Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Reputation Activity

  1. Like
    Wasteman reacted to Intrepid86 in Tattoos   
    That nurse probably should have covered hers up, at least in the presence of that patient. I can see how a prominent skull tat might be disturbing to someone who's acutely sick.
  2. Like
    Wasteman reacted to lcs.tmng in Why Aren't More Doctors Driving Ferraris?   
    I see a lot of high end cars in driveways, but rarely on the road. Honestly like some of the other posts mentioned, there are a lot of deterrents, either personal or external, that actually makes owning those types of cars a hassle. (I would definitely buy a Tesla X because I'm low key that kind of person haha)
  3. Like
    Wasteman reacted to johnmccrae in If I Enjoyed High School, Will I Like Med School?   
    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!
  4. Like
    Wasteman reacted to kbinners in I Helped My Mom Apply For An Assisted Death Ama   
    Hi again Wasteman
    I made my decision to apply to medicine before my mom was diagnosed. I don't intend to specialize in palliative or geriatrics or anything, but I am aiming for family medicine so I would expect it to be part of what I'd do. In general I'd like to help amplify patient voices & experiences if I can.
    When my mom was diagnosed I had just moved across the country with my partner. My mom had seen some terrible things happen between sick family members and caregivers, and she insisted that I continue to pursue my goals even though she was sick. It took me while to come to understand this. In the book Cartwheels that I mentioned above, Amy Doolittle talks about her daughter's achievements as she is growing up -- and it helped me finally understand that being able to watch me continue to pursue my goals was worth the sacrifice to the help available to her. I have to say, the day I got my MCAT scores was one of the happiest days we shared in the last year. Interview invites were also something exciting and hopeful we were able to celebrate together. In the end, I also came to understand how hard it is to be a caregiver, the strange things that it does to a relationship, even a close and loving one, and why she wished to avoid those changes as much as possible.
    I am lucky to have a great dad, but my parents spilt up when I was 4 and I have no siblings, so I grew up alternating between it being just me and dad at one house, and just me and mom at the other. One of the things I've heard people say about what happens when someone is given a serious diagnosis is 'Oh it's amazing what happens -- all these people rally around, and they bring you all kinds of food...' I'd like to note that this doesn't happen for everyone. My mom was very much on her own from when she was diagnosed until I moved to be with her, which was about 2 years after her diagnosis (with the exception of 10-day visits throughout that period, and one 4-month stretch I spent with her). This was really hard for me to accept. It was what my mom seemed to want, in a lot of ways. She was fiercely independent. That said, she really could have used more help. I tried to figure out a way for her to move to BC with us, where the weather is warmer (no snow) and would allow her to get around more easily as she got sicker, and where we could be with her while still doing classes as she wanted -- but even the social worker I talked to basically said 'Well, I wish you luck with that'. It turns out Canada has a systemic problem with inter-provincial moves for sick people. My mom, having been diagnosed with a progressive debilitating disease, was living on disability and in subsidized housing. I was told by the social worker, and found out myself as I tried to make it happen, that it's almost impossible to move someone on social assistance across the country (unless you have an independent source of wealth) because of the waitlists and eligibility requirements for subsidized housing and lack of affordable housing in general. Old and sick people are often on social assistance of one form -- disability, old age pension, welfare -- and so often what happens is that their employed children have to quit work and move provinces in order to care for them, because it's just not possible for the sick person to move without losing their income.
    The years leading up to my mom's diagnosis were already really hard for her. The great recession caused the business she worked for to fold, and she bounced between contract work and EI for years before finally ending up on welfare. Just months before her diagnosis she had been forced to move to a cheaper place -- in which most of the renters were also on social assistance -- and that was a truly heart-breaking experience. No one deserves to live with the amount of stress, insecurity, and chaos of living in those conditions. After her diagnosis, but before she had been approved for disability assistance (welfare in Ontario is about $600/month; disability up to $1200 if you include the transit allowance and special diet allowance; makes a big difference; allowed her to move, for example), my mom told one of the professionals at the ALS clinic 'To be honest, at this point the poverty is much worse than the disease'. For a number of months, even years, the terminal diagnosis actually improved her quality of life. If you want to know more about how this could have happened, or why I wasn't able to help her more, you can ask me. I know I ask myself all the time. There have been a lot of hard choices over the years. But I'll leave it here for now.
