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Queen's Sci vs Mac Life Sci vs Western Biomed vs UTM Life Sci

A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
If you were chosen in all of the programs listed in the title, which one will you choose , and why?

Key points for choosing a university for me will be:

- Does this program at the university allow me to attain a high enough GPA to pursue my postgraduate dream? (I know it sounds overplayed; not all people become doctors, and not all people want to become doctors as there are thousands of other specializations).

- What is the environment of the university like?

- Which of these unis is least/most accessible for me (in terms of transportation).

Just some key factors. You can obv add more/debate on preexisting ones.

If you are a former high school graduate, and were in a situation like this, what did you do and why? Do you regret your choice or cherish it? Stories like these, if shared, will be marvelous!

Thanks for all responses in advance!
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4 replies
A photo of drewsiez3 drewsiez3
I'm a first year bio med student at western. I don't regret coming here at all. Such a great school with a great foundation of students to interact with and study with. You've probably heard the rumours like "zomg uni is soo hard, your marks are going to drop like crazy". It's simply not true.
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A photo of comebackkid comebackkid
Honestly, I don't know how much I can stress this enough. Don't let other people's opinions be the basis of your admission decision. Visit the campus of each school, do research on 2nd, 3rd, 4th year courses/opportunities/specializations. Try and find out everything for yourself, that way there is no bias :)

I can only really tell you what I know about Western, UTM and Mac though, since I didn't apply to Queen's.

The one thing I know about Queen's, Western, and Mac though is that their Science/Life Science programs are huge (800+) students. Western has about 1300 I think, however, after first year, everything at Western becomes extremely small (due to a diverse list of specializations).

(NOTE: BIAS AHEAD) Personally, I chose Mac over Western and UTM. I had to withdraw my application to Western actually because I wouldn't be able to afford it :( UTM is right beside my house, and it's a great school and very accesible... but you have little room to branch out. Everyone I know in UTM LS goes into the Biology Specialist program, which makes it the most competitive. With the new Health Science complex though, UTM might start to offer some better pre-med opportunities. I wanted to go to Western for the BMSc, but like I said, due to financial reasons I had to withdraw my application. Western would have been my second choice, but Mac was my number 1 since the day I applied.

I'll answer your original questions now, based on my opinions of Mac:

High enough GPA: This is something that everyone asks, and there's only one answer to it. Your grades will always be a representation of how hard you work. If you want a high GPA without trying hard, go to York. Not saying that to be offensive, but that's where people can get their pre-med AND high GPA without putting in any effort (from what my friends tell me). If you're going to apply to 4 of the biggest schools in Canada, (2 of them being some of the greatest in the world), then high GPA comes with a price. If you want to become a doctor, go to the school where you feel the most at home. You don't want to be over stressed already as a pre-med AND have to face home sickness. I chose Mac because it's just a few GO stops away from Mississauga, yet I still get the whole University experience. And, as silly as it may seem, having a hospital on campus is great motivation to go home that day and put in more effort than you did the day before. If you see your dream right in front of you, you will want to work hard to achieve it.

Environment: Physically, you have a great blend of classic, collegiate-gothic architecture at Mac, plus the outstanding modern buildings.

In terms of the people, I've never been to the campus (going this Tuesday :D), but my friend who's a first year Life Sci (wants to go into Dentistry) says shes loves it.

I don't know about you, but I literally live 5 minutes from UTM. That was one of the factors preventing me from going to UTM. Yes, of course, living on campus is much more expensive, but you have to balance in your life. You have to be able to manage your social life and academic life so you don't do more of one than the other. I'm planning on staying in an apartment style or suite style dorm at Mac. That way, I'm surrounded by other people, but I will have my own room. Also, I would be able to go home whenever I want without a concern of travel time since it's very convenient in terms of my location.

Closing comments: I think Mac's life science program is overlooked by undergrads because health science is a much better pre-med program. Even though it is, not everyone gets into health science, and that should not be a reason to not attend Life Science. If you take the actual Life Science major you take a general first year with 5 mandatory courses, and then 5 other courses (3 options + 2 electives). In the level II and III "Life Science" major, you literally get to take courses from every aspect of Life Science. You get to take courses in Health and Disease, Neuro, Inquiry, Enviro, Nutrition, and so many more. Plus, in second and third year, you have a lot of room for electives. So, you could potentially take some easy arts courses to boost your GPA! Fourth year students get to research with the supervision of a faculty member in a thesis project, which is great prep for a Masters program. All in all, Mac Life Sci is the choice for me and I've known since day 1. This obviously won't be the same for you, and you should go to the school that you feel contributes to your needs the most.

Good luck on your decision :)
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A photo of Carter14 Carter14
Do you think Life Sci is a good program for someone who does intend to go to med school?
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
Thanks for the excellent reply ComebackKid! Really informative and precisely answers all my questions. Thank you everyone else for their responses too. I just have one more question for ComebackKid, [if he/she does not mind answering it :)]. Why did you not apply to Queen's? Was it because of it's location, or? XD

Anyhow, my response to the question stated above is: Your question is too vague. In order to obtain admission to most Med schools, you need to take at least 2 life science courses as well as few more courses which I am unsure of in your undergraduate. You also need a achieve a certain score on the MCAT and mantain a high GPA (3.6 out of 4 is usually the cutoff. Admission GPA is usually 3.8) in your 3-4 years of undergraduate studies. Now, Med school itself clearly states that they treat all disciplines (life sciences, engineering, accounting, etc) equally. Now despite that, the reason why a person would like to get admission in life sciences in order to apply to medicine school is because the 3-4 experience will allow them to prepare better for the MCAT, and allows the individual to build up on their interest for medicine/discover new interests. Other than that, you can pretty much pursue any program and still apply for Medicine (while making sure it satisfies the Medicine school's criteria).
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