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  1. Like
    dh. reacted to MedicineLCS in Why is MD considered more prestigious than PhD?   
    Wow. Reviving a 12 yearthread to call an entire subset of Canadians "losers" and peddle falsehoods. 
    Trying to assign "value" to degrees is, for the most part, pointless. Does a MD have a bigger societal impact than the average philosophy BA? Sure, but everyone fits into the puzzle somewhere. Also, the bold portions are incorrect. You do not need "two degrees" to be a Canadian physician. 
    I'm not even going to get into how calling trades and community college graduates "losers" is a symptom of one of our great societal flaws; the habit of placing university education on an undeserved pedestal. Trades are the very foundation of our country, from building the building you're (presumably) comfortably sharing your thoughts in, to generating economic activity. Different people, different strengths. I have friends in the trades and I'd never trade my white collar backup route/Medicine for their trades, and they wouldn't trade with me. We've had the discussions, and I've worked in trades-adjacent jobs. We understand that we each play a role and what you do for the rest of your life is a matter of personal preferences and aptitudes. If being a machinist is great for someone, awesome. If someone else wants to spend the day staring at spreadsheets, awesome. It's hard work that is incredibly rewarding and impactful. Also, community colleges are a key part of social mobility, an excellent thing, and guess what, many healthcare providers get their degrees from community colleges. I don't think any physician who tells an LPN or healthcare aid they're a "loser" or in a "bottomfeeder" job is going to last very long.  
    "Nationally, the proportion of family medicine and specialist physicians has remained relatively equal since the late 1970s, with family medicine physicians representing between 50% and 53% of the physician workforce." https://www.cihi.ca/sites/default/files/document/physicians-in-canada-2018.pdf
    If someone loves research/teaching and wants to spend years of their life doing a PhD all the power to them. It's not for me. Notions of prestige are overrated in comparison to doing something you can see yourself doing for a long career. It's also extremely arbitrary. 
    I'm not going to even address the quips on money, IQ, and intelligence. 
  2. Like
    dh. got a reaction from frenchpress in Fellow arts students?   
    Do it!
    I have a BFA from NSCAD, and I have been accepted into Dal Med class of 2024. I had zero science exposure, but I booked an MCAT, bought the box of Kaplan books, set a schedule, and made it happen.
    Anki was a big help, UWorld is amazing, and Khan Academy, Wikipedia, and YouTube filled in the gaps. Buy the AAMC practice tests and do them in the weeks leading up to the exam, then after each practice review every question (look for MCAT review spreadsheet templates) to pinpoint where you need to focus.
  3. Like
    dh. reacted to SoonTibiaDr in What are some solid ways to prepare to write the MCAT   
    Efficiently go through a set of prep books and complete discrete questions after you read a chapter. Do as many practice passages / questions as possible. Review them after and understand the rationale behind why each answer choice is incorrect / correct. Do timed practice test from a 3rd party (EK, Kaplan, Altius etc) and then take them up the day after. Review weak a topics and knowledge gaps. Rinse and repeat. Save the AAMC Practice material until ~1 month before your test date. Treat the AAMC material like gold and review their rationale behind incorrect / correct. Review weak areas and gaps in your knowledge. Try to chill the day before your test. Crush MCAT. 
  4. Like
    dh. reacted to blah1234 in Affording Med School   
    If you don't have financial support from parents or a spouse you will most likely be >$100K in debt. The cost of tuition and living is just that high over the years. You'll end up paying for conveniences as clerkship can be quite busy. I honestly would recommend spending your time in medical school focused on the content or on school activities rather than a part-time job. The amount you'll make will be marginal compared to the additional stress.

    Medicine is a marathon not a sprint. You'll be able to pay it off as a Staff. For context I was debt free in 1.5 years after becoming staff and I think I had like $150-170K when I finished medical school.
  5. Like
    dh. reacted to drdean in Drug Testing Incoming Students   
    There are some major flaws in the arguments here.
    1.     You assume that if someone uses illicit drugs they are inherently less safe for patients than someone who does not use drugs. That is a big leap, someone could be high all the time in their personal life and still provide great care. If we were to follow your logic process to its end point should we not also screen for alcohol? It is one of the most widely abused drugs even though it is legal, and has a far great societal impact than most drugs https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2019/06/25/what-is-the-most-dangerous-drug .
