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Hey,

 

M2 here with a question about the value of electives after Carms interviews (i.e. electives around February-March). It's possible that I might get 3-4 weeks of post-carms electives after our tracks lottery so I was wondering what people thought.

 

Are these electives still helpful for someone considering a surgical specialty? What does everyone think of:

1) doing these electives on this surgical specialty in a less desired location

2) doing them on your backup discipline

3) doing something completely different or internationally

 

Thanks!

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I did post-carms elective in the specialty of my choice (a surgical one). I have to say, after 12 weeks of trying to impress people in the exact same field in different locations, I was quite burnt out. During my last two weeks, I was quite miserable actually. While I had no motivation to study, I still had to be on my game. Having said that, I know there are others who pull through fine. 

 

The bottom line is that you have to be honest with yourself. I thought I could handle it but I clearly couldn't lol. You have to think about how you would be after doing core rotations + other rotations. 

 

In terms of your questions: 

 

1) doing these electives on this surgical specialty in a less desired location

 

You will find that you don't have much control over where you can do your electives, especially if your specialty is a competitive one. You just take whatever opens up - some schools (e.g. Western) are notorious for answering late and it can be difficult to make schedules around some uncertainties. 

 

2) doing them on your backup discipline

 

This can be okay except you can't really get a letter out of the elective. If you need a letter from your elective (sometimes you just don't have enough "good quality" core letters), you might need to do it before CaRMS. If you are thinking of backing up, I'd personally rather do a pre-carms one in the backup specialty for a good letter and a post-carms one in your desired specialty, as you probably have enough letters in it. 

 

3) doing something completely different or internationally

 

This is a good idea too to blow off steam. After being away from home and friends for so long, I just wanted to be home lol. I personally thought I should have done family at my home institution during last two weeks. 

 

Hope this helps

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I did post-carms elective in the specialty of my choice (a surgical one). I have to say, after 12 weeks of trying to impress people in the exact same field in different locations, I was quite burnt out. During my last two weeks, I was quite miserable actually. While I had no motivation to study, I still had to be on my game. Having said that, I know there are others who pull through fine. 

 

The bottom line is that you have to be honest with yourself. I thought I could handle it but I clearly couldn't lol. You have to think about how you would be after doing core rotations + other rotations. 

 

In terms of your questions: 

 

1) doing these electives on this surgical specialty in a less desired location

 

You will find that you don't have much control over where you can do your electives, especially if your specialty is a competitive one. You just take whatever opens up - some schools (e.g. Western) are notorious for answering late and it can be difficult to make schedules around some uncertainties. 

 

2) doing them on your backup discipline

 

This can be okay except you can't really get a letter out of the elective. If you need a letter from your elective (sometimes you just don't have enough "good quality" core letters), you might need to do it before CaRMS. If you are thinking of backing up, I'd personally rather do a pre-carms one in the backup specialty for a good letter and a post-carms one in your desired specialty, as you probably have enough letters in it. 

 

3) doing something completely different or internationally

 

This is a good idea too to blow off steam. After being away from home and friends for so long, I just wanted to be home lol. I personally thought I should have done family at my home institution during last two weeks. 

 

Hope this helps

 

Hey thanks! That was helpful.

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