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Hi all, as the title suggests, I am looking for any advice you guys have for a fresh Canadian medical student in terms of preparing for the Canadian matching process. I am currently interested in IM (but am open-minded to any opportunities as I go through my rotations etc.). I am wondering:

- How important is volunteering in medical school and consequently, for CaRMS? I've heard mixed signals. Some say it helps with matching, others outright say it's a waste of time and should be spent on studying and/or research. Would it look bad if schools see I did a lot of volunteering as a premed but suddenly stopped? Would that be a massive red flag for them even if I was focusing on my studies?

- How important is leadership? I feel it's one of my weaker areas and something I'm not confident in (as bad as that sounds, I am more of a teammate instead of a leader - I don't try to stand out when others are jumping to take the lead, I'm more of that quiet person that gets the work done). Would it look very bad on CaRMS if I don't have any leadership? (I do have a lot of teaching experience and will continue doing that in med school as a side source of income. However, I understand those two are different.) Any advice on being involved in those activities?

- How important is research for IM? I had one 3rd author pub in undergrad so I am not one of those people that walks into med school and says let's get those 39 1st author nature publications. Is it absolutely necessary? I keep seeing people stressing it everywhere. How often is it where people with no 1st author pubs get matched into IM?

I would also appreciate any piece of advice you guys have for me, be it general pieces of guidance or things you wish you had done in med school. Thanks!

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4 hours ago, Vivieeeeeee said:

Hi all, as the title suggests, I am looking for any advice you guys have for a fresh Canadian medical student in terms of preparing for the Canadian matching process. I am currently interested in IM (but am open-minded to any opportunities as I go through my rotations etc.). I am wondering:

- How important is volunteering in medical school and consequently, for CaRMS? I've heard mixed signals. Some say it helps with matching, others outright say it's a waste of time and should be spent on studying and/or research. Would it look bad if schools see I did a lot of volunteering as a premed but suddenly stopped? Would that be a massive red flag for them even if I was focusing on my studies?

- How important is leadership? I feel it's one of my weaker areas and something I'm not confident in (as bad as that sounds, I am more of a teammate instead of a leader - I don't try to stand out when others are jumping to take the lead, I'm more of that quiet person that gets the work done). Would it look very bad on CaRMS if I don't have any leadership? (I do have a lot of teaching experience and will continue doing that in med school as a side source of income. However, I understand those two are different.) Any advice on being involved in those activities?

- How important is research for IM? I had one 3rd author pub in undergrad so I am not one of those people that walks into med school and says let's get those 39 1st author nature publications. Is it absolutely necessary? I keep seeing people stressing it everywhere. How often is it where people with no 1st author pubs get matched into IM?

I would also appreciate any piece of advice you guys have for me, be it general pieces of guidance or things you wish you had done in med school. Thanks!

1. Volunteering isn't really that important for CaRMS. Definitely don't continue hospital volunteering, it does nothing and isn't a good use of your valuable time. If you have something you were genuinely passionate about that you volunteered for and you want to continue then continue it, but do not feel obligated. Volunteering doesn't help your app unless you can connect it to something deep that you are passionate about i.e. global health as an example. 

2. Leadership is one of the CanMEDS roles and it is important, but residency programs knows that not everyone is born to be a leader and not everyone relishes that kind of role. It would be nice to have something leadership related before CaRMS, but you definitely can match IM without it and even to any programs without it. This is a time to push your boundaries and to explore why you aren't confident in though, maybe consider taking on something small like running an interest group during medical school. 

3. Research is nice to have, but it is not mandatory. It isn't mandatory for IM for sure and many people match with 0 research. People will even match to UofT with 0 research routinely, but they usually have something else whether it be leadership, extracurriculars or just great reference letters. If you aren't interested in research, don't do it, but understand that if you want IM in a competitive location, you do need to make yourself competitive in some way or another. Truth be told, many people do research in order to make themselves competitive and to tick the box and it is absolutely okay to do that. Research teaches you valuable critical appraisal skills which are useful as a doctor anyways. 

