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anyone in FM at MUN (St. John's) - please help!


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Hello,

I am a UK grad working in the UK atm and have recently interviewed for FM at MUN for both Eastern and Nunavut stream, I am a bit concerned about the living situation in these places as I don't know much about NFL. Also, can you shed some light on how the program is? What's it like to work there? What are the hours like, level of support, community, etc. I am just worried about feeling isolated.. would really appreciate some help.

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22 minutes ago, reation said:

Hello,

I am a UK grad working in the UK atm and have recently interviewed for FM at MUN for both Eastern and Nunavut stream, I am a bit concerned about the living situation in these places as I don't know much about NFL. Also, can you shed some light on how the program is? What's it like to work there? What are the hours like, level of support, community, etc. I am just worried about feeling isolated.. would really appreciate some help.

Family medicine is short 2 years and then you can move wherever you want, unless you have  Return of Service in that region of course but usually there is flexibility even in that. 

Best bet is to try and connect with current residents, trying to find them via the Chief residents of the FM residency program.

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5 hours ago, reation said:

FM at MUN for both Eastern and Nunavut stream

Have a rifle ready to ward of the Polar bears. Just kidding, no one on here can tell you anything about Nunavut because they don't have the experience of living/visiting there. It's very isolated from the rest of Canada so it's best to contact their current residents for any accurate information.

On a serious note, those Nunavut FM spot never gets filled by a CMG in the first round which should tell you something about Nunavut as a whole. Cost of living is extremely high as everything has to be flown in, but I know nothing beyond that. The patient population is also unique but you surely know about that yourself. Isolation and weather are also self explanatory.

However, I know that you actually only spend four months in Nunavut over your two year residency so it's not too bad. I don't think it has a ROS agreement and with FM's great job market you could practice anywhere in Canada. I wouldn't worry too much about 4 months in Nunavut. You might get lucky and have that four months be in the summer anyway.

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Am resident in St. John's, did central stream but I know eastern and nunafam on a basic level. 

St. John's is a great city - I love it. It's got some city amenities with a small town feel. Rent isn't crazy. Driving is a bit intimidating (we got hills on hills and staircases cut into sidewalks because you'll never get up the hill otherwise) but you get used to it. Not a lot of skyscrapers, so good views are easy to come by. I get a view of the ocean and downtown from a 4th floor apartment. Weather is a bit temperamental, but so are a lot of coastal areas. Windy, rainy, but when it's good it's gorgeous. 15-30mins gets you to some world class hiking. 1-3hrs gets you to backcountry hiking. Food options can be limited if you're used to a more diverse and bigger food scene, but we've got sushi, we got half-decent Chinese, more fish and chips than you can shake at and some things in between. It's no downtown Toronto but you won't go hungry. If you're looking for specialized things it can be a bit expensive because you're on the island and everything is shipped in. Culture is pretty relaxed. Especially pre-covid, wasn't rare for people to casually strike up conversation on the street. Smaller towns everyone waves when you're driving by. Newfoundland doesn't really feel like the rest of Canada IMO, it's like a different country. Accent can be an issue outside of St. John's. In central I solidly thought people were having strokes but that's just the local dialect. You pick up on it fast, you also start to call patients 'my ducky' 'my darling' 'my love' real fast because it's part of a lot of people's culture and it's what they call you; I kind of love it. 

I haven't personally experienced Nunafam, but I hear great things. A lot of people from my year, whether they trained there or not, signed on to Nunavut. You actually spend all but 6mths of your training in St. John's. I hear the internet can be a bit rough out there, but didn't stop anyone from my year with netflix, at least. I hear the staff are awesome, very collegial, and if you want to be one of the guns-blazing-can-do-anything all around physicians who can go ER to clinic to deliveries then it's the place for you. A lot of independence from what I hear. Honestly if I had a go-again I would go Nunafam. Iqualuit isn't really a city the way you would think a province's major city but if aurora borealis is enough of a draw for you I hear/see photos and they're right outside your window. If you do get to go to Nunavut - would you ever have had the chance otherwise? It can be an adventure. 

In terms of the program itself it's very variable. Goose bay for example is basically its own entity with very little similar to the rest of the streams. Eastern rural stream (burin) is not the same as someone at, say, HSC family practice unit smack in town. Even in central, Gander was different from Grand Falls even though they're only an hour apart on the highway and the physicians overlap. I met some of the best and worst physicians I've ever known in Newfoundland. The good ones are amazing, the less good ones are...disheartening. Eastern has a much more academic focused schedule, the rural streams are very flexible and a little DIY. Research I would say isn't as strong as, say, UofT, but Newfoundland has its own challenges that requires different skillsets to face. 

Overall, it'll probably be a little culture shock. It's a little expensive on the island, the summers are kind of cool, the winters can be harsh, but I'm devastated I'm leaving the province after 3 years here. It grows on you. There's no where else like Newfoundland, and that's the truth. 

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