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Lactic Folly

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Everything posted by Lactic Folly

  1. Lactic Folly

    Questions About Reference Letters

    It's not the standard in North America that good reference letters need to include a weakness in order to sound 'objective.' I have heard this could be the norm in other parts of the world (UK?), but can't speak to it personally.
  2. Lactic Folly

    Papers that are not yet published?

    You would specify that they have been accepted, in press (or submitted to xx Journal if there is no official manuscript decision yet).
  3. Lactic Folly

    Home School Vs. OOP Elective

    I can't say how much difference it would make, but if you had that elective you could at least point to it in your personal statement and say that you are not one of those people who are not able to consider anything outside of Ontario, you were just unsuccessful in arranging any OOP electives other than this one.
  4. Lactic Folly

    Nontraditional Family Medicine Careers

  5. Yeah, I guess the common theme here is that you should be working hard and looking for ways to contribute because that's part of who you are - a team player who's dedicated to becoming a better physician, not someone who's primarily interested in making a good impression for their evaluation. I don't know how well preceptors can tell true from fake enthusiasm; likely most prefer a smiling face to a long one, although attempts to outshine other students may rub the team the wrong way.
  6. Lactic Folly

    Possible anxiety disorder

    I agree about the mismatch of expectations. It's understandable that adjusting to a new city and the "med school bubble" would be stressful. Though clerkship offers some intense and unique experiences, there is no inherent reason that preclerkship should be 'amazing' or any better than high school. In fact, I wouldn't wish for med school to have been the best years of my life - that would mean it would be all downhill from then on Certainly the 'fit' and camaraderie was much greater for me during residency. I'm a bit more concerned if your preceptors have initiated a discussion with you about social anxiety. I would understand a desire to avoid being labelled with a psychological condition. However, it's not necessary to be medicalized in order to get help for social anxiety, which many people have to some degree or another. University counselling services or your medical association's physician help line would be a good start. I would encourage you to look into the resources that are available to you as a student. Cognitive behavioural therapy can be quite effective and will help you do better in your rotations (the other potential problem, if issues with social interactions are noticeable to your preceptors). PM if you want to chat further.
  7. Lactic Folly

    Climate in Diagnostic Radiology

    No, and that's why I don't recommend waiting until clerkship to decide on a specialty choice, or relying too much on clerkship rotations. I had things narrowed down through research, reading, reflection, observerships and preclerkship electives (valuable for informational interview- like interactions) before the start of 3rd year.
  8. Lactic Folly

    Climate in Diagnostic Radiology

    Given the scope of medical knowledge in each specialty, and the many pathways for growth, variety, and challenge in a medical career, that's essentially the same question as asking whether you would still be interested in medicine in 50 years.
  9. Lactic Folly

    CaRMS statistics

    Yes, you just need one program to rank you highly. So a well-liked local candidate would have an advantage in this regard, even if they do not have as many interviews as some of their colleagues from other schools. That being said, there is some general correlation between the number of interviews garnered and the overall strength of one's paper application, which may or may not correlate with your home program's assessment as well.
  10. I would tend to agree with the last post, i.e. not to come across as *too* eager to jump on an offer to go home. I don't think any deliberate trap-setting exists per se, but it is generally appreciated if a trainee double-checks that there is truly nothing useful that they can do before they leave, and that they are getting in the way if they stay longer. With regards to keenness (not that you need to go the extra mile on all rotations), I've seen staff back off their initial offer to go home if the trainee expresses a true desire to stay for that upcoming late case, and then comment favourably on their enthusiasm. It's doubly impressive if a trainee is keen on a rotation that they are clearly not going into, or are an off-service PGY1, with word even travelling back to their home program.
  11. Lactic Folly

    working while in medschool?

    Sure, you can make time for the things that are important to you, like a job you love. But it won't be possible to do everything. 16 hrs each weekend would be a very large time commitment and would almost certainly limit your ability to participate in medical school activities that may be scheduled on the weekend, as well as cut into study and gym time (unless you can study on the job). I personally did continue to volunteer in the preclerkship years of medical school, but no more than a few hours per week. For the job you describe, I would prefer a commitment of one 8 hr shift every second week if possible.
  12. Lactic Folly

    working while in medschool?