 

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Volunteering, leadership, research are all unimportant on your way to matching. In my view, being a gunner too is not helpful! What is helpful is not working during summers, enjoy yourself as these are the lastcsummers corvyouvto enjoy until retirement.

in clerkship, have an open mind, be adaptable, don’t look at the gunners and get scared, just be a hard worker, enthusiastic, work hard and be collaborative and likeable. Being a “good fit” is by far the most important attribute in being selected for a competitive field. 

My two cents that served me well. Good luck! (Edict and I are both surgical residents)

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18 minutes ago, Bambi said:

FVolunteering, leadership, research are all unimportant on your way to matching. In my view, being a gunner too is not helpful! What is helpful is not working during summers, enjoy yourself as these are the lastcsummers corvyouvto enjoy until retirement.

in clerkship, have an open mind, be adaptable, don’t look at the gunners and get scared, just be a hard worker, enthusiastic, work hard and be collaborative and likeable. Being a “good fit” is by far the most important attribute in being selected for a competitive field. 

My two cents thatxserved mexwell. Good luck! (Edict and I are both surgical residents)

This seems like poor advice for anyone interested in a competitive field, or if OP is interested in a competitive IM program... based on everything I've read before 

 

From your previous posts I understand you matched into a competitive program without “gunning”, but realize your situation may be an outlier, not the norm. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, ysera said:

This seems like poor advice for anyone interested in a competitive field, or if OP is interested in a competitive IM program... based on everything I've read before 

 

From your previous posts I understand you matched into a competitive program without “gunning”, but realize your situation may be an outlier, not the norm. 

 

 

Not really, the problem is that just because "gunners" are attracted to competitive fields doesn't mean that those fields demand that applicants are involved in 15 research projects etc. But if you talk to people who matched and they show you their resume, you end up concluding that that's what made them competitive, when in reality what @Bambi said about being a good fit is more important. There are definitely some programs that are more research focussed, but the vast majority are looking for someone who works hard and gets along with the team.

I definitely agree that there's no need to spend your summers doing research. If you're that worried about it it's not hard to get involved in a project or two during the year, but people get freaked out seeing all their classmates spend their summers doing something academic and think they'll fall behind if they don't as well, and that's simply not true.

Also I'm not sure what you mean by a competitive IM program. If you're talking about a sub-specialty then it's definitely too early to worry about that in med school before even starting IM. Yes cardio is competitive but you've got plenty of time. 

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57 minutes ago, Jeffery089 said:

Not really, the problem is that just because "gunners" are attracted to competitive fields doesn't mean that those fields demand that applicants are involved in 15 research projects etc. But if you talk to people who matched and they show you their resume, you end up concluding that that's what made them competitive, when in reality what @Bambi said about being a good fit is more important. There are definitely some programs that are more research focussed, but the vast majority are looking for someone who works hard and gets along with the team.

I definitely agree that there's no need to spend your summers doing research. If you're that worried about it it's not hard to get involved in a project or two during the year, but people get freaked out seeing all their classmates spend their summers doing something academic and think they'll fall behind if they don't as well, and that's simply not true.

Also I'm not sure what you mean by a competitive IM program. If you're talking about a sub-specialty then it's definitely too early to worry about that in med school before even starting IM. Yes cardio is competitive but you've got plenty of time. 

Well, im interested in radiology for example and have been talking to a few residents irl and on the forums. On the carms application there are sections to talk about your interest group contributions, your research and more. It seems naive to think that programs are asking for this stuff if they're not using them to categorize applicants in some way. Not to mention I've been told straight up that id be doing myself a disservice if i didn't have some research for rads. 

I imagine its the same for any semi-competitive specialty like oph derm emerg etc. That doesn't mean you cant get matched without this stuff, just that you'd be doing yourself a disservice if you're not trying to maximize your chances (in my opinion)

 

by competitive IM program I was referring to certain locations like toronto that are very competitive even for IM.

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18 minutes ago, ysera said:

Well, im interested in radiology for example and have been talking to a few residents irl and on the forums. On the carms application there are sections to talk about your interest group contributions, your research and more. It seems naive to think that programs are asking for this stuff if they're not using them to categorize applicants in some way. Not to mention I've been told straight up that id be doing myself a disservice if i didn't have some research for rads. 

