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plastics91

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About plastics91

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  1. We should just have a red-lined stickie on the top of the premed forum: IF YOU WANNA DO MED DON'T GO TO UOFT FOR UNDERGRAD My friends and I joke: UofT is where hopes and dreams go to die. Hope your friend makes a wise decision.
  2. plastics91

    5th year/Masters/Year off ?

    Your GPA is great! >3.9 from what I've heard doesn't make a huge difference in your entrance, but I think either 1. Do 5th year to increase GPA further or 2. Do some crazy EC (volunteering abroad, etc.) to get life experiences to talk about Along with a rewrite of the MCAT to get that CARS up should be good enough for you. Good luck!
  3. plastics91

    U of Alberta vs. McMaster

    I got it soon after I was admitted. I think there may be some they offer early on and some later? Not sure
  4. Hi everyone, I am a graduate student finishing my degree requirements this summer who has been accepted into Schulich Medicine past May 8. Unfortunately my committee members are very busy and I was not successful in booking a defence date prior to June 30th despite hunting for months for a date. I do have a date now, but it is after June 30th. My supervisor said I will pass with 99% confidence, and will complete my graduate degree fulfillments in the days after. I've already sent e-mails to discuss with admissions what can be done to keep my offer valid. Could anyone who attended western with graduate degrees or know anyone whose been in my situation comment on what's western's stance on strictness of this date? It seems pretty strict but when I talk to med students/residents they waive it off saying they'll accommodate you. Thank you so much. This is really stressing me out
  5. plastics91

    U of Alberta vs. McMaster

    Thanks for the detailed outline! You're such a lifesaver for me I'm so thankful you're spending to time to reply to my seemingly endless questions... I just really don't want to regret my decision. Would I be able to do observerships/shadowing before 3-4 months? From what I see on this post people seem to suggest I should use these to build up my clinical capacity rather than doing it at places I actually want to impress because I wouldn't know squat. Do you still think it's best to use them at places I want to end up for residency? Although it's I'm sure person-dependent, would doing horizontal electives and being very active about getting experiences BEFORE post MF4s be enough to counter not knowing cores? For competitive specialties like EM for instance. I keep hearing about this bad rep... I'm trying to decide whether this is going to impact how my evaluators see me. Is it reasonably likely an evaluator might be biased against me because I'm from mac? Thank you so so much.... <3
  6. plastics91

    U of Alberta vs. McMaster

    Thanks for your reply! Would that mean though that if I'm gunning, I would still be able to choose my electives AFTER this 7 week session? Or must I choose my electives before, in which case the added experience won't help me narrow down to truly gun
  7. plastics91

    U of Alberta vs. McMaster

    Thanks for the detailed explanation @Edict and @a7x! It seems that based on what you say, what's really important is when you have to sign up for electives. It seems for most competitive specialties that they like it if you "commit" to one for all your electives, so if I have 2 competitive specialties in mind then it's less favourable to split them AND back up with family. From what I gather, at Mac requires you to choose your electives 7 months into preclerkship vs. other schools that let's you choose.. when? I'm not sure, but I gather months in to clerkship. Is that true? =
  8. plastics91

    U of Alberta vs. McMaster

    Thank a lot @goleafsgochris @PhD2MD @Lactic Folly and @Edict! (Not sure why tagging is not working...) There are so many factors to consider and many of which are uncertain that it's difficult for me to establish a priority. As of now, it seems going to Mac and being super proactive about pursuing horizontal electives at all potential pathways, and quickly eliminating them seems most appropriate. Because of the good point by Lactic Folly (that even if I did FM/EM, if I want to do research, academic centres will likely be preferred place of employment), and because I can't really imagine just doing urban family, I think I have tentatively narrowed down to EM and backing up with FM. In which case, as Edict suggested, Mac could be a better option considering life factors (early graduation, family/friends nearby). Still having ongoing discussions with a lot of people regarding this decision, but I'm very grateful for the lively conversation here! I've learned so much! One question: For Mac graduates, would you say your horizontal electives were enlightening enough to counter the electives before core rotations issue? Or was enlightening enough to eliminate specialties prior to formal clerkships?
  9. I am aware of that as you mentioned it in your original post. I meant you are still competitive as an OOP applying to western provinces :). Do the 5th year, get 4.0, reapply very broadly (all programs you can to) and you will most likely land at least one of them!
  10. 5th year. Masters won't make your 4th year go away but 5th could help. Your chances and stats are not bad for Canada, especially western provinces. I know people with your stats get interview offers and get in
  11. plastics91

