Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums
shogun91

Canadian In America - Urology Back Home

Recommended Posts

Hey all. I'm a Canadian student currently studying medicine in the U.S. I have an interest in urology and am in the process of planning out my electives for 4th year. Basically I want to feel out if urology in Canada is worth pursuing given my situation. I know that urology is a super competitive specialty and would like some feedback from you guys who are more knowledgeable about the process than me. How much research and how many electives do Canadian students who match into urology usually have? The best case scenario for me at this point is hopefully getting two urology electives in Canada (plus one at my home school) where I can get some letters, and completing a couple of urology projects. Brutal advice is appreciated as no one from my school knows anything about the Canadian match. Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most people applying to urology will have 4-5 or more Canadian urology electives. Only doing 2 will make it hard on you to match. It's rare for programs to take students who haven't rotated through their center. Add to that the fact you are from an unfamiliar school (aka not Canadian) which won't help either.

 

Most people have some research (maybe a name on a low level paper or a case report) but nothing outstanding.

 

Any option to increase the number of Candian electives? Have you considered US programs (I know it's brutally competative there too). You could also do some site visits, which aren't amazing for matching but at least get you some face time with programs and are better than nothing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what it's worth, a friend of mine in Canada had just one elective in urology, no research and was chosen for this urology program. He was a hard worker, collaborative and considered a good fit. The interview was straightforward, no red flags and he beat out the competition that included gunners who had wanted urology for years. It is only worthwhile to apply where you have had an elective rotation. Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what it's worth, a friend of mine in Canada had just one elective in urology, no research and was chosen for this urology program. He was a hard worker, collaborative and considered a good fit. The interview was straightforward, no red flags and he beat out the competition that included gunners who had wanted urology for years. It is only worthwhile to apply where you have had an elective rotation. Good luck.

I agree that sometimes you only need one good elective. It also is an example of how in most programs research carries very little weight for the match.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Urology resident here who also happens to specialize in "brutal advice".

 

If you were a Canadian medical graduate (CMG) I would tell you that you will only get interviews at schools you do electives at. Site visits are essentially useless as the elective serves as the virtual interview. Research helps but is not essential (I had none and as mentioned neither did others). This year there are 24 English spots for which there will probably be about 50-60 serious applicants who are interviewed in Toronto (all uro interviews are done in one day at the "urology fair"). On average applicants obtain about 6-10 letters from Canadian urologists (letters from other specialties are neither required nor desired) and since it is a very small specialty where everyone knows everyone else these letters are extremely important with everyone attempting to get letters from program directors.

 

Since you are an international medicine graduate (IMG) the situation is much different. You are applying for 1 of 2 spots in either U of T or U of O so it goes without saying that that is where you should do your electives. This is a very different applicant pool made up mostly of urologists from other countries who are already trained and have been working as urologist clinical associates and surgical assists for many years in Canada. In essence you are competing against people who are well known to the Canadian programs with years of experience and strong letters with what will probably amount to 6 weeks of electives on your end.

 

Brutal advice time: Apply for American programs, use your limited elective time wisely down there. They will not care about letters from Canadian programs or value any electives you do here so find someone who knows how the match works on that end. Stranger things have happened and miracles happen every year but for every one of those there are a thousand people (literally) who go unmatched. There is almost zero chance an IMG with minimal exposure to the program is going to clinch one of 2 highly coveted IMG urology spots. I'm sorry. I wish you luck.

 

 https://phx.e-carms.ca/phoenix-web/pd/main?mitid=1327#

Edited by Fresh fry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Urology resident here who also happens to specialize in "brutal advice".

 

If you were a Canadian medical graduate (CMG) I would tell you that you will only get interviews at schools you do electives at. Site visits are essentially useless as the elective serves as the virtual interview. Research helps but is not essential (I had none and as mentioned neither did others). This year there are 24 English spots for which there will probably be about 50-60 serious applicants who are interviewed in Toronto (all uro interviews are done in one day at the "urology fair"). On average applicants obtain about 6-10 letters from Canadian urologists (letters from other specialties are neither required nor desired) and since it is a very small specialty where everyone knows everyone else these letters are extremely important with everyone attempting to get letters from program directors.