I imagine its the same for any semi-competitive specialty like oph derm emerg etc. That doesn't mean you cant get matched without this stuff, just that you'd be doing yourself a disservice if you're not trying to maximize your chances (in my opinion)

 

by competitive IM program I was referring to certain locations like toronto that are very competitive even for IM.

 

I mean that's not totally off-base, but I think the message is that if you want to check off the research box to show interest, that can easily be done during the year, and that you don't have to spend all free time throughout med school getting as many projects under your belt as possible to be the most competitive applicant. You'll find people who had 10 publications, but the key is to not get freaked out and think you need that to be competitive. Yeah there are some programs that seem to expect some involvement in research, but it really doesn't have to be extensive. In Med-1 I swear most of the class was saying, "Omg everyone is doing so much research this summer, do you think we should too???" and that's totally unnecessary.

Interest groups... yeah that's not even a blip on the radar. Don't know what else to say about that, but being president of the nephrology group at your school doesn't matter. Do it if you enjoy it and maybe it'll be a way to chat to chat with some nephro people, not because you think it'll help you land a spot in IM at your top choice school, or help you if you end up applying to nephro.

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1 hour ago, Jeffery089 said:

 

I mean that's not totally off-base, but I think the message is that if you want to check off the research box to show interest, that can easily be done during the year, and that you don't have to spend all free time throughout med school getting as many projects under your belt as possible to be the most competitive applicant. You'll find people who had 10 publications, but the key is to not get freaked out and think you need that to be competitive. Yeah there are some programs that seem to expect some involvement in research, but it really doesn't have to be extensive. In Med-1 I swear most of the class was saying, "Omg everyone is doing so much research this summer, do you think we should too???" and that's totally unnecessary.

Interest groups... yeah that's not even a blip on the radar. Don't know what else to say about that, but being president of the nephrology group at your school doesn't matter. Do it if you enjoy it and maybe it'll be a way to chat to chat with some nephro people, not because you think it'll help you land a spot in IM at your top choice school, or help you if you end up applying to nephro.

At the very least, being part of the radiology interest group from year 1 for example would show that you've been interested in radiology for years, which can be useful in your application / interview one would think.

 

I do agree with your point about diminishing returns for research, as it largely matches up what I’ve  been told. Its mostly done to check off a box, and past a certain point it doesn't really matter if you have 10 publications vs a few for example, as long as you have some.

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18 minutes ago, ysera said:

At the very least, being part of the radiology interest group from year 1 for example would show that you've been interested in radiology for years, which can be useful in your application / interview one would think.

 

I do agree with your point about diminishing returns for research, as it largely matches up what I’ve  been told. Its mostly done to check off a box, and past a certain point it doesn't really matter if you have 10 publications vs a few for example, as long as you have some.

I think people vastly underestimate the benefits of doing research. It's so much more than just getting publications and doing the project. Research is an extremely valuable networking opportunity, that will get you 1-on-1 time with preceptors. If you do a good job, you'll get invited to speak at departmental research days where you'll get to meet the other faculty members (including the ones on the CaRMs committee for that program), and start making a name for yourself. Combine doing research and spending clinical time with your preceptor on electives/core rotations in clerkship and you have the chance for an awesome reference letter.

That being said, for more competitive programs it is basically a must. Anyone who says you shouldn't need research if you're going for programs in the top 10 rank of competitiveness is giving you poor advice. 

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43 minutes ago, gangliocytoma said:

 

I think people vastly underestimate the benefits of doing research. It's so much more than just getting publications and doing the project. Research is an extremely valuable networking opportunity, that will get you 1-on-1 time with preceptors. If you do a good job, you'll get invited to speak at departmental research days where you'll get to meet the other faculty members (including the ones on the CaRMs committee for that program), and start making a name for yourself. Combine doing research and spending clinical time with your preceptor on electives/core rotations in clerkship and you have the chance for an awesome reference letter.

