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Fourth year med student answering questions!


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1 minute ago, yungdoc said:

Hey all,

I' m a 4th year medical student at UofT about to start residency in July! Have time to kill during quarantine and happy to answer any questions about medical school, UofT, etc.!

 

Good luck tomorrow!!

 

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. :)

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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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18 minutes ago, yungdoc said:

Hey all,

I' m a 4th year medical student at UofT about to start residency in July! Have time to kill during quarantine and happy to answer any questions about medical school, UofT, etc.!

 

Good luck tomorrow!!

 

Hey! 

Would you mind sharing how many cycles you applied for before getting in? Thank you :)

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1 minute ago, FingersCrossedPls said:

Hey! 

Would you mind sharing how many cycles you applied for before getting in? Thank you :)

I applied for two cycles. I was unsuccessful after my first cycle after interviewing at two schools. After finishing grad school, I applied again and got into three medical schools in Ontario. :) 

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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. 

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1 hour ago, mcgillmdbd said:

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. 

Why do you want to do your residency in Toronto? Where do you want to end up eventually working?

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39 minutes ago, Lactic Folly said:

Why do you want to do your residency in Toronto? Where do you want to end up eventually working?

I want to end up working in Toronto. Reason is proximity to family and old friends, and also I like living in a big city. 

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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. 

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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? 

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Being motivated for the ultimate goal is important, although the process, the journey is so very important, The applications, to be competitive, are akin to hurdle running where you need to be fit and have stamina, constantly training so that running and jumping each hurdle is second nature. Matching into a residency program is not the light at the end of the tunnel, rather it is jumping another hurdle as you keep running and jumping hurdles in the immediate future and throughout your career. You must enjoy the process while keeping an eye on the next goal, otherwise life will not be fulfilling personally and professionally in my view.Med school is one stage, followed by other stages. Sure, matching is so very important, followed by 5 years of incredibly hard and rewarding work, followed by fellowship and/or employment. 
I decided on my specialty as a kid, however, late in med school, I realized I could be happy in 3 different fields, so I applied to all of them, was interviewed by all, including the specialty I had wanted as a child, and was selected in a small surgical specialty program where I was the least qualified of my 3 equal choices and the least qualified interviewee. I would have been happy in any of these 3 fields. I only decided upon the field where I was selected one week before the deadline for CaRMS applications, my experience was minimal, in your language, it was not cohesive, yet I was selected on the basis that I was deemed a good fit based upon my collaborative, hard working, friendly manner during my elective and not one gunner was selected. Many factors are involved, including luck! 

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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. 

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Wow @Bambi, good for you! Didn't know that one can apply to multiple specialties. I have no idea what specialty I want yet, and feel like I'm bound to fall in love with many and become undecided, so it's good to know that I can apply to more than one. Is it looked at unfavorably by the competing specialties (i.e. would they know you're applying to more than one)?

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3 hours ago, conditional knockout said:

Wow @Bambi, good for you! Didn't know that one can apply to multiple specialties. I have no idea what specialty I want yet, and feel like I'm bound to fall in love with many and become undecided, so it's good to know that I can apply to more than one. Is it looked at unfavorably by the competing specialties (i.e. would they know you're applying to more than one)?

Each field would not necessarily know. And you change your Motivational Letter to suit each specific field. I may not be typical, but got all the interviews where I applied. As I knew I would be fulfilled in all these fields, I considered all applications equal or my first choice in my mind. And I love surgery!

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12 hours 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? 

I'm also 4th year toronto and I was a late convert to my specialty, so thought I'd give my two cents. I was gunning for a specialty for most of med school, but discovered a different specialty 3 months before electives started (June of 3rd year). It was definitely a tougher road to make myself competitive in such a short time frame, but it was possible.

I had to change as many electives as I could as quickly as possible because I had already booked almost all my electives in the specialty I previously wanted. I ended up with 4 electives in my specialty of choice, 2 of which were in toronto because they'll almost always accommodate you (as a home school student) if you need one. I met up with a couple docs I'd met through my rotations and started a case report in the specialty to demonstrate that I had a clear interest when it came to carms. And then when Carms time actually came along, I was totally honest about it. I told the interviewers that I hadn't considered this specialty during most of med, I loved it when I found it, and I did everything I could to demonstrate that I was just as interested in it as the "day 1 gunners". From what I could see, about a third of our class changed their minds during clerkship, albeit usually not as late as me, and it usually worked out for them. It's much more important to be a good student, be likable/hardworking, and demonstrate an interest in the specialty regardless of how late you decide than it is to be gunning for the specialty from day 1.

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On 5/12/2020 at 6:26 PM, CoffeeNerd said:

Hey, do you know where I can find the tuition fees for all 4 years of uoft med? For some reason I can only find the 1st year tuition, Thanks =)

It can change year to year so usually it is not available until the year you have to pay it. All 4 years are similar in terms of cost (within 1-2K of each other).

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On 5/12/2020 at 10:49 AM, Galaxsci said:

I'm also 4th year toronto and I was a late convert to my specialty, so thought I'd give my two cents. I was gunning for a specialty for most of med school, but discovered a different specialty 3 months before electives started (June of 3rd year). It was definitely a tougher road to make myself competitive in such a short time frame, but it was possible.

I had to change as many electives as I could as quickly as possible because I had already booked almost all my electives in the specialty I previously wanted. I ended up with 4 electives in my specialty of choice, 2 of which were in toronto because they'll almost always accommodate you (as a home school student) if you need one. I met up with a couple docs I'd met through my rotations and started a case report in the specialty to demonstrate that I had a clear interest when it came to carms. And then when Carms time actually came along, I was totally honest about it. I told the interviewers that I hadn't considered this specialty during most of med, I loved it when I found it, and I did everything I could to demonstrate that I was just as interested in it as the "day 1 gunners". From what I could see, about a third of our class changed their minds during clerkship, albeit usually not as late as me, and it usually worked out for them. It's much more important to be a good student, be likable/hardworking, and demonstrate an interest in the specialty regardless of how late you decide than it is to be gunning for the specialty from day 1.

In my case, I ended up being accepted in a specialty I only seriously consider the week immediately before the deadline for CaRMS applications, in fact, I did my second week of this elective after the deadline passed. This is definitely at the last second, lol! It was a long-shot, I was very lucky, the resident with whom I worked was one of the interviewers, I had previously met him socially at a party, and he knew the attending has only glowing things to say about me. There were many factors goes in my favour, most being I was deemed to be “a good fit”. All these circumstances led to the most important life-changing event in my life. 

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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!

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On 5/11/2020 at 11:10 AM, yungdoc said:

Hey all,

I' m a 4th year medical student at UofT about to start residency in July! Have time to kill during quarantine and happy to answer any questions about medical school, UofT, etc.!

 

Good luck tomorrow!!

 

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!!

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