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I am a 4th year med student, just starting my 4th year electives. I had a difficult time choosing between FM and IM when I was choosing my electives so I ended up doing 8 weeks of FM (combination of rural and hospitalist) and 12 weeks of IM (combination of CTU, GIM, and subspecialties). However, after finishing all of my core rotations, I believe that I am more suitable for IM but I would like to match at all costs and therefore applying to FM as back up.

I am concerned that with the level of competitiveness for IM last year, my 12 weeks of IM electives are not going to be enough since I also prefer to match to my home school if possible. I am wondering if I should change my rural FM electives to an IM subspecialty or just keep things as is??? I would really appreciate any suggestions/tips as I am feeling really worried about my elective selection.

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I hope I am just overthinking it but with the covid situation and last year competitiveness, I am worried that I might lower my chance of IM if I don't do most of my electives in IM... some people in my class are doing 16-20 weeks of pure IM!

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This may not be relevant and I may be an outlier. I applied to 3 fields, two of which were highly competitive. Ultimately, I was selected in a small surgical specialty. There were 80 applicants, 40 interviewees, the majority of whom were gunners. Not one gunner was selected! It all came down to whom was considered to be “a good fit”. The time I devoted to this specialty was minimal. However, I quickly got along with the resident and attending, they found me to be a hard worker, collaborative, easy to get along with, and I believe that I was preselected before the 10 minute interview. On the basis of “qualifications” in the field, I was the least qualified! I was a perfect fit and it worked out well for all.

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That's interesting! I wonder if it holds true for large programs like IM too?  ... I am just hoping that I am not going to be at a disadvantage because I am not doing all of my electives in IM and I am also doing some in FP ... At this point, it's so difficult to change anything as there are no good IM electives available in province :(

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- you have home field advantage for your school's IM program, so unless there's extraordinary interest in IM in your class (or this cycle overall), you should be in good position

- there's infinite debate re quantity vs quality of electives etc. My view is that quality of reference letters are much more important than quantity of electives. Worst are electives whereby you get switched around with different preceptors and none gets to know you at all in the end. What is a "good" IM elective? In my view if you can work with 1 or 2 preceptors during your 2 weeks and feel there's good chance they can vouch for you, then that's a good elective.

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Given the COVID situation and the impact on capacity, I think the # of electives you do in a specialty definitely won't matter as much this year. Many students in my class had this concern and it has been brought up to admins/afmc/cfms. At the moment, students in my class can't do electives of their choice because there is simply no space. People get spots based on luck. (aka IM gunners can't do IM electives and are forced to do unrelated electives).  So i'd say don't worry about it at all. If you explain yourself properly in your interview, you'll be fine. 

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16 minutes ago, shikimate said:

- you have home field advantage for your school's IM program, so unless there's extraordinary interest in IM in your class (or this cycle overall), you should be in good position

- there's infinite debate re quantity vs quality of electives etc. My view is that quality of reference letters are much more important than quantity of electives. Worst are electives whereby you get switched around with different preceptors and none gets to know you at all in the end. What is a "good" IM elective? In my view if you can work with 1 or 2 preceptors during your 2 weeks and feel there's good chance they can vouch for you, then that's a good elective.

By good IM elective, i mean something that I am interested in and it's worth changing my rural FM. I am hoping to back up with family because I want to match and I am a bit worried about this year with virtual interviews and no OOP electives. I was hoping to change my 4 weeks of rural FM to IM CTU but there is literally to CTU available and even there is not enough spot in GIM

 

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11 minutes ago, Butterfly_ said:

Given the COVID situation and the impact on capacity, I think the # of electives you do in a specialty definitely won't matter as much this year. Many students in my class had this concern and it has been brought up to admins/afmc/cfms. At the moment, students in my class can't do electives of their choice because there is simply no space. People get spots based on luck. (aka IM gunners can't do IM electives and are forced to do unrelated electives).  So i'd say don't worry about it at all. If you explain yourself properly in your interview, you'll be fine. 

Thank you so much for your input. I don't really know  how other students in other universities are doing and it's good to know people are in similar situation. In my class, there were some people who were decided on IM and are not planning to back up and they are doing all their 20 electives in IM but there are other students who are parallel planning or who were not lucky enough to get enough IM electives like me and at this point, it's very difficult to find a spot. I really hope the program directors are mindful of that this year

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2 hours ago, Tullius said:

Are they allowed to do all those electives in IM?  Is the cap not being enforced?

I believe the sub specialties elective cap is counted separately from the general speciality - so in this case, IM CTU different from something like Geriatrics or Nephro

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Yea subsecialty electives are not counted towards the 8 week cap so you can basically take 20 weeks of IM ... I am just thinking if I can safely back up with 4 weeks of FM given that my other IM rotations such as addiction med, geri are kind of related to FM? how many electives do you need to back up with FM?

 

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