That being said, for more competitive programs it is basically a must. Anyone who says you shouldn't need research if you're going for programs in the top 10 rank of competitiveness is giving you poor advice. 

Sorry for the noob question but, what are the top 10 most competitive programs in Canada? Does the CaRMS website post this? I am thinking of UofT IM (I'm from Western). I want to know what is considered decent for a candidate that matches into UofT IM (from a non-UofT MD background) so that I can reasonably plan my activities + academics without making unnecessary commitments/driving myself crazy

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26 minutes ago, Vivieeeeeee said:

Sorry for the noob question but, what are the top 10 most competitive programs in Canada? Does the CaRMS website post this? I am thinking of UofT IM (I'm from Western). I want to know what is considered decent for a candidate that matches into UofT IM (from a non-UofT MD background) so that I can reasonably plan my activities + academics without making unnecessary commitments/driving myself crazy

By top 10 I think they mean speciality-wise, the usual top competitive programs: plastics, derm, optho,  EM, etc.

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3 hours ago, Vivieeeeeee said:

Sorry for the noob question but, what are the top 10 most competitive programs in Canada? Does the CaRMS website post this? I am thinking of UofT IM (I'm from Western). I want to know what is considered decent for a candidate that matches into UofT IM (from a non-UofT MD background) so that I can reasonably plan my activities + academics without making unnecessary commitments/driving myself crazy

I'm still in medical school so I don't know what goes on behind the closed doors of residency matching committees. Best advice (which I've heard from multiple staff and residents) is during clerkship be a good person, be easy to work with, be teachable, be honest (don't lie if you forgot to ask something on history), be on time, and don't create more work for staff/residents you work with. Get to know the people who are at the program you want to match to. The residents I think do the majority of selection.

Just out of curiosity, why so hell-bent on UofT IM?

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4 hours ago, Vivieeeeeee said:

Sorry for the noob question but, what are the top 10 most competitive programs in Canada? Does the CaRMS website post this? I am thinking of UofT IM (I'm from Western). I want to know what is considered decent for a candidate that matches into UofT IM (from a non-UofT MD background) so that I can reasonably plan my activities + academics without making unnecessary commitments/driving myself crazy

If your goal is to match to UofT IM from Western coming from year one of med you have plenty of time and this is the right time to think about it. 

This is how I would approach specialty applications in hindsight

Pre-year 1: relax, maybe do some light reading in anatomy/physio to get you off to a head start especially if coming from a non- med/health background

year 1 (first half): Take the first few months to get familiar with your school, your classmates, enjoy and start shadowing 2-3 months from med school, keep and eye out  for interest groups as applications often start within the first few months of med school. get involved with your local IM interest group. Start by shadowing specialties that are good rule outs (competitive ones that would require early commitment that are dissimilar to IM that you have some potential interest in). 

year 1 (second half): Continue shadowing longitudinally, if IM remains your top choice, think about what kind of app you want to make. Is research your selling point? leadership? innovation? Ideally, you want one major selling point and a few minor checkmarks to show you are well rounded. For example, if you think you might like research, then this is the time to get involved, research takes time and the earlier you start the more likely you are to have publications before CaRMS. Think about your first year summer: if your goal is Toronto, find a preceptor in Toronto through networking or emailing and work with them over the summer. Leave yourself some time to travel and relax as well. If you aren't sure you have a specific area of interest, I agree with the poster above, research is a great way to network. Don't forget that academic staff are the ones involved in CaRMS and academic staff usually need to publish to get promotions. By helping them with research you are helping them out as well as yourself. With that being said, clinical research is not the only way to go, some people write articles in the media, edit etc. Others who have a tech background may incorporate that into healthcare and have a side hobby. If you have a passion and work towards it, it all looks fantastic on your app and can be used as your major selling point. Keep involved in your minor selling points be it interest group stuff or committees etc. and try to stay active in them. 

