student.ie

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So lets here about the seniors' experiences in the match to let future applicants know the truth about what they are getting into.
 

meeep

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I would love to see some responses to this, as this information is too scarce. I'd also like to hear about what students went through to get the residency they matched with (extra studying for USMLEs - scores?, electives in US - how many and where and what subjects, going outside the match, etc.).
It's far too nerve-wracking to embark on a four-year six-figure excursion across the Atlantic with so little idea of what we're to expect upon our return.
Thanks.

Edit: Additionally, if anyone has any information on who I can contact to get match lists for recent graduates of UCD (including statistics on students gone unmatched), please let me know ASAP.
 
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Arb

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North Americans are doing very well in Ireland and have for the past few years. This year is like any other year. A few radiology, 2 orthopedic surgeries, lots of paeds, a few general surgery etc. etc. A friend matched into Washington University for internal med which is top 3 in the US and another general surg in Toronto. I'm very proud and happy for them. Actually more people in the University of Calgary went unmatched than from any of the Irish schools... Nothing is certain though and it is all up to you. I guarantee there will be people who go unmatched be it by choice or they applied unwisely. However, unlike North American or Caribbean students, everyone in Ireland will get a training position be it in Ireland, UK, or Australia (SHO). Contact CIMSA for a more complete picture.

As for USMLE Step 1, I can only speak for my class but out of around 18 classmates who took the exam seriously (looking more than just pass), 8 of us scored 99. Very doable. The success achieved by the North Americans is attributed to the quality of the applicants and not the schools themselves IMO. There is no reason why you can't find similar success despite what you read here.
 
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Hi Arb,

Thank you for the insightful post! From what I know 100% of RCSI students get matched first attempt...but how well do the other Irish schools do? Do they do equally well or at least close to it?
 

Arb

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The 4 major schools match fairly well. Very few North Americans have gone to Galway until recently and Limerick will have their first graduating class next year so we will see how they do. RCSI usually do well in the match (They kicked ass this year with over 20 matching first round in Canada) and traditionally, most of their students go to the US although that trend is changing. I would say they do fairly comparably with the other schools but with 4-5x the North American student population, you will expect some outliers both on the high and low end of the spectrum. I don't think Trinity has matched as well recently but that's just what I've been told. Also, traditionally, UCD students do very well on Step 1 and UCC students have quietly been successful.
 

meeep

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Thanks for your reply, Arb. Your insight is invaluable (and too rare) at this juncture for us prospective students.

Could you speak to the experience of Americans matching to American residencies at your school? How have they fared in the match, and specifically in the more competitive specialties? Thanks again.
 

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The 4 major schools match fairly well. Very few North Americans have gone to Galway until recently and Limerick will have their first graduating class next year so we will see how they do. RCSI usually do well in the match (They kicked ass this year with over 20 matching first round in Canada) and traditionally, most of their students go to the US although that trend is changing. I would say they do fairly comparably with the other schools but with 4-5x the North American student population, you will expect some outliers both on the high and low end of the spectrum. I don't think Trinity has matched as well recently but that's just what I've been told. Also, traditionally, UCD students do very well on Step 1 and UCC students have quietly been successful.
Trinity matched 1 applicant for Ortho at U of T. But only one person applied this year, the rest chose to stay for intern year.
 

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Trinity matched 1 applicant for Ortho at U of T. But only one person applied this year, the rest chose to stay for intern year.
In the acceptance letter it says that they don't guarantee north american students to match in the intern year though...
They gave me also a list of past matched students. Seems that 75% of students going back to canada are matched in FM... All the good specialties go to the US.
Does anyone know more about Trinity?
 

med2UCC

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In the acceptance letter it says that they don't guarantee north american students to match in the intern year though...
They gave me also a list of past matched students. Seems that 75% of students going back to canada are matched in FM... All the good specialties go to the US.
Does anyone know more about Trinity?
I can't comment on Trinity, but in my class at UCC of the 8 who matched in Canada that year, 4 matched to Family, 1 to public health, one to internal, one to anaesthetics, one to pathology. The next year they had an ortho and a rads, as well as a couple of family meds (smaller class). The class ahead of me, one matched to OB, one to Family, one elected to stay in Ireland for intern year for family reasons (they were a really small cohort). I don't know what this year's bunch did. Part of that is that people who want to do the more competitive specialties often don't even try in Canada, and part of it is that those who go to Ireland are already interested in family, or have been brainwashed by 5 years of "well, you won't get into X specialty as an IMG" and so don't even try. As I keep saying, if you go, know what you are getting into and also talk to a regional health board once you are 1-2 years into it (and then again later when you are 3-4 years) and see if someone will sponsor you. You can even negotiate from your residency - my program will happily pay for me to go do an EM year or palliative care as both are in demand, and they would also sponsor Geris, come to think of it. Often electives are a good time to make those connections too. Expect rejection, but there will be some positive responses in among them. Cheers,
M
 
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Just one thing to bear in mind. In Ireland they're centralising the intern year. Instead of individual universities allocating intern spots in their teaching hospitals (E.g. TCD and James', RCSI and Beaumont etc) it's now a centralised system where you apply to a hospital for intern year and the best applicants get their places.
However, the thing that's important to international students in Ireland is that, irrespective of performance, places will be allocated Irish students > EU students > International students.
And, as the number of med students graduating in Ireland is on the increase (Due to new GEPs graduating, and an increased number of places in the schools), it may be quite difficult for North American students here to get a place as an intern in an Irish hospital.
 

