Saving contemplation for another day, here are answers to 4 questions I hear often….
1) What is the difference between the Northern Medical Program and other medical programs in BC?
- Just location. British Columbia has only one medical program based out of the University of British Columbia. There are 3 satellite sites in addition to the main UBC campus (32 seats each at Prince George, Kelowna and Victoria) and lectures are broadcast simultaneously via satellite. Everyone applies to the UBC Medical program and successful applicants are assigned to one of the 4 sites based on preference and suitability for that site.
2) Why do the students attending the satellite sites have to go to Vancouver for the first semester of the first year?
- I’m not sure. It probably has to do with university politics and the way they allocate funding. 🙂 BUT I have to say that there was a lot of benefit to having the whole class together for the first semester. It was exciting to experience the power of the UBC medical program in general. The facilities, the faculty, the quality of my fellow classmates, the intensity of several hundred high-acheiveing students learning together…it was an experience that will linger with me.
3) Where do you start if you want to go back to school to be a doctor?
- An academic counsellor and the internet. Every medical school has a slightly different criteria and it can always be found online. As a word of caution, don’t be fooled by the urban myth that grades don’t matter. It is true that they want well rounded students, but my observation last semester was that there were a lot of well-rounded applicants with good grades. 🙂
4) So what now? Are you home for good?
- After a semester away I am home in PG to finish off 4 years of medical school. After these 4 years there is a residency program (2 years for family practise, or 2+1 years for a sub specialty in a rural area, or 5 years for surgery…) There are a few other times during the program that I may have to be away from home, but for now I am taking things a day at a time. I will be home until the the end of my second year at least.
And as a final word or encouragement to others who may be thinking of undertaking something new…
Interest is not synonymous with passion. Resistance is not synonymous with failure. Limits are sometimes determined by common sense, but fear is not synonymous with common sense.