Medicine at University of Western Ontario
William (Year 3)
What did you wish you knew before going to your university? What made you choose this institution over all others? What are advantages and disadvantages of your institution or campus? List any advice for incoming first-year students about your university.
There were two main reasons why I was drawn to Western's medical program. The first has to do with the fact that their program was a 4 year program, as opposed to some other school's 3 year programs. Personally, I preferred having summers off to do research, explore other interests, and spend time with family and friends. The second had to do with their clerkship schedule, which puts all of the necessary core rotations before our more specialized electives, allowing us to develop a good base of experience before jumping into rotations in our specialties of interest.
What did you wish you knew before choosing your specific program? What are the advantages and disadvantages of your program? List any advice for incoming first-year students about your program of study.
For me, the biggest challenge was maintaining the friendships and relationships I had with people from my home town of Toronto. I ended up spending a lot of time traveling between London and Toronto, which was fine for me because I enjoyed the 2 hour drive and had plenty of audiobooks on hand, but is definitely something people should keep in mind. For new students, I'd ask them to think about where their close family and friends are and whether they have a need to visit them often. Also, know that there is a very good network of rideshares available from London to various other cities in Ontario. London itself as a city does also become more enjoyable if you do have a car.
What was your favourite university experience?
Debates over coffee and quiches at Black walnut cafe. Loved the atmosphere, the people, and the conversations with friends.
What was your least favourite university experience?
Getting my car broken into in the parking lot behind my building, for obvious reasons.
What is the hardest part about your program and what were the steps that you took to overcome any difficulties?
The hardest part about the program is the sheer quantity of material that gets thrown your way. There's a lot of content that we have to work through, and if there isn't a good system in place to keep you on track, it's easy to get lost. I found preparing for the USMLE and the resources that help you schedule for the test like Osmosis were great at keeping me focused. It also helps to have people who share similar goals to check in with along the way and keep each other accountable. Lastly, one can never go wrong with getting good exercise, eating well, and sleep.
If you were able to take electives, what was your favourite elective? If you were not able to take electives, what was your favourite course and why?
My favorite unit personally was the gastrointestinal unit.