    Thank you for your kind words. You never know what you'll be able to do until you have to. There has been a lot of heartbreak, it's true. When I first learned about the diagnosis I think I went into shock. My teeth were chattering. But then you have to figure out how to live -- and with diseases like ALS, as they like to remind you, the timeline is massively uncertain. Some people get months, some people get ten years. It adds difficulty to choices like where to live, when/whether/how much to work, etc.
  5. Like
    Wasteman reacted to seeking1 in E-Petition To Ban Asbestos In Canada (Closes Aug 26, 2016 12:32Pm Edt)   
    Yeah basically there is no such thing as a safe form of the material, sorta surprised its taking this long to ban it (but then again, Asbestos Quebec is a real town, so maybe not that surprising).
  6. Like
    Wasteman got a reaction from seeking1 in E-Petition To Ban Asbestos In Canada (Closes Aug 26, 2016 12:32Pm Edt)   
    Considering the problems associated with the material, I'm surprised that this is a current social issue.
    Edit: Signed!
  7. Like
    Wasteman reacted to kbinners in I Helped My Mom Apply For An Assisted Death Ama   
    Thanks, Lifeisawesome.
    It was a damn difficult time.
    Just to clarify -- while the last couple of years have truly been difficult, the hardest parts were watching my mom lose more and more of her abilities, fearing that she would pursue an early death in secret, fearing complications from an unassisted attempt at death, wrestling with the homecare system and jumping through hoops to bring the care team on side, and, obviously, losing my mom --- not being the one to help my mom apply for assistance with her death. (You probably understood this; I just felt I needed to make it explicit.)
    For some family members, accepting that their loved one wants to die earlier than they might absolutely have to is the hardest part. I know that. However, personally I always understood the fact that my mom wanted some measure of control over her death, and wanted to be able to get out on her own terms before she got to the point of feeling helpless. It's very understandable to me, and I think to many doctors, that patients with degenerative diseases greatly fear the loss of control and autonomy that those conditions come with. If there's one thing I'm proud of about the way I was able to care for my mom it's that I always understood and supported her choice to seek 'an early exit' (which is not to say that was easy to do).
    Here's something I'd like more people to consider: limiting eligibility to physician-assisted dying does not really limit patients' ability to die 'early'. It does force those who are committed to living life on their own terms to pursue much more desperate options. Those who can afford it spend in the range of $35000 to go to Switzerland, and are unable to say real goodbyes to family and friends because of the need to keep the reason for their flight a secret for fear of the law (it seems possible that Canadian law could stop them at the airport). Those with connections are sometimes able to procure lethal drugs, but anyone who helps them faces 14 years in jail and so these people must act earlier than they would if eligible for assistance and they must act entirely alone. Those without either have the option to stop eating and drinking, which believe it or not is relatively common, or they invent their own ways out.
    One woman with ALS, Amy Doolittle, wrote a book called Cartwheels about her experience. It ends with a note from her mother explaining that Amy ended her life by smothering herself in the plastic material in which she stored her wedding dress. A doctor, Michael Miller, allowed his own death to be filmed (Dying Wish) when he chose to stop eating and drinking in order to avoid the end stages of cancer. Kim Teske, profiled in the Globe and Mail, also chose to stop eating and drinking to escape from Huntington's. These are just a few examples you can read about. A hospice worker told me that over his years there he'd seen everything from overdoses to patients secreting guns into the facility to end their own lives (this is in Canada, for the record). Regardless of the assisted dying law, patients have the option to end their lives. But the process is so much more difficult for everyone involved.
