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futuredoc123

Matching to a competitive specialty from MAM?

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So this question is mostly directed to upper year med students at MAM and/or currents residents who were in MAM. I am starting at MAM this year and was wondering if being at the Mississauga campus poses any challenges for getting into a competitive specialty? From the more competitive specialties, I am interested in EM, CV surgery, and vascular surgery. More importantly, if it does pose any challenges, what can be done to get around them?

Also, I understand that more competitive residencies expect applicants to have research experience in that specialty and that most of the good research opportunities are downtown. I feel it would be pretty hard to commute for research to downtown during the year so I am mostly interested in doing the summer CREMS program. But even for that, in terms of getting a spot do we have to network with those supervisors beforehand and so go downtown frequently during the year?

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Hi!

I literally made an account just to respond to you question because I think these are very important questions and I thought I might be able to help answer them.

I just finished my first year at MAM. So obviously I don't have ALL the answers but I'll try my best. First of all I want to say CONGRATULATIONS on your acceptance to U of T! At the end of the day you are a U of T student and you get all the perks that come along with it. You might hear whispers that MAM is lesser than the STG campus when it comes to matching/competing for specialties but you need to be confident in yourself and remember that whatever they have access to, you have access to it as well. As a MAM student I shadowed downtown a bunch, I also am working on a research project at a downtown hospital (not through CREMS) and there are many students in my year and above that are going for competitive specialties (Plastics, Emerg, Neuro etc).

In a way you are at an advantage because during our core rotations it is well known that MAM clerks get to do a lot more. Because there are less learners in the room (ie resident and fellows) in Missisauga the doctors will look to us as clerks to do more. So that is very exciting. However, something I've been told is that since we're in Mississauga it is important to book electives DT if you are going for something competitive so that you can get face time with the doctors who will eventually make the decisions to let you into their program. Luckily as a UofT student you get first dibs on booking electives at UofT. So it's a balance I'm not saying it's perfectly equal (mam vs stg).

Now this might be hard to believe but the commute is really not that bad. I live downtown and found the commute extremely manageable and I was doing it 2-5 times per week.You will likely find yourself going downtown more than you thought anyways for example: we had anatomy labs (at the start of the year),  all of our anatomy bellringers and mandatory interprofessional events downtown (sorry if that sounds like a lot, it totals maybe 1 day of class downtown a month but it's more at the beginning). So I suggest you accept  the idea of commuting (it can be 30 min if you leave a the right time, it's TOTALLY DOABLE). Plus some MAM people I know (that lived in Mississauga) would use their Wednesdays off to go dt and do research. So I wouldn't write it off that you cannot start a research project during the year. Besides any meaningful research contribution can't really be done just in the summer anyways and it's also nice to build a long term relationship with a doctor who might be a mentor to you down the road/in clerkship.

As far as research goes, I wouldn't discount Mississauga, I'm sure there's lots of good and important research going on if you take the time to look for the right doctor. There are a lot of ways to network and find a doctor (no matter where they are located). For example, some people would shadow a doc and then during they would ask about their research. You can search online to find a doc with interesting research and then send and e-mail to see if you can get involved. You could wait around for CREMS (although I will say this year I didn't notice many projects in surgery or ER). Something else you'll notice is people will regularly post in the FB group when they need assistance with projects. So there are many ways you can network and find an interesting research project especially if you're really keen and want to start early.

As for CREMS, I don't necessarily think CREMS is the best way to find a summer research project especially if you're targeting a specific field. But on the whole you do not need to be networking with doctor's beforehand in order to get a CREMS project. 

I think I'm going to end it now because I don't even know if I'm answering your questions anymore.

Hopefully this has given you lots to think about and I hope you're excited to come to MAM! Let me know if you have any further questions.

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On 6/13/2018 at 11:14 PM, futuredoc123 said:

So this question is mostly directed to upper year med students at MAM and/or currents residents who were in MAM. I am starting at MAM this year and was wondering if being at the Mississauga campus poses any challenges for getting into a competitive specialty? From the more competitive specialties, I am interested in EM, CV surgery, and vascular surgery. More importantly, if it does pose any challenges, what can be done to get around them?

Also, I understand that more competitive residencies expect applicants to have research experience in that specialty and that most of the good research opportunities are downtown. I feel it would be pretty hard to commute for research to downtown during the year so I am mostly interested in doing the summer CREMS program. But even for that, in terms of getting a spot do we have to network with those supervisors beforehand and so go downtown frequently during the year?

I’m currently a resident, did medical school at UofT but not at MAM, but know people from MAM

There were “MAMers” from my year that matched to ENT, Urology, Ophtho, Emerg. 

The chances are equal as long as you work hard.

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