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Everything posted by Intrepid86

  1. This is just curiosity, but how long have you been practicing for?
  2. Specialty training is longer, but if you're going to be practicing for 30 years anyways, then it shouldn't be a huge factor in your decision not to pursue it.
  3. Even with the second study, only 11 Canadians participated, and most of the 22 people in total weren't even in the final year of their program, where individual disparities, if present, in perception and treatment have largely disappeared. The study is primarily focusing on some difficulties inherent in their transition to residency, in order to better support them, which is understandable since they come from having trained in outside medical systems. Once people become senior residents and Attendings, this stuff isn't even relevant anymore.
  4. That study only includes 25 participants, none of whom are American or Canadian born. They are all immigrant IMGs whose regions of origin are Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, East Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. These physicians likely experienced contributory issues that had little to do with the fact that they were internationally trained.
  5. Practically speaking, the average patient is not going to care about this, especially if their doctor completed a Canadian residency.
  6. I'm going to agree with an above poster and say it would be helpful to have an idea of what these financial goals are, so you can get more specific advice. The opportunity cost of pursuing and entering medicine is high, assuming you're starting from scratch, and that doesn't include a lot of other factors too. If you start a young family, it is a priority that will definitely decrease the number of hours you are able to study and work, and that shouldn't be underestimated.
  7. I think this "study" was largely an excuse for the mostly male authors to creep their female colleagues in bikinis. The pressure to publish something then compelled them to write this regrettable paper.
  8. Training is finite, and your current rotation is temporary. This perspective is important regardless if you are a student or resident. You will not enjoy everything equally. It is not required or expected. You thought your IM experience would be one thing, but it turned out to be another. Your expectations of medicine are starting to hit up against some of the realities. This is normal. When things get difficult, it is helpful to keep in mind that most personal struggles boil down to one binary decision; you either keep going, or you quit. This might sound callous, but it is by far the most important decision to make, and the decision most people are actually wavering on in their minds, whether they realize it or not. You always have the option to do one or the other, so make the decision first, then you'll realize things get simpler after that initial mental hurdle. For the sake of discussion, let's say you keep going. Now make the next important distinction. What things do you have control over, and what are the things you don't? It is wasted effort and energy to worry about things you have little or no control over, such as which rotation you're on, who the attending is, how they act, etc. What you do control is your own work ethic, attitude, and response to criticism. This type of stoic reflection is helpful to peel the layers of a problem, and also for one's own mental health, but it is skipped by 90% of people.
  9. As one of my old FM preceptors put it, family medicine is as easy or difficult as you make it. As a practicing family doctor, I agree with that. As with many other jobs, it's relatively easy to be adequate, harder to be good, and challenging to be excellent /exceptional. A two year FM residency is short. Everyone knows that. Like all other residencies, you get out what you put in. More effort up front usually means less needed later. Because there's an eventual range of interests, ability, and practice preferences, there also exists an abundance of clinical resources, transition advice (e.g., First five years of practice), mentorship networks etc. for those seeking it. By far the most important thing is to have a positive attitude towards self learning and improvement that will serve you well throughout your career, no matter what stage of career you're in. As a family doctor, if a patient likes you, that is already more than half the battle, even if you did nothing else. That might sound dumb, perplexing, and possibly even wrong, but it's not. If your patient doesn't like you as their primary care provider, then the chance of them taking your preventative advice is low, as will be their engagement on any investigation and treatment plans proposed. Clearly, the more you can do for the patient on your own, the better. However, if you need to refer out, then refer out, because doing something that's not within your comfort or ability will be even worse. If you need to refer out all the time for something that most of your colleagues are not, then you might be falling below the standards of knowledge for your specialty, so the onus would be on you to rectify that.
  10. Residency is temporary. I suggest you focus on what area of medicine you ultimately want to practice in, rather than the quality of life during your training program. That being said, it would be hard to beat a Family Medicine residency for work life balance.
  11. There's too much preoccupation with age on this forum. It's not a big deal or impressive unless you start after age 40, or you're Brian Levy, former CEO of Radio Shack. https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/second-act-former-ceo-of-radioshack-now-an-er-doctor-on-frontlines-of-covid-19-fight Had a shift with him once. Great guy.
  12. Know how to find the cervix. Very important.
  13. That's true. Family doctors can certainly niche their practices into something more specialized, but I feel it's not really answering the question that was posed. The OP is largely referring to career satisfaction derived from family medicine in its most traditional, comprehensive care form.
