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Galaxsci

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  1. The majority of people who match to any specialty don't have a masters. Moreover, it's debatable whether a masters (unless directly relevant to the specialty and provides you with unique skills that would be difficult to otherwise acquire) would provide any benefit in carms.
  2. Yep, used a high school teacher and got into Toronto. Should be fine as long as it's more of a character reference, don't be that person who uses their high school teacher to talk about their aptitude for Grade 11 Biology.
  3. Best way I've found to get future projects is to have your current supervisors and people you know to make the connection on your behalf - naturally, docs always respond better when a doc they know is making the referral than if a student is cold emailing. Talk to docs you know and see who they know at other schools that might be working on projects of interest. But echoing earlier points, absolutely no research needed for FM. Peds would benefit from research, especially if it happens to be a competitive year, but not a hugely research intensive specialty at most sites from what I've heard.
  4. The only things that really seem to matter for CaRMS are the following (in this order): 1. How you performed at that program if you did an elective there and the quality of the resulting reference letter. This includes your knowledge, work ethic, and most importantly, whether or not they liked you as a person/colleague. ^ ^ 2. The quality of your other reference letters. ^ 3. Your research experience 4. The rest of your CV including leadership experience, volunteering, etc. Of course, major leadership roles and life experiences such as being an Olympian, running a large non-profit or having a very successful career prior to medicine would be influential because it would make you more interesting as a person. But (and I welcome other people who have experience with the CaRMS process to chime in with other opinions), I highly doubt that volunteer experience or anything else from 95% of CVs would tip the scales much (or maybe at all). The only caveat would be if the person interviewing you happened to have a personal connection to something on your CV. Ex: Loves playing a sport that you also play a lot. I know everybody's getting stressed out about the fact that it seems like everyone else is volunteering, doing research, and starting initiatives during the pandemic. I wouldn't worry about that at all. No program is going to burn one of their precious interview questions to ask how you spent your time during COVID, nor will they go through your CV with a fine toothed comb looking for it. Anything that people did during covid will be treated exactly like anything they did outside of it. If people did something really helpful to the community and impressive, it will look just as impressive as if they had done something of similar magnitude during the regular school year. And if people volunteer to help with PPE delivery, calling elderly community members or anything else, it'll look just like it would if they volunteered to do something nice for the community at any other time. If you spent your time during COVID at home with your family, working on fitness/interests, or doing anything else, that's totally fine because that's how most of the world spent their time as well.
  5. Don't worry at all. You won't have any trouble in med school finding groups who want to party. In first year, there were large groups (probably about a quarter of the class) who went out almost every single week for the entire year. It tends to quiet down in 2nd year and in clerkship as people get over the "I got into med school" high, but first year can be as wild as you want it to be. The other thing that you've probably got on your mind is whether or not it'll feel different for you being 19. I'm willing to bet it won't. I wasn't 19, but I and a lot of my friends were 21 when we started and nobody could tell the difference between us and the 24/25 year olds in the class. Also, if you got into med at 19, I'm assuming you're used to spending time with people at least a year or two older than you. As long as you don't broadcast it to people ("hey guess what guys, I'm finally legal drinking age haha"), nobody will ever be able to tell that you're 19 and not 22.
  6. I definitely wouldn't be turned off of medicine by job prospects. Compared to most other fields, the job prospects are excellent, especially nowadays when hiring in other fields is scarce. Yes, the job prospects are abysmal in certain fields (neurosurg, cardiac surg, many other surg specialties), but even in certain surgical specialties (which are worse than the vast majority of non-surg specialties), you can find a job without a fellowship in a community hospital outside the largest cities (for Ontario, cant speak for other provinces). For non-surg specialties, the majority of people (cardio, nephro, rad onc aside) get jobs immediately after their residency if they're looking to work in the community or immediately after a fellowship/Masters if they want to work academic. And yes, the vast majority of jobs in medicine are never posted online, but that's the case for most fields. Using connections and word of mouth are the name of the game for finding jobs in life (fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you feel about networking) and medicine is no different.
  7. I always tried to extend my day by an hour or so depending on when I finished on CTU. If I got out of there by 5, I'd stay at the hospital and study for an extra hour or two before going home. If I finished at 4, maybe 2 or 3 hours. That way, when I got home, I'd actually be able to chill.
  8. Pretty much, yeah. If the trends stay consistent, based on the number of empty spots in FM in Quebec in previous years after the first round, for you to not match, the programs would have to actively choose to have an unfilled seat over taking you.
  9. To answer this, yes you have the exact same chance regardless of what order you rank in, as long as you were declined by the programs above it on your rank list. There are no games to be played with the carms algorithm, rank things solely based on your preference. As for the initial question, lots of my friends matched to FM in Toronto (mind you I went to U of T) with no research, no major "leadership" ECs in med school, and no gunning of any kind. Similar situation for matching to Vancouver FM from Toronto. You can do whatever you want (including exclusively doing things you think are fun like joining the school play or doing intramurals) and be confident that as long as you're competent and not a terror to work with, you'll match without any issues.
  10. Set the same 3-4 hours a day as your "work hours" where you'll just work every day and everybody in the house knows it. So you ideally won't have any interruptions during that time and you'll be in the routine of actually working during that time yourself. I'd be so much more productive if I could follow my own advice...
  11. Agree with the above, never have another student write a letter for you, regardless of the role you each played in an organization. I'd actually say that the teacher may be a good option to consider, potentially over the TA supervisor. You want the letter to be about you and why you as a human being are a good candidate for medicine. There's a chance the TA one could come across as being very similar to your academic reference depending on your relationship with the TA. Also, since you submit three letters, you could always submit both along with your prof's letter.
  12. It all depends on your time horizon. There are many 5 year periods throughout history where the overall market loses money. There are far fewer 10 year periods and far fewer 15 or 20 year periods (if any). If you're willing to keep that money in the market for the long haul, history suggests that you would average about 7% per year which is better than you're paying on your LOC. But if you panic at a low point or you decide to sell at the end of med school regardless of whether the market is up or down at the time, there's a reasonable chance you'll come out worse than you would have if you'd done nothing, given that you'll be paying interest on the money the whole time.
  13. You could (probably should) also ask your manager to speak more about you as a person, rather than you as an employee. Really focusing on what they know about you as a human being and why that makes you a great candidate.
  14. All sounds pretty reasonable. I'd just say that your con for SMH isn't a concern; it offers every specialty (except thoracics, which is offered at St. Joe's), so you won't be limited in your clinical experience if you end up doing all/most your rotations there. And you can still shadow at any of the hospitals as a U of T student!
  15. Toronto family med is definitely competitive for a family med program, but family med in general is not. I know lots of people who matched this year, both to Toronto and to other family med (and many other Toronto residency programs), without any research in the field. As for programs that are known to "require" research, it's all the ones you'd expect, as they're the most competitive fields overall: Plastic surgery, ophthalmology, dermatology, etc. In most fields, research in the field can't hurt your application, but in some (like the aforementioned highly competitive ones), it's more of a requirement than a recommendation. If you're interested in relative competitiveness of different fields, check out the CaRMS data, it's all publicly available: https://www.carms.ca/data-reports/r1-data-reports/
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