Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums

Pre-CaRMS Elective Question - Applying to Multiple Specialties


Recommended Posts

Hi friends, I may (likely) be overthinking this, but if you're applying to more than one specialty and are undecided between them, what do you tell your pre-CaRMS preceptors?  Ex. If applying to specialty A and doing an elective in it, is it frowned upon to tell your preceptor that you're applying to multiple specialties, or should you just tell them you're applying to specialty A, especially if you'd like a letter?  Normally I think honesty is 100% the right approach, but now I'm feeling nervous about this situation, for some reason.

Similarly for letters, do you just ask for a reference letter in general, and then later specify what specialty you'd like them to write it for? Or do they automatically offer to write it for all specialties you're applying for?

Thanks :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, bread said:

Hi friends, I may (likely) be overthinking this, but if you're applying to more than one specialty and are undecided between them, what do you tell your pre-CaRMS preceptors?  Ex. If applying to specialty A and doing an elective in it, is it frowned upon to tell your preceptor that you're applying to multiple specialties, or should you just tell them you're applying to specialty A, especially if you'd like a letter?  Normally I think honesty is 100% the right approach, but now I'm feeling nervous about this situation, for some reason.

The honesty is 100% the right approach is a very naive approach to the world in general, but especially in the medicine world. Now if you are talking about patient care and ethics, then you are absolutely right, but this is not that. There is a difference between being honest and unnecessarily disclosing all of your thoughts for no particular reason other than being "honest". Of course, the approach you take here would depend on your relationship with your preceptors, what specialities you are considering, and the influence your preceptor has on selecting applicants for the program. If you are interested in a competitive specialty that selects few candidates, it would not be to your advantage to reveal that you might be interested in something else. Given the choice between that and a committed candidate, why would they consider you?

Also consider you're in an interview. Would you disclose you like this program but would rather go somewhere else? No you would never do that because then why would that program ever consider you seriously. But would that be being 100% honest? It's not lying, but its not relevant. It's time to play the game

8 hours ago, bread said:

Similarly for letters, do you just ask for a reference letter in general, and then later specify what specialty you'd like them to write it for? Or do they automatically offer to write it for all specialties you're applying for?

Most preceptors will assume that you are asking for a letter for their specialty unless you specifically request otherwise. If you have to specify later on what specialty you are applying for, then it will probably catch them by surprise and your letter wont be strong. You need these people to be invested in you. They will not automatically write it for all specialties because that is much more work for them and if you ask someone for multiple letters you better have a real good relationship with them. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Very preceptor dependent, you should get to know their personality first. Maybe be equivocal at beginning of elective, and once you know them better be more open about it

-  some are egomaniacs and any specialty outside their own is garbage, those you either play their game, or if an unimportant elective, ignore. They might be very judgmental or prejudiced, cluster B traits, if they like you they might recruit you into their clique (I guess a plus?), but if they feel "off", anything goes. Bit of a roulette game with these people.

-  in the old times it was common for grads to be undecided and just do 1 year internship, after few years as GP then transition to a specialty, so some preceptors might be very open minded because they had similar experience of feeling undecided. They could be your friends, and may even offer valuable advice to you.

-  some preceptors don't care because they probably don't even wanna be doing what they are doing, or in medicine altogether, or they're just there to get their paycheque. Maybe they are burnt out, divorced, bankruptcy, CPSO complaint etc. Those are probably not the best ones to get LOR anyways, so be pleasant but avoid getting dragged into a mud pile.

Best advice is to be open minded with open minded people and vice versa, but if their head is already a triangle, don't try to fit a square in there.

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...