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Time flies

What’s new in LEW?

Time sure does fly. After just wrapping up a CaRMS letter review for fourth year students, we are already getting ready for CaRMS interview preparation.  

The lottery opened for third-year clerks on November 23, which marked the beginning of electives selection – a big task for our clinical trainees.  

The pre-clinical learners have taken advantage of some insightful talks such as: CaRMS 101 and 102, Sexual Violence and a discussion about insurance.   

We are pleased to support these important conversations and welcome any student to come forward with any information they feel would best be shared in this way.

Did you get your flu shot?

It is that time of year when all students are required to provide documentation of having received their flu shot to the LEW Office. The deadline was December 1. If any student has not done so, please pass along your documentation to the Learner Equity Wellness Office (LEW).

Remember to take good care of yourself and wash your hands regularly to avoid getting sick. If you do find yourself under the weather, find out where the closest clinic is and log wait times by downloading the app Clinic Seeker to your mobile device.

Time flies

The phrase "the days are long but the weeks fly by” is often a reference made for parents with young children - working through very long and busy days and yet simultaneously feeling like time is flying. It can be said that this reference also applies to medical students. In one breath, it’s already December and holiday festivities are around the corner. On the other hand, it’s only December and there are still end-of-course exams, looming final exams, as well as clerkship rotations that will spread throughout the holidays and remaining elective blocks that seem exhausting after months of living out of a suitcase.

There are also decisions to make at every level: What experiential/extracurricular activities should I involve myself in during pre-clinical years to add to my CV and enhance my student experience? What kind of physician do I want to be and what can I do to figure that out? Who can I ask for a reference letter? Is my CaRMS application competitive and well-written?

As we wrap up a calendar year, it’s a good time to wrap up outstanding to-do lists.   

This alone helps eliminate stress and refocus our attention to the things we can do to ensure our success rather than passively worrying about the future.   

Time management is key and organizing milestones and critical dates on a hard copy calendar is still a very good tool to keep you motivated and on track – despite how “old school” it may seem in this digital age.

When these questions arise, remember you can always turn to LEW for support – be it academic, career or personal. We are connected to wonderful campus and local resources and also hold a lot of in-house experience and knowledge.  

Sometimes a quick conversation can steer you in the right direction – and even lead to taking advantage of supports or resources you didn’t realize you could benefit from.  

Remember, also, that at all stages of your learning there are many helpful wellness resources (health and career) on the Learner Equity & Wellness OWL site. If you haven’t joined the site, there’s no time like the present.  

In case you need a little motivation to start your to-do lists, here are some helpful first steps:

Class of 2021

Start coordinating observerships and spending some time on CiM and CMA sites to explore different career paths. Additionally, think about what interests you in terms of research or leadership activities. Remember, on a CV you will want some activities that have some depth and you were involved in over time.

Class of 2020

If you attended the CaRMS talk, you might have your 'paper appearance' on your mind. If you feel like you need to add to your CV, now is the time to start exploring research opportunities for the summer – as well, this is still a good time to get involved in leadership activities or projects that can add some depth to your extra-curricular experiences.

Class of 2019

The lottery opened just a couple of weeks ago. If you haven’t already, it’s important to have a game plan and idea of where you would like to take electives and what you would like to take. In my experience, half the battle of being timely in your applications is jumping onto the portal NOW and familiarizing yourself. It’s the perfect weather to grab a nice hot beverage and cozy slippers and have a long, lingering date with the portal.  

Class of 2018

Interview season is around the corner and CaRMS applications have been submitted. At this point, the last tool you have is a strong interview. Be sure to video yourself, practise with friends family and colleagues (don’t forget to dust off your clerkship half-day interview practice questions) and certainly book one of our promoted on-campus mock interviews scheduled when you return in January.  If interviews are not your strong suit a mock interview in January can help, but it leaves little time to implement and practice the suggestions. So start your interview preparation now.

With the holidays around the corner, we wish you all the best as you wrap up the semester and, of course, best wishes for a relaxing, enjoyable and safe holiday season.

Stephanie Coccimiglio