View Full Version : UT or UBC
05-14-2001, 03:19 AM
I just received my acceptance to ubc. I had an interview at UT and am positive that I will gain admission there as well. Which one should I choose? Which one is better? I live in vancouver and I realize that UT is approx. 3x more expensive than UBC. But, in terms of quality of education and "reputation" (i use this term very loosely), which one wins?
I would appreciate some personal opinions. I do understand that it is a matter of choice but still would like to hear which university is appreciated more in terms of its quality.
05-14-2001, 06:45 AM
CONGRATULATIONS!....well if you were to go by maclean's ranking uT usually comes on top, but I am sure UBC is right up there with UT...I guess the one deciding factor could be the proximity of the medical school from your home...
Would you be able to post your stats in terms of gpa, mcat scores, school attended and any special extra curricular activity?...
05-14-2001, 12:14 PM
I wouldn't be so confident until I'd actually received a U of T acceptance letter. Until then, looks like your choice is pretty clear. :)
My personal opinion is that reputation doesn't matter anywhere near the level it might for a PhD. In that arena, if you spent 4 years training under a top-flight researcher, good qualities and reputation are bound to rub off. In med school, since you rarely spend more than 1 week with an individual instructor, what really matters is the amount of clinical experience and hands-on work you get to do in Med 3 and Med 4. The basic science stuff that you learn in Med 1 and Med 2 is basically the same across Canada.
U of T students use Netter's Anatomy Atlas just like we do. They sell us their Toronto Notes so we use that as well. Everyone on this planet uses Robbins Pathology, and so on. If research is your goal, may I humbly suggest that what you really should be doing is a PhD. They get a lot more training in grant writing, presentations, and teaching: all the things that good researchers have. Med students tend to do summer research in an attempt to get a publication in their area of interest. eg. Publishing in a Dermatology Journal if you are trying for Derm.
As a result, I'd pick the university that afforded the best clinical learning env. in Med 3 and 4. Toronto has all the big hospitals, but Vancouver is no slouch in this area. Add to that the fact that your class size here is 128, whereas U of T is something like around 180, and that's a HUGE difference. Personally, I'd like our class much more if it was even around 80-90. I can't imagine what 179 classmates would be like; I think it would totally dilute your experiences.
Finally, there aren't any other med schools in BC (yet), and so you have a lot more access to specific clinicians and rural sites. Everyone in my class will be going for 4-8 weeks to a rural BC location for a rural elective. We don't expect to encounter med students from other schools, which means that our doctor preceptors will have more time to spend teaching us personally.
Toronto has a better rep than UBC, but both cities offer residency training in virtually every specialty. I plan on practising in BC, and I think the sheer number of doctor contacts I will make in BC makes it more likely that I will land a residency in Vancouver, than if I was an OOP med student. Over half of this year's UBC graduating class ended up matching in BC.
Based on all of the above, knowing what I know now, I would pick UBC every time. I would actually pick U of A and U of Calgary ahead of U of T as well, because I don't think reputation means a heck of a lot at the med school level.
Finally, pass rates on the LMCC aren't a good predictor of school quality because different schools prep for them differently, and allocate different amounts of time for each. Schools like Sherbrooke that consistently place at the top do so by spending six weeks in Med 4 solely studying for that exam. At a different school, that six weeks might have been allocated in the curriculum to do an additional elective in Canada or internationally, or perhaps as time doing research/clinical work, or as additional teaching hours and lectures. Who is to say which will have been more beneficial to you as a clinician once you've graduated?
Match rates between schools are also not a good indicator. Primary care is quite easy to get into, as opposed to other specialties like Radiology, Emerg, ENT, Ophtho, Derm, Plastics, etc. A school that sends the majority of its class into primary care will have a significantly higher match rate than a school where a large proportion of its graduates are gunning for the competitive specialties.
05-14-2001, 01:51 PM
congrats on your acceptance!
did you receive a letter? in a big package? do you know if rejection letters have been sent?
ah man! this week is the killer week...
I think comparing the tuitions alone is more than enough of a reason to choose UBC over U of T, hands down. I'm an Ontario student, and I think U of T's tuition exceeds UBC's out of province tuition by a huge amount. If I could pick between them, I'd certainly choose UBC (and not only because I'd like to get away from home). In terms of "rep" (loosely used, like you did; I really don't think it means anything), Toronto might be a bit higher, but UBC's still well known to be one of the very best in the country. In terms of clinical teaching, I doubt there's major differences in quality among the 16 Canadian schools. So unless you really don't want to stay in British Columbia, I think the choice is clear...
