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Posts posted by yungdoc

  1. On 5/19/2020 at 1:32 PM, RiderSx said:

    Hey @yungdoc, Thank you for doing this!

    1. What's your advice on housing for an incoming M1 wishing to make friends and expand their social circle? Does it really matter if you choose residence, rooming with another med student, or living by yourself? Some tell me that residence (grad house) makes it convenient to make friends since its catered towards a more social crowd of students and there is events, etc.. that makes it easier. But I also hear that regardless of the housing option I choose, I will have many ways to meet and make friends with other med students on campus. 


    2. Also one more question: I've lived most of my life in small towns, so to be honest I'm a little scared of downtown Toronto lol. I am open to embracing it but I was wondering if it will be difficult to adapt. My biggest worry is that big city people tend to be less nice than rural people (I know that's a broad generalization so I could very well be wrong), and I worry this might also be the case in Toronto hopsitals with impatient preceptors/residents. Would love to hear your opinion. I am ready to adapt to the new lifestyle, but any advice and information is really appreciated.

    Hi there, welcome to the UofT Med family and good questions!

    1. This is a tricky situation. Without revealing too much, I lived with a classmate I didn't know before entering medical school for two years with the intention of expanding my social circle as well. Although there were no conflicts, we didn't vibe well and it made the living situation a bit uncomfortable (the last thing you want at the end of a long day!). We both ended up moving out before clerkship began, and I lived on my own for last two years (which was much better, but much more expensive). I think the most ideal situation is to find a roommate you already know (within or outside of medicine). The large majority of people do not live on residence; generally UofT residences are more expensive than independent living, but more convenient (although there are many rentals near UofT that you can seek out ).  I wanted the experience of living like a young adult who happened to be a med student, rather than a student first and foremost. Regardless of residence, medicine is a very social program (given the large volume of people that you are forced to encounter day to day), and you will meet and make friends regardless. :) 

    2. I'm from the suburbs so I may not have the best insight on this, but my colleagues from rural areas seemed to adjust well, although I'm sure they definitely missed the small town feel sometimes. Like I mentioned before, Toronto has a large, diverse volume so you cannot generalize. There will be very busy city people in your cohort and in the hospitals, but there will also be a ton of people who are kind, friendly and easy going. If you do choose to return back to a rural area for residency, I'd savour the experience of living in Toronto while you can; so much to do and see and involve yourself in. 

  2. On 5/14/2020 at 5:51 PM, MDanon123 said:

    Hello yungdoc, 
    I was wondering how to improve my OMSAS/uft essay for next year. I have applied three times and only receive one interview at UWO and got waitlisted. Probably applying again and would appreciate it if you could provide insight on how to make application standout for UfT. 

    Hard to say as the essay questions change from year to year! I would recommend making sure you answer the question authentically; do not write what you think they want to hear. I also recommend injecting your own lived experiences in your answers (even if they don't explicitly ask for this in the stem). You only have so many opportunities to tell them about yourself, so take this opportunity! Just make sure it's seamlessly integrated and not irrelevant to the stem. 

    e.g. If a question asks about your thoughts on a social issue, talk about a time you were an advocate for a marginalized group 

  3. On 5/15/2020 at 12:42 PM, UBCthrowaway123 said:

    Hi there! Thank you for taking the time to do this - I’m sure it helps out a lot of incoming students! 

    I was wondering what you thought about the culture and sense of community at U of T. I know that U of T often gets the reputation of being “competitive” (which may be completely unsubstantiated), so I wanted to see what your experience was like, especially if you or others went to a different school for undergrad. Or, if you went to U of T, did the culture change a lot from undergrad to med?

    One thing that does draw me in, though, is the fact that U of T does have academies that make your circle a little smaller, as opposed to UBC, where 180 students would be in your classes!

