Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums

Recommended Posts

I am a third year medical student partway through their core clinical rotations. I entered this year having absolutely no clue what I might want to do with my career. I was surprised to find how much I enjoyed my psychiatry rotation. It has been the only rotation thus far where I felt I was able to connect with my patients and truly care for them. I think part of my positive experience had to do with the fact that my attending placed a lot of responsibilities on me and gave me a very high degree of independence (for a third year) in managing patients. Also the staff were generally all very happy. Overall, I think I want to do this for the rest of my life. 

So my question is what can I do in the upcoming months leading up to carms to make myself a reasonably strong candidate for a cdn  psych residency?

I have to be honest I’ve had a tough go at medical school. Didn’t do much extracurriculars wise (eg no publications or presentations). Had to take some time away from school. However, I am an average student if grades and clinical evals are anything to  go off of. So what’s my shot? How do I become better? Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks a bunch :) 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, gumballs said:

I am a third year medical student partway through their core clinical rotations. I entered this year having absolutely no clue what I might want to do with my career. I was surprised to find how much I enjoyed my psychiatry rotation. It has been the only rotation thus far where I felt I was able to connect with my patients and truly care for them. I think part of my positive experience had to do with the fact that my attending placed a lot of responsibilities on me and gave me a very high degree of independence (for a third year) in managing patients. Also the staff were generally all very happy. Overall, I think I want to do this for the rest of my life. 

So my question is what can I do in the upcoming months leading up to carms to make myself a reasonably strong candidate for a cdn  psych residency?

I have to be honest I’ve had a tough go at medical school. Didn’t do much extracurriculars wise (eg no publications or presentations). Had to take some time away from school. However, I am an average student if grades and clinical evals are anything to  go off of. So what’s my shot? How do I become better? Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks a bunch :)

Hi Gumballs!
I matched to psych last year. It's a wonderful discipline if it is the direction you decide to go with! :-)
Figuring this out partway through year 3 is not the worst place to be - psych tends to be an area where quite a few students discover a late interest and programs are pretty familiar with that narrative. Here are a few ideas on what to do to start shaping your psychiatry application:

1. As Bambi suggested, talk to your attending for an LOR and let them know that you have a late interest in psych and want to know how to build your application
2. Plan your electives now. Max out the number of psych electives you are allowed to have and do them in a wide variety of places. Choose your other electives to compliment your back up plan and then if you have any electives left over you can tailor those to compliment your psychiatry application (neurology, developmental disability, geriatrics, palliative care, family medicine, developmental pediatrics... all have excellent tie-ins to psychiatry)
3. Talk to other psychiatrists that you worked with or met while on rotation. See if they have a research project or something happening that you could take a small role in. Not only would it give you something for your CV, it will also likely bring you in contact with more people in the field
4. If there is a good conference in your city related to psychiatry you could consider checking it out if you can get the time away to do so. This isn't going to make a huge difference in your matching but it will give you more exposure to the field and help you cement that this is really want you want to do.
5. Start recording the stories for your personal letters now. Make notes about the stories or interactions that made you say "Yes, psychiatry is 100% for me. This is what I want to do with my life". You'll need them for your letters and your interviews. 

All the best with the rest of clerkship! If you have any questions about being a psychiatry resident you can feel free to send me a PM. :-)
 

Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, MSWschnoodle said:

Hi Gumballs!
I matched to psych last year. It's a wonderful discipline if it is the direction you decide to go with! :-)
Figuring this out partway through year 3 is not the worst place to be - psych tends to be an area where quite a few students discover a late interest and programs are pretty familiar with that narrative. Here are a few ideas on what to do to start shaping your psychiatry application:

