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Everything posted by OwnerOfTheTARDIS

  1. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    CBL Portal issues

    Just a reminder that your bio is given to tutors and supervisors for all four years of med school and you can’t change it. It may even be printed or read aloud at special events. Keep it professional, but focus on hobbies (hiking, cooking, sports) and who you are as a person, not what kind of doctor you want to be. Maybe include where you did undergrad or if you had a prior career before med school. Definitely avoid saying what you want to specialize in and probably don’t say “this summer I did....” because you’ll still be using the same bio in 2nd 3rd and 4th year.
  2. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    Which CPR Course to take?

    I believe they there is a Heart and Stroke course that is required for residency and many people take it before clerkship, which may have cause the confusion.
  3. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    NAQ - Overcoming adversity

    I put a significant illness on my application under diversity of experience. I realize it’s a different situation, but similar in the sense that it was something I had to cope with as opposed to something I actively participated in. This worked out for me. If you have room, I would include it but I wouldn’t leave something else important off of an application to make room for it. Is there anything specific you did to cope/help others cope? If you supported your wife and family by running extra errands or taking a larger share of housework or helping plan funeral arrangements these details might add some objectivity to an entry.
  4. Yes, Camp Make Friends (cheesy I know) is usually labour weekend, getting home Sunday night so you can recover on Monday
  5. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    50% off Lasik Eye Surgery?!?!

    That’s it! I forgot about the vacuum! Even though I had tons of numbing and couldn’t feel my actual eyes, I found the vacuum borderline painful in a weird, almost surreal way. My my surgeon had given me a blanket (the OR is cold) and stress balls to squeeze so I was fairly comfortable overall. Also, just so you know, I had to bring up the discount and they initially had no idea what I was talking about and I had to email a link to the website, so don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself.
  6. I think last year we got ours in late June?
  7. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    50% off Lasik Eye Surgery?!?!

    I believe it's for all Canadian med students (through the CFMS), and only at Lasik MD. Here's the link: https://www.lasikmd.com/corporate/cfms. I had it done in September, zero regrets. The procedure itself was more unconfortable than I expected and the 24 hours afterwards was admittedly more painful than I expected (felt like I had sand in my eyes, the painkillers helped but I was still pretty uncomfortable). I then had some fairly mild dry eye for about 8 months (totally manageable with basic lubricating eye drops), but now have perfect vision and no regrets. It is so nice to be able to no longer deal with daily contacts or glasses fogging up/getting rain on them.
  8. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    Note-taking ... do we really need a tablet?

    A laptop and OneNote worked perfectly for my first year. I personally feel that there is way too much info and way too many slides to effectively take notes by hand, at least at UBC which has a large lecture component. But it probably depends on the person and school.
  9. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    Backpack colour

    Sadly the vote doesn’t matter. I’m pretty sure that last year, the Calgary students (who start in July) received their backpacks like a week after the voting finished no way for production to happen in such a short timeframe
  10. I’ve talked about it pretty extensively with the IMP and many people at NMP. Most I’ve talked to are in agreement with me and we’re planning to write a group letter to the administration. Although I’ve heard the 4 months in Vancouver are for class bonding, my experience was that most other people had little interest in investing the time to get to know people from other sites. And with the couple people I did get to know, it’s hard to put in the work to maintain friendships with people you might never see again except at graduation, especially when you didn’t know them that well to begin with.
  11. It is hell. I managed to get one of the 20 spots on campus and had to sleep with earplugs in almost the whole semester because of randomly people screaming in the middle of the night in the parking lot behind Fairview. We also had black mold and plumbing issues. A friend paid $1600 a month for a bachelor suite because it was the only thing they could find for 4 months. Another friend lived in their car for a month because they couldn't find a place until September 15th. I personally see no benefit to making everyone start in Vancouver (I really don't understand the rational) and it's incredibly stressful then needing to move during the 2 week winter break, especially for people assigned to Prince George or Kelowna where weather can making moving difficult or dangerous. I think UBC needs to reevaluate why they put the distributed students through this experience.
  12. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    MMI topic answer format/structure

