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Devastated since CaRMS 2014


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Guest viscous

Hi

 

I was going for a competitive specialty (something in EROAD) and I did not match to this specialty.

 

I had prepared for this specialty over the last 3 years. I got >5 interviews and had applied broadly. In general, I thought my interviews went fine (no red flags as far as I can think of them). I was also under the impression that wherever I had done my electives, I had impressed everyone with my clinical acumen and knowledge (which was far above my peers according to residents at many schools). I was easy going during my electives as well. I got interviews at all places save one wherever I had done electives.

 

I also thought about crises management in case I did not get matched to this specialty (after seeing students from previous years who did not match). I had options between backing up with family medicine (which I thought I enjoyed, however not as much as my first specialty of choice) and doing research in a year off with reapplication in CaRMS 2015.

 

Maybe it was my fear for going unmatched or my temporary desire to move on with life in case I dont match to my first choice, I ranked family medicine programs and I ended up matching to a family medicine program.

 

Its been over a month now and I do not feel a bit of enjoyment or happiness in matching to FM and not my matching to my Ist choice is wearing me down every single day. Preparing for LMCC has showed me that I do not enjoy a lot of medicine and hence now I think and feel that I will be miserable in family medicine (generalist, broad knowledge of everything etc). I also now think I will be a terrible family doctor for the sole reason I do not enjoy a lot of medicine.

 

Transferring to this specialty seems impossible. I have not heard of any student who was able to transfer to this specialty. I have heard of ONE example in last 10 years when a practicing ER doc reentered into CaRMS and was taken by one program to specialize in this specific discipline.

 

I think I have put the nail in my coffin by actually ranking family medicine. Had I not ranked it, I would probably still have gone unmatched but at least that way I was not bound to any contracts and still had huge possibility of matching next year after doing research (I know of few students who did it and got in the next year).

 

Do you see if I have any last attempts left or I am essentially deserted on a burning bridge and have to jump into family medicine ( in which I will inevitably drown)?

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Are you able to not graduate? Years ago, someone on this forum had to resort to that in order to not commit to a residency they did not want. Delaying the grad was the only way to get out of the CaRMS contract. Obviously, it's a big financial sacrifice for something potentially very difficult, or impossible, to obtain, since you want ROAD (that person wanted something less competitive).

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Dude I am so sorry to hear this.

 

I have a buddy when I was going through carms who matched to his 2nd choice, which was not family but was fairly unrelated to his first choice. He told me (well, a bunch of us) about instant remorse about it. He even said he cried in his car on the way home from the hospital on match day.

 

He applied to switch into his specialty of choice, but was unsuccessful. Hes now in the 2nd year (out of 5), and says that he still regrets some specific answers he gave in interviews. His new specialty is honestly not bad, but its not his passion, but after first year you don't really have a chance to switch. The last time I saw him, he said that he thinks he will feel better once residency is over, but that it still grinds at him almost daily.

 

 

My only advice, sorry about the depressing story, is to try and switch, but don't get your hopes up. Sorry man.

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I've seen this happen too, and I'm really sorry it's dragging you down like this. I have no wise words for you, just to share an experience that they told us in med school - it's different once you're staff.

 

I knew I wouldn't be happy in family and didn't end up ranking it. I sometimes feel that schools do us a dis-service by asking us to rank it when we don't want it.

 

*Hugs*

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Guest viscous
Are you able to not graduate? Years ago, someone on this forum had to resort to that in order to not commit to a residency they did not want. Delaying the grad was the only way to get out of the CaRMS contract. Obviously, it's a big financial sacrifice for something potentially very difficult, or impossible, to obtain, since you want ROAD (that person wanted something less competitive).

 

I have already requested for graduation plus already missed the deadline for many competitive and well-respected research fellowships (most places have been filled by unmatched students). I guess I was extremely catatonic after my match that I lost all will to take any proactive action. And hence the missed boat.

 

I did speak to PD at my school after the match. He suggested that I try to transfer and contact PDs across the country when ~6 months into FM. Of course he warned it will not be easy but he reassured that I was a "well-known commodity." It seems CaRMS match pretty much decides what you will be doing in medicine till death.

