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So You're Going To Be A Uofc Med Student..


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I second all this, but we definitely have small group Thursday afternoon, haha.  I would also add that small group is my favourite part of the curriculum. All our preceptors are clinicians (I think s

I have a question about housing.  I know a lot of med students live in Foothills Village and I would like to live there too except without a roommate.  I've been looking online and it looks like every

Haha oh there is discussion, but it's all Top Secret.

This may be trivial, but what's the dress code in terms of clinical rotations/shadowing/electives? Do we need our own scrubs or does the hospital provide them?

 

The hospital should provide scrubs if necessary. If you're shadowing on your own time, you may have to organize scrub aquisiton through the surgeon you're working with or their department.

 

For clinical rotations otherwise, the dress code is professional. So like, dress pants and a dress shirt/blouse, or for ladies a knee length skirt/dress etc. Bascially you don't want to wear jeans/sweatpants/anything too revealing/look like a slob and you should be good haha.

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Do you find having exams every 4-6 weeks tough? Would it be more/less stressful to have them all at the end of the semester like other schools?

Personal thing, but I would find that infinitely more stressful. The amount of content in a med school course is insane. Trying to studying for multiple ones at once would, in my opinion, be terrible.

 

Also most courses are at least 2 months long so you definitely don't have an exam every four weeks, usually. We do have smaller quizzes or midterms in between but that's not too bad.

 

The course we finished before break, for example, had three quizzes, a lab final and a final. Some people didn't like the quizzes, but I did because by the time it came to study for the final, I'd studied all the info at least once. On the flip side, the quizzes are only worth 10% so if you blow one it's really not the end of the world.

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Hi Guys, 

 

So while I am doing my UofC research and getting more and more excited! I have started formulating a list of questions. I am going to post some of them here and I apologize in advance for the information overload! Anything you guys can address would be great!

 

1) What is the work-life balance like at UofC? Because it is an accelerated program, do you find you have less time to decompress and relax?

 

2) I am looking to live alone in a newer apartment. I am open to both renting or purchasing. Can you recommend the best neighbourhoods to be in? I know this was discussed in the FB group a bit but I was wondering if your classmates who live alone can have suggestions?

 

3) The website says you have 10 weeks of electives in clerkship and then says 12 later. Can someone confirm this number? Also are all 12 weeks together? Are they broken up? Do you choose how they are broken up (ex. how many weeks per placement)?

 

4) In 3rd year there is a course called MDCN 550. Is this course classroom based? I am considering doing some of my electives in other provinces and I was wondering if this would act as a barrier?

 

Thanks in advance for answering these, I appreciate it! :) 

 

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Hi Guys, 

 

So while I am doing my UofC research and getting more and more excited! I have started formulating a list of questions. I am going to post some of them here and I apologize in advance for the information overload! Anything you guys can address would be great!

 

1) What is the work-life balance like at UofC? Because it is an accelerated program, do you find you have less time to decompress and relax?

 

2) I am looking to live alone in a newer apartment. I am open to both renting or purchasing. Can you recommend the best neighbourhoods to be in? I know this was discussed in the FB group a bit but I was wondering if your classmates who live alone can have suggestions?

 

3) The website says you have 10 weeks of electives in clerkship and then says 12 later. Can someone confirm this number? Also are all 12 weeks together? Are they broken up? Do you choose how they are broken up (ex. how many weeks per placement)?

 

4) In 3rd year there is a course called MDCN 550. Is this course classroom based? I am considering doing some of my electives in other provinces and I was wondering if this would act as a barrier?

 

Thanks in advance for answering these, I appreciate it! :) 

 

 

 

1. Work life balance isn't so bad. We are pretty busy, but most of the class finds a lot of time to go hiking, play sports, go to movies, etc. Some weeks are busier than others, but I usually find it easy to fit in other life stuff.

 

2. Unfortunately living alone in Calgay in the best areas of the city can be pretty expensive, so as long as you are aware of that and willing to spend the extra cash you should be okay! In my opinion the best area closest to the hospital is Parkdale, as it's about a 10 minute walk to school, and super close to downtown. Close to campus and still great are Bowness, Montgomery, and St. Andrews Heights. If you're willing to do a little extra traveling, Kensington/Hillhurst/Sunnyside is my fave neighborhood, with Mission close behind. I also really like Sunalta; nice places, not too far to drive! However, the rental economy in Calgary is still not amazing after the flood we had a couple of years ago, so it can be a bit challenging to find places to rent in areas near the hospital. My advice is to get started early, look at everything, and be willing to give up location if you want a cheaper price! Maybe others will have more advice on living alone, but the majority of people I know live with roommates haha.

 

3. We have 12 weeks of clerkship now. It used to be 10. There are 8 or 10 weeks of electives at the beginning of clerkship, depending on your track. The other 2-4 weeks are at various times in each block. I believe you can only do two week electives with UofC, as we only get 12 weeks total.

