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  1. Disclaimer: I know this has been asked in the past, but I wasn't able to find anything definitive, so attempting to reignite the discussion in hopes of more concrete answers. I know some programs (derm, neuro, rads, ophtho, emerg) require undergrad transcripts. How much are these transcripts weighted? If there are blemishes on one's transcript, could they be the basis for a red flag, even if the applicant was stellar in their med school performance? Could they be the reason an applicant might be denied an interview? Would programs share this information amongst each other? If you feel that your transcript is not an accurate reflection of your current abilities, should you address this discord in your personal statement?
  2. Interesting idea, but curious as to how this mini-match would work - on what basis would schools rank their potential elective students?
  3. So when people say that it's difficult to get an interview or be competitive at a school where you haven't done an elective for more challenging specialties - this probably won't be true anymore, will it? Because otherwise, you would only be "considered" at 4-5 programs max per specialty ...
  4. Using Calgary and UBC as examples, have Calgary med students ever been looked down upon compared to UBC med students for having less elective time? Surely PDs/admissions are aware of this discrepancy ... so along the same lines, now Calgary and UBC med students can do an equal # of electives in X desired specialty, but UBC med students have more time to beef up their application/testament to their commitment to X specialty by doing more electives in related disciplines. I think the unfairness will just become somewhat less glaring but will shift and continue to exist nonetheless. Why do schools have varying amounts of elective time anyways?
  5. With all this talk about electives going either amazing or awry, how do you feel things will change with the elective cap? The max # of weeks you can dedicate to any specialty is now 8 across Canada, which means 4x2-week electives. This will come into effect for the 2021 class. Does that mean all of the schools you couldn't do an elective at (just by chance) will rank you lower since they haven't had a chance to meet you? Or will elective experience begin to matter less? Or perhaps elective experiences will be better because they won't be plagued with as many keener students trying to become mini-derms/plastics/ophthos?
  6. I suppose one of the things I'm most afraid of is overestimating my position on the spectrum of awful → excellent; thinking I am excellent when indeed I am perceived as awful by my peers/superiors. I hear way too many accounts of overconfident medical students failing to match or getting bad reference letters or doing absolutely ridiculous things as clerks, and I can't help but wonder that if they are in medical school, then they must have been reasonable people, and if something like that could happen to them, then why can't it happen to me too? It's difficult to reliably assess your position/competitiveness when everything is so subjective--your own perception of yourself, others' perception of you, vested interests in helping you to either succeed or fail, the list goes on. Just feels weird knowing that yes, we can control many of the factors that can lead to a successful match, but none of us will ever know where we stood relative to others, even based on prior statistical models, until after the fact. For the years and years of work we put into becoming the kind of doctors we want to be, it really does feel like a shot in the dark.
  7. This is what freaks me out, because the opportunity to apply again as a stronger applicant (or in a different pool) doesn't really exist for residency ... or does it? How many staff encounters is considered solid for a reference/to make a positive impression, assuming you're a "good" clerk? 2? 3? more? How do you know a reference might not be all that great? Do people agree to write letters that they know won't be a positive reflection of your character? (i.e. you ask someone if they can write you a letter, they agree, the letter turns out to be a testament to why you're NOT suited for X program)
  8. Thank you so much for this answer How important do you think research is, especially for more competitive specialties (although i suppose everything is becoming competitive these days)? Is it more of a checklist item (one or two pubs is all you need) or is it heavily considered? Does the type of research matter? Also for programs that consider undergraduate marks (ex. many derm programs), how heavily is that considered?
  9. how do you get someone to push for you if you've only known them for a week or two during rotations?
  10. those are questions i've already been thinking about, so i figured it could be interesting to approach it from the flip-side, just to see if anything new emerges
  11. i'm not really asking *why* people don't match, but rather, hoping to start a more nuanced discussion of what qualities are perceived as unfavorable (not just for ophthalmology but across the board). yeah, there aren't enough spots, and yeah, you might screw yourself over if you make poor ranking decisions. but assuming that an applicant is vigilant and doesn't dig their own grave, what are some reasons that they still may end up unmatched?
  12. Hey all. I know there's several (outdated) threads about how to match to X competitive specialty, and it's pretty evident that a variety of personalities/research/academic backgrounds are touted as the "key" to matching. But what kind of applicant doesn't match to, for example, ophthalmology/dermatology/plastics? Do they have to be an egregiously bad applicant, obviously ill-suited, or do mediocre applicants also get "filtered out" by CaRMS? And what exactly would constitute a mediocre applicant? If you become interested in your later years of medical school, have you failed yourself by not demonstrating profound early interest in a competitive specialty? On that note, what are some tips for actually matching? Do you really need 20+ publications/poster presentations to be considered for a specialty like ophtho/derm/plastics? Appreciate any and all advice.
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