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Irish students = EU students. An Italian applicant who is 9th in his/her class will "match" ahead of an Irish student ranked 10th. This is straight from the mouth of the main person in charged of these changes in February (Ireland is finally trying to obey the law). It has always been the case that EU will have preference over non-EU so it's nothing new. North Americans have been obtaining intern spots for years. I don't foresee many applicants from the rest of the EU (you'll probably have to worry more about the UK). I do foresee a mad scramble by med students around the island all trying to "match" in Dublin. Again, as this is Ireland, rules and laws are more like guidelines. The schools will do what they can to find you a training scheme which now includes GP, radiology, etc. and not just medicine and surgery. Intern training will be harder to obtain as the years go by especially with the slashing of the budgets so be prepared.

Again, general trend for North Americans: RCSI mostly to the USA. The other 3 schools consist mostly of Canadians who return to Canada. FM is the most matched although not as prevalent in UCD.
 

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Irish students = EU students. An Italian applicant who is 9th in his/her class will "match" ahead of an Irish student ranked 10th. This is straight from the mouth of the main person in charged of these changes in February (Ireland is finally trying to obey the law). It has always been the case that EU will have preference over non-EU so it's nothing new. North Americans have been obtaining intern spots for years. I don't foresee many applicants from the rest of the EU (you'll probably have to worry more about the UK). I do foresee a mad scramble by med students around the island all trying to "match" in Dublin. Again, as this is Ireland, rules and laws are more like guidelines. The schools will do what they can to find you a training scheme which now includes GP, radiology, etc. and not just medicine and surgery. Intern training will be harder to obtain as the years go by especially with the slashing of the budgets so be prepared.

Again, general trend for North Americans: RCSI mostly to the USA. The other 3 schools consist mostly of Canadians who return to Canada. FM is the most matched although not as prevalent in UCD.
Alrighty so here's a VERY prelim match list...it's incomplete, and the locations are probably inaccurate...but it's a start. I have no idea where RCSI peeps matched in the US.

Bottom line: don't try to figure out which school is "best". In the end, it's the candidate that makes the difference.


Preliminary match list - 2010
Trinity
U of T - ortho

UCD
U of T - gen surg
Mac - peds
Manitoba - psych
Mac-radiology
Dal - FM

US
IM - Boston
IM - Washington U (St. Louis)
IM - SUNY Downstate

RCSI
Urology - U of T
Peds - queens
IM (3x) - U of T
Ortho - Winnipeg
Ortho - ???
Neurosurg - ???
FM
Peds


Arb, congrats on being done Med/Surg...I'm going to go nurse my hangover now.

Jocks
 

student.ie

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So about 5 matched in the US out of how many, 25-30 US students?
Success stories are great, but we need the N to interpret the results.
 

med2UCC

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So about 5 matched in the US out of how many, 25-30 US students?
Success stories are great, but we need the N to interpret the results.
Actually, at most of the Irish schools, except RCSI, the Canadians outnumber Americans by about 4:1 - when I started at UCC we outnumbered them 5:1 in my class and by graduation we outnumbered them 13:1. These numbers above probably represent about 2/3 of the American students who tried to match.
It is much easier to match into speciaties in the US as an IMG than it is to match into Canada. That's why many Canadians go home via the US when they are done in Ireland. I don't know any Americans who ended up staying in Ireland because they couldn't match back home, and most of the ones I knew matched where they wanted to, in emerg and IM and paeds and anaesthetics. I don't know anyone who matched to derm or plastics, but then again there are a lot of domestically trained not-plastic-surgeons/not-dermatologists too. Really, it is possible to go home. You just have to play the game right and apply widely. Cheers,
M
 

Arb

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If you want to match in the US, then Ireland is definitely a good option. It is probably close to a 100% match rate in the US and in good programs such as Harvard, Wash U, UPenn and in good specialties like IM, radiology, various surgeries. Of course not everyone will go to a Harvard affiliated hospital and it's not easy but, in the 4 years that I've been here it has been like this. Follow the steps that your seniors tell you and it will likely happen for you too. Still....plenty of stress involved. Sometimes it just seems overwhelming.
 
