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Dr. Octavius

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  1. Like
    Dr. Octavius reacted to rogerroger in Life during clerkship and residency   
    Pretty much nothing from clerkship translates to pre-med, they are different worlds entirely. I would not waste a second as a pre-med worrying about clerkship. You will gravitate toward a path which is meant for you once you get into medical school. Medical school is set up in a way to facilitate this process.
    Below are my tips for pre-clerks/clerks.
    (1) Schedule free time and give this time as much importance as any clinical work you have.
    (2) Keep your non-medical passions, force yourself to do these things.
    (3) Kiss the 6hr long study sessions goodbye. Those days are gone come clerkship. Study and read during the 30min or hour long chunks of time you can find.
    (4) Make sure your partner and friends know about the new demands. When you are with these people try not to talk only about medicine.
    (5) While doing clinical work jot down your questions or things you don't understand. Go home and read around these questions.
    (6) Study a tiny bit everyday. Cramming for the final exam basically does not work anymore as a clerk, you don't have any chunk of time big enough. Study consistently but in short bursts.
    (7) Be honest with yourself. Lots of things in medicine are cool. But the life-style really does suck in a special way within many specialties. Not all specialties are equal, not even close. If you are going to sacrifice parts of your life for medicine, and you will, it is inevitable, you better do it for something you truly love and not just "like". If you just "like" it at 9AM you will come to curse it at 3AM. Never choose a specialty because it is "prestigious" etc. Only choose a specialty because you love it enough to justify the specialty specific sacrifices it will demand.
    How is that for frank comments?
    PS: this is an okay book if you want more tips on this topic: http://www.amazon.ca/Staying-Human-During-Residency-Training/dp/1442613645/ref=pd_sim_b_2 It is written for residents but lots of stuff in this book can apply to clerks too.
  2. Like
    Dr. Octavius reacted to JohnGrisham in How to impress on family medicine rotation?   
    Know the updated guidelines for HTN, T2DM, Lipid consensus, and the others and try to drop updates into plans "per the 2019 guidelines...this patient should be getting  xyz" 
  3. Like
    Dr. Octavius reacted to skyuppercutt in IM Clerkship Study resources   
    step 2 CK IM questions and Canada Q bank is really overkill for IM core rotation. You can get by just by reading uptodate and reviewing your approach to common presentations like SOB, chest pain, abdo pain, diarrhea, etc.
    Then read about the management of a bunch of conditions like heart failure, MI, kidney injury, COPD, asthma, gastroenteritis, transaminitis, etc.
    Reading about ECGs, CXRs, ABGs will help too.
    For all of these uptodate is good enough and there are plenty of free resources online on youtube.
  4. Like
    Dr. Octavius reacted to 1D7 in How to do well on clerkship?   
    I agree with the previous answers: it's important to take time to protect yourself and connect with friends/family. However, for my answers below, I'm going to answer you assuming you want a competitive specialty and that you are on a rotation where you want to work extra hard because you want a strong LOR. Please don't stress out if you just want to be able to pass the rotation or if you want a specialty with low competitiveness since being a reasonable person can often get you a pass by itself.
    1) With studying there should be 2 goals. The first is understanding the clinical knowledge well enough to function well while on service/in clinic (e.g. having a good DDx & approach for common presenting complaints, learning about how the diseases you typically encounter are treated). The second goal is gaining the knowledge to be able to answer pimp questions and pass the rotation exam (usually some clinical knowledge but more often pathophysiology of disease, common associated condition, complications of treatment, random 'fun' facts.). 
    On my IM rotation, during the day I would read up on patients and their conditions if time permitted--usually this totaled to less than 1 hour on average since the service was busy. In terms of clinical resources, I found DynaMed the most helpful, with occasional references to UpToDate when I needed further clarification. After work I would study 1-3 hours using an assortment of resources, i.e. OnlineMedEd lectures, Boards & Beyond lectures, CaseFiles/UWorld Step 2 CK question bank, and clinical resources (DynaMed/Medscape/UpToDate) as needed. With clinical resources, keep in mind that there's a ton of knowledge beyond the scope needed to impress as a medical student--you will have to be the judge of what you need to know, what you should know, and what you don't need to know.
    If I felt my clinical knowledge was weaker, I would focus on reading up via clinical resources, as well as going through OnlineMedEd lectures and CaseFiles.
    If I felt my general/science knowledge was weaker, I would focus on Boards & Beyond lectures and UWorld.
    Occasionally I had to sit down and draw out flowcharts or take notes, but 95%+ of my learning was just listening to lectures on 1.5-2x, going through cases/questions, and reading the occasional Medscape or DynaMed page.
    For Peds I would focus on using pedscases.com as your primary clinical lecture base. For Surgery I would probably pick up whatever textbook is recommended by your upper years.
