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Med School Dilemna

A photo of gurpreetchandi1 gurpreetchandi1
In order to go to med school, should you go to a hard medical science based program such as the university of western and receive moderate marks OR should you go to an easy science program and get high marks?
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A photo of gurpreetchandi1 gurpreetchandi1
and what is the difference between health sci and life sci at certain universities? (i.e. mcmaster)
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A photo of neuropsy neuropsy

@gurpreetchandi1 wrote
In order to go to med school, should you go to a hard medical science based program such as the university of western and receive moderate marks OR should you go to an easy science program and get high marks?



Go with the program that you feel you can perform well in, but also one that challenges you. Realistically, you'd want to go with the easy program that offers high grades. But if you have no interest in the program, and you have no incentive to study due to its supposed 'easiness', it won't do you much good. Ideally, go with what interests you.
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A photo of inthemaking inthemaking
Yes, go with the program that interests you the most. I could've chosen an easier route but I like being challenged and being with like-minded people. As for the difference between health and life sci at Mac, health sci is not as broad/general, it's very much focused on health-related fields. For example, some of the courses we have to take in health sci are epidemiology, critical appraisal of medical literature, and health systems and health policy. These aren't science courses, but rather teach you how to evaluate medical journal articles, how you would go about conducting a research study, and how our health care system works. All very important for people who want to go into med school/research.
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A photo of JessP JessP
That's a really great question and I think a fairly common one among aspiring med students. I'm not sure there is one correct answer to it either, so I will tell you what worked for me, and hopefully some of it will apply to you. Any medical school's open house will always tell you to have a Plan B, b/c the unfortunate reality is that most of the applicants to med school do not get in. I am in no way saying that this is what will happen to you, but in case it does, you have a career to fall back upon that you will like and can find a job in. You might think that you have to go the traditional route into medicine too, and by this I mean a major in some biological sciences/healthcare field. It is true that the majority of med students had this as their undergrad, but this may be because almost all of the applicants have the same scholastic background. If you go this route, you now have the added challenge of distinguishing yourself from the other applicants and this can be a hard task. I have known many great students who applied with this background, good grades, solid volunteer commitments, etc... who did not get in simply b/c they were like every other applicant. They were crushed afterwards too b/c they didn't want to work in their undergrads professions permantently, they only went that route b/c they thought that is what the admissions committee wanted to see.
One clear way to stand out is to pick an unconventional undergrad degree program. Mine was mechanical engineering. You set yourself apart, in the written application and in the interview for that reason alone. You are memorable to those with the power to grant you admission, and when there are so many qualified applicants, this is key. Also, if you don't get in, you will be left with a career that is of your choosing and one that you might still enjoy, even if it wasn't your first choice. For many medical schools, as long as you have the pre-reqs, it doesn't matter what you undergrad degree is. You should know that physics was not my strongest subject, so instead of majoring in something that I was naturally good at, like biochem, I chose to challenge myself and I am glad I did. You are going to be challenged in Med, so its good to get experience in similar situations before medical school. Its true that my grades were somewhat lower, but I think I developed some great skills that I would not have otherwise. If you do go an unconventional route, the challenge then becomes making sure you still maintain a link to medicine. This can easily be done in summer jobs and through volunteering. For example, I worked doing research applying engineering theory to medical problems, and volunteering in medical environments.
Either way, make sure you choose an undergrad that you enjoy and will cause you to grow and push yourself. Hope this helps and best of luck to you!
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A photo of SamerK SamerK
The university doesnt matter, my suggestion is to go to a University that has its own Medical School for graduate students like McMaster, UoT, Queens etc. But what you always want is high marks. It doesnt matter what school you go to or went to, as long as you have a competitive GPA and good extracurricular/volunteering experience you're likely to get in.

Honestly it doesnt matter what school you go to, the programs are probably not going to differ too much in difficulty, but rather the quality of your education and professors.
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A photo of SamerK SamerK
You also want to be in a medical program that will prepare you for the MCAT, look at wikipedia for the list of topics on the MCAT and take the associated courses. You really dont want to pick an easy program to just fly through that wont prep you for the MCAT at all otherwise you'll be in HUGE trouble come the actual test and medical school itself.

Biomedical sciences and Biochemistry are good programs for prep
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