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coastalslacker

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Everything posted by coastalslacker

  1. I followed my gut in the spur of the moment away from a planned chill life as a small town family doc doing some ER into a surgical sub-speciality with an exhausting residency and terrible job prospects. My wife was thrilled.. I regretted it at times during residency, especially when friends were done training and out in practice as FM docs. But residency was also pretty great at times. Job satisfaction is important, and for me, doing surgery was and is very satisfying. Three years out of residency things have worked out better than I could have imagined, moving from a good first job i
  2. - Remember that you're there to learn, not to get into medicine. - Get good grades. Treat school like a job. If you can't get good grades, medicine isn't for you. If you change your mind about what you want to do, good grades will likely help. - If you have paid employment, don't over-do it (unless you need to). Took me a semester to realize 20 hours/week at the grocery store wasn't leaving me enough time for fun things, and then cut back abit - Have fun - Take up one new hobby you've always wanted to try - Volunteer with one organization where you feel like you can make a differe
  3. Went to less and less with each semester of medical school. The variability in lecture quality plus the time it took were what got to me. None of our lectures were recorded. That actually would have been worse, I think, listening to bad lectures without social interaction. I would read the slides, which were posted in advance, and then spend some time reading around each topic. Once I figured out my routine, I would rarely have to think about medicine after lunch, except around tests. You don't need to get 100% on tests, so you don't need the lecturers hint that "this will be on the
  4. Cool, find a source for that statement and you're good! Far as I know it's just fine. I'm in my second year of practice so relatively recent migrant.
  5. It is over-saturated in Canada but not in the United States (it's really nice sending money back to Canada right now!). Who knows where things will be in 10 years.
  6. It will help, without question. However, orthopedics is not particularly competitive in Canada - most people who are serious about it match. If you have a year between undergrad and med school, great, sounds like a cool idea. If you are putting off medical school for a year to do a Masters, that makes less sense to me. Don't let the job prospects put you off if you love the field (ortho) and aren't tied to working in Canada. There are lots of jobs in the US where, once you move there, you will all of a sudden find yourself in one of the highest paid specialities in the US.
  7. It really depends on the numbers. Canadians at the US medical school I am affiliated with pay $60 or 70,000 per year. Assume an average Canadian tuition of 20k per year. 60,000 US at current exchange rates is 72k Canadian, so the difference is 50,000 per year. 50,000 x 3 years (cause you're going south for one year in this scenario) minus one extra year in Canada (20k tuition, 20k living?) - so it costs you $110,000 more to stay in the States. Then you have to factor in the interest you pay on that extra amount. Some people pay down LOC in residency, but many don't. Assume y
  8. Age is sort of irrelevant, it is more a matter of how old your kids are. I didn't have kids in medical school. First two years, pre-clerkship, you would have lots of time to see them - potentially more than many people with full-time jobs see their kids. Classes can end early, or, in many places are not mandatory, you get home for the afternoon. You can study at night while they are asleep. It's a non-issue. Clerkship is different, you have less freedom. Busy rotations you won't see your family for a stretch. Other rotations like family medicine and psychiatry it will be like
  9. Went into a bad lifestyle speciality with poor job prospects (ortho) after initially thinking mostly about lifestyle. Had the opposite crisis of faith when utterly exhausted as a PGY2 and friends were almost done their family medicine residencies, but stuck it out. Have a great job now, which I love (in the US), and the lifestyle is much better as an attending. It is difficult with the job prospects in certain specialities, but what I asked myself when I was thinking of switching was whether the other speciality was going to challenge me and interest me for more than a few years (the answe
  10. Well that's what we need, isn't it? We just need it to be easier to get into medical school! Good solution. What other world problems can we solve?
