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Limited CV Entries - Particularly Academic highlights and achievements


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I hope everyone's having a great New Year so far! My CV has a fair amount of personally important activities/mentorship roles, but I feel that I am quite lacking in the typical med school leadership roles. Additionally, I've been a bit stressed about my lack of "academic highlights and achievements." I know a fair amount of folk put down nominations for various awards and scholarships, but I have such limited entries for this that I am embarrassed to even put them down.  

I will be applying to FM programs. I've had great rapport with my elective preceptors so far, and they've offered me strong letters. I guess its a bit stressful when everyone around you seems like they've got such strong CVs and applications. I am hoping to get everyone's take on how important or unimportant that portion of the application is? Thanks for reading and replying! 

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If you are applying for FM then I wouldn't worry about it at all. Great LOR and a great interview is all you need. Honestly med school and even parts of residency is very biased and you more or less work in an academic bubble. In all honesty competitive programs can ask for academic stuff not because it's that necessary, but because they can. 

But the truth is academics is overrated in real practice. Like you get into a rhythm and unless there's major changes in guidelines or some groundbreaking research, people in community hospitals aren't all of a sudden going to do something too different. Nobody is going to spend hours dwell over a Finnish study and whether the P value of 0.049 is significant or if the study is not multi center and somehow baseline patient characteristics are not the same for how many parrots patients in each arm of the study own etc. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Im wondering if in general - does the amount of publications make a difference? Im already involved in research in the field I am interested in  and a closely related one and will likely get 2-3 pubs by the end of med school (if all goes well...) . I see colleagues that are involved in 3-4 projects in their field of interest. Is this necessary for CARMS? Part of me feels that it gets gratuitous at one point. Im just in M1 so I dont know 

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On 1/4/2021 at 8:57 AM, shikimate said:

If you are applying for FM then I wouldn't worry about it at all. Great LOR and a great interview is all you need. Honestly med school and even parts of residency is very biased and you more or less work in an academic bubble. In all honesty competitive programs can ask for academic stuff not because it's that necessary, but because they can. 

But the truth is academics is overrated in real practice. Like you get into a rhythm and unless there's major changes in guidelines or some groundbreaking research, people in community hospitals aren't all of a sudden going to do something too different. Nobody is going to spend hours dwell over a Finnish study and whether the P value of 0.049 is significant or if the study is not multi center and somehow baseline patient characteristics are not the same for how many parrots patients in each arm of the study own etc. 

Regarding LOR's for FM, I have trouble deciding which ones to use.

I need 3. I'm planning to submit one from my family core and one from FM palliative care elective - both I know will be strong.

Regarding the third one, I am debating one from a strong IM core or one from a recent FM elective. The FM elective I had was all virtual telephone clinics due to Covid-19 and I feel that my preceptor won't be able to give a proper assessment of my clinical skills even though he offered to write me a strong letter.

Would it be better to use the FM elective letter or should I submit the IM core letter instead?

1 hour ago, dooogs said:

Im wondering if in general - does the amount of publications make a difference? Im already involved in research in the field I am interested in  and a closely related one and will likely get 2-3 pubs by the end of med school (if all goes well...) . I see colleagues that are involved in 3-4 projects in their field of interest. Is this necessary for CARMS? Part of me feels that it gets gratuitous at one point. Im just in M1 so I dont know 

I was told that research is not important for FM. I only have one entry for research and zero pubs/presentations -->and that's what I'm submitting to CaRMs

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12 minutes ago, Butterfly_ said:

Regarding LOR's for FM, I have trouble deciding which ones to use.

I need 3. I'm planning to submit one from my family core and one from FM palliative care elective - both I know will be strong.

Regarding the third one, I am debating one from a strong IM core or one from a recent FM elective. The FM elective I had was all virtual telephone clinics due to Covid-19 and I feel that my preceptor won't be able to give a proper assessment of my clinical skills even though he offered to write me a strong letter.

Would it be better to use the FM elective letter or should I submit the IM core letter instead?

I was told that research is not important for FM. I only have one entry for research and zero pubs/presentations -->and that's what I'm submitting to CaRMs

Makes sense! How about the specialities that are considered more competitive?

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1 hour ago, dooogs said:

Im wondering if in general - does the amount of publications make a difference? Im already involved in research in the field I am interested in  and a closely related one and will likely get 2-3 pubs by the end of med school (if all goes well...) . I see colleagues that are involved in 3-4 projects in their field of interest. Is this necessary for CARMS? Part of me feels that it gets gratuitous at one point. Im just in M1 so I dont know 

Depends on the specialty and program. In general more publications are better, but the caveat is that 3 first author pubs are probably better than 4 second to last author pubs, 2 pubs in your area of interest are probably better than 3 pubs in geology, etc. Does it matter? Probably not for community family medicine. Definitely for ENT/derm/plastics/ortho etc. For downtown Toronto family, maybe?

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1 minute ago, bearded frog said:

Depends on the specialty and program. In general more publications are better, but the caveat is that 3 first author pubs are probably better than 4 second to last author pubs, 2 pubs in your area of interest are probably better than 3 pubs in geology, etc. Does it matter? Probably not for community family medicine. Definitely for ENT/derm/plastics/ortho etc. For downtown Toronto family, maybe?

I feel so much pressure to decide right away so that I dont "waste" a summer doing a project in an unrelated field.... sad that we have to decide so early

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9 minutes ago, dooogs said:

I feel so much pressure to decide right away so that I dont "waste" a summer doing a project in an unrelated field.... sad that we have to decide so early

Anything is better than nothing, its pretty common that people start of a project interested in one thing and then switch. It won't be held against you for most specialties, as long as you're demonstrating an interest in research if that's what their into. All else being equal though the person with 11 first author derm papers is gonna be preferred but in the long run its more important you choose carefully to make a selection you can be happy with for the rest of your life.

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12 minutes ago, dooogs said:

I feel so much pressure to decide right away so that I dont "waste" a summer doing a project in an unrelated field.... sad that we have to decide so early

I feel you! and with the shadowing/clinical experiences being suspended for the term so far its even harder to explore and figure out what I do like 

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5 minutes ago, bearded frog said:

Anything is better than nothing, its pretty common that people start of a project interested in one thing and then switch. It won't be held against you for most specialties, as long as you're demonstrating an interest in research if that's what their into. All else being equal though the person with 11 first author derm papers is gonna be preferred but in the long run its more important you choose carefully to make a selection you can be happy with for the rest of your life.

Im guessing if the speciality is somewhat related, it's possible to spin it no? I mean things are related in medicine....

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