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Curious about McMaster Medical School

Discussion in 'Canada' started by determined2bnmd, Aug 3, 2004.

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  1. determined2bnmd

    determined2bnmd Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Sep 17, 2003

    I am a US citizen and I am currently in the process of researching medical schools. I was recently reading about McMaster's undergraduate MD program and wanted to know if anyone can tell me a bit more about the program. If anyone has even attended the school that would be helpful as well as do they accept US citizens to the school.

    Thank you :)
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  3. coastal

    coastal Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 20, 2003

    go to the mcmaster thread at the above site, there's tonnes of info there.

    Mac is an interesting school. They pioneered the PBL approach to medical education that has subsequently been integrated into most medical programs in north america (to some degree or another). The program is also 3 years long, but the students go 11 months of the year. Historically, Mac has been less concerned with grades and you didn't even have to write the mcat (still don't I think), and have always had very diverse classes. There's a big focus on service activities, and I mean hard core volunteering, not a couple years once a week at the hospital. The average gpa is, however, creeping up so it is becoming less and less likely for people to get in with a 70% average and stellar extracurricular activies.

    Honestly, I have a feeling Mac doesn't take internationals and, if they do, it's only a few. You also have to remember that, except for top notch schools in the US, Canadian schools are significantly harder to get into.

  4. Badkarma25

    Badkarma25 UCD Med Class of 2008 10+ Year Member

    Feb 20, 2003
    yeah for mac med you don't need the mcat (they won't even look at it if you do provide scores)....it's all pbl, which i think is a total load of crap but whatever you like. while they say all you need is a B average over 3 years of undergrad, you have about a snowball's chance in hell of getting an interview (let alone getting in) with grades that low. they do publish the gpa breakdown of each entering class and you can count on one hand the number of people with grades anywhere near 70 or a B. to get in to mac med, you basically need to prove to them that you can walk on water, so break out the big time volunteer activities (think summers at an orphanage in a third world country for a start). mac doesn't take too many internationals, and it's the toughest med school in canada to get into. this past year, the ratio of applicants to people accepted was 21:1 (which is a bit lower than previous years but still steeper than any of the other canadian schools). also bear in mind that mac has a reputation for being innovative...for some reason, people seem to equate that with better, which isn't necessarily true....
  5. coastal

    coastal Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 20, 2003
    Just to clarify, Mac isn't all PBL, they have lectures as well, just like the rest of us. As to Mac being the hardest school in Canada to get into, I would hesitate to use the ratio of applicants to matriculants to evaluate this. While, in reality, getting in with a low gpa is nearly impossible nowadays, that fact is not reflected in the info that mac provides for potential applicants. Add the fact that the mcat isn't required, and you get alot of people with no chance whatsoever applying to mac because they think the requirements are slack. In contrast, nobody with below a 3.7 and 30 bothers to apply to Western because they know they won't make the gpa or mcat cutoffs for an interview.
  6. euromd

    euromd Guest

    Jul 14, 2004
    My friend had something above 3.7 and 31 and interviewed at Western (and others) but didn't make the cutoff at Queen's???!!!! He didn't have the billion years of humanitarian service requirement needed for Mac so he didn't even bother applying!

    wtf is wrong with this picture??????

  7. coastal

    coastal Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 20, 2003
    "My friend had something above 3.7 and 31 and interviewed at Western (and others) but didn't make the cutoff at Queen's???!!!! He didn't have the billion years of humanitarian service requirement needed for Mac so he didn't even bother applying!

    wtf is wrong with this picture??????"

    The MCAT cutoff at Queens was 32 this year. I'm not sure if you needed a 32, or >32. GPA cutoff was 3.62 on the Ontario scale. There wouldn't be anything wrong with the picture if Canadian medical schools were turning out enough doctors per year to fill our country's needs, but they aren't. That said, I think that we'd be better served by having more medical schools, rather than having huge classes like at U of T and UBC (200ish students).
  8. Friendly

    Friendly Resident 10+ Year Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    California, USA
    There is little point in considering McMaster if you?re from the U.S. McMaster used to reserve 10 places for internationals but, in reality, they never filled more than 2 of them per year. Most of those internationals came from the Middle East. I know a guy that went there - he told me that they have taken only one American in the last five years and she was absolutely stellar.

    They advertise that you need a GPA minimum of 3.0 but, in reality, they will not even interview you if you are below 3.5 (and that's for the local Canadian applicants!). Traditionally, McMaster graduates have been heavily criticized for not fairing as well on the board exams and on clinical competence as interns; this is negated several years thereafter where their graduates have been shown to supercede the abilities of traditional medical school graduates. There are several papers on Pubmed about this. The poorer earlier performance is attributed to the lack of formal examination during the curriculum (only a few token exams and there is no failing grade), and a lack of science prerequisites. You can have a degree in ancient Greek upon admission, and graduate satisfactorily.

