Selstaar reacted to deeman101 in U of T medical student convicted of rape
^ the same surgeons have likely destroyed their fair share of med students and residents.....on a monthly basis.....if not weekly.....for some of them daily. Its funny that you think FM docs are assholes since usually they are on the other end of the spectrum and actually respect the notion of quality of life (not just for patients). Be careful of extrapolating anecdotes.
Trying to explain why life in medicine is "not what you think" is something I've struggled with for years. My wife, who got in 2 years after me, likes to blame me routinely for not dissuading her from medicine (I did...she didn't listen). I used to participate in medical admissions and I felt bad for some of the candidates. Not because their dreams of medical school may be crushed, but should they get in their genuinely kind-hearted soul will be sent through the meat grinder, broken down, and reformed into......me. The extreme minority (think less than 1/100) go through, keep their humanity intact, and still genuinely enjoy it (we're all good at lying to others and ourselves about how much we "enjoy" it). I'm simultaneously happy for them, but also jealous that I'm not one of them. For the ones that don't get in, I know in the moment their life comes to an end. But I can't help thinking "you've been spared" in my head.
NLengr is right in that doctors are the least compassionate professionals to their own kind. Our first reaction to one of our colleagues struggling is to look at them with disgust and scoff at them for not being resilient enough. "We all are struggling, I'm pulling my weight, why aren't you??" Even for those with "legitimate" issues (which basically means biologic, and not psychiatric/social issues) they are advised to pick a specialty where they won't be a burden on their colleagues or hide it and keep it to themselves as best as possible. Ex: don't go into a demanding surgical specialty if you have chronic, severe IBD. Often times its up to you to fight (sorry, "advocate") for yourself, because no one else really cares that much about you. But in reality even if one wants to help their colleague they really have limited capacity because everyone is similarly trying to keep their head above the sewage water.
I actually think this is why doctors don't throw their colleagues under the bus and we have some trouble self-regulating as a profession. At the end of the day, we all understand that life is hard enough as is. Why make it harder on your colleague, or particularly for yourself, in trying to report someone.
Selstaar reacted to PhD2MD in Struggling in Med School ...
99% of people who match to internal were not co-chairs. Preceptors are often hard to get a hold of. There is nothing in your story that is worrisome.
Also, uderstand that imposter syndrome is quite real. Even with my PhD, productive clinical research, and recent awards in my field, I feel inadequate and unprepared. It's a feeling that is hard to shake, no matter what.
Selstaar reacted to rmorelan in Struggling in Med School ...
Internal medicine is the second largest field in all of medicine - that means the vast majority of your class going into that field will not have any special co-chairing experience related to it. If your school is average sized dozens of people will be going into internal medicine - only 2 will be a co-chair etc. Plus I will say from the other side having such ECs doesn't really matter that much in the application process if at all. It also has one of the highest match rates, i.e. it is one of the easier things to get into for sure. Now getting a particular subspecialty in internal is another matter mind you - their real challenging part comes later.
I could go through each of those and point out how little that matters to get into internal medicine (preclerkship shadowing is nice for you to know what you are doing but not super exciting for actually getting into internal medicine as an example) but I think that might be targeting the wrong part of this. You are making things in a sense more competitive by thinking the bar is set where you need to do all the things you are proposing to get into internal medicine. Over time you will get a few preceptors that know you and support you - you don't need to shadow a ton of people. It can be a slowish process but that is fine.
Preclerkship is to make sure you know the basic medicine so that you don't sound like an idiot in clerkship where things really count and matter more.
I know it can be a bit scary starting off - particular as unlike premed times there are no real goal posts like GPA or the MCAT to guide you. I too was the first person in my family to go to university - it wasn't a barrier really
Selstaar reacted to ralk in The Number Of Unmatched Students Doubled In Carms 2017
Your numbers are right, but you've labelled them wrong.
There were 77 total graduating year CMGs unmatched after both rounds last year.
This year we don't have the final number, but seeing as there were 166 unmatched from the first round and only 70 matched in the second, that would put the total number of unmatched, graduating CMGs at no less than 96 this year.
