“I was in total disbelief.”
That’s how Dustin Richler, MD, describes the moment he found out that he successfully matched in the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS).
CaRMS, known for its competitiveness and limited positions, can be an intense undertaking for any medical student. But Richler approached the process with the same logic and reasoning as his school exams: researching previous years’ outcomes, planning ahead, outlining schedules and timelines, and reading (and re-reading) the CaRMS website – steps he urges students who are applying to the 2017 CaRMS to adopt.
That calculated strategy, combined with a strong Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE) score, helped him secure a highly sought-after family medicine residency position with Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Just how sought after? According to CBC/Radio-Canada, Dalhousie received over 1,500 applicants for just 7 international medical graduate spots in 2015.
Though weeks have passed since the big reveal, the Toronto, Ontario native says he still wakes up thinking it was all a dream. But come July, Richler’s dream will become a reality as he starts his residency and takes a huge step forward in his medical career – a career he pursued because he “wanted to look in the mirror at night and be content with the person staring back.”
As a physician, Richler looks forward to a challenging and rewarding career that fosters meaningful, long term relationships.
Always one to give back, Richler has already offered to help AUC students applying to next year’s CaRMS. He hopes to share his perspective and experience and help students navigate the registration process, which can take up to a year.
According to Richler, planning and booking Canadian electives and signing up early for mandatory exams like the MCCEE and National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) is essential. His 10 weeks of Canadian electives also proved helpful.
“The most valuable piece of advice I can give is to prepare in advance,” he says. “It’s never too early to plan Canadian electives—but it can be too late.”
Posted March 23, 2016 04:07 PM