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student.ie

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I'm glad to hear the Canucks are doing ok, but I'm not sure why this turned into a thread about Canadians matching in Canada.
I'll be more specific with my question. How many Americans are there in Irish schools plus any other people applying to match in the US? How many matched? in what specialties? and where?
There is too much of a selection bias in the reporting of match results. It's natural for people who did well to want to brag and for others to hide their lack of success, but that ends up misleading college students who are thinking of applying to Irish schools.
I think you have to count people who failed their boards as failed matches even though they didn't technically apply for the match; that's why I would include all Americans plus some Canadians and some others in my denominator.
 

jnuts

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I'm glad to hear the Canucks are doing ok, but I'm not sure why this turned into a thread about Canadians matching in Canada.
I'll be more specific with my question. How many Americans are there in Irish schools plus any other people applying to match in the US? How many matched? in what specialties? and where?
There is too much of a selection bias in the reporting of match results. It's natural for people who did well to want to brag and for others to hide their lack of success, but that ends up misleading college students who are thinking of applying to Irish schools.
I think you have to count people who failed their boards as failed matches even though they didn't technically apply for the match; that's why I would include all Americans plus some Canadians and some others in my denominator.
And that is quite fair.

In terms of the transition to a Canadian bias, I think that is mostly due to the fact that the most active posters who are currently Irish students are Canadian. Call it a selection bias if you'd like as there only 3-4 of us. You also seem to over-estimate the ability we have to gather statistics. We really are just asking the people we know where they matched and giving you guys the running totals. CIMSA does a fair job keeping tabs on its members at RCSI but at the other colleges the coverage is a little sparse; which is why the numbers don't add up. The equivallent organization, AMSA, doesn't poll its members about the match.

As to the reason the American stats are not fully represented, one reason is certainly that Canadians IMGs have a harder time matching than Americans. Canadians in Ireland mostly use the US as a back-up plan because it is easier to get a US posting even as a non-resident IMG (and I'd take a second to emphasize that point, I really don't think getting a residency State-side is much of a gamble from Ireland if you're an American).

There are about 12 Americans and 18 Canadians in my class (RCSI GEP). That seems to follow a trend for increasing numbers of Canadians in recent years. The general thought at this point is that if you can get into an Irish school, you likely have the scores to get into an American school. I was certainly told that by my pre-health advisor at the American University I went to for undergrad. Most of the Americans I've spoken to in depth about this say that the reputation of their Irish school is better than the equivallent American school they could get into. And as always, there are a fair few who just wanted the adventure.

All of the Americans I know have great USMLE scores for what they'd like to do. I don't think any of them are terribly concerned about finding a residency, but a few are concerned about the competitiveness of the programs they want (e.g radiology), or the geography of available postings (I've heard that California and Florida are less IMG freindly).

In terms of board failure rates, its not endemic as far as I know. There is a bit more self-study involved as there are areas the Irish program is quite weak in (pharmacology, biochemistry), but that is balanced by relative strenghts(anatomy, pathology)--of course that is year/college/instructor dependant. You do hear about the odd failure horror story but that's pretty similar to any American College. A much more significant factor than the 'didn't enter the match for lack of grades' cohort, is the 'didn't enter the match because they pre-matched' group. Every year a significant number of Irish Medical students are offered over-the-table contracts prior to the match. Recruitment is pretty high here for the American programs.

Given that continuing training in Ireland used to be an option for Americans, I have yet to meet a single American who works in an Irish hospital because they couldn't get home. For that matter I've only met a handful of Canadians in that situation and all of them had significant personal ties to Ireland.
 
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student.ie

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True, you don't have all the information.
The Atlantic Bridge Program could and should provide this information to potential aaplicants. It's suspiciously absent.
 

jnuts

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True, you don't have all the information.
The Atlantic Bridge Program could and should provide this information to potential aaplicants. It's suspiciously absent.

I know it sounds slightly naive, but I honestly don't think the Atlantic Bridge keeps tabs on anything other than applications.

I'd say the information gap is more from the schools themselves. But knowing the administrations here, it may be more apathetic than malicious.
 

student.ie

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I know it sounds slightly naive, but I honestly don't think the Atlantic Bridge keeps tabs on anything other than applications.

I'd say the information gap is more from the schools themselves. But knowing the administrations here, it may be more apathetic than malicious.
For a school's students to qualify for financial aid from the US, they have to report USMLE statistics back to some federal bureaucrats. It would be nice to get macth results, but they could definately report USMLE results. They collect them already. Seems to me they would be more than happy to report these results if they reflected favorably on the schools.
 

Arb

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I don't know about that loan situation....do you have a source?

Anyways, other than RCSI, there are few Americans in the other schools and few want to return to the US. There are 4 Americans in my class and none of them are interested in returning home. Not one has written the USMLE Step 1. There are even fewer Americans in the year ahead and even fewer Americans in Cork. I'm pretty sure they are all on government student loans too. The point is, if you want to examine the success and failures of Irish students, poll the Canadians. It is much harder for a Canadian to obtain a residency in the US than an American and it's 10x harder than that to return to Canada. The success that Canadians have found should be encouraging.