    U of Alberta vs. McMaster

    Thank you guys so much @Lactic Folly @ZBL and @yup. This has been really enlightening and gave me a lot to think about. To distill it simply and without considering too much of the intricacies and uncertainties in the future, it seems it is unrealistic to really think about the research portion at this stage. It seems that it's more important that I know for sure where I would want to practice, as a FM with EM shifts in the community, or a EM with research in academic facilities. Because of the passion I have for the topic, I am inclined towards EM in academic facilities, preferably in Toronto as I have family there, and the research is really taking off in that field with a lot of investments. Also I have already made meaningful connections in the city. With that in mind, would Mac or UofA offer a significant advantage that one or the other would have, thinking EM at Toronto specifically?
  12. plastics91

    U of Alberta vs. McMaster

    Yes surgeons in academic centres definitely do a fair bit of research, but I guess in realms that are already narrowed down to their respective fields. I'm interested in basically applying already developed machine learning techniques with available data sets to help guide policy and clinical decision making. More interested the process rather than specific application into any particular clinical field. For training programs you mentioned it seems they are provided at resident level not at undergraduate medical school level and both are at UofT, so could you shed a light on how I should factor this into my decision to attend an undergraduate institution? I'm thinking of covering the basics of what I need to learn (Math, comp sci) during MD (Mac is good that it's self directed) while getting relevant research projects (already have potential ones lined up at UofT.. But trying to decide if proximity by being in Hamilton will help OR having summers off in Alberta would help) I have also heard FM/EM is primarily practice hence was the reason why I also considered just going full EM where people tend to do more research from what I hear and also has not that many clinical hours in a month and no calls. However also trying to figure out if FM/EM is prohibiting busy that I CAN'T do any research? And I guess i was thinking that EM still need a hospital to work in even though it bills the government. The thing I like best about FM is that you can set up shop anywhere and scope of practice is less defined. Academic GIM is great in subject matter but as you mentioned I think it could be quite time consuming, not only in practice but in training (multiple fellowships..). This is why I was leaning more towards EM where things are a bit more fast paced. I like fast pace I've picked up the book and starting to read it! Thanks for the suggestion! Thank you so much for your detailed response, and for sure, at this point the best thing would be to talk to staff at different specialties. Trying to set that up now.... If you know anyone in any of the fields I've mentioned I'd love the opportunity for a quick chat! Thank you so much!
  13. plastics91

    U of Alberta vs. McMaster

    You're right, I assume it would most likely come down to how wise it is to commit to a specialty without having a lot of hands-on exposure... Sounds risky at the moment, and I do want to keep an open mind. Thanks for reminding me! For sure I am aware that most of the specialties I have put down are very competitive. EM is most attractive in terms of what the actual work entails and potential for research. However I do not like that I cannot have my own private practice, by the way funding is being allocated, I do not want my practice to hinge on hospitals which is why FM + EM seems perfect. Also that FM does bring its benefits that I won't get into here. Plastics I've had initial interest from when I began journey towards medicine but not for the cosmetic side. I wouldn't mind not making that much money to do reconstructive or other aspects. ENT because I am fascinated by anatomy neck up. Ophth because I have work and research experience in the field, and eye is critical to QoL. Derm only because I recently started considering having a life might not be so bad? But it's lowest of my choices listed. I understand that the choices at first look may be suspicious, thanks for the tip on keeping quiet where silence is helpful! I've also heard that surgical specialties do not offer the kind of flexibility for research, and working too much is sure way to burn out. This is me transitioning drastically from all my life thinking I wanted to do surgery then slowly coming to a realization from anecdotes told by surgeon friends and supervisors. Thank you for being another voice of reason and taking my step one step farther from surgery.
  14. plastics91

    U of Alberta vs. McMaster

    Thank you so much for your time to do research on the programs! I'll note them for future reference. I envision myself doing clinician-scientist things but had a particular field in mind that would collaborate heavily with computing science and engineers. You're right, there isn't a lot of fam med-based interest in the field I want to go into, I guess I saw it as an opportunity to begin something anew where the field isn't so saturated. I already have a MSc, I would have to see what added benefit an additional graduate degree would be in a burgeoning field. Amount of research I guess would depend on which school I end up going to. I've heard Mac is quite condensed as is and I wouldn't have much luck doing much research in any capacity which is a bit of a downer... But I also know that research productivity during residency is more important when it comes to job searching so I wouldn't mind holding off until residency.
  15. plastics91

    U of Alberta vs. McMaster

    Thanks a lot Lactic Folly! I am getting that response a lot, that it's really a function of how sure I am on FM+1EM. I'd say I'm about 60-70% certain provided I'd be able to do AI research on it. I'm not interested in only practicing without any research component. Another factor I did think about is that fact that academic/Toronto based positions for royal college specialties are almost impossible to come by and things might be a bit easier for FM+EM who wants to do research although I'm clueless as to if this is/will be true. Nonetheless it's difficult for me to justify that I can be any more certain on a specialty without having clinical exposure via rotations or at least extensive shadowing. Distance is both career & family-related consideration, if I'm in Hamilton it's a quick go train ride away back to the city so I can imagine doing research projects or even shadowing remotely to build/retain those longitudinal relationships.
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