“After breakfast, we all get dressed, I pack my daughter’s lunch, and the three of us suit up for the trek to the bus stop. March 2 marks one year since CaRMS Match Day, and rather than being on call or spending time in clinic, I’m on paternity leave.”
A reflection on the year since Match Day, priorities, and the decision to take pat leave. LINK
Part of the in-House s/p The Match series of reflections looking back on the year since Match Day.
“Come Match Day there will be many cheers and tears of joy, there will also be private anger and disappointment. This is a stressful time in the lives of medical trainees. Should so much joy and sorrow hang on the pursuit of a specialty?”
A reflection on specialty choice, our privilege to study medicine, and fulfillment drawing on The Way of Chuang Tzu. On The Muse Magazine’s blog: LINK
With interviews on the horizon I thought back on my experience last year. I found this post useful (link), it collects some tips and was put together by another Western grad. To those I will add a few of my own:
If you don’t know how to yet, go watch a few YouTube videos on how to iron. No matter how you pack your clothes will get wrinkled.
Clerkship likely had you drinking a good deal of coffee. A smile makes a difference for first impressions, there is lots of time to get that smile shining again.
Comfortable dress shoes.
Don’t forget your charger(s).
Be patient. You are traveling Canada in the winter, your flight/train/ride may be delayed.
Review your CV, especially any items highlighted in your personal statements.
Be able to discuss any published research or other works.
Re-read your personal statements and details about each school before the interview.
Do a mini-autobiography to identify anecdotes, motivations, major life events/influences, etc. Who, what, when, where, how did it shape you?
Participate in interview prep with friends, peers, residents, etc.
Think of a few patients that moved you, that you connected with, a good outcome, a bad outcome. How did you react? What would you change?
Think of a conflict with peers or others, how did you handle it?
Review standard interview questions too and have examples for strengths, weaknesses, a time you failed, an accomplishment you are most proud of, etc.
With CaRMS closing soon for CMGs I wanted to wish everyone luck. A few friends from the year below me have asked for some help editing and this reminded me of all the stresses of the application process. A few small things:
Make sure to attach all the documents each school wants. Some want up to 3 reference letters, some accept more. Little details matter, spend the time to upload everything required
Address the prompts for the personal statement
Some schools have different CV requirements, be aware
Attach a nice picture to your application. I took mine infront of a wooden door in a hotel during an elective
Make sure the picture is of you, not a meme
Have a friend or two read over your letters
Interested, but boring was the advice I was given. Don’t try to scare your reader
Soon it will be submitted, the interview invites will hopefully roll in and the next stage will begin.
My Match moment: Change a soiled diaper, get a text asking about Match results and look at the clock and realize it is after noon. Check my results, put on music, and dance with my son.
I’m leaving Western and joining McMaster’s Family Medicine program. A lot of thought went into choosing this path and my ranking of sites, it should be a great fit. Now to find a place to live and move for July.
It has been quite a fall of travels and new experiences. A great time exploring some of Canada and catching up with old friends. My clinical electives have come to a close and I’m back home for a research elective. Many thanks to all the schools I had a chance to visit.
CaRMS closed 10 days ago and our files were opened to programs on the 24th. Now simply the wait on interview invites as there is nothing more that can be done especially after tomorrow when reference letters are due. I’m doing research until the winter break, so I plan to write more consistently here and elsewhere.