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Serious HEALTH SCIENCE (@Mac) questions??

A photo of raymondkhanano77 raymondkhanano77
What's up, I have two important questions regarding the Bachelor of HS at Mac. So, as of now I've applied to all the schools I can possibly go to and my number one choice is McMaster. I applied for the Life Science program, but I have some concerns...

1) Why does McMaster say on their website that the Health Sci program is NOT a pre-med program, yet most of the students who are accepted into it want to go into Medicine? I don't have an actual fact to support my claim, but just from reading around the forum I got that impression.

2) If I choose to go to Mac for Life Science, what opportunities will the Health Sci kids have that would benefit a pre-med student, that Life Sci kids won't have?

Thanks :)
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A photo of inthemaking inthemaking
1. Because some people see the stat that 60% of health sci grads get into med school and assume that health sci guarantees you a spot in med school. And they also don't want to promote the belief that you only go to health sci if you want to go into med, and students aiming for other careers need not apply.

2. We take a full year of human anatomy & physiology in 2nd year with access to the cadaver lab, which is very useful for any type of medicine (anat&phys isn't mandatory in Mac life sci, though you can choose to take the 1st year kin anat&phys as electives, but I believe theirs is slightly modified and they don't have access to the main cadaver lab). Upper level health sci electives include pharmacology; pathophysiology and pathoanatomy (extensions of anat&phys). I found pathoanatomy and anat&phys to be the most useful courses I ever took in undergrad because it really prepped me for 1st year anat&phys (even in vet school, so I can only imagine it would be so much more useful for med school). In pathoanatomy you get an untouched cadaver to dissect for the entire semester which is pretty cool, and also a bonus if you want to become a surgeon (I learned how to blunt dissect and some suture techniques in this course).

We also have an elective called communications where you practice soft skills and handling difficult situations through conducting simulated patient interviews (eg. situation where a patient becomes angry and aggressive, is non-compliant, refuses treatment etc), which you will have to take eventually in med school. The only other thing I can think of is that because the MMI and OSCE (both used in many Ontario med schools) originated from Mac med, health sci incorporates OSCEs into some of its courses so you've already had some practice with them in undergrad by the time you get into med. But it's really not that big of an advantage, except that I guess it wouldn't be your first time encountering it in med school. I'd say the most significant opportunity health scis have that Mac life scis don't is taking human anat&phys. Taking anat&phys for the 2nd time vs. taking anat&phys for the 1st time in 1st year med can have a huge impact (anat&phys are currently my 2 highest grades simply because a lot of it is review for me and so I don't have to spend so much time and effort learning it).
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A photo of raymondkhanano77 raymondkhanano77
Alright, see my main concern is everything you just told me to answer question two... Personally, I would kill to get into Health Sci, but it's probably too late to get a supplementary ready...

I digress... moving back to the followup question I had. So, you mentioned first year kin for life sci, which would be like (but to a certain extent) 2nd year anat and phys... are you aware of any upper year courses/electives for life sci that involve actual human practice?

One last question: There are tonnes of majors to choose from in Life Sci, and I want to end up picking the best one at the end of first year. I was thinking to take the major in Life Science, and then after that go onto a graduate school. Does that seem like the best thing to do?

Thanks for all the help :D
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A photo of inthemaking inthemaking
If you have or predict you will have a 90+ top 6 average, then it's definitely not to late to apply. Even if you have a 88/89 right now but aren't done all your prereqs yet (and thus still have a shot of getting 90+), I would apply if you want to go. The supplementary is due Feb 1, which gives you just under a month. I wrote mine a week before it was due, edited it once and submitted it 3 days before the deadline; so it's definitely doable.

I don't know of any upper year life sci electives like that, unless they've added some new courses since I graduated. I remember looking for some while I was choosing 3rd/4th year electives.

I had assumed that you wanted to go to med school afterwards from your OP, but if you want to go grad school and do research, I would suggest maybe majoring in the field you want to do your Masters/PhD in (eg. if you want to do biochem research, major in biochem). It just helps because a huge part of getting into grad school is finding a supervisor and many of your profs will be conducting their own research. If you've taken and done well in their courses, it will be easier to get them to take you on in their lab.
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A photo of raymondkhanano77 raymondkhanano77
That's exactly the case. I'm sitting on an 88/89 because of my mark in English... but that's pretty important for any undergraduate program from what I know (my friends told me instead of TOP 6 it's usually TOP 5 + English)

Even so after that, I have to manage to write a supp. to beat out the other 2800 or so candidates... I know I'm speaking in negatives here but it seems so out of reach for me. I'll see where I stand the week I go back to school.

I actually want to go to medical school, but I have a few back ups if I don't get into any medical schools four years down the line. In my previous post I mistakenly classified professional schools and grad schools under the same category I suppose :P My mistake. Research wouldn't be a bad career though, but I'm thinking too far ahead for now.

Right now where I stand, and what I've researched into Life Sci at Mac I think I will enjoy an education at the school. I love biology and chemistry, and since it incorporates them both I know I'll be studying what I want to study. The only issue is having to come to grips that a few kids will be more prepared than I'll be if I should get into medical school.

Anyways, thanks for all the help :D
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A photo of inthemaking inthemaking
Yeah all Ontario undergrad programs will require English as a prereq. You definitely still have a shot though since you're really close to the cutoff unless you've already taken all the other prereqs (bio, chem, 2 maths).

And if you want to go to med school after undergrad, any life sci major would be fine. A lot of people choose bio/life sci as the obvious choices but I would go with whatever you're most interested in (eg. if you like chem better then by all means major in chem) because you tend to do well in the courses you genuinely like. And just because some people are better prepared doesn't mean that you won't do well in med school! It may take more time/effort on your part but if you work hard then there's no reason why you couldn't do just as good or even better than others.
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