    Many preceptors and residents commented on my strong knowledge and my evaluations reflected that.
    2) & 3) 80% soft skills & social awareness, 20% medical knowledge. Intrepid86 and freewheeler put it best.
  5. Like
    Dr. Octavius reacted to #YOLO in Bringing up Four Pillars of Medicine in MMI   
    as a practicing physician wtf are the four pillars of medicine.
  6. Like
    Dr. Octavius got a reaction from hopefullyafuturedoc in Casper/Interview/General Discussion Group   
    The hero Premed101 needs, but not the one it deserves ... a watchful protector ... a true legend
  7. Like
    Dr. Octavius reacted to rmorelan in The Royal College Exam Journey - a pictorial essay   
    ha, it has been 10 years on the forum - kind of scary. The journey is long but in the end worth it I think. Stay frosty and focused people

  8. Like
    Dr. Octavius reacted to rmorelan in The Royal College Exam Journey - a pictorial essay   
    what taking the exam feels like - all out slugfest. 

    remember your training......
  9. Like
    Dr. Octavius reacted to Rorzo in Admitted but having second thoughts about med school   
    I won't be so flippant as to say just try it out, but I would ask you to try to take a step back and look at your situation objectively. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is your happiness, and I do think there are many paths withing medicine that can be fulfilling for a wide variety of people; I also think it's incredibly easy to make numerous small sacrifices for dubious goals that accumulate to an overall frustrating life. 
    I've absolutely experienced that miserable feeling you're describing, few people get to experience being berated by someone at 4am because you're still on the low end of the totem pole in your mid twenties. And there are a ton of people in my med school class who pushed themselves to do research in med school on top of that, put time in to networking, over-studied for every test, only to continue the cycle for another 6 years of residency.
    You don't have to do that if that's not your picture of happiness though. I was initially pushing for a difficult specialty and I would feel anxious every second I wasn't working on my research project, I was attending rounds for that specialty and doing additional clinic on top of normal school duties, and I honestly felt terrible. Then I realized that this doesn't have to be my life, my peers from high school who I was jealous of treated their jobs like a job and there was no reason I had to let it consume my life. I studied to around the median, I played sports and video games instead of researching, and I got in to a fantastic community family medicine program. And now my average days are 9-4 with some charting on either end and the occasional home call. And while I found a niche I'm really excited to pursue full time, I know someone who recently graduated and makes 80k a year off one hard day of work per week - something you won't find in any other field and allows him to pursue his true passions.
    So that's where I'd ask you to be objective. Whatever career you're comparing medical school to, don't compare it to the jaded or overworked staff you never hope to be. Compare it to what you, with your values, would do with that degree. I can't guarantee it's for everyone, but if you've come this far there's a very strong chance you find something that works for you better on many levels than most alternatives.
  10. Like
    Dr. Octavius reacted to JohnGrisham in Admitted but having second thoughts about med school   
    Many people who are unhappy, often times havent done other careers. I'm pretty sure more than 50% of my class have never held real jobs. Maybe only 10% have had actual careers more than just a year etc..
    At least with medicine and the right specialty I will make more than most people and have flexibility. Primary care jobs that allow one to work 3 days(full) a week and make 100k exist and especially if willing to go rural or locums.  So if I get miserable or more jaded then I am, guess what? I'll stop working so much and dial it back. 
    Food for thought. Medicine has its ups and downs but very few things touch the flexibility and payoff if you are a flexible and realistic person.
  11. Like
    Dr. Octavius reacted to Persephone in Queens Waitlist 2018   
    Accepted off the waitlist (timestamp 11:07am PST, 2:07pm EST)
    My solus status was waitlisted, never changed to pending
  12. Like
    Dr. Octavius reacted to PD23 in Accepted/Rejected/Waitlisted??? (for current applicants)   
    Result: Accepted!
    cGPA: 3.90 (wGPA 3.93)
    CASPer: Felt great! Read Doing Right and was confident about my answering style after refining it over the last 3 years
    ECs: Pretty diverse. PM for more details
    Interview: It was my first one and I was so nervous. Could honestly feel my voice tremble and stutter on the times they challenged me. Very cold panel but all the prep seems to have paid off! Can never really tell with these sorts of things I guess.
    Year: Graduated. Working 
    Geography: IP
  13. Like
    Dr. Octavius reacted to PD23 in Accepted/Rejected/Waitlisted??? (for current applicants)   
    Result: Accepted to St. George
    Timestamp: April 17, 2018 
    GPA: 3.90 wGPA: 3.99 
    MCAT: met cutoffs
    ECs: Quite diverse, with music as a lens to expanding community outreach
    Essays: Spent a few weeks on them, very personal and focused on CanMEDs
    Research: Spent 2 years doing research at McMaster 
    Interview: Loved it. My favorite interview this cycle
    Year: Graduated 2017
    Geography: IP
  14. Like
    Dr. Octavius reacted to Nibbler in Accepted/Rejected/Waitlisted??? (for current applicants)   
    Result: ACCEPTED!!!!!!
