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ameltingbanana

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  1. Hometown if your home town has a medical student with an advisor who knows what they're doing. Otherwise, branch located near medical school who will almost certainly have an advisor who knows what they're doing.
  2. ameltingbanana

    McMaster or Western?

    McMaster grad and current resident here. Also did my undergrad and Masters in London/Western: A) 3 year program - absolutely can be daunting up front to figure out what you want. However, to some degree the onus is on you as an adult learner to explore, shadow specialties you might be interested in. McMaster is an excellent program if you're more open to structuring your own learning (if I might add, this is sort of how you learn in residency anyways - you will have half days and stuff, but a lot of learning is through your day-to-day and reading around cases, etc.). Not having summers does suck a bit, and that third year of clerkship can feel like a bit of a grind. You will have 2 months off between end of med school/LMCC and residency though. An often-neglected point (mentioned by someone above though) is opportunity cost - 1 year of staff salary is equivalent to 250000-400000 in terms of opportunity cost. That's 1 year year earlier to retire, buy a house, marriage, etc. Something to think about. B) PBL - once again, this is how you learn and review things in residency. You pick a "problem" (e.g. chest pain, acute coronary syndromes, pneumonia) and review an approach to it. You do also have lectures ("large group sessions") - so don't go thinking McMaster has zero lectures. You will do PBL 2-3x/week, and LGS 2x/week. I do find sometimes I had a bit less book learnin' compared to folks from 4 year schools, particularly with regard to in-depth cell biology but this usually evaporated around the time of clerkship. C) Knowledge during placements: see point 1 - you need to be driven and read on your own to some degree as a learner. For your placements, there will always be a feeling of "I don't know enough" - that's normal, you are a medical student, you should not be showing up on a subspecialty service feeling comfortable knowledge-wise in my opinion. Myself and colleagues didn't have issues getting reference letters for CaRMS, and all matched well (I will note that McMaster has had 1 or 2 bad years in the match - extenuating factors in at least one of those years was an abundance of people wanting smaller subspecialties and being very restricted geographically). D) Hamilton is a very safe city; equivalent to London in my opinion . Some areas are less safe than others - keep your wits about you in those areas and you'll be fine (there are similar areas in London like EoA, Toronto, Edmonton, etc.). The food scene in Hamilton >> London, nightlife is slightly better if you're >25 (if you're <25 and like clubbing, London is better). Lots of hiking and things to do on the escarpment. Cost of living is going up steadily relative to London though - if you're thinking of getting a house for residency/med school London is much cheaper to my knowledge. This is just my perspective on Hamilton/Mac - others may disagree. PM me if you have any questions.
  3. ameltingbanana

    CCCA shifts

    Anyone done these? Thinking of applying to make a bit of cash and earn some income. Downsides I've heard is that your CMPA reimbursement actually goes down using the moonlighting code, meaning you have to do a certain number of shifts to break even. Opinions appreciated.
  4. Has anyone been able to ask for a safety deposit box at Scotiabank with their LOC?
  5. ameltingbanana

    Pre-clinical vs Clinical years

    Agree with all the above^. Clerkship will range from predictable 35-45 hour works that are 9-5 (typically outpt rotations: family clinic, subspecialty clinic, peds clinic, etc), random hours (e.g. ER) to 80-100 hour work weeks on inpatient wards +/- overnight call depending on your institution (general surgery, internal medicine ward, etc). Best way to learn is to really understand your fundamental pathophys as a preclerk and then transition into focusing more on management and developing "approaches" to various things in your clinical years (e.g. approach to chest pain, shortness of breath, lower extremity weakness, and so on) I'd definitely say I studied less in my clerkship years, but I also tried to learn how to study smarter (question banks, Anki for question cards).
  6. ameltingbanana

    McMaster Waitlist Party

    Congrats guys! Was on the waitlist at Mac myself back in 2014, and was gearing up for an MCAT rewrite +/- 5th year when I got the email. For everyone else in the waitlist, hang in there
  7. ameltingbanana

    Time for letter of intent writing

    Took about 1 month to write 13 letters, but I'm personally kind of a slow writer and don't do well if I'm overly crunched for time. Bear in mind, some of the content you can reuse depending on what the prompts for the programs you're applying to are like.
  8. ameltingbanana

    Icu Elective - Good Places?