I don't know why you're focused on the USMLE results. IMO it's not the biggest hurdle you will encounter. If you wish to gauge the Irish education this way, then they are top notch. Like I said, most do very well on Step 1 (the most important one) and even better on Step 2. I would put up the results of my class with any school in the US. After a few more write it, I anticipate 50% will score 99. That's right 99 and the number will be in the double digits. For the new members on this board, read the archives and see the bull that has been posted. Irish students do poorly on Step 1 is one of them. Another one was that hell will freeze over before 4 year programs happen in Ireland. Kind of funny.

Also, ABP does nothing but deal with applications. You will never interact with them again once accepted and they certainly don't know how you do on Step 1. Your school can see your USMLE results ONLY IF YOU ALLOW THEM. There's no way they can keep track of our results and they have no idea where we match. It's up to the students to compile this data.

Bottom line. There's a long tradition of success in Ireland. It's still a RISK to go and it's a huge financial burden. There are many hoops to jump through to return to North America and you must jump through them PERFECTLY. You will be stressed beyond belief for YEARS while you are there. If you can handle that, then go for it.
 
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Handsome88

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I don't know about that loan situation....do you have a source?

Anyways, other than RCSI, there are few Americans in the other schools and few want to return to the US. There are 4 Americans in my class and none of them are interested in returning home. Not one has written the USMLE Step 1. There are even fewer Americans in the year ahead and even fewer Americans in Cork. I'm pretty sure they are all on government student loans too. The point is, if you want to examine the success and failures of Irish students, poll the Canadians. It is much harder for a Canadian to obtain a residency in the US than an American and it's 10x harder than that to return to Canada. The success that Canadians have found should be encouraging.

I don't know why you're focused on the USMLE results. IMO it's not the biggest hurdle you will encounter. If you wish to gauge the Irish education this way, then they are top notch. Like I said, most do very well on Step 1 (the most important one) and even better on Step 2. I would put up the results of my class with any school in the US. After a few more write it, I anticipate 50% will score 99. That's right 99 and the number will be in the double digits. For the new members on this board, read the archives and see the bull that has been posted. Irish students do poorly on Step 1 is one of them. Another one was that hell will freeze over before 4 year programs happen in Ireland. Kind of funny.

Also, ABP does nothing but deal with applications. You will never interact with them again once accepted and they certainly don't know how you do on Step 1. Your school can see your USMLE results ONLY IF YOU ALLOW THEM. There's no way they can keep track of our results and they have no idea where we match. It's up to the students to compile this data.

Bottom line. There's a long tradition of success in Ireland. It's still a RISK to go and it's a huge financial burden. There are many hoops to jump through to return to North America and you must jump through them PERFECTLY. You will be stressed beyond belief for YEARS while you are there. If you can handle that, then go for it.
This is a question to you and anyone who studied in Ireland.
Is there anything you should/shouldn't have done, or would have done differently to help you come back to North America?
 
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Yea, that's a great question.

Also, Hi! I'm a recent RCSI GEP admission offer accepter.
Long time post-reader, first time poster!
Nice to meet you all :)
 

Unch

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I'm just graduating now from UCC and can give the match results for our class.

18 North Americans in total class size of about 125
15 are Canadian
2 are American
1 is dual citizen

17 applied to match this year
1 chose to do intern year in Ireland for personal reasons

Both Americans applied only to US
1 matched to IM in Portland
1 matched to IM at Baystate (MA)

1 Canadian applied only to US and matched to IM SUNY Buffalo
Remaining 14 (including dual citizen) applied only to Canada:

1 has not matched by end of second round of CARMS

Others all matched:

IM London
IM Saskatoon
FRCP Emergency Med Toronto
Psychiatry Toronto
Lab Medicine Toronto
FM UNO
FM Northern Manitoba
FM Peace Liard (Northern BC)
FM Regina
FM MUN (x2)
FM Saskatoon

I must be forgetting someone but that's about it. All but one matched and all to their first or second choice (under the circumstances... i.e. some trying to avoid return of service etc). Unmatched applicant still has scramble to try. That makes 1 or 2 genuinely unmatched candidates I know of (to US or Canada) at UCC in five years out of 100+ applicants. No worries!
 

Handsome88

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I'm just graduating now from UCC and can give the match results for our class.

