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  1. #1
    albinoblackbear is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Canadians Going to Limerick?

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    Just trying to connect with some of the other Canadians (or non-Canadians) who will be starting the med grad program at Limerick in Sept 2009.

    I'd be keen to know what others are doing in terms of housing, shipping belongings, etc. I am still trying to decide if I'll take a trip this summer or try to set up everything remotely.

    Can't wait to start!

  2. #2
    Drawlt is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Canadians going to Limerick?

    Congratulations on getting in albinoblackbear!
    I also got an offer for Sept '09 but am still trying to figure out how the heck people finance it. I also go into a couple of Australian schools which are much cheaper and am just trying to determine if there is any real advantage to Ireland, other than being slightly closer to home. I have some people say that Ireland is looked on more favorably by CaRMS based on reputation, however I have not found any information to support these claims.

    If you went through a similar decision process perhaps you can help me with mine.

  3. #3
    albinoblackbear is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Drawit--Congrats to you as well! You've got some tough decisions ahead.

    I didn't apply to Auz but I did get into AUC and Ross in the Caribbean. I chose Ireland over those two for several reasons, but really it came down to a personal preference over living in Ireland over the Caribbean (most people look at me like I have two heads when I say this).

    I have been on the Society for Rural Physicians of Canada (SRPC) discussion listserve for a couple of years now and have seen a lot of threads regarding IMG's in Canada (we will be considered 'fake' IMG's BTW because we will be Canadians who trained abroad not 'pure' IMG's who are foreigners that trained abroad--and this actually creates some tension with the 'real' IMG's...) Anyway, when I was trying to decide whether to go to Carib or Ireland I sent an email to the SRPC group about if I would have an easier time getting a residency going to one school or the other. The responses I got were varied but from people who definitely know what they are talking about (FM residency director at UBC, and executive director of College of Family Physicians of Canada for example).

    I can't speak to Auz vs Irish because they were comparing Irish to Carib but the common theme was that Irish grads are very well respected in both clerkship and residency positions. The other resounding piece of advice was 'do some of your clerkships in the places you want to apply for residency'--when they get 600 applications for 4 2nd round FM spots (UBC) you had better know someone who knows someone if you want a shot at getting in.

    Irish grads get way more competative residencies in the US, not so much in Canada (as you probably know). I doubt that Auz grads would have much more of a shot over Irish for the competative residencies--but that is pure speculation. You're pretty much lumped into the "IMG" pit and may be half a head taller than everyone else if you're from the US, Ireland, Auz...

    In terms of funding...I got a whopping line of credit from BMO but had to have it co-signed by my mother (notice me poking at my eyes with sharp object) and will be coming home to Canada to work as a RN on my summers off, which will pretty much cover my living expenses for each year.

    Another funding option is return of service agreements...find a health authority near you and see if they will finance part of your tuition if you promise to return and give them your MD blood, sweat, and tears. I don't know which province you live in but they all have these sorts of things, you just have to go begging...er I mean digging.

    So, that is a long and rambling response to your conundrum...in a nutshell if you take money out of the equation--decide where you want to live and what program interests you the most. If the Auz schools you got accepted to wont let you go to Canada or US for clerkship rotations I'd say toss that idea out and head to Ireland because I know for certain that you can at Limerick. And that will be your ticket for CaRMS. I've resigned myself to the fact that I'll prob have to go to the US for residency. Or stay in Europe.

    Hope some of that helps!

    Good luck with your decision...

  4. #4
    hey_deep is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Congrats to both of you on getting accepted.

    I'll be applying for Irish med schools in the following cycle, starting Aug. 1 2009. I wanted to know what your experience was with applying through the Atlantic Bridge program. What is the best way to prep / what to expect, etc.

    My main priority is getting accepted to med school. I am a non-traditional applicant; Commerce degree with work experience in the industry. My GPA is 3.49 and my 2006 MCAT scores are 29R. I spoke with Patrick Nealon with Atlantic Bridge, and he said I should apply as I am definitely competitive. I wouldn't mind getting your opinion, seeing as you have been accepted and are also Canadian.

    Any help would be appreciated.


    Cheers.

  5. #5
    albinoblackbear is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Hey Deep

    My experience with the Atlantic Bridge folks was really positive. Peter Nealon is a star, very nice man and very helpful. I got a chance to meet him in Toronto at the UL interviews.

    It is nice to have a centralized service so that you don't have to wade through all the separate applications to Ireland, as well as harass your referees to send off 6 different letters on your behalf.

    My stats were similar to yours though I have a health care background so I am not sure if that made me any more competitive as a result. Can't imagine it hindered my application. I would say apply and in the mean time get as much health care related experience as you can (preferably volunteer). I am sure you know that already.

    What you can expect is to submit your application and then wait until March-April to hear anything with regards to interview invites. The reject letters I received came late...just a couple of weeks ago. In terms of prep...there is a group interview for UL which you can't really prep for. The schooling is PBL centered so they want to gauge how you function in a group. If you are not overbearing/obnoxious/social dropout/troglodyte you'll probably be fine. Learn about PBL and how it works. Prep for your interview like you have for every other interview you've done. Do your homework on the program, the school, and why you want to go into medicine. And write a good essay for your app. Get other people to read it and give you feedback. If you got 'R' you can obviously string together a cogent essay!