  14. To best answer your question, it requires a better understanding of what family medicine really is. The following is my perspective. Others may disagree, but to each their own. The hallmark of specialists is knowledge. The hallmark of family physicians is communication. As a family doctor, a large part of the job is providing empathy and patient education. The medicine is important, but almost secondary. Your greatest asset is the strength and trust of the therapeutic relationship you have with patients as their primary care provider. When a patient is sick, they will want to see you. After a patient consults a specialist, they will still want your opinion on the recommended course of action. When a patient is dying and nothing more can be done, they and their loved ones will want your sympathy and guidance to feel like they aren't alone. This therapeutic relationship is your privilege, your wheelhouse, and ultimately, a significant part of where your job satisfaction comes from. On a very practical level, family medicine is about improving patients through incremental change, the sum of which over time leads to improved quality of life. Let's say this is a game of baseball. As a family doctor, you probably won't be the star batter hitting home runs. You will be hitting singles all day. Is it sexy? no. Is it progress? yes. Is it needed? yes. You are correct; FM can be a grind. Feeling under appreciated at some point is common. There are patients who will not be grateful despite your best efforts. There will be vague complaints for which you will have no clear idea what is going on. 20% of your patients will feel like 80% of your work. These and other daily challenges will all demand your care and attention. Family medicine not suitable for everyone, but like every other field of medicine, it has both its satisfying and less than satisfying aspects. I hope this helps. Good luck in your future studies.
  15. The last NAC exam took place on March 7 - four days before the pandemic state of emergency was declared (in Ontario). The regional testing center already had some Covid-19 precautions in place. My guess is the exam will likely proceed as planned, however as always, check for updates as time goes on. Nothing is certain anymore these days.
  16. In situations like these, it's often hard to tell whether someone is truly apologetic because they've changed, or whether they're apologetic mainly because they suddenly realize the grave consequences it could have on their career. I'm also not certain what "years back" in this context means, because if you're a student who's in their mid-20s, then you're likely referring to things which happened within the last 7 years, which isn't exactly a remote history of ill-conceived actions. If you were not in medical school, would you still feel as compelled to address this? Clearly this is all hypothetical, and your motivations will have to be taken at face value, but good on you for at least trying to remedy it.
  17. You are entering a professional school which demands full time studies. It is challenging enough without significant distractions or time sinks. I would seriously look at your reason(s) for wanting to continue the part time job. Money? get a line of credit. Amusement? re-assess your priorities. Fulfillment? if you get that as a part time server, then you don't need medical school.
  18. The Qbank is to help you learn the material. It's not really for predicting what score you'll get. Not even the makers of Canadaqbank itself can give you a definite answer about how much you'll need to confidently pass. If you are an IMG, your goal is not simply to pass, but to do as well as possible to have the best chance at getting interviews and matching. If you're a CMG, then you're probably going to pass whether you use this or not.
  19. Spaced repetition and having the discipline to study on a regular basis. Doing well in med school has nothing to do with intelligence.
  20. The general consensus on this forum is that CanadaQBank is junk, but I actually thought it was okay. I used it mainly for the equivalency exam though - MCCEE (now obsolete). I did only a fraction of it for QE1. If you can afford it, then it's helpful for learning the format and some of the more high yield details of the test. PHELO was the part of the exam I did the worst on, so I'm not the best person to ask. I don't even recall doing a dedicated study of that section besides reviewing some biostats. Perhaps another poster who did well can comment on it. If I had to do it again, I would actually read the pertinent chapter in Toronto Notes. The QE1 has a few esoteric, seemingly random questions that no amount of studying will prepare you for, so you just have to do your best.
  21. UWorld is still the gold standard in preparation for all USMLE exams. It's sufficient for QE1 too. There's a lot more internal medicine on Step 2 CK than on QE1 though. The latter has a more even distribution of topics. You may not need books, but if you want to consider some I thought Master the Boards was good for CK. I didn't use Toronto Notes, but I heard it's a decent reference for QE1. Time is not an issue on either exam. You have enough of it as along as you don't get bogged down on any particular question. The CDM component of QE1 is something I found a bit challenging when I did it, otherwise the rest of the exam is very straightforward.
  22. Being below average is fine. Being in the bottom 10% is not though, as it would likely put that person on the radar as someone who needs extra attention/scrutiny.
  23. This is called catastrophizing. If you can't get a handle on it by yourself, then I suggest you seek help. Also keep in mind that interviews are trainable to a certain extent. Even the most awkward, socially inept person can practice and come across as a well-adjusted human being for 30 minutes.
  24. I doubt the colleges will change their mind. The decision to postpone the exam protects the health of residents and examiners. The decision to delay the full exam, instead of waiving it, or having an impromptu alternative pathway, protects the public from unproven residents. With regards to Covid-19, the situation is serious, but not dire.
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