    2.     I am confused by the attempt to draw parallels between vulnerable sectors check and substance use. There is a world of difference between someone who assaults an old lady, or commits pedophilia and an individual using recreational drugs in their own personal time at no harm to anyone else than themselves.
    From my understanding of your post, I think you are talking about recreational drug users, and not individuals suffering from addiction. Something to consider, is that by punishing individuals for using substances, a system makes them less likely to seek help if they are suffering from addiction. Most province's medical associations have physician health programs which can assist students/residents/physicians in getting treatment for addiction, with a focus on rehabilitation. Focusing on harm reduction and rehabilitation rather than punishment, is a more effective route to promote patient safety by encouraging those in need to engage in care. As opposed to hiding their problems for fear of reprimand where they can spiral and worsen.
  6. Like
    dh. reacted to MedHopeful93 in Mcmaster vs Dalhousie   
    In this climate, I would personally be nervous about attending a 3 year program.  COVID will likely be yesterday's news by the time you're in clerkship (which is where it matters most) but given that you have only 1.5 years to do any sort of clinical immersion, your pre-clerkship years may be limited in terms of opportunity for pre-clerkship elective/ hospital exposure.  Something to think about at least! 
    As for the "reputation" comment, it's important to consider why that matters.  Dal grads have excellent match rates, and ample opportunity for research, electives, etc.  We have all major specialties, fewer learners, and lots of eager mentors which means opportunities are easy to come by and help with matching etc.  Unless you are super keen on exploring a highly specialized subspecialty, (or like some said, impress your friends) I can't think of why Dal being a smaller or less internationally-known school would be a disadvantage in any way.  
  7. Like
    dh. reacted to Whitehorse243 in Oop waitlist score poll 2019/2020   
    I just got my offer today! They emailed me, and gave me 2 days to decide whether I want to move forward with my offer. I will probably decline as I got accepted to other med schools in Ontario though. 
    Good luck to everyone!
  8. Like
    dh. reacted to halifax2007 in Oop waitlist score poll 2019/2020   
    I also accepted an offer yesterday, sent via email at around 3 pm. My score was 81.56.Good luck to everyone waiting to hear back! 
  9. Like
    dh. reacted to islandgal03 in Accepted/Rejected/Deferred/Waitlisted for Current Applicants   
    Also late to the forums but I was accepted April 15th
    IP (PEI) 
    MCAT: 506
    GPA: 3.6
    See everyone in Halifax! 
  10. Like
    dh. reacted to Snowmen in Perspectives On the Admissions Process   
    I personally don't think that an exam alone is a good way to select applicants since an interview tells you a lot about someone, and especially MMI. On the flip side, I'd say that the need to absolutely select applicants with strong social skills perhaps is overblown. Sure, you need to weed out the ones that have no social skills whatsoever to the point of that being a personality problem. For the rest who are by definition average, I think empathy can actually be learned. This is all coming from someone who got in with average marks and a very high MMI score so hopefully I wont come across as biased.
    This whole debate about empathy and what not reminds me of the other thread about medical students supposedly become less empathetic as they advance in their training. In fact, I do believe they become much more empathetic. The issue is that people are very quick to mistake sympathetic people with empathetic people. I would say that people actually tend to become less sympathetic and more empathetic which is a very significant distinction. Being sympathetic can cloud your judgement and is something that is a big disadvantage in medicine while truly being empathetic (ie: having an objective understanding of someone's emotions, experience and values) is not as flashy but is much more useful.
    Also, I'd like you to change your username. Thank you.
  11. Like
    dh. reacted to Sleepywood in CMA c2024 backpack colour choices (w/ pics)   
    Guess I'll be the first to hop on the golden or orange boat, but all four of those shades are pretty good! Wonder how light/dark the purple is...
  12. Like
    dh. reacted to Anaik in Mcmaster vs Dalhousie   
    I encourage you both to take the time to look into the CMAs data on CARMS throughout the years. 

    I also encourage you to talk to people from both programs, you’ll find both schools will give you adequate exposure to any field you want. For example, I know at dal you can set up shadowing outside of electives in any specialty no problem. I imagine Mac has something similar. The “less opportunity” at dal is not actually a disadvantage if you factor in the fact that there are less students, and there’s a good chance you may be the only student in your year spending time under a preceptor.