 

4. Hmm, not exactly sure what MDCN 550 is/how it works (did they provide any more information than just the course code? I am wracking my brain trying to figure out what that refers to). However, there is no way UofC is going to put up barriers for those hoping to do electives in other provinces by having a mandatory classroom session during clerkship haha. They are very conscious that our time is limited! I wouldn't worry too much about that, especially not in first year haha

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Thanks for answering my questions!

 

In regards to question 3, does that mean you only get 2 weeks of to make an impression on the place you would potentially want to be? That doesn't seem like too much time to really make an impact and get a good letter from it. Essentially then you would have to make a great impression in the 8-10 weeks before clerkship when you have not even been exposed to that block yet? That sounds like a bit of an tough situation to me! If I have this wrong please don't hesitate to correct me :)

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Thanks for answering my questions!

 

In regards to question 3, does that mean you only get 2 weeks of to make an impression on the place you would potentially want to be? That doesn't seem like too much time to really make an impact and get a good letter from it. Essentially then you would have to make a great impression in the 8-10 weeks before clerkship when you have not even been exposed to that block yet? That sounds like a bit of an tough situation to me! If I have this wrong please don't hesitate to correct me :)

It's definitely a tough situation and a disadvantage of a three year school. That said, it doesn't seem to affect match rates (we match just as well as the four year schools, see the link to Carms earlier in the thread), and my understanding of why (from talking to lots of people) is as follows

- we get lots of early clinical exposure (more so than some other schools), including 4 weeks of preclinical electives, so we're not totally useless even though we haven't done core rotations yet

- program directors understand that we haven't done core rotations yet and evaluate accordingly

-most of making a good impression is attitude and ability to get along with the team, no knowledge or clinical skills

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Thanks for answering my questions!

 

In regards to question 3, does that mean you only get 2 weeks of to make an impression on the place you would potentially want to be? That doesn't seem like too much time to really make an impact and get a good letter from it. Essentially then you would have to make a great impression in the 8-10 weeks before clerkship when you have not even been exposed to that block yet? That sounds like a bit of an tough situation to me! If I have this wrong please don't hesitate to correct me :)

You can do longer electives if you want; there are several students in my class who did 4 week electives. Though, you can still impress enough for a reference letter in two weeks.

 

OH: MDCN 520:  Comprehensive Clinical Skills Curriculum for Clerkship (no idea but i know it runs for 48 weeks?)[/size]

That sounds like "Course 8," which is a longitudinal course where we go back to campus for a half day on Friday once every 4 weeks and go over procedural skills, advanced communications, simulations and some review lectures. It's mandatory if you're in Calgary, but you're excused if you are on an elective/rotation outside of Calgary (further than a 1hr drive)

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I spoke to UME this morning regarding the rural point we were discussing earlier. They mentioned that this was not a new concept but a disclaimer that you will have to participate in rural placements either preclerkship or during clerkship for up to 10 weeks. They mentioned this was posted because students were often saying " I didn't know I had to do this", so they wanted to inform students ahead of time. 

 

That being said can either of you comment on your rural exposure thus far? What have you seen with senior students!

 

I also was curious to know if you had any idea the number and success rate of individuals who apply out of province? CaRMS doesn't go into these specifics (though the match rate for UofC is high!). Most students seem to apply and match to Calgary (or surprisingly BC) but much smaller numbers to Ontario and other provinces. I am just curious to know if this is because less apply to those locations or the success rate is lower in those locations. 

 

Again thank you guys for taking the time to answer all these mission questions. I really do appreciate it!

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I spoke to UME this morning regarding the rural point we were discussing earlier. They mentioned that this was not a new concept but a disclaimer that you will have to participate in rural placements either preclerkship or during clerkship for up to 10 weeks. They mentioned this was posted because students were often saying " I didn't know I had to do this", so they wanted to inform students ahead of time.

 

That being said can either of you comment on your rural exposure thus far? What have you seen with senior students!

 

I also was curious to know if you had any idea the number and success rate of individuals who apply out of province? CaRMS doesn't go into these specifics (though the match rate for UofC is high!). Most students seem to apply and match to Calgary (or surprisingly BC) but much smaller numbers to Ontario and other provinces. I am just curious to know if this is because less apply to those locations or the success rate is lower in those locations.

 

Again thank you guys for taking the time to answer all these mission questions. I really do appreciate it!

A few people have gotten rural family med placements so far that didn't ask for them, but it's only 3 separate days so not a big deal. Past that I don't really know.

 

As for out of province success, i think you'd have to hunt down a third year or above. That said, don't forget that the majority at most schools stay at their home school, so the bias you are seeing may not be due to lower out of province match rates. If it's Ontario you're wanted to return to, there are a lot of programs there so your chances are probably higher. But really, I have no clue.

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That being said can either of you comment on your rural exposure thus far? What have you seen with senior students!

