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bheely96

Can someone explain shadowing/electives to me?

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Hi everyone! I'm starting Mac Med in a few weeks and I wanted to make sure I had everything down pat before I got started. I get the general gist of shadowing and electives and the differences between those two, but I also had a few questions I was hoping someone could answer :) 

 

Shadowing:

1. Do these normally start first year? 

2. If I'm not mistaken, they are the same thing as observerships and we just apply according to the protocol each hospital follows, and we are supposed to find the doctors we want to shadow ourselves and email them?

3. Do any schools help students find these observership positions?

 

Electives:

1. We are able to do electives during the non-clerkship years of our education via side-electives... correct? 

2. For actual "clerkship electives", I was hoping to do some of them outside of Hamilton (ex. States or Toronto):

a) When you go to the UHN website for electives, they say the students have to apply through UofT, and UofT says that non-UofT med students can apply through AFMC... so I'm guessing it's possible to get an elective at UHN coming from Mac?

b) How important are connections (esp from shadowing and research) when it comes to finding an elective position you really want?

c) Sort of confused on the schedule of electives- is it just one elective position for a few weeks or is it like classes where you have multiple and elective A is every Monday and Wed and you go for a few weeks, while elective B is every Tuesday and Thursday? 

3. How important are the locations of your electives for determining the location of your residency?

So sorry for all the questions! Not all of them have to be answered if you guys don't know. Any help would be greatly appreciated! :) Thank you! 

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1. Not sure since I don’t go to Mac.

2. Yes you can do electives in Toronto through applying on the AFMC website. Connections can be helpful but are not necessary since Toronto provides the contact information for different electives and I found them to be helpful and not too hard to get without personal connections. Of course this may vary by specialty. Smaller specialties can be harder to get electives in. For the schedule of electives, you do one at a time for clerkship electives and they are generally two weeks, but can also be 1, 3, or 4 weeks.

3. It’s preferable if you can do an elective where you want to attend residency for the program to actually meet you. People do match to places where they didn’t do electives as well, but this tends to be less common.

hope this helps!

 

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For Shadowing:

These are typically informal observerships that you organize on your own through the school/hospital you are at for medical school. They are mostly done to gain exposure to a certain area and make connections with staff/departments at the hospital. Expectations are often low and your participation in patient care can vary. If you are shadowing an area to make connections, you might be more involved and try to impress the staff a little more. I'm sure the school will help you connect with certain physicians that are more willing to have to students shadow (as often some people/clinics are more amenable to this), but ultimately at the end of the day it is your responsibility to set it up since its not a formal part of your education.

For Electives:

Electives run for anywhere from 1-4 weeks at a time (with 2 weeks being the most common). Since Mac is a 3 year program the timing is a bit different from what Im used to. Someone from Mac may be able to comment more. These are an integral component of your medical training and very important for matching as people usually do these in the speciality they are interested in matching to. This way they can get reference letters from their supervisors. You are often very involved in patient care and there is an expectation from staff that you will be competent and knowledgeable. Mostly, the expectation is that you will work your ass off. Electives are applied for through AFMC only. There are some circumstances where you can directly contact the school/supervisors (I think UofT?), but most others actually forbid you from doing this. You will get an introduction to AFMC through your medical school before it becomes necessary. So don't stress too much.

Elective locations are very important for residency as its the only real contact that program will have with you before CARMs. That is why it is important to impress. You should try to do electives in the department at the school that you eventually want to be at. I would avoid doing electives in the US as there really is minimal benefit to that (especially if you are hoping to stay in Canada). There is definitely more value in going to more programs across Canada. It is possible to interview at programs where you do not do electives, but as most specialties become more and more competitive, this is happening less often.

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On 7/21/2019 at 11:57 PM, bheely96 said:

Hi everyone! I'm starting Mac Med in a few weeks and I wanted to make sure I had everything down pat before I got started. I get the general gist of shadowing and electives and the differences between those two, but I also had a few questions I was hoping someone could answer :)

 

Shadowing:

1. Do these normally start first year? 

2. If I'm not mistaken, they are the same thing as observerships and we just apply according to the protocol each hospital follows, and we are supposed to find the doctors we want to shadow ourselves and email them?

3. Do any schools help students find these observership positions?

 

Electives:

1. We are able to do electives during the non-clerkship years of our education via side-electives... correct? 

2. For actual "clerkship electives", I was hoping to do some of them outside of Hamilton (ex. States or Toronto):

a) When you go to the UHN website for electives, they say the students have to apply through UofT, and UofT says that non-UofT med students can apply through AFMC... so I'm guessing it's possible to get an elective at UHN coming from Mac?

b) How important are connections (esp from shadowing and research) when it comes to finding an elective position you really want?

c) Sort of confused on the schedule of electives- is it just one elective position for a few weeks or is it like classes where you have multiple and elective A is every Monday and Wed and you go for a few weeks, while elective B is every Tuesday and Thursday? 

3. How important are the locations of your electives for determining the location of your residency?

So sorry for all the questions! Not all of them have to be answered if you guys don't know. Any help would be greatly appreciated! :) Thank you! 

Post this on the c2022 group and the 2021s and upper years can help you out

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