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Mcmaster Health Science Program


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McMaster has a health science program and what I was looking at the stats for their graduates, it seems one out of every two graduates in this program goes to med school.

 

I'm just wondering why this program is so successful in getting people into med school?  I have a couple of friends that are in their 1st or 2nd year of this program and one of them was accepted into first year medicine at McMaster and UBC.

 

Thank you

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I would say, statistically, many people in that program want to apply to med school. Many people who do other life science programs may want to pursue a different career. For example, in my program, only 3 people applied to med school. The others wanted to pursue masters and applied to other programs. Out of the 3 that applied, we all got in (at some point. I was the last out of my 3 friends who got in.)

 

I'm sure the health science program at mac has their advantages, but I'd argue that every program does. Just do a program that you are excited to be in, so it will reflect in your grades. If thats health sciences, you should most definitely do that!

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I think there is a selection component aspect to the success of Mac Heal Sci students for med school. The students may be more prepared for university and may also more desire a career in medicine. However, I've seen that there can be very large numbers of students interested in medicine in different programs, where statistically the chance of success are very low. To me the question is - suppose one applied to Mac Health Sci and was one of the first people who didn't make it (but still decided to try to pursue a Med school career). Would one's chances be the same as someone who was accepted to Mac Health Sci?

 

There may be other aspects of the program that may make Med school success easier. It is a selective program, but posters from the program on this forum have mentioned that GPA in the program is high (major component of med school success). Partly makes sense (given selectivity), but is out of proportion with the students who just barely didn't make it in? Hard to know.

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I think there is a selection component aspect to the success of Mac Heal Sci students for med school. The students may be more prepared for university and may also more desire a career in medicine. However, I've seen that there can be very large numbers of students interested in medicine in different programs, where statistically the chance of success are very low. To me the question is - suppose one applied to Mac Health Sci and was one of the first people who didn't make it (but still decided to try to pursue a Med school career). Would one's chances be the same as someone who was accepted to Mac Health Sci?

 

There may be other aspects of the program that may make Med school success easier. It is a selective program, but posters from the program on this forum have mentioned that GPA in the program is high (major component of med school success). Partly makes sense (given selectivity), but is out of proportion with the students who just barely didn't make it in? Hard to know.

 

There is no advantage. Many Canadian Universities (or at least the ones I applied to) do NOT compare degree types or difficulty. I believe that it would discriminate against people who were not as financially stable to pursue a university degree outside of their home province. Perhaps they learn skills that may help them get in. Or perhaps they are simply higher in number. The people who apply to those programs generally want to get into medicine. At my current medical school, the majority of students have science degrees, but they range from microbiology to biochemistry to chemistry. There is only a few from McMaster Health Sci. I also got into UBC and they did not discriminate against my degree that is NOT life science OR health science. I don't believe universities care. This year, UBC cares even LESS so, as they removed their science requirements. Now English is the only prerequisite. 

 

That being said, there is speculation that McMaster's Health Science Program inflates your GPA... I can't really confirm. I never went.

 

I've heard speculation that there was favoritism at Mac for their own Health Science students, but I would argue that the health science program probably shapes them into good applicants for the McMaster MD program.

 

Also, look at past topics. I think that you'll find more people who agree. 

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Of course there is no direct advantage - the advantage would come indirectly through GPA and other components. The health Sci med success rate is about 50% which is much greater than the Ontario average. Statistically speaking, one can assume there is some variance in the selection and I had simply posed the question concerning med school success rates of candidates that were close but didn't get into health Sci - ie how much relative advantage does health Sci give compared to other programs even for students of similar aptitudes? The answer I think we'll never know.

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This topic has been beaten to death but i'll entertain it. Mac Health Sci's want med at a higher rate than other programs, they are more selective than other programs and lastly there is grade inflation in the program. Students in Health Sci have more projects based courses that A. often give high grades and B. they have fewer exams, so when they do take the general courses available to other students, they have fewer exams to study for because their workload was more distributed throughout the year. 

 

Also, there are a few healthsci courses that are considered bird courses and not available to other students as well. The avg GPA in the program is very high, i'd estimate around 3.9. 

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This topic has been beaten to death but i'll entertain it. Mac Health Sci's want med at a higher rate than other programs, they are more selective than other programs and lastly there is grade inflation in the program. Students in Health Sci have more projects based courses that A. often give high grades and B. they have fewer exams, so when they do take the general courses available to other students, they have fewer exams to study for because their workload was more distributed throughout the year. 

