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Aetherus last won the day on November 7

Aetherus had the most liked content!


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  1. I partially agree with your points, however I am concerned that your extra weeks will be required to be used in adjacent fields that have some overlap with the competitive field you are applying to. For example, an Ophthalmology candidate would be expected to complete a Neurology, Rheumatology, Infectious Disease elective. Plastics would be required to do Derm, ENT, Ortho hand, burn ICU etc to demonstrate interest. I think this will simply force applicants to be more creative to demonstrate interest and I doubt that splitting your electives between two competitive fields will be seen as a viable matching strategy. I think it will make it the process even more random at the ultra competitive end of things and make little difference to people going for less competitive things where they already do a variety of electives. It also has an unintended consequence of making the barrier to entry much less steep. In this current set up, people who are not fully committed are concerned of pursuing competitive specialties half hearted for the reasons you mentioned. However, by removing the barrier to entry, I suspect the numbers for these competitive fields will skyrocket. People will throw their name in the hat because, why not? I can still do a bunch of other electives and have a viable backup. In summary, I think this is going to make it much much worse for competitive specialties and I don’t expect the upside to materialize.
  2. I understand the point of view that you are trying to portray. However, there are several factors you have omitted in your assessment that, in my opinion, point to luck playing a larger role than you are inferring. When applying to an ultra competitive specialty (re Ophtho, Plastics, Derm), getting your desired elective at a specific site is challenging. Often times, people will be unable to secure electives at certain schools despite applying several times (sending in an application right as the portal opens for that select week for every 2 week elective slot they have). This is completely random and not in your control. Furthermore, schools will infer interest in the program based on your elective set (which you may have limited ability to decide). Now in ultracompetitive schools, they will only interview you if you have done an elective at the school. Now let’s talk about preceptors. You can be a super star medical student but if you don’t work with the right people, this won’t mean a thing. What do you do if during your elective the PD took a 2 week vacation? What if none of your preceptors are part of the ADCOM? These are all things that influence your ability to match that you have no control over. Now you have submitted your application. Maybe the person reviewing your application doesn’t value your hobbies, research etc. Maybe they are in a bad mood when they read your application...etc The system we currently have has no objective measurements to compare students. We rely on subjective measurements that are easily influenceable by luck. We create an artificial rat race to try and select the ideal candidate, however I would argue that the criteria we use, often time have little to do with your ability to perform your job.
  3. It is difficult to establish which schools are most competitive EC wise, however both Queen’s and University of Toronto place a large emphasis on EC. I have done file review for Queen’s and the level expected of EC is quite high. I think the thing most people are forgetting when comparing Ontario vs other provinces, is that, for the most part, there is no In-Province status for Ontario. This means that the amount of applications are much higher than in any other province and everyone applying is on a level playing field. If you look at the stats, Queen’s and Mac have close to 5000 applications per yer, which is much higher than any other province. This explains why the acceptance rate in Ontario is the lowest in Canada. I would say that In-province status in any province is better than living in Ontario. Afterwards, the difference between provinces is minimal, although I do think Sask may be the least competitive.
  4. This is poor advice. Ontario is definitely the most competitive province to get into medical school. Most schools have no in-province application pool and all applicants are in the same pool. Historically, applicants have left Ontario yo gain in-province status somewhere else. To specify, Queen’s and Toronto have no in-province preference. Ottawa will have a different cutoff if you are from the Ottawa region or the french stream, but no reserved spots. Western has SWOMEN, which is based on high school of graduation amongst other things and NOSM want rural applicants regardless of province. McMaster is the only school who has a set amount of interviews for in-province applicants, but no reserved seats. Any province is better than Ontario to gain medical school admission.
  5. There is no correlation between the ranking of a university and the quality of their professional program. The ranking look at things that are mostly irrelevant to your learning such as how much money does the university attract in grants, how many publications in quality journals etc. Pick the program that you like/are accepted to.
  6. Do not reschedule. Just go ahead and write and keep as many options open. You can study all of today and be more than prepared. There is limited studying that will actually make you perform better at CASPer.
  7. I would recommend taking Biomedical Sciences if you are interested in the Sciences. It is a more rigorous program and you will learn more. Also easier to do a MSc or Phd afterwards if you are interested. Health Science is more focused on Determinants of health and other softer topics. Nothing wrong with that but as mentioned previously, they are more subjective and therefore you are at the mercy of the professor. Biomed is essentially Life Science at most other schools.
  8. The Welch Allyn ones are very good. Unfortunately you won’t find anything under 500$. There are some kits that come with both the otoscope and the ophthalmoscope for approx 1000$. The pan-optic ophthalmoscope gets a much better view than the normal ophthalmoscope depending on what your family member is using it for. It’s about 1k.
  9. Each school will specify if they require a transcript or not. It is best to follow the instructions and to give only the information that is asked. I would not submit the Masters Degree Transcript unless specifically requested.
  10. Congratulations on getting into Mac Med. I just want to point out a few things. Firstly, I agree with the way you approach the ethical questions, which follows the Doing Right Format, however I would argue that for CASPer you might want to put your answer to the question first if you are confident about your position. Many times, people will spend so much time exploring the scenario but run out of time to commit to an answer, which essentially means you failed the question. Another consideration is that although you spent a lot of time practicing for Casper, there is no evidence that this actually helped you perform well. I would suggest people find the papers about CASPer that are published and read them. They conclude that practice and typing speed had no impact on how well an applicant performed. Just for context, I’ve written casper twice and was granted interviews both times (Accepted to Mac Med, wrote Casper for Residency applications as well). Aside from familiarizing yourself with the test and doing a few practice questions to figure out the timing, I do not think practice will improve your performance.
  11. I don’t know what specialty you are going for, but I would say if it’s more than a 1:1 ratio of people interested in the specialty vs spots at your home school, you are looking at a potentially though match.
  12. There are several older applicants who are successful every year. The class average age at most schools are between 24-28. In my class, 30% of students had graduate degree’s and 30% of those students had a PHD. I wouldn’t be too concerned about age, just apply and see what happens.
  13. There is also an allotment for elective surgeries in most provinces. This means there is a certain Cataract Allotment for the region, or a certain hip replacement allotment etc. The only reason for these caps is that it is an easy way to limit cost for elective surgeries in the system. However, in my opinion, it is a very narrow view as the government is only looking at the savings from not doing the surgery but does not look at the strain on the system it puts elsewhere as these people wait for their surgery. Essentially, for most surgical waitlist, the limiting reagent is not the surgeon but the lack of resources surrounding them.
  14. What specialty are you applying to? Regardless, I would say this benefits you and increases your chance of matching to this specialty. That being said, if the specialty is not very competitive, then it might not be necessary. If the specialty is very competitive, you would have to have a very good reason for refusing the opportunity.
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