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Hi everyone, I just want to acknowledge up front that what I am about to complain about is going to sound really really entitled and I totally understand if you hate me. But I don't have anyone I feel comfortable saying this to, so here I go. 

I have regrets about my rank list. I matched to my 2nd choice program, at my home school. I love my home school and felt that aside from my #1, I would much rather be here than elsewhere. It's close to my family and friends, I know the people, etc. But now I feel like I should have ranked differently and gone somewhere new because I'd learn and grow more. I love the west coast and wish I had ranked UBC first. I only have like 2 friends there and no family, but I've always lived in a small town and have always really really wanted to be somewhere bigger where I'd grow as a person, meet a lot more people and just build a life for myself. I haven't really taken any risks in my life - I've always done what my family wanted. And I think the guilt of leaving my family played a big role in how I ranked, even though I didn't recognize it at the time. I think I made this choice based on fear and not what I actually wanted. I think most people wanted to stay in province, and people were always talking about how hard it is to move away for residency and I just figured I'd have the best chance of getting through residency in one piece if I had a support system around me. I'm still very grateful that I get to be close to friends and family, but I also just feel like I could have done something new this time, and finally lived in a big city like I've always wanted to, and grow as a person (self-reliance always helps me become more confident and I really lack confidence in a lot of areas of my life) and just have an adventure. I'm telling myself it's fine that I'm here because residency is hard, at the end of the day it's a very hard job, and 4 years in a new place is a long time when you're under that much stress. I know there are no wrong choices and I am so so so lucky I matched so high on my list so I feel awful even complaining about this, but I just feel like my entire life has been school school school and stress about the next achievement/milestone, and I could have done something differently this time. :/

Has anyone been in a similar situation? Also am I just idealizing the idea of moving far away? 

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Honestly, carms is a tough process. It lacks flexibility which makes it hard, and there’s so much pressure when it comes to the rank list (I found, at least). I know a lot of people who are having second thoughts about how they ranked, but I think we have a great ability to find happiness and self-growth in situations we didn’t originally think we would in. Even though you’ll be in the same city for residency, you’ll have a whole new set of responsibilities, a big learning curve, and a lot of new people who are coming from all over to start residency there, too. And the door is still open to do a fellowship or practice in a different big city, too! I haven’t experienced exactly the same thing, but I had a lot of difficulty with my rank list, with family being a big factor for me too, so I can empathize with how you’re feeling and hope you can feel more at peace with it soon :)

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I think it's pretty common for people to have second thoughts about how they ranked things, especially if they don't get their first choice. But take some comfort in the fact that you ranked things that way for a reason, and if you had picked UBC you might be having the same issue in reverse (wishing you were closer to family, etc). On top of that, there is no guarantee you would have gotten into that program even if you ranked it higher (especially for a relatively competitive school like UBC), so you could be worrying for something that wouldn't have happened. The grass is always greener, but you matched (high on your list) which is already more than a lot of people.

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Just do locums at different places after residency. You'll make good cash and get to have more fun trying out different places. 

Honestly the day you start residency it'll be so hectic 4/5 years will be a blur in hindsight. Get it done, get it over with, make use of your family/support system. Not fun going to a big foreign city paying 2000/month for an apartment and starting residency during COVID lol.

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I was accepted to my 3rd choice program. I was able to move back to my home town. I was so glad it worked out that way for me retrospectively. Try not to let this decision overshadow your accomplishment to match to your home school. Having family and friends around for support are golden. You never know where life will take you and residency on balance is really a short period of time in your medical career. You will have so much flexibility to move on to where you want to practice later and that is really exciting !!  Congratulations on achieving your MD. Welcome to the Club !!! :)

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5 hours ago, _gettingthere_ said:

Hi everyone, I just want to acknowledge up front that what I am about to complain about is going to sound really really entitled and I totally understand if you hate me. But I don't have anyone I feel comfortable saying this to, so here I go. 