    Timestamp: 8:45AM
    GPA: 3.53 cGPA / 3.96 wGPA
    MCAT: 515
    ECs: Diverse/Unique feel free to PM me
    Interviews: I had two interviews this cycle. The fact that this was my second interview really primed me for this one. I felt like the MMI was shaky but I stuck with all my answers and the panel was so friendly and supportive. I felt like I was in a movie the whole time I was at Queen's, loved talking to all the M1's
    Year: Graduated HBSc last year
  15. Like
    Dr. Octavius reacted to End Poverty in Accepted/Rejected/Waitlisted??? (for current applicants)   
    I am posting my stats for future students to know that it is possible to get in with a low GPA.
    MCAT: 127 CARS (517 Total)
    EC: above average ( scored 95- 99th percentile at U of  C in the previous years).
    MMI: Aced my MMIs. Several interviewers told me that I had amazing/awesome answers.
    CASPer: did well on it
    I MAY decline my offer!! Best of Luck everyone!!! 
  16. Like
    Dr. Octavius reacted to brady23 in NSERC USRA on ABS   
    I agree with you! 
    Another option - you could list the NSERC award as 1 entry, but put something like NSERC Award Recipient- 2x - it just makes it more obvious to the reviewer that you were awarded twice.
    It's so easy to gloss over this when you're reading 15 sketches, so just making it more transparent helps (monetary value of award)! 
  17. Like
    Dr. Octavius reacted to Eudaimonia in NSERC USRA on ABS   
    Definitely, it's part of the process! Although it didn't make a difference for me, I was also pretty conservative the last cycle I applied and this cycle I had no shame and filled in all slots haha. The consequence of understating yourself is worse than having the reviewer roll their eyes a little bit, I think 
  18. Like
    Dr. Octavius reacted to Eudaimonia in NSERC USRA on ABS   
    Only you can make the best judgement, but to support your decision, I entered my ABS similarly. I included my research awards under the same 3 categories that you proposed, although I had 2 employment entries only because the 2 research positions were in different areas. If you had 2 similar research projects, I might put them in the same employment entry. The description box really isn't enough to even detail out one project and I don't think the reviewers will care too much about the details of your project, only the nature of your role. I think your awards and research entries seem fine 
  19. Like
    Dr. Octavius reacted to Edict in NSERC USRA on ABS   
    That doesn't sound like padding. I would put it all separately like you did. Just because you win the award doesn't mean you actually did the placement which doesn't mean you presented. 
    By some people's definition of padding i've padded my resume my entire life and i've done just fine. 
  20. Like
    Dr. Octavius reacted to may92017 in I Just Want Someone To Talk To   
    I know how you feel, and I mean it. I applied to McMaster, Queens, and U of T for the THIRD time, and only received an interview invite at U of T this year. This was my first interview invite ever, and I was thrilled, as I'm sure you were when you received the invite to Western. I interviewed at the first U of T weekend, which meant I waited almost 2.5 months for the result. It gave me a lot of time to mull over how it went, and I walked out of it feeling great and genuinely thought I had a good chance, especially because the interviewers were clearly pleased with how it went. I was giddy the night before results day because I had a good feeling and couldn't wait to wake up to a new future, to know that the third time's the charm, that things were finally looking up for me, and that I couldn't wait to join next year's class and know I would have some direction for the rest of my life.
    So imagine my shock when I saw the email's subject line and knew right away that it hadn't worked out. I'm finishing up the second year of my master's and will be done soon, and for the first time, had no back-up because I didn't want to do more academia for a little while, having been on the run doing research, undergrad, a grad degree, and all these miscellaneous academic things in all my summers since high school. I also thought I had a good chance getting in, and expected this to be the next door opening for me. It was really tough because we all know that getting an interview is the hard part, and that it means you are clearly in contention once you reach this stage.
    Then, you go on social media and see acquaintances celebrating. The post above is right - everyone is just so vocal - if they don't post themselves about their acceptance, they have friends post congratulatory public posts on their profile, and you are just so blithely aware of who's gotten in. And then you see that some of these people have amazing accomplishments, and then you see that some others have >10 meta-analysis publications, and all but one have them as a middle author and it's clear that their name is piggybacked onto the paper because of connections with a significant other who appears in every single one of their papers, despite knowing that as a grad student at different schools, they couldn't have possibly been involved in all those papers over that stretch of time. Cronyism, nepotism, name it what you will. Things catch up to people, and they won't go unnoticed in the future even though they squeezed in now. The world feels unfair, and luck is a huge, huge part of the process. A huge part of your success after the interview depends on which interviewers you get, what questions are you asked, how well you vibed, and how others performed. It's a flawed system.
