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  1. Like
    dooogs reacted to Bambi in Ranking specialties in CaRMS   
    Well my experience was somewhat different. I applied to 2 specialties and FM, and felt that I would enjoy whichever field selected me. In my mind, I considered them equal but I did rank my choices. I was not prepared to compromise on location, so I only applied in one city, realizing I might not match. However, it worked out for me and the surgical specialty selected me. You can choose location where to apply and can rank your choices in order of your preference. After that, it is totally out of your hands. Good luck! 
  2. Like
    dooogs got a reaction from MaudeB in Med School as a single mom- possible?   
    I think it's possible but you may have to be ready to spend $$ on daycare or nannies. If you dont have financial support that may mean higher LOC than other students. Also depends on the location of the school and its tuition. If you can find a cheap location/school combo
    I've heard of people having kids in med school but they had support 
  3. Like
    dooogs got a reaction from PharmD2MD in Western med almuni/med students help   
    Schulich students will be running mock interviews!
  4. Like
    dooogs got a reaction from CHG in Western med almuni/med students help   
    Schulich students will be running mock interviews!
  5. Haha
    dooogs reacted to aaronjw in Money, Prestige, and Lifestyle   
    spoken like a 20 year old virgin
  6. Like
    dooogs got a reaction from NurseLewis in Western med almuni/med students help   
    Schulich students will be running mock interviews!
  7. Like
    dooogs got a reaction from PreMed#219099 in Western med almuni/med students help   
    Schulich students will be running mock interviews!
  8. Sad
    dooogs reacted to ellorie in How much debt do you have?   
    As a psychiatrist, not so much. At least not as a single income household in Toronto.  Income disparity sucks like that. 
  9. Like
    dooogs reacted to NeuroD in End of Step 2 CS ... could MCCQE-2 be next?   
    I haven't posted in years but I'm here to say MCCQE2 needs to go, and there are lots of us pushing for it. Personally I'm pushing it through RDoC.
    Unfortunately there is a parallel alternative being argued, which is to get it paid for through our provincial contracts. In my view making the cost invisible to residents will just ingrain it further as there will be less motivation to fight against something that'sbm "free".
  10. Sad
    dooogs reacted to shikimate in Backing up for Small Surgical Specialty   
    I think in retrospect Carms is scary and it is not scary. It is scary because for 99% of grads it is their only way out, otherwise their 4yr MD degree more or less go down the drain. For people whose minds are fixated on 1 specialty of course super stressful.
    Now that Biden is in office I think visa restrictions hopefully will loosen, I still encourage people to do step 1. USA has so many spots if you are so worried about not matching you have insomnia apply to some FM/IM there and more or less you'll match no problem.
    Also in retrospect those 4 years med school never told you zilch about finance and investing. med students have credit at their fingertips and the few who were smart probably made a fortune leveraging their LOC. Again I believe academics do this on purpose to keep med students poor so they are stuck trying to match to residency so they can collect some meager salary to stay out of homeless shelters lol.
  11. Sad
    dooogs reacted to Idontknowanymore in Current CaRMS Competitiveness - Schools and Specialties   
    I still think that the Canadian government should do something about this whole CaRMS thing because without enough funding whatever issues we currently have persist. It creates so much stress for med students, more so than in any other country I have heard of. I have also heard quite a few sad stories of applicants working so hard just to get matched to a specialty that they are not interested just to avoid being unmatched. CaRMS is just so stupid...
  12. Thanks
    dooogs reacted to robclem21 in Backing up for Small Surgical Specialty   
    Then you should be enjoying life and not worrying about CaRMS for another 3 years
  13. Like
    dooogs reacted to Haribo7173 in Anglophones at McGill Residency Programs   
    As someone who lived there most of my life, I can say that at least half of the patient population will be French-speaking. Therefore, what I said still stands, especially for a potential resident. Sure you can learn, but going in with basic functioning will do wonders. 
  14. Like
    dooogs reacted to Haribo7173 in Quebec Residency from Ontario?   
    It works the same. 
    The French med schools are all P/F now as far as I know and are used to getting McGill apps (which has been P/F forever), so it should be fine.
    The transcripts will probably be used as a red flag.
