MD Program Admissions

A leading edge 3-year MD program at the University of Calgary

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First Action on the Waitlist

May 29th, 2017 by Dr Ian Walker

We offered a number of positions off the waitlist this morning (10 to Albertans, 15 to non-Albertans).  We have given people 3 days to respond, so expect that we will make a few more later in the week.  From this point forward, the stream of offers will be small, but ongoing, as people settle in to their preferred MD program.

I will post more when it is starting to look like the stream is drying up.

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Update for Applicants

May 4th, 2017 by Dr Ian Walker

At this point, we are anticipating making offers on May 9th, AT THE EARLIEST.  The rank order list and Alternative Process candidates are being reviewed by the committee at their meeting on the 8th.  If all goes well, we should be able to make offers the next day.  Please note that this is in no way intended as a guarantee, but if we cannot make offers on the 9th, for whatever reason, our main webpage will feature a message to that effect.

Good luck to all, and as always, I encourage those who are not successful to be circumspect about it, recognize that this is not a judgment on you as a person, to persist in pursuing your goals.

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Staffing Changes in the Office of Admissions

April 8th, 2017 by Dr Ian Walker

Lots of administrative change for us in the last little while.  As some people already know, our Coordinator of Admissions, April, is currently on medical leave.  This has left us a bit challenged to respond to applicants in a timely manner and to carry out some of the other functions of the office.  Our new staff member, Renee, is coming on board on Monday and we are very excited to get her up to speed as quickly as possible.  Please be patient with us as we do so.

Also, applicants should note that we have moved.  Phone numbers remain the same, but our office is now G212, not G740

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Update for Interviewees

February 5th, 2017 by Dr Ian Walker

You can expect to receive something from me the week after next, but while you wait, a few teasers.

The MMI this year will consist of 10 seven minute stations, with two minutes between stations.  There will also be a 20 minute group activity station prior to the beginning of the circuit which will be scored in much the same way as the other MMI stations.  So, all told, there will be 11 assessments of each applicant.

MMI stations will adopt a number of different formats.  At the end of the day, these stations are meant to assess different skills, and we therefore attempt to do that in different ways.  While there will certainly be the hypothetical “what would you do and why” stations that have come to be viewed as typical of MMIs, they are not the only tool we use.

If you are wondering about practice, I would suggest that you make sure you are comfortable with the format (rapid changes, moving from one topic to another) and that you concentrate on practicing thinking on your feet.  I would encourage you to resist the temptation to practice rehearsed sound-bites.  You likely will not get a chance to use them, and if you do they will sound like, well, rehearsed sound-bites, and this not impressive to anyone.

The start time you have signed up for is the start time we need you to arrive for registration, not the actual start time for the circuit.  There is no need to arrive an hour early as some people invariably do every year.  10-15 minutes to make sure you are not late or running and stressed is fine.  anything more than that and you will  find yourself standing around a bit awkwardly.

There will be lots of medical students around during the interviews, both in official and unofficial capacities.  Make sure you come  with your questions about the program.  They will give you the straight goods, both positive and negative.

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Two Weeks to Interviews

February 5th, 2017 by Dr Ian Walker

Interviews will be in full swing in two weeks.

All told, we invited 537 people to interview, or about 37% of our applicant pool.  Once again, this is a new record low percentage for us, and underscores the competitive nature of this process.  Basically, as an applicant, you have a one in three chance of getting interviewed, which are not great odds, and I am quite certain we turn down hundreds and hundreds of people for interview who would be outstanding physicians.  I hope that those of you who did not secure an interview spot this year keep that in mind.  For those of you who have interviews elsewhere, congratulations, and good luck.

We continue to have staffing challenges in our office, and may not be able to respond to emails and phone calls as promptly as we would like.  Thankfully, there have not been two many, and other than a couple of people registering for the last MMI spot in a certain circuit at the exact same millisecond, the scheduler worked like a charge.

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Update for Applicants

January 9th, 2017 by Dr Ian Walker

So, recognizing that I have been uncharacteristically quiet this cycle, we do have a few updates for people.

  1. We are still finishing off the file reviews.  Some applicants are done, some are not.  When your four file reviews are complete, your status will change automatically in UCAN.  Whether your status changes early or late in the process means exactly nothing.  It all depends on who your reviewers were and when they did their work.  There are still several hundred reviews that have not been completed.
  2. We anticipate having all the reviews done within about 10 days, and making interview offers by the end of the month.  Can’t be more precise about that.  Due to some staffing challenges (see below) we are running a little later than usual.  We are sorry about that, but it is largely outside of our control.
  3. Applicants invited to interview will be sent information on the interview format so that they know what to expect when they arrive.  The interview process takes 4.5 hours, and we do three groups a day.  There is no advantage to being in any one group over another.
  4. We have a very small office.  Myself and two full time staff people.  Sadly, our Admissions Coordinator is off on an extended sick leave for now, so we are making do with skeleton staff.  This is why we may not be able to respond to emails in a timely fashion or return phone calls.  Bear with us.  We are hoping things will improve when we can get some temp help in to the office.

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Reference Stats for Last Cycle (finally)

September 9th, 2016 by Dr Ian Walker

My apologies that this has taken so long to get finished.

Will be available on our website next week, but for now, here is copy.


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Some Interesting Numbers from the Canadian Residency Matching Service

September 8th, 2016 by Dr Ian Walker

Those of you considering a career in medicine, or pursuing one, should have a look at these data charts.

R-1 match trends

Although CaRMS data is usually presented on annual basis, these data show trends over time, and generally they seem to show the post grad applications becoming more competitive, not less, both for Canadian medical grads and for IMG’s.  We could discuss all day whether it should or should not be this way, but I think it is important to enter the process with eyes wide open.

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One more Quick Update

June 2nd, 2016 by Dr Ian Walker

Had someone withdraw after accepting earlier today, who happened to be a non-Albertan.  Thus we just made another waitlist offer to a non-Albertan.  Currently we have 4 Albertan and 1 non-Albertan positions that are still unspoken for, and an equal number of offers pending.

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Update for Waitlisters, May 31st 2016

May 31st, 2016 by Dr Ian Walker

The deadline for accepting or rejecting our initial offers of admission has come and gone.  We had sufficient room to begin making offers off the waitlist late last week, and made a few more yesterday.  In total we have made between 15 and 20 waitlist offers.

Here is the current “state of the union”.  For the first time in my tenure of 8 years, all our non-Albertan spots are spoken for.  We may yet have someone who changes their minds and declines after having accepted, but in the meantime, there will be no more offers off the waitlist for Non-Albertan residents.  For Albertans, we have 6 unfilled spots, and 6 outstanding offers.  As most people who are going to accept do so very quickly when they get their offer, I suspect that most if not all of those 6 are ultimately going to decline their offers.  Between those 6 spots and a handful of people who I suspect will yet change their minds, I suspect we will be looking at a total of 10-15 further offers off the waitlist.

In the coming days, those on the bottom of the waitlist, who have virtually no chance of getting an offer this year, will be advised of that fact so that they can proceed with making other plans.  If you don’t hear from us, it is because we think you are still within the potentially “live” part of the waitlist.

On a related note, if you are on the waitlist, and have already made the decision to go elsewhere, please let us know so that we may remove you and increase the efficiency of the process for others.

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