Either way, good luck. I don't think you can make a "wrong" choice in this situation.
05-28-2001, 02:24 PM
Congrats on getting accepted to UBC.
While that is probably a very favourable choice as described by all the factors stated previously, I would like to write some things in favour of Toronto. Ian made a few good points, but I feel that his views are rather biased with regards to Toronto meds since he doesn't actually study here. I feel that these are "common" misconceptions.
1)Size of the class. The size of the incoming class is approaching 200. While this size may be daunting to some from smaller univeristies, I don't believe that it should be looked upon in such an unfavourable light. Because of this size and variety, I think it's a little easier making friends, and being able to find your own niche in the class. It's really not that hard to get to know people or to get involved.
It's a large class, I must admit, and I know only probably a little more than 100 of them. It doesn't make too much of a difference between 128 and 190 since there will be 28 to 90 people that I wouldn't know anyways regardless.
But I don't feel that it dilutes the experience in any way. Where you learn the most important things are in the clincal setting in the small groups. Each small group is about 6 students large with a tutor. As for lectures, I would think that size of the class is pretty irrelevant whether it is 200 or 1000 (yes, UT is my alma mater, I took BIO 150 with 1500 other students at the same time in con hall). It's still a lecture. Can't see? move to the front. The seats there are the emptiest. The hardest thing is to find a seat at the back where you can hide and fall asleep. :P
2)Clinical environment. I think that UT offers the best clinical training environment in the country. I have to say from my experience this year, that I am glad that I went to UT. We get very good exposure to the clincal settings through several world reknown hospitals affiliated with the university. If you're into research, you can do that too. I think there's a lot of opportunity here that should not be overlooked.
3)Encountering students from other med schools does NOT in anyway imply that our doctor preceptors have any less time to teach us. The hospitals where we do clerkship are the ones that are the teaching hospitals for U of T ONLY (not western, not queens, they have their own). Just because you're in ontario, doesn't mean that the preceptor's time will be split among different students of different med schools. You may do an elective rotation here, but you will be doing it under "U of T".
4)tuition: Our tuition is very very high (incoming class: $17,000). In addition, living in Toronto is very expensive. Highest cost of living in Canada. These are some things you should consider as well.
I hope my point of view helps. Again, congrats. UBC is a very good school, but U of T isn't a bad chice either. :)
05-28-2001, 04:49 PM
Thank you for that informative response. I had a couple of questions:
1. The biggest problem I have with UT is its high cost. Are there any burseries/scholarships that would cover the entire or most of the tuition?
2. Is it relatively easy to get an american residency after the degree if the degree is done from UT rather than UBC?
05-29-2001, 10:11 AM
There is OSAP/gov't student loans if you qualify. You can also take out student lines of credit from the banks (interest rates begin at prime + depending on which bank you get it from). The amounts will vary with your needs/eligibility. You will get info on that when they accept you (in the mail).
I recommend contacting U of T directly when you get accepted, and asking specific questions.
06-07-2001, 01:31 PM
the dilemma of choosing between the top two universities in canada just became real to me. I just got accepted to UT today! and I have already been accepted to UBC. I am so happy and so confused. For those interested, I just completed my third year at UBC.
I do not understand which one to choose. I really really want to go to UT but the only thing holding me back is the high tuition. UBC is comparable to UT, but it was my dream after looking at those five hospitals on university blvd. in toronto to study there. Somebody help me!
06-07-2001, 04:06 PM
Sorry I can't add anything to make your choice any easier, but I just wanted to ask you a question. You got into UBC after 3 years... I'll be applying to get in after 3 years, so, if you don't mind saying, what sort of marks and activities did you have? I don't expect to get in after 3 years, but I just want to see if it could be possible. Thanks -- and congratulations!!! Good luck with you decision :)
06-07-2001, 06:11 PM
As for your decision, you have to think carefully about why you want to go to each university, and if you made one decision, will you ever regret (or forgive yourself) for turning the other one down? (that always puts things into perspective for me)
There are lots of things good about UT and UBC. It really depends on what you are looking for, and what is most important to you.
