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Real advice from real students.

Got a question about student life? From program comparisons to admission requirements to residence reviews—get real answers from real Canadian students.

anna950anna

AMA: First Year Western Med Sci Student

Hello! I know I used this website a lot during grade 12 and I can only imagine how stressed some of you may be during this pandemic trying to figure out what to do next year. I’m just finishing up my first year at western for medical science and would be happy to answer any questions you may have about the program! I can also answer questions about residence, extra-curriculars and greek life!

11 Answers

  1. Hi, thanks for creating this post as I am having trouble deciding on going to Western’s Med sci or other universities. Would you be able to share some of the pros and cons of the med sci program and Western in general? Also, is it possible to attain a high gpa in the program?

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  2. hello! im going to try to keep this as simple as possible because I could honestly go on and on about how much I love western haha

    PROS:
    – 1st year is just like your basics general science program that is meant to solidify basic concepts
    – 2nd year you have so much more freedom in course selection because you pick courses based on what you wanna specialize in 3rd year
    – the biggest reason as to why I chose med sci: 3rd year specializations are so cool!!! i did not see any other universities (queens, mac, uottawa, brock, etc) offer any specializations like the ones western does! if you haven’t checked them out already you should! (https://westerncalendar.uwo.ca/Pages.cfm?PageID=115&SelectedCalendar=Live&ArchiveID=)
    – first dibs on these said specializations! if you meet all the requirements from 1st and 2nd year and the GPA requirement, you get priority for any module over those in general science applying via the competitive pool
    – this is a really big advantage because the really popular modules (microimm, phys/pharm, path) have limited spots so they pretty much always get taken by med sci kids so people in gen sci trying to apply via competitive pool don’t get the chance to get into the popular modules
    – so so so many resources!!! if you’re ever struggling in any course, there are so many different ways to get help (profs, TAs, clubs) for example, the Biology mentors helped me out so much this year by having weekly workshops that go over lecture material and they had mock midterm exams!
    – for this pro I only speak for the people in my year but the people I’ve interacted with also in med sci are very helping and kind. its not a hostile and competitive environment at all. everyone is willing to help each other out especially with assignments and quizzes
    – many exchange, study abroad, co-op, and volunteering opportunities!!
    – western overall has a really welcoming and supportive environment that is unlike any other school (from what I’ve heard my friends at other unis say)
    – there are so many ways to get involved whether it be in clubs, sports teams or volunteering
    – western also has a really good social environment that makes it easy to relax and have fun every now and then. when I was choosing universities, partying and socializing wasn’t my biggest priority because I care about my studies more but without a good balance of school and fun you’ll burn out super fast (trust me it happened to me)

    CONS:
    – the fact that 1st and 2nd year is more like a general science program can be a con for some people because sometimes you have to take courses in subjects you may not like and it may bring your GPA down 🙁
    – many many many conditions and requirements to pass from 1st year med sci to 2nd year then to 3rd year BUT!! they’re not too hard (ex. pass all your mandatory classes with at least a 60%, pass your elective course with at least a 50%, don’t fail any of your mandatory courses on the first attempt)
    – aside from requirements within the program there are many requirements within certain courses (chem, physics) to even pass the course. for example, in physics, you have to pass either the midterm or final to pass the course. this means if you get a 49 on the midterm and a 49 on the final but 100 on everything else (quizzes, labs, assignments) you still fail the course and thus you don’t pass the requirement of getting a 60% in one of your mandatory courses so you can’t continue on 2nd year med sci. this can be very stressful 🙁
    – competitive to get into popular modules! even if you do have an advantage over people applying via the competitive pool, you still have to compete against people also in med sci! 1st year med sci has around 1000 kids and 3rd year med sci has about 400 spots in total so it may a bit competitive trying to get into the module you want (lots of people do drop out of med sci to gen sci/other programs tho)
    – the co-op and exchange opportunities are also competitive!!
    – not guaranteed into western’s med school!! this may seem obvious but sometimes people don’t realize that med sci DOESN’T EQUAL med school and get mad about it!