1. As Bambi suggested, talk to your attending for an LOR and let them know that you have a late interest in psych and want to know how to build your application
2. Plan your electives now. Max out the number of psych electives you are allowed to have and do them in a wide variety of places. Choose your other electives to compliment your back up plan and then if you have any electives left over you can tailor those to compliment your psychiatry application (neurology, developmental disability, geriatrics, palliative care, family medicine, developmental pediatrics... all have excellent tie-ins to psychiatry)
3. Talk to other psychiatrists that you worked with or met while on rotation. See if they have a research project or something happening that you could take a small role in. Not only would it give you something for your CV, it will also likely bring you in contact with more people in the field
4. If there is a good conference in your city related to psychiatry you could consider checking it out if you can get the time away to do so. This isn't going to make a huge difference in your matching but it will give you more exposure to the field and help you cement that this is really want you want to do.
5. Start recording the stories for your personal letters now. Make notes about the stories or interactions that made you say "Yes, psychiatry is 100% for me. This is what I want to do with my life". You'll need them for your letters and your interviews. 

All the best with the rest of clerkship! If you have any questions about being a psychiatry resident you can feel free to send me a PM. :-)
 

Thank you so much for taking the time to write out such a detailed response! I know generally these are things one should be targeting but my mind always goes to dark possibilities like not matching to psych or worse, not matching at all. It’s very helpful hearing from an actual psych R1 that it’s possible. I hope you’re enjoying not being a med student.  
 

thank you <3

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, gumballs said:

Thank you so much for taking the time to write out such a detailed response! I know generally these are things one should be targeting but my mind always goes to dark possibilities like not matching to psych or worse, not matching at all. It’s very helpful hearing from an actual psych R1 that it’s possible. I hope you’re enjoying not being a med student.  
 

thank you <3

 

 

Residency has been so much more fun than being a medical student. Truly. I've had a great time so far, even though most of our first year is spent off service. You've got lots to look forward to! :-) 
Good luck with your CaRMs Match!

Link to post
Share on other sites

See if any of the residents at your home program will sit down with you. Residents are closer to it than staff and can give you the dirt on different programs. Especially more junior residents. My dirt is all out of date now. 

Also, get residents to read your personal letters when you write them and give you feedback. An R1 did this for me when I was applying and it was helpful. 
 

I didn’t have a lot of extracurriculars either and it didn’t seem to matter much. My sense is that in psych your reference letters and personal letter are pretty important. But I haven’t actually been involved in CaRMS from the other side. Too tired and salty. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/29/2020 at 8:01 AM, ellorie said:

See if any of the residents at your home program will sit down with you. Residents are closer to it than staff and can give you the dirt on different programs. Especially more junior residents. My dirt is all out of date now. 

Also, get residents to read your personal letters when you write them and give you feedback. An R1 did this for me when I was applying and it was helpful. 
 

I didn’t have a lot of extracurriculars either and it didn’t seem to matter much. My sense is that in psych your reference letters and personal letter are pretty important. But I haven’t actually been involved in CaRMS from the other side. Too tired and salty. 

Thanks for replying ellorie! I’ve read some of your other psych related posts and was really hoping you’d see this. :) 

 

I’ll definitely reach out to the off service psych R1 on my current rotation. 
 

Do you have any tips what to do in the summer before fourth year eg, electives, research, etc? 
 

Thank you so much. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't get a summer before 4th year at my medical school - we were still in clerkship and then went straight into electives - so I'm not really sure.  If you have the option of doing more electives, I would say that's probably ideal, especially if you're able to get any away electives done to try out and get exposed to more programs.  It means you get a feel for more programs, and potentially have the opportunity to get more LORs.

It seems to me that the time frame might be a bit late for research to really get much done before CaRMS, but you could certainly try to write up a case report if you saw something interesting, or see if any staff have a small project that you could get involved in.  I had some research, but not much and nothing major.  When I went through, all the programs, even U of T, were clear that they valued clinicians as much as researchers.

I think really the most important things are to do as many electives as possible, make connections with staff and residents, have coffee or meet up with as many people as you feel comfortable to chat about different programs and interviews and all of that (also helps for the "why X program" question if you've gone and gotten the inside scoop), and keep an eye out for meaningful patient encounters to throw into your letters.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...