18 North Americans in total class size of about 125
15 are Canadian
2 are American
1 is dual citizen

17 applied to match this year
1 chose to do intern year in Ireland for personal reasons

Both Americans applied only to US
1 matched to IM in Portland
1 matched to IM at Baystate (MA)

1 Canadian applied only to US and matched to IM SUNY Buffalo
Remaining 14 (including dual citizen) applied only to Canada:

1 has not matched by end of second round of CARMS

Others all matched:

IM London
IM Saskatoon
FRCP Emergency Med Toronto
Psychiatry Toronto
Lab Medicine Toronto
FM UNO
FM Northern Manitoba
FM Peace Liard (Northern BC)
FM Regina
FM MUN (x2)
FM Saskatoon

I must be forgetting someone but that's about it. All but one matched and all to their first or second choice (under the circumstances... i.e. some trying to avoid return of service etc). Unmatched applicant still has scramble to try. That makes 1 or 2 genuinely unmatched candidates I know of (to US or Canada) at UCC in five years out of 100+ applicants. No worries!
That's pretty bad if you ask me. Why the heck are they almost all FM/IM?! This makes me rethink going to Ireland. Even the caribbean gives me better chances at Anes/EM and other semi-competitive specialties!
 

asd979

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You're making the assumption that all those people couldn't get into the higher specialties. Maybe they wanted to do FM, you can't just assume that they couldn't hack it. And getting into the competitive specialties from the Caribbean is still a long shot, don't be surprised if the ones that do get in from the Carib schools had connections. You have to also consider that this is just 18 students from one Irish school in this particular year.
 

Unch

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Ah, the SDN forums...

Indeed, you are making erroneous assumptions. The Canadians who matched to FM ranked FM as their first choice. Don't know if you're American but FM in Canada is a VERY good gig and very different on the ground/admin-wise etc than FM in the States. Those who sought a specialty match went to the US (in past years) though we had one match to EM this year in Canada. This year's stats just reflect the interests of this year's class.

And I find it interesting that you find the UCC match stats discouraging when they are not. The US match has 10x the spots and much more overall opportunity for specialty matches but don't underestimate the impressiveness of our (UCC and Ireland in general) success into Canada. We are Canadians wanting to get back to Canada and we all did (with one exception). The match rate to most of the Canadian programs is in the order of 1%, including FM programs. There were 900+ applications for 9 spots in Regina, for example. I think we matched quite well, actually.
 

student.ie

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That's pretty bad if you ask me. Why the heck are they almost all FM/IM?! This makes me rethink going to Ireland. Even the caribbean gives me better chances at Anes/EM and other semi-competitive specialties!
Exactly!
:caution:
 

Arb

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lol nice trolling as usual student.ie

If you're concerned, how about you look at the other schools. UCD, Trinity, and RCSI (I think) matched specialties > FM. Someone matched neurosurgery this year for god sakes. You should experience the medical profession before you pick your specialty considering you're still premed. You should also become familiar with the Canadian system. If you've ever been to an emergency department, 99% chance you were treated by a GP. There are also GP anesthetists and GP-OB/GYN and psychiatrists. It's almost limitless what a family residency can give you...in Canada. Personally, making $400,000/year at 40 hours a week is as a GP in certain areas is tempting. Also, if you're honest with yourself, your best experiences in medicine will most likely not be radiology/dermatology/orthopedics. It takes a special person who actually enjoy those over something like internal medicine.

If you're set on a specialty, why not try the US? There is NO REASON why you can't get a general surgery or Anesth/EM residency down there.
 

jnuts

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Considering how long ago you graduated student.ie, are you not trying to refrain from making this type of uninformed comments?

Back when I applied to Irish schools in 2007 I read a lot of posts by you and Sage8080. That almost convinced me to not come here. Going to the Caribbean (or the US for that matter) instead of Ireland would have been a massive mistake. Besides, none of the complaints either of you had have ended up being at all valid. I'm perfectly willing to give you the benefit of the doubt that you had a tough time here, but at very least things have changed.

You post regularly in the anaesthesiology forum so I'd guess you scored a pretty competitive residency in the end despite the large disadvantage you claim to have had. You've made the chip on your shoulder very clear over the years. Maybe it's time to bury the hatchet?
 

jnuts

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If we are stuck on match results, detailed Canadian information can be found at:

www.caper.ca

Look CAREFULLY at the numbers for Ireland v. the Caribbean and you'll have your answer about general competitiveness as well as speciality v. family med v. IM.

And yes RCSI placed more into specialties than family med. We had an 100% match rate. Everyone matched into their first or second choice discipline.
 

student.ie

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It has been a long time since I was there and I am very happy with what I am doing now, despite my time there. I think my sub-par education in Ireland was a hurdle to get over, but I did get over it and I'm doing great.

I didn't post any information about where people are matching these days because I don't know. I suspect that the picture presented to applicants is rosy compared to the reality, so I asked you all about it.

All those FM matches confirms what I was expecting. (I don't know or care about Canada's match. I hope everyone there does well, but it is irrelevant to this topic.) You can defend FM all you want, and I am not trying to say that it isn't a great specialty, but there is just no way that many people are choosing it. They are mostly 'choosing' it because it's all they can get.

Going to Ireland and becoming a family practitioner is a fine career path, but I would rather be an engineer or lawyer that a family practitioner. Many others will also share my disinterest in primary care, but they may find that's the only real option. They should know that going into it. By the way, I had no idea I would despise outpatient clinic work as much as i did. If I read a post like this 10 years ago when I was applying, I would have thought primary care would be fine. I would have been dead wrong. Unfortunately you won't find out until it is too late.
 

