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ourlastnight

Deferring Graduation Opinion

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Hi all, 

I am an IMG currently in my final year of studies, and I am keen on pursuing a career in Orthopaedic Surgery in Canada. I have lots of exposure to Orthopaedic Surgery over the past six years from observerships, unofficial electives and official electives (all of which were in Canada). In addition, I have been part of seven research projects, co-authored in four, and have had the opportunity publish two papers as the first author.  I have also written my USMLEs. I did not enter the American match as I was going to give Canada a shot first. 

I entered the CaRMS match this year with high hopes, but unfortunately, I did not match. During my interviews, program directors hinted at the reality of not matching, but I found their response was overall positive. Lots of residents and faculty members told me that since I am young, I should keep my chin up, and continue with research in the hopes of matching this following cycle. 

I was hoping to arrange an elective prior to my graduation but, due to "bureaucratic" issues I was unable. My medical school has offered to defer my graduation to November of 2019 to facilitate further elective time, which is super tempting. As I saw not matching could be a reality, I prophylactically enrolled in a Master's Program starting September. Does anyone have insight into whether deferring my graduation would have an impact on my Master's Program? I would like to complete a Master's as I have a strong interest in research,  but at the same time, I don't want to lose such an opportunity for further elective time. 

Any advice would be great! 

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As an IMG, your options are extremely limited. If I were you I'd focus on getting American clinical experience during your time off (assuming you did well on your USMLEs) and apply for the American match next year. 

Once you finish your training in the US you can easily come back to Canada in 5-7 years time. 

It's a tough situation but that's the course of action I'd most likely take if I were in your shoes and had decent USMLE scores. 

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It is a little bit late but you could have also applied to Canada and US at the same time. The Canadian match happens first so if you didn't match to ortho (or a backup) this year in Canada, you still would've had a shot in the US. Just something to think about for the coming year.

And I think you'd have to reach out to your supervisor or program to determine whether or not delaying your masters would be feasible. I think these are on a very university and program specific.

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On 3/17/2019 at 7:23 PM, cardiacsurgeon91 said:

Once you finish your training in the US you can easily come back to Canada in 5-7 years time.  

Why would it take so long after training? Couldn't OP come back right away?

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Just an update: if you are an IMG and thinking of deferring graduation to facilitate further electives in Canada, it really isn't worth it. Turns out, most Canadian institutions (which accept IMGs for residency programs) will not allow IMGs to complete additional electives if the program has been extended/deferred to facilitate for this. Kind of a downer if you ask me but not the end of the world.

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