    I liked to start with something like, "it looks like there are two conflicting values at play here", or "there are three people who have a stake in this issue and all have a unique perspective that should be considered" for ethical stations. Non ethical stations I didn't really have a strategy and just did what felt natural in the moment. If I was really stuck for an approach, I would treat it like a high school 5 paragraph essay and try to come up with a 'paragraph' introduction to start my response that highlighted three bullet point issues to discuss during the station.
  13. Better hope you get into U of A or McMaster, the UBC FLEX course is death 95% of the class has no real interest in research and we're forced to engage in scholarly (usually research) oriented projects throughout 1st, 2nd, and 4th year. Edit: this is mostly a joke, UBC is great and I don't mean to discourage you, I just hate FLEX
  14. A lot of people in my class are obsessed with the iPad + Macbook combo. A few who bought a Surface in the summer have actually bought an iPad as well because they were disappointed with the Surface performance don't know exactly why it didn't work for them. I personally wanted to save money so I just use my old Macbook air and added this: https://www.amazon.com/Intuos-illustration-production-CTH-490-B1/dp/B013SMIUB2/ref=zg_bs_3228285011_41?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=QBZ1B41W4KGHHH1757WS it's a ~$100 writing pad that is plenty sufficient for the anatomy lectures where I want to be able to draw on pdfs/slides. I have never taken a lot of handwritten notes so I didn't need anything fancier.
  15. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    UBC Video?

    The admissions video has just been uploaded:
  16. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    Which Site and Why

    It drops to 4 students/instructor in IMP clinical skills. They try to keep all family practice placements 1:1.
  17. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    Which Site and Why

    Yeah! Around the first week of November, all of the distributed site students had an opportunity to go visit their site. The weekend is usually organized by the 2nd years who host 1st years at their homes so no one has to pay for a hotel, Friday night and Saturday are full of fun activities and evening parties, and Sunday is left free for people to view apartments and look for housing. If you ask, there is even usually a 2nd year happy to drive you around on Sunday if you need help getting around to see housing options. The exact schedule I describe is approximate and could change year to year, but the site visit itself is very consistent. There is usually even funding split evenly between everyone attending their site visit to help keep ferry, drive, and flight costs down.
  18. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    Which Site and Why

    Shadowing is only for your benefit. It has almost zero impact on CaRMS applications and competitiveness. I’ve found transit perfectly adequate. About 5 people from my class bike, the rest seem to be fairly equally split in using transit versus having their own car. My class of 32 has I think 3 from Ontario, 1 from the maritimes, and about 10 from Vancouver or Lower Mainland... so a little over half the class seems to be from the Island, but even they weren’t all from Victoria. People are from Comox, Nanaimo, Courtney, etc. I’m from Greater Vancouver and have never felt like an outsider. You get really close in Vancouver and then even closer once you all move to the island in January.
  19. OwnerOfTheTARDIS


    Where are you applying? They would probably count at UBC (assuming the rest of 2017/2018 weren't your worst academic year which gets removed for your adjusted GPA) but not at most other schools in Canada.
  20. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    Varsity sports and med - can they be mixed?

    I haven't personally, but I honestly don't think it is possible on two levels: I don't think you could fit it into your schedule. Exams are on weekends. We're in class, small group, clinical skills or lab like a full time job, usually 8-5 with one or two mornings off per week. On top of in-person sessions you have to prep for CBL 3x per week and most people I talk to spend about an hour prep for each session. Plus a couple online modules per month. Plus studying. Although the work is easier/less stressful than undergrad, it simply requires more of your time I honestly think trying to do so would damage your mental health and personal well-being. Even if you managed to make the practices and games without sacrificing aspects of your education, you would have almost zero time left for other interests, family, and social activity. My comments are based on the fact that I worked part-time in undergrad averaging almost exactly the same number of hours per week as my friend spent on a varsity team and there is no way I could keep up with that many hours working while in med school. However, the intramural sports teams and faculty of medicine group activities are amazing. Like 1/3 of the class (over 100 people) from this year's med class at UBC are on an intramural team. We at the IMP have a running club and we go play squash together most Sundays. Lots of options available that are more manageable from my perspective.
  21. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    Which Site and Why

    Streamed live (with surprisingly good technology - it doesn't feel as weird as expected) and then most recordings are posted online (I'd estimate 90%). The thing is each individual lecturer has to sign a form and consent to having their lecture posted online, a few don't want to do that. You can't know for sure whether a lecture will be recorded in advance, but you can look in the archives and if that same person already gave a recorded either earlier in the semester or a previous year, they will most likely be recorded again. Also if there is a guest patient involved in a lecture, it won't be recorded to protect their confidentiality. You can also re-watch the recordings on a higher speed (it's pretty easy to watch on 1.4 or 1.6 times speed, some people can do 2x speed but I can't personally) and get through them faster when you're doing review.
  22. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    Which Site and Why

    Definitely not an even split. 90% in Vancouver, the other 10% split between the three sites
  23. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    Which Site and Why

    Sorry for potentially going too deep. I love my site, would not change my choice for any reason, but do think that the site representatives after the interview did a poor job of being honest and realistic of both benefits and drawbacks. I just want to help everyone make the informed choice that is right for them. If anyone has more info on Kelowna or Prince George or a different perspective on Vancouver and the island, let me know and I could edit my post to be one comprehensive overview for people to find easily.
  24. OwnerOfTheTARDIS

