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Choose your own Adventure!

In CaRMS Guide, Mentorship by Brent Thoma2 Comments

When I became a medical student, I was astounded by the number of opportunities available. The more I looked, the more awesome things I found. My interests in policy and leadership development led me into a number of roles with my medical student society and a summer working in the Canadian Medical Association Leadership in Medicine office as an intern (program now sadly defunct) were the highlights. These experiences led me to discover …

Do what you love, love what you do

In Mentorship by Brent Thoma18 Comments

Junior medical students get a lot of information from senior medical students. They have just gone through the system so it makes sense that these students would seek out their advice on everything from how to study to how to prepare for residency match. Generally, that advice is good. However, there is one statement that drives me crazy no matter what it is about. It goes something like this: You have to do THIS to get …

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FAQ About Medical Student Electives

In Mentorship by Brent Thoma5 Comments

This is a topic for which the “how to” seems to be passed down from senior to junior medical students and never written down. I remember being pretty clueless about this process when I went through it. I was a relative late-comer to the Royal College EM sweepstakes, having decided to pursue that program only during the summer before fourth year. This was compounded by my inability to plan anything in advance, ever. I …

CaRMS Personal Letters: You in 500 words or less

In Mentorship by Brent Thoma12 Comments

Originally posted on September 16, 2013.  Staff Review added on October 1, 2014. More than any other component of the Canadian Residency Matching Service (CaRMS) process, personal letters seem to give medical students trouble. Most people find it hard to define themselves in general, let alone in a 500 word essay written for a critical audience with their career hanging in the balance. However, this reflective exercise is a right-of-passage for Canadian medical …

CaRMS CVs: Writing them Right

In CaRMS Guide, Mentorship by Brent Thoma7 Comments

Originally published by Brent Thoma on August 31, 2013.  Expert reviewed and re-published on September 23, 2014. How time flies. About 4 years ago at this time I was in Edmonton on an Emergency Medicine elective when the CaRMS website opened to applicants. The next few months were a blur of an empty word document in need of a personal letter, many frantic e-mails to my references (that I tried to make sound …

CaRMS Application Preparation

In CaRMS Guide, Mentorship by Brent Thoma5 Comments

Originally posted on May 24, 2013.  Staff Review added on September 16, 2014. It seems like match season only just finished. And yet, as the last of the Saskatchewan snow drifts left us, a new crop of medical student clerks (or, as we call them on the prairies, JURSIs) began preparing to sweat through the annual ritual they had been hearing stories about since their earliest premed days: CaRMS. Of course, with CaRMS …