 

Transfer is going to be even more hard for transferring with only 2 years of funding (2 yr pgrm to 5 yrs), I doubt it can ever materialize. Can you self fund for the remaining 3 years?

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Guest viscous
Dude I am so sorry to hear this.

 

I have a buddy when I was going through carms who matched to his 2nd choice, which was not family but was fairly unrelated to his first choice. He told me (well, a bunch of us) about instant remorse about it. He even said he cried in his car on the way home from the hospital on match day.

 

He applied to switch into his specialty of choice, but was unsuccessful. Hes now in the 2nd year (out of 5), and says that he still regrets some specific answers he gave in interviews. His new specialty is honestly not bad, but its not his passion, but after first year you don't really have a chance to switch. The last time I saw him, he said that he thinks he will feel better once residency is over, but that it still grinds at him almost daily.

 

 

My only advice, sorry about the depressing story, is to try and switch, but don't get your hopes up. Sorry man.

 

Seems I am going to end up like your friend during residency as well. Every day will be a drag.

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Guest viscous
If you want opthalmology, try applying to the States. It is far less competitive there than it is here.

 

If derm was what you were going for, I don't know what to say. It seems like luck is as much of a factor in matching to derm as anything else is.

 

I've contemplated writing step 1 and 2 CK and CS in next few months. The issue still is being "released" from the shackles of contract with FM program.

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I have already requested for graduation plus already missed the deadline for many competitive and well-respected research fellowships (most places have been filled by unmatched students). I guess I was extremely catatonic after my match that I lost all will to take any proactive action. And hence the missed boat.

 

I did speak to PD at my school after the match. He suggested that I try to transfer and contact PDs across the country when ~6 months into FM. Of course he warned it will not be easy but he reassured that I was a "well-known commodity." It seems CaRMS match pretty much decides what you will be doing in medicine till death.

 

Transfer is going to be even more hard for transferring with only 2 years of funding (2 yr pgrm to 5 yrs), I doubt it can ever materialize. Can you self fund for the remaining 3 years?

 

Never heard of self funding but I have heard of switches - people do switch into family medicine which adds a funding window I heard.

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You said that you enjoyed family medicine before. Is it possible that your disappointment over not matching to ophthalmology and studying for the LMCC is affecting your perception of family medicine? After all, I can't imagine anyone enjoys studying for the LMCC, family doctors who love their careers included.

 

If not and switching out doesnt work, re entry may be a possibility. I have heard of at least one doc who did this for ophthalmology.

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Are you just disappointed or do you hate family medicine with a raging passion?

 

I think there is a chance that once you start family medicine, you will not mind at it all. It is obviously not what you wanted, but in life such is often the case. Could it simply be that with everyone celebrating around you, and studying for the LMCC (which is dumb and everyone hates it) that you are just very crestfallen that you cannot join in people's celebrations and look forward to residency?

 

Meaning, could this devastation be temporary?

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I have a buddy when I was going through carms who matched to his 2nd choice, which was not family but was fairly unrelated to his first choice. He told me (well, a bunch of us) about instant remorse about it. He even said he cried in his car on the way home from the hospital on match day.

 

He applied to switch into his specialty of choice, but was unsuccessful. Hes now in the 2nd year (out of 5), and says that he still regrets some specific answers he gave in interviews. His new specialty is honestly not bad, but its not his passion, but after first year you don't really have a chance to switch. The last time I saw him, he said that he thinks he will feel better once residency is over, but that it still grinds at him almost daily.

 

wow. I feel for this guy and the OP.

 

OP, radiology gets a small amount of transfers every year. Even if chances of transfer into your descired discipline are as slim as you say, I'd still take a shot and email PDs far and wide. Crazy things happen.

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Truer words have never been spoken.

 

although they are also aware of the drawbacks of not matching - I mean the second round doesn't have much, and applying the following year applicants have a comparatively low (say 50% chance) of getting the field they are interested in. You should never backup into something you wouldn't want to do, but if there are alternatives they have a point in encouraging you to follow them. CARMS is just a messy, messy beast.

