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johnmccrae

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johnmccrae last won the day on June 3 2016

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About johnmccrae

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  1. I would say it really depends on 1) whether you're willing to relocate and 2) if you're planning on having children. It's much easier to find work together if you're willing to move and you don't have children. Once either of those things change, it'll become a bit more challenging. From my personal experience, you'll really have two decisions: stay a larger city where you'll have plenty of work opportunities but cost of living is higher, or 2) move to a smaller city where it's harder for you both to have great jobs but the cost of living is reduced. I'm going through a similar stage in life right now as I have two young children and my wife is effectively putting her career on hold in order to keep our family together while I'm in school.
  2. As someone coming into medical school already with an MBA, I can definitely see there being value for *some* doctors to have the degree. When I finished my MBA (2008) the BC Health Care system was actively recruiting MBAs to help reduce costs and improve performance. From what I heard (now this is purely anecdotal) they were having a lot of success with this approach. Now, I would think that you would want hospital CEO to have some sort of MPH/MPA/MBA and MD in order to understand both the patient care and administrative side. But as it's been said above, unless you're interested in business/administration side, there's really no point in getting an MBA. I happen to have a lot of administrative experience through my MBA and military job, so it wouldn't surprise me if I ended up in that role eventually (but hopefully not too soon).
  3. I had to spend quite a bit of savings to write the MCAT, apply, and then go to interviews. Probably around $2000. The the main reason I didn't apply out of province was that I really couldn't afford the extra application costs or the travel costs for the interviews.
  4. I hope it's like pre-school. It starts with play time, then snack time. Followed by circle time. Then outdoor play for an hour or so. By then it's lunch time, and then nap time. Followed by more circle time, snacks, and outdoor play. I imagine PBL is something like circle time. And I hope there's "outdoor play" somewhere in there! We do it right with kids, so go with what works!
  5. I definitely felt that having more life experience helped me on the MMI at Mac when it came to the "public policy" type of questions that you describe above. I'm fairly opinionated on most political issues and would like to think I have a solution for everything! How do you get there? Definitely read up on current issues/events. Daily if you have the time. And if you don't understand an issue, spend more time reading up on that particular topic. My MMI had questions about fitness policy, aboriginal health, active transportation, immigration (related the "social determinants of health" as mentioned above), history, etc. Try to read up on all sides of an issue as well, not just the feel-good, politically-correct opinions that everyone shares on Facebook. Having general knowledge of economics can really help you to understand political issues as well, because ultimately money drives decision-making. (As an aside, I find it interesting that they've added sociology and psychology to the MCAT, but not economics! It's just as important for understanding health care funding...)
  6. Right now my "hobby" is learning how to stage my house to make it appealing to buyers. Along with that learning how to keep a house clean (basically spotless) when you've got two little kids running around. It's amazing how nice your house can look though when you take everything out of it! Now I need to find a hobby for my kids to do that keeps them out of the house for the next month or so
  7. Random thoughts as I stare into my computer on a Friday afternoon waiting for work to end... This whole medicine thing still feels kinda surreal. It's been almost 8 years since I was last in school. I really don't think it'll settle in until I'm actually in Hamilton at the end of August. . Right now I'm still focused on my day-to-day grind: wake-up, morning work-out, get the kids ready, drive them to daycare (separate locations), drive to work, solve the crisis of the day, work-out at lunch, afternoon meetings, pick-up the kids, drive home, get dinner ready, play with the kids a bit, go through the bed-time routine, and then by that point I usually fall asleep on the couch. Crazy to think this is all going to change in a few short months! I'm pretty excited. I put my official notice in - officially done August 1st, but with my two weeks of vacay left, I'm actually done on 15 July! Now I just need to get my house sold... Anyone else that's been out of school for a bit feeling a little weird?
  8. I'm bumping this post. Anyone want these books? I'm likely just going to donate them to the local library relatively soon.