    The undergrad vs. medical school reputation for "competition" is really quite different. It's a very very bad look to be a cut-throat snake because all of your will be colleagues one day and it's a very small world. More-so than outward competition is the sense of constant "imposter syndrome" that you aren't up to par with your peers -- this is something nearly everyone faces, regardless of if their peers are explicitly being competitive or not. I went to McMaster for undergrad (Health Sci lol) and it was a similar vibe -- a generally collaborative group of type A students, who was to individually succeed, but not necessarily at the expense of their peers. 

    Academies are definitely beneficial! You end up encountering people across all academies, but my closest friends did end up being from the same academy as you. 


    On 5/16/2020 at 6:00 PM, Neurostudent said:

    Hey ! So kind of you to do that :)

    So I'm a grad student with very good EC:

    • lots of teaching experience
    • lots of congress-national and international (poster sessions and talks)
    • will have submitted my first paper as 1st author when applying
    • lots of volunteering in hospital
    • volunteering in a program that vulgarize neurosciences - giving workshops in high schools 
    • being part of several commitee (i'm president of one of them)

    ..But not the best GPA :( 

    For the MCAT, I have no idea since it will be my first attempt (any advices??)

    Where should I apply? Where do you have the best chances??

    Thanks a lot!!

    I'm not sure how the requirements may have changed since the year I applied (2015 to start in 2016). UofT does have a separate pool for graduate students. From my understanding, they will consider your application as long as your undergraduate GPA is above 3.0. However, a competitive graduate GPA is considered above 3.7. The overall weighted gpa (look this up, as it can considerably increase your GPA; UofT will drop a ton of your lowest grades if you have a full courseload per year of undergraduate study) of incoming classes in recent years have been 3.95-3.96. 

    UofT only uses the MCAT as a screen; you just need to get a minimum of 125 in each section, and they will allow 124 in one section. Getting an MCAT score beyond this threshold will not help your application!

    I've seen lower gpa/high MCAT applications have success in schools such as Queen's, Western and McMaster (CARS only), that tend to look at MCAT more heavily compared to GPA. UOttawa is a very GPA-heavy school that you may not have great luck with. I only applied in province, so I cannot speak to the OOP experience. 

  4. 44 minutes ago, Jambon said:

    Before I start something (hobby, degree, volunteer position, etc.), I like to envision the light at the end of the tunnel almost as a goal that I'm trying to get to. Not in a bad way where I'm centered on the outcome and not the process but more so just something for me to look up towards and keep chasing.

    Do you think that matching into the residency program of your choice is that end of the tunnel kinda goal in med school? Follow up to that, what happens if you decide which specialty you want later rather than sooner during med school and your narrative isn't as cohesive? 

    Of course securing a residency position is an important goal, but if that's all you're focused on during your medical education, your time in medical school will feel very shallow. I would focus more on becoming competent by immersing in the content, optimizing your clinical skills and individual style of patient encounters, getting to know patient populations through lived experiences, using your privilege as a medical student for the betterment of your community, and getting to know your peers. These elements are what makes medical school fruitful. Similar to med school admissions, residency matches can often feel like a lottery. I've seen people become very disappointed that they didn't get their perfect match, but a large part of that is them adopting a sense of entitlement over a specific program or specialty. Be open-minded, and like Bambi said, try and envision yourself in multiple specialties that you could be happy in. 

    In terms of the "late convert" to a specialty, this is not uncommon (although varying degrees of success into the most competitive locations). From what  I've seen, the best narrative is just to be honest that it was something you discovered late, and selling transferable skills from other experiences. Also booking as many last minute electives in that specialty would be helpful. It may not be the robust narrative that people who've had their heart set on a specialty since day 1 might have, but it's truthful and all that you have to work with. 

  5. 6 hours ago, NotYourTypicalPreMed said:

    Is there anything you would have done differently? Or something you wish you knew as a first year med student? 

    In retrospect, I am super glad I did graduate school in between (allowed me to live elsewhere and pursue a lot of things I wanted to do that I wouldn't have had the chance to if I entered med straight out of undergrad). Medicine is a marathon not a sprint; it is almost more beneficial to enter this demanding career a little later on (more maturity, insight, life experience -- these all matter, but specifically when residency interviews come around). 