I have regrets about my rank list. I matched to my 2nd choice program, at my home school. I love my home school and felt that aside from my #1, I would much rather be here than elsewhere. It's close to my family and friends, I know the people, etc. But now I feel like I should have ranked differently and gone somewhere new because I'd learn and grow more. I love the west coast and wish I had ranked UBC first. I only have like 2 friends there and no family, but I've always lived in a small town and have always really really wanted to be somewhere bigger where I'd grow as a person, meet a lot more people and just build a life for myself. I haven't really taken any risks in my life - I've always done what my family wanted. And I think the guilt of leaving my family played a big role in how I ranked, even though I didn't recognize it at the time. I think I made this choice based on fear and not what I actually wanted. I think most people wanted to stay in province, and people were always talking about how hard it is to move away for residency and I just figured I'd have the best chance of getting through residency in one piece if I had a support system around me. I'm still very grateful that I get to be close to friends and family, but I also just feel like I could have done something new this time, and finally lived in a big city like I've always wanted to, and grow as a person (self-reliance always helps me become more confident and I really lack confidence in a lot of areas of my life) and just have an adventure. I'm telling myself it's fine that I'm here because residency is hard, at the end of the day it's a very hard job, and 4 years in a new place is a long time when you're under that much stress. I know there are no wrong choices and I am so so so lucky I matched so high on my list so I feel awful even complaining about this, but I just feel like my entire life has been school school school and stress about the next achievement/milestone, and I could have done something differently this time. :/

Has anyone been in a similar situation? Also am I just idealizing the idea of moving far away? 

Hey man I hear you I had doubts as well but I do agree with the other posters it really does become what you make of it and we really do find that overall regardless of the choice you can't go wrong. 

Hit me up if you want to chat. 

- G

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It comes down to personal preference. I moved to a different city after high school and that was the best for me. I personally think for most people they should try moving away from their family & old friends for at least a year or a few years.

But this year is probably a bad time for that since everyone is stuck at home. I could see making friends being very difficult due to the constant lockdowns.

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8 hours ago, _gettingthere_ said:

Hi everyone, I just want to acknowledge up front that what I am about to complain about is going to sound really really entitled and I totally understand if you hate me. But I don't have anyone I feel comfortable saying this to, so here I go. 

I have regrets about my rank list. I matched to my 2nd choice program, at my home school. I love my home school and felt that aside from my #1, I would much rather be here than elsewhere. It's close to my family and friends, I know the people, etc. But now I feel like I should have ranked differently and gone somewhere new because I'd learn and grow more. I love the west coast and wish I had ranked UBC first. I only have like 2 friends there and no family, but I've always lived in a small town and have always really really wanted to be somewhere bigger where I'd grow as a person, meet a lot more people and just build a life for myself. I haven't really taken any risks in my life - I've always done what my family wanted. And I think the guilt of leaving my family played a big role in how I ranked, even though I didn't recognize it at the time. I think I made this choice based on fear and not what I actually wanted. I think most people wanted to stay in province, and people were always talking about how hard it is to move away for residency and I just figured I'd have the best chance of getting through residency in one piece if I had a support system around me. I'm still very grateful that I get to be close to friends and family, but I also just feel like I could have done something new this time, and finally lived in a big city like I've always wanted to, and grow as a person (self-reliance always helps me become more confident and I really lack confidence in a lot of areas of my life) and just have an adventure. I'm telling myself it's fine that I'm here because residency is hard, at the end of the day it's a very hard job, and 4 years in a new place is a long time when you're under that much stress. I know there are no wrong choices and I am so so so lucky I matched so high on my list so I feel awful even complaining about this, but I just feel like my entire life has been school school school and stress about the next achievement/milestone, and I could have done something differently this time. :/

Has anyone been in a similar situation? Also am I just idealizing the idea of moving far away? 

Your situation was literally me, almost verbatim, last year. Not only did I match to my home school, but all of my closest friends from medical school matched to other places and I started having second thoughts about my rank list. I just want to share that a year later, I've adjusted to my program, made friends with my new co-residents and am at peace now with my decision. The grass always looks greener, but we all adjust and thrive in our new environment in our own way. Residency is an exhausting but rewarding adventure. Congratulations on this huge milestone and I hope you have the time to celebrate and enjoy this achievement before July. 

