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  1. Incoming med student as well. I've looked up the advice of senior students/residents/physicians on this website and others. The consensus is to spend enough so that you can focus entirely on med school. If that means buying an apartment with in-suite laundry so that you aren't taking your laundry to a nearby landro-mat during exam season, so be it. If that means buying a new computer with a premium service warranty to carry you through the next four years, indulge. It gets trickier when it comes to say, buying furniture for a new apartment. Some classmates will blow a decent chunk of their LOC right out of the gates to make their apartments look like luxury stage homes. One could argue that a dining table is a dining table, whether it costs you $300 on Facebook Marketplace or $2600 on a premium website. So, should you spend that extra $2300 to make it look nice? Maybe this is important to you - maybe you like to host friends at your place as a way to relax. So, maybe a nice table is worth it. But are you then going to apply that to your TV, your kitchen appliances, your chairs, your couch, your bed, your bookshelves, ect? I will say this: if you spend too much money today, it isn't just about delaying your ability to pay it back at the end of residency. I'd argue the more-significant consequence is you you will decrease the amount that you can invest into your retirement fund once you are practicing. A few extra years of compound interest at the end of your career is significant - losing out on that by spending lots today can actually add up and impact you later in life.
  2. Are the automatic interest payments with Scotia really that helpful? What is stopping someone that isn't with Scotia from setting up automatic payments to cover their interest payments? I realize the interest amount isn't fixed (whereas automatic payments are), but since people must already do this for rent payments, why not just add extra for the interest by some amount that over-estimates it? Yes, you'll pay interest on the extra money you use to over-estimate by, but I can't imagine it would be an amount that is note-worthy, especially if you clean this money up periodically by moving surplus back to the LOC.
  3. Several people across 2019/2020 commented that they chose the bank they currently do business with to open up their LOC to keep things simpler/straight forward. I haven't seen anyone ask this question yet, so: lets say I want to do all of my business at the same bank...but that bank is not my current bank. How feasible would it be to make a complete switch? For reference I'm currently with RBC and I have a chequing account, savings account, credit card, student line of credit from undergrad, and a TSFA with next to nothing in it. I don't feel like I have any strong ties to RBC and I have my eyes on Scotia.
  4. Here's a question that I realize no one has an answer to...but I'd still be interested in peoples thoughts: does anyone wonder if COVID - with how it has thrust healthcare into the spotlight in new ways - may lead to some positive changes within healthcare in Canada over the next few years, which may in turn lead to improvements with the job situation for surgeons?
  5. There are lots of topics dedicated to LOCs, but I felt this question deserved its own thread with the focus being largely on government loans. I figure others may be in my boat with some of these questions (or may feel inclined to ask related questions, which I wouldn't personally mind), so I hope this thread is appropriate. My understanding is that the process for incoming medical students that need funding is to apply for both government loans and a LOC. By applying for student loans, one can benefit from bursaries; then, the LOC is used to cover whatever the student loan does not. Then, at some point down the road, students pay off their student loan using their LOC, as this ultimately saves the most money in terms of interest/repayment (is my understanding correct?) My questions are: 1. When do students typically repay their student loans for medical school - upon graduation? 2 years after graduating (grace period?) Earlier? 2. I am fortunate to be entering medical school with ~10k saved from my job. It is currently in my chequing account and isn't bringing me any benefits other than providing a generous immediate-access emergency fund (should I ever need it). Will keeping my money where it currently is impact the amount of student loan/bursaries I will receive? 2.5. If yes to the above, what are some recommendations on what to do something with this money? I have not yet decided on what to do with it longer term (put it in a TSFA, pay off something, use it on some purchases for school such as a new laptop...ect), but I find myself pushing off my student loan application in the event that it will. I currently have no concept of which of these options will hurt/help my student loan application (if applicable). 3. I currently have ~20k in student loan debt from undergrad. My payments are on pause due to COVID. Is there any reason I should pay this off anytime soon? My payments did begin this past November, but were put on pause for COVID, and will remain on pause while I'm in medical school without interest owed. I am not sure if my grace period will reset upon graduation from medical school. 4. I also have ~20k in LOC debt from undergrad (this being the last of my debt - no CC debt/mortgage/ect). This has interest, but I am still within my grace period (~10 months of 2 years given the pause with COVID), and the grace period will be put on pause again once I start back into classes. I'm wondering if paying this off within the next four years would be of any benefit. More specifically, I guess my question is: would the calculation to perform to evaluate this be a comparison between: (i) the interest this undergrad LOC would accumulate if left alone for four years (duration of med school), versus (ii) the interest my medical school LOC would accumulate if I paid off my undergrad LOC once my medical school LOC became available? Like my student loan grace period, I'm unsure how my undergrad LOC grace period is treated upon graduation from medical school (will it reset? or pick up where it left off? I'm guessing the latter) Thanks!