year 2: At this point you can continue shadowing but for a field like IM, if you are set on it, you don't need to shadow anymore. Hopefully by now you are working towards your major selling point and doing well. Keep in mind you can have more than one research supervisor, as long as you are able to keep on top of things with both. Choosing a supervisor is important, try to find someone with a track record of publications and mentoring med students well if you can. A supervisor (for summers) who is active on the UofT IM committee will be a bonus, but more important is having the former. Try to have a preceptor at Western as well, it is hard to do research with someone if you spend most of the year away. Depending on where your career goals lie, consider writing the USMLE in the summer of year 2. Otherwise, consider doing an international elective if you have interests in travelling and global health etc. Consider continuing with research during the summer (in Toronto if  possible) or taking the time to prepare for clerkship. This is your last chance before things get really serious. Rank your clerkship streams appropriately, ask around, make sure your streams are set up in a way that allow you to explore unexplored specialties and allow you to succeed. If you want IM, try to have your IM rotation in the middle of clerkship, so you can impress and get letters in your core rotation, this is very important. Some people make the mistake of an early IM rotation and you can get letters but you usually aren't as sharp in the beginning of clerkship as near the middle or end. 

year 3: Work hard on all your rotations, you may find less time to work on research now, hopefully you still can continue projects that you have started, but you likely won't have as much time. Plan your electives carefully. If you want 2 week electives in GIM in Toronto you need to network with Toronto staff before the electives even open. Most of these valuable 2 week spots are gone before they open. Try to get a GIM elective in Toronto if possible and a subspecialty (of your interest) in Toronto as well. Message your research preceptor in Toronto and try to get an elective with them if possible (a combined research+clinical strong recommendation letter will be absolutely massive when it comes to CaRMS). Avoid doing an elective in a subspecialty you aren't interested in. Try to get at least one elective out of province, but two is better in order to increase your chances of matching. Make sure to book your electives the second they open, otherwise they will be gone. 

Year 4 (first half): start your CaRMS app early. know your CV by heart. Start writing your personal statements early, before elective season. Practice on how to sell yourself. Put yourself in a program's shoes and ask yourself: what would they want? Then try to sell yourself in that vein. By now you'll probably have a lot more advice to work with, so i'll leave it at that. 

Year 4 (second half): enjoy! you've made it through 4 hard years of med school. People do international electives for fun, to travel. Write your MCCs early and then take a nice big month long vacation because it's the last month long vacation you'll have for a while  :lol:

 

 

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1 hour ago, Edict said:

If your goal is to match to UofT IM from Western coming from year one of med you have plenty of time and this is the right time to think about it. 

This is how I would approach specialty applications in hindsight

Pre-year 1: relax, maybe do some light reading in anatomy/physio to get you off to a head start especially if coming from a non- med/health background

year 1 (first half): Take the first few months to get familiar with your school, your classmates, enjoy and start shadowing 2-3 months from med school, keep and eye out  for interest groups as applications often start within the first few months of med school. get involved with your local IM interest group. Start by shadowing specialties that are good rule outs (competitive ones that would require early commitment that are dissimilar to IM that you have some potential interest in). 

year 1 (second half): Continue shadowing longitudinally, if IM remains your top choice, think about what kind of app you want to make. Is research your selling point? leadership? innovation? Ideally, you want one major selling point and a few minor checkmarks to show you are well rounded. For example, if you think you might like research, then this is the time to get involved, research takes time and the earlier you start the more likely you are to have publications before CaRMS. Think about your first year summer: if your goal is Toronto, find a preceptor in Toronto through networking or emailing and work with them over the summer. Leave yourself some time to travel and relax as well. If you aren't sure you have a specific area of interest, I agree with the poster above, research is a great way to network. Don't forget that academic staff are the ones involved in CaRMS and academic staff usually need to publish to get promotions. By helping them with research you are helping them out as well as yourself. With that being said, clinical research is not the only way to go, some people write articles in the media, edit etc. Others who have a tech background may incorporate that into healthcare and have a side hobby. If you have a passion and work towards it, it all looks fantastic on your app and can be used as your major selling point. Keep involved in your minor selling points be it interest group stuff or committees etc. and try to stay active in them. 

