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Wouldnt it be better to go to UBC if you want to do residency in BC? id assuem that vancouver hsopitals would prefer UBC grads over Uoft Grads. From the other side, go to uoft if you want to do residency in toronto since hospitals there prefer uoft grads?? can someone confirm this?

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I'm in a similar boat... UBC, or U of T? (...or Queens...?). The problem I'm running into is that even though I can roughly rank each institution in order of preference with respect to any number of dimensions (social, geographic, clinical opportunities, research, etc.), it is very difficult to determine how much weight each of these dimensions should be given with respect to the others. How does one compare the importance of social support from nearby family to the availability of research opportunities, etc.?

 

As far as the residency question goes, I know that the data indicate that most UBC residents did med school at UBC, and the same for U of T, and so on, but there are some other factors to consider. For example, there is probably a self-selection bias in terms of where graduates choose to apply for residency. Thus, it is difficult to determine whether residency directors actually give preference to graduates from their own institution. That said, I can see an entirely separate reason for going to the school at which you would like to complete residency training: doing so will allow you "face-time" with faculty and current residents during your clinical years, and this is definitely something that can help your chances when applying to that program down the road (I have heard multiple interviews of people involved in post-graduate selection who have mentioned that they prefer taking people on who they have gotten to know in the past). 

 

Of course, it's always possible to do an away rotation at U of T if you go to UBC, or vice versa, so perhaps it doesn't matter so much where you go for med school in terms of improving your chances for a specific residency program. Just my two cents.

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Many grads from each school gravitate towards staying in the same city for residency for a multitude of reasons, namely convenience, familiarity and connections. Moving to another city means that you will need to uproot yourself and potentially be in a completely different/unfamiliar system. 

 

Having said that, people move to different cities. While statistics can be "important," it does not really show a complete picture and you can't judge your chance of matching in a certain city by looking at CaRMS matching statistics. Every school has a big proportion of their own students staying due to student and school factors. 

 

In terms of UBC vs. U of T, I also had a similar dilemma four years ago. I chose U of T because Toronto is where my family and friends were. Fast forward four years, I am glad I did this because I needed this support in clerkship. I would have needed a year to establish and familiarize myself with Vancouver, had I moved (which isn't necessarily a bad thing though). 

 

The decision really comes down to your personality. You need to be honest with yourself; do you want to live in Toronto or Vancouver for four years? Your pre-clinical/clinical experience will likely end up being similar despite inevitable differences in certain curriculum factors (i.e. when you do electives, where you do clerkship rotations). If you really want to end up in another city for residency, you can always do electives there to have "face time." I can tell you that program directors love competent students, not just students from their own institutions  ;)

 

TL;DR don't overthink this and be honest with yourself about which city you can see yourself living in for next four years. That's the most important. 

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I would like to summarize the key points in comparing UBC vs. UofT (2017).

 

1. Number of Learners

Comparing class sizes, UBC is slightly larger than U of T (288 vs. 259). However, UBC's students are spread among 4 campuses; IMP, NMP and SMP with 32 students each while VFMP has 192. U of T is split between 2 campuses, St. George and Mississauga. If I remember correctly, there are 59 students in Mississauga and 200 in St. George. At UBC, 33.3% of their students are distributed to smaller campuses while U of T has 22.7% of their class at Mississauga, if we consider it a satellite campus. IMP, NMP, SMP and VFMP are spread out more geographically than St. George and Mississauga, reducing the competition between students for clinical experience, research opportunities, volunteer opportunities, etc.

 

Once you reach clerkship, getting clinical experience becomes extremely valuable for residency applications. Everyone has electives but the amount of hands-on time you get differs. Toronto is known to have a large number of fellows and residents in their hospitals. If the attending is there, and there is a fellow or 2, the senior resident will have very little to do, and you'll have literally nothing to do but twiddle your thumbs as a clerk. This can be a very poor learning experience. At residency interviews, there are always stories of people who went to small campuses that had A LOT more hands-on experience than someone who went to a large center. 

 

U of T actually lists small class size as a benefit to Missisauga, #2 here (http://uoftmeds.com/news/9-10-great-things-about-mississauga) but their class is not that small compared to IMP, NMP and SMP.

 

2. Funding numbers

U of T has more overall funding than UBC but it has to compete with 5 other medical schools in Ontario for funding. When the government funds projects/centres, it tends to focus money on one particular school. For example, let's say NOSM is really good at Aboriginal Health research because of their geographic benefits. The government funds major research projects and builds a research center. But then the government has no incentive to fund the same thing another 5 times at the other schools. In Ontario, you'll find that research in some areas are actually better at schools other than U of T (I'll leave it up to you to figure out which). U of T is obviously a leader in many research areas though, just not ALL of them as you might believe. The 5 other schools combined together train more students than U of T and also get a large part of the research funds. UBC is the only medical school in BC so it tends to get all the medical research dollars in BC. For example, UBC has Canada's largest integrated brain centre, the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, for integrated research in neuroscience, psychiatry and neurology.

 

At a macroscopic level, you might be very happy that U of T gets a ton of research funding per year but how much of that actually trickles down to the average medical student? In another post I mentioned that CREMS (http://www.md.utoronto.ca/research-scholar-programs), the research program for U of T medical students, only funds about 10 students per year out of 259! That's only 3.8% of the class and the numbers have been decreasing year over year. Although the number of available projects is limited, the program is open to all first year U of T medical students. Talk about competition! (All Canadian medical schools are pass/fail so unless you actually fail first year, everyone is in good academic standing).