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Your second choice is nothing to laugh at, especially with how tight CaRMS has gotten these days.

I screwed up my rankings when I matched by running my ranks through an excel program with a typo. Ended up across the country and suddenly single as my partner got into nursing in my home province.

I matched to what would have been my literal last choice with openings available in 6 programs I would have preferred. I'm now trying to transfer out before my current program loses accreditation which is very possible before I finish.

If it's in the right specialty look at it as just a delay rather than being derailed. If not there's always round 2 next year

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19 minutes ago, GolfTangoFoxtrotOscar said:

Your second choice is nothing to laugh at, especially with how tight CaRMS has gotten these days.

I screwed up my rankings when I matched by running my ranks through an excel program with a typo. Ended up across the country and suddenly single as my partner got into nursing in my home province.

I matched to what would have been my literal last choice with openings available in 6 programs I would have preferred. I'm now trying to transfer out before my current program loses accreditation which is very possible before I finish.

If it's in the right specialty look at it as just a delay rather than being derailed. If not there's always round 2 next year

Omg that sounds like a horror story. So sorry to hear that you're going through this...

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I think that the nature of CaRMS is that most people end up semi happy, some end up unhappy, and few end up with their perfect scenario.  I too matched to my 2nd choice.  My first choice would have meant being able to stay in the same rural town as my partner, who is non-med but has a career with even less flexibility to move locations than I have in residency (LOL).  Instead, I am moving even more rural, further from my partner, further from my family, and now needing to find a new home and pay rent in addition to my partner paying rent at his location, purchase all new furniture, etc. just to return to my fully furnished home with my partner in 2 years.  It's super frustrating that things like lifestyle, finances, family, where you already live, etc. are minimally considered during the CaRMS process (especially for large programs like FM that don't rank by site, but rather by master list for overall program)... but when all is said and done, it's a minor financial inconvenience and a really short period of time (even 5 year programs) in the grand scheme of things! 

Of course, matching to a specialty that you're less keen about is unfortunate, but there was a reason you applied to, and ranked it - try remind yourself of those reasons :) 

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If it helps I did exactly what you described. Left my home school and town where I knew everyone, knew the system, enjoyed the clinics, had my family and partner. Moved across the country to the coast where I had one friend 5hrs away. It was my top choice on rank list. There's pros and cons. Was my entire training rosy? Not at all. I loved the adventure, loved the new scenery and culture. But culture shock was real, homesickness was real, and it is really freaking hard to make friends in a new place, particularly a small town. I had some of the worst times of my life in residency, but also some of the best. I'm now moving back to my home area for a locum and, as another poster said, locuming can give you a lot of flexibility. Go locum in BC after if that's something you really enjoy. Moving out by myself to a new grand adventure wasn't exactly Hollywood perfect, shall we say. Ups and downs just like real life. 

The path not taken is always greener by comparison. I think about how I would still be in the same relationship, have my old apartment, have more time with my family, actually see my friends, and probably be more established/better connected in my career than I am now flinging myself back and forth across the country. But I guarantee if I stayed at my home school I would have been bothered by not going on the big adventure, not taking the risk. 

So long and short of it is pros and cons, you may have loved BC, you may have hated BC. You may end up spending your life in a big city or you may work 3 mths there and say "eff that". There's still lots of time for adventures and making big country-wide moves. For now celebrate that you matched to your second choice!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I too have some regrets and maybe worries ... I was very torn between FM and IM going into CaRMS and finally decided on ranking FM higher because of short duration of residency, flexibility, and better work-life balance and perhaps I was very exhausted by the whole CaRMS process and didn't want to go through this again! I ended up matching to my first choice FM program and I am grateful for that, but I can't help that sometimes I think about "what ifs" like what if I realize that I should have done IM and I made the wrong choice! and these thoughts really bothers me ... anyways, just wanted to let you know that you can still match to your first choice and have regrets/concerns

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