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Most important factors for CaRMs? And how to get strong LORs?


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I’m an incoming M1 and don’t really know much about CaRMS but I’d like to inform myself more on the different factors that go into the selection process, and which ones are more important than others. 

Also, I believe letters of recommendation are important but I’m coming from a lower ranked school (University of Montreal) and hoping to potentially match at UofT. Am I being too hopeful? If not, how do I get strong letters of recommendation for a school like UofT, coming from a less prestigious, francophone school?

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It varies from program to program.  Reach out to upper years with similar interests/residents who have matched into the specialty that you're aiming for.  They can provide more insight into what the programs across Canada emphasize (e.g., some want lots of research, some want electives done at that school/program [covid restrictions permitting, of course], some want strong extra curricular involvement). 

Set yourself up for success early by getting involved in extra curriculars and research so that you can keep your options open down the road. 

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Being hardworking and well rounded goes a long way. Some hyper-competitive specialties like plastics, derm and ER probably look for research activities. I still think in Canada clinical rotations and your interview matter most, but this is just my opinion. Overall buckle up and enjoy the ride.

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19 hours ago, Psychi said:

I’m an incoming M1 and don’t really know much about CaRMS but I’d like to inform myself more on the different factors that go into the selection process, and which ones are more important than others. 

Also, I believe letters of recommendation are important but I’m coming from a lower ranked school (University of Montreal) and hoping to potentially match at UofT. Am I being too hopeful? If not, how do I get strong letters of recommendation for a school like UofT, coming from a less prestigious, francophone school?

Are you applying for psychiatry? U of T has the largest psych program in the country, so as long as you got an interview there you'd have a decent shot at matching there. I don't think you're being too hopeful. Do different activities that show you're well-rounded, have an interest in the field you want to match into, tell preceptors you are hoping for a letter if things go well at the start of your rotation so they can give you more opportunities to participate meaningfully! But you're just starting so first off just focus on the pre-clerkship learning, clinical placements will come later. :)

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