Saturday, September 21, 2013

An internship is confirmed

And the long road, the stress and the difficulties associated with not having any security in my future, has finally been put aside. Last week, I heard from SAIMET that I have a job at Flinders Medical Centre next year. It is over.

What a run medical school has been. So many ups and downs, so much happiness and sadness. It has been a difficult road, mostly exacerbated by the lack of knowing whether this work and sacrifice would amount to anything, but now all that is behind me and it seems so small in hindsight. I will continue to post sporadically into my intern year and I will continue to advocate for international student rights.

Good luck to my fellow international students waiting around the country. I am hoping for you.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Warning to internationals

So, you're thinking of coming to Australia for medical school. Firstly, congrats on getting in, I know how it feels to be constantly rejected in your own country despite relatively stellar grades/scores/resumes. Unfortunately, this is where the congrats more or less finish. If you are thinking of coming here, please note that medical school degrees in Australia, if you don't have permanent residency (kind of like a green card) or citizenship, is quickly becoming a more-or-less useless degree and here is why.

Requirements upon graduation
In order to get full registration in Australia, you need to complete an internship after graduating from medical school.

Internship Allocation
- These internships are allocated in a random manner based on your citizenship (each group gets a round of randomized allocations based on preferences and then, when all the applicants in that pool have gotten a placement, the next group gets pulled up, repeat untill all pools or internship spots have been used up). The typical order is:
1. In-state Australian/NZ grads 
2. Out of state Australian/NZ grads
3. In-state internationals
4. Out of state internationals
5. Overseas non-Aussie grads
- As you can see from above, the internationals are ranked near the bottom of the allocation with no ability to allow merit to play a role (exceptions exist, but rarely and it's important to assume that they don't). 

Internship crisis
- Since 2006, the number of of medical school spots has more than doubled and the expansion of internships has not kept pace whatsoever. This is because medical schools do not control internships as that is regulated by states and not by the schools. 
- In 2012, we saw the first time that internationals did not get internships. 182 to be exact. This is a massive number and means that, for the most part, their degrees are completely useless in Australia. There are ZERO exceptions to the internship rule - if you want to practice in Australia with your Australian BMBS/MBBS/MD, you need that internship.
- The number of internationals missing out is expected to increase in the near future. The number of medical school grads (domestic & internationals) continues to increase and, in the near future, we are looking at even domestics having a difficult time finding internships. 
Take home message - if you are an international looking to become a doctor in Australia upon graduation, make sure you get PR or citizenship before applying/entering medical school. Otherwise, you will almost definitely not be able to stay here (unless something drastic changes but that is looking to be incredibly unlikely with how the politicians have been bickering in the past few weeks).

Other options
- Many of you may say that this is ok, you'll just apply back to Canada or the USA. This is a terrible idea! 
- Look at the CaRMs website for how Canadians Studying Abroad (CSAs) do in the match. It is less than 40% and this was back when there were, at most, only a hundred applicants. With internationals not getting internships in Australia, this number is guaranteed to drop as the Canadian government does not plan to increase spots available to CSAs and the number of applicants will invariably increase significantly. 
- This leaves the USA. The USA is quickly becoming more and more difficult for IMGs as well. Firstly, you have to write the USMLE. Australian pre-clinical training is nowhere near the level you need to write the USMLE, you should assume that you will just be doing this on your own and out of your own pocket (books, materials, time off, exam fees, flights, etc). This is a rather daunting task although not impossible. Secondly, you will have to do well enough to compete against the local grads (looking at >90th %ile). Thirdly, you will need to find a residency director willing to sponsor you for a J1 or H1b visa. These are very very difficult to get and cost the hospital time and money. Get the picture? If you want to go to the USA, go to the Caribbean, get the USMLE training you need and the guaranteed USA rotations you need and you will stand a much better chance. I cannot emphasize this enough because many internationals get into this fallacy that Caribbean schools being worse than Australian and so you'll be a worse doctor -- medical school reputation means jack squat! Your post-graduate training and personal work ethic/motivation will have the greatest influence on your capabilities as a doctor, not where you went for medical school. Plus, the Caribbean is WAY cheaper (tuition + living).

Take home message
Unless you have guaranteed options to return home, go somewhere else for post-grad training and/or love to take massive gambles (your career could essentially be over before it begins along with the massive debt of 4 years of med school/living in Aus), you should NOT come to Aus as an international student. Not at least until this internship crisis has sorted itself out (not looking likely at the moment).

Please feel free to message or contact me if you have questions.

Monday, March 12, 2012

3rd year

I have moved into my clinical years. I am past the days of longing to be on the wards, talking to people, interacting and learning about the lives of others. My head is now with the patients and, frankly, it is wonderful. I now have a mentor who has shown me that my dreams can be true and that allowing others to tell me otherwise is to give up on my dreams of my own accord. I will be moving forward and pursuing what I want with ferocity of mind and spirit. Expect me.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Focus

my goals are coming into view

3rd world medicine
Locum work to pay off debt
Patient-focused care
Serving society

Never letting an ego or arrogance cloud my goals

Listen... be patient... love...

