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Caliver last won the day on December 31 2016

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About Caliver

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  1. Make sure you show up early, don't complain about how long you are staying, how tired you are (you should complain about inappropriate behavior or lapse in professionalism), and are nice to everyone including allied health. Show some interest even if it is not your desired specialty, because it may be your last time doing that specialty ever. You will be a great clerk if you can do those. You would be surprised at how many people don't do these things.
  2. In downtown Toronto, UHN and MSH have a large number of +1 ER docs. Not sure what the rationale is but politics probably plays a big role. In addition, at those centres, even though the patient population can be quite complicated, many specialty services are readily accessible. There is a noticeable difference between +1 and FRCSC docs when it comes to their comfort level for more complex issues (rather than just pattern recognition). I personally noticed this between St. Michael's vs. MSH/TGH/TWH in terms of the consult quality, although there are variabilities depends on the person.
  3. Agreed. I find relief in that what I do (even "scut" work - which is usually post-op care, albeit not necessarily fun) is meaningful to the patient care. Some things lose their appeal even as PGY1; that's why it's very important to reflect on who you are and what you want in the long run before committing to a surgical residency. Once you commence it, you just gotta keep remind yourself when 1) you feel miserable at 2am during your entire weekend call (home call specialties do that) 2) when you find yourself becoming mean to other people, including your own patients.
  4. I'd say being a surgical resident has been better than what I expected. I mean, there are days when I constantly question why I chose the field, but at the end of the day, the type of work I get to do still gives me a smile. Having said that, trying to constantly impress people (or trying not to piss off anyone) and questioning whether I can get a job at the end are the more stressful factors of surgical residency... at least from my experience
  5. Who is your advisor? my advisor in Toronto seems to be a bit clueless. I am trying to change my account to a 2 year grace period + VIP package (I am a new incoming PGY1)
  6. I spoke to some IM staff about this. You can get IM interviews but you likely won't be ranked highly at the end. Some staff told me to do at least 1-2 CTU electives (3 weeks each). Take this with a grain of salt, as it is "unofficial" and it is an online forum. Similar deal with Toronto FM. Personally, I did not apply to IM as a backup, so I don't have a first-hand experience, but I did observe what happened to some of my classmates. They do take your motivation into account (at least what I was told.. as above). If your electives consist of 5 urology electives + 1 IM elective, it seems clear to them that you want urology. They don't like being considered as "back up." At least this is the case at U of T. If your other choices are family medicine, psychiatry, etc. etc, mixed with a handful IM electives, then you likely have a higher chance of getting that IM interview. Obviously, life is about making choices. OP will need to make a decision on what to do and take risks accordingly.
  7. I think this depends on your institution. For example, at U of T, I'd say it was almost impossible to back up with IM if you were going for a competitive specialty, because the IM program at U of T is very competitive and will not consider you unless you are "serious" about IM. Essentially, your "home" program does not render you any advantage if you "back up" with them. If you are from a smaller school, I'd imagine the situation is a little different and you may be able to back up with IM.
  8. consider ENT, Uro. Good mix of clinics and ORs. May have ungodly hours in residency (depends on your institution) but your life tends to get significantly better as a staff (except if you subspecialize in surg onc).
  9. A couple of searches would have been beneficial in answering your question. There's no clear cut answer in which school is better. A couple of points: 1. Toronto also has cadaver labs (not sure how the recent curriculum changed the usual dissection stuff). 2. In the end, all three schools deliver similar material. The differences are how and when. Mac will use PBL more extensively than U of T/McGill. Mac will have three years while U of T/McGill have four. 3. Not true that Mac is "good" for prepping people for primary care residency vs. other schools. Mac is just as good as other schools in laying the foundation for you to do any specialty you want. It's "You" who need to decide and work on the specialty that you want to pursue. "International" reputation doesn't mean jack when it comes to CaRMS. For US matching, USMLE is king. 4. You need to decide where you want to live. It matters more than you think. In summary, figure out yourself and see which learning style and which city is the best for you. In my case, I chose Toronto because I already had my family and friends here and didn't mind the uber traditional curriculum. Hope this helps. my $0.02 as a graduating med student.