96 vs 77 is definitely an uptick, and is reflected in CaRMS' reported total unmatched rate (which is at a decade-long high), but it's not quite as severe as your original post makes it out to be.
Selstaar reacted to rmorelan in Uoft's Free Mcat Course
Seem like a good thing for the students, and the school. We have to start putting some back pressure ha on all this prep course companies if for no other reason to keep thing costs in line.
If I was in U of T that is the kind of thing I would try to help out with.
Selstaar reacted to rmorelan in Extremely Odd Application Question
Your are going to want to look at the schools that have some form of forgiveness policy that ignore likely entire years. Places like Ottawa, Queens, Western would immediately spring to mind. Follow their rules and your earlier issues can often be a non issue.
I would caution you on the overloading - this is solely for medical school admissions I mind you. Taken more than 5.0 credits per year (10 standard courses) at most places won't help and of course takes time away from other things they may care about (like extra curricular activities). Also you may need a number of years at high GPA and you are effectively speeding through. You need to spend time learning all the rules as they don't always make perfect sense initially - mostly because a school needs standardization or it cannot compare the 5000 applicants it gets on a level field to make some decisions.
Also keep at the school to see what they can do with respect to course. It is amazing what high grades can do in those sorts of things - it help highlight that there was something going on earlier.
Selstaar reacted to Bambi in Why Bother With Extracurriculars?
My reply is related to med school applications generally, not for any specific school to which this may not apply.
Medical schools are not interested in a brain in a box. Without CanMEDS competencies, without communication skills, leadership, advocacy et al., you are essentially a brain in a box, and they are not interested in such persons. The reasons schools are looking for those who take a full course load and are involved in active citizenship are they are seeking those students who demonstrate academic excellence with a rigorous course load AND are active within their community contributing to it. I know such students who were refused acceptance because despite having all this, their communication skills were below par, they were unable to think quickly on their feet in solving problems.
I got into medical school on my first attempt with only the MMI. I did no preparation because I went in with the attitude that I had prepared for the MMI my entire lifetime. My life experiences had prepared me in my view and I went in to have fun. Now, let's examine some of my ECs and volunteering. I was involved in emergency medical response for years, starting out as a trainee and ultimately, training others. I dealt with injuries due to vehicle traffic accidents attempted suicides, heart attacks, strokes, carbon monoxide poisoning, diabetic shock, etc. and had to maintain calmness, be professional, act swiftly and with developed expertise, was responsible for training others. In the performing arts for years, I went form ugly duckling to swan, I developed poise, coordination, patience, collaboration skills, expertise, learned to be calm in stressful situation, performed competitively too, I performed in public for years, including for the elderly, I taught others in my group. I was involved in sales for years where the first thing I had to do was to attain the trust of a total stranger so the person would listen to me and be interested in buying the product after I made a meaningful sales pitch describing the benefits. I was the top salesperson for years and trained others. This is all to say that when I went into a MMI, it was like a fun game, I was clam, friendly, communicative, quick thinking, an ethical problem solver. It was a fun experience for which my life experiences had prepared me my entire life. I was not tongue tied, nervous, at a loss for words, I did not suffer from performance anxiety, it was easier than my many life experiences.
I discovered that the busier I was, the more efficient I became. When in rehearsing, during breaks, I would take my laptop and do an assignment. I used my time to advantage always. I learned to be a multi-tasker. All this was excellent for medicine.
In undergrad, I became a self learner. So, I skipped many lectures when I knew I could learn more efficiently on my own. I was a straight A student, so my method worked for me. And in med school, I did not attend any of the lectures, rather I scanned the lecture notes that were provided which I could do quicker than attending the lectures and I used the time to study on my own. All to say, that I had an open approach to life which I think I learned from my ECs - which positively impacted upon my studies and my approach to studying.