People... these are all people

with memories, thoughts, ideas, emotions

they are wonderful

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A return to medicine

I was absent this year. Not physically but mentally. Much of 2nd year has been a dream inside a dream. Watching from the outside in, as I learned. Floated like a butterfly above a flower encased in a vase. Always trying but never understanding why I can't grab the fruits of my labour.
But then I spoke to a patient today and I remembered my original purpose of being here. He lay before me, the patient. I had a clear set of instructions I had to follow to pass. I started to mentally float away and start to feel myself jump through the hoops I had to. Medical school has felt like a series of loopholes to jump through. Almost feeling like an impingement to my goal.
And so, as I felt myself floating away, I was dragged back to my conscious self. The patient was bringing me back. He was engaging me as I once loved to be engaged. 45 minutes later, after spending the better part of that time talking about the meaning of life, I walked out with a full heart. I remember my original reasons for being here.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2nd year

passed all my exams - i'm a 2nd year :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The pros of a small school

Flinders, despite it's problems in DPS or disorganized nature or fly-by-the-wire changes in curriculum, is a good school. The reason I can say that is because the admin are competent. They are good doctors and, perhaps more importantly, they are good people. They are open to student feedback, happy to make changes to the course and recognize that a curriculum is an organic entity that must adapt in order to survive. Despite any qualms I may have with Flinders, do know that I don't, for one moment, regret my decision to come here. It's a wonderful place.

As for the post below... I think the demotivation would have happened regardless of where I was/am. 

Now to find me some non-meddy buddies that share my point of view on life. :)

Eye on the prize

I've been losing motivation lately. I don't know why. Maybe it has to do with my peers and a lack of connection with those around me. My own motivations for medicine don't seem to line up with those around me. It feels isolating sometimes and makes me wonder whether I was supposed to do this. My friends and family and loved ones and patients reassure me that I am, but what about myself? What does my heart say?

I had a conversation with a patient on the wards the other day. She was a woman with terminal lung cancer. She has COPD. She is alone, with no family to call her own. Her friends visit her when they can but their empathy seems to have worn thin. And yet, she is a wonderful, beautiful, optimistic person. She told me of stories of travels, of past loves and of loves that should have been but weren't. She is and was a person. A person. Gotta remember that. I'm here for the people and the sacrifices I've made to this point were made out of earnest.

This is why I'm in medicine. Remember and hold onto that. Eye on the prize... eye on the prize.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Exams are over

... and they were gruelling!

It's not that medicine is hard, it's that there's so much volume! My hand is still hurting from 3 days of exams and it was only 5 hours total of exam-writing. I ran out of time on the main exam, but I think I passed. I also learned my lesson - don't cram in 4 months of medical school into 3 weeks. It's too much. Study during the weeks, consolidate as you go, and focus on past exams when you start to get into exam study mode. That way it won't be as ridiculous.

Anyways, I'm off to celebrate! Gonna go travel around Australia, see what this beautiful country has to offer :)

Will update with musings on Australian travels when I get back and also an update or two I have about Flinders (eg. they're likely changing the degree from a BMBS to an MD, but not for the reasons you'd expect).

Will post details when I get the time. Check here or medinoz for updates. In the meanwhile, I'm outta here on a well-deserved vacay!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Flinders - the overview continued

Curriculum
The curriculum is broken into three separate parts. There's Doctor and Patient, which is learning about clinical skills like basic life support, taking vital signs, percussing, etc. This part of the course happens about once a week (but I think it should be more often) and is not super well run. There appears to be a lack of tutors available so the time that we get to spend in this part of the course doesn't leave much time to consolidate information, let alone practice with the tutors individually (to make sure we're doing it properly). Hopefully the skills we learn in this will be taught again at some future date when we'll actually need it (for example, when we learned percussing, the tutor talked and demonstrated for 40 mins, let us try it on ourselves/partners for 5 mins and then dismissed us - not exactly useful). 

Next, there's Doctor, the Profession and Society. This is the worst part of the course. DPS is the part of the course that should be teaching us about medical ethics, legal issues, cultural awareness and social statistics (epidemiology) etc. But, instead of actually learning about these topics, the lack of planning/coordination on the part of the organizers of this section of the course has resulted in a mishmash of useless assignments/presentations that feel more like things you'd give high school students as  busy work instead of post-grad medicine level teaching. I don't really understand the point of this section of the course, and it's too bad, because I actually think this stuff is relatively important. Anyways, it seems like our year has been an exception in this because the coordinator for the course is still getting her shit together. Hopefully it will change for next year.
Finally, we have Knowledge of Health and Illness. This is the science part of the curriculum and the part that we spend most of our time on. We have 2, 3 hour PBL sessions on this every week along with 1, 3 hour clinical communication session (which also turned out to be quite painful, will explain in a bit). The PBL sessions are, of course, reinforced with lectures which are really quite good. The lecturers definitely have their shit together and they know why we're there. They seem to genuinely care about our learning and any time I've approached them with questions, I've been given thorough and very helpful replies. Furthermore, because the course has been planned and organized from day 1 (in this section, at least), the lectures all compliment the PBL cases quite well. It's a smart system and it really does flow well for teaching people about relatively difficult concepts. Now, the part that isn't so hot - communication skills. Now, I understand that this is probably a good idea for a few people that have serious problems communicating, but really, what are they doing here in the first place then? 3 hours a week on this is just way too much. It feels like a huge waste of time having to sit there and have someone patronizingly tell you that you should be silent for a minimum of 5 seconds before answering to a patients reply to the standard 'what brought you in here today?'. Maybe they could have alternated these 3 hour sessions with clinical skills so we could have actually consolidated some of that actually useful/practical information. Anyways, I know I've bitched a lot, so don't get me wrong, I think Flinders is great and the learning is at a high level. I just feