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About DNA Doc

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  1. I'm a staff physician and former residency program director. I always have a hard time evaluating early clerkship trainees unless they are absolutely stellar - and that's rare. I feel for clerks who have early electives before core rotations, it's not really fair. The only advice I can offer is to work hard and listen closely to the feedback you get. Ask for feedback if you're not getting it. By the time you get to your later rotations you will be in a much better position.
  2. I'm in Genetics which is a very academic specialty. Research experience is a definite asset. There is always a section of the application score that pertains to research. Better to have some than none. Having said that, an otherwise solid application will still get you an interview.
  3. I really don't know! But what have you got to lose? Go for it!!
  4. I'd go with inpatient. After all, you are checking them out too! If you want to do peds there, this will be your life for 3 years. Med students can stand out if they are diligent and hard-working. The residents and fellows you interact with will give feedback to the attending without a doubt. I always ask my residents to informally evaluate med students on our service.
  5. You got into medical school, so I have to assume you are already a good student! I'm not saying you shouldn't strive to get better grades, but it may not be as big of a deal as you think. I know it was a big deal in undergrad because your grade point average is a big deciding factor for your success getting into a med school. But here you are, and the game has changed. Medical school grades are not all that important in the grand scheme of things. As a former residency program director I can tell you that your med school grades, unless you're failing, are a very small part of your reside
  6. I considered it, and I'm glad I didn't do it. For one thing, your medical training will be drawn out longer, which delays your earning potential (and I did 7 years of postgrad training so it was delayed enough as it is!). I had just finished my M.Sc. when I applied to med school and I wasn't loving bench research - that's a big clue. Having said that, I now do research (clinical, not lab) as part of my academic medicine career and I can apply for all the same grants as a PhD or MD/PhD can. If you are very keen to be a scientist though, a PhD might be worth the long haul.
  7. I don't really have any advice, but I'm really sorry about your situation. I don't think it's hopeless. You can do a second degree, and if your grades are good enough to apply to med school, you can explain your family situation in your application. If I were reviewing it, I would find your story very poignant and it would stand out against more traditional applicants.
  8. It makes sense to apply broadly, but if you apply to specialities you have no electives or experience in you are unlikely to get an interview. Pro tip - when getting letters of reference, if you are applying broadly make sure your referee knows that. Because they will likely assume that you want to do their speciality, and make the letter very specific to that. Looks bad when you apply to surgery and your letter says you'd make a fine radiologist!
  9. Hi! There's no such thing as a small-town geneticist (you simply would not have enough work to make money). But some medium-sized cities have geneticists... in Ontario especially (Oshawa and Peterborough, for example). Less common in other provinces. The majority of jobs will be in cities with medical schools/academic hospitals. Most provinces have "outreach" programs where city-based geneticists travel a few times per year to see patients. For example in Ontario there is a Northern Regional Genetics Program (https://nrgp.on.ca/). I suppose it might be possible to work full time for an ou
  10. Hi, thanks for your question. It is neither expected nor required to subspecialize after the 5-year medical genetics residency. I think the reasons vary... for me it was personal interest in the field and a desire to "distinguish myself" as an expert in a field where little expertise already existed. It is often possible to get additional training during your residency as there is a lot of time for electives. So for example, if you knew that you wanted to specialize in metabolic diseases, you could do all of your electives in metabolics. You still have to do a bit of extra time I think, b
  11. This is a very old post, but it's interesting to me because I feel like, in 2020, there is a greater need than ever before for physicians with training in medical genetics. Compared to ten years ago, there are WAY more genetic tests available, and the complexity is ever-increasing too. Without dedicated training, it would be very difficult for non-genetic specialists to keep up with the advances. I find it difficult and I work in the field! Management of genetic disorders, with the exception of metabolic disorders, is not usually part of the job of a medical geneticist, and never re
  12. Wow... four years since the last post! I was previously "McMastergirl" ... now a practising clinical geneticist with 9 years of experience. Wow, how time flies. Still very happy to answer questions about the speciality! A lot has changed since I finished residency in 2009!
  13. Impossible to say how you did... is your gut usually right about these things? Or are you the kind of person who always second-guesses yourself but ends up doing well anyway? In my experience, no one walks out of these things thinking they aced it. Fortunately, you don't have to get a high score to pass, so if I were you, I'd relax. There's nothing you can do about it now anyway.
  14. Don't be afraid to ask for help. In fact, ask for help even if you don't think you need help. Don't be afraid to "bother" anyone. And don't cut corners. Bad habit to get into before you know what the heck you're doing!
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