 

Since you are an international medicine graduate (IMG) the situation is much different. You are applying for 1 of 2 spots in either U of T or U of O so it goes without saying that that is where you should do your electives. This is a very different applicant pool made up mostly of urologists from other countries who are already trained and have been working as urologist clinical associates and surgical assists for many years in Canada. In essence you are competing against people who are well known to the Canadian programs with years of experience and strong letters with what will probably amount to 6 weeks of electives on your end.

 

Brutal advice time: Apply for American programs, use your limited elective time wisely down there. They will not care about letters from Canadian programs or value any electives you do here so find someone who knows how the match works on that end. Stranger things have happened and miracles happen every year but for every one of those there are a thousand people (literally) who go unmatched. There is almost zero chance an IMG with minimal exposure to the program is going to clinch one of 2 highly coveted IMG urology spots. I'm sorry. I wish you luck.

 

 https://phx.e-carms.ca/phoenix-web/pd/main?mitid=1327#

 

 

I haven't been through carms yet, but aren't Canadians at US medical schools considered CMGs for all intents and purposes? The only disadvantage I see for the OP applying to Canada is exposure, since it would be harder for them to do electives in Canada.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't been through carms yet, but aren't Canadians at US medical schools considered CMGs for all intents and purposes? The only disadvantage I see for the OP applying to Canada is exposure, since it would be harder for them to do electives in Canada.

Turns out you're right. If the OP is from an LMCC accredited allopathic school. Learned something new.

 

In that case I would still do electives at U of T and U of O as they are the "bigger" programs and their letters will have the most power with each other. I would avoid smaller programs as you need a bigger "bang for your buck" with only 2 elective opportunities. 

 

Good luck

Edited by Fresh fry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone for your advice, it is much appreciated. My last question is if I would need letters from my home school in the U.S.? Do American letters carry weight for the Canadian Match? I'm just trying to figure out the best way to utilize my limited time. Once again, thank you to all!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends on the school depends on the urologist. Some generic state school with someone who doesn't publish much will be as known as some random family doc up here and the letter will carry the same weight (none). If it is a big(ger) school with a preceptor who has published a well known guideline or who has maybe been invited to rounds at the Canadian schools you are applying too then different story.

 

Applying to uro is unlike any other specialty save for maybe CV surgery or plastics. There are a very limited number of spots, about 2:1 (serious) applicants and it is a very tight community.

 

I would suggest:

1) look at the big schools with 3 positions/year

2) look at the program directors and see where they did their fellowships (usually in the states)

3) See if the fellowships are at your school or one you can go to for elective down there.

4) apply for electives here at more than 2 schools as you will probably not get a few of them.

5) look at resident profiles for each Canadian school you want to apply to and see how many have come from different medical schools. Some are more biased towards their own people, some will just take whoever they can get (I will not elaborate on that so please don't ask) 

6) do some sort of urology research project and find a urology "mentor/preceptor" at your school or at one of the schools you do an elective in to give you advice

7) with only 6 weeks of uro electives everything else you do should have a surgical bend to it. Vascular, and uro-gyne are acceptable electives to help with your application. 

8) back up with something more tangible, just being realistic.

 

GL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your help everyone, you have all given me great advice that I plan to use going forward! One last question.

 

I plan on splitting my available elective time between uro and FM (2 months each) because I would genuinely be happy matching in FM in Canada as well. My question is how FM PD's would view my 2 months of uro (do they even see where I have done my electives?). Would that make me less desirable at bigger training programs in terms of interviewing and rank since I've heard FM is getting more competitive? Thanks again everyone, my American counterparts have no insight to offer me on CaRMS lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...