  15. Thanks
    dooogs reacted to bearded frog in Backing up for Small Surgical Specialty   
    "Although I am not yet decided on what kind of practice I would have as a family physician I am strongly interested in rural care and I am aware that unfortunately a lot of rural areas are underserved in terms of diagnostic procedures available. I foresee that I will have patients who will be able to get x-rays and other imaging fairly urgently but not have it formally interpreted for a day or more. As you know, radiology is a field that is woefully under-taught in medical school and a special interest of mine so I took it upon myself to do a number of electives so that I may be able to better make a preliminary interpretation of their imaging, as well as to potentially offer point of care ultrasound during their visit and saving them from having to wait for an ultrasound appointment or travel to a separate site to rule out simple pathology. The additional foundation I have in this domain would be a valuable asset to your program"
  16. Like
    dooogs reacted to magneto in Ask questions about family medicine here   
    It is not only incremental decreases in HbA1c. It is about looking out of your patient.
    A 50 year old male can come to your clinic because he has blood in his stool. You can refer him for colonoscopy and potentially pick up an early cancer.
    Many people don't feel comfortable sharing their embarrassing problems to new people such as a physician at walk-in-clinic or emergency doctor unless they are anxious or super unwell. However, they trust their family doctor because they believe that their family doctor is their quarterback.
    Let's take another example. A patient has a small mole on his skin. He/she is worried that she has cancer. You can do a skin biopsy or small resection under local anesthetic and send it to pathologist for diagnosis. Within a week, you have the ability to potentially diagnose (and even treat) a skin cancer OR give good news that the mole is benign and nothing to worry about. You can possibly pick up an early melanoma and save a patient's life.
    There are not that many things in life where you can play such a crucial role in another person's life.
  17. Thanks
    dooogs reacted to F508 in Ask questions about family medicine here   
    Family medicine is not comprised solely of incremental adjustments of HbA1c and BP...... patients present to you with a multitude of complaints, literally anything and everything. Career satisfaction comes from being a generalist and knowing a little about everything. Throughout my residency, I have counselled parents about newborn problems, delivered babies, inserted IUDs, counselled about diabetes, counselled for depression, performed a multitude of intraarticular injections, accompanied families when their loved ones were losing their autonomy / facing a cancer diagnosis, helped someone quit smoking, diagnosed skin ailments, removed foreign bodies, given patients the knowledge/tools to better their health / to prevent ER visits / reduce their health anxiety, etc. My patients trust me to tell me their secrets and fears. My staff have diagnosed malaria in walk-in, performed abortions, worked in rural Northern Canada, worked for Doctor's Without Borders, worked as hospitalists/in obstetrics/in EM. As a family doctor, you are the first line of contact. You have the flexibility to transform your practice throughout your career.
    Throughout my residency, I saw the value of my generalist training. The staff that performs scopes doesn't remember how to treat HTA, defers to the patient's family doctor, delaying care. The IM subspecialist didn't remember how to treat hyperkalemia. The pediatric subspecialist doesn't remember what is a normal adult HR. The medical team doesn't think of fracture to explain the patient's sudden decrease in mobility. Of course for a lot of these specialties, they don't need to know these particular things to function within their domain. I am a specialist of common diseases in the general population. I don't want to only know one organ system. I don't want to only treat one small subspeciality of medicine. I don't want to know how many different ways we can resect a certain body part. I love working with people of all ages. I derive career satisfaction knowing that I have the knowledge to guide my friends and family through a large range of health issues.
  18. Like
    dooogs reacted to BCelectrophile in Med 1: Expectations vs. reality in a COVID world   
    I feel the exact same way. The thing that makes me feel better is that it's not just me feeling these hardships individually and that all us M1's across the country are in this together
  19. Like
    dooogs reacted to Bambi in Value of being a "research superstar" for CaRMS?   
    As rmorelan says, "superstar researchers don't always make good residents". They need to be a good fit with the team and with the patients!
  20. Thanks
    dooogs reacted to rmorelan in Value of being a "research superstar" for CaRMS?   