    My mom looked at all these options. Before the law changed in February 2016, my mom's plan was to stop eating and drinking. Apparently it's not as bad as it sounds. (But it sounds damn terrible, right?) Supposedly, if a person really doesn't drink anything, their body produces sufficient endorphins to provide effective pain relief. We were lucky that she was supported in this plan by her nurse practitioner and supervising doctor, the homecare provider, and the palliative care team (these were all public employees, not people we hired). We were told that times from the stoppage of eating to death vary wildly depending on the person's circumstances -- in extreme cases the time could be as short as three days or as long as six weeks (note these are very extreme cases). And yet people are choosing this option over the much more prolonged suffering promised by the disease they suffer from. This is the main alternative for people who want, but do not qualify for, assisted death.
    Really, the whole 'injection at home' option wasn't even at the top of my mom's end-of-life wishlist. She really would have liked the ability to choose her own time and place -- out by a lake, ideally. If a patient has to die decades before their time, why can't we help them plan an exit in a beautiful place they love? (Isn't that, in a way, the least we can do for a terminal patient?) That would have been option number one, followed by an at-home assisted death, followed by the stop-eating route, etc. It's just an image to keep in mind for those of us who may find ourselves voting to determine the CMA's position on whether patients could be allowed to self-administer lethal drugs (in a place of their choice) or whether they require a physician to administer (for example).
    Thanks for reading.
  8. Like
    Wasteman reacted to kbinners in I Helped My Mom Apply For An Assisted Death Ama   
    Hi everyone,
    I've been thinking about starting this thread for a while.
    I'm doing it because assisted dying is so newly legal and there are therefore few of us with firsthand knowledge of what it means to patients and families. It's very new, and therefore I think a lot of physicians are afraid of it. If it's an issue that you think you may find yourself involved in, I'd like to offer you my perspective, as merely one person affected.
    My mom had ALS, which means that under the current assisted-dying law she would probably not have qualified for an assisted death. ALS is considered a chronic condition and it's often difficult to tell when a patient is nearing death because the progression varies wildly from person to person -- this is why it is unlikely that my mom would have been eligible under the current law, even though over 90% of ALS sufferers die within 2-5 years of diagnosis (making it, pretty clearly, a terminal condition).
    However, between February 6th and June 6th of 2016 there was a legislation vacuum and it was possible for patients to apply for an individual exemption to the previous assisted dying legislation. This is the application I was helping my mother with. It was a lot more involved than applications would be under the current law, at least for those who qualify -- at least I certainly hope so. We started putting together the application in February, and had not yet completed it by April, when my mom passed away in her sleep; depending on the day, I think of this as a blessing or as a tragedy.
    Notably, my mom was unable to secure the care she sought with the time she had. Therefore I obviously cannot speak to the moment of assisted death itself. What I offer is the experience of a family member who supported a patient's choice to seek an assisted death, the other options that were considered, the impact of legalities and wait-times on patient and caregiver, ethical and emotional challenges, etc.
    My goal is to keep this intro short, but to give you the opportunity to ask me any questions you might be wondering about regarding patient/family experience and assisted dying. I hope that -- just maybe -- I might be able to encourage more proto-physicians to engage with these questions and to aid your ability to discuss this option with patients and families as it becomes increasingly relevant.
    I hope a few of you are interested. I hope I can tell you something of use.
  9. Like
    Wasteman reacted to seeking1 in E-Petition To Ban Asbestos In Canada (Closes Aug 26, 2016 12:32Pm Edt)   
    Hey all, 
    So there is an official e-petition to ban asbestos in Canada present on the federal government's website which is closed for signature on Aug 26, 2016 12:32PM EDT, all the details are in the e-petition: https://petitions.parl.gc.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-325.
    The e-petition requires 500 signatures to receive a response from the federal government. I figured I'd share it with all of you, seeing how health care oriented we all are on this forum. I have already signed the e-petition as well (my name does not appear anywhere on the e-petition page). 
    If you have any questions/concerns about signing, feel free to ask them here!
  10. Like
    Wasteman reacted to kbinners in On Podcasts...   
