Dauphin/Parkland Family Medicine in Manitoba
Do you feel that your choice of electives had any impact on your CaRMS match? If yes, please give a brief description?
Absolutely. I chose not only electives, but also early exposures, in the Rural Manitoba Family Medicine programs that I was most interested in. I believe that being exposed to these programs prior to CaRMS was beneficial since I had a stronger understanding of which ones were a good fit for my interests. It also helped that the programs were able to get to know me and my abilities as a clerk prior to the CaRMS process. My other electives were chosen as ones which would provide me with knowledge directly applicable to a career in Rural Family Medicine (ex. Endocrine to better understand conditions like DM I and II, Sports Medicine since there are many MSK injuries seen in a primary care physicians office).
Early exposures in Rural Family Medicine in Med 1. I completed a summer research project in Brandon during Med 2.
If you are truly interested in a program, take the time to meet with, and ask questions to program directors and current residents in that program.
What was the most valuable lesson or experience you had while going through the match process? Can you describe this?
I realized that it is crucial to ask preceptors at the time you are working with them if they would be willing to write you a strong letter for CaRMS or not (if you feel that you have a great working relationship and you have demonstrated you are a good candidate that is). I did this with preceptors who I felt could vouch for me in a positive light after working with me extensively, and it paid off. Some of the same preceptors that wrote me a letter for CaRMS without any issue when I needed them never replied to some of my classmates emails or requests for letters.
I wouldn’t worry as much about CaRMS as I did. I listened too much to classmates who were panicking about their own match.
What did you do in your four years of medical school that you found to be the most helpful during the CaRMS process?
I showed an early and continued interest in Rural Family Medicine (Rural Interest Group, Early Exposures, Research, Electives, etc.). During the match, it was easily apparent to programs that I took my application seriously and truly wanted to match within a Rural Family Medicine Program.
Look for mentors early on in medical school and maintain these relationships. It will help immensely. Remember that residents are huge gossips (they know or will find out what applicants have a reputation for being hard to work with). Finally, rank any and all programs that you interview for (unless you absolutely hate EVERYTHING about that program). It’s better to match to something lower on your list than not matching at all.