Arb

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You are definitely trolling now.

You ignore the fact you are more likely to match into a specialty than FM considering 3/4 schools matched exactly that. Only ~25% of UCD grads this year matched primary care which you seem to hate so much for some reason. This stat is "better" than EVERY American medical school.

Also, you state that you only care about American matches and Canadian match results are irrelevant but then you focus on these FM residencies which are ALL in Canada. How does that make your case regarding American opportunities?

Since you are fixated on CANADIAN family medicine, you should learn about it. You're American so I give you some slack for not knowing the Canadian system but as mentioned earlier, FM in Canada is not necessarily primary care. Again, another fact you choose to ignore to make your misguided argument. There are GPs that do no clinic work at all. NONE. You are an anesthetist and there are GPs that do almost exactly what you do in Canada...not to the full extent of course. Also, as money is an important factor for some people, there are GPs doing primary care that make more than an anesthetist in the USA while working less hours. You don't believe so many people are interest in FM because you don't know what it is about.

HOWEVER, I think you are more likely to choose primary care coming out of Ireland. I don't think surgery is taught very well anywhere on this island so unless you have a good elective experience you'll probably not pursue it. Also, as most students are older and the road is so long and stressful, some people will choose the easier life and you can't fault someone for that just like you can't judge someone who match into plastics for the money and prestige. Also, I think there are some people who won't pursue more competitive residencies out of fear of not matching. You ARE at a disadvantage as an IMG. Everyone must remember this. I'm sure there are students in US and Canada that do this too. Just my opinion.
 
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student.ie

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You are definitely trolling now.

You ignore the fact you are more likely to match into a specialty than FM considering 3/4 schools matched exactly that. Only ~25% of UCD grads this year matched primary care which you seem to hate so much for some reason. This stat is "better" than EVERY American medical school.

Also, you state that you only care about American matches and Canadian match results are irrelevant but then you focus on these FM residencies which are ALL in Canada. How does that make your case regarding American opportunities?
Ok, change my statement to FM or IM.

Since you are fixated on CANADIAN family medicine, you should learn about it. You're American so I give you some slack for not knowing the Canadian system but as mentioned earlier, FM in Canada is not necessarily primary care. Again, another fact you choose to ignore to make your misguided argument. There are GPs that do no clinic work at all. NONE. You are an anesthetist and there are GPs that do almost exactly what you do in Canada...not to the full extent of course. Also, as money is an important factor for some people, there are GPs doing primary care that make more than an anesthetist in the USA while working less hours. You don't believe so many people are interest in FM because you don't know what it is about.
I'm really not fixated on Canadian FM. I honestly could not care less about it.

HOWEVER, I think you are more likely to choose primary care coming out of Ireland. I don't think surgery is taught very well anywhere on this island so unless you have a good elective experience you'll probably not pursue it. Also, as most students are older and the road is so long and stressful, some people will choose the easier life and you can't fault someone for that just like you can't judge someone who match into plastics for the money and prestige. Also, I think there are some people who won't pursue more competitive residencies out of fear of not matching. You ARE at a disadvantage as an IMG. Everyone must remember this. I'm sure there are students in US and Canada that do this too. Just my opinion.
My point exactly.
 

Arb

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Yes all IMGs are at a disadvantage. So you're saying if you can't get into an American medical school don't pursue medicine? In a way you are promoting Ireland. Irish grads are at a disadvantage but look at all the great residencies the students get. Everything from neurosurgery to radiology to pediatrics.

Now you're trying to include IM, the largest field in all of medicine into your argument. I thought you only hated primary care? I think the number of IM spots is a good indicator of the "health" of a medical school. I honestly feel that the Irish match results for the pass 3-4 years are above the norm. For some reason I have a feeling with the large influx of students, things are going to look more average. Just my pessimistic views.

Now to put things in perspective:
Harvard Medical School 2009 Match List (not including transition spots and research)
IM+FM = 37%
IM+FM+Peds = 47%
 

Unch

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I love this. Some things (and people=student.ie) never change. I suppose the problem is that 98% of the griping on SDN is based on speculation versus knowledge. So in that light, I can only comment on my own interests. Indeed I might be one of those desperate people who grasped at FM as my only option simply because I couldn't get the job as a garbage collector. But I'm not. In fact, I openly and affirmatively chose (yes, CHOSE) FM and would have no matter what school i went to. In Canada, I as a GP I might want to do some EM, maybe even full-time for a while. Check. I want to live in Vancouver for a while and maybe later live in a smaller community. Check. I might want to change my mind and focus on sports medicine later. Or anesthesia. Check.