 

Also, there are a few healthsci courses that are considered bird courses and not available to other students as well. The avg GPA in the program is very high, i'd estimate around 3.9. 

 

I think this is useful information to know.  There are about 850 seats in Ontario (excluding NOSM and Ottawa French).  Making the simplifying assumption that of the Mac Health Sci students that go into med, they go in Ontario that means almost an 1/8th of those spots are gained by students in Mac Health Sci - so the program has a relatively large influence on producing Ontario physicians and understanding the basis of its success is important.  

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Of course there is no direct advantage - the advantage would come indirectly through GPA and other components. The health Sci med success rate is about 50% which is much greater than the Ontario average. Statistically speaking, one can assume there is some variance in the selection and I had simply posed the question concerning med school success rates of candidates that were close but didn't get into health Sci - ie how much relative advantage does health Sci give compared to other programs even for students of similar aptitudes? The answer I think we'll never know.

 

While I haven't been through the program, I have been told that the entire curriculum is geared towards sending their graduates to medical school. So a lot of the advantages also comes from the characteristics it develops in its students such as being an excellent communicator for example. I ultimately think that Mac Health sci is a great program and something more traditional premed programs should strive for. I felt like a lot of the things I learned in undergrad was useless regurgitation. Couple that with a high GPA and a prominent premed culture throughout the program, and you'll most certainly be at an advantage over your peers.

 

I would say the selection process out of high school may play a role in the program's successes over the years but it's definitely not the whole story. A lot of programs now have cut-offs on par or above that of Mac health sci and yet they don't send their students to medical to the same high degree. The supplementary application is a joke. I have seen it keep away many great candidates from the program. Plus, there's a huge potential for abuse with putting so much weight on the supplementary application (ie people paying other people to write their supplementary application) which makes it terrible as an admission criterion.

 

Lastly, I think most people forget that Mac Health Sci wasn't always competitive or popular. Just a little over a decade ago, admission was pretty non-competitive yet, from what I've heard from people in university back then, Mac health sci was still sending a huge portion of their class to medical school. So the reason it became competitive was because it was sending many of its graduates to medical school and not the other way around (which may not be applicable now being a decade later).

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While I haven't been through the program, I have been told that the entire curriculum is geared towards sending their graduates to medical school. So a lot of the advantages also comes from the characteristics it develops in its students such as being an excellent communicator for example. I ultimately think that Mac Health sci is a great program and something more traditional premed programs should strive for. I felt like a lot of the things I learned in undergrad was useless regurgitation. Couple that with a high GPA and a prominent premed culture throughout the program, and you'll most certainly be at an advantage over your peers.

 

I would say the selection process out of high school may play a role in the program's successes over the years but it's definitely not the whole story. A lot of programs now have cut-offs on par or above that of Mac health sci and yet they don't send their students to medical to the same high degree. The supplementary application is a joke. I have seen it keep away many great candidates from the program. Plus, there's a huge potential for abuse with putting so much weight on the supplementary application (ie people paying other people to write their supplementary application) which makes it terrible as an admission criterion.

 

Lastly, I think most people forget that Mac Health Sci wasn't always competitive or popular. Just a little over a decade ago, admission was pretty non-competitive yet, from what I've heard from people in university back then, Mac health sci was still sending a huge portion of their class to medical school. So the reason it became competitive was because it was sending many of its graduates to medical school and not the other way around (which may not be applicable now being a decade later)

 

 

You mentioned "the supplementary application is a joke".  I understand where you are coming from because anyone can write it.  However, at the same time, everyone that seems to apply to this program has marks in the 90% range, so how do you differentiate between them?  Unless they introduce interviews or read CVs, essays seem to be their preference.

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You mentioned "the supplementary application is a joke".  I understand where you are coming from because anyone can write it.  However, at the same time, everyone that seems to apply to this program has marks in the 90% range, so how do you differentiate between them?  Unless they introduce interviews or read CVs, essays seem to be their preference.

 

Unfortunately there is no simple or perfect solution. Interviews would be too expensive and CVs, I think, at the high school level would be more based on the applicant's background rather than the applicant themselves. In my opinion, I feel like they need to remove the exclusivity of the program. They either need to expand their program or allow other faculties access to the same opportunities and resources that health science students get. With this system, it'll be the better students who grab these opportunities and not their program.