    For internationals, they now say that this "applicant pool is on hold". This likely means that they no longer wish to admit internationals, so there is little point in applying. In short, McMaster has a very unique program, and it appears that they can train a graduate in any discipline to become a competent physician.
  9. euromd

    euromd Guest

    Jul 14, 2004
    he was surprised b/c last year the cutoff at Queen's was 30. He was only expecting it to go up to 31, not 32.

    There is a new med school opening up for 2005, if you want to study in Sudbury or Thunder Bay! I think it's 56 places total split up between both campuses. Like 56 places is really going to fill the HUGE MF DOCTOR SHORTAGE. It's not like I don't hear monthly that someone has died in the waiting area of an emergency room or been turned away from an emergency room and then died enroute to another one, MONTHLY. And I don't exactly pay close attention. I'm talking large city hospitals, not rural!!!

    sorry for venting. I just remember my friend telling me this in org chem 2 lab and I almost spilled bromine all over the place because his score that would be competitive across the board in the US as a US citizen were just not good enough here in Canada. He probably also didn't have any family members who were alumni of Queen's either. That helps your admission case alot, more than a 31 on your MCAT!

  10. coastal

    coastal Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 20, 2003
    This comment is based on what? It's easy to find excuses.
  11. stwei

    stwei Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    May 17, 2003
    Here's what the info said:
    The International Applicant Pool is on hold this admissions
    cycle. Interested international applicants may still apply
    through the regular pool.

    :eek: :confused:
  12. euromd

    euromd Guest

    Jul 14, 2004
    True. but that was his comment and he wasn't too interested in Queen's to begin with. and with his scores, he didn't need excuses.

    I have never applied there for any dep/fac so I don't know. However, I know a few students who have applied and to those who got an interview in their respective departments, they were asked if they were children of alumni. Unless you're going to use this to someone's advantage or disadvantage, I don't know why they would ask a whole lot of people in a whole lot of departments that very question. It just seems strange. I can see later on, the head of department you've gotten to know through classes and stuff.... or s/he remembers your parent/s from his/her uni days

    This is similiar to the fact that every student who goes to McGill knows that it has a rather lax cheating policy, to say the very least. I, thankfully, only took one class there (did undergrad elsewhere - and i'm by no streth of the imagination implying it was a better school) but had quite a few friends who went there and they were frankly horrified that it was just so easy to cheat. You didn't even have to plan or go out of your way to do so.
    Granted, these people weren't in med or law. however, med and law at McGill are programs with longstanding "great" reputations. If there was such cheating going on, would it be in the best interest of the school to erradicate it at the expense of the school's reputation, or just let it slide like it does in all its other departments? I'm not saying that cheating is going on in the med school like it's going on where i've seen it because these students do have to pass the MCCQE 1 and 2 and that has to be done on your own (i'm assuming).

    All to say that the school prospectus doesn't tell all. You have to ask students what the hell is really going on.

  13. amanmann

    amanmann Member 5+ Year Member

    Jul 17, 2004
    Mac Doesnt Accept International Students
  14. arjuna83

    arjuna83 New Member

    Jul 18, 2004
  15. McGillGrad

    McGillGrad Building Mind and Body 10+ Year Member

    Dec 21, 2002

    What are you talking about? I am a McGill alum and even though I do not go out of my way to look for it, I cannot remember ever seeing it. Cheating is near impossible on exams at McGill.

    The invigilators write down every detail of your 3 hours during exams.

    You are probably thinking of Concordia, because cheating at McGill is not only hard, but will also get you booted in a split second.
  16. docbill

    docbill 7+ Year Member

    Aug 20, 2004
    Try Halifax. I believe they accept and like to have US applicants.

    BTW.. if you are thinking of Canadian schools because your scores are not competitve in the US.. then don't even bother. Canadian schools have much higher GPA and MCAT averages then the US schools.

    If you listen to the bickering of Canadian applicants on this board you will realize it really fast.

    For the canadian applicant.. knock it off... if you want to do medicine go to the US. Canada is competitive and that is life. If you want to wait around till these regulations change then best of luck to you. Or better yet.. start improving your GPA and MCATs. I think it is better to go to the US... demand is what controls the min requiremnts.
  17. Gene Queen

    Gene Queen Medical Genetics Resident 5+ Year Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    Hi, I'm a recent graduate from McMaster Med School, and I would be more than willing to dispell any myths that might be floating around about McMaster. One thing I would like to say is that McMaster no longer is deficient in licensing scores and hasn't been for many years, since the introduction of a mock licensing exam that all students must take every 3 months for their entire time at Mac. Compared to other Canadian medical schools we have very good match rates for residency programs as well. Like any medical school, there will be some excellent students, some really bad ones, and the rest somewhere in between.

    In my class there was one international student and she is American.

    Mac is a really good school but you have to be quite disciplined to do well because it's easy to fall through the cracks.

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