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Accepted To Alberta And Ontario Schools, How Did You Decide Where To Attend?


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I was fortunate enough to have been accepted into all the schools in interviewed at in Ontario and Alberta. I never thought I would get into all these schools so I'm very conflicted regarding which school to attend.

I live in Alberta and would like to stay close to home, but it feels like the opportunity to attend a school like UofT and live in 'the big city' is too great of an opportunity to pass up.

I would greatly appreciate hearing about how forum members decided to attend one school or another.

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Long story short, the education you receive is functionally equivalent across the board.

 

Make your decision based on lifestyle. Do you need to be close to family to have a support network in place for success? Do you value urban vs rural experience? Is cost a factor (people say it shouldn't be, because LOC, but I disagree)?  Which curriculum suits you best (PBL vs didactic, block vs spiral, pass/fail vs marked)?

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U of C

Pros: 3 year program, by the mountains, medium sized class, okish research, lots of hospitals, big catchment, cheap tuition, Alberta student loans

Cons: 3 year program, no summers, odd elective timing, some residency programs not on site, not the best LMCC pass rate, not the best match rate

 

U of A

Pros: academic school, summers off, massive catchment, good research, multiple sites and community hospitals

cons: Edmonton is a frozen craphole (I live here I can say that), way too many tests, no anesthesia rotation

 

Queens

Pros: small intimate program, beautiful city, close to big cities for electives

Cons: If you want a competitive residency its tougher, small catchment, big cities take all the interesting cases

 

Mac

Pros: 3 year program

Cons: For some twisted reason they don't give their students time off during CaRMs

 

Toronto

Pros: Prestige, research, catchment, opportunities, electives, residencies

Cons: Massive class, poor match last couple years, it's Toronto (which may be a good thing depending on your POV)

 

 

Good luck

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Long story short, the education you receive is functionally equivalent across the board.

 

Make your decision based on lifestyle. Do you need to be close to family to have a support network in place for success? Do you value urban vs rural experience? Is cost a factor (people say it shouldn't be, because LOC, but I disagree)?  Which curriculum suits you best (PBL vs didactic, block vs spiral, pass/fail vs marked)?

  

U of C

Pros: 3 year program, by the mountains, medium sized class, okish research, lots of hospitals, big catchment, cheap tuition, Alberta student loans

Cons: 3 year program, no summers, odd elective timing, some residency programs not on site, not the best LMCC pass rate, not the best match rate

 

U of A

Pros: academic school, summers off, massive catchment, good research, multiple sites and community hospitals

cons: Edmonton is a frozen craphole (I live here I can say that), way too many tests, no anesthesia rotation

 

Queens

Pros: small intimate program, beautiful city, close to big cities for electives

Cons: If you want a competitive residency its tougher, small catchment, big cities take all the interesting cases

 

Mac

Pros: 3 year program

Cons: For some twisted reason they don't give their students time off during CaRMs

 

Toronto

Pros: Prestige, research, catchment, opportunities, electives, residencies

Cons: Massive class, poor match last couple years, it's Toronto (which may be a good thing depending on your POV)

 

 

Good luck

Thanks for the responses, I really appreciate the feedback. One concern I had was whether attending a more prestigious school such as the UofT would allow for more potential future options such as going into industry. I'm not sure if I would ever go down such a route, but I'm worried about closing any doors.

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Thanks for the responses, I really appreciate the feedback. One concern I had was whether attending a more prestigious school such as the UofT would allow for more potential future options such as going into industry. I'm not sure if I would ever go down such a route, but I'm worried about closing any doors.

 

Prestige is mostly an American concept. If you want to entertain the idea of ERAS/NRMP, UofT/UBC/McGill are the places to go. Otherwise, it's all the same for jobs in Canada.

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Anecdotally I've heard that at UofT sometimes in clerkship you have difficulty getting "to the front of the line" due to the number of fellow and residents there. However I've also anecdotally heard that at UofT because there are multiple hospitals you can get a lot more opportunities for research and making contacts.

 

Personally my general recommendation is

 

1) if you really know what specialty you want, pick a 3 year school, otherwise pick a 4 year school. 

2) if you are inclined towards a competitive area (eg. surgery, derm), pick a school that actually has the programs (eg. some schools don't have derm programs)

3) if you can save a substantial amount of money for whatever reason (eg. geography, loans), take that into consideration. Don't estimate the psychological pressure of debt once you graduate.

4) if you want to work/do residency in a certain province, pick school in that province because of home field advantage.

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