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Hi, I have been accepted to both McMaster and McGill and I'm having a hard time deciding what school will be best for me. 

 

McMaster:

-excellent program and fully English, the class is also very diverse and unique

-close to home

-3 year program

-staying within Ontario's medical system, allowing me to build connections within the province

-issues with clerkship schedule is a little disconcerting, personally I want to go into paediatrics, but I also want to explore internal medicine and surgery as options

-PBL, I have always been used to didactic learning but the way I did it was going to lecture and absorbing content, but then going back home and trying to piece all the info together, supplementing my learning with other content to get a better understanding

-I have also heard the rumour that McMaster students don't know as much and underperform when going to other schools for electives

 

McGill:

-amazing reputation

-curriculum is strong, I like how they have a transition to clinical practice period after preclerkship

-all your core rotations are done in 3rd year

-need to be bilingual for certain rotations where you might be placed in a predominantly french-speaking area

-I do see a lack of diversity within the class at McGill

-living in Montreal is great, but is far from home

-Quebec medical system

-McGill has been under probation and I have spoken to many students who have said they have felt some negativity/condescension from preceptors

 

Both schools have great pros but there are also some flaws. I know medical school is a personal choice, but for me it is also a matter of which school will provide me with a strong education that will make me a better physician and able to attain a residency program that I like. For me it boils down to the issue of speaking French/probation at McGill vs. the PBL/clerkship lottery system at Mac.

 

Are any McGill students able to give some input on some of the issues with the program, it would be greatly appreciated! Do OOP students feel that they are able to fit in. I am also an individual from a visible minority and I am a little worried about dealing with not fitting in :/ 

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Hi, I have been accepted to both McMaster and McGill and I'm having a hard time deciding what school will be best for me. 

 

McMaster:

-excellent program and fully English, the class is also very diverse and unique

-close to home

-3 year program

-staying within Ontario's medical system, allowing me to build connections within the province

-issues with clerkship schedule is a little disconcerting, personally I want to go into paediatrics, but I also want to explore internal medicine and surgery as options

-PBL, I have always been used to didactic learning but the way I did it was going to lecture and absorbing content, but then going back home and trying to piece all the info together, supplementing my learning with other content to get a better understanding

-I have also heard the rumour that McMaster students don't know as much and underperform when going to other schools for electives

 

McGill:

-amazing reputation

-curriculum is strong, I like how they have a transition to clinical practice period after preclerkship

-all your core rotations are done in 3rd year

-need to be bilingual for certain rotations where you might be placed in a predominantly french-speaking area

-I do see a lack of diversity within the class at McGill

-living in Montreal is great, but is far from home

-Quebec medical system

-McGill has been under probation and I have spoken to many students who have said they have felt some negativity/condescension from preceptors

 

Both schools have great pros but there are also some flaws. I know medical school is a personal choice, but for me it is also a matter of which school will provide me with a strong education that will make me a better physician and able to attain a residency program that I like. For me it boils down to the issue of speaking French/probation at McGill vs. the PBL/clerkship lottery system at Mac.

 

Are any McGill students able to give some input on some of the issues with the program, it would be greatly appreciated! Do OOP students feel that they are able to fit in. I am also an individual from a visible minority and I am a little worried about dealing with not fitting in :/ 

 

Diversity wise I really don't know what you mean by diversity. We have med-p, people with undergrads and many ppl with graduate degrees, and people who worked different jobs many years before med school. I do think the class is very diverse, at least in comparison to the French schools.

 

Now, regarding student strength and weakness, let me tell you one thing:

it really just depends on yourself. You can go through PBL preclerkship and be a crap student if you were lazy and minimal just like you can go through a traditionnal curriculum and be a crap student. 

 

Forget reputation. I personally don't think it should impact your decision at all.

 

IMO:

Pros of McGill:

- you do your cores in third year (except for 4 weeks of geri and 4 weeks of EM and 1 week of public health, but you can switch to do your geri in med 3) and year 4 is mainly electives, which makes sure you do have enough experience. before going elsewhere on your electives.

 

Cons of McGill:

- the administration. complete headache

- preclerkship before TCP. Most of my friends agree with me that it was just terrible at so many levels. Many blocks were completely disorganized. Embryology was damn awful. So many lectures were just a waste of time. You just don't have time during preclerkship. Average week would be 3 hours of class the morning and 2-3 hours of PBL in the afternoon (on average 4 PBL per week). That really doesn't leave you a whole lot of time to study, especially if you live far. Sure there are lectures, but there are so many that are so poorly organized that I wish they didn't use those lectures and just made us read instead.

 

will finish later.

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I can't speak to the issues encountered beyond first year, but unlike Arztin, I don't find that we have absolutely no time at all - it certainly felt that way until winter break, but over time you find your groove and learn to cut corners where it best suits you. The week before an exam will be very busy, but that's no surprise. The curriculum is pass/fail for a reason; you're encouraged to do things outside of med, and not expected to know everything. I'm not particularly organized, I certainly don't spend all my time studying, and so far I'm doing just fine.

 

As for the curriculum more generally, I have nothing to compare it to so it's hard to comment... Some blocks are definitely disorganized, which can be frustrating for sure, but my impression has been that the faculty is receptive to change and welcomes feedback from students. We had a couple blocks this year in which the block leaders switched up the order of the lectures based on feedback from last year's class. I agree that some lectures could be done away with, and don't add very much to your knowledge, but that's also a byproduct of having a series of individual lecturers (mostly all working clinicians) give the lectures... some are not going to be very good teachers. 

 

Regarding your concerns about probation, what I have heard (albeit from an alum) is that many medical schools in Canada have been on probation at various points in time, and this does not necessarily reflect on the quality of that institution's education. I think it's likely this probation thing was blown out of proportion precisely because of McGill's "amazing reputation."  My understanding is it was a byproduct of their curriculum change in 2013 and the disorganization that ensued (particularly during clerkship), leading some students to have sub-par experiences. I am not an official source, so there may be more to it than that. In terms of negativity and condescension from preceptors, our class has been told of this happening occasionally. The "WELL" office has briefed us several times about procedures that are in place to prevent it from happening, and resources to turn to in the event that you are legitimately mistreated. I haven't had to use them, so no idea how effective they are. 

 

There are plenty of students who don't speak French in the class - you will be required to know a "functional" amount of French (not sure what that threshold is) by the time you get to the wards. They are understanding and try to accommodate students during pre-clerkship (ie, for longitudinal family medicine experience [where you're paired with a family physician and shadow their practice throughout the year], if you tell the admin you don't speak French, they will try to place you in a clinic that serves a primarily English-speaking population). 

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