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Why is Mac Health Sci so popular??

A photo of jaymeshaughnessy jaymeshaughnessy
I'm looking at a variety of health science and life science programs for the 2012-2013 year at schools including Mcmaster, Queen's, Western, U of T, Ottawa and Mcgill.

I know that one of the most selective and popular programs, tends to be Mac Health Sci. I understand that Health Sci implements the problem based learning (PBL) and inquiry method, that incorporates group work, discussions and a creative way of learning core concepts. But, what really sets Health Sci apart from regular science courses? Are students really that drawn to this program, because of its "creative" way of learning? Or is it because Health Sci has a great reputation? Or was is it....?

I'm a low 90's student. I'm more of a follower than a leader when it comes to group projects. I enjoy working/studying by myself more than conversing with others. And most of the time, I prefer to work alone. I'm a littly shy, but I make friends easily. I learn best "lecture" style, by reading textbooks, pretty much learning the thoery of any concept. I'm not so big on learning the "creative" way.

Regardless of EC's and the supplementary application process, do you think i should consider applying for Health Sci, or just stick to the life science programs at Mac and the other schools mentioned above. Do you think that I would be able to do well in Heatlh Sci, if I'm on the shy side? I heard things like Health Sci students don't use textbooks or group work is very common. Is this true?

Please share your thoughts and experiences, especially if you are a Mac Health Sci student. I greatly appreciate this. Thanks.

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27 replies
 
A photo of inthemaking inthemaking
I myself was drawn to Mac health sci because of the opportunity to take courses you wouldn't in other life/health sci programs. There's a 4th year health sci elective, pathoanatomy, which I finally took this past year, in which you get the chance to prosect a cadaver that has a known pathology (though you may find other pathologies as you go along). They give you the entire body, skin still intact, and it's up to you and your group to prosect it well enough for the finished specimen to be used for anatomy/med school teaching purposes. That was a really, really cool experience and if I got the chance to take the course over again, I would. Hands down my favourite health sci course ever. Not a lot of other undergrad life/health sci programs give you an entire body to dissect as you please. As someone who is aspiring to be a surgeon (an animal one, though), it was a great way for me to practice blunt dissection techniques, suturing, use a bone saw, etc. And of course I also liked the challenge of PBL and self-learning (I learn best when I research stuff on my own because I can retain the info better). I also appreciate that in health sci we have to take a full year of human anatomy & physiology in 2nd year, because if you're planning on going into health care/medicine, it's definitely an advantage to have already taken anat&phys in undergrad. You get access to the cadaver lab in 2nd year and it really helps in learning anat&phys because you can see what the nerves/muscles/etc look like in real life. You'd be surprised at how many life sci programs don't make anat&phys mandatory in their curriculum (and instead make you take courses like plant biology) or if they do, they don't have a cadaver lab as a learning tool for students.

Some people go to health sci because of the reputation/because they think it guarantees them a spot in med school (not true, obviously). Others like the PBL and group work style. There's also a lot of flexibility within health sci to specialize/minor since we get a lot of elective space in upper years (unless you're in one of the specializations), so that's also a plus. Also in 3rd year we have to do a research project which is basically like a practice thesis for 4th year, but it allowed me to gain lab research experience early.

If you don't learn well in a group situation, I would stick to other programs because group work is a huge part of health sci. For many of our courses, we don't have textbooks at all and instead rely on group presentations to gather testable material for midterms/exams. I think your shyness is less of a factor since of course there are introverted people as well in health sci, but if you don't enjoy group work then your life will be hell since there's always at least 1 or 2 semester-long group projects going on for the first couple of years.
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A photo of CatRunner CatRunner
I just have to say that Guelph's biomed and human kinetics programs incorporate dissection and prosection into their programs. They are also among the very few undergraduate programs that let undergrads actually dissect a cadaver, and have access to a cadaver lab. So that is not unique to Mac's health science. The PBL-based learning, however, is unique to Mac.
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A photo of Meridian Meridian
I would comment that if you do decide to apply to MAC Healthsci, that the supplemental is everything. The number of people applying compared to the number of spots available is extreme. Everyone you would be competing with will have ++90% averages. MAC does most of the decision-making based on the 3 SUPP essays. Even if you were to have Stellar Mega-scholarship EC's, they do not come into play as that info is not separately requested. Attempting to weave to much into the essays will probably hurt your chances.

