Back then I wrote;
"In one fell swoop McGill has destroyed its reputation. It is in the process of turning itself from an elite program into a run of the mill secondary medical school.Sadly my prediction has come true, McGill's medical school's world ranking has plummeted and it likely has to do with that dreadful decision to cave in to language extremists.
All of you over at the University of Toronto medical school.... STOP LAUGHING!!!!! McGill Caves in to Language Pressure- Affirmative action Arrives
The university has been under fire for several years by French language militants who complained bitterly that over half of the McGill medical graduates end up leaving the province to pursue a career in greener pastures. According to these militants, it's unfair to subsidize doctors leaving to work elsewhere.
By the way, these are the same people who I imagine, believe it's just dandy to poach doctors from third world countries to work in Quebec, but I digress....
Instead of defending itself against the scurrilous charges that intimates that it is somehow the fault of the Anglo doctors, instead of the facts on the ground, McGill decided to capitulate and set out to accept more francophone students into the program to help stem the tide.
It was a classic cave-in that has contributed to McGill losing its place as the premier medical school in Canada.
According to QS World University Rankings® McGill remains Canada's best university but is losing ground fast.
In 2009 McGill was the 10th highest rated medical school in the world, but has slipped to 24th in the two years following.
The University of Toronto's medical school which now ranks 16th in the world, takes over from McGill as Canada's best medical school.
Small consolation is the fact that according to the report, Montreal remains the best student city in Canada ranking 10th in the world, while Toronto remains 26th.
A few more student demonstrations and intemperate acts of depravity and that can change too.
The precipitous fall is likely attributed to the decision to drop the critically important MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) exam, a decision made by panicked administrators.
"Dr. Saleem Razack, assistant dean of admissions for medicine says McGill would have kept the MCAT requirement if there was a French equivalent. “But we want to make sure there’s no barrier for a major segment of our population.” LinkThe exam is a standardized test (like the LSAT for lawyers) and is the principle tool that just about all medical schools in the United States and most in Canada, use to evaluate candidates.
While schools like McMaster and University of Ottawa don't require MCATs, elite programs most certainly do.
In the United States, the MCAT score is typically given as much weight as GPA.
The MCAT is a formidable test and requires months and months of study. It is available in English only and taking the test in a second language, regardless of the student's dedication and proficiency, is enough of a handicap to hurt outcomes.
As I said, the MCAT is dastardly difficult.
And so the decision was made to flood the medical school with francophones, throwing standards out the window in the process.
On a certain level I can understand McGill's decision to add the francophone element.
As it stands now, under the new admissions policy, anglophones represent about 91 out of the 810 medical school slots across Quebec, a reasonable demographic representation, to be fair.
It is just sad that in order to even things up, standards had to be slashed and a world-class reputation sacrificed.
As for the knock that McGill graduates leave the province, who is really to blame for that?
One of the principle reasons that so many McGill graduates leave is that there are just no jobs available. McGill turns out a great deal of specialists, something that the Quebec government has deemed to be in oversupply.
In Quebec, a doctor needs a government issued license (PREM) to practice and without a PREM, there's little chance to practice.
Even in family medicine, PREMS for anglos in the Montreal area are few and far between.
The reaction of the health minister is to tell anglos that there are jobs available, if they are willing to move to Chibougamau or Val D'Or, or some other godforsaken backwoods hick-town, something not entirely appetizing to an Anglo Montrealer.
The government's rationale in all this, is that while Montreal lacks family doctors, the need is greater in the hinterland and until the gap is narrowed...it's no soup for you, young doctor!
Read this excellent explanation of the ridiculous situation;
Making sense of Montreal’s family doctor shortage
This in a province where 25% of the people don't have a family physician.
And so there is a steady stream of highly-trained young doctors leaving Quebec, taking their Quebec paid education with them to practice, mostly in the United States, many not by choice.
I know of one New York City hospital that has three McGill grads on staff, each chased out of Quebec because of a lack of jobs.
This last month a young thoracic surgeon that I know of, left after seven years of residency, because no Quebec job was forthcoming. Thirty years of education and training frittered away by this province.
For young francophone doctors, its more difficult to leave, most are a prisoner of culture and language.
Most doctors on the francophone side take the fast-tracked, pre-med cegep route to medical school, where English as a second language is largely ignored.
For them, moving out of Quebec is not an option and so like teachers and other unilingual professionals, they are forced to accept an incredibly steep 'home team discount'
For Anglo doctors, the combination of nonexistent or decidedly poor prospects, makes the decision to leave easy, but nonetheless, very painful.
Most graduating anglo doctors want nothing more than to serve their community in their own home town and its more than a little bit sad for them and for us that they leave.
Trust me readers.... on this, I know.