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ihsh

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  1. Wow that's very helpful, thanks! I wish I had known about the cutoffs before writing the Step 1 with inadequate prep and scoring a measly 230. It seems that a score of 240 or above is the "safe" score at which applicants are always granted interviews (as of 2016, and who knows if this will increase even more): http://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/2016-PD-Survey-Report-SMS.pdf Do you know if similar cutoffs are used for second fellowships? If I want to go to the States for a fellowship, I'd only want to go if it it's a good program and it'd be unfortunate if my step 1 score ends up holding me back from a fellowship 7 years down the future...
  2. Does anyone know if it's possible for a Canadian citizen in a Canadian internal medicine program to apply to American programs for subspecialty fellowships? As an example, can someone in their 3rd year of IM at McMaster apply for a respirology fellowship in the States, given that they have taken all the STEPs?
  3. As a 3rd year student at Western, I found that the lectures weren't always good for my own learning (e.g., some lecturers just read off the slides). Whenever that was the case, I'd be engaging in my own learning on my computer instead (e.g., reading up on the relevant guidelines, making my own notes, doing ILs.) Some of my classmates decided to skip class altogether because they were able to go through the VODs more efficiently than going to lecture. You may want to figure out what works best for you. Some of these ILs may be newly made for your curriculum. If you find that they are not helpful, I'd suggest using other resources-- which are hopefully more concise-- to learn the material. It sounds like you are decently diligent with your studying, and I have no doubt that you'll be able to pass the exams. I think an important part of the first two years is to figure out how to study well, and to actually learn the material in addition to being able to pass. Having a solid foundation will be very helpful as you head into your clinical rotations, when there'll be even less time for you to read and brush up on topics.
  4. I'm a current 3rd year clinical clerk who is thinking of applying to both internal medicine and family medicine next year. I was wondering what are the 3 reference letters that people generally use for family medicine if they only have one or two electives in family medicine. During which clerkship rotations should I consider asking for a reference letter for FM? Thanks in advance!
  5. I know a set of twin brothers who had the same undergraduate degree, similar ECs and similar grades. They got interviewed at different schools, with no overlap at all. I think this just shows how unpredictable the admission process can be.
  6. I recently got exposed to physiatry (physical medicine and rehabilitation) and am interested in pursuing it. However, given that it is such a small specialty (and pretty competitive in recent years), I am not sure if I'd feel comfortable just gunning for it with no backups. As such, I have some questions about the elective strategy for CaRMS: 1. How many weeks of electives does one need to do in physiatry to be competitive? From past posts, it seems that 4 weeks is the bare minimum (2 reference letters), but I am wondering if this threshold has increased due to the increasing competitiveness of the specialty. 2. If one does 10 weeks of neurology and 6 weeks of physical medicine (or even a 12/4 split between neurology and physiatry), would this be seen as using physiatry as a "backup" and therefore looked upon less favorably? 3. What are some specialties that an applicant can realistically apply to in conjunction with physiatry? Some combinations that I can think of include neurology/physiatry, internal/physiatry, family/physiatry. 4. If one were to "gun" for physiatry, should one do all of the electives in physiatry? Or should one dedicate several weeks to neurology, internal medicine, orthopedics, etc.? Thanks in advance!
  7. Thank you both for your inputs! Given that I don't know if the application with Dr. B will be successful, should I still move forward with the U of T prof and then decline afterwards if things work out with Dr. B? Or should I explain my situation to him and see whether he would still like to proceed?
  8. Back in January, I emailed a professor at U of T about doing research with him over the summer. Three weeks later (January 22nd), I still hadn't heard back from him, so I contacted a professor at my med school ("Doctor B") to do a 6-week clinical summer studentship with her. Doctor B immediately agreed to apply to the studentship with me, and helped me edit my personal statement. We sent out the application on Monday (February 12th). Now comes the tricky part: The U of T prof eventually replied to me and interviewed me last week. Today (Feb 15), he notified me that he would be willing to take me as a summer student, conditional on funding. So now I'm in a very tricky situation because: Neither opportunities are certain, and I especially have no idea about how competitive the clinical studentship is (as a first-year med student I have very little relevant experience). If I turn down the U of T prof and am unsuccessful with the clinical studentship, then I'll have nothing to do in the summer. Both studentships are in the same subspecialty, but I would personally prefer the U of T position because it provides research experience and it's a 12 week program rather than 6-weeks. However, I'd feel very guilty if I get the clinical studentship but end up turning down Doctor B. For that program, each supervisor can submit a maximum of two applications, and I could be "wasting" one of her spots. Given that Doctor B is the head of her department at my med school, I'm afraid that I will be "black-listed" from the department in the future. I realize that the situation could have been avoided if I had been more open with my communication with both supervisors, but unfortunately I hadn't because of all the uncertainty. Should I move forward with the U o T prof, and if so, should I inform Doctor B before the application statuses are out (which is in early April)? I would appreciate any advice or suggestions regarding how I should handle the situation. Thanks in advance!
  9. Currently, I'm thinking of pursuing internal medicine as there are a few subspecialites that I'm interested in. However, I'm wondering about the competitiveness of the IM subspecialty match. Are there particular subspecialties that are notoriously difficult to match to? In other words, is there any subspecialty like derm/plastic/emerg in the initial CARMs match, where you have a good chance of not matching despite being a "good" applicant with a clear interest in the field?
  10. I learned that it's possible to become a medical geneticist by doing a 3-year Canadian College of Medical Geneticists (CCMG) fellowship after 3 years of internal medicine training. Other than the additional year of training, this path seems to provide more flexibility than the 5-year medical genetics program (you can still choose other internal med subspecialties) and someone who follows this path ends up having more qualifications. I was wondering if there are significant barriers to entry to the 3-year fellowship, and whether there are additional pros/cons of each route. Thank you!
  11. I'm thinking of purchasing a few text books to expand/consolidate my knowledge as an undergraduate medical student (I know that many are available online, but I'd much prefer reading a physical copy). Are there must-have or recommended text books? Also, I noticed that Toronto Notes 2016 is discounted. Am I right to assume that it's practically the same as Toronto Notes 2017?
  12. Thank you so much for such a detailed and insightful response!
  13. Hello, As a first-year medical student, I am still in the process of exploring the different specialties. I am wondering, though, whether it is common/feasible for people to apply to 3 or more specialties. My understanding is that the limited electives time can make it difficult if the specialties are seemingly unrelated (and you don't want to appear to be "backing up"), but I just wanted to double check. The following are some sample combinations that I thought of: Example 1: neurology (priority), internal medicine and family medicine? Example 2: Radiology (priority)+ Anatomical pathology+ hematological pathology+general pathology Example 3: Urology (priority)+ general surgery + internal medicine Thanks!
  14. Just to chime in about the MCAT: the MCAT is used as a cutoff by many schools (e.g., Western, Toronto, UBC), so there is often little to no difference between getting a 512 and a 528 (provided that you meet the cutoffs for all sections). Therefore, it'd be difficult to use a high MCAT to compensate for a low GPA. The one exception that I know of is McMaster, where a higher CARS score does increase your chance of receiving an interview/offer.
  15. I'm not familiar with the rock-climbing wall at Mac, but I know that all students have to pay to get the Pulse membership. Without the membership, you only have access to the indoor track, the pool, and the badminton/volleyball court (no access to machines, fitness classes, and rock climbing walls).
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