    4 hours ago, mcgillmdbd said:

    How significant is the home school advantage (when applying to residency) at U of T?

    I have the option of attending medical school at my home province (which will be much cheaper than attending U of T). Given that I want to do my residency in Toronto, people have been saying that it’d be best to just go to Toronto now to increase the likelihood of matching there afterwards. Since going to Toronto would incur a lot more debt,  I’m wondering if this homeschool advantage would be worth it. 

    There is quite a home school advantage at any institution. At my schools, about 50% of graduates will be continuing residency training in Toronto. Another opinion is that there is some stigma against UofT students pursuing residency at other institutions, as many people assume people want to stay in Toronto (which is often but not always the case). That's not to say your chances are poor otherwise; Toronto ends up attracting residents from all over. But to answer question, yes there is quite the home school advantage. 

  6. 11 minutes ago, SoftTings said:

    The general point I'm making is that it's impossible to say anything with certainty. It's a global pandemic, the likes of which nobody involved in the process has experienced in their lifetime. We really don't know how schools will handle it, and how accommodating they may be

    Since the global situation is so extreme, in a way we are all experiencing "extenuating circumstances". But again, who knows how the schools may interpret that

    The current situation doesn't remove the downstream impact on our system if there are not enough doctors to meet demands in the coming years. I can almost guarantee that if you do not have a compelling case (e.g. a severely sick family member) during this pandemic, you will be expected to start your medical education on track. This isn't about the best optimal educational experience for YOU (the individual), it's about training enough competent doctors to meet the needs of society (and that certainly does not stop during a pandemic). That's not to say you won't receive a quality education; it may just not be as traditional as in previous years. 

  7. 11 minutes ago, William Osler said:

    Any tips for timeline of preparation for CaRMS (assuming the usual due date of mid November) and interviews? What specialty did you match to (even a general idea like surgical subspecialty or whatever)

    I would definitely encourage as much exploration as you can early on and try to decide between a medical vs. surgical specialty in your first year. You really do need to continually build a narrative all throughout your time in medical school in order to have a strong CaRMS application, especially for competitive specialties. Luckily, I found myself most interested in two fairly non-competitive specialties, and ended up matching back in Toronto (I'll say it's a competitive program, but fairly uncompetitive 5-year specialty). Although explicit activities like research are "not required", some research NEVER looks bad. Be involved in your medical school and community; I find this sometimes sets apart those who match a their top choice programs vs. those who do not. 

    10 minutes ago, coconutbread said:

    Thank you and congratulations on finishing medical school! In your opinion, is it enough to "do what you're genuinely passionate about" throughout (i.e. specific research, purposeful extracurricular activities) or is the atmosphere more "premed" (i.e. sense of competition / secrecy, doing things that look good on the resume). Do either help when aiming to land the residency of your choice? I know this question is a bit strange and hard to answer objectively but would love your take.

    I think there's a mix of both. If you think about it, there's only a few different ways for one to be a good med school applicant (GPA, MCAT, etc), but a million ways to become a good doctor. I'd like to say for the most part, I stuck to things I cared about (advocacy) but did dabble in things like research (that I don't care for as much, but never hurts to have experience in). I think moreso than any individual set of items, residency programs look at the whole individual; someone who has a genuine interest in the specialty, has the potential to elevate the field and most importantly, someone who they can work well with and are amenable to training. I'd also say med school is more collaborative than premed; you will all be future colleagues one day and it's just a bad look to be the cutthroat one. 

  8. Just now, premedubc101 said:

    How often do you have to go to MAM if you get chosen for that? I live very far away and want to know if I could continue to live at home. :)

    I'm from the St. George campus so it's hard for me to speak on that. A small subset of MAM students lived downtown, but the large majority definitely live in Mississauga, as that is where you will be based for Anatomy, Clinical Skills, CBL, and most third year core rotations in clerkship. However, lectures can generally be attended at either St. George or MAM sites. I would personally recommend living in Mississauga; long commutes to and from school are not worth it on med school!

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