 

 

I haven't had much, but the majority of people who get rural placements for their family med experience have had an amazing time. There is also a rural family group that sets up shadowing opportunites for students, and all of the students I know who do this on a regular basis love it. If you're interested in rural experience, you won't have to look hard to find it through UofC. If you are not looking for rural experience, chances are you probably won't be forced to do it. I am sure they put the disclaimer up for their own purposes, as like it was stated above, the odd person gets tossed into the rural family med experience stream. But three days is no big deal (as long as you have a vehicle haha).

 

 

I also was curious to know if you had any idea the number and success rate of individuals who apply out of province? CaRMS doesn't go into these specifics (though the match rate for UofC is high!). Most students seem to apply and match to Calgary (or surprisingly BC) but much smaller numbers to Ontario and other provinces. I am just curious to know if this is because less apply to those locations or the success rate is lower in those locations. 

 

 

I'm not sure where to find this data.. or if it's out there anywhere! But from my non-scientific viewpoint, the majority of people who go to UofC and UofA have family/loved ones that work in the province, or are from here and have their roots here and would like to remain in province for residency. (Either that, or they prefer the salary benefit that comes with staying in Alberta haha). I would wager that's why many students likely rank Ontario/Maritime provinces lower when applying to Carms. I do know many past students that have been keen to go out of province, and have had no issues finding residency spots, so it's likely not an issue with a lower success rate.

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High match to Alberta schools because people want to stay and practice in Alberta. A large portion of the class is from Alberta, or is a transplant from elsewhere (like me!) who decides that they want to make AB their home.

That said, a ton of us in my class got interviews all over Canada in all sorts of programs...just ended up matching in our home province...probably reflects our ranking.

I don't know of anyone who applied to the US or got US residency from my year. However, many people studied for and took their USMLEs in prep for future US fellowships.

 

With regards to single tenant places, there's tons and tons of condos in downtown/beltline for purchase or rent. Also know some people who lived in Spruce Cliff where there's lots of condos as well. Rentfaster.ca will become your facebook until you secure your home for the next while.

Don't get caught up with living in foothills village/university heights/parkdale...there's lots of nice places in the SW quadrant that aren't that far. A few others to mention, as above, are sunnyside/kensington as well as marda loop. 

I suggest just looking at a lot of areas and places within an acceptable perimeter from school for you...and narrow from there. I don't regret for a second that i lived further away :) it was just a short car drive against traffic daily.

 

welcome to the animal family!

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Hey there,

 

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions.

 

I've heard that the UofC is pretty good for non-trads. I'm an IP, but not the best GPA, and will be pursuing a second undergrad degree. I'm just concerned how they'll treat my application. Is there ways to strengthen my application. I'm pretty good at interviews, have research exp (no pub), international + local leadership volunteerism, clinical lab work experience, and genuinely passionate about medical sciences.

 

I'm taking a huuuge risk, 'cause I'm leaving behind a great career job and heading back to school :o

 

If I do relatively well in my second degree, I should have a decent chance? Any pointers for me?

 

Thanks a bunch!

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Hello! 

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to provide all of this information!

 

I'm curious about research during the MD program at U of C. It's my understanding that many residency programs want to see research experience relevant to the specialty. Most of my friends in 4 year programs conduct research during their summers off. Could you comment on the best ways for U of C students to stay involved in research during the intensive 3 years?

 

Cheers!

 

 

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Hey there,

 

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions.

 

I've heard that the UofC is pretty good for non-trads. I'm an IP, but not the best GPA, and will be pursuing a second undergrad degree. I'm just concerned how they'll treat my application. Is there ways to strengthen my application. I'm pretty good at interviews, have research exp (no pub), international + local leadership volunteerism, clinical lab work experience, and genuinely passionate about medical sciences.

 

I'm taking a huuuge risk, 'cause I'm leaving behind a great career job and heading back to school :o

 

If I do relatively well in my second degree, I should have a decent chance? Any pointers for me?

 

Thanks a bunch!

 

I was in a similar position when I went back to school to pursue medicine. Career change, spouse, mortgage, and previous university studies with an unsuitable gpa for med admission. I was accepted this cycle 7 years after beginning this journey. If you're able to invoke the 10-year rule, that may be something that will really help you at UofC. I met a number of older applicants who were interviewing on the same day that I was interviewing--we are not alone. I do think we're the exception and not the rule, but the way that UofC evaluates our experiences allows you to expand on aspects of your life that may be unique and interesting.

 

I will note, though, that the last 7 years have definitely been the most difficult of my life. As an older applicant with financial and family responsibilities (along with unexpected, serious situations that popped up along the way) I would suggest not beginning this journey without serious consideration. I was fortunate to be accepted this year, but I was rejected last year pre-interview. I was also unable to secure any loans to fund my second degree because my previous career put me into an income bracket that they deemed too high. Similarly, owning property was considered an asset and disqualified me from any provincial/federal loans. Make sure you have a fiscally sound plan that can carry you through your second degree and make sure you have a support system that will stand behind you because after all is said and done, you still may not receive that acceptance.

 

If you have any specific questions, please let me know!

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