Apr 6, 2010
17
0
0
Status
I am very interested in Irish Medical Schools, but had an inquiry. It seems like the Irish advantage for Canadians is the reputation as residency directors use the school attended moreso than board scores in comparison to the states when looking at applicants. Would newer Irish schools also have this "reputation" advantage. However, when Irish grads who are Canadian apply to the states, aren't they at a disadvantage compared to carrib students who are perhaps better prepared for the boards and have completed rotations in the states? Is their anything in particular about Irish Medical Schools and their students that makes them appealing to the res directors in the states as it seems according to the forum that those who fail to match in Canada, can do so in the states (irish med school grads)

Thanks
 

jnuts

10+ Year Member
Jun 12, 2007
279
20
251
Toronto/ Dublin
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Unfortunately, I don't think there are any great answers to your questions. How the new Irish schools will fare is a mystery as there haven't been any graduates. In a larger sense, asking how the 'reputation' advantage works to anyone other than residency committees is just a request for speculation. You might think try to think logically about factors like board preparation and number of rotations, but you're really just hypothesizing (or asking others to). My personal bet would be on the stigma of the Caribbean being higher than most people think, especially by comparison; an education in European medicine brings something new to the table that you can sell as strength.

I have no idea why exactly Irish grads do better in the matches, from my own experience most of medicine is an autotutorial memorization game.

All that really matters is that you can't argue with the numbers.
 

Unch

Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 2, 2005
217
3
241
Victoria, BC
Status
Attending Physician
From residency program directors' perspective, I don't think WHICH Irish school will matter at all, new or not. Much too much history of medical education in Ireland to instill fear that a new school would be bad. Probably very little risk that Limerick will present additional match hurdles over the other Irish schools. It will be all the other stuff (as usual)... electives, scores, letters etc.
 
Apr 15, 2010
15
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
From residency program directors' perspective, I don't think WHICH Irish school will matter at all, new or not. Much too much history of medical education in Ireland to instill fear that a new school would be bad. Probably very little risk that Limerick will present additional match hurdles over the other Irish schools. It will be all the other stuff (as usual)... electives, scores, letters etc.

Hey Unch,

How many north american electives do they let the students at UCC do?
 

Unch

Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 2, 2005
217
3
241
Victoria, BC
Status
Attending Physician
Entirely up to you with no input or restrictions from UCC directly. People do what they can manage during the time off in summer months. I did three... one after third year and two after fourth year (five year program). Electives after third year are trickier since some NAmerican programs want you to be entering your final year to be eligible. I sneaked in to my 3rd year elective because UCC made a mistake and made up a status letter saying I was entering final year when I was actually entering fourth year.

Then there's the balance of time between summer months for electives versus study time for Step1/2 or MCCEE though the latter was relatively easy to prepare for in the autumn of final year amidst regular school. I feel sorry for the grad entry students who only have something like 6 weeks off each summer. I could never have managed to do all the electives I did without the 12 weeks each summer.

One more caveat... consider telling your school less rather than more if you're working on the fringes of scheduled school time as a few people here at UCC had headaches when they needed time off for interviews etc. Don't ask/don't tell! Just do it and they generally don't notice if you're careful.

In all, do as many electives as you can. They are incredibly important for apps back home (Canada or US) and get multiple LORs from each elective if you can. Then choose which to use later. You can also get copies of LORs sent to your school and (wink wink) perhaps even have a look at them before using so you know what you've got and whaich are good.
 
Apr 15, 2010
15
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
hey Unch. thanks for the great info. I imaging UCD would also be like that. I dont understand the LOR stuff though. I assumed you work with a physician, then when carms time rolls around, you contact them and have them forward an LOR to carms. Are you saying you get LORs immediately upon elective completion? and why are they sending it to your school? Forgive my ignorance, but it would be greatly appreciated if you could please shed some light on this. Also, i am confused about why u had to do squeeze the electives into your summer breaks. aren't they recognized by UCC as part of the curriculum?
 

jnuts

10+ Year Member
Jun 12, 2007
279
20
251
Toronto/ Dublin
Status
Resident [Any Field]
hey Unch. thanks for the great info. I imaging UCD would also be like that. I dont understand the LOR stuff though. I assumed you work with a physician, then when carms time rolls around, you contact them and have them forward an LOR to carms. Are you saying you get LORs immediately upon elective completion? and why are they sending it to your school? Forgive my ignorance, but it would be greatly appreciated if you could please shed some light on this. Also, i am confused about why u had to do squeeze the electives into your summer breaks. aren't they recognized by UCC as part of the curriculum?
No Irish school recognizes North American electives as part of the cirriculum as of this year.

LORs usually aren't sent to your home school, but if you ask for a copy to be sent you might be able to 'cheat' and get a look at it before you pick which letter to use for Residency applications.

It is to your advantage, but not a requirement, to let your preceptor know you're looking for a recommendation at the beginning of an elective and to ask for it while you are still at the host school.
 
