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Our Favourite Electives for Medical Science Students

Hello BMSA readers! We hope you missed us! After a little hiatus, we’ve decided to make a resurgence for the summer, with articles for you loyal readers every week. In the nick of time for course selection, the Communications team has selected their favourite electives for Medical Science students. Take a look!

Simi Juriasingani 

Pharm 2060 - Introduction to Pharmacology & Therapeutics - 0.5 course

This online course delivers exactly what it says it will. It’s an introduction to various drug classes and compounds. It also covers drug absorption, metabolism, distribution, etc. Although this course is content heavy, it is not as time-consuming as other courses as long as you stay on top of the weekly lectures. The exams consist mainly of factual recall questions. Overall, if you are interested in medicine and don’t mind memorizing a lot of specific information, this course could be a good fit for you.

Chem 3393 - Medicinal Chemistry - 0.5 course

Professor: Felix Lee

Although medicinal chemistry sounds intimidating, this is one of the most interesting electives that Med Sci students can take. This course provides meaningful insight on drug discovery and development. Unlike the name suggests, the content isn’t too focused on specific organic chemistry reactions. Additionally, Prof. Lee’s enthusiasm makes studying for this course very enjoyable. Most importantly, if you go through lectures carefully and do the practice questions, you can achieve a great grade in this class. If you prefer conceptual learning over memorizing details, you may really enjoy this course. 

Si-Cheng Dai

Math 1229 - Methods of Matrix Algebra - 0.5 course

Professor: Allen O’Hara

This is an excellent online course for those new to university math. The basics of vectors and matrices are taught and consolidated in pre-recorded video format. Additionally, if you’re more of a visual learner, online notes are available on OWL. There is one midterm and one final, each consisting of mainly multiple choice questions and a couple of questions that require showing of work. These exams aren’t memory-intensive, requiring recollection of only key formulas and the ability to apply what you’ve learned. In addition, the sample exams provided are very representative of the real thing. Prof. O’Hara was incredibly responsive through email and always willing to lend a helping hand. If you’re interested in math and you want a solid online course that eases you into it, this course might be the right pick for you.

Classics 2200 - Greek and Roman Mythology - 1.0 course

Professor: Aara Suksi

I can’t say enough about this course. I came in with expectations of being bored out of my mind during the two-hour lecture sessions. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Each lecture felt to me like it was taken straight from a story book. The tales of Greek and Roman heroes enthralled me. Their anachronistic world seemed so different from ours, yet unmistakably shared similarities as well. There were stories of love, of tragedy, of the human condition. These passionate stories were upheld by the equally passionate Prof. Suksi, whose fascination with mythology shone through every class. Yes, the two midterms and final were all multiple choice, and mainly recall from lecture slides. Yes, the course can be memory-intensive, but doesn’t require too much application of that knowledge. These are all great things. But seriously, if you want to jump into a different world for two hours a week, take this class. You won’t regret it.

Claire Millard

Philosophy 2715F - Health Care Ethics (0.5) 

Professor: Charles Weijer

I initially enrolled in this course because I needed another category C half credit to fulfill my breadth requirements; however, it turned out to be a lot more interesting than I had anticipated. The topics were always tied to relevant cases and new stories, and as a med sci student, I found that the courseproved to be very applicable in many cases of both clinical science and research science. Philosophy 2715F is assessed by quizzes, case studies, and a final exam, but if you go to class you can get all the information you need for the quizzes. Additionally, the exam was very fair. The only downfall was that the case studies were difficult to do amazing on, but the quiz grades made up for them significantly. Overall, if you like to debate and have opinions about current and relevant ethical topics in medical practices, this course should be very enjoyable for you.

Microimmunology 2500 – Microbiology and Immunology (0.5) 

Professors: multiple; course coordinator: Dr. Summers

I took this course as a pre-requisite for my module; however, I did have friends that took it as an elective and loved it as well. If you are interested in common diseases as well as diseases that have come and long gone this course should be right up your alley! 2500 is split into 4 sections (immunology, bacteriology, virology, and helminths and fungi), each with its own in-class midterm and a different professor. Although the exams heavily rely on memory work, I always found them fair and mainly larger concept-oriented (except for the bacteriology unit). Also, I found  that if you are interested in these topics, the studying is actually kind of fun. All in all, this may have been one of my favourite courses I have taken in my three years at Western!


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