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Are you just disappointed or do you hate family medicine with a raging passion?

 

I think there is a chance that once you start family medicine, you will not mind at it all. It is obviously not what you wanted, but in life such is often the case. Could it simply be that with everyone celebrating around you, and studying for the LMCC (which is dumb and everyone hates it) that you are just very crestfallen that you cannot join in people's celebrations and look forward to residency?

 

Meaning, could this devastation be temporary?

 

+++, to add to this, the dude I was talking about said it was by far the worst in the time between the match and the LMCC, like he detested hearing everyone be so thrilled about where they matched etc. It did get better (albeit not completely) in residency, and he says he suspects it will get better still after residency.

 

Again, try to switch after R1. Since youre in family, I guess you can apply also after R2 to start over. Try to do electives/even research in your desired specialty to demonstrate "intense interest." Also, try to accept that all this might definitely not work.

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although they are also aware of the drawbacks of not matching - I mean the second round doesn't have much, and applying the following year applicants have a comparatively low (say 50% chance) of getting the field they are interested in. You should never backup into something you wouldn't want to do, but if there are alternatives they have a point in encouraging you to follow them. CARMS is just a messy, messy beast.

 

For the record (and not that I want to start a never ending debate on this one...) I believe matching is better than not, period. However, I just very much have a great deal of hatred for those who try to make their selfish attempts appear to be in your best interests. For example, when I tell an admin "but why would I apply to this X specialty when it would be far more enjoyable to get mauled by a bear?" and they reply "Oh you'll grow to like it so you really should apply" - that I realllllly don't like.

 

So if it's someone that truly knows you giving you advice, as in sitting down with you, etc etc that's ok. If it's more like the above, not so cool. Likely depends on individual and school circumstances

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I've contemplated writing step 1 and 2 CK and CS in next few months. The issue still is being "released" from the shackles of contract with FM program.

 

I think that you can exit residency contracts if you give them enough notice of your intention to resign. They are not entirely binding.

 

Try for ophthalmology in the USA. You've made it this far.

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wow. I feel for this guy and the OP.

 

OP, radiology gets a small amount of transfers every year. Even if chances of transfer into your descired discipline are as slim as you say, I'd still take a shot and email PDs far and wide. Crazy things happen.

 

Agreed. It's never too late. The crazy thing about CaRMS and residency matching in Canada is for every horror story you hear, there is a success story to pair. If it were me, I would start family medicine, remain nice to everyone, work really hard, do electives, and try and switch. It's 25-35 years of work you are looking at, you should and have the chance to be satisfied with what you do. Good luck...it may take time but it can happen!

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Viscous:

 

I am sorry to hear that. What specialty were you going for? You can PM me.

 

If it is of any comfort, I also did not match to ophthalmology this year. I had 8 interviews and was confident I would match. From what I can tell, ophthalmology programs are very close and small programs, they do value clinical competence, hard working and good applicants but without networking and "gelling" into their culture, it would be hard to get in. PDs usually rank based on subjective factors and how successful you as an applicant have been able to network and make a name in the field over last few years.

 

Some programs are also now trying to balance out their gender distribution. So if you happen to be of opposite gender, that might also have played a role in you not matching. Multitude of factors here.

 

I've seen less competent applicants match to ophtho, some who residents told me they would not even want to interview, matched at other schools. Its a *fcuked up subjective game. I've met lot of cool ophtho applicants this year on CaRMS tour and then really childish immature kids (you can figure out from which school). It was painful to see good people go unmatched and see kids match.

 

I am going to be doing a research fellowship in ophthalmology and reapplying next year to take what is mine. You should NOT have backed up but that's my opinion and I did not back up as I knew I would not settle for anything else.

 

I wish you best of luck, dont give up on your dream, fight for it even if requires blood spill. You have worked hard for CaRMS, its tough, but being "catatonic" and all "melancholic" will give others advantage over you. I was bummed for few days after March 5th too but I had good support from residents and quickly got in touch with PIs for fellowships. Hope you are single, without much debt from med school and energetic, just so you can dedicate and focus on your war without any liabilities or people to hold you back.

 

Godspeed comrade.

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