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  1. What specialty were you originally considering? I'm wondering if it is one that is relatively common for FM docs to "specialize" in (e.g. low risk OB, anesthesia, psych, derm) as it might make it easier to make the decision easier if you didn't feel like you were "losing" that specialty entirely. Even if it isn't one with a traditional plus 1 program, is is something that could still include a tailored practice? Not sure where you're located/hoping to practice eventually, but there are programs like Project ECHO (See Arora et al, 2011, NEJM and https://www.echoontario.ca/Join-an-ECHO/Programs) which are looking to expand FM doc roles to include management of some of the simpler patients who were traditionally treated by specialists/subspecialists. Another resource I've found helpful is Northern Exposure (northernexposurepodcast.ca) which has profiled a few physicians who have done different +1 years or tailored their practice. It isn't exhaustive though, so hopefully they will release more episodes with different +1's.
  2. First, I want to comment that you may still be highly competitive for medical school given all other grades are A- or higher. GPA isn't everything (but it sounds like yours is highly respectable). Regarding how to handle it... I'm obviously not party to your situation, but I do wonder whether your reason will be perceived as valid on an academic explanation essay. I don't know if a "bad explanation" can hurt your chances, but before you submit one, I would suggest taking a step back and consider whether or not a 3rd party (who will tend to lean toward agreeing with profs/"the system") will think you have a valid explanation or if it may come across as whiny or entitled. Again, I don't know your reason or if a poor explanation is worse than no explanation, but it does seem like something to consider.
  3. Agree with MedicineLCS. At face value, the military seems to offer greater potential for showcasing CANMEDs roles. I wonder though, if with time, your priorities change (e.g. in 3rd or 4th year university other opportunities present themselves), if being enlisted in the military could "get in the way" with other (better) options. I think it really depends if you have an interest in military service beyond what looks best on a resume.
  4. I've found asking staff about how they picked their specialty to be quite helpful. I've also found the podcast Northern Exposure to be quite helpful (along with The Undifferentiated Medical Student but that seemed to be really US-centric for some specialties).
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