    Other than that, wish upon a star, make offerings to the admission gods, throw some pennies in a fountain, pull petals off daisies...selections is a mysterious process which I have found has no rhyme or reason.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
    hey_deep is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Additional info on volunteering in healthcare

    Thanks for the advice!

    The decision to pursue Medicine instead of continuing in my career in business has been a long-time coming. Long story short, I've ran my own small business in the past, and now I'm working with an international consumer-goods company. The small-business experience was incredible, but I'm not quite cut out for the corporate lifestyle. The politics and in-office competition w/ colleagues for the next 10 years is not appealing. I would much rather put my blood, sweat & tears into pursuing medicine so that when I'm in my early 30's I can open up and run my own family practice somewhere. That pathway feels natural. I could put the same effort into my business career and could have very good financial success, but I doubt I'd be happy with the person in the mirror 10 years from now.

    I'm in the process of transitioning out of my job as a management trainee to go back to school and work on boosting my GPA, rewriting the MCATs, and filling out the "medical experience" part of my C.V. You mentioned having a background in healthcare; if you don't mind sharing, I'd love to know what that is. My primary interest is family medicine, so do you have a few examples of volunteer experiences that would act as evidence of my committment to the field.

    Cheers .

    Quote Originally Posted by albinoblackbear View Post

    ...
    My stats were similar to yours though I have a health care background so I am not sure if that made me any more competitive as a result. Can't imagine it hindered my application. I would say apply and in the mean time get as much health care related experience as you can (preferably volunteer). I am sure you know that already.

    What you can expect is to submit your application and then wait until March-April to hear anything with regards to interview invites. The reject letters I received came late...just a couple of weeks ago. In terms of prep...there is a group interview for UL which you can't really prep for. The schooling is PBL centered so they want to gauge how you function in a group. If you are not overbearing/obnoxious/social dropout/troglodyte you'll probably be fine. Learn about PBL and how it works. Prep for your interview like you have for every other interview you've done. Do your homework on the program, the school, and why you want to go into medicine. And write a good essay for your app. Get other people to read it and give you feedback. If you got 'R' you can obviously string together a cogent essay!

    Other than that, wish upon a star, make offerings to the admission gods, throw some pennies in a fountain, pull petals off daisies...selections is a mysterious process which I have found has no rhyme or reason.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    noshi is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by hey_deep View Post
    Congrats to both of you on getting accepted.

    I'll be applying for Irish med schools in the following cycle, starting Aug. 1 2009. I wanted to know what your experience was with applying through the Atlantic Bridge program. What is the best way to prep / what to expect, etc.

    My main priority is getting accepted to med school. I am a non-traditional applicant; Commerce degree with work experience in the industry. My GPA is 3.49 and my 2006 MCAT scores are 29R. I spoke with Patrick Nealon with Atlantic Bridge, and he said I should apply as I am definitely competitive. I wouldn't mind getting your opinion, seeing as you have been accepted and are also Canadian.

    Any help would be appreciated.


    Cheers.
    Hi

    I am new to this forum and I was wondering if anyone has the email contact for this Patrick Nealon person you all talk highly about. I went to the Atlantic Bridge Program website, but they just have one general email address. So if anyone who has the contact info, please let me know. I would really appreciate it.

  8. #8
    hey_deep is offline Newbie 510 points
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    I called the number on the website and Patrick answered the phone. The email on the website should reach him directly. Try that.


    Cheers.

  9. #9
    albinoblackbear is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Additional info on volunteering in healthcare

    Happy to share my experiences.

    Well your small business background will come in handy down the road when you set up your practice! Great that you want to do family med, the world needs more GP's.

    For volunteer related experience you have a number of options...I would suggest getting on it now because the more you have on your CV the better. You can volunteer at your local blood bank giving cookies to donors, go to your hospital(s) and find out what sorts of volunteer training/opportunities they have there, local Red Cross, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, doctors clinics, Canadian Cancer Society, Canadian National Institute for the Blind, old age homes, really...the list is endless. I did some volunteer work in India and Malaysia but to be honest I think that the admissions people look more favorably on local volunteer work. But again, who knows?? It's anyone's guess. Also I would try and learn several languages and instruments, become an Olympic athlete, and find a cure for the common cold (I am hoping you are picking up on the sarcasm there...I am only slightly bitter at the Canadian selection process right now--can you tell??)

    I also think that it is best to get some exposure to hospitals/old age homes so that you can see if you really do in fact want to spend time in that setting (i.e around sick people for the rest of your life). Find a local GP that you can interview, talk to some students that went to a medical school you want to go to and ask them how they prepared. My advice is to try and get accepted to Canada as well as overseas...it'll save you about $180 000 in tuition and you'll have no headaches finding residencies or getting licensed.

    My background is is nursing. I have a BSc.N and have been working as an ER nurse and outpost nurse in the Arctic for the past 5 years.

    Hope some of that helps. Good luck and just remember that it is a long and sometimes very frustrating road...but when you get that acceptance letter it'll all be worth it!!

    P.S I believe it is Peter Nealon, not Patrick...
    Last edited by albinoblackbear; 05-24-2009 at 03:40 PM.

  10. #10
    hey_deep is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Mmm. Cookies.


    Thanks for the tips.

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