After agonizing for over a week, I have decided to go to medical school at the University of Toronto. It was extremely difficult to turn down UBC medical school. The three years I have spent in Vancouver have been the best years of my life. Yes the city is beautiful and yes I love the west coast culture, but it was the people that I met here that really made the difference. A lot of these people have left, and more are leaving soon. While agonizing over my options, I realized that I should not base my decision on romanticized past experiences. Rather, I should consider what is best for my long-term life and career goals. I want to become a practicing neurologist with an active research lab.
In light of this goal, there are several reasons why the University of Toronto prevailed. First, there are abundant medical research opportunities at the University of Toronto. For virtually any neurological disorder you can think of, the University of Toronto has world-renowned scientists working on it. Second, neurology is a competitive discipline to get into. There may be more opportunities to pursue neurology as a career option at the University of Toronto, which may make it easier to match to a neurology residency position.
Third, the facilities at the University of Toronto are exceptional. U of T students have access to six state-of-the-art teaching hospitals serving 5 million people. Fourth, I am ready for change and a completely new experience. I grew up in a small city. Living in the heart of a vibrant urban environment like downtown Toronto where the U of T is situated is an exciting prospect for me. It is true that I love the natural setting of UBC and am quite comfortable in Vancouver. But in the past I have never regretted leaving my comfort zone to pursue an opportunity. Now I will leave my comfort zone one more time to pursue the biggest opportunity of my life thus far.