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Unfortunately there is no simple or perfect solution. Interviews would be too expensive and CVs, I think, at the high school level would be more based on the applicant's background rather than the applicant themselves. In my opinion, I feel like they need to remove the exclusivity of the program. They either need to expand their program or allow other faculties access to the same opportunities and resources that health science students get. With this system, it'll be the better students who grab these opportunities and not their program.

 

Soft-skill development is essential in today's world, regardless of career path.  It's true that traditional teaching isn't often questioned - it seems there is a different approach there - but might be difficult to really expand given the reality of mass teaching in most universities.   

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Unfortunately there is no simple or perfect solution. Interviews would be too expensive and CVs, I think, at the high school level would be more based on the applicant's background rather than the applicant themselves. In my opinion, I feel like they need to remove the exclusivity of the program. They either need to expand their program or allow other faculties access to the same opportunities and resources that health science students get. With this system, it'll be the better students who grab these opportunities and not their program.

 

That would ruin the program. The reason for the success of the program is the exclusivity and the resources their students get. They have a certain amount of money for the program, if they expanded it, each student would get less. The reason for their success is exactly because each student gets more because they kept the program exclusive. 

 

Health Sci is expanding this year and it remains to be seen whether this will hurt the program, I don't think a small expansion would, but expanding the program significantly would definitely hurt it. 

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Has McMaster ever released any stats  as to how many people apply to their Health Science program and how many people get in?  

 

Also, are there any tips on what I can do to improve my chances for acceptance?

 

My application is essentially done, I just haven't submitted it yet.

 

Yes, it is on their website. 

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Yes, it is on their website. 

 

Do you by chance have a link?

 

I know the minimum to apply is 90% and I've found information about their post grads ( https://fhs.mcmaster.ca/bhsc/graduates.html ), but I haven't seen anything about what was the average of the first year class that was accepted into the program.

 

Thank you

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McMaster's Health Sciences only take in very top high school students. Their average is over 95%. Sure, some high schools inflate their students' marks but not all especially the ones with internationally standardized exams. Those students will be successful no matter what programs they go to. Due to some high schools' grade inflation, some students got in the Health Sciences Program successfully. Only 50% of Health Sci students got into med shows you the end result of some of those ones! 

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Do you by chance have a link?

 

I know the minimum to apply is 90% and I've found information about their post grads ( https://fhs.mcmaster.ca/bhsc/graduates.html ), but I haven't seen anything about what was the average of the first year class that was accepted into the program.

 

Thank you

 

I just know they publish number of applicants and spots and also publish the % that had over 95 and below 95 and the ratio is 2/3rd to 1/3rd respectively. 

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  • 1 year later...
  • 3 years later...
On 11/17/2016 at 7:29 PM, InstantRamen said:

 

There is no advantage. Many Canadian Universities (or at least the ones I applied to) do NOT compare degree types or difficulty. I believe that it would discriminate against people who were not as financially stable to pursue a university degree outside of their home province. Perhaps they learn skills that may help them get in. Or perhaps they are simply higher in number. The people who apply to those programs generally want to get into medicine. At my current medical school, the majority of students have science degrees, but they range from microbiology to biochemistry to chemistry. There is only a few from McMaster Health Sci. I also got into UBC and they did not discriminate against my degree that is NOT life science OR health science. I don't believe universities care. This year, UBC cares even LESS so, as they removed their science requirements. Now English is the only prerequisite. 

 

That being said, there is speculation that McMaster's Health Science Program inflates your GPA... I can't really confirm. I never went.

 

I've heard speculation that there was favoritism at Mac for their own Health Science students, but I would argue that the health science program probably shapes them into good applicants for the McMaster MD program.

 

Also, look at past topics. I think that you'll find more people who agree. 

Are you from Ontario? I heard that UBC only accepts 10% of out of province applicants and your average must be higher than 85% instead of 75%. I really want to go to UBC for med school but the chances seem very slim. What undergrad did you go to and what was your average? Thanks.

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12 hours ago, Victoria Zhou said:

Are you from Ontario? I heard that UBC only accepts 10% of out of province applicants and your average must be higher than 85% instead of 75%. I really want to go to UBC for med school but the chances seem very slim. What undergrad did you go to and what was your average? Thanks.

They don't currently say how many OOP they admit each year but it's considerably more compeditive for out of province applicants. The minimum average is 85% instead of 75% as you say, but this reflects the reality that a compeditive GPA for admission will be higher for OOP and both are significantly higher than these cut off points.

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