Queen's University

Letters to the Editor

A selection of letters from our readers

 Including letters from . . .

  • Dr. Brian Hadley, Meds'76, Belleville, ON
  • Martha (Goodall) Main, Arts'71, Ed'73, Arviat, NU
  • George Publow, Sc'68, Picton, ON

Re “On the fast track to medical school,” Issue #4-2014, p. 1 1

The 10 students who were fast-tracked for
Queen’s medical school in 2013-14.

I’ve been following with interest the “new” initiative to fast-track students into medical school after two years of undergraduate training. As a graduate of the last year of Queen’s pre-med program, it seems that what is old is new again. Fifty of us started after the usual interviews, references and qualifying as Ontario Scholars in Grade 13 (dinosaur alert!) or the other provincial equivalents. There was about a 10 per cent attrition rate for many different reasons, and we were topped up to 70 from many other disciplines for first year medicine.

Those two years in pre-med studies were a wonderful introduction to university life, and there was not the stress that I understand so many students feel while striving to achieve the academic requirements for medical school today. Now, by the time most are graduating from residency in their 30s, there is huge debt and struggle to balance personal, family, and educational commitments.

We were a well-rounded graduating class, and I have no idea why pre-med was discontinued. Perhaps a blend of the old and new might give these bright potential physicians a better, less stressful learning environment focusing on a collegial, less competitive approach to medical school.

Dr. Brian Hadley, Meds’76
Belleville, ON

Editor’s note: According to Dr. David Walker, Meds’71, former Dean of Health Sciences, “up until the late 1970s” Queen’s – like most medical schools in Canada – had a pre-meds program. Qualified students were admitted to two years of rigorous study, he recalls, and those who successfully completed that preparatory work were admitted into the four-year meds program. “That’s how I entered medical school,” says Walker. ”Dr. Hadley is right that in some ways this new pre-meds program is going ‘back to the future.’ It’s an excellent initiative, and I applaud Dean Reznick for launching it.”


Re “Not this reader’s type?”, Issue #4-2013, p. 3

I have to agree with Christopher Morris’s letter: the fonts for Review articles are quite small. I’m OK with that, but please don’t go any smaller. As for the magazine content, I find it a very interesting read. I really like to read the Alumni Spotlights, Tricolour Memories, feature reports, and The Bookshelf. In fact, I found that Issue 4–2013 held my attention cover to cover. Well done and thank you.

Martha (Goodall) Main, Arts’71 , Ed’73
Arviay, NU

Editor’s note: Good news! Please watch for our Spring 2014 issue, which will be the first to feature our new design: a cleaner, crisper look, bigger photos, and larger, more reader-friendly typefaces.


Re: “Campus Flashback”: Stirling Hall, Issue 4-2013, p. 40

Foucault Pendulum in Sterling HallThe Foucault Pendulum

As a member of Sc’68, I remember that the Physics Building, Stirling Hall, was brand new in my second year. I clearly remember being very intrigued by the Foucault Pendulum in the centre of the building. I thought it was wonderful that such a seemingly simple mechanical device could be used to demonstrate that the earth was actually rotating. I used to check its progress before and after class.

In my second year, we had Mechanical Engineering classes in one of the new lecture theatres. The professor teaching the course was D.B. McLay from the Physics Department. What I recall is that the entire course consisted of McLay showing how all types of mechanical formulas were derived. He never once showed us any actual examples of how those formulas were used in practice. This was so confusing to even the brightest members of the class – of which I was not one – that the course soon became known by all as “McLay’s Mystery Hour.” It is now one of my many fond memories of Queens!

George Publow, Sc'68
Picton, ON

Editor’s note: Stirling Hall, which cost $3.5 million to construct, was named after former Chancellor J.B. Stirling, BA 1909, BSc 1911, LLD'51. He cut the ceremonial ribbon when the building was opened in May 1965.

Queen's Alumni Review, 2014 Issue #1Queen's Alumni Review
2014 Issue #1
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Last updated at 3:43 pm EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
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