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Which Internal Programs Require Elective Time?


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I don't know if there are any IM programs that wouldn't interview you without doing electives there.  I was told (by upper years - no official sources) that McMaster and Toronto wouldn't interview those who didn't do elective with them, and I was offered interviews for both without having spent any elective time in any field for either (cancelled an elective at McMaster and didn't apply for one at Toronto).  I ranked other programs higher so who knows if I would have gotten in, but not doing an elective there wasn't a barrier to getting interviewed at least.  

Honestly, IM interviews can feel a bit random.  Lots of examples of people having good electives/reference letters from places and not getting interviews there, despite being strong candidates and getting a lot of interviews elsewhere.  I think there's a fair bit of luck involved with programs as large as IM where they have to sift through a huge amount of applications.  I knew lots of strong candidates applying and interviewing everywhere was a rarity. (Although everyone seemed to end up where they wanted to end up).  

If there is a school you're really interested in, I'd highly recommend trying to an elective there; it will help for future decision making and probably also help in the interview stage (what I felt were my best interviews were at schools I had spent time clinically and felt really strongly about the programs).   But if you can't manage to schedule an elective somewhere you were hoping to end up, don't worry too much.   

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For what it's worth in terms of anecdotal evidence, I got rejected pre-interview by Ottawa, Calgary and Western without having done any IM electives there. On the flipside, did get IM interviews at Mac, Queens, UBC, Dal and Saskatchewan without electives there. Ended up matching to UofT IM. 

From what I heard from my med class (UofT) some programs like Calgary and Ottawa were tough to get without electives there whereas some of the larger programs like UBC had better interview yields even without an elective. Also know of people who got interviews after appealing an initial rejection at some programs (and in some cases ended up matching there!) so if you are really interested in certain programs and didn't initially get an interview, don't have much to lose by sending a statement of interest and asking to be reconsidered for an interview.

Also wanted to add that while it would help to have a good local letter for programs you've done electives at. If your instinct tells you that your 3 strongest letters are from your homeschool then it's ok to use those across the board too. That's what I ended up doing and it turned out ok in terms of interview yield.

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8 hours ago, beeboop said:

what do you mean "appealing an initial rejection"? You can literally just call the school and say "hey why did you reject me" and theyll give you an interview?

Doesn't always work of course but has been known to happen in some instances after emails appealing the decision. It also sometimes depends on how many invites the program has already sent out and if some people have declined interviews opening up new spots. 

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