So, you ask why ECs. Simply, to prepare you for life, to expose you to all sorts of experiences with transferable skills, to develop communication skills, to learn active listening, to be sensitive to body language. I am a relatively small female. I learned to ride a horse and went into jumping. It is not an easy task to control an animal many times your size and weight. They sense fear, if you have any. You learn to control the animal, to read body language, you develop confidence in yourself. Now, I am a surgical resident. I am constantly learning, especially in the O.R. when I do new procedures. I love challenges and look forward to new procedures! When on breaks, I go on adventure mini vacations where I experience new challenging sports for the first time, be it scuba diving with the sharks or skiing down what others might consider dangerous hills. Be it professionally or personally, I am active, fearless, enjoy life and enjoy pushing myself. I have never been the brightest light bulb in the class nor have I ever sought to be. I am comfortable in my own skin and love new experiences that push the envelope. Overall, I am reasonably intelligent but far from brilliant, I am a hard worker, enthusiastic, friendly, collaborative, easy to get along with, a good communicator and it is these skills that got me acceptance into my surgical residency. I am far from being a brain in a box. I am engaged in life as an active participant - which is what they are looking for.
Had I no ECs/volunteering, I would have been shy, reclusive, a poor communicator and this would have worked against me during my interviews. Having been forced to problem solve on my feet for many years, the MMI was just another fun experience, not really a test for me. I hope I have given you some insight. Good luck!
Selstaar reacted to frozenarbitor in How To Impress Perceptors On Electives
They want residents who are 1. hardworking 2. good interpersonal skills 3. knowledgeable. Hardworking = being on time, keen, appear interested, volunteer to help out the team. Good interpersonal skills means being nice and polite to everyone and also clear in communication (concise, appropriate) when talking to patients/family/consultants/presenting cases. Knowledgeable comes from daily reading, studying, so approach your studying with the purpose of being able to use it in clinical practice rather than studying for the exam. Also read and study a lot before the elective to focus on the high yield topics. If you have these, then you should at least get a satisfactory grade. Some times, it really comes down to whether you have a preceptor whose personality fit with yours and likes you as a person to get a great reference letter. But the solid work ethic, interpersonal skills, and knowledge are prerequisite to a strong letter of reference doesn't matter how well you get along with the preceptor.
Selstaar reacted to ralk in The Story Of Kathryn
Having goals and challenges is going to be a part of medicine, regardless of how we structure things, including admissions. While I would love to see an admissions process that cuts down on arbitrary cut-offs and emphasizes more soft-skills that are instrumental to being a good physician, medicine is going to be competitive no matter what and high achievement of some form or another is going to be a requirement. Lower the emphasis on GPA or MCAT scores and suddenly the pressure to do well at everything else skyrockets.
On the plus side, I think this article partially misdiagnosis the problem. High achievement and competitiveness aren't the problem, it's how they're handled. Intermittent and manageable stressors that test achievement are often elements to a positive work or studying environment - where medicine goes wrong is that it makes its stressors constant and generally unachievable. At my school, tests occurred every couple weeks with other evaluations thrown in the middle. Each one of these had to be passed, meaning there was really no "off" time - finish one assessment, and it's on to the next one. Being on a pass/fail system helps alleviate some of that stress by making it so we don't have to do amazingly well on each evaluation, but it also plays into the other way medicine mismanages stress, by preventing real achievement. Medicine is described as drinking from a firehose - it's impossible to get it all, so you just try to get what you can. Expectations are set above what's realistic. Most people in medicine accept this reality, but it means that there's always a way a student or resident is deficient - even if they're at or above where most people are at their level of training. It's hard to feel a true sense of achievement when the focus is constantly on what you haven't mastered.
Medical schools can address these problems, but it would take a rethink of how medical school is structured and what it aims to achieve. Take out the barrage of summative evaluations and useless make-work projects in favour of formative assessments that allow for corrective testing rather than punitive testing. Turn the firehose into a slow trickle that increases in intensity only as students master the lower volumes, even if that means students are exposed to less in medical school (though hopefully with higher competency of what they are exposed to).
There's plenty of other ways medical schools could improve burnout, but if we're focusing on how the stress of achievement impacts students, here's where I'd start - not by lowering the stress or expectations, but by portioning out the stress in more confined packets over time, and by better defining expectations so that they are achievable rather than always just out of reach.