    What are your reasons for keeping the job? How will this balance out against the opportunity costs of the time you could otherwise have spent on other activities?
  13. It would probably be a good idea to talk to a counsellor about this. You don't want to do anything rash. At the least, dealing with these feelings will help you be more successful in whatever path you choose. Regarding the positive side of medicine - you can go on any university's faculty of medicine website and see story after story about alumni and staff who are doing great things, making a difference and expressing satisfaction with their work. In an entirely nonscientific assessment, it seems that 90-95% of the attending physicians I see around me are married with kids, so it doesn't seem that medicine is an impediment to having a family. Time becomes scarce during training, but I don't think it's accurate to say one can't keep up *any* hobbies, friends, or life outside of work. How much better will the other options be if you need to continue schooling? Is grad school really an 'income'? How easily would you be able to find a suitable position in a suitable location? Having the 'life' you stated does depend somewhat on that as well.
  14. This is a major decision and either way, you should make sure it is as informed as possible. I appreciate this is difficult given you have not actually spent time working in the field as of yet, but if you have already confirmed your acceptance, perhaps your Student Affairs office could be of help. I'm sure they could introduce you to many physician advisors who find their careers rewarding despite the hard work. I've been in this field for many years, and although burnout is certainly a problem, and there are people who question if they'd go into medicine again if given the choice, I've never met anyone who would tell newly-accepted students that they are making a mistake to go into medicine. The other factor is that it's unclear whether you have a plan B / alternate career at hand. All fields of work have their challenges and dissatisfactions; I'm sure you can find people unhappy with their work anywhere you go, and likely with greater concerns about job security.
  15. This info is out there in the public domain - although perhaps not well publicized. https://youtu.be/JLBBhQtQsGM
  16. Are we talking 1st iteration? It is possible to review a large number of files by dividing the work among multiple committee members. It is also possible to filter applications in CaRMS by CMG/IMG, current year vs prior year graduates.
  17. https://www.carms.ca/pdfs/Instruction-sheet-for-early-references-EN.pdf This is the instruction sheet for early references. The letters should never be sent to the applicant directly.
  18. Lactic Folly

    Medical Student v.s. MD Candidate

    It is commonly done - but I do not think that necessarily means that it is an expectation. To me, an email from one's university email account, with a statement introducing yourself as a ** year medical student at ** University would be equally professional without coming off as overly formal.
  19. Lactic Folly

    Doug Ford & OPC clinches majority government...

    https://shawnwhatley.com/plan/#more-5737 Not to express any sort of partisan opinion but this essay (and comments underneath) were interesting food for thought.
  20. Lactic Folly

    Reference Letter Question

    Good luck - it will feel good for you to be able to do this for them Incoming medical student (1st year, or class of xx) is pretty clear as you stated. Some people don't like the term 'candidate' as that overlaps with PhD candidacy examinations.
  21. Lactic Folly

    Reference Letter Question

    Usually the letter will start with how pleased you are to have the opportunity to write for your supervisor, how long you have known them and in which capacity. Then you would go into detail about their teaching, mentorship, etc. and how they stand out in your view in each domain. You can end by summarizing how well they exemplify the criteria of whatever purpose you are writing for, that you hope they will be strongly considered for the promotion/award if applicable, and perhaps that you'd be happy to speak further if the committee wishes. Agree that including specific examples/stories is very important to strengthen your points. The letter would be most powerful if you described the impact that your supervisor had on your professional development - so making it personal in that sense would be valuable indeed. Things that are not directly work-related (e.g. family and social life) would be the type of personal info I would tend to leave out. There was an entire thread on here a while back debating the use of MD "candidate". You're almost always safe using "XX Medical School Class of 2022", as you have in your signature.
  22. Lactic Folly

    ADHD in top 10

    I didn't sense that at all. The delivery may have been blunt, but goleafsgochris is just sharing what they have seen going through medical school and residency. I think most other future applicants reading this thread will appreciate the realism and the fact that their senior colleagues are taking the time to alert them of potential pitfalls that lie ahead.
  23. Agree that you want coaches who will give you as much constructive feedback as possible. It's one thing to provide a confidence boost to someone who needs it, but most everyone starting out this in this process will have room for improvement. Did these coaches have a background in medical admissions? Are you near a university where you can access in-person coaching? Even family/friends may be helpful to pick up on body language cues, as they will be motivated to help you succeed.
  24. Lactic Folly

    Research in Med School & Residency

    Not in itself - it's understandable that people will explore different areas during medical school and may switch focus as their interests evolve. It's about the total impression from your application (including personal letter, electives, and references).
  25. Lactic Folly

    Research in Med School & Residency

    Congrats! For residency applications, research is beneficial in demonstrating interest in a field, and making connections within a department who can provide references and vouch for you at the program selection committee meetings come CaRMS time. As such, you'd want to work with MDs in the field you are applying to. The main consideration for continuing in a basic science lab is if you envisioned pursuing that research into residency (i.e. applying for a clinician investigator stream).