Get an early start on the SUPP and get teacher/parental/professional editing and reviewing. Admission to Healthsci is based on your essay writing skills more than any other factor.

... Not bitter or anything as I had already chosen to go elsewhere, but getting the "rejected" letter still hurts (smile).
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A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx
A quote from the Toronto Star regarding Health Sci grads:

"Medical schools do like the Mac graduates: about 60 to 65 per cent of them get into a medical school, and of the roughly 35 per cent who don't, they often go into law, psychology or health policy."

http://www.thestar.com/article/513637
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A photo of lookatme lookatme
I'm going into Mac HSci next year as a first year student, and I have to say that I chose this program because it would give me a chance to learn things that I would not normally get to learn in other programs. And I'm not just talking about cadaver labs or other unique health science courses, either. I believe it's the social/interpersonal skills that are most important, and the PBL will really help me develop that.

I really don't want my University to be just like high school, where you go to classes, and then you study on your own, and then you write the exam. While looking at the courses for health science, I was amazed at the amount of courses that don't even have a final exam!

Furthermore, I love the supportive environment that surrounds my program. The program emphasizes a collaborative, supportive environment, despite the fact that the majority of the students there are aiming for med school, which is extremely competitive. This isn't a program where students are pitted against each other in a class that only gives only x students A+s, like UofT or Waterloo. When I went to the orientation a few weeks ago, an upper year told me that there's been no one in the health science program that had to drop out because they had bad marks, and this program gets around 200 students every year!
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A photo of aquarius aquarius
The supplimentary application is out for 2012.Check their website.Interesting questions.
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A photo of Alwaysvip Alwaysvip
^wow the questions are really interesting; the first one is identical to that of last year's and the second one is the exact opposite. The last is (relatively) new though. Good luck to those who plan to write the supplementary this year!
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A photo of Quiz Quiz
It's popular b/c it is very difficult to get into. End of story. End thread.
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A photo of Aeria Aeria
There is lttle point even looking at the questions now. I wrote mine the day of and got in. I will elaborate on this later.

Closer to the deadline date next year if any prospective students wish I will create a thread based on tips for writing your supplementary application. Again, only if people actually want any unofficial guidelines.

:bom:
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A photo of Ozinator Ozinator
Id like to know how you wrote yours :batman:
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A photo of onlymatthew onlymatthew
It's popular because it's deemed a difficult program to get into. Keeners and overachievers often automatically correlate with "difficulty to get into" with how good the program is. Thousands and thousands apply, only about ~150 people get in. The actual program, like any other has its pros and cons, though. It should be noted that health sci has one of (if not THE) highest entrance rates into medical school or other professional post-graduate studies in Ontario and maybe even Canada. It breeds a very specific kind of student that is geared towards medical school, as it highly encourages the soft skills and "character" development.

Like others have said, admission really depends on your ability to write and your supplementary. Good luck if health sci is the program you're considering! However at the end of the day, all science programs are very comparable and not getting in definitely isn't the end of the world. Successful people will get into med school (or wherever) regardless of the program they're in.
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A photo of banga574 banga574
You want in? Pay somebody to do your supplementary application. Consider it a short-term investment. If not, pay multiple firms to do your supplementary application, then choose whichever one is the best.

Their admissions board isn't going to know. And they're sure as hell not going to investigate your application.