    It should all come down to the environment you want to be in and which program suits you best. The school won’t make you a better physician, but the effort you put in will.
  13. Like
    dh. reacted to FrankTheTank in Mcmaster vs Dalhousie   
    As a current Dal student, I would have to respectfully disagree. While Dal may be less internationally known than UofT or McGill, I'd argue that reputation means next to nothing for Canadian med schools outside of "impressing" your family and friends. Dal has a very comparable match rate to the rest of the schools in the country, and consistently matches to competitive specialties across the country.
    I'd also argue that we likely have more opportunities than bigger schools. Although Dal may not have as many super specialized physicians, they have residency spots in almost every discipline. We start half day/week electives (that we can choose ourselves) in first semester of first year to help us explore different specialties. With a smaller class size, you also don't need to worry about fighting as much over limited learning opportunities. Although you may not have the opportunity to network with as many physicians, you're able to build stronger relationships with the ones you do work with since you'll be spending more time with them.
    OP, I think really it comes down to length of program vs support system and which you value more. I'm sure you'll fair well at either school! Although not an OOP, the ones in my class and the one below me speak very highly of their choice to come to Dal.
  14. Like
    dh. reacted to ellorie in How hard is residency?   
    I think in psychiatry, PGY2 and PGY3 are extremely hard years.  Really PGY2 is the first "real" year of practicing psychiatry.  Almost everyone I know emerged from it burned out to some degree.  It does get better.  I found PGY4 and PGY5 miles better.  Having more seniority, more role power, more control over my life, and more comfort with the job.  Also finding mentors that I can genuinely trust with anything - I only really have 1-2 that I trust that way, but it's enough.  I also think that in psychiatry, in clerkship the residents shielded me from a lot of it - particularly the verbal and physical violence.  I had no idea how violent it was going to be and what I would see/participate in/have done to me.  It was really a shock to the system in the early years.
    In our program you can get stuck with someone crappy for a full 6 months, which I did at one point.  I survived it in the end but it definitely contributed to the early-mid residency burnout.
    The RC situation is a mess - they should have given the exam online with remote proctoring.  Now none of us can get independent licenses and we are all stuck in supervised practice until the fall because they insisted on postponing the exam to the fall.  Even the MCC has managed to get it together to give the MCQ portion of theirs online before the end of the academic year.  It's not the end of the world because the supervision is minimal and we can still bill, but it's pretty crummy having to study all over again right in the first few months of being staff.
    Feel free to PM/message me if you ever want to get residency stuff off your chest - I remember those junior residency years and they are so hard.
  15. Like
    dh. reacted to JohnGrisham in Finances   
    If you've never normally invested and know what you're doing, then no, there is no reason to start investing now with money that is coming at a negative 2.2%+ drag.
  16. Like
    dh. reacted to ellorie in Finances   
    I graduated with a total of about 150k in debt.  This was entirely from medical school (Ontario tuition).  I had no parental support in medical school and no savings going in, but I also had no debt from undergrad so I went into it with a clean slate in both directions.  This was partly on my line of credit, partly Alberta/Canada student loans, and partly (but not massively) bursaries from the school.  I did not work during medical school, but I did take a summer research studentship for two summers, for which I earned a small but not negligible stipend.
    What kind of budget is reasonable depends partly on cost of living where you live.  So it's hard to say, really.  When I lived in London I paid about 700/month in rent.  I didn't actually have a formal budget at the time (I really should have, and I do now) but I had a ballpark in my head for how much I wanted to spend on different sorts of things.  I never travelled internationally but took the occasional trip by bus.  I ate out or got take out fairly frequently (at least 1-2 times a week, probably more) but don't drink alcohol at all and so never went out to parties or bars.  Didn't have a car.  Bought new clothes periodically but mostly from places like Old Navy or I shopped in the sale bins.  Bought some entertainment items (mostly video games) but nothing too luxurious - I didn't have a TV at home.  Had an iPhone a few models behind the most recent with a small amount of data.
    People choose to prioritize different things, too.  I don't travel at all, so I save a lot of money there, but I really like to eat out.  I don't really spend money on clothes and I don't really care about having the newest and fanciest anything but I like electronic gadgets and video games.  I don't drive but I take the occasional taxi if I'm tired.  For other people they might do the opposite in all of those areas and also still have a very reasonable budget.
