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Everything posted by frenchpress

  1. This is true, but I think slowly changing in some places. Not so much in the academic centers, but in some smaller communities I have met several different groups of surgeons who are sharing positions - so they’ll have like, 4 surgeons for 2-3 “full-time” spots, or similar types of sharing arrangements based on how much people want to work, allowing everyone more work-life balance, spreads call out over more people, etc.
  2. Relax. It’s not a big deal. Stop rereading your application and do something fun!
  3. I don’t think it matters, since you also have the hours. But you could also email them. Do whatever will help you let it go and think about anything else!
  4. I wouldn’t worry about it. They were already long-term activities. I think the exceptional circumstances box is more there to explain less obvious changes or things that might be missing from your application. Everyone is going to have covid gaps of one form or another.
  5. I think only 2 of like two dozen verifiers on my application were contacted and I was admitted first try. Don’t overthink it.
  6. The other consideration you may be missing: if you can only get strong grades in easy gpa booster courses, and cannot figure out a way to succeed in more difficult courses, you may find you really struggle in medical school. Sure, maybe if the only reason you have a 3.5 average is that you haven’t been applying yourself, and maybe you could suddenly change your behaviour and start excelling once in medical school. But if you’re not used to pushing yourself, that approach could easily backfire.
  7. I recall somewhere in the help guide they specifically say that they don’t so much want you to tell them how you’re like a physician, they want you to tell them things about yourself. I can’t say which is better, but whichever shows more about you, your commitment and your work ethic is maybe the more interesting one to include. Personally I think a BMI decrease of 5 points is pretty impressive - must have been a lot of work!
  8. I wouldn’t - we don’t exactly how the scoring works, and you can’t guarantee they are comparing entries when they score it.
  9. I agree with the above advice that you still have routes to Med school, and to take it a semester at a time and see how the next semester goes as a place to start. In fact, given your struggles, it might actually be a good idea to do a part-time semester with fewer courses and work your way up to doing full time again. Your need to be realistic about what it will take to turn things around. It’s not enough to just work harder at school. You need to realistically reflect on how you got into a position where you allowed yourself to fail so many courses multiple semesters in a row without making many changes - for example, why didn’t you withdraw when you realized you were failing, especially after that first semester when you must have seen it coming. Or if you didn’t see it coming, why not? Because doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for a different result is delusional thinking. If you don’t have a meaningful plan of action or make meaningful changes to your habits, it’s not going to be different this time either. And learning is a skill - most people aren’t just going to become good at studying overnight. You may need to ask for help, go to office hours, hire a tutor, etc. It may take you awhile to get the hang of it. You may also want to consider talking to a counsellor at your school, and exploring whether you have some other mental health concerns that may be underlying some of your struggles. I believe strongly that anyone can learn how to learn, and I’m sure that includes you. But it’s gonna to take a lot of hard work on yourself and on your studies.
  10. In addition to the above, just because your preferred speciality is competitive doesn't equal a likelihood that you won't match or work as a doctor at all. If you decide you really want to do something, there are many ways to increase your chances of matching (backing up with similar specialities, being willing to move, etc.). Even someone going for low competitive specialties like family can go unmatched if they are too picky about ranking programs.
  11. Exposure in a hospital doesn’t matter - you’ll note if you read through the help guide that exposure to medical settings does not come up as an evaluation criteria. Choose whichever NAQ entries the show the most length of commitment and most significant responsibility, and that most fulfill those criteria they are evaluating on.
  12. It entirely depends on what delivery method you're using to send your transcript. Have you actually looked up your specific Ontario school's transcript policy / delivery options? Many schools are only doing electronic delivery right now anyways, and expected turn around times are usually posted on the school's website.
  13. You could also just explain in the clarifications box for the activity that it’s carried over from last year, but you made a mistake on last years app. They likely won’t care, and if anything, will prefer you’re up front about it because it demonstrates honesty and saves them time/energy to follow up.
  14. I believe the sub specialties elective cap is counted separately from the general speciality - so in this case, IM CTU different from something like Geriatrics or Nephro
  15. I put several hobbies (I think at least 8, about half my entries) that had zero ‘accomplishment’ associated with them aside from the time I spent on them. Instrument, cooking, sports/outdoor hobbies, travel, etc. I used family and friends and a couple of instructors for verifiers, no ‘website’ or evidence required. I am fairly sure that many people do this, although maybe not to the same extent. You don’t want your whole NAQ to be things like this, but certainly you can include things that illustrate who you are to round out your entries - usually they’ll fit best under ‘diversity of experiences’. Edit: The following is from the help guide, which basically reinforces the same: “We are interested in learning more about you through your non-academic qualities and experiences. This means that we would like to know what you have been doing, what you are passionate about, and how you spend your time. . . . Please include experiences that will tell us something about you, even if they are not your greatest achievements or accomplishments. However, also be aware of how committed you were to that activity. If you participated in an activity for one day or one week, we are not likely to consider this as illuminating as activities that you have participated in over the longer term.
  16. There’s a box that asks you to explain part-time terms, I would still put it there, even if it’s not technically part time it is less than 15 credits so it’s reasonable. If it’s your last year, you certainly say you’re part time because you wanted to focused more time on hobbies and volunteering. But you can also just say you did part time terms because that’s all you needed to do to finish your degree in your last year.
