The Health Science bookstore is located on the first floor of HSC. The Registrar’s Office and Financial Aid is located in Gilmour Hall on central campus (number 20 on the map)
MDCL is number 52 on this map and HSC is number 37 (circled in purple) on the map below (click the map for original & larger image)
If you need an extra pen, a photocopy of a placement form, or just want to chat with the directors of the program, pop into the PA office. It is located on the second floor of MDCL - MDCL 2205.
Should I do any prep work before September?
No. It probably won’t help. Enjoy your last summer off. However, if you’re keen, you can take a look at this document: Approach to PBL Practically - A Guide for Students by Students created by the DeGroote School of Medicine that describes what Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is. PBL is the method in which all of your classes will be delivered.
What is the first week schedule like? 1st day:
You will be introduced to the program by the Faculty members of the Physician Assistant Program. Then you will join the other Health Sciences students for an introduction to the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University.
In the afternoon, you will get a preview of how to use medportal interface (your buddy for the next year!), followed by an introduction to IER and CSBL by Dr. Thompson. You will also be filling out a lot of official forms with Danielle Laffan, one of the Program Assistants.
You will be part of mask fitting and lab-coat fitting in the morning (official work that needs to be done before you start placements). Following that, Danielle and/or Nancy will give you a tour of the campus and Home Base. The Faculty of Health Sciences Student Home Base, more commonly known as "The Lounge" is a location for students to relax and take breaks between classes on campus. What can you do here? Chill between classes, play cards, meet up with friends, eat lunch, finish up tutorial, hold MPASA meetings, and the list goes on!
Your afternoon will consist of introduction to Communications, Interprofessional Education, and Program for Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research (PIPER). The evening will consist of a welcome BBQ at a wonderful place in Burlington with all your classmates and faculty members. Now’s the time to start memorizing everyone’s names!
The morning will be a series of more introductions - first the overview of PBL and then anatomy lab orientation.
After lunch (which will not be provided to you everyday after the first day), you will have your very first tutorial! The class of 24 will be divided in 3 (8 people in each) and this will mark your first step on becoming amazing Physician Assistants!
You will end the hectic week by getting trained for WHMIS.
Second week of school:
You’ll get right into routine by now - regular tutorials, IER class, communication, etc. But you will be expected to take a class photo, attend a library sessions with the Health Sciences Library’s librarian, and learn about infection control.
The schedule may seem overwhelming but the first two weeks will fly by! You will meet people you’ll end up forming life-long relationships with. You will get to know the PA program’s faculty members.
What books and tools will I need? Where can I buy them?
You will receive a list of what you need in your orientation package, so don’t worry about getting everything right away. This will include mandatory books and equipment, as well as highly recommended material. All of these items can be purchased in the Health Science bookstore located in the hospital (which is different than the main campus bookstore located in Gilmour Hall). You get multiple campus tours in the first week of orientation, and this will definitely be one of the stops!
It really depends on the amount of detail you would like to go into and the background you have in that certain topic. For example, if you have a kinesiology background, you may potentially not need to spend as much time on tutorial during the MSK unit, but more time during the hematology or infectious disease units in comparison to someone with a microbiology background. Everyone has a different style and approach of prepping for tutorial. You will find resources that you like to use all the time, and will also find yourself having to look for new resources with each new area that is covered. Some weeks you will have one case/set of objectives to cover, other weeks you may have three; therefore, time required can really vary.
MPASA is the Student Association for McMaster's Physician Assistant Education Program in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.