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Hello everyone here at premed101.

 

I am a grade 12 student who is looking to apply for my undergraduate school very soon. Like most of people on this forum, I am looking to apply for medical school, once I graduate my bachelors. One of the various programs I am applying for is McGill's Anatomy and Cellular Biology due to strong personal interest.

 

Does anyone, especially those who had done this program, have any thoughts (program difficulty, quality of education and professor, admission, etc.) whatsoever on this?

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Hello everyone here at premed101.

 

I am a grade 12 student who is looking to apply for my undergraduate school very soon. Like most of people on this forum, I am looking to apply for medical school, once I graduate my bachelors. One of the various programs I am applying for is McGill's Anatomy and Cellular Biology due to strong personal interest.

 

Does anyone, especially those who had done this program, have any thoughts (program difficulty, quality of education and professor, admission, etc.) whatsoever on this?

Do it! I have multiple friends who graduated from that program who are now in medical schools across the country. There's a lot of versatility in the courses that you can take. The benefit of Anatomy and Cell Biology is you can design your schedule so that you can avoid a lot of the upper year courses that make other Life Science majors difficult that are required for other majors (eg. BIOC 312, CHEM 204, MIMM 466, and PHGY 311 to name a few). Also, as someone who is currently 6 weeks-deep into med school, I can tell you right now that knowing anatomy in advance is a game-changer. The downside of that program is that hundreds of others will have the exact same mindset and will essentially be your OMSAS/application competition in 4 years. 

 

All that being said, I must note that the major you pick has no impact on decisions made by admissions committees though. In my opinion, take something you're truly interested in as you'll be more motivated to put in the time to study for good grades. From my experience, ironically, the courses I did the worst in were the electives I thought would be easy that I neglected due to  lack of interest.

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The program is probably on the easier side of the life science degrees, perhaps harder than general biology (depending on course selection of course) but easier than physiology and microbiology/immunology. ***

 

A couple thoughts:

- Nearly every student wants to get into medical school, only the top %10 probably do (most people I know did not get interviews).

- A high GPA is certainly attainable, but make sure you work for it. While you can really get that GPA up, so can your classmates. There is a big difference between applying with a ~3.7 and applying with a 3.85+. 

- Do not be misled by the program name... Very little anatomy content. The program is essentially a cell and molecular biology program with some anatomy content. If you are going for it because of the anatomy content, don't be fooled! There is one true anatomy course, and then a couple related systemic courses.

- The program is excellent preparation for medical school.

- Generally good, relaxed and supportive atmosphere despite everyone gunning for the same thing

 

*** Based purely on my own experience talking to people in other programs. Take with a grain of salt. ***

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I did Anatomy and Cell Biology for my undergrad at McGill. To reiterate what others have said, the nice thing about the program is you have a ton of freedom when it comes to choosing courses, so you can basically tailor your degree to include the interesting classes, without having to do the more difficult required courses students in these majors have to do (with the exception of the more general courses like organic chem, and molecular biology, which everyone has to take no matter what). 

 

For me, I focused on taking a variety of courses to cover the material I though would be useful for medical school, which I feel worked out pretty well. So I was able to take subjects like pharmacology, toxicology, cancer biology, applied genetics, neuroendocrinology, pathology, and microbiology. In other programs like Physiology, where you don't have quite as much freedom in terms of course selection, this won't be as easy to do, which is the huge advantage of Anatomy and Cell Biology.

 

The quality of the teaching and level of difficulty is totally dependent on what courses you end up taking, but I found the anatomy department profs are for the most part excellent, and the courses aren't too hard if you are good at memorization.

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Apart from what the others have already said (Easier to get a high GPA and everyone in that program wants med), a question you should consider is what would you do if you get refused from medicine after your undergrad?

I was initially considering anatomy at Mcgill for my undergrad as well, but I decided not too since I did not see any value to that degree if I was refused from medicine. 

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Apart from what the others have already said (Easier to get a high GPA and everyone in that program wants med), a question you should consider is what would you do if you get refused from medicine after your undergrad?

I was initially considering anatomy at Mcgill for my undergrad as well, but I decided not too since I did not see any value to that degree if I was refused from medicine.

Just to play devils advocate... Isn't this true for most life science type degrees? Is a BSc in physiology, biology, microbiology etc more employable? (I assume the answer to this question is "not really" but I don't truly know). No matter what you're looking at a masters, in which case you can do that from any bachelors... No?

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Apart from what the others have already said (Easier to get a high GPA and everyone in that program wants med), a question you should consider is what would you do if you get refused from medicine after your undergrad?

I was initially considering anatomy at Mcgill for my undergrad as well, but I decided not too since I did not see any value to that degree if I was refused from medicine. 

 

Just to play devils advocate... Isn't this true for most life science type degrees? Is a BSc in physiology, biology, microbiology etc more employable? (I assume the answer to this question is "not really" but I don't truly know). No matter what you're looking at a masters, in which case you can do that from any bachelors... No?

 

Yes, I have taken into account after what I do after I graduate from this program. If I was refused from medicine, I would then go and get a Master's Degree and then reapply then. If still not accepted into any medical school, I would move to applying to other schools such as chiropractic, optometry, nursing, pharmacy, and other schools out there. 

 

I believe that you cannot do much with a life science degree, as they are just what my teacher describes them as, "stepping stones". You must do something after it to improve your employability, such as professional or graduate school, or teacher's college.

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Just to play devils advocate... Isn't this true for most life science type degrees? Is a BSc in physiology, biology, microbiology etc more employable? (I assume the answer to this question is "not really" but I don't truly know). No matter what you're looking at a masters, in which case you can do that from any bachelors... No?

Yup you're right, most life science degrees are like that but I just wanted to be sure that the OP is aware of that. I have a lot of friends that went that route who didn't get accepted to med, they later regretted "wasting" 3 years.

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