  10. I went to Mac for undergrad and went to U of T for med school. Mac does PBL properly and I strongly believe it works. While U of T is great at throwing a vast amount of knowledge to be examined, it does not know how PBL works properly. Every school has pros and cons. You will struggle more than clerks from other schools in the beginning, because.. you don't know how things work clinically in the beginning. However, you will have plenty of time to catch up. Last time I checked, Mac students do fine in CaRMS. Also saving one year of tuition would be great... lol. Just my $0.02
  11. I suggest you wait until you start school. You will want to get the most up-to-date textbooks, if you are getting any. Many textbooks are available in PDF forms. Most importantly, enjoy your summer!!!
  12. Not sure if you are a med student at either school, but there are several points, where you seem to over-analyze without considering the realistic picture. Information you see online may not provide a whole picture of what it is like at each school in real life. I am only posting a reply to provide different perspectives for the benefit of prospective students, as someone who just finished four years at U of T. It is up to an individual student to decide in the end. Please note that I can only comment on U of T because I did not experience what it is like at UBC first-hand. You don't "twiddle your thumbs as a clerk" at U of T. It is true that there are many learners but clerks have defined objectives to achieve. It is up for individual clerks to advocate for themselves for those opportunities. You may not be closing an incision as much as students at smaller centres, but you will learn it as a resident should you choose to pursue a surgical residency. Clerkship is where you are supposed to learn the basics, i.e. History, Physical and recognition of sick patients. Those alone take some time, especially when you switch around specialties every 6-8 weeks. Also, if you really really have to get your hands dirty every time, there are community centres to choose from. When I went to other centres for electives, I did not feel under-prepared at all; in fact, I felt I was well prepared especially with respect to the basics. I knew how to do consults, when to call residents for urgent matters and how to suture. (I did my clerkship in downtown Toronto) lol. Having 5 other schools in the province does not affect how well one gets funded lol. Again, you are seeing CREMS, but you fail to notice that many PIs in Toronto hold their own grants and there are many different programs, which may not be advertised. There's plenty to go around. Even if you don't get the funding, you can still pursue research. Tons of opportunities. Maybe or maybe not. Research may help with building relationships, but that does not negate the fact that you need to do well on your elective. You have the benefit of knowing the system better and being more efficient on elective at home school. If you want a certain program, you will need to ace the elective/interview. As I mentioned previously, I think you need to look at several factors, which are not just limited to your future prospects. You need to look at which city you can see yourself living in a city and whether you have sufficient support around it. Those really help with you excelling in whichever school you go to.
  13. Many grads from each school gravitate towards staying in the same city for residency for a multitude of reasons, namely convenience, familiarity and connections. Moving to another city means that you will need to uproot yourself and potentially be in a completely different/unfamiliar system. Having said that, people move to different cities. While statistics can be "important," it does not really show a complete picture and you can't judge your chance of matching in a certain city by looking at CaRMS matching statistics. Every school has a big proportion of their own students staying due to student and school factors. In terms of UBC vs. U of T, I also had a similar dilemma four years ago. I chose U of T because Toronto is where my family and friends were. Fast forward four years, I am glad I did this because I needed this support in clerkship. I would have needed a year to establish and familiarize myself with Vancouver, had I moved (which isn't necessarily a bad thing though). The decision really comes down to your personality. You need to be honest with yourself; do you want to live in Toronto or Vancouver for four years? Your pre-clinical/clinical experience will likely end up being similar despite inevitable differences in certain curriculum factors (i.e. when you do electives, where you do clerkship rotations). If you really want to end up in another city for residency, you can always do electives there to have "face time." I can tell you that program directors love competent students, not just students from their own institutions TL;DR don't overthink this and be honest with yourself about which city you can see yourself living in for next four years. That's the most important.
  14. lol. im from U of T (the pre-"foundation" era) and i had an awesome quality of life especially with living in downtown Toronto. There's not much difference in terms of quality of education you will get - you will be a fine med student if you are good. What differs is the types of opportunities you get. You may get more hands-on experience at smaller schools while you may have more exposure to research in bigger schools. Having said that, people from smaller schools also do research at other institutions. Bigger schools also offer community rotations for maximum clinical exposure. TL;DR Med school's what you make out of it and where you would enjoy living in. Pick after you get in.
  15. You never know what they think of you unfortunately. Some preceptors just wouldn't really offer to write letters while others would. Even when you are "not offered" a letter and end up asking for one, you sort of have a hunch on whether the letter is strong or not..
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