    Currently as a PGY5 living in downtown Toronto I would say my total monthly budget including rent, all bills, my million insurance policies and all of my spending is about 4000/month.  This has crept up slowly as my salary has increased, and throughout residency I have never spent more on a monthly basis than I was making, and have typically had anywhere between 300-900 dollars left at the end of the month.  When I was a PGY1 I was spending about 3000/month.  Currently I have about 800 dollars at the end of the month, which goes directly towards paying off my line of credit.  Any money I earn from call stipends, or other incidental cash (tax refund, awards, whatever) goes into a savings account for major expenses like the MCC, Royal College, or other big purchases (e.g. a new laptop when mine broke).  This system has worked well for me.
    When I was in medical school I certainly wasn't spending more than 2000/month.  Most of the increase in my current budget comes from rent (I am paying probably about 2.5x what I was paying in London) but some has come from allowing myself to spend a little more freely.  But not too much.
    I would say absolutely don't spend more in medical school than you will be making as a PGY1 (not counting tuition), and ideally spend less so that you can have a little bump when you start residency, and also have a cushion to put to savings or paying back debt.  But again this is a little variable depending on if you do residency in a more or less expensive city than medical school.
    Some people feel like "living within your means" includes living within the means you will (likely) have as a staff, but I just don't personally feel good about that.  I think it's better to live within the means you have now (which is nebulous in medical school with the LOC, so I interpreted that to mean as if I were making a bit less than a PGY1 salary).
  17. Like
    dh. reacted to ellorie in How hard is residency?   
    Highly specialty and program dependent.
    In psychiatry, I think things are pretty decent.
    I did not like clerkship - I hated rotating every 2-4 weeks, never really belonging anywhere or being able to become part of the team, constantly studying for endless frequent exams along with working long hours without really having any decision-making power or ever feeling really useful or capable, and trying to get set up for CaRMS.
    Residency has been a lot better for the most part.  For us there is one big exam at the end (not counting the LMCC) so the need to study in any concerted way really only comes in PGY5.  Of course you should be reading and learning, but for me looking things up as I go and learning on the job without the constant exam pressure feels a lot better.
    In psychiatry the way I went through we would spend 6 months in the same place (with CBD things are a bit different but not still many rotations are 4 months long) so you actually get integrated as a stable part of the team rather than an outsider passing through.  You have more ability to actually make decisions about your work to some degree (moreso than clerkship) and you feel more like you're actually responsible for people's care.
    Also, the further up the totem pole you get, the more collegial your relationship with your staff become.  I call everyone by their first names, we text, I've been to some of their houses.  Nobody cares if I wear jeans to work, which I do basically every day.  It becomes much more like a mentorship relationship.
    That being said, a lot of things about residency are still crappy.  Call sucks because you have very little control over your call schedule, and it can be very frequent and very exhausting.  As I've gotten older over the last five years, my body has become more and more affected to the point where I find I'm not totally normal for about a week afterwards, so if I'm doing call more often than once a week, I'm never really feeling clearheaded.  In my specialty it's less sprints (really brutal blocks) and more just a chronic marathon.  I feel lucky because our call is still relatively infrequent here, but it can be very busy.
    Your life is also very supervisor dependent.  If you get a malignant supervisor (which I have on a couple of occasions) they can really make your life a living hell, and you often have very little recourse no matter how much noise the university makes about supporting residents and dealing with supervisors who are malignant.
    In residency you are often stuck between hospital/supervisor demands and patient demands without really satisfying either.  Dealing with people who are ill and vulnerable exposes you to people acting in really unpleasant ways.  Psychiatry can be quite violent.  Nobody has ever managed to actually physically assault me, but people have given it a pretty good try on many occasions, and the verbal abuse from patients can really take a toll.
    Residency can also be isolating because most people outside of medicine don't really get it, so it can get pretty lonely.
    Also the Royal College exam is terrible but honestly don't get me started on that right now because I am BEYOND salty.  BEYOND.  The whole thing with the RC is really a great example of how the bureaucracy can absolutely mess up your life and you have very little power to do anything about it.
    Overall though I do mostly feel lucky.  I think there are many people out there in the world doing absolutely brutal (physically and mentally) jobs where they have no power over their working conditions and also work horrific hours, but get paid far less, and get far less societal recognition than we do.  I can be pretty sure that I'll end up with a roof over my head and more than I need for survival for the rest of my life, and that's so much better than most of the world gets.
