View Full Version : Toronto vs. McGill
hey all: we all know that toronto is unarugably the best medical school in canada providing the best medical education....i also hear that by the candadian ranking system (something like the us news rankings for us schools...i live in the us) toronto is #1 while mcgilll i beleive is #4...but why is that mcgill is better known in the united states and in general has a more international reputation...does totonto has any international repute? i would really appreciate your input on this issue...thanks and good luck to all who are applying to these schools...best, rk
"we all know that toronto is unarugably the best medical school in canada providing the best medical education"
I'd like to know what makes U of T "unarguably" the best school in Canada. I don't agree or disagree because I really don't know, but would like to find out since U of T is one of the places I interviewed at. I hear people say it's the best all the time, but nobody seems to have any real proof. Sure, U of T has the most research funding, but what if you're into clinical medicine? BTW, there aren't any medical school rankings other than Gourman (which is BS, and moreover ranks McGill higher anyway).
04-20-2002, 01:21 PM
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That's entirely debatable, and I wouldn't buy into that belief. Each school is going to excel in different areas. There is no one medical school that can hope to produce the best researchers, basic scientists, physician-administrators, rural-oriented doctors, urban specialists, etc all under one roof. It's just not feasible nor possible to be the best at everything.
UBC, Med 3
04-20-2002, 02:06 PM
Hi rk and JD,
See, you can't rank Canadian schools like you can American schools. It just doesn't work. They're all good, and that isn't just a load of BS, it's the truth (this coming from a U of T med student). What makes U of T good is the access to many big names in research and the faculty-to-student ratio is extremely high... however if you're the kind that isn't into research, you will get exposure to stuff during the preclinical years that you might not find relevant. This is just one aspect of what it's like here. Just find what works for you.
04-20-2002, 02:59 PM
rk was probably referring to the macleans rankings when he quoted ut at 1 and mcgill at 4
Those are undergrad rankings. U of T was ranked the #1 undergrad school in the Medical/Doctoral category, which is just a way of grouping universities together. As stated on the website, "The Medical Doctoral universities are those with a broad range of PhD programs and research, as well as medical schools." The rankings aren't for the medical programs themselves.
I'm guessing that the quality of the medical school, graduate school, law school, etc. etc. might be a bit of a factor in the rankings, but it looks like for the most part they are meant to measure the "undergraduate experience at Canada's public universities."
i had actually cited mcleans ranking...sorry if i am way off..but i would still be interested in knowing why toronto is not as well known in the us as mcgill even though toronto is more research oriented and financially better...
One reason that McGill is more well known in the US is the huge number of American students they accept. I can't remember the exact number, maybe 25 or so. That's 5 times the number of non-Quebec Canadians in their class. The number of Americans at U of T is a lot less. Since most of these American students would naturally apply back home for residency, so the residency directors at the various hospitals would naturally known more about McGill's program than U of T's.
The last statement by JD is true about McGill accepting more US students than OOP students. But, McGill's good reputation compared UT in the states also has to do with McGill being the *top* school in Canada every year prior to 1993(Maclean's).
Keep in mind that prior to 1993, Montreal was a *bigger* city than toronto in terms of the big companies that had offices there and the population. As a result, more and more students in Canada and the US were trying to go to McGill at the time.
My uncle attended McGill around 10 years ago, and I recall him telling me that McGill was the best school in Canada back then, but now McGill is too preoccupied with trying to get US students to attend the school...ha.
04-21-2002, 12:24 AM
I am sorry if my post will not be too coherent or well substantiated – I just want to express a few remarks as they cross my mind. As it is one of the oldest medical schools in North America and because of Sir William Osler (McGill’s graduate (initially went to U of T) from the late 1800s who was involved with some top U.S. (John Hopkins) and British (Oxford) medical schools), McGill had traditionally been viewed internationally as the best Canadian University. I was born in Germany and McGill still has a much better luster there then U of T. This has changed to some degree in the past few decades. Partially because of the language laws imposed by the Quebec government, Montreal has seen some of its brightest people leave the City (fortunately not the majority of them). Most American rankings still, to some degree deservedly, regard McGill’s medical school as the best - mostly because of its rich history, strong commitment to research as well as its openness to ideas from all around the world (the fact that McGill has only five OOP spots has nothing to do with the school – it is just politics of Quebec government). MacLean’s rankings do not rank just the medical schools they rank the entire Universities. Furthermore their rankings change dramatically year to year. While prior to 1993 it was mostly McGill, U of T seems to have been their pet during the past several years. Ultimately, the bottom line is that both are outstanding institutions and getting into either of them (or any other Canadian school) is a great achievement. Personally, I interviewed at both and should I have the luxury to choose (which I highly doubt) I would go for McGill, mostly because I never lived in Quebec (I live in Toronto now) and would like to experience Montreal’s unique ambiance. Also, I like the “systems-based” learning and the guarantee to have all of my electives completed before deciding about my specialty - something which is not always the case at U of T.
04-21-2002, 04:17 PM
That was a very good post George. I hope you do get to choose.
04-21-2002, 06:14 PM
How well known a school is dependent on which circles you're referring to. Among the academic medicine/basic science folk, Toronto is typically the best known school, at least in the US. I hear enough of, "You are so lucky to be in that program" from my US colleagues at every cystic fibrosis conference, cuz to them Hosp. Sick Child. and UofT are the center of international CF research. Yet, there are other areas, such as infectious dis, PBL curriculum, rural med etc. in which other Canadian schools are more influential. McMaster, UBC, McGill and UofT, ar all very well known down south and somewhat in the international scientist community for their respective strengths.
04-21-2002, 08:35 PM
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