Schulich school of Medicine and Dentistry logo Bachelor of Medical Sciences Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry

Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences (IMS) modules

The IMS modules may only be completed within the BMSc Program and are designed for students who wish to study two or more basic medical science disciplines

Why consider IMS modules?

  • greater flexibility in course selection than a discipline-specific module
  • opportunity to gain a broader foundation in the basic medical sciences
  • study at least two discplines at an advanced (fourth-year) level
  • rather than a discipline-specific research project and thesis, Year 4 Honors Specialization module involves an interdisciplinary examination of a clinical disease,
  • prerequisite courses for graduate or professional programs may be included in the modules
  • experience a wide variety of hands-on laboratory techniques used in medical research
  • combine the Honors Specialization IMS with Ivey to lead to a BMSc/HBA degree (2 Honors degrees in 5 years)
  • students considering an international exchange in Year 3 may find the flexibility in the Honors Specialization in IMS allows for easier course selection at an exchange institution
  • in the Honors Specialization module, students are exposed to cutting-edge research by world-renowned scientists and clinicians

Modules

Honors Specialization in IMS

The Honors Specialization (HSP) IMS provides the opportunity for an indepth study of the interrelationships between two or more of the Basic Medical Science Disciplines. The module is attractive to students who desire more latitude in their studies.  The basic medical science course selection in Years 3 and 4 of the Honors Specialization in IMS is clearly defined.  Students in Year 3 must complete 3.0 courses from a specific list of Group 1 and 2 courses (see the Academic Calendar for this list).  Courses in Group 1 are considered the core courses offered in the basic medical science disciplines.  Courses in Group 2 usually are not pre-requisites to other courses so students are limited to the number of courses completed from this Group.  This restriction directs the student to complete more Group 1 courses and thereby, satisfying more pre-requisites for 4000-level courses.  In Year 3, students must also take a 3000-level laboratory course, which in many situations has co-requisites from the Group 1 course list.  The combination of Group 1 and Group 3 courses may allow students to meet the requirements for admission to a discipline-specific Honors Specialization modules in Year 4, should they wish to make a change after Year 3.

The signature or capstone courses of Honors Specialization IMS are an advanced laboratory, Medical Sciences 4900F/G, and a lecture course, Medical Sciences 4930F/G, both of which are completed in Year 4. Offered jointly by the Basic Medical Science Departments, these two courses introduce students to a variety of techniques and topics in medical research. The laboratory provides an introduction to research, with an emphasis on hands-on experience. Major topics include tissue culture, real time PCR, biochemical assays, histology, and animal models of human disease. The lecture course, designed to complement the laboratory course, will give students the background knowledge in areas of disease, metabolism, proteomics and signaling pathways. Scientific writing is also included in the course material.

Honors Specialization in IMS 

Specialization in IMS

This module leads to a non-Honors BMSc degree and is not, therefore, as popular.  Medical Sciences 4900F/G and 4930F/G are not available to students in this module. 

Specialization in IMS 

Major in IMS

This major is restricted to students in the BMSc Program and must be taken in combination with another Major or an Honors Specialization/Specialization module.  The Double Major is popular with students wishing to take both introductory and advanced courses from at least two basic medical science disciplines.

Major in IMS 

Courses

Medical Sciences 3900F/G

This lab will consist of an in-class component, an online simulation component, and a wet-lab component. Students will be introduced to molecular biology techniques that are common to a number of the basic medical science disciplines. These techniques will be framed in the context of evaluating wound-healing and scar tissue formation. The online module will expose students to the theory of a certain laboratory technique. In class students will apply what they have learned by completing scenarios and analyzing case studies. The students will then simulate the laboratory technique online prior to completing the wet lab.

Course Overview

Medical Sciences 4100G

Medical Sciences 4100G is an in-depth course, evaluating  the benefits and drawbacks of different animal models and their applications in medical research. Topics covered include ethics of animal use in research, regulatory agencies, anaesthesia, euthanasia, as well as the use of different animal models for different research applications. Furthermore, students will have the opportunity to gain some experience in animal handling and various techniques such as suturing.

