Posts tagged question

Mailbag: Post-CaRMS

A second batch of questions from my inbox. My apologies to those who waited and are still waiting.

Is herd immunity a thing? Can vaccinated people get sick? — Asked by Anonymous

Herd immunity exists and it is well documented. In fact, there is a brilliant animation created by the Harvard Medical School that explains this process.

Vaccinations help prime your body to fight off a specific infection. However, it usually takes a few weeks for your body to create a reserve of immune cells for when you next encounter the infection again. Therefore, if you were infected just before or after receiving the vaccine, you might still get sick because the vaccine did not have ample time to provide any protection.

A summary of how vaccines work is available through the CDC.

I don't know where you find the time to write but I love your blog! How much have you invested in it? — Asked by Anonymous

Thanks for the compliment. I honestly cannot tell you how muchtime-wise I have invested into this blog. I would probably say “far too many hours.” Financially however, my total investment to date is the healthy sum of: $10.

The return on that investment:

  • 53,301 followers
  • 2,396 total posts
  • 356 text-based posts
  • 161 links
  • 278 quotes
  • 718 photo sets
  • 110 conversations
  • 108 videos
  • 147 songs
  • 518 sets of questions answered publicly 
  • 1025 sets of questions answered privately

And there is still room to take that ten dollar bill further as I hope to continue blogging into residency and beyond. Thanks again for your question and take care.

I'm an undergraduate who will be applying to medical schools this year. I'm really scared to even try. I experienced a sexual assault in my third year (I'm a fifth year) and the university refused to let me retake the classes from that period in which I made Cs and Bs, as the advisor told me it couldn't be proven. I've been keeping straight As to keep my honors, but how can I explain the poor grades from that time and my comeback without explaining why? — Asked by Anonymous

I cannot imagine how difficult that is an ordeal to go through. No one should have to endure that and I certainly can understand why you would not want to talk about it.

I am sorry to hear that your university has not allowed you to retake the course. I feel that perhaps the best way to explain it would be true to its essence without going into the details. For example, you could ascribe it to a traumatic event in your life at the time that really affected you during that period, something that affected your life on many levels, including school. However you decide to describe it, also highlight the positive turnaround afterwards. By all accounts, you are typically an A student and with a lot of support from your peers, friends, and family, and more importantly a strong will in yourself, you were able to achieve your original performance once again. If they go prodding for details, those are grey-zone questions that are generally not allowed and you should not have to answer them.

While I do not know you personally, I do not think you should be scared to try to apply to medicine. If you have a passion for the practice, and you love the challenges and rewards of being in medicine, then I think it is always worth a try. Everyone is scared to some degree, but we all have so much more to give than we think is possible. If anything, your experiences in all aspects of life make you unique and give you a unique lens through which you interact with your patients. And that is worth trying for.

I wish you the best in life and on all of your future endeavours. Take care and good luck.

Sincerely,
Tom of the Medical State of Mind

Mailbag

I have been very busy over the past few weeks and have since had a amassed a pack of questions in my inbox waiting to be answered. This is about the first half of the questions that I have. The remainder will follow in a subsequent mailbag. I apologize for the delay.

Hi, I am currently a third year in community college and recently switched my major to microbiology, and am hoping to work in the medical field one day. I've done extensive reading of what med school & residency entails, and also the amount of prereq classes I need to take before I transfer. I just worry about what other people will think, since people quickly presume that an individual being in CC too long is lazy etc. Does age really matter? Does med school run the whole gamut in terms of age? — Asked by Anonymous

Age does not matter at all for medical school. One of my classmates entered school in his mid-40s; another classmate is in her early 40s. There are certainly less and less individuals as the age bracket increases but our class demographic covers the spectrum.

Exercise: Superpowers

I was recently asked a similar question during an interview and I think it would be a fun exercise for everyone to switch gears and let your creativity run wild. Leave your answer below or in the comments section.

If you could be a superhero, what superpower would you have?

What specialty are you interviewing for? — Asked by Anonymous

My interests are in family medicine and internal medicine and I have applied broadly to both in Canada.

Exercise: Describe Yourself

I was reviewing some practice interview questions and one question caught my eye. I thought it was simple but challenging, interesting enough a question for the readers to ponder. Leave your answers below or in the comments section.

Q: If your friends were to describe you, what five words would they use?

what was your senior quote? — Asked by Anonymous

image

I honestly could not remember what I wrote for my senior quote. It is unfortunately difficult to access not just on this CaRMS tour but also my study location. However, I would imagine I wrote something eloquent about wishing everyone well going forward, reflecting on my fond memories with friends, and my aspirations for a bright future.

Want to share your senior quote? Leave a reply to this post.