Use the time that you would've spent on your supplementary, on studying. Get the 95.2% average admission average required. That's what they look for.
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A photo of ktel ktel
It's not like writing a supplementary application is that difficult or time consuming. And good luck finding a firm that will do a good job. Most of the sites out there are scams that operate out of India or some other country. I certainly wouldn't want some ESL person writing my supp app. And never mind the ethical problems with this. And it's plagiarism.
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A photo of brandonholmes brandonholmes
Maybe it's just me, but I have a hard time believing that a random guy on the internet is going to be able to prove that I am a good applicant for any program. You need to prove that YOU could be successful. If you don't get in fairly, you probably wouldn't be successful. That's what the app is for.
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A photo of ktel ktel
This sort of academic dishonesty is rampant. Here's an interesting article for you: http://chronicle.com/article/The-Shadow-Scholar/125329
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A photo of mynameismattgotmlgo mynameismattgotmlgo
Lots of backwards/misdirected logic going on here. Sure, it's popular because it is competitive, but it also competitive because it is popular. So where does that logic lead you? In circles.

The innovative nature of the program (specifically the PBL courses offered) is a good reason for most students to choose Mac HS over any similar program. i.e. the demand for the program is high. Especially because of the nature of the program, the number of people that can be enrolled is limited. As a result, the demand for the program greatly exceeds the supply, hence the admissions competitiveness, which then further attracts people who are not necessarily interested in the innovative nature of the program but are interested in the admissions competitiveness of the program, further increasing the competitiveness.

You asked.
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A photo of sporty22 sporty22

@aquarius wrote
The supplimentary application is out for 2012.Check their website.Interesting questions.




I am not sure why but I can't see the supp application. Is it only avaliable for current Mac students that have a login?
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A photo of Nyx Nyx

@sporty22 wrote

@aquarius wrote
The supplimentary application is out for 2012.Check their website.Interesting questions.




I am not sure why but I can't see the supp application. Is it only avaliable for current Mac students that have a login?


Current Mac students won't really need to see the application...
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A photo of lookatme lookatme

@fxoqxc wrote
guys, just a quick question, but a social science credit doesn't count as a science credit right? i'm taking challenge and change for the nontech nonscience nonmath prereq.. just making sure?



Yup, you can use it as a prereq. I used philosophy for mine, and it's under the same umbrella of "social sciences".
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A photo of lookatme lookatme

@sporty22 wrote

@aquarius wrote
The supplimentary application is out for 2012.Check their website.Interesting questions.




I am not sure why but I can't see the supp application. Is it only avaliable for current Mac students that have a login?



The questions for next year are posted on the blank supplementary app.
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This post was deleted

 
A photo of lookatme lookatme

@fxoqxc wrote

@lookatme wrote

@sporty22 wrote

@aquarius wrote
The supplimentary application is out for 2012.Check their website.Interesting questions.




I am not sure why but I can't see the supp application. Is it only avaliable for current Mac students that have a login?



The questions for next year are posted on the blank supplementary app.


could you please link me? because the link at http://fhs.mcmaster.ca/bhsc/ where it's http://fhs.mcmaster.ca/bhsc/ says it's currently offline.



Whoa. So they took it down. They posted it before on the blank supp app.
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A photo of sporty22 sporty22

@lookatme wrote

@fxoqxc wrote

@lookatme wrote

@sporty22 wrote

@aquarius wrote
The supplimentary application is out for 2012.Check their website.Interesting questions.




I am not sure why but I can't see the supp application. Is it only avaliable for current Mac students that have a login?



The questions for next year are posted on the blank supplementary app.


could you please link me? because the link at http://fhs.mcmaster.ca/bhsc/ where it's http://fhs.mcmaster.ca/bhsc/ says it's currently offline.



Whoa. So they took it down. They posted it before on the blank supp app.




What were the questions?
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A photo of lookatme lookatme
What in your opinion defines you as you?

Select a four letter word in the English language which should be preserved and explain why (no contractions).

Describe your most difficult experience in dealing with others and how you handled the situation.
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