    Seconded! I definitely enjoy these, too -- also Unreserved
    CBC Ideas has a section called Ideas from the Trenches that is also graduate students describing their research, but tends to be more humanities disciplines. Some of these are also really great.
    For silliness, I do enjoy Adults Read Things They Wrote as Kids.
    I'm looking forward to checking out some of programs everyone's been suggesting -- great thread idea!
  11. Like
    Wasteman got a reaction from LeBronto2019 in On Podcasts...   
    I think that one of the greatest skills that a doctor can learn, besides communicating effectively, is empathy and compassion. So I tend to gorge on podcasts that deal with very personal Issues.
    My favourite, the living room by love + radio/ radiolab. Anyone interested can listen to it: here
  12. Like
    Wasteman reacted to midi in On Podcasts...   
    Bill Burr's Monday Morning Podcast. Nothing else comes close.
  13. Like
    Wasteman got a reaction from kbinners in On Podcasts...   
    I think that one of the greatest skills that a doctor can learn, besides communicating effectively, is empathy and compassion. So I tend to gorge on podcasts that deal with very personal Issues.
    My favourite, the living room by love + radio/ radiolab. Anyone interested can listen to it: here
  14. Like
  15. Like
    Wasteman got a reaction from nbgirl93 in Why Do So Many People Start Studying For The Mcat So Late?   
    Okay, I guess you're right. Thanks for taking the time to respond. I'll try to take your, as well as everyone else's advice, into consideration when I start Undergrad. Just so you know I was just joking in my last post. I didn't mean for it to sound as if I was being rude. Sorry about that. 
  16. Like
    Wasteman reacted to nbgirl93 in Why Do So Many People Start Studying For The Mcat So Late?   
    You haven't started undergrad yet, have you? Because the majority of us have finished undergrad, written the MCAT, and been accepted to medical schools already - we're not trying to break your spirit or anything, we're just telling you what we think works best as people who have already been through this. Trust me, when you're overloaded with 5 classes and writing midterms/essays/finals completely unrelated to MCAT material (as you surely will be in visual arts), the last thing you'll want to do is open up an MCAT prep book and memorize physics formulas. 
  17. Like
    Wasteman got a reaction from bekaa in Why Do So Many People Start Studying For The Mcat So Late?   
    Ok, I see. But after a while doesn't spaced repetition come into play? Like anything else, wouldn't one become so familiar with the information that it becomes internalised? I always assumed that this internalisation would probably have such added benefits as increased question answering efficiency as well as allowing one to extrapolate and apply critical thinking more confidently.
  18. Like
    Wasteman reacted to Belle_MD in 3.92 Wgpa For Ottawa   
    Fellow RN here, went back for two full time years post-nursing to boost my GPA and am currently MD2019 at Ottawa U - so its definitely possible and if you want it bad enough then one more year of full-time studies shouldn't deter you. I was 31 when I was accepted and Im not the oldest in my class. Oh and my WGPA was 3.93!! I suggest applying now and also enrolling for another year to boost your GPA. Personally I don't see Ottawa U dropping their GPA requirements that much with the MCAT but none of us know for certain. 
    Feel free to PM me if you have any questions
  19. Like
    Wasteman reacted to lolabean in If Acceptances For Med School Are Sent Out In May, Do You Start That Same Year?   
    Most schools start in August/September I believe...so if you were accepted in May 2016 you would start that same year
    However, when you apply the applications usually begin in the fall of that year so they would start..lets say in November 2016 for 
    the 2017 admissions cycle. 
  20. Like
    Wasteman reacted to GrumpyMoriarty in Take Forum-Ers With A Grain Of Salt   
    GrumpyMoriarty, on 29 Jun 2016 - 8:39 PM, said:
    Yea many of my classmates heard the same thing. 
    Luckily I'm terrible at following people's advice and decided to just do my own thing 
  21. Like
    Wasteman reacted to GrumpyMoriarty in Take Forum-Ers With A Grain Of Salt   
    Do your own research with independent credible sources, and apply wherever you like as long as the chances are not 0%.