    One other perspective here I have heard from some people about - 
    superstar researchers don't always make good residents. Precisely because they care about research so much. Any time you spend doing research you are not say studying or looking after patients - point is there is a price to doing anything that takes away from something else. Residency is a job - and many programs are looking for people that are good at the job. Research is often a tangent to the job. Any resident/staff knows of people that are extremely academic/research focused that may be losing out on practical things. In residency selection in the age of pass/fail I think research as well is just used sometimes as a proxy (if the person can do a ton of research and still do well in the program then he is a smart/hard worker which is probably something we are looking for. That doesn't actually mean they care about research directly though. Programs vary but I think it is always important to ask why programs are looking at whatever they are looking at). 
    Even highly academic residency programs when you look at it often have very little requirements in the way of actual research. Honestly if you look at things closely it is surprising how little research people doing actual academic medicine have to do in many cases (unlike the US there is little real advantage to someone to advance up the academic ranks - lecturer, assistant professor, associate professor, and full professor all earn exactly the same and have the exact same amount of research time directly ha. There ways around that but the base levels don't). 
    Point is that after a point pumping out more and more research is at best diminishing returns, and as I mentioned I guess recently there are no absolutes there. Some places will love research, some will be unconcerned by at it, and some may even be wary of it. There is no prefect path where you XYZ and you will be universally liked.   
  21. Thanks
    dooogs reacted to robclem21 in Value of being a "research superstar" for CaRMS?   
    Usually when you do enough research with someone for them to know that you are interested in their specialty, they will go out of their way to get you into clinical scenarios so they can write you a letter. If they don't go out of their way, then usually they are receptive to the suggestion if you bring it up. Don't underestimate the important of having good people in your corner go to bat for you when the time comes. (sorry for the mixed boxing/baseball metaphor).
  22. Like
    dooogs got a reaction from DrOtter in What can I do during pre-clerkship to increase my chances of matching into surgery?   
    I'm thinking that research that is in a close field to the first choice speciality should be valuable too... right?
    like for example research in neurosurgery - would it not still be good for ophtho?
  23. Thanks
    dooogs reacted to blah1234 in Worried about debt - looking for how others deal with it   
    It's inevitable to have debt if you don't have parental support. The amounts you are claiming are normal for many parts of the country. You'll be able to make a dent during residency depending on where you do your training. I would honestly just try to make your stressful years tolerable as the training can get quite busy. You'll pay it off as a staff no problem.
  24. Thanks
    dooogs reacted to Bambi in Worried about debt - looking for how others deal with it   
    Once I left high school, I have survived on student debt, which consolidated into my LOC. I've done PGY5, Royal College and am entering practice with a debt of 250K. I anticipate paying it off within the next 5-7 years, it is manageable and I do not consider it a huge burden on my shoulders. It is part of life. I have always lived a frugal life, and life is about to become more affordable now notweithstanding this debt.
  25. Thanks
    dooogs reacted to ellorie in Worried about debt - looking for how others deal with it   
    It's inevitable without parental support, a spouse earning substantial income, or substantial savings of your own.  Unfortunately it's just part of medical training that we all have to accept.  I am also very uncomfortable with debt but there's really no way around it.
    I started medical school with no debt from undergrad (very lucky), no savings, and no parental support.  Went to medical school in a low cost of living city (London) partly to save money, partly for other reasons.  I personally tend to live fairly frugally - I never travel, don't drive, etc - but I didn't severely restrict myself by any means - I ate out, ordered takeout, bought myself the occasional thing I wanted.  Finished medical school with about 140k in debt.
    Did residency in Toronto, much higher cost of living, lived alone.  Still not married, no dependents.  Managed to pay off about 30k in residency, mostly in PGY1-2 (when I had tons of tax credits left) and in PGY5 (when I was making more).  If tuition tax credits are no longer a thing, that will cut into it a bit but I think it's still possible to pay down some.  As a (fairly low earning on the doctor-scale) staff I'm able to pay off about 2k/month.  I am hoping to start paying down more of it.
    That said, I haven't put anything into TFSA/RRSP which I probably should start doing (however, I am very uncomfortable with debt so there's that).  So I don't know - in my specialty it doesn't suddenly disappear once you cross the threshold into staff, but it's definitely manageable.
    The biggest thing that helps me feel in control of my finances is having a clear budget.  I use an app to track my spending.  I really only started this in PGY1 but I wish I'd started earlier.  As a medical student, I tried to live approximately under what I would be making as a PGY1, but not too much under.  Then you can give yourself a small quality of life boost once you start residency and that feels nice.  
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