Do you feel that your choice of electives had any impact on your CaRMS match? If yes, please give a brief description?
Yes. Programs are more likely to interview applicants that do electives with them. By no means the rule, but often the case.
Family medicine exposure (1 mo.) after Med I, Thoracic Surgery exposure (2 weeks) after med 2. Had prior research experience before entering medicine so less pressure to publish while in med school.
Never put a program on your rank order list that you wouldn’t be willing to attend. Be yourself on electives – personality is the most important thing that is assessed on electives and during interviews.
What was the most valuable lesson or experience you had while going through the match process? Can you describe this?
As above, personality is the most important thing being assessed on electives and in interviews. Departments want to ensure that you’re compatible with their staff and residents. Knowledge and clinical know-how will fall into place with time.
I would have benefitted from a bit more specialty-specific research and exposures. I would also have kept a log of unique patient exposures or cases that highlighted personal strengths or attributes.
What did you do in your four years of medical school that you found to be the most helpful during the CaRMS process?
Experiences outside of medicine were extremely helpful during the interview process. Those are the stories that set your answers apart from the pack.
CaRMS is a scary and intimidating process, but you’ll be surprised at how well you rise to the challenge. Things will work out and you will survive it just like the years ahead of you – don’t let yourself get sucked into the panic. Start your reference letters early and practice for the interviews. Use all of the UGME resources at your disposal. It will work out in the end.