    Agreed, but the caveat there is that all the surgical residents were taking time off. Even if you're a star student and performing well on the elective, the residents will generally take priority for most procedures in a teaching centre, especially the lines. Even more so if you have a bunch of general surgery residents around with an interest in critical care/SICU. I'd say if you're going on an ICU elective in a major teaching center, you shouldn't expect to do a ton of procedures necessarily depending on the setting/number of learners around. If you want that experience I'd suggest a community ICU that takes learners (e.g. Waterloo). I'm on CTU now as an R1, and it's the same thing but from the other side - our medical students (both core rotation and elective) are excellent, but us residents get priority for most procedures - paracentesis, thoracentesis, ABGs, joint aspirations, even an LP, etc.
  9. ameltingbanana

    Icu Elective - Good Places?

    Did ICU elective at Mac (HGH ICU) during clerkship. Was on a team with another medical student, 2 R1s, one R2, one ICU fellow and the attending - pretty hard to get procedural experience. Did get to do some ABGs and assist with some central lines/art lines, but yeah as mentioned before the R1s got priority for learning procedures.
  10. ameltingbanana

    Recommend textbooks?

    Cardiology: Lilly's, The only EKG book you'll ever need (Thaler) Respirology: I used Harrison's for this section primarily Hematology: Harrison's, Pathophysiology of Blood Disorders GI: First Principles of Gastroenterology, Harrison's (seeing a trend yet?) Endo: Greenspan's That should hold you over from MF1-2. Also make sure you use resources like Medscape, UpToDate to understand things from a clinical perspective as well (e.g. what investigations have the most sensitivity/specificity, what you might see on physical exam, etc.). These textbooks are great for understanding pathophys, but kinda fall flat in this regard. Also start to train yourself to learn approaches to things - patients will rarely walk in and say "I am having a myocardial infarction", they'll say "I'm having chest pain". So accordingly, you need an approach to chest pain. Textbooks are not good for this IMO; you'll learn this in clinical skills, and it'll be reinforced in clerkship. Just something to keep in mind.
  11. I'd personally endorse Toronto Notes for PHELO. Made above avg in that section, found it pretty easy to read. Didn't really use Essentials though. There also a few UWorld graphics in the tutor mode section that are absolutely money for PHELO/biostats/clin epi. Highly recommend snapping pix with your phone (since you can't screen cap) and saving for later. Good luck on your rewrite, I'm sure you'll kill it.
  12. ameltingbanana

    What is your LOC Thread

    This was in Hamilton, Ontario
  13. Second this list, particularly First Aid for the Wards, Step Up to Medicine (if you want/are interested in IM) and uWorld (good for LMCC and if your school uses the NBME shelf exams). Would also suggest NMS Medicine Casebook if you're interested in IM, I found it quite useful. In terms of online resources - Medscape, UTD and Life in the Fast Lane fit the criteria you posted. As well before you start any rotation, reading its respective section in Toronto Notes has been key for me (just as a primer, use other resources to flesh out topics in depth, reading around your cases, etc.).
  14. ameltingbanana

    What is your LOC Thread

    Just a heads up for people with TD - spoke to the manager at my branch and she said they're willing to include the new TD Cashback Visa (fee waived) if you have your LOC with them (link: https://www.tdcanadatrust.com/products-services/banking/credit-cards/view-all-cards/cash-back-infinite-visa.jsp). Decent cashback card, momentum's a bit better I think. Might be a good idea if you're sitting on a pile of Aeroplan points and want to switch (especially since Air Canada is dropping Aeroplan and launching its own frequent flyer program in 2020).
  15. ameltingbanana

    What is your LOC Thread

    If you don't withdraw from the LOC/have a running balance, you shouldn't incur fees (that's my understanding at least). I'd recommend getting it - as you can see in this thread you can usually snag a credit card that's way beyond anything you can qualify for legitimately at this stage, as well as other perks like a better bank account, free checks, etc.
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