2 lecture hours, 9 laboratory hours; 0.5 course

The pre-requisite for this course is enrolment in Year 4 of a BMSc degree or an Honors BSc degree.

Course Overview

Medical Sciences 4200G:

Medical Sciences 4200G is an interdisciplinary study of inflammation and its role in aggravating chronic disease. Students will evaluate the inflammatory process through the lens of several of the basic medical science disciplines, and will apply this knowledge to the clinical manifestations of chronic diseases. Topics covered will include the pathophysiological and biochemical origins of inflammation, cancer, obesity, CNS inflammatory disorders and therapeutic targets. Students will complete interactive online learning modules prior to in-class sessions and will spend in-class time working through patient case studies, evaluating scientific literature and learning about the "real-life" application of biomedical research. Students will be evaluated through online quizzes, assignments, midterm and final exams and a capstone project.

The prerequisite is registration in Year 4 of the Honors Specialization in IMS.

Course Overview

Medical Sciences 4300F *new for 2017/18*:

Medical Sciences 4300F/G will enable students to critically reflect on the role of scientists in healthcare by using a scientific inquiry approach to tackle modern health problems (such as poverty, mental illness, and infertility), and practise scientific inquiry and critical reflection by engaging in a project-based community service learning placement. Students will have the opportunity to develop an understanding of the physical and social determinants of health, social responsibility, leadership and ethical competencies.

The prerequisite is registration in Year 4 of the Honors Specialization in IMS.

Course Overview

Medical Sciences 4900F/G:

Offered jointly by Basic Medical Science Departments, this laboratory course will introduce students to a variety of techniques used in medical research. Major topics include tissue culture, real time PCR, biochemical assays, histology, and medical imaging. The laboratory provides an introduction to research, with emphasis on hands-on experience. 

4 hour laboratory; 0.5 course

This advanced lab course is restricted to students in Year 4 of the Honors Specialization in IMS. Three sections of the lab are offered in each term on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 1:30-5:30 pm in the Drimmer Facility (MSB 117). Medical Sciences 4930F/G is a co-requisite for this course and both courses must be completed in the same term.

If you are planning on spreading the Year 4 requirements of the Honors Specialization over two years, i.e. doing a fifth year, please note that Medical Sciences 4900F/G and 4930F/G must be taken in Year 4 (when you are admitted to Year 4 Honors Specialization in IMS) - they cannot be delayed until a fifth year. We do not recommend delaying any of the additional 4000-level courses to a fifth year as access to these course may be significantly diminished in a fifth year.

Course Overview

Medical Sciences 4930F/G:

Offered jointly by Basic Medical Science Departments, this lecture course will provide students with background knowledge in a variety of techniques and topics in medical research. Major topics include disease, metabolism, proteomics and signaling pathways. 

2 lecture hours, 1 tutorial hour; 0.5 course

This lecture course is restricted to students in Year 4 of the Honors Specialization in IMS and is designed to complement the material covered in Medical Sciences 4900F/G.  Attendance at the tutorial is mandatory. Medical Sciences 4900F/G is a co-requisite for this course and both courses must be completed in the same term.

If you are planning on spreading the Year 4 requirements of the Honors Specialization over two years, i.e. doing a fifth year, please note that Medical Sciences 4900F/G and 4930F/G must be taken in Year 4 (when you are admitted to Year 4 Honors Specialization in IMS) - they cannot be delayed until a fifth year. We do not recommend delaying any of the additional 4000-level courses to a fifth year as access to these course may be significantly diminished in a fifth year.

Course Overview

Medical Sciences 4931F/G - not to be taken by students in Honors Specialization in IMS:

Offered jointly by Basic Medical Science Departments, this lecture course will provide students with background knowledge in a variety of techniques and topics in medical research. Major topics include disease, metabolism, proteomics and signaling pathways. 

2 lecture hours, 1 tutorial hour; 0.5 course

This lecture course is required for students in Year 4 of the Major in IMS and is available to students in Year 4 of BMSc, BSc, BESc and BHSc degrees (but there may be limited number of spaces available to students who are not in the Major in IMS).