  17. Ah, I see. Depending on how well you know the verifier, you could potentially explain to them what you were putting for the activity length and ask them to verify the whole thing, even though they only were directly involved in one part. Even for people who do everything in the same organization, a verifier hasn’t necessarily always been there as long as you. I had to ask several people to verify activities for me for which they only had some direct knowledge.
  18. If it’s the same activity, why not just list it once and include all the hours, and explain it crossed both high school and university? Demonstrating progression from simply helping to taking on a leadership role, even if not for the whole thing, would be a valuable thing to communicate as well.
  19. I usually used the theme of the week as a guide for what topics were important. For osmosis, I often watched the videos on topics that seemed relevant for the topic of the week, or if I wanted more detail on something. The organ systems videos on pathology and physiology are probably the most relevant for years 1/2 at ubc. The pharmacology videos can also be helpful, although I think sometimes they’re too detailed for what you really need to know early on. Similarly, I think the clinical reasoning videos are a bit more detailed than you need to worry about at your level. I did occasionally use the flash cards to review certain topics I hadn’t thought about for awhile, but they aren’t great. I did find the practice questions and the ‘high-yield’ summaries helpful sometimes, but quality varies. I also used the documents tool to upload lecture slides and make flash cards - usually sparingly, and just for things I thought were relevant to review before exams but that might not make it into my summary notes; this is about the only time I ever bothered to look at or think about lecture slides. Online med Ed is another online resource, although it’s another one I think is more useful as review as you move towards clinical work in years 3/4. I recommend starting with free trials of any resource, and then if you are using it a lot see if you can wait for a sale. Usually you can get a few rounds of free trials with different email addresses. For textbooks, the only ones I really use again and again are: Neuroanatomy through clinical cases (Blumenfeld), Pathophysiology of Heart Disease (Lilly), and Pediatric Symptoms-based diagnosis (Nelson). Toronto notes is also fairly useful, but not so much in years 1/2 - it’s better in years 3/4 as a summary and for review, it’s not great for actually explaining topics. For everything else I usually just looked through the recommended texts and resources on the CBL case for the week, and picked one that seemed decent - and then I just read what seemed like the most relevant sections/chapters. Many of the recommended texts are available online through the library, usually through clinical key or access med. Sometimes you can even download a whole book or the chapters you need. I usually went and flipped through physical books at the BMB, but with everything online this years that’s likely less of an option. My summary notes are mostly a mix of disease summaries and approaches. E.g. I have summary notes on an approach to chest pain, approach to dyspnea, etc. And then also lots of notes cobbled together on presentation/management of various diseases. You’ll figure out as you go what works best for you, be flexible.
  20. I feel like I answer this question once a month, haha, it’s a major source of anxiety. Yes, UBC accepts people who don’t take full course loads. Lots of people have had lighter course loads, myself included, who were admitted. They do expect you to demonstrate that you can handle hard work. There is a place on the application where you are asked to speak to why you took a part-time course load - there you can explain that in addition to 4 courses a term, you worked part-time. That’s probably more than sufficient.
  21. By the end of 2nd year I had totally moved away from attending/watching lectures, or even reviewing the slides much for that matter. I would skim them and add some random ‘high yield’ content to my flash card decks for cramming the week before exams. But I focused most of my time on reading around the ‘theme’ of the week using a mix of textbooks and Osmosis / Online Med Ed videos and resources. Eventually I started to realize that every topic / disease has all the same things to learn about, but what’s emphasized for each might vary: etiolgy/pathophysiology, clinical presentation (physical exam and history), management, etc etc. I built up my own summary notes using roughly that format that I’ve been expanding on in clerkship, and that acts as a bit of a quick reference guide for me. You won’t be able to memorize all the material the first time. If you cram and review you’ll be able to remember a surprising amount for the test - over time it gets easier to figure out what kind of details matter for the test vs. matter for actually practicing medicine. And then you’ll forgot most of it. And then you’ll review it again in clerkship, and again for electives and in residency. Stuff you use a lot will stick. Stuff you don’t you’ll look up. It is definitely overwhelming. It does get easier! Edit: To your question about 'active methods', I'll add that doing practice clinical questions, like those available for Step 2/LMCC studying, was really helpful to me. I started in first year with Osmosis questions, because it was easy to pick ones focused on a specific topic, even though they aren't always the best quality questions. And eventually I started looking at other resources and question banks. Early on I often found this overwhelming, because I often got nearly every question wrong because there was so much I didn't know. But over time, I found forcing myself to just try to do them and think about the clinical presentations really helpful, and information tends to stick a lot better for me when I learn it in that sort of problem solving context.
  22. I don’t see any problem listing it in both for UBC. The employment entry is an opportunity to talk about skills you demonstrated beyond the fact that you got an ‘award’ to do it. The awards section does not provide a place where you can actually talk about the work you’re doing. If you have space, include the award. If not, include whichever is the more prestigious award. When I applied, I listed the research assistant job under employment and my associated USRA under awards. Didn’t seem to be an issue.
  23. Agreed. Also need to balance length of commitment, etc. An activity you did for many, many years that says a lot about you likely better than a more recent one with far fewer hours.
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