    and yes its very possible to attain a high GPA but it not going to be easy and you’re going to spend more time at the library than you really want to! you may not get the marks you’re used to getting in high school at first but once you figure out how to study for certain courses, how midterms and exams are formatted and how to manage your time properly, you’ll be getting 90s i’m sure of it! i used my first semester as a learning opportunity to figure out a new studying strategy and learn how university exams work and I did pretty good first semester (all above an 80). for second semester I knew what I was getting into and managed my time properly (you have soooo much free time its crazy) and I got above a 90 in all my classes (expect physics but we don’t talk about that)

    i hope this all made sense because I kinda went off oops! if you need any clarification lmk!! 🙂

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  3. Thanks for replying and giving such helpful info. I also want to ask about residence at Western. Are you able to study and get work done because I heard from others that there’s a lot of partying that happens at some residence?

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    • i lived in ontario hall so it was a hybrid style double room. i personally found that I could not study in my room but this also had to do with the fact that my suitemates were terrible!! they were super loud 24/7 and won’t be quite when my roommate and I asked them to. this meant I had to study at weldon until midnight during midterms and finals. i was able to do assignments, quizzes and homework in my room but when it came to grinding for exams I couldn’t do it. i did have lots of friends on my floor that were able to study in their room because they had a single room or their suitemates were quiet. residences have “quiet hours” during the week and on weekends which is meant to help with the noise but its honestly up to the people on the floor if they want to follow the rules or not. partying in res usually happens a lot during the first few weeks of school in September and during frost week but it begins to die down once exams roll around and when people starting turning 19 because then they can just go to bars!

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  4. Hey thanks for creating this post, I was looking for an AMA like this. Currently, I am a grade 12 student who got admission into Westerns Med Sci program but I have a couple of questions. I was doing some research and came across this thread on uthink that was created a couple of years ago: https://uthink.com/question/if-you-want-to-get-into-medical-school-dont-come-to-uwo-western-university/. Here they talk about many things from the professors being terrible to, as you mentioned, noisy suitemates. Is anything on this thread true? I also read online that this course is super competitive because of the premed mentality that a lot of students have, so they result in doing things like giving fake notes and other dumb stuff, in order to achieve higher GPAs than their classmates. Another thing I read online is that some profs end up making the course harder if there are a lot of smart students getting super high grades to bring down GPAs. Is there any credibility to any of this?? Thank you very much!

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    • Hello! I’m sorry I just saw this now! I took a quick look at the thread and here is what I think
      – This thread was from 2013 so there have been major prof changes and course changes since then. I didn’t find my professor particularly terrible. Were some of them harder than others? Definitely! Did they purposely make the class hard to make sure the class GPA goes down? No I don’t think so because whenever our exam grades were released, there was always at least one person that got 100 on that exam. My math professor told us in the beginning of the semester that he wanted us to have the highest GPA possible and he wasn’t going to try to sabotage us by making the exams super hard. He said that if the class average was a 70, 80, 90 or whatever, he wasn’t going to purposely bring it down since it was “too” high. All your profs genuinely want you to succeed (they tell u this a lot in lectures) but you have to be willing to put the effort in.
      – I feel like all my profs were very fair this year in regards to what they taught and what the exams were like.
      – I think the reason as to why super smart people are seeing their grades drop dramatically is because they don’t know to manage their time properly, don’t know how to study/ are using old high school techniques to study or get too distracted by the social life at western. Once you get to uni you’ll see that you have so much freedom, that if you’re easily influenced by peers, you’ll be going out every night and your grades will drop.
      – I do agree med sci is a lot of work and that you’re going to be sacrificing a lot (parties, social events, sleep) just to be getting 80s. But it is not impossible to get a high GPA. Yeah you could go to an easier school where you do the bare minimum to get 90s but then you’re not learning anything academic wise or skills wise and then if you do end getting into professional school you’ll struggle alot.
      – The “premed” mentality really depends on the people in your year. I found that people in my year were so helpful and kind towards each other. I’m in a groupchat with a lot of other med sci students and throughout the year we would send each other answers to assignments and help each other on pre-labs. Maybe in upper years people do start getting more competitive because of specialization selections but I didn’t experience this in first year

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  5. Hi thanks for this! What was your final top 6 average in grade 12 and around when did you get your acceptance?

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