4 CASPer Tips
Looking for advice on how to approach a CASPer? Annie Lamei, a 1st year medical student from Hamilton, has put together some of her key tips from her experiences.
Overview of a MMI
Wondering what happens the day of an MMI? Kristen Hall, a 2nd year medical student from Saskatoon, has written an article that outlines what to expect.
Scrap the Formula
Do you find yourself trying to check the boxes of a medical school application? Check out this article by Kerry Walker, one of the first-year residents from Vancouver.
It can be challenging at times to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into with medical school but rest assured Reva Qiu, our second year mentor from McMaster Univeristy, has got you covered! Reva is bringing us along her day as a medical student clerk in the hospital. Check out her video to see what attending Mac Med can look like! She also takes some time in the end to answer some FAQ questions about undergrad, medicine, what keeps her motivated and how she handles stress!
One of our own premeds in the community, Rosie, has created this wonderful piece where she shares with us her personal experiences navigating the health care system as a patient and the many lessons that we as health care providers can learn to better serve the patients we encounter with chronic conditions and disabilities. Check out her piece here to learn about the value that comes with empowering the voices of those who experience our health care system and the lessons that we can learn from them. Thank you to Rosie for her voice in sharing her lived experience with all of us, a gift that truly has immense value!
In the pre-med and medical journey, we place a large emphasis on all the things that we “need” to do, often neglecting the sacrifices that we make that impact our wellness along the way. Ariana knows all about the stress that comes with being a premed and has learned the importance of valuing both her physical and mental health. Check our her article here, where she offers a few tips that have worked well for her on how you can take care of your wellness and make it a priority!
This article will also serve as an introductory piece to a NEW ongoing series put out by the MMC about wellness. We know that students come from various backgrounds and that along the way we all develop our own strategies for prioritizing our wellness. We want to encourage you to share your wellness strategies! We hope to compile these wellness- related articles into a mini booklet to empower students to take care of their health by providing information and advice. If you have your own strategies for an aspect of physical/mental wellness, let us know by filling in the following form https://forms.gle/ttfDMC3RYfF34yjx9. We can’t wait to hear form you!
Now that applications are submitted and many of you have done the Casper exam, the last big piece of this admission cycle are the interviews! Although most interviews happen in the new year, it’s never too early to start thinking about what the interview process entails and how you can set yourself up for success. Mentor Caroline Najjar, who not only went through the MMI interview process herself but was also a rater for the McGill MMIs, offers her advice to all of you with regards to how you can prep for these interviews in advance, but also how you can excel on the day of your interviews. Give her piece a read here and let us know if you have any follow-up questions as you go through it!
new piece: 1 illness, 2 experiences
This week we have a very special piece from one of our premeds in the community, Lisa Lavelle. In her poster, Lisa delves into the detrimental effect that social determinants of health, such as language spoken, geographic location and cultural heritage, can have on perpetuating health inequities. As future physicians, we each have a role to play in not only recognizing that these determinants exist, but in applying this knowledge to our own patients in order to better understand what potentially has contributed to their presentations and how we must tailor our treatments on an individual basis. This also sets the framework for all the work that still needs to be done in order to ensure true equal access to healthcare! Give it a read and let us know what thoughts this piece has stirred up in you!
The MMC is here this week to provide you with this great resource for both mentors and premeds in the community, that was the product of many of our wonderful mentors! For incoming medical students, the transition to medical school can be a bit daunting, but not to worry, our upper year mentors have come together to work on this resource for you and to provide you with tips that they've learned along the way to make your transition a smooth one. And for our premeds in the community, it's never too early to start adapting some of these strategies that medical students employ to help them be successful in their studies! By looking through this file, you can also gain a better understanding of what being a medical student entails and what you can expect in your future!
This week we have an exciting new piece from one of our mentors, Brandon, who details his experiences as a new third year medical student on the wards. For our medical students in the community, the transition from pre-clerkship to clerkship can certainly be a scary one with a lot that needs to be learned quickly in order to navigate the wards and be successful. Brandon shares with us his experience as a new clerk and breaks it down into how he prepared, what his daily routine consisted of and even shares some things he’s already learned that he didn’t know going into clerkship! And for our premeds in the community, this is a great way to hear about one of the most exciting transitions that medical students go through when they get the ability to learn on the wards by managing patients with all kinds of presentations! Check out his piece here!