Medical Sciences 4931F/G is offered in both the Fall and Winter terms, as well as online during the Summer.

Course Overview - Fall/Winter 2017/18

Course Overview - Summer 2017 Online

Counselling Information

Contact the IMS Departmental Counsellor (Dr. Nicole Campbell), by email or appointment

Dr. Nicole Campbell, the IMS Departmental Counsellor, is available for in-person appointments or by email.  Please note that, as a departmental counsellor, Dr. Campbell responds to questions about the IMS modules. She does not deal with general academic counselling questions - these are dealt with by the Academic Counselling Team in WSC 140.

  • See Counselling for the differences between Departmental Counsellors and Academic Counsellors.

Requesting an Email Response

If you have a question that only requires an email response please complete the form below with your name, student number, question and select:

  • Option 1: I only require an email response.

Requesting an Appointment

If you would like to meet in person with Dr. Campbell, the IMS Departmental Counsellor, to discuss your question please complete the form below with your name, student number, question and choose one of the options to set an appointment.  48 hours notice is required to set an appointment.

Fall/Winter 2017-18 Appointments will be held in MSB 204 on:

  • Option 2: Monday at 2:00 - 3:00 PM
  • Option 3: Wednesday at 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

 

Honors Specialization IMS - Registration Tips

  • check that you have the prerequisites for the basic medical science courses that you wish to take
  • check the constraint charts and the chart of reserved spaces for basic medical science courses to see if you stand a good chance of getting into the courses for which you have the prerequisite
    • special permission is not granted by basic medical science departments to waive the priorities or restrictions
  • review the online Fall/Winter Academic Timetable to see which courses are offered and in which term
    • the timetable has been finalized and if a course doesn't appear, it's not offered during the upcoming year
  • use the new "Draft my Schedule" tool under Western Links in Student Center to create your conflict-free timetable and then transfer your classes to your Course Enrollment Worksheet in Student Center (Planning > My Planner) to get ready for registration
  • register for all of your courses in one transaction using the Course Enrollment Worksheet in Student Center (Planning > My Planner) at your stated enrollment date/time
    • DO NOT register for your courses one at a time!
  • review the Step by Step Guide to Registration for additional information about adding/dropping/swapping courses
  • manage your expectations for course registration - you can't always get what you want!
    • have a Plan A and a Plan B for registration
  • Year 4 students - please do not register for more 4000-level basic medical science courses than they need (other people might not get what they want if you take too many 4000-level courses)
  • please do not register for courses that you have no intention of taking but you wish to hold a spot for a friend - this behaviour is unprofessional
  • follow the steps about requesting special permission if you want to see about registering for a course without the prerequisite or despite a timetable conflict
    • special permission is not granted by basic medical science departments to waive the priorities or restrictions (constraints)

Year 4 Honors Specialization IMS - Counselling Tips

MODULAR REQUIREMENTS

Medical Sciences 4900F/G and 4930F/G - capstone courses:
The signature (capstone) and mandatory courses of this module are Medical Sciences 4900F/G (lab) and Medical Sciences 4930F/G (associated lecture).  As students in this module have taken a variety of 3000-level basic medical science courses, the lecture course has been set up to provide you with background material that complements the lab.

Medical Sciences 4900F/G and 4930F/G  MUST be taken in the same term, i.e. both as "F" or both as "G".
YOU MUST REGISTER FOR BOTH IN THE SAME TRANSACTION (see registration tips for a link to the course selection worksheet).

If you are planning on spreading the Year 4 requirements of the Honors Specialization over two years, i.e. doing a fifth year, please note that Medical Sciences 4900F/G and 4930F/G must be taken in Year 4 (when you are admitted to Year 4 Honors Specialization in IMS) - they cannot be delayed until a fifth year. We do not recommend delaying any of the additional 4000-level courses to a fifth year as access to these course may be significantly diminished in a fifth year.