Student.ie, I really hope I never have the misfortune of meeting you in a clinical setting. You make me cringe. Believe it or not and thankfully), there are many people who actually believe in and aspire to primary care. Woe to you should we all evaporate and leave you in the void. However much you might know about your own specialty (anesthesia?), I hope you can find a niche wherein you don't even have to be bothered by any patient contact. Crawl back into your cave and indulge in some propofol. Then you won't have to deal with all of us snivelling primary care types.
 

Arb

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There needs to be balance on this forum and we need people who can point out the down side of schooling in Ireland. However, student.ie is ruining his credibility thus making it seem too rosy.

In essence, his argument is this: If you apply for Residency X and didn't get it but your classmate did, you blame the school you attended. Think about that for a second.
 

student.ie

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I love this. Some things (and people=student.ie) never change. I suppose the problem is that 98% of the griping on SDN is based on speculation versus knowledge. So in that light, I can only comment on my own interests. Indeed I might be one of those desperate people who grasped at FM as my only option simply because I couldn't get the job as a garbage collector. But I'm not. In fact, I openly and affirmatively chose (yes, CHOSE) FM and would have no matter what school i went to. In Canada, I as a GP I might want to do some EM, maybe even full-time for a while. Check. I want to live in Vancouver for a while and maybe later live in a smaller community. Check. I might want to change my mind and focus on sports medicine later. Or anesthesia. Check.

Student.ie, I really hope I never have the misfortune of meeting you in a clinical setting. You make me cringe. Believe it or not and thankfully), there are many people who actually believe in and aspire to primary care. Woe to you should we all evaporate and leave you in the void. However much you might know about your own specialty (anesthesia?), I hope you can find a niche wherein you don't even have to be bothered by any patient contact. Crawl back into your cave and indulge in some propofol. Then you won't have to deal with all of us snivelling primary care types.
I specifically stated that FM is a fine career. I didn't say NO ONE could ever choose it. I don't understand why people have such difficulty understanding that just because you may be the exception doesn't disprove that many other people are choosing it through the process of elimination. While I personally can't stand primary care, I said nothing negative about it's practice for other people. The only reason it looks bad to have so many people doing FM&IM is that it is suspicious that many of them (not all) did so because they couldn't get their actual top choice. That or the lack of significant elective time prevented them from ever trying out what might have been their favorite specialties.

You people attack me as if I am bitter about how things ended up for me, and have it in for the Irish schools for that reason. That couldn't be further from the truth. I am doing exactly what I want at an elite location. BUT! less than half my friends got into the specialties they really wanted, most did what they could get.

You could also say that 98% of the praise of Irish schools comes from applicants or current students who have no idea what they are talking about.

If you ever met me, we'd probably get along fine. You have a totally false view of who I am and what I'm doing on here. I'm not an angry person. I'm not even upset that I went to Ireland, though I wouldn't go again if I had it to do over. I just want people to know the truth before they make a life-changing decision to go there, take on incredible debt, and spend years of there lives in pursuit of a career that they may never realize. Things work out for a lot of people, including me, but not for everyone.

I come post on this forum from time to time because my old posts disappear, and only the falsely positive posts remain near the top to be read.

To the applicants: I think you'd be better off reapplying in the States, going to DO school, doing a masters then reapplying, etc. Think long and hard about it. That's really all I wanted to say.
 

med2UCC

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For Canadian students though, who are in the majority on this forum, applying to a DO school in the US is not really a viable option. For us, going to Ireland is a much better option, particularly for those of us who applied in Canada numerous times and were turned down because getting into med school in Canada is a total crap shoot and there are many fewer places per capita than in the US. I was interviewed 3 times and turned down 3 times at the same med school, and went in twice to talk to people at the school to see what I could do to improve my application. Both times I was told that I was a good candidate and should apply again. Both times I was told there just weren't enough spaces for all the desireable applicants. I also met with people on the selection committee to discuss the application process and was told I was a very competitive candidate. In the end, Ireland was a viable option. One of the selection committee people I contacted after my acceptance actively encouraged me to go - she said I would get an excellent education and have a great experience, and she was right. Were there problems? Of course. But as someone who has been knocking around universities for the last 20 years (seriously, I kid you not) I know there are problems everywhere. Nowhere is perfect (which would be, doing everything exactly the way I would if I were running the university). To the American students out there, maybe coming to Ireland would not be in your best interests - I can't really comment on that. But for the Canadians reading this, it's a good deal (well, except for the incredible price).
As for the cost, I had previous debt to the tune of about $60,000.00 going into a 5 year program in Ireland that I financed almost entirely through loans - I worked one year and it paid my living expenses and I did some odd jobs that covered some incidentals - so I left med school with a pile of debt (in excess of $300,000.00). I've spoken to a financial advisor and I have a realistic plan that will see me debt free in 8 years without living on lentils and water. Do I occasionally wake up in a cold sweat about owing more than the GDP of a developing nation? Of course I do. Do I know that the debt will go away? Of course I do. Do I love being a doctor? Of course I do (except on the days when I am writing an exam - then I'd rather be back working at the museum). Cheers,
M
 
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Arb

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Did you stop to consider maybe it is you who is out of the loop? Things have changed a great deal since you were in school. You are actually corresponding with senior students, recent/soon to be graduates, and doctors who have provided objective statistics and results. You offer your opinion with nothing to back it up and won't back it up when challenged. Tell us how ABP keeps track of our match results or how the medical schools compile our USMLE results. Tell us how you know Irish students do poorly on the USMLE and end up in undesirable specialties etc. etc.

