One day more
Today is the last day of the first year of medical school at the University of Toronto. What an amazing year it has been. This year also marks the first time the medical school curriculum has changed in 20 years. The new curriculum is called Foundations and includes such changes as:
- Pre-week preparatory material (usually in the form of online videos to watch);
- A drastic reduction of in-class lectures.
- Three hours on Mondays with some other lectures spread out throughout the week.
- Anatomy is now spread out over the entire first year and part of the second, as opposed to entirely in the first term.
- There are no anatomy lectures. None.
- Instead, we have online modules to complete before each lab, we then complete the lab in the cadaver lab and get quizzed afterward. This is a big change from all-day lectures day after day. The assessment remains the same: the traditional "bell ringer". This is a test where two pins are inserted into a cadaver and you are asked to identify the specific structure or its function. A "bell" rings every 90 seconds and you move on to the next station where there are two more pins and you have 90 seconds... repeat 30 times.
- An integrated curriculum where what is taught in lecture is also seen during the mid-week material (Case-Based Learning, Self-Learning Modules) as well as in clinical skills on Fridays.
These changes took some getting used to (by both faculty and students) and changes were made on the fly as needed.
For me, the biggest challenge was being back in school. Again.
Thankfully, I have a very supportive wife and while she works outside the home, we manage to make our schedules work while also raising and having fun with our daughter.
Friends made this much easier, as well. I have never met a group of more accomplished people than here at UofTMed. I go to medical school with people that have PhDs, Masters degrees, and are accomplished artists, musicians, and poets, to name just a few. What's more, these people managed to do all of this while also still making the grade to get into one of the most competitive medical programs in the country. Many of these endeavours are hobbies or side activities for my classmates, yet collectively they still managed to achieve an average GPA of 3.95.
I am honoured to be a medical student at the University of Toronto.