  9. I was a very shy, introverted teenager that struggled with self-esteem and confidence. More than 15 years later, I don't think anyone that knows me now would describe me that way. I completely agree with Bambi's approach. You need to take small steps - I know my change definitely didn't happen over night. Some things that I did early on in my adult life: - in my early UG years I didn't join any clubs or do many social activities. I did discover that I enjoyed going to the gym though. At first I didn't really talk to anyone, but after a while I made quite a few "gym friends". - I hated group work and presentations, but towards my third and fourth year I specifically took courses where you had to make presentations (to a small group) to force myself to practice public speaking. - I started volunteering with some local organizations. At first I was purely doing administrative tasks (filing, mailing, etc.) but eventually had some customer-service type roles that I didn't mind. As I became less-shy, I did a few things during my master's degree (mid-20s) - My love of the gym became a love of running/cycling, so I joined a triathlon club - I took my first "sales" job for the Running Room, which in hindsight was one of the best minimum wage jobs I ever had! It forced me to get used to interacting with complete strangers - I took more advanced public speaking/presenting classes, where you quite often had to think on your feet From there I've continued to develop to point that I am comfortable speaking in front of a group of hundreds and be a leader in very stressful situations. It can happen! Feel free to PM me if you wish.
  10. If you're using the LOC to purchase the case, leasing is not the best financial decision, but it will get you a newer car. The best idea (which has been mentioned above) is to find something about 2-3 years old (or older if you don't care) and just buy it outright. If you keep it for around 5 years and trade it in, it'll probably still have some decent value (obviously depending on the model of car you buy). My first car was a used Toyota Corolla (it had about 90K). I put maybe another 90K on it in 5 years, then traded it in for something newer. It barely cost me anything over that time period, other than routine maintenance (oil, tires, brakes). They really are great cars if you just want something that's cheap on gas to get you from point to point.
  11. I’ve been following this forum for over a year now and definitely been inspired by reading many of the “non-traditional” success stories that are in this thread. As I recently accepted an offer to McMaster, I wanted to take some time to share my own story with everyone. I apologize in advance for the length of it (this is actually the condensed version, I wrote a longer version for a blog post but it’s not finished yet). I started becoming interested in health when I was pursuing an UG in biochemistry at uOttawa (graduated back in 2006). During the degree I took up the sport of triathlon and became a bit of a health geek. I also was fortunate to get quite a bit of research experience, including 16 months of co-op, so I decided to do a M.Sc. and moved out west to Vancouver. Ultimately the program was not for me, so I withdrew after about 6 months. In what was a hasty decision at the time, I entered in the UBC MBA program in Fall 2007. I really had wanted to work in the health industry, but I was mostly focused on triathlon racing at the time and didn’t really put as much into the program as I could have. I completed the degree in December 2008 and decided to look for something completely different to do. So, in early 2009 I joined the Canadian Forces as an Artillery Officer (how I ended up in that particular job is a long story). I spent a year in Gagetown, NB (near Fredericton) on training and then was posted to Petawawa (west of Ottawa) in 2010. Around the same time I met my wife, and we were married in December 2011. Army life had its challenges, but I did some really cool training! I called in hundreds of rounds of live artillery and spent many months commanding an armoured vehicle in simulated combat. I had prepared to deploy overseas but it never happened. By mid-2013, we had our first baby. I was exhausted with the work tempo and wanted to spend more time with my daughter, so I left the full-time military and transferred into the Reserves. I spent the next year as a stay-at-home dad while working some part-time jobs: running my own coaching business part-time, teaching at a local college, and random army work. It was during this time that I realized that I wanted to get into medicine. I met some fantastic family docs and OB/GYNs during my wife’s pregnancies that encouraged/inspired me, as well as several UG colleagues that were now practicing physicians. I decided to get back into the books and study for the MCAT. I also ended up taking a full-time army contract (in a desk job) for some financial stability as I knew applying to medical school wasn’t going to be cheap! I applied for the first time this cycle and was extremely excited to accept an offer for McMaster. Looking forward to starting this fall as a 34 year old father of 1 and 3 year old girls!!
  12. This post is still quite relevant for me! Less than 3 months until school starts, and my neither my wife nor I have officially quit our jobs. I'm obviously leaving no matter what, but will probably be working right until early August (tentatively leaving as of the long weekend). The biggest wrench in our plan is that my wife's organization is now under new management, and they're potentially offering significant buy-out package to employees that want to leave. If she's eligible it'll be approximately 8 months worth of salary. If she quits early she gets nothing. The problem is they likely won't decide until sometime late summer whether she'll get the money. It's definitely worth waiting over, but we can't go through the steps of selling our house and moving down to Hamilton until she knows. So I might be sleeping on someone's couch for a little while if it's not sorted before Aug 29th
  13. Bambi, in general I would agree with you, but I used my RRSPs as part of a Home Buyer's Plan several years ago, so I have no choice but to reinvest money into an RRSP (or pay a penalty!). Otherwise you're right.
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