year 2: At this point you can continue shadowing but for a field like IM, if you are set on it, you don't need to shadow anymore. Hopefully by now you are working towards your major selling point and doing well. Keep in mind you can have more than one research supervisor, as long as you are able to keep on top of things with both. Choosing a supervisor is important, try to find someone with a track record of publications and mentoring med students well if you can. A supervisor (for summers) who is active on the UofT IM committee will be a bonus, but more important is having the former. Try to have a preceptor at Western as well, it is hard to do research with someone if you spend most of the year away. Depending on where your career goals lie, consider writing the USMLE in the summer of year 2. Otherwise, consider doing an international elective if you have interests in travelling and global health etc. Consider continuing with research during the summer (in Toronto if  possible) or taking the time to prepare for clerkship. This is your last chance before things get really serious. Rank your clerkship streams appropriately, ask around, make sure your streams are set up in a way that allow you to explore unexplored specialties and allow you to succeed. If you want IM, try to have your IM rotation in the middle of clerkship, so you can impress and get letters in your core rotation, this is very important. Some people make the mistake of an early IM rotation and you can get letters but you usually aren't as sharp in the beginning of clerkship as near the middle or end. 

year 3: Work hard on all your rotations, you may find less time to work on research now, hopefully you still can continue projects that you have started, but you likely won't have as much time. Plan your electives carefully. If you want 2 week electives in GIM in Toronto you need to network with Toronto staff before the electives even open. Most of these valuable 2 week spots are gone before they open. Try to get a GIM elective in Toronto if possible and a subspecialty (of your interest) in Toronto as well. Message your research preceptor in Toronto and try to get an elective with them if possible (a combined research+clinical strong recommendation letter will be absolutely massive when it comes to CaRMS). Avoid doing an elective in a subspecialty you aren't interested in. Try to get at least one elective out of province, but two is better in order to increase your chances of matching. Make sure to book your electives the second they open, otherwise they will be gone. 

Year 4 (first half): start your CaRMS app early. know your CV by heart. Start writing your personal statements early, before elective season. Practice on how to sell yourself. Put yourself in a program's shoes and ask yourself: what would they want? Then try to sell yourself in that vein. By now you'll probably have a lot more advice to work with, so i'll leave it at that. 

Year 4 (second half): enjoy! you've made it through 4 hard years of med school. People do international electives for fun, to travel. Write your MCCs early and then take a nice big month long vacation because it's the last month long vacation you'll have for a while  :lol:

 

 

Thank you so, so much for your advice. This is extremely helpful. I ran out of reacts to heart your answer but the least I could do is express my appreciation here :) This means a lot to me and I will for sure carefully plan accordingly. 

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2 hours ago, gangliocytoma said:

I'm still in medical school so I don't know what goes on behind the closed doors of residency matching committees. Best advice (which I've heard from multiple staff and residents) is during clerkship be a good person, be easy to work with, be teachable, be honest (don't lie if you forgot to ask something on history), be on time, and don't create more work for staff/residents you work with. Get to know the people who are at the program you want to match to. The residents I think do the majority of selection.

Just out of curiosity, why so hell-bent on UofT IM?

Thank you for the advice! It's definitely good to know the residents do the majority of selection but either way I shouldn't be a dick to anyone. 

I did my undergrad at UofT and most of my best friends are in GTA, all in different medical/life science fields. We want to be close to each other and promised to work towards that goal in the future as lifelong friends but unfortunately I am the only one that left Toronto (they all stayed at UofT). I also enjoy the big-city vibe a lot more and am fluent in Mandarin (I lived ~15 years in mainland China) - so I would much prefer somewhere like Markham where there is a higher demand for doctors who can converse in Chinese as well just for the community there. 

IM because I volunteered 4 years at the cardiology department and I really enjoyed it there. Also enjoyed anything heart-related at school :) no surgery because I'm not the best when it comes to hands-on work haha.

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If anyone still checks this post: What would the (rough) requirements be for family medicine? What if I revolve all my EC's around IM and end up being unmatched, will FM be a lost cause for me by then because of my EC choices? I'm not "IM or 5th year" - If the IM ship sinks I will be more than content with FM anywhere as well. Similarly, if I choose research opportunities extensively in Toronto in the summer (which is an extremely viable option given my undergrad at UofT and connections) and don't get in UofT residency, would schools like Western look at my CV and think it's a red flag, and reject me from their residencies as well?