Now you mention your graduating class. You say around half of your class ended up in whatever they can get and about half got the specialties they wanted. If you use logic here, obviously the school you attended is not the limiting factor or NONE of your classmates including yourself would have obtained what they wanted. Here's a crazy thought. Maybe it's up to the individual. Like I said, you blame the school if you don't get residency X while at the same time your classmate was able to land it. That makes no sense. Why didn't your friends do research, 3 electives in whatever specialty they wanted and scored 99 on Step 1? That would make them competitive in whatever field they are interested in.
 
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BoyInTheBubble

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Alrighty so here's a VERY prelim match list...it's incomplete, and the locations are probably inaccurate...but it's a start. I have no idea where RCSI peeps matched in the US.

Bottom line: don't try to figure out which school is "best". In the end, it's the candidate that makes the difference.


Preliminary match list - 2010
Trinity
U of T - ortho

UCD
U of T - gen surg
Mac - peds
Manitoba - psych
Mac-radiology
Dal - FM

US
IM - Boston
IM - Washington U (St. Louis)
IM - SUNY Downstate

RCSI
Urology - U of T
Peds - queens
IM (3x) - U of T
Ortho - Winnipeg
Ortho - ???
Neurosurg - ???
FM
Peds


Arb, congrats on being done Med/Surg...I'm going to go nurse my hangover now.

Jocks

Thanks for the comprehensive list. Did most of these people complete electives/rotations in Canada? Was it at the location they matched? In the same field...or just close? (Eg matched to ortho but did elective in general surg?) On average, how many weeks did people spend in Canada? There are rumors circulating about a 12 week limit - did anyone get more than that?

Any help would be great.
 

jnuts

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Canadian electives are essential. According to the CaRMS data, clinical experience in Canada, being within two years of graduating, and an Irish location of your med school (v. Aus v. Carib v. Eastern Europe) are the strongest predictors of a successful match.

Everyone does electives. A few people who are balancing the States as an option might do some there as well. In terms of the field of your elective, go check out premed101 for the speciality you're interested in because it varies by program. Some programs like distribution to show that you've tried other things. Others like you to show dedication to the speciality. In general, PDs are really alert to kids using their program as a back-up for something else. And you're of course limited by the electives you can get; its not like we always get our top choice.

There is a 12 week per year limit on IMG elective time. Its a new thing imposed by either the MCC or the AFMC this year (its kind of tough to work out, but its referred to on both sites). How they're going to monitor and enforce the limit is a bit of a mystery. As far as I know there's no central database of who's doing what where, and the only place we'd ever report it is CaRMS. However, anything you put on that CaRMS list will go to the programs to which you apply; and they do say they want that list to be comprehensive. On the other hand, CaRMS doesn't release personalized data to the MCC. Even still, the 12 week limit is probably not something I'd personally like to tempt them on considering the power these two bodies have. Do the benefits of that extra couple of weeks really outweigh the risks? The 12 week max has made it to some of the University visiting student sites, so they're obviously aware of it. Some Universities are even more restrictive. Toronto has a 4 week/year max.

As an aside, the 12 week maximum is per year. Some schools (Western and Toronto at least) take students who are registered their last two years for electives. Depending on the policies at your school you might be able to swing two summers of electives depending on what they'll put on your form for 'registered'.

I've heard you stand a better chance if that elective is where you'd like to practice in general, but its likely better if the elective is in the same specialty regardless of the location. Departments don't really talk to each other at the level of comparing individual clinical clerks. Some inside information from Mac strongly suggested specialty over and above location.




Thanks for the comprehensive list. Did most of these people complete electives/rotations in Canada? Was it at the location they matched? In the same field...or just close? (Eg matched to ortho but did elective in general surg?) On average, how many weeks did people spend in Canada? There are rumors circulating about a 12 week limit - did anyone get more than that?

Any help would be great.
 
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BoyInTheBubble

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bigtymer, you're saying it's better to do an elective at a location than in the specialty of your choice?? (Except gen surg and family med....) That doesn't make sense and seems the opposite. Wouldn't it be better to rotate through the specialty OVER the location? Which Jnuts claims. Clearly, people apply to more programs than they get the opportunity to do electives at. Further, more people probably rotate through on electives at one location than residency spots are available...do you have anything beyond personal anecdotes to base this off?

I thought most schools did not consider your USMLE scores. Do they?


The whole thing feels like such a crapshoot.....