    However I think other specialties can be far more awful than mine - residency for me has been exhausting and annoying, and I am at the end in a state of very high burnout and exhaustion.  But overall it's also just fine in a lot of ways.
  18. Haha
    dh. reacted to ZBL in How hard is residency?   
    It’s a little like this:

  19. Like
    dh. reacted to frenchpress in Finances   
    Prime -0.25 is always great in relative terms. But if prime is 6%, or 10% it’s not great in absolute terms. Which is not to fearmonger, but just to say that it’s important to remember that those interest rates can change, and you have no control over what it will be in 6-10 years when you’re done residency training and have access to that larger income to pay things off. Which is why I’ve always been shooting for that low end of the standard debt estimates personally. Although with the COVID recession/depression on the horizon, interest rates a likely to be low for while.
  20. Like
    dh. reacted to JohnGrisham in Finances   
    Agreed, but also don't get discouraged when >50% of your classmates have much less debt due to family support.  Many of my medical school classmates didn't even get LOCs until we started residency. 

    Don't count pennies, but don't also buy 8$ smoothies everyday with your LOC and you'll be okay. Make sure to apply for gov't student loans, ensure you are eligible for any bursaries from the govt and as well your medical school - usually this requires a short application. Apply for any extra bursaries/scholarships as they hit your email.  
  21. Like
    dh. got a reaction from FingersCrossedPls in Working Part-time during your first year   
    Hey, I hear you. I’m super debt-averse, and starting med school this fall is kind of terrifying for that reason.
    I also worked three part-time jobs during my prior undergrad, but I’ve decided that for med school time is my most valuable asset. I have also decided to move within walking distance of my school despite the higher cost compared to my current situation.
    The advice I’ve gotten from my friends in residency: don’t worry about the money. Don’t be stupid about it, but don’t stress about it either—it will balance out in the end.
    Not one to take such advice at face-value, I have written up a number of budget spreadsheets for the next 15 years, haha, and yes, it will be fine in the end.
  22. Like
    dh. got a reaction from ShadesofCyan in Working Part-time during your first year   
    Hey, I hear you. I’m super debt-averse, and starting med school this fall is kind of terrifying for that reason.
    I also worked three part-time jobs during my prior undergrad, but I’ve decided that for med school time is my most valuable asset. I have also decided to move within walking distance of my school despite the higher cost compared to my current situation.
    The advice I’ve gotten from my friends in residency: don’t worry about the money. Don’t be stupid about it, but don’t stress about it either—it will balance out in the end.
    Not one to take such advice at face-value, I have written up a number of budget spreadsheets for the next 15 years, haha, and yes, it will be fine in the end.
  23. Like
    dh. reacted to KitKatCo in Feasability of getting a dog during medical school?   
    If you live alone, that may be a bit sad for your dog. You're going to be away from home a lot, and dogs are social animals. They don't enjoy spending long stretches of time alone. Some dogs get destructive when left alone (separation anxiety or they're just straight up bored), not to mention that if you're at school/work from 8am to 4pm, they're probably going to pee/poo in the house.
    As Synth1 said, it's not going to be fair to your dog if you cannot attend to their needs on a regular basis. These needs are food, water, and potty breaks, but also companionship.  
  24. Like
    dh. reacted to Synth1 in Feasability of getting a dog during medical school?   
    I got a dog during med school and I know others who have dogs and/or got them during med school, so it can be done. It helps if you have a supportive partner that is capable of picking up the slack during times in which the demands on your time increase. It is NOT fair to your dog if you don't walk them daily, take them out regularly etc etc. 
  25. Like
    dh. reacted to ShadesofCyan in Working Part-time during your first year   
    Hi there.
    I  was recently accepted to med school  so I don't have personal experience with this. I have asked a few med students about this and they all advised me that trying to work while you are a med student is fairly difficult and not worth it. Some people work during the breaks but most people advised me to just relax and enjoy any time off or prepare for residency matching. Most students take out a large student line of credit and accept that they will be in a lot of debt at the end. I remember one person explained that working part time for a low wage really doesn't put a dent in your debt but after residency you should be able to pay off your debt much easier. I worked all through my undergrad so it is hard to imagine not having a job. I'm planning to look at being a med student as my job and I hope to really enjoy the experience.
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