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About shakeshake

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  1. shakeshake

    2019 CaRMS unfilled spots

    This, and for many programs there really won't be much of a "rotating internship". There has been a move towards making PGY1 less off-service based and off-service rotations are usually somewhat related to your speciality. (i.e. psych doing less CTU, more addictions in PGY1).
  2. Red flags would be things such as: racism/discrimination (like has already been mentioned), anything that would cause tangible harm to another person, anything that isn't safe, anything that is above and beyond your scope/limitations, anything illegal (probably), not answering the question, not committing to an answer. Just some examples.
  3. https://www.carms.ca/data-reports/r1-data-reports/electives
  4. This isn't a direct answer to your question but you can extrapolate from this that you don't *need* an elective to interview/get ranked, but chances are you will match to a place you did an elective at. Assume that the more desirable the city/program, the more you probably need an elective to get an interview. Long story short: Do an elective at the school you want to match to (this applies to any speciality).
  5. I think like a lot of people have already mentioned, your interview should be more about what you did, what you've experienced, how you grew, what you accomplished, and more importantly, what you bring to the table and how you hope to move forward in a career in medicine. A traumatic/bad experience is a great way to lead into all of those points, but should not be the bulk of the content of your answer. Finding the balance between not including too many details and not sounding too generic is very difficult, but something all interviewees have to practice on as they reflect on their experiences and accomplishments going into the interview . Good luck!
  6. shakeshake

    What to wear? (men)

    Generally speaking, upwards of 95%+ of applicants will be in suits (men in particular). Every year there are students who chose to wear formal clothes instead, and I do know some of these students have been successful in the past but know that you will stand out. A lot of people will go out and buy a suit for this occasion, which you can later re-use for other life functions. The reality is you do not need to go out and buy an expensive suit - buy something that is comfortable, fits you well, and is within your budget. If you are facing financial difficulties go to one of the cheaper stores (i.e. H&M) and see what you can put together that resembles a suit. Spend the money on a tailor. Again fit, your comfort, and looking professional are your main goal here. As a general rule I would discourage you from cutting corners. In a lot of ways this could be the first day to the beginning of a life-long career. Upwards of 35-60% of interviewees end up getting into medical school (depending on the school, how many people chose other programs, etc). This is a big deal.
  7. shakeshake


    As far as your stats, this all looks very reasonable. Curious, what was going on with your grades? It might be worthwhile to explain the fluctuation in applications, though you are obviously academically capable. Make sure when you ask for a reference letter you pose the question "Are you willing to write me a strong letter in support of my application to MD school". It would probably be helpful to provide your referee with a vague idea of what this might entail (i.e. a simplified version of CANMEDs roles, or Toronto clusters for Toronto). Since you are a more mature applicant, having referees that are longer standing would obviously be to your advantage (assuming they are all strong). With regards to the PHD, this is tricky. I would make sure you have a good rational reason for why you decided to leave, and (hopefully) it wasn't performance based. On the same note, you say you "KNOW" you want to be a physician....make sure you have strong evidence to back this up. It's hard to really know what medicine is about unless you've had some clinical exposure. I would focus on the specific skills or tasks you enjoy (and have had exposure to) that a physician might do that your PHD will not allow you to do. Don't approach it from the perspective that you KNOW you want to be a doctor. Not sure if that helps, but overall I think you're in good shape (sans red flags I don't know about etc).
  8. shakeshake


    I would urge you to be careful with this - I am assuming you are a pre-clerkship student. Speak to your school directly about how best to organize this. With the creation of the AFMC portal some medical schools have created policies where they do *NOT* want departments contacted regarding electives (and I imagine observatorships as well) as faculty have found it overwhelming to deal with student elective requests. It's more of a centralized process now. While this doesn't directly apply to to you as it wouldn't be a formal elective, I would hate for you to contact someone who over-reacts about your request because of a policy at their institution. The safer schools would be places like UofT that encourage students to contact preceptors directly to arrange electives, but I would still check with your school. The other factor to think about is that fact that certain provinces may have restrictions regarding licensing and so on. You will have plenty of time to complete formal elective in other provinces. The likelihood of a department remembering you during CARMs from an observatorship is slim. Save yourself some money and do them at your home school
  9. shakeshake


    CARMS program requirements do change year to year, so you will have to confirm this by reading the program descriptions you are applying to next year. But generally speaking: - If it is not on your transcript, don't worry about it - Most programs do not ask for undergrad transcripts - No, there has not ever been a specific question in CARMS asking about this - If your medical school and undergraduate degree were at the same school and the school sends a combined transcript (not all schools separate transcripts, NOTE: transcripts are different than the MSPR) then this is the only time that things on your transcript from undergrad *could* be accessible to programs. However, with the volume of information programs have to review, and the fact virtually all do not ask for an undergraduate transcript, this is unlikely to be reviewed. Good luck!
  10. shakeshake

    Summer Break Pre-CaRMS Electives

    Second this but will add a nuance: reflect and try and have some insight into how you've performed during clerkship/medical school/research etc. If spending *part* of your summer doing an extra elective, creating a connection with a school you want to match, means you'll catch up in skills you've (or your preceptors) identified as lagging a bit it, it could be an opportunity to improve. Extra electives for the sake of electives are probably not worthwhile, especially if you risk burning out.
  11. shakeshake

    Turning down home school interview?

    All good points as well. I think ultimately it depends on the spread of interviews and the speciality you are applying to (arguably Family is not as competitive as others). There is always a risk you may miss an interview/interviews because of weather - with that said many programs are accommodating and will understand. I have friends who matched to a program they had to Skype interview (as a result of weather).
  12. shakeshake

    Turning down home school interview?

    Did you do electives at the interviews you plan to attend? Knowing the speciality in question may also be helpful in assessing risk. The truth of the matter is that the vast majority of people match to their top 3-4 ranked choices, and the lower down the rank list you go the more likely you are to go unmatched. 8 is not a small amount of interviews but it is also probably below average in terms of the number of interviews people attend (I'd guess it's closer to 10-12). The question you should be asking yourself is this: Would I rather go unmatched OR match to either of the two less desirable programs? If the answer is match vs not match, go to all of your interviews if you can. An extra 500-1000$ on flights is likely worth more than being forced into round two or a year of no income. Competitiveness changes year to year.
  13. I would encourage you to try and use letters that are from your clerkship years or from preceptors that have interacted with you now but also later in clerkship (i.e. closer to the CaRMS deadline). Letters are likely to be evaluated on perceived strength of applicant (i.e. functioning at level of a resident, top 5%, top 20%), the persons credibility (senior staff vs. resident), and length of time they've known you. A letter from your pre-clerkship year is not only less recent but also less likely to be as strong as it could be once you've gained more clinical experience. Your gestalt around your positive interaction with this preceptor is important to pick up on and so I would recommend you reach out to them to do an additional elective in clerkship or to work with them in a longitudinal fashion over the coming months (i.e. extra shifts, research). The longer they know you, the more they see you grow as a student-physician, the better the letter will likely be and the more weight it will hold. /My 2 cents.
  14. shakeshake


    People's thoughts on dress attire to socials? They seem to range from resident pub nights to events with faculty present so just wasn't sure. I'm assuming business casual but not full suit
  15. You can ask and the worst that can happen is that they say no. If leadership/politics is important to you, and you foresee it being a major part of your future career as an MD, I think it *might* be worth asking. I don't know what the position is but people do occasionally get deferrals for similar reasons (i.e. pursuing a prestigious masters). Your spot is filled (for this cycle) with someone off of the waitlist, and a spot is saved for you for next year.