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Everything posted by ellorie

  1. Oh god yes. Take every day of vacation you are entitled to, and all your conference time or anything else you get. And take it on the shittiest rotations. My last few years I took a week about every 2-3 months but PGY1 I definitely took it during the crappiest blocks.
  2. ellorie

    Doug Ford to cap OHIP-covered psychotherapy

    I disagree that it is reasonable to globally cap. There is a subset of patients (typically with complex trauma and personality disorders) who it is well known tend to not fully respond to 12-16 sessions of psychotherapy and need more. These patients are often high users of inpatient and emergency settings and present with a great deal of disability. It is not right or okay to prevent these people from accessing the treatments that are most useful to them (medications typically help these folks minimally if at all) simply because some patients could be better treated in short term modalities. Long term dynamic therapy has a role in psychiatry. I have seen it work for people who would never have responded to a brief course of CBT and in fact have had that and not made gains.
  3. Yeah not going to lie, that is an INCREDIBLY raw deal.
  4. I don’t have a particularly “fun” or outgoing personality and it’s not a big deal. People enjoy working with me for other reasons. The networking thing is more a learned skill than anything. Even if you’re shy or feel anxious, you can learn how to network with potential contacts even if it doesn’t come naturally to you. That’s what I did.
  5. Really? What PGME do you interact with? Because I can 100% see it.
  6. Well for one thing, if you are in a small specialty that depends on residents for service, losing one resident can knock out, e.g., a substantial chunk of the call pool, so they may not want to release you for that reason.
  7. I agree that people's experiences in London are mixed, but it's very different from somewhere like Toronto. When I lived in London, almost any time I mentioned my sexual orientation, even among residents, the conversation would grind to a halt with a long awkward silence. I don't think I met a single allied health provider who was queer, or at least nobody talked about it. When I asked my patients questions about sexual orientation, they not infrequently acted horrified that I might think they could be anything other than straight. I went on almost no dates and felt totally disconnected from my community. Then I moved to Toronto and it was totally different - people mention their same-sex partners and there is literally no discernible reaction most of the time. I get to work with queer nurses and social workers and doctors, there are people to date, and there's a community and events and places to go. It's genuinely night and day compared to London. Of course, many people hate big cities and wouldn't ever want to live in Toronto, which comes with its own issues, and those people should do some electives in places like London and see if they can imagine living there.
  8. Also the public transit is awful so if you don’t drive (I don’t) you’re basically SOL.
  9. It’s not big enough, and it’s also extremely straight/cis/conservative. Not an amazing place to live as a single queer woman and people made some awkward comments to me about my sexual orientation. Plus the food is largely terrible, particularly the take out options, and in my opinion there’s basically nothing to do. Not everybody would agree with me but that was my experience. I’m glad I got out and I would never go back, even if someone offered me my dream job.
  10. I’d say the first question is 4 year versus 3 year (I wanted a 4 year because I wanted summers, another good reason to go 4 year is if you want more time to decide on specialty). Then you need to decide if you care more about location or curriculum. Different people have different stances. I chose curriculum over location because I figured I can survive anything for four years, especially if I’m busy with school. And living in London did suck and I loathed it but I don’t regret prioritizing curriculum. In terms of curriculum, getting all your electives post-core and pre-CaRMS is ideal but most four year programs have that. For me my major choice was between U of T and Western and I went with Western because the U of T curriculum seemed really anatomy/lab heavy and I knew that would make me miserable and also be pretty useless to me in my career, and also because at that time U of T had a curriculum that was very basic science and physiology heavy in the first year whereas Western was block based and more integrated (I don’t think this is the case these days though). But for other people that isn’t a factor. So it’s kind of what matters to you in a program and how you learn best.
  11. ellorie

    Psychiatry Residency in Canada

    U of T is one of the few programs where you can get really solid training in dialectical behaviour therapy if you choose to seek it out - the BPD clinic is top notch. I came here largely for that, and for the psychotherapy training in general. When I applied, the psychotherapy training was robust. It is becoming much less robust with CBD in terms of requirements but I imagine you can still seek it out if you choose to.
  12. ellorie