  6. I had a line in there about being open minded to my feelings about the US, but edited it out for some reason. Nevertheless, I will definitely take your advice - thank you To add to the positive experiences, a good friend of mine from undergrad (in Canada) just graduated from a medical school in the US, met/married her husband in the US, and is doing her residency in the US - and seems incredibly happy. I don't think she had any significant connections to the US, either - most of her family seems centered back in Canada. And, I'll admit I've had nothing but positive experiences in the US from my own visits (both leisure and for conferences). I won't dive into my reasons for why I feel the way I feel (it feels like the focus of a separate thread, perhaps), but I will say that most reasons are independent of location, and some of which involve raising a family within the American system (and all that would entail). I wouldn't really consider it a superior/inferior issue, more that there are just fundamental differences, with my preferences leaning towards one side over the other. I'm sure I could make it work - and who knows, maybe I will
  7. I can comment on that: I'm heading into med school and ortho is what everything I've done prior in life would push me towards, particularly spine. Whether or not I'll actually go that route is another story - I don't like the idea of going into school with my mind made up on a specialty (and I do have issues with ortho). But lets say I end up in ortho anyway and further pursue spine. 2020 really illustrated to me that I don't believe the added pull of money/prestige/incentive would offset the issues I would have with living in America for the duration of my career. I'd have no issues doing a fellowship there and then returning - in fact I think that is likely. But I'm quite proud to be born and raised living in Canada (not that we don't have have our own problems). The idea of taking STEP 1/2 and moving to the States has always been in the back of my mind, as financially, it seems like the obvious decision for spine surgery. But, these days, I feel pretty content with closing those doors and making it work in Canada as best I can, even if that outcome isn't nearly as ideal, career wise. And yes, I've spent many nights reading about how nasty the job market situation in ortho in Canada is too. I don't have answers to how I'll make it work, but I feel that moving to the US permanently isn't the way to be "happiest" in life (primarily for reasons outside of my career, but I'm not convinced it would be the perfect career either). I'm also aware that my answer will probably be radically different by the time I'd actually have to move there, which would be...2030...? ( ...)
  8. Why not make this for all schools in Canada, rather than just Ontario? Most of us here apply as OOP everywhere we can, so most schools are on our minds.
  9. Do you have any explicit reasons for why you don't want to switch banks, or is it simply because you are familiar/comfortable with your current arrangement? Not to imply there's anything wrong with that btw, I'm just trying to decide what sort of reasons should deter me from switching banks (currently with RBC but looking at Scotia).
  10. This is actually something I'm doing this summer Working with a physiotherapist on this topic (I'd highly recommend others invest in themselves like this). We can't avoid prolonged sitting in school, but we can still minimize the harms it entails. I still thinking a mix of laying down, sitting, and standing would be optimal. A standing desk is something on my mind too....
  11. Got any recommendations for a good bed table? I'm thinking about ways to reduce how much my lower back will hate me from all the sitting the next four years will bring (yes I feel old for thinking like this)
  12. I was pushing the Dell XPS series on the prior page, but cannot comment on the 2 in 1. I know that the battery life takes a hit because of the touchscreen (the 2-in-1 is sized with a larger battery, but its possible to get that same battery in a non-2-in-1 XPS to boost the battery life). That isn't to imply the battery life is bad on the 2-in-1, its just a trade-off to think about. I can't comment on the other options. In terms of USB ports, while that is true, there are many dongles that can be purchased that are quite discrete while allowing you to utilize USB accessories. I have one now that goes into the lightning port of my XPS 15 that has four USB ports, an HDMI port, and an ethernet port for hard-wiring my internet connection (great for ensuring you are maximizing your internet connection). Best Buy has the largest selection of these, Staples has some as well (as does Amazon). Some dongles don't even have a cable if that is a concern - they just integrate right to the side of the laptop (most common for Macs though - I don't see these styles for Windows laptops as much).
  13. @dooogs @Galaxsci Thanks for the responses! Going through mechanical/biomedical engineering felt like an unnecessarily hard path for medicine, but its nice to see that there may have been some benefits for the specialties that I'm considering
  14. This question is a bit more broad but certainly applies to this thread: do your publications have to be within the specialty you are applying to? Example: I am entering med school with four publications (three first author) in tissue mechanics topics, some of which are quite high impact for their fields. Does this have any benefit if I were to apply to plastics, optho, neurosurgery, ect, even if the papers are unrelated? Does the demonstration of success in research in a completely different field prior to med school mean anything when matching to residency? (I realize this is not a black and white answer so feel free to give examples/stories instead of trying to answer it directly).
  15. Only thing I want to add is that there are caveats to this: case in point, my laptop. It seems that Dell no longer manufactures the battery I'd need (or at least makes it available for purchase when out-of-warranty like mine is) - and this was the situation last year (three years after buying). I seem to recall my only option being looking up parts on Ebay and attempt a DIY YouTube tutorial (hit and miss) or a computer shop that would attempt to assemble the pieces I source (with the disclaimer that it may not reassemble into a functional computer). To offset this, extended warranties can be bought, and I did do this - though I timed it to my grad school timeline (two years), and during those years no problems developed. In my case my XPS 15 developed its issues all during its third year of being used. Brings up a good point: extended warranties that match the length of degree (3-4 years) should definitely be considered. Not at all - for reference the Dell XPS 15 is advertised as a "lightweight" premium laptop, and I think that claim is quite accurate - without looking up specs, it probably weighs as much as the average 13" Windows PC. In contrast, the average 15" windows laptop I'd agree is a bit too heavy - I used a decent ASUS 15" laptop for undergrad, and I'd certainly call it on the heavier side. The Dell XPS 15 is a good option for people who appreciate the extra screen space that a 15" screen offers while also considering weight to be an important factor.
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