    Moving forward, what's been helping me cope is remembering that when we're all on our deathbeds in 50, 60, 70 years - maybe more - we won't be remembering, "Damn! That one time 70 years ago when that one acquaintance got into med 1, 2, 3, 4 years before I did"! Getting into med school is such a cutthroat, intense process that it can become so second nature to compare yourself to others. But remember, it's not a race to become a physician. Those who get into medical school early or before you are not any more or less predisposed to success in residency and in their specialty (which will far exceed the number of years you spend in medical school) just because they got in faster, or in fewer tries. Interruptions may very well happen - I know individuals who had residency interviews at so many places for competitive surgical specialties, walking in knowing from other experiences and situations that they were perfect for that specialty and just so certain it would work out for them - not end up matching at all. And this is not because they were not competent - it's because this path doesn't become easier just because you're in medical school. And luck of the draw always comes into play, especially for something like med where every year, there are always classmates who you look at and wonder, "How did they manage to get in?"
    What we will remember though, are the times that we get through hard times and exercise resilience. We are all bound to experience tough times in our lives. Medical school doesn't make us immune to that. Everyone will go through tough times without a doubt, and life will test us in personal and professional ways. What not getting in affords us, is time to work on ourselves, to really learn how to bounce back. We now have this experience of not having success spoonfed to us, where we go through life really pushing through adversity, and we will absolutely be able to translate this knowledge to future hardships we are all bound to face - med school or not. I'm not sure if you have a back-up plan for this year, but I certainly don't, and it's scary because a lot of us who have been gunning after med have been immersed in this "go go go" mentality where we don't block of time for ourselves for more than a couple of months, where we wake up without a plan for the day. I think that's a big part of the fear for us, is knowing that for once, that structure is gone. Take the time to dig deep and remember the things that you thought to yourself, "man if I had the time, I would love to try ___ out for a while". Re-apply next cycle and use that time to really improve yourself without any commitments or stress, for once. And that's something that once you start medical school, you can't exactly afford the same way. Your jobs will be a good distraction and will give you a sense of familiarity.
    Also remember, medical school is our dream - it's what we idealized, it's what we know is most fitting for ourselves. And that's why we applied 3 times. That's why we wrote the MCAT 3 times. That's ok. Don't give up - we came so far, truly accomplished so much. You have a fantastic MCAT score which money can't buy. That will really help you for future US applications - applying right out of the gate will definitely help, and AMCAS opens in a few weeks. Perhaps consider other means of financial assistance that the schools may offer. And next year is another cycle for Ontario apps. It'll be tough having to go through the whole thing again, since we have just experienced that. It will be tough telling friends and family what happened, especially when they know you've tried hard and that it's a tough process, and there's that air of feeling like you're being judged, looked down upon, and that it'll be a long year before you have new Ontario med school news to share. But American schools are rolling, which means you can keep yourself busy with those in the meantime, and perhaps get interviews for those well before the applications for Ontario schools are even due. Just remember that what other people think about your situation is irrelevant. They don't know exactly what you've been through, or the firsthand struggle of being rejected multiple times. Many can be misinformed about the process and have misconceptions about how much luck and fortune play a role. They can judge you for not being successful, but it's the most difficult professional school to pursue admission to. Getting an interview means you're capable enough to be at the top of the pack. Keep that in mind and use that to motivate you. No one can take previous lessons learned away from you. 
    Please do consider the hotline numbers that were posted above, and I'm here for a PM anytime. We care about you and I know how you feel about the sting of rejection - it's definitely fresh and difficult. We're in this together. 
  21. Like
    Dr. Octavius reacted to SunAndMoon in When Interviewers Smile During The Interview...is That A Good Or A Bad Sign?   
    Interviewers are actually strictly forbidden from experiencing any form of human behavior or emotion 
  22. Like
    Dr. Octavius reacted to m_jacob_45 in -   
    No joke, I was on my way to do a cardiac treadmill stress test and got the call (got in off the waitlist) when I was almost there. 
  23. Like
    Dr. Octavius reacted to helicase in FAQ: What are my chances?   
    no prob! I mean a lot of this is playing to your strengths too, you don't necessarily need stellar ECs if you have a great GPA/MCAT, just apply to schools that place higher emphasis on those (and vice versa). 
  24. Like
    Dr. Octavius reacted to Fresh fry in What To Wear On Interview Day?   
    girl clothes 
  25. Like
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