    Unlike in healthcare or other professional settings, people are not held responsible for the advice/comments they provide, and hence can say literally whatever the bloody hell they want, and this is especially true online due to the added protection of anonymity. As such you should always take advice given in a non-professional setting with a grain of salt (or even a high index of suspicion). 
    I was told in high school by a premed in university that I probably have no chance of getting into med school because only the "genius" students would have a fighting chance... clearly I didn't take that advice to heart
  22. Like
    Wasteman reacted to hotlinebliiing in Take Forum-Ers With A Grain Of Salt   
    Just wanted to share my experience and advice here. I applied to UofA for dentistry as an OOP from toronto. I had average to high stats in all categories for accepted applicants.

    Another OOP from Ontario messaged me and told me that I shouldn't get my hopes up because although his scores were higher than mine, he knew 3-4 other OOP that had even higher stats than him. Since there are only 3 spots, I pretty much thought I was out.

    i was taking a class that was required for UofA and not for my other schools and almost dropped it because I was so discouraged and thought it was a waste of my time to even try.

    Yesterday I received an acceptance letter and am thinking to myself: because of this guys actions, I almost made myself ineligible. My point is: apply where you think you have a shot based on past admissions stats and do whatever ---- you want. Don't let people scare you into not trying or waiting. So many on this forum with their heads up their own asses wanting to screw others over.
  23. Like
    Wasteman got a reaction from InstantRamen in Done UG---Now what to read these days   
    Ewww, Doctor's reading fictional books about doctors comes off as grotesque to me. 
    I can tell you the books that I really liked, but i dunno if you would want to read them, especially considering how eccentric I am.]
    Wuthering Heights (Byronic Heroes and anguish really gets me) Anna Karenina (Really liked Nikolai Levin's story, again, anguish and self doubt really gets my gears going.) Salem (Stephen King): An easy read. Deals with loss of faith and stuff. Insomnia (Stephen King) : similar to the one above but this one puts you in the perspective of a senior widower The thief of always (clive barker): I liked this one. Deals with Kids and pretty dark too. Never really finished as I was a hella careless teenager. imajica (clive barker) Notes: this book is kinda like an adult adventure book because it deals with sexuality and is sort of dark. I really liked this one. Atonement : Again, main character anguish is really fascinating to me 1984: Lol, more nihilist porn Tender is the Night/ The Great Gatsby: Both deal with failed men vying for something neither of them can have. I like it,  
    I have many more but I dunno if you'd be interested. Most of my favourites deal with main/ central characters just losing, big time.
  24. Like
    Wasteman reacted to canucks_14 in Shall I Work Towards This? Or Am I A Zero Chance?   
    Everyone here is way off. There are schools that take selective years in the GPA calculation for example queens does last 2 year gpa and western does best 2 years and univ of Calgary only calculates full time years so if you did less than 8 courses in any given sept-April time period then that year of GPA would be omitted (if you have 5 in one semester and 3 in another then double check with the school to see if it counts). McGill takes most recent degree as well I believe. Also UBC calculates GPA as a percentage so if you calculate that and compare it to the published admissions statistics posted by UBC then you will have a better idea of where you stand there. Also you could move to the Yukon to get in province status at certain schools.
    Basically the policies at some schools in Canada allow for a fresh start if you are willing to do another minimum of 2 years of school providing you get a high GPA in those two years. As it stands now it's unlikely you would get in based on the info you gave us. But if you do another 2 years of school and do really well then everything can change and you could be a great applicant and have strong chances at queens and western depending on your GPA, as well as other schools I'm not familiar with.
    Basically you just have to research each school's policies and see if there is any place where you might have a shot. Familiarize yourself with their website and either call or email them if need be. You can also compare it to topics discussed on this forum.
    I strongly believe if someone has time and money then there is nothing stopping them from getting in if they are able to get straight A's or preferably A pluses. For you, it just depends if you want to go back to school. If I was in your situation I would still chase my dream of med school hard but that's just me.
  25. Like
  • Create New...