The number of student/mentor pairs accepted into the program is dependent on the available CREMS funding. For 2017, we expect to be able to fund 10 students. Qualified student/mentor pairs will be determined by a CREMS Advisory Committee.

The Research Scholar Program is open to all first-year U of T medical students. Only students in good academic standing are eligible.

 

Let's look at UBC's Summer Student Research Program (http://med-fom-faculty.sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2012/02/SSRP_historical_application_and_funding_information.pdf). In the most recent 2012 data, the school funded 62 MD projects and 39 non-MD projects. Even with eligibility rules limiting the number of projects, they fund 100 projects a year. Their SSRP acceptance rate is around 50%! It is clear that UBC is willing to fund MD and even non-MD research. From 2004 to 2012, their numbers of increased significantly as well. Overall, it is clear that research funds are much more abundant for UBC medical students than U of T medical students.

 

3. Residency

A long topic, but all I'll say is that residency programs tend to prefer applicants from their home schools. Why? It's complicated but one easy thing to think about is the relationships you'll build if you spend 4 years at one school. The faculty might've taught you before, you might've shadowed them at some point and maybe you even did research with them. The things you learn about someone longitudinally are much more valuable than what you might feel about someone during a 2 week elective where they're on their best behaviour.

 

If you want to go to UBC for residency, then go to UBC. If you want to go to U of T for residency, then go to U of T.

 

4. Competitiveness

Competitiveness is hard to gauge for an entire school but just know at both schools, the people who want competitive specialities are extremely hard working. The people who tend to say that their school is not competitive are probably aiming for easier specialities. Don't let that lead you to believe that everyone is non-competitive, there are always cut-throat people out there. If many students are attracted to U of T due to prestige, they're probably more likely to be very competitive. 

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Not sure if you are a med student at either school, but there are several points, where you seem to over-analyze without considering the realistic picture. Information you see online may not provide a whole picture of what it is like at each school in real life. 

I am only posting a reply to provide different perspectives for the benefit of prospective students, as someone who just finished four years at U of T. It is up to an individual student to decide in the end. 

Please note that I can only comment on U of T because I did not experience what it is like at UBC first-hand. 

 

1. Number of Learners

 

Once you reach clerkship, getting clinical experience becomes extremely valuable for residency applications. Everyone has electives but the amount of hands-on time you get differs. Toronto is known to have a large number of fellows and residents in their hospitals. If the attending is there, and there is a fellow or 2, the senior resident will have very little to do, and you'll have literally nothing to do but twiddle your thumbs as a clerk. This can be a very poor learning experience. At residency interviews, there are always stories of people who went to small campuses that had A LOT more hands-on experience than someone who went to a large center. 

 

U of T actually lists small class size as a benefit to Missisauga, #2 here (http://uoftmeds.com/news/9-10-great-things-about-mississauga) but their class is not that small compared to IMP, NMP and SMP.

 

You don't "twiddle your thumbs as a clerk" at U of T. It is true that there are many learners but clerks have defined objectives to achieve. It is up for individual clerks to advocate for themselves for those opportunities. 

You may not be closing an incision as much as students at smaller centres, but you will learn it as a resident should you choose to pursue a surgical residency. Clerkship is where you are supposed to learn the basics, i.e. History, Physical and recognition of sick patients. Those alone take some time, especially when you switch around specialties every 6-8 weeks. Also, if you really really have to get your hands dirty every time, there are community centres to choose from. 

When I went to other centres for electives, I did not feel under-prepared at all; in fact, I felt I was well prepared especially with respect to the basics. I knew how to do consults, when to call residents for urgent matters and how to suture. (I did my clerkship in downtown Toronto)

 

2. Funding numbers

 

U of T has more overall funding than UBC but it has to compete with 5 other medical schools in Ontario for funding. When the government funds projects/centres, it tends to focus money on one particular school. 

 

At a macroscopic level, you might be very happy that U of T gets a ton of research funding per year but how much of that actually trickles down to the average medical student? In another post I mentioned that CREMS (http://www.md.utoron...cholar-programs), the research program for U of T medical students, only funds about 10 students per year out of 259! That's only 3.8% of the class and the numbers have been decreasing year over year. Although the number of available projects is limited, the program is open to all first year U of T medical students. Talk about competition! (All Canadian medical schools are pass/fail so unless you actually fail first year, everyone is in good academic standing).

lol. Having 5 other schools in the province does not affect how well one gets funded lol. 

Again, you are seeing CREMS, but you fail to notice that many PIs in Toronto hold their own grants and there are many different programs, which may not be advertised. There's plenty to go around. Even if you don't get the funding, you can still pursue research. Tons of opportunities. 

 

3. Residency

A long topic, but all I'll say is that residency programs tend to prefer applicants from their home schools. Why? It's complicated but one easy thing to think about is the relationships you'll build if you spend 4 years at one school. The faculty might've taught you before, you might've shadowed them at some point and maybe you even did research with them. The things you learn about someone longitudinally are much more valuable than what you might feel about someone during a 2 week elective where they're on their best behaviour.

 

If you want to go to UBC for residency, then go to UBC. If you want to go to U of T for residency, then go to U of T.

 

Maybe or maybe not. Research may help with building relationships, but that does not negate the fact that you need to do well on your elective. You have the benefit of knowing the system better and being more efficient on elective at home school. If you want a certain program, you will need to ace the elective/interview. 

 

 

As I mentioned previously, I think you need to look at several factors, which are not just limited to your future prospects. You need to look at which city you can see yourself living in a city and whether you have sufficient support around it. Those really help with you excelling in whichever school you go to. 

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