    Which Site and Why

    It depends on what you want! Your site really doesn't affect specialty selection in any way - shadowing may be slightly limited compared to Vancouver, but clerkship offers equal opportunity to explore specialties and pre-clerkship really has no bearing on CaRMS. From what little I know (my info is most accurate about IMP, my site): Vancouver Great for having every shadowing opportunity in almost every niche specialty you can imagine. Lots of technology. In anatomy lab, they have this 3D Sectra Anatomy Visualization Table and often radiology residents come in to walk you through a short 3D rendering/radiology session on the anatomy you are dissecting that day. Some people love it, others don't find it too helpful but it is cool to see Clubs and leadership positions are abundant. There are still clubs and some class council leadership positions at distributed sites, but they are more limited. The class size can be really overwhelming. I hated having >200 people in lecture hall and felt it was hard to get to know classmates or instructors and tutors. Housing is much much more expensive in Vancouver (although I heard that Kelowna was getting more expensive this year?) General Distributed Site Info: Having only 32 people in your class is amazing (in my opinion). Still big enough to find a group of friends where you connect and share a lot in common, but small enough that you know everyone at least a little bit. In clinical skills, your groups are often smaller so you get more time and 1:1 instruction You sometimes get more family practice visits (all sites are supposed to have 10 visits in second semester, but Vancouver was cut down to 5 because they couldn't get enough preceptors) In clerkship, you supposedly get to do more stuff than clerks in Vancouver because you aren't competing with multiple residents and fellows who have seniority Most lectures are done in Vancouver and video-conferanced to the sites. You can still ask questions to the lecturer in Vancouver over microphones. Some people don't like this, but I love it. Unless someone is asking a question, you're not really on camera so you can stretch or stand up during lecture if you need to. One time a classmate was really sore so she just sat down on her yoga mat and quietly stretched through the lecture In lab, the ratio of tutors to students is usually much higher It can be stressful needing to move from Vancouver to your distributed site in December over the break Victoria: Best site in my personal opinion In January after you arrive, the Victoria Medical Society hosts a ball at the Empress Hotel. Look it up. It is amazing. I have never eaten better food in my life. We have a program called First Patient. In pairs, students are assigned a volunteer patient with a chronic health condition and spend 1 year getting to know them, attending their health care appointments with them, and learning what it is like to be a patient in the health care system, an experience many med school students haven't had (don't worry, you aren't doing more work than everyone else - they assign us slightly fewer family practice visits than other sites so it balances out) The lab instructors organize comprehensive review sessions before lab exams. This does not happen at other sites. We supposedly always have the best lab averages and it is definitely less stressful. We are only a 1.5 hr ferry from Vancouver so you can go see your favourite band in concert and be back for class the next morning The biggest disadvantage is in shadowing: there are no shadowing opportunities in ophthalmology, dermatology, anesthesia, or obstetrics/gynecology. Surgical shadowing is limited: you are only allowed one OR shadowing experience. Furthermore, Victoria General and the Royal Jubilee Hospital (the only 2 major hospitals in Victoria) have a policy that you cannot be in an OR, even for shadowing, unless you have had scrub training. Unfortunately, we currently only receive the training in 2nd year before clerkship. The class of 2021 is trying to change this so that future classes receive training shortly after arriving in Victoria and can have their surgical shadowing experience during pre-clerkship. The only other opportunities might be if you can arrange shadowing in Cowichan or Nanaimo hospitals. If you are interested in any of these specialties and still want the IMP (or end up here), try to do some shadowing during your first semester in Vancouver before making the move in December. I honestly found that shadowing different specialties just once or twice gave me a lot of insight on whether I wanted to explore them further. Additionally, there is also the summer when you could do some shadowing in Vancouver if you wanted to. But you can only do so much shadowing and compared to some other med schools, UBC has a lot of clinical experiences and patient contact during pre-clerkship We do a ski trip to Mt Washington and a surf trip to Tofino every year Tons of nearby hiking and camping options Our anatomy lab has windows and a ventilation system to help with the smell. The Vancouver lab is in a basement with no windows and the ventilation is weak. Some minimal info on the other distributed sites... Kelowna: I have heard rumours that they have dogs at the university building where lectures are held. Stressed? Go pet a dog they have ski trips up to Sun Peaks every year I believe Prince George: supposedly in clerkship you get to do extra double cool stuff because they are trying to get students invested in northern medicine so that the students love working in the north and stay after they graduate cross country skiing?