Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums

Possible problems/consequences of a 3 year MD program?


Recommended Posts

Just wondering if anybody knows of problems one could run into with a 3 year MD program at Mac. I know one friend who decided to steer clear of Mac because he wanted to go to the U.S., and he said that they do not recognize Mac's 3 year MD program as equivalent to American med. schools. Any insights on this?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know how the US might view it, what I've heard from the Canadian viewpoint is that while it might be academically equivalent (you end in up in school for the same amount of time), three years means you have less time to do various electives, which may put you at a disadvantage for competitive residency programs, which often look for you to have demonstrated interest in a specialty by completing several electives in that field.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From what I understand, Mac starts electives in first year, so the amount of experience should technically be equivalent to a four year program.

 

However, speaking to some friends from the program, many places prefer med students who have completed their "core" training (so the first two years of most four year programs). Being from Mac and NOT having completed the basic science component after first year may place you at a disadvantage when applying for electives.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Mac has stigma for different reasons.

 

The fact remains that going to McMaster will still allow you to be a fine doctor, and you will still have many residency opportunities.

 

Certainly, completing a MD in 3 years puts you at a disadvantage because you are unlikely to have summers to get research experience in competitive specialties. The things mentioned about electives may also be valid (which I know nothing about, so I won't comment).

 

Unless being the most competitive applicant for a competitive specialty is your ultimate goal in medicine, McMaster really has no problems/consequences. It's a matter of learning style and suitability...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From what I understand, Mac starts electives in first year, so the amount of experience should technically be equivalent to a four year program.

 

However, speaking to some friends from the program, many places prefer med students who have completed their "core" training (so the first two years of most four year programs). Being from Mac and NOT having completed the basic science component after first year may place you at a disadvantage when applying for electives.

 

To answer this question. It is hard to set up the block electives during first year(7weeks) in places like Toronto, Ottawa...they want only students in clerkship. That being said if you find your own preceptor in these areas you can do it and Mac will credit you with completing that elective successfully.

 

Doing the block electives as a first year student at Mac(hamilton area hospitals) is not a problem and they are very accommodating. Also doing the electives in rural/non-teaching hospital areas is pretty easy to set up as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, now that people have thrown around a bunch of ill-informed ideas, perhaps I can clarify:

 

- McMaster (and Calgary, for that matter, as it is also a 3-year program) is fully LCME-accredited and recognized as equivalent to any medical school in North america. It is not the number of "years" that matter but the number of weeks spent in the program. Because 3 year programs include the summers, whereas 4-year programs do not, the number of "curriculum time" ends up being approximately the same. There is actually a long list of alumni who have done their residencies in the USA or who are now on the faculty of US Medical Schools. The only difficulty in getting US residencies in 3-year-programs is finding time to write the USMLE with no summers off. However, motivated students have been able to pull this off in the past.

 

- Clerkship and elective time is virtually identical to all other medical schools in Canada. McMaster simply starts its clerckship earliers; it is the pre-clerkship is shortened. You would be hard-pressed to find a competitive residency that Mac/Calgary grads have NOT matched to in the past. Alumni have gone into Derm, Anaesthesiology, Opthalmology, etc. Again, with no summers, it is up to students to be motivated to do research on the side (which is completely possible) during curriculum time. If you want to enter one of these competitive residencies, and also want to go to a three-year-program, your best bet is to know early. If you are completely overwhelmed with the possibilities and will need time to explore, perhaps a 4-year-program is better for you. But if you know right off that you want to be a cardiologist, surgeon, family doc, etc. beforehand, you can ensure your chance is as good as anyone elses.

 

- By "Core training", I think you mean "Core rotation". Many medical schools prefer to take on clerkship students for electives if they have done their "core rotation" first. I.e. if you want to do a cardiology elective, they ask that you do your internal medicine core rotation first. This is true of medical students from all universities, not just Mac.

 

- The poster who refers not being able to go to universities outside mac is referring to pre-clerkship electives, which occur in your first year. This is pretty standard. For clerkship elective, Mac students are able to apply and go to elective rotations in any medical school of their choosing.

 

The only disadvantage of going to a 3-year-program (i.e. Mac/Calgary) is that you might get clinical exposure earlier, graduate a year earlier, start making a salary a year earlier...oh wait...those aren't really disadvantages.

 

Note: I'm bias

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only disadvantage of going to a 3-year-program (i.e. Mac/Calgary) is that you might get clinical exposure earlier, graduate a year earlier, start making a salary a year earlier...oh wait...those aren't really disadvantages.

 

Note: I'm bias

 

lol :) i enjoyed this post.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only disadvantage of going to a 3-year-program (i.e. Mac/Calgary) is that you might get clinical exposure earlier, graduate a year earlier, start making a salary a year earlier...oh wait...those aren't really disadvantages.

 

Note: I'm bias

 

This my favourite part of the post, lol. Well informed post and in-depth post :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most top US schools are now encourage students to stay for longer than 4 years in medical school so they can have more times to do electives and perform research. They basically reduce your fifth year tuition to virtually zero, so student can combine their MD degree with MPH, MBA or even a PhD if they chose to. I think it is a great way to enrich your medical education experience while gaining a broader interests in fields related to medicine. You wonder why many medical graduates from those schools eventually become leaders in research, public health policy and/or business ventures on top of almost 90% first choice match for residency.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...