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6 hours ago, Vivieeeeeee said:

If anyone still checks this post: What would the (rough) requirements be for family medicine? What if I revolve all my EC's around IM and end up being unmatched, will FM be a lost cause for me by then because of my EC choices? I'm not "IM or 5th year" - If the IM ship sinks I will be more than content with FM anywhere as well. Similarly, if I choose research opportunities extensively in Toronto in the summer (which is an extremely viable option given my undergrad at UofT and connections) and don't get in UofT residency, would schools like Western look at my CV and think it's a red flag, and reject me from their residencies as well?

I think the key for family medicine interviews would be to make sure you do at least a couple electives in the specialty as well as in the location you really hope to match to. The good part about family medicine is that because you are a generalist physician (like IM), you can spin many other electives to be beneficial for FM.

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21 hours ago, Vivieeeeeee said:

I did my undergrad at UofT and most of my best friends are in GTA, all in different medical/life science fields. We want to be close to each other and promised to work towards that goal in the future as lifelong friends but unfortunately I am the only one that left Toronto (they all stayed at UofT). I also enjoy the big-city vibe a lot more and am fluent in Mandarin (I lived ~15 years in mainland China) - so I would much prefer somewhere like Markham where there is a higher demand for doctors who can converse in Chinese as well just for the community there.

As someone who did IM at UofT (and medical school), unless you absolutely cannot live anywhere else (which obviously you can cause according to your quote you're going to Western), stay away.

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17 hours ago, Vivieeeeeee said:

If anyone still checks this post: What would the (rough) requirements be for family medicine? What if I revolve all my EC's around IM and end up being unmatched, will FM be a lost cause for me by then because of my EC choices? I'm not "IM or 5th year" - If the IM ship sinks I will be more than content with FM anywhere as well. Similarly, if I choose research opportunities extensively in Toronto in the summer (which is an extremely viable option given my undergrad at UofT and connections) and don't get in UofT residency, would schools like Western look at my CV and think it's a red flag, and reject me from their residencies as well?

sure to back up some others - just have some of your electives in family medicine, and have if you can two sets of letters of reference - one set optimized for family medicine and one for internal medicine. It is ok to have more than one thing you are targeting particularly if both aren't super competitive (IM and family I would say fall into that). 

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17 minutes ago, IMislove said:

Lol curious why? Not interested in working in Toronto btw. 

Don't get me wrong. The program is strong from the perspective of training good internists, and it happens to be in one of the most posh/bougie cities in all of Canada (which some people like, others hate)


But from an admin and political perspective, it's down right obscene. Its not anything that will effect your clinical training or experience (for the most part), but it can make your life less enjoyable.

Some of my former UofT classmates would say the same re: medical school, but actually my UofT med school experience was excellent and I have nothing but nice things to say. I speak mostly of the residency experience

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1 hour ago, ACHQ said:

Don't get me wrong. The program is strong from the perspective of training good internists, and it happens to be in one of the most posh/bougie cities in all of Canada (which some people like, others hate)


But from an admin and political perspective, it's down right obscene. Its not anything that will effect your clinical training or experience (for the most part), but it can make your life less enjoyable.

Some of my former UofT classmates would say the same re: medical school, but actually my UofT med school experience was excellent and I have nothing but nice things to say. I speak mostly of the residency experience

+1. Certain groups or demographics will get their lives made hell at UT based on my experience with residents and staff there. 

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3 hours ago, ACHQ said:

As someone who did IM at UofT (and medical school), unless you absolutely cannot live anywhere else (which obviously you can cause according to your quote you're going to Western), stay away.

I appreciate your honesty. Thanks for the advice! How easy is it for someone who did IM training at somewhere else like Western to practice in Toronto? It sounds like you don't have anything against the city and your negative comments were more channeled towards the residency itself. I would still like to remain in GTA in the long run but I'm alright with residency anywhere.

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