Notes:

  • there are ~ 180 students in the Honors Specialization in IMS and 90 spaces in Medical Sciences 4900/4930 in each term. You might not be successful in getting spots in these two half courses in the term that you want so be prepared with a Plan B that schedules these two half courses in the opposite term (along with the other four 4000-level half courses spread between the two terms).
  • special permission is not granted to register in a section of 4900F/G or 4930F/G, exceeding the maximum capacity.
  • Medical Sciences 4931F/G (new this year) cannot be taken by students in the Honors Specialization in IMS in place of Medical Sciences 4930F/G

4000-level course requirements:
In addition to Medical Sciences 4930F/G and 4900F/G, you must complete 2.0 courses at the 4000-level from at least two of the following subject areas: Anatomy and Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Medical Biophysics, Medical Sciences (4100F/G - not offered in 2016/17 - and 4200F/G), Microbiology and Immunology, Pathology, Pharmacology, Physiology. There is no regulation about how many half courses must be taken from each of the two subject areas - as long as you have one half course from one subject area (e.g. Microbiology and Immunology 4100A) and one half course from another subject area (e.g. Physiology 4710A), the remaining two half courses can be from any subject area (e.g. including two more half courses from Microbiology and Immunology and/or Physiology).

Note:

  • we recommend that you select at least one of the interdiscipliary courses - Medical Sciences 4100G, 4200G and 4300F (new for 2017/18) - in Year 4 since these courses have been designed specifically for you!

The constraint charts provide a good indication of whether or not you'll have priority access to basic medical science courses. Some departments (e.g. Anatomy and Cell Biology, Physiology and Pharmacology, etc.) reserve spaces in their 4000-level courses for students in their Honors Specialization modules and you may have good, limited or no access to some of the 4000-level courses offered. Refer to the chart of reserved spaces in 4000-level courses to see if you have a good chance (or limited chance or not a hope) of getting into the 4000-level courses when your enrollment date arrives. 4000-level basic medical science courses that are not included in the chart don't suffer from enrollment pressure. If the spaces reserved for IMS students in a particular course fill up, more IMS students cannot register for the course even though the entire course may not be full (error message = "available spaces are reserved ..."). If this happens, you have to wait until either July 18th or July 21st to try again:

  • July 17th - Advanced Priority for IMS students:
    Students in the Honors Specialization in IMS will be able to access any remaining spaces in Pharmacology and Physiology courses on July 17th (at 1 second past 12:00 a.m.), if these courses are indicated with a PL* in the constraint charts.
  • July 21st - Priorities lift at 9:30 a.m.:
    Priorities and reserved spaces in basic medical science courses disappear at 9:30 a.m. on July 21st. If a course is restricted, the restriction never lifts.

Group 1, 2 and 3 requirements:
If you haven't completed all of the Group requirements (in the Academic Calendar and below), you must do so in Year 4:

  • 3.0 courses must be completed from Groups 1 and 2 with a minimum of 2.5 courses selected from Group 1 (you don't have to take any Group 2 courses)
  • 0.5 course from: Group 3

You may only count a maximum of 2.0 courses from one subject area (e.g. a maximum of 2.0 courses in Biochemistry) toward these 3.5 courses.
Note: Special permission is not granted to take an additional 4000-level basic medical science course to replace a course from the Groups.

Second half course in Chemistry:
One half course in Chemistry (numbered 2100-3999) must be completed, in addition to Chemistry, and must be taken in Year 4 if it hasn't already been completed.

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS:

Essay requirement:
You must complete 2.0 essay courses as a graduation requirement. The Honors Specialization in IMS contains 2.0 essay courses (Biology 2290F/G, Group 3 course, Medical Sciences 4900F/G and 4930F/G).

Breadth requirement:
You must complete 1.0 course from Category A and 1.0 course from Category B as a graduation requirement (1.0 of which should have been completed in first year).

Marks and average requirements:
You must achieve a minimum mark of 60% in each course that is part of your module and, in order to graduate, you must have a minimum cumulative modular average of 70% (overall on the 10.0 courses listed in the Honors Specialization in IMS).