Tuition is high at UT; but I don't regret one thing about going to UT. I just have more of a debt to pay later on, and delay a few more things that I want to do. It's still possible to manage, but it will be much harder (you have to ask yourself if you think that it will be worth it). You really need to work out the finances.
Yes, the hospitals on university blvd. are quite spectacular, I agree. :) It was also one of my dreams to study here as well.
In any case, congratulations, best wishes, and good luck with your decision. :)
How much is the tuition at U of T meds for new students going to be ?
06-07-2001, 06:34 PM
I heard the incoming class has to pay about $17,000 tuition. It wasn't much better for us either. We had to pay $ 15,000 (up from $12,000 the year before; but I heard that it was only $7,000 the year before that year).
06-07-2001, 06:38 PM
ND, that information can be found here. The first thing to do should usually be to check the medical school web-site itself, as it'll be the gold standard of information (and save some work for the rest of us. :) )
Scroll down to near the bottom; looks like last year's class was in the red about $15,000.
UBC, Med 3
06-07-2001, 06:39 PM
Thank-you for all the responses. Tuition at Ut is about 15300 and at ubc it is about 5300 - a difference of 10000 per year. However, finances are not the issue to me. I am sincerely stuck with this choice. Some more advice would be appreciated.
BCgirl: for your info, I had a 90% average and tons tons of extra cirricular activities and health care experience. However, I had aboslutely NO research experience whatsoever and UBC & UT are two big research universities. It just tells you that one need not be "perfect"! My MCATs ver 8v/12p/12b/q I got in despite a bad verbal mark. Good luck to you.
06-07-2001, 07:29 PM
UBCMed2005, ya gotta choose whichever university and city you think will make you most happy. If going to Toronto and seeing the facilities there struck a chord with you, then that's something to consider seriously.
I agree with Akane and yourself, that money is not really that much of an issue once you get into medical school. Invariably, you'll end up with a job that will allow you to re-pay your debts. However, there is a limit to how much you can realistically borrow (banks WILL cut you off at some point), and having an additional $10,000+ per year adds up to lots more books/equipment, better and more convenient housing, and more money for leisure pursuits eg. skiing, ice hockey (which has a cult following here in UBC), shopping (if you're into that type of thing), weekend excursions, etc, etc.
I can safely say that you will have a lot of fun here in first year UBC Med. Second year demands quite a bit more time from you, and third year yet more. I personally don't think PBL is executed here quite the way I would like it, but this could also be because my learning style leans towards more lectures and less group-work. I generally don't have any trouble problem-solving, which I think is a big benefit of group work, because you tend to get different approaches to answering the same question from the other group members.
I do think that class size makes a difference, although Akane is right in that med school quickly breaks up into small groups/cliques based on common interests and backgrounds. At UBC, you will have 127 classmates, along with 40 dental students who attend your classes for the first two years, so that there are functionally 168 total students. However, lectures are the only time during the week when you will be together as a large group; Anatomy Labs, PBL, Clinical Skills, Family Practice, and DPAS will all split you into groups with a maximum size of 8, with Anatomy currently being 6 students to a cadaver, and Family Practice just you, a partner, and the family doctor.
In third year, the dental students will leave to study dedicated dentistry, and the class collapses back down to 128. By the end of first term of Med 1, I knew and recognised probably 90% of the med class by name and face (wasn't so good at picking out the Dents), and by the end of Med 1 itself, knew everyone in the class. However, I did participate in a lot of the events and sports teams we organized in the first year.
Anyway, I'm just rambling now. Like I mentioned before, you need to examine your own needs and preferences. Without doubt, you will receive a high-quality education at any Canadian medical school, and UBC and U of T are no exception. Both medical schools are situated in large urban centers, and have a variety of teaching hospitals available to students. U of Toronto is more renowned, but UBC is no slouch in this area either.
Other factors should be popping into your head too, such as where you might see yourself eventually practicing, and in what specialty. You should also examine which city has the social element you desire, such as family, friends, and perhaps its cultural atmosphere. Finally, I'll give you that Toronto has a better hockey team than we do, but that ain't sayin' much! :)
Good luck deciding, and please e-mail me when you do. I've still got that project cooking, and if you are interested in helping, that would be great.
UBC, Med 3
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