Apr 15, 2010
15
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
No Irish school recognizes North American electives as part of the cirriculum as of this year.

LORs usually aren't sent to your home school, but if you ask for a copy to be sent you might be able to 'cheat' and get a look at it before you pick which letter to use for Residency applications.

It is to your advantage, but not a requirement, to let your preceptor know you're looking for a recommendation at the beginning of an elective and to ask for it while you are still at the host school.
geez are you serious? that sucks! but on the good note, if you have already done the elective once in ireland, you should be able to demonstrate a great deal of competency. i thought all LORs had to be written within a year. that's the general rule of thumb for most things. thanks jnuts. that definitely answers my questions though.
 

Unch

Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 2, 2005
217
3
241
Victoria, BC
Status
Attending Physician
Yes, entirely on your own. Irish schools have simple requirement that you complete one elective before final year starts (during your summer time off) but offer nothing in the way of support. This is at UCC, anyway.

Yes, when you arrive for your elective, scope things out quickly. If you're attached to a single physician, it will be assumed and expected that you'll ask for a letter. If you're interacting with several for substantial chunks of time, approach whomever you feel is appropriate and perhaps approach more than one. Again, it won't be a surprise to them that you ask. No guarantees but you have to ask to be successful. In one EM elective, I did just three shifts with the director of the entire program and asked him. He said "let me think about it", invited me to do one more shift with him and then agreed in the end. I was a bit nervous asking but everyone knows how it works.
 
Apr 15, 2010
15
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks Unch. How do these summer electives work? Did you apply straight to a hospital or school or individual physicians? Also, did they make you pay any fees? School fees (it is a summer course after all) or insurance?

Thanks. ;)


Yes, entirely on your own. Irish schools have simple requirement that you complete one elective before final year starts (during your summer time off) but offer nothing in the way of support. This is at UCC, anyway.

Yes, when you arrive for your elective, scope things out quickly. If you're attached to a single physician, it will be assumed and expected that you'll ask for a letter. If you're interacting with several for substantial chunks of time, approach whomever you feel is appropriate and perhaps approach more than one. Again, it won't be a surprise to them that you ask. No guarantees but you have to ask to be successful. In one EM elective, I did just three shifts with the director of the entire program and asked him. He said "let me think about it", invited me to do one more shift with him and then agreed in the end. I was a bit nervous asking but everyone knows how it works.
 

Handsome88

7+ Year Member
May 15, 2009
474
13
151
Status
Medical Student
Yes, entirely on your own. Irish schools have simple requirement that you complete one elective before final year starts (during your summer time off) but offer nothing in the way of support. This is at UCC, anyway.
No Irish school recognizes North American electives as part of the cirriculum as of this year.
...
 
Last edited:

med2UCC

Relentlessly Optimistic
10+ Year Member
May 30, 2005
479
3
241
At the back of the North wind
Status
Attending Physician
Thanks Unch. How do these summer electives work? Did you apply straight to a hospital or school or individual physicians? Also, did they make you pay any fees? School fees (it is a summer course after all) or insurance?

Thanks. ;)
The school covers insurance. You apply by deciding where you would like to do an elective, then checking out the university web site to see if they take international students for electives, then doing whatever paperwork they require and sending in the fees. You usually also have to get approval from your own school to do that elective, and provide proof of insurance (that you get from the school). It' s a bit of paperwork, but it's not really hard. I did my elective through Dalhousie University; they're fairly easy to deal with and offer a wide variety of programs in different sites. Friends did electives in San Francisco, Toronto and Boston, to name a few more glamorous places where we did electives that summer. Electives are usually not too expensive; if the fees are too high, no one will come and do them! Cheers,
M
 

jnuts

10+ Year Member
Jun 12, 2007
279
20
251
Toronto/ Dublin
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Irish schools have simple requirement that you complete one elective before final year starts (during your summer time off) but offer nothing in the way of support. This is at UCC, anyway.
As far as I know, it's just Cork that requires an elective. However, not doing any North American electives would be career suicide if you were trying to get there for residency.
 

jnuts

10+ Year Member
Jun 12, 2007
279
20
251
Toronto/ Dublin
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Thanks Unch. How do these summer electives work? Did you apply straight to a hospital or school or individual physicians? Also, did they make you pay any fees? School fees (it is a summer course after all) or insurance?

Thanks. ;)

The situation is a bit different at various colleges. RCSI helps you get electives through exchange programs. These are tuition free. The school organized electives are pretty prestigious and are often with schools that don't otherwise take internationals. Most people will get one from RCSI and then have to set up additional opportunities on their own which require a direct application to the host university and paying an application fee and/or tuition. Google 'visiting student elective' and lots of stuff will pop up to give you an idea of how all this works.

Insurance is generally free for students through MPS (the big malpractice insurance company in the UK). A few schools don't like it and make you buy their policies or get a local plan.