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Med Schol & Undergrad Question


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I KNOW this has been asked before, and I know that often it is said that undergrad doesn't matter towards medical school.

 

Thing is, I was talking with an oral surgeon today (part of medical faculty at OttawaU), and asked him whether med schools look at the undergrad university attended. He said definitely yes. They definitely take in account what school you previously attended. I asked him about my three university choices, and he said to go to UWO for the reputation, if you really don't care if you live away from home or not.

 

My options for university are:

 

Carleton - Neuroscience

Ottawa- Biomed, specialization in neuroscience

Waterloo- Life Science, Health Science (coop) with specialization in psychology

 

Throughout grade 11 and 12 I worked extra hard because I had hopes for McGill or Queens. Closer to application time, I realized just how much money res and tuition cost and kind of 'settled' for university at home. I needed a third choice and I picked Waterloo, because their description of the programs I applied to talked about neuroscience and I thought that was interesting. I regret not applying to McGill or Queens...

Anyways, I got early acceptance to all three, and decided on Carleton because it had a degree that I could do something with after undergrad if I decide not to go to med school. Now I'm not so sure after hearing my surgeon talk about med school.

 

My parents are willing to pay for res if I go to Waterloo, but I don't want to make them pay 'unnecessarily' since I can go to Carleton and not pay for res. (They have enough money, it's just me feeling guilty.) I want to go to Waterloo more than Carleton (though McGill or McMasters more than Waterloo), but I'm not going to die if I go to Carleton. BUT, if it hinders me later on, then I'm going to know I made a mistake.

 

I just want to ask your opinion on this. Is this the right thing to do with the information presented? Should I switch to Waterloo right away, or go to CU and then transfer to another uni?

 

Does it really not matter at all what undergrad you went to, even though someone in the medical faculty at OttawaU (but not in admissions) says that it does?

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I want to go to Waterloo more than Carleton (though McGill or McMasters more than Waterloo)

 

If money isn't the issue, go where you want to go. You'll have a much easier time with school if you're in an environment that you want to be in rather than settling for another school when you don't really need to.

 

As for objectivity. Its a hard thing to measure. As far as i know they don't discriminate against your undergraduate school in Canada although i wouldn't doubt that at some subconscious level there is always a little bit of discrimination in the adcom's mind.

 

In the states they definitely look at your school.

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Thank you for the reply!

 

Waterloo and Carleton... I do want to go to Waterloo more, but not enough that I would want my parents to pay the 20k for the privilege of going there. I'm worried that going to CU rather than a university with a better reputation will hinder me in the future.

 

I also want to go to McGill or McMaster more than Waterloo... Would going to CU first year then transferring be a viable option as well?

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If he (the oral surgeon) were in admissions, he would NOT have told you that the reputation of undergrad schools matter because that is the case. Med schools don't care about UG rep. Don't believe me? Well, let me back up my argument with some fine links I found using the SEARCH function :P .Here are some threads about that very topic:

 

http://www.premed101.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20921&highlight=undergraduate+school+reputation

 

This one talks about Ryerson, but also dismisses the importance of UG school reputation upon applying to med school:

http://www.premed101.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38006&page=2&highlight=undergraduate+school+reputation

 

NLengr is completely correct.

 

Here is a bit more information for you to read.

Carleton vs. Ottawa:

http://www.premed101.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1138&highlight=Carleton

 

This one is sort of a testimonial about waterloo:

http://www.premed101.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8422&highlight=Waterloo+university

 

All threads I have linked you to are massive, and I'm sure you'll gain lots of info from them. Good luck!!!!!!!! :)

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Carleton Neuroscience is an amazing program and med schools don't care what undergrad school you went to or what program you did. Actually, this year CU neurosci did a really good job in terms of the number of students who got med school interviews.

 

I highly doubt you'll regret choosing Carleton if you go.

 

 

And yes, I am bias because I did neuroscience at Carleton. lol. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

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  • 1 month later...

I have to say that I don't know that much about the specific schools you're looking at, but I attended undergrad at a small university college in Alberta. My big fear was that medical schools would discount my achievements because I didn't go to a "real university" (as some of my friends put it).

 

However, turns out those fears were unfounded: I applied at four different medical schools for the first time this year, I interviewed at all four, and I got accepted into three. One of my friends from my small college was also accepted, and I know several people in previous years who were accepted from my college. I really didn’t find that I was discriminated against for my choice of school at all.

 

I honestly think my application was MORE competitive because I attended the smaller college for undergraduate. Summer research opportunities were easy to find, I’m sure my reference letters were fantastic because my professors knew me so well, and I had lots of extracurriculars to be involved in (eg. I started a social justice club at my school because we didn’t have one yet).

 

So I’d say pick the school that best suits your needs, and don't worry so much about how it looks on paper.

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Hi I go to Waterloo for life sci

If you never seen Waterloo campus before, let me tell you, it's really UGLY

Might be the worst campus out of all universities in Ontario, no joke lol

 

Even laurier and York looks a better than Waterloo

 

but the program is not bad, just a heads up in case you were expecting beautiful campus

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OP: The oral surgeon was giving you false and misleading information and does not have a clue as to what he is talking about. IGNORE HIM! Not only is so-called reputation meaningless, it works against you.

 

Go to Carleton!

 

I have to say that I don't know that much about the specific schools you're looking at, but I attended undergrad at a small university college in Alberta. My big fear was that medical schools would discount my achievements because I didn't go to a "real university" (as some of my friends put it).

 

However, turns out those fears were unfounded: I applied at four different medical schools for the first time this year, I interviewed at all four, and I got accepted into three. One of my friends from my small college was also accepted, and I know several people in previous years who were accepted from my college. I really didn’t find that I was discriminated against for my choice of school at all.

 

I honestly think my application was MORE competitive because I attended the smaller college for undergraduate. Summer research opportunities were easy to find, I’m sure my reference letters were fantastic because my professors knew me so well, and I had lots of extracurriculars to be involved in (eg. I started a social justice club at my school because we didn’t have one yet).

 

So I’d say pick the school that best suits your needs, and don't worry so much about how it looks on paper.

 

Listen to Chantalle. :)

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