when you're going block by block. You pick up stuff here and there as you go along, and as it goes on there's fewer and fewer gaps like that.


Like any school, some profs are really good, others aren't so good... All in all though, there are more amazing/really good profs than there are boring ones. You learn to appreciate profs for their unique quirkiness - some have just off the wall humour (see our prof quotes), some have funny accents (almost all of haematology are British ex-pats (or sound like it anyway))... Whatever happens, they're all good at having notes and handouts available so if you do perchance decided to pass on one/a few, you're not missing out completely.


PBL is once a week for 3 hours. The cases mirror pretty closely what you're covering in class each week, so following along isn't usually a problem. You spend about 2-3 hours on your own looking up the cases, and pretty often you'll find stuff on your own that gets taught in a later class, which makes you feel pretty smart. :) As for a good mix of PBL and lecture, I guess it depends on if you like PBL or not... I think the PBL here is pretty high quality, the cases are well organised and our tutor was pretty good at directing (not leading) the discussions, but I'm still not a big fan of PBL at all. An acquired taste maybe.


Anyway, that's just one guy's thoughts, hope it provides some insight. You might also be interested in this from the end of year class census:


All things considered, are you satisfied with the academics at Queen's? (check one; comment briefly if you want) (95 respondents)



21 Very satisfied - worth every penny!

65 Generally satisfied - It's all right, I'm not disappointed

14 Generally dissatisfied - Well, I'm not too disappointed

0 Very dissatisfied - It might be Scottish, but it's still @#%$

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