View Full Version : parlez-vous francais? sadly no.
12-07-2002, 11:45 AM
i realize mcgill is an english university but as an anglophone i was wondering how important a functional knowledge of french is for mcgill meds. i could forsee some problems arising in terms of patient interactions as well as with colleagues during the clinical years. are these concerns valid? experiences of OOP meds would be particularly helpful.
Hi, I'm not a McGill med student nor do I live in Montreal, but I have spent a considerable amount of time there. From what I've seen when I was there, most people are able to speak or at least understand English, and I imagine this is even more true for most people working at a Montreal hospital. So as far as colleagues are concerned I don't think language barrier should be a problem. As such, patient language barrier probably won't be much of an obstacle because so many people are bilingual there (and many colleagues will be able to translate)
12-07-2002, 06:43 PM
Well I'm only a first year student and so my first-hand clinical experience is well....non-existant. However, I have lived here my whole life and spent 6 years working on ambulances so i do have a fairly good handle on the health care system. All clinical experience at McGill takes place at the McGill teaching hospitals (other than electives) and so you can be almost 100% guaranteed that the staff there speak at least a reasonable amount of english, so that interacting with staff should not really be a problem. As for the patients, certainly speaking french is an asset (knew it would come in handy one day) but i think you'll find that where there is a will, there is a way around that difficulty. We've got many people in our class and upper years as well who do not speak a word of french and seemed to have faired just fine in med.
Bottom Line: I wouldnt let your lack of french be a reason to avoid applying to or studying at mcgill for med.
12-07-2002, 09:55 PM
thank you ceds and medicator for your comments. they echoed my own thoughts on the matter.
it's reassuring that, although being immersed in the francophone culture of la belle province would be a rather imposing adjustment, if i am offered an interview and one of the coveted 5-7 OOP spots at mcgill language should not be an educational issue.
12-10-2002, 12:38 PM
hi. I just thought I'd add my opinion on the language issue: I think it's pretty important to know French if your a practicing physician in Montreal. Imagine going to your doctor and not understanding your diagnosis just because of a language barrier. Anyway, I think this is the reason why they limit the amount of out of province students to 5. The chances that a person from Quebec will speak french is much greater than an OOP applicant. (there's also a tax payer issue) Anyway, that's not to say that you NEED to speak french, but if you plan on staying I suggest you brush up on your french, so that you can interact with your patients (because a lot of them will be french)
12-10-2002, 06:46 PM
I think that's a ridiculous excuse for the small number of OOP spots that McGill has - if they prefer French-speaking students, they should state that explicitly. McGill still accepts more American students than OOP's, and that certainly isn't because Americans are more likely to speak French.
12-10-2002, 08:50 PM
Yes, it's true McGill does accept more Americans than OOP applicants, BUT the Americans that are accepted are NOT allowed to stay in Quebec to practice Medicine, they must return to the US and then apply to immigrate if they wish to stay. Then immigration officials will decide whether they have enough knowledge of French in order to come to Quebec.
12-10-2002, 11:06 PM
Just to clarify a couple of things,
The number of OOP spots at mcgill is regulated by the government who sets province wide quotas for the different categories and then allots these quotas to the four medical schools (see my previous posts on this topic for the full breakdown)
As for the americans.... they ARE permitted to stay here for residency.. HOWEVER, they must sign an agreement to work in rural or underserved areas for a long period of time (or pay a ridiculous fine) AND pass the OLF french competency test.... so by and large all the americans head home after medical school.
12-10-2002, 11:27 PM
My understanding is that the rural practice/fine option did not apply to residency training.
12-11-2002, 01:08 PM
I'm not 100% certain on this matter b/c thankfully it does not apply to me. But as my american classmates have explained it to me. They can stay in quebec to do a residency anywhere, BUT they are required to stay in quebec after that and work in a rural/underserved region for a prescribed period of time or else pay back some ludicrous amount to the government. Perhaps i didnt explain it so well the first time :)
06-28-2006, 06:34 PM
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