    Psychiatry Residency in Canada

    It really just depends what you’re looking for in a program. I chose to come to Toronto because there are experts in most subspecialty areas here. If you want to do/learn something, you can probably find a way to do it and someone to do it with. The downside is that it’s a huge program and not very flexible (or at least my pre-CBD iteration wasn’t very flexible). Call has also been increasingly onerous. But so far I’ve mostly gotten what I wanted out of my residency and I don’t regret my choice. Don't underestimate the importance of location though. Living in a city that doesn’t make you miserable is huge by the time you get to residency.
  13. I don’t know, there’s a subtle difference between “you would be good at my specialty” and “why would you pick your specialty when you’re so smart/good/whatever”. There are definitely some specialties that get looked down on in that way.
  14. It’s important to remember that the College of Physicians relies on self-report. They will ask something like if you have any medical condition that could interfere with your ability to practice medicine. If you have a mental health diagnosis you need to decide how to interpret that. If you say yes they will ask for additional documentation and you can either consent for it to be disclosed, or not have a license. So doctor patient confidentiality largely isn’t an issue as much as that you may have to disclose something yourself. Disability insurance questionnaires will often ask if you’ve ever had any mental health treatment and if so will deny you, jack up your premiums, or exclude mental health related claims entirely. So this is a huge issue. With respect to your doctor or counselor disclosing something, they really shouldn’t - though I believe if a physician has a concern that you are impaired in your ability to practice, this constitutes a permissive report to the College.
  15. Yeah this happened to me a lot as a clerk. People would ask me why I would choose to go into something as not-competitive as psychiatry when I was clearly “smart enough to do something else”. I honestly just shrugged it off. Dealing with stigma is part of working in mental health. I know that my specialty is challenging and not an easy way out and I know that it’s right for me, so I honestly don’t really care what anybody thinks about it. I would just say “oh thanks but I’m committed to psych” and move on.
  16. ellorie

    Preparing meals in med school

    Yeah vegetables are my biggest hurdle. I hate them.
  17. ellorie

    Preparing meals in med school

    Our program just came out with like a ten part evening seminar with readings as part of their resident wellness initiative. It isn’t mandatory or anything but still. Like, what???? It sounds somewhat interesting but guaranteed will not make me more well how about 1-3 hours in the morning some day where I can just sleep or go to the dentist or whatever?
  18. ellorie

    Preparing meals in med school

    What I really mean is, when they say to themselves “our residents are exhausted and burned out, we need to allocate 1-3 hours to resident wellness” instead of planning some awful seminar with readings, they say to the residents “residents, we see that you are exhausted and burned out. Here is 1-3 hours to improve your wellness. Do with it as you will.”
  19. It probably depends on the trauma. For better or for worse (actually it’s definitely for worse) some things are far more stigmatized than others. If it was for example a sexual assault or abuse or something like that, people get very edgy about that kind of stuff for all kinds of awful stigmatizing reasons. If it was for example a death of a relative or something, most people will be able to tolerate hearing that.
  20. ellorie

    Preparing meals in med school

    I think they could improve it by instead giving us time away from work to eat, sleep, see our friends, and attend to our basic medical needs.
  21. ellorie

    Preparing meals in med school

    Meal plan in advance, make big batches on the weekend and freeze stuff so it’s ready to go. Bring your own lunch as much as you can. I like the blog Budget Bytes for easy and cheap recipes.
  22. At my school, it was radiology. All I did basically was sit in a dark room behind the resident. I literally had a concussion for part of the rotation and nobody noticed any difference because I did so much zero.
  23. It depends on the province. Alberta and one (i think) other province gives you interest free status during residency. I paid off my Canada loans with my LOC and left my Alberta ones alone because they won’t be in repayment until I’m done.
  24. ellorie

    Electives Residences

    I used AirBNB for my electives and that worked well for me.
  25. ellorie

    IM Programs that let you moonlight

    I think it’s a leftover from the idea that once you’ve passed the LMCC 1 and 2 you could theoretically practice in some capacity. Our exam isn’t until R5 and people moonlight well before.