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What's the difference between health sci and life sci? And which school is the best??

A photo of ndrwzheng ndrwzheng
I know it's a stupid question, but I'm going into business so I never really thought about it... I know that McGill and McMaster are really good for one/both of them, but which one's better for health sci? And which one for life sci?

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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
Health Science isn't the same in every University, that's especially true when you compare University of Western Ontario's Health Sciences program to McMaster's. Life Sciences on the other hand is pretty similar with slight differences at each University.

Health Science deals with the application of science to Health Care in a variety of settings such as Public Health, Community Health, Clinical Research, and sometimes Health Policy & Administration/Management. You'll be studying content relevant to Health without going into overkill on stuff that you simply won't need. Within Health Sciences you'll be taking courses such as Human Anatomy & Physiology, Epidemiology, (Health, Attitude & Behaviour). So pretty much essentially you'll take the science courses that will be applicable to Health. Also there will be courses that focus on the sociocultural approach to health, such as biomedical/health ethics, history of medicine, and health policy. This is a great program in my opinion because you are given a solid foundation to continue study in any health care profession.

Life Science encompasses a wide spectrum of science disciplines within or associated with Biology. You can expect to study such fields as Animal Physiology, Biochemistry, Psychology, Neuroscience, Molecular Biology, etc. Remember just because you don't go into Health Sciences doesn't mean you can't pick a Life Sciences program that's going to be related to Health Care, that's the thing with Life Science, it's so broad and has a lot of options for whatever field you're interested in. Say for example you are interested in Health Care or Medicine, a Human Biology degree may be of interest for you because you'll learn a lot of content that can give you an idea of what you'd be covering in medical school beyond the required courses you all ready need to take. Within Human Biology you'd be able to specialize in such areas as Immunology, Pharmacology, Disease, Pathobiology...

In terms of what programs are better, I'm not going to sit here and write which ones I think are better or which schools are superior or elite. That's your call to make not mine!

Remember this, if you're interested in the health field don't limit yourself to the typical medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, & optometry. There are many great health professions such as Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Emergency Medical Services (Paramedicine), Nursing, Medical Radiation Sciences, and much more!

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A photo of inthemaking inthemaking
As Medic93 said, life sci is pretty similar between universities. Usually it's general in 1st year (you take bio, chem, physics, psych, calc) and then you can choose a major at the end of 1st year in pretty much any science (bio/chem/physics/psych/biopsych/genetics/molecular bio/biochem etc).

Health sci at UWO is more of a social science degree, it's geared towards people with an interest in public health and health policy. There is less focus on biology. Here's a list of health sci courses to give you an idea of what you'll be taking in this program: http://www.uwo.ca/fhs/health_studies/course_outlines/archive/2010_11.html

Health sci at Mac is geared specifically at human health care. In 1st year, you don't take general sciences (except for general chem), you jump right into cell biology and psychobiology. In 2nd year you take a full year of human anatomy & physiology, epidemiology, and stats. In 3rd year, you take critical appraisal of medical literature, and health policy; and you have to do an inquiry project (basically a practice thesis project). In 4th year you have a thesis project, which can be a continuation of your 3rd year project or a new one. There are also lots of cool electives. Some of the more interesting ones I took were pathoanatomy, pathophysiology, immunology and virology.

I don't know about McGill but on these forums you'll see that Mac is mostly known for its health sci program in that there's a lot of competition to get into the program (3000+ applicants for 160 spots).

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