Selstaar reacted to Mithril in Ubc Faculty Of Medicine's Video On Student Mistreatment
Selstaar reacted to katakari in What Skills Do You Wish You Further Developed Before You Were Admitted To Medical School?
Learn how to take care of yourself. Not just cooking, cleaning, and grooming, but how to pursue things you truly love, surround yourself with people who care about you, and value your health in your life decisions. Medical school will often actively fight against all of this.
Selstaar reacted to Edict in What Skills Do You Wish You Further Developed Before You Were Admitted To Medical School?
I wish i had learned how to enjoy life before medical school (i.e. having hobbies) because I don't know how to enjoy life in medical school.
Selstaar reacted to codebar in What Skills Do You Wish You Further Developed Before You Were Admitted To Medical School?
I wish I learned younger how to be happy/satisfied with what you already have. I'm not speaking in term of materialist things.
Achieving goals won't make you happy per se if you can't find happiness along the road. In my opinion, it is the most important skill someone can develop.
Selstaar reacted to Hanmari in What Skills Do You Wish You Further Developed Before You Were Admitted To Medical School?
wish I'd pursued my hobbies in a more systematic manner, i.e. took some real classes and learned some skills
halfassed hobbies get killed so fast in med school and there is no way in hell that residency will give you time to bring them back
Selstaar reacted to Bambi in Do You Regret Doing Medicine Over Dentistry?
I love medicine, I'm in a surgical specialty, so 5 + 2 residency & fellowship, it is grueling but well worth it. You need to love what you do to be fulfilled. Dentistry was on my radar as a Plan B, but I got in on my first attempt. The debt will take care of itself in time, and to have a life, you need to be organized and plan breaks way in advance, all is doable. Work hard, play hard, I seek out challenges professionally and personally, so on breaks, I go for challenging, exciting sports.
Matching at CaRMS involves planning and luck! I don't see undergrad research helping really. In 3 weeks, during part of a summer during med school, I did a literature review that was published but it was irrelevant for matching. I had completed 1 week of an elective when I applied to this specialty, the attending and resident liked working with me, I was enthusiastic, a hard worker and easy to get along with. These attributes got me to the interview and an acceptance. I had not considered this field 2 weeks before the CaRMS application deadline, so it was circumstances and luck that led me to apply and to acceptance. I wouldn't change any part of my life if I could. I have another 5 years until private practice and am enjoying this stage of my life, notwithstanding the apparent hardships. Sure, others my age are established, earning a ton of money and didn't have all the years of studying. But I would not enjoy doing what they are doing, so our lives are not comparable. I am on track, enjoying, constantly learning and have no regrets.
Selstaar reacted to ellorie in Rbc Sues Md Student Who Dropped Out Due To Mental Illness, Thoughts?
I'd say that similar to psychotic conditions, troubles with insight are often part of severe bipolar illness. Especially during manias. There are incredibly high functioning people with bipolar who do incredible amounts of damage because the insight just isn't there, especially early in the illness course. With a full on euphoric mania, you don't feel sick - you feel absolutely amazing.
We have no idea what happened - medications don't always work, and a bad bipolar 1 can be hell to get under control even if you are perfectly adherent with treatment and do absolutely everything you're supposed to.
There's a long way between "maybe something is wrong with me" and "I have a serious psychiatric condition that impairs my insight and impulse control and I am seeing my warning signs coming on so I'd better get somebody to hold on to my bank card."
Selstaar reacted to deathvvv in 2017 Carms Match Results!
To all the unmatched applicants
I know things are tough right now, but many have come before you in a similar position and many will come after you. But the one thing you guys will have in common- is that it will all work out. Some of you may take a bit longer, some of you may choose an entirely different specialty or goto a city you never thought you wanted before, but it will be for the best
I know. I didn't match 2 years ago, but I persevered and matched to one of the most competitive family medicine programs in the country. So if I can do it, so can you. Feel free to reach out if any of you want to talk or need advice (my response may not be prompt given the hectic life of residency)
Hang in there, there is light at the end of the tunnel