As some of you work on preparing your medical school applications for this upcoming cycle or if you’re thinking ahead for the next year, one of the things that’s bound to cross your mind is references! Who to choose? How to ask? When to ask? Our mentor Selina Shi takes us through 4 of her top tips for choosing the best references who can highlight your assets in the best ways! Check out her piece here to help you evaluate who might be the best reference for you! And if you’ve already chosen your references, use the piece as a checklist to help you feel even more confident in the choice that you’ve made!
Many premeds may share the same end goal of attending medical school, but how one gets to the decision that medicine is their calling can vary greatly from one person to the next. One of the premeds in our community, Cynthia Ventrella, shares with us her personal journey that led her to pursue medicine. Her journey wasn’t always the easiest or most clear, but it provided her with a great deal of learning opportunities along the way that she graciously shares with us. Check out her piece here to get an inside look into another premed’s journey and see how her story may be similar or different to yours!
Wherever you are in your training or life, at some point or another, we’ve all let procrastination get the better of us and delay our efforts in getting work done. Mentor Jasmine Gill understands that contrary to the belief that procrastination is a sign of laziness, there are so many additional factors that contribute to this. In her piece, she takes us through various causes for procrastination and some coping strategies to help us get through those times when it’s hard to find the motivation to get our work done. “Taking a moment to reflect on and acknowledge our personal challenges is the first step towards overcoming the potentially disruptive and negative behaviours associated with procrastination.” Check out her piece here to learn about some ways that you can overcome procrastination when it comes and let us know below some strategies that you’ve developed for dealing with procrastination in your life!
As the summer goes on, many students think about the academic year ahead and specifically this upcoming medical school application cycle. While the application itself and the MCAT exam may be at the forefront of your mind, the thought of interviews always follows close behind. And for many premeds, the idea of the Multiple Mini Interviews or MMI can be a scary thought, mainly because it seems so foreign in comparison to traditional interview styles. Mentor Sophy Mo has created this piece to help you get prepped well in advance for your interviews. While these tips are geared towards doing the MMI, they can definitely be applied to all interview styles offered by the various schools so make sure to check out her piece here to see how you can show the interviewers you were made for med school!
The MCAT can be one of the most challenging parts of the application cycle and as the summer rolls around, more and more students dedicate their free time to studying for this exam. Specifically the CARS section is one that often leaves students confused with how best they can excel in this challenging section! Mentor Faramarz shares his top 4 tips for acing the CARS section based on his own experience with the MCAT. Check out his piece here to see what new strategies you can employ to help you get the highest score!
Ever wondered what life as a preclerk (first and second year med student) is like right now during the COVID pandemic? Our mentor Katie van Kampen has created this day in the life vlog style video to give you an inside look into what her classes are like and how she keeps busy as a McMaster medical student. Check out her video here to get a look at how medical school classes and teaching have been adapted to now fit an online format!
Many premedical students consider all of their options when applying to medical school, including expanding their chances by also applying to American medical schools. Mentor Dileas MacGowan led the production of this overview document to provide some helpful considerations for applicants applying to both Canadian and American medical schools. With the support of mentors Taylor Young, Victoria Hayman and Natalie Landon-Brace, this document is packed with practical advice from mentors who know both the Canadian and American application processes. Check out the document here for timeline recommendations, tips from mentors and a list of some helpful resources to help guide the application process.
new article: grad school choices
After completing their undergraduate degrees, many students consider the possibility of further education in the form of a masters degree, but how do you decide if that’s the right choice for you. One of our premedical students in the community, Lisa Lavelle, gives an overview of some important things to consider when trying to come to this decision. Check out her article here to give you an outline for all the possible perspectives to think about prior to choosing your next step.
The members of the MMC community write articles that outline their experiences with medicine and advice for their younger selves. Popular events and mentor spotlights are also highlighted here. Check out their insights below!