  11. Older, (I don't know how to quote) It's not that I'm missing the point, I just don't agree. Life is inherently unfair. Some people are born smarter/prettier/insert adjective of choice/harder-working than others. Some people can do very little work and do well in university - well enough to get into medicine. Some people have to work extremely hard, to the exclusion of all else, in order to achieve the grades and CV to get into medicine. If an individual falls into the latter group then it comes down to a choice - are they willing to work that hard, or, should they pursue one of th
  12. Don't think of it as "burning out", think of it as "weeding out". The stress doesn't magically end when you finish your training and become an attending. All of a sudden the buck stops with you. Even consenting a patient for surgery is an entirely different process - something you do a thousand times as a trainee - because now it's your name at the end of the chart. Thankfully, you've progressed through a rigorous training program and stress, while still unpleasant, is something you are equipped to deal with. My 4 hour case turned into a 6 hour case yesterday through a somewhat predic
  13. It is easy to be enthusiastic about medicine when you are early in the game, or, just trying to get in. Comments like "I would live in a tent to do what I love" are ver characteristic of a certain phase of the training process - I've been there! Just started as an attending and I pretty much have one of the best jobs you could ever imagine. I make a very good living, treat interesting patients, pretty much never pick up the phone at night or on weekends and get paid to travel internationally several times per year. That said, I started my training at 24, 10 years ago, and still feel l
  14. Cool. I'm sure you've already done this, but it is worth talking to an immigration lawyer and mapping out your 10 year plan. A colleague was waiting around for a full year after completing a very prestigious fellowship on the US because she was on a J1. She had a great job offer in he US, a top notch immigration lawyer, but the J1 in that instance screwed her over. H1B's are only renewable for 7 years (ie less time than med school and residency). It is worth understanding the process just so you are not surprised at some point. I know people who have gone through it without incident, bu
  15. Just a thought - it's not a terrible idea to see what happens with Canadian schools as well. The only reason I say this is that there may be a significant cost difference. I work in the US and was talking to a Canadian medical student who is paying $70,000 per year tuition....that's a lot of dough. Depends on where you got in, I suppose, and I'm sure a host of other factors. Good luck and congrats!
  16. I needed the USMLE for fellowship here in Cali. Would think that working would be similar. Do the tests, it's nice here.
  17. The only people I know who have done a 3rd fellowship do it because they have to be in a certain location (ie Toronto). My impression, doing fellowship in the US, is that there are certainly more jobs down here than in Canada (where there are almost no jobs advertised). Stjohnjobs.com is a physician recruiter site - have a look there to see the difference between Canada and the US. On the POSNA (pediatric orthopedic society of north America) website there were about 15 pedipod jobs posted the last time I checked. As to how difficult it is - I don't know, my experience is only ane
  18. I'm doing fellowship in the US now and will be staying here to work. Three orthopods from my program have moved to Texas in the last several years. One did a fellowship in Canada, fellowship in the US and then got a job in Texas. One did two US fellowships (not in Texas) and now has an academic job in a big city in Texas. One did a fellowship in a big city in Texas and was offered a number of jobs in the area during that year, one of which he happily took. You don't need to do fellowship in Texas, but the conventional wisdom on fellowships is either do it at a very prestigious program
  19. That's such a meaningless number. When you look at the work residents do, what they are paid, and what it would cost to have a fully licensed physician do the same work, residents save money hand over fist. I more than paid back any government subsidies to medical school and residency during the course of my training. I heartily recommend the book "How to Lie with Statistics" by Darrell Huff, cerca 1954.
  20. My approach isn't broadly applicable. My brothers are entrepreneurs and despite the conventional wisdom about not mixing finances and family, I trusted the fact that they're both as smart and hard-working as I am. Like I said, good so far.
  21. I know some people who've done this. I can think of one of them who lost a tonne of money. I put 30k from the LOC into a business opportunity as a resident and have been happy so far.
  22. Yeah, that's not true. Seniority certainly plays a factor. Recent hires typically have less OR days. Also, they'll more often be operating later in the week when the bed situation might be tight (ie cases may get cancelled) and the patients will have to be in over the weekend (ie the senior guys want to minimize weekend rounding). Varies widely from center to center both within Canada and the US, I'm sure. This isn't always the case.
  23. no, you just need to do them all within 7 years.
  24. If you are at all considering staying in the US, don't go down for fellowship there on a J1 visa (ie the kind you can get without USMLEs). There is a two year period that you have to leave the US for after your J1 expires, before you can start working again stateside on a different visa (ie an H1B). I heard from a former residency colleague that their lawyer had found a way around this restriction (they did fellowship in the US and then got offered a job in the US), but then I heard through the grapevine that this person was still stuck in Canada waiting for visa issues to be ironed out, alm
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