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Which Ontario med school's students match best?

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Hi everyone,


I'm currently in undergrad. I have always wanted to go into general surgery, and at the moment, I feel very passionate about this choice. I want to attend the medical school where I have the greatest chances of matching in my first choice.


Which Ontario medical school's students matches best?


I feel that McMaster has only 3 full years of schooling before carms, so I'm not sure how much research/electives/health advocation we can squeeze in there. I feel that Toronto's curriculum is competitive, and I actually heard from a medical school student that U of T graduates matches best. Is this true? If so, do U of T students have to work extra hard to get there (I heard that U of T curriculum is very competive and difficult)?



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You can look at CARMS to get an idea. However, it varies from year to year and res. program to res. program. There is no real advantage of going one place or another for your MD.


Your best bet is to go to where ever you feel the most comfortable doing an MD. Chances are you'll change your residency preference (program or location) by the end of it, and even if you don't, you'll probably do better if you are happy where you are when you are doing your MD.

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Matching to any specialty is totally independent of what school you're from.


What does make a general surgery candidate (or almost any other residency) attractive are:


- good clerkship performance

- excellent reference letters from both general surgeons and clinicians in other specialities

- demonstration of some involvement in leadership or extracurriculars in medical school

- some research experience


All the medical schools in Canada are pretty equivalent with some minor differences in focus - e.g. U of T is quite academic, U of O has a greater focus on primary/generalist care.


Your priority now should not be worrying about residency but rather just getting into medical school. Once you're in, there are many factors that might make you change (or remain constant) mind about what specialty to choose. CaRMs is too far away for you to allow it to guide your decisions now.


** Just a warning about general surgery - you have to really experience it (with call and all) to know what it's like. Speak to residents or staff if you can to get some honest answers about what Gen Surg is really like.

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Thanks everyone for your advice - I really appreciate it! :) I have had a couple of months' experience in the OR and feel that I'm pretty set on general surgery. I have a few (probably unintelligent) questions about carms and specialties in general.


1. How exactly does carms work? During the match, will you be competing against every other medical student in Canada for a specialty? There is no quota for each medical school for each specialty, right?


2. Juicyprunes - when you mention "good clerkship performance", is there a particular medical school where I can achieve this easily (ie. a medical school with less competition and more opportunity for me to display superior clerkship performance)?


3. If I attend a school which has a Honours/Pass/Fail system and do not achieve Honours status, would I be less attractive than someone else who achieved a Pass status in the Pass/Fail system?

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1. Each medical school's general surgery program will have a quota for the number of people they can accept. However, as most people will apply to programs at many different schools if they are set on a specialty, you do end up competing against everyone else in Canada who wants to do that specialty.


2. Good clerkship performance primarily depends on your personal qualities and work ethic. Even if there was a particular medical school with such a weaker cohort (and of course there isn't!), preceptors would likely have their own standards of what constitutes good performance and judge you accordingly.


3. Surveys of program directors suggest they do not put as much emphasis on preclinical grades since it is difficult to compare different grading systems.

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Hi there,


In terms of CaRMs, even though there might be ~ 90 or so people applying for general surgery on paper, some of those people might be using it as a backup. Most people will apply to every school hoping to get interviews across the board. They can then choose to go to only certain schools for interviews depending on personal situations. Even then, people can decide to not rank schools that they've interviewed because they're not realistically interested in attending those schools.


Even though some of the stats may seem daunting, in general, many people from the "West" stay in the Western provinces, while people from the "East" stay in the East. Having said that though, I think Gen Surg is becoming increasingly more competitive.


I have nothing to add to Lactic Folly's response in regards to clerkship except that your attitude going in should be that you want to do your best irregardless of your company.


I think H/P/F is being phased out and, perhaps, by the time you get in it will not be an issue anymore.

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