Rural Family – Boundary Trails
Do you feel that your choice of electives had any impact on your CaRMS match? If yes, please give a brief description?
Yes, I chose electives that were mostly all things I could see myself doing in my future practice and one elective that took me out of my comfort zone in terms of working with a patient population I hadn’t before (homeless/ addiction shelters in Hamilton, ON). I knew I wanted to stay in Manitoba but I did 6 weeks of away electives to expose myself to systems in place in other province (ie ON has much more hospice end of life care than we do here in MB) and to explore family Med programs in other provinces. At the end of it all I felt boundary had everything I wanted in a program and I know I talked a lot about my elective experiences in my interviews.
Home for the summer – mainly in Killarney, MB but the Prairie mountain health region also helped me arrange exposures in obstetrics (dauphin) and surgical assisting (Brandon) in order to round out the experience I was getting in Killarney.
“Be true to yourself” – a close resident friend of mine told me this very cheesy line but she had a good reason: The process is a match. All the programs are trying to pick people that will integrate well into the program and succeed. You need to show them who you are, how you work, what makes you tick so that in the end you’re matched to the place that really does fit you best (and ideally the program you want will want you as much as you want them).
What was the most valuable lesson or experience you had while going through the match process? Can you describe this?
My most valuable lesson – trust your gut but be open to advice from faculty and residents that have gone before you. Seek advice from as many knowledgable people as possible but also be careful in discerning the advice that is most relevant to you.
Im not sure I would change anything.
Clerkship – one thing I did right – ask for reference letters right after the rotation, ask in person at your FITER, send the actual email asking again/confirming during CaRMS.
What did you do in your four years of medical school that you found to be the most helpful during the CaRMS process?
I tried to make sure that I had visited all MB rural residency sites either through exposures or RIG trips or my core family rotation. For away electives I also tried to do site visits and meet residents. I wanted to make sure I knew first hand what the communities and clinics and hospitals were like and that I could get to know residents from each place. In the end It really helped me with my rank order and targeting my personal letters to each program/ community.