RESERVED SPACES IN 4000-LEVEL COURSES:

We have negotiated with the various basic medical science departments to have access to as many spaces as possible in their 4000-level courses. Check the chart of reserved spaces in 4000-level courses to see what access you may have for the 4000-level courses you want to take. Be prepared to register for other 4000-level courses and try again later in the summer when priorities lift to get into the courses you want.

Graduation Checklist

The graduation checklist is new this year (and may still contain a bug or two) to help with your graduation requirements. As always, the Academic Calendar is the official document for graduation requirements but we hope this tool will help.

Graduation Checklist

Reserved spaces in 4000-level basic medical science courses

We have negotiated with the various basic medical science departments for access to as many of their 4000-level courses as possible for students in the Honors Specialization in IMS. The chart of reserved spaces in 4000-level courses indicates what access has been granted. Be prepared to register for alternative courses as some high-demand courses are either not available to IMS students or available to a limtied degree. Always check Access to Courses to see if any remaining spaces might be available to students in the Honors Specialization in IMS before the priorities lift on July 21st.

Year 3 Honors Specialization IMS Counselling Tips

Note: students in the combined BMSc/HBA program should choose their courses according to the Academic Calendar - all 3.5 (or 4.0) courses from Groups 1, 2 and 3 must be completed in Year 4 of the 5-year combined program. Skip down to "Make sure you check two things ..." and review Combined BMSc/HBA, too.

The Weighted Average Chart for the Honors Specialization in IMS specifies that 3.0 (or 3.5 courses if Physiology and Pharmacology 3000E is taken) from Groups 1-3 must be completed prior to Year 4, as follows:

  • 2.0 courses from Group 1
  • 0.5 additional course from either Group 1 or 2, and
  • 0.5 course from Group 3 or Physiology and Pharmacology 3000E (1.0 course)

Note that by the end of Year 4, you must complete 2.5 courses from Group 1, another 0.5 course from either Group 1 or 2, and a course from Group 3 (either 0.5 course or Physiology and Pharmacology 3000E) = 3.5 or 4.0 courses in total from Groups 1-3 (4.0 courses, if you take Physiology and Pharmacology 3000E).
Note that NO Group 2 courses are actually required - you can complete 3.0 courses from Group 1 for the Honors Specialization in IMS.
Note that, since Group 1 courses tend to serve as prerequisites for 4000-level courses, we recommend completing at least 2.5 courses from Group 1 by the end of Year 3.

Make sure you check two things when you're choosing your Group courses courses in Year 3:

  • the prerequisites for the 4000-level courses you wish to take in Year 4 (see course descriptions and prerequisites in the Academic Calendar).
    • besides Medical Sciences 4900F/G and 4930F/G, you must take four half courses at the 4000-level from at least two subject areas in the basic medical sciences. Four half courses in Physiology at the 4000-level, for example, won't satisfy this requirement - you may take three 4000-level half courses in Physiology and one 4000-level half course in Anatomy and Cell Biology, for example, to satisfy this requirement.
  • whether or not you have a good, decent or bad chance of getting into the 4000-level courses you want to take in Year 4

Make sure you check the access you'll have to Group 3 courses:

There are a limited number of spaces in the 3000-level lab courses offered by the basic medical science departments for students in the Honors Specialization in IMS. See Reserved spaces in Group 3 courses below.

Choose your courses in Year 3 wisely:

Do not set yourself up to have the prerequisites for only four half courses from the various basic medical sciences at the 4000-level for Year 4, only to discover that one of them is not offered next year or you do not have a chance of getting into some of these half courses (due to constraints and reserved spaces in 4000-level courses).
There are ~180 students in the Honors Specialization in IMS so there will be competition for 4000-level basic medical science courses next year!

Make sure you review the Counselling Tips for students in Year 4 of the Honors Specialization in IMS when you're choosing your courses for Year 3!

Reserved spaces in Group 3 courses

We have negotiated with the various basic medical science departments for access to as many of their 3000-level laboratory (Group 3) courses as possible for students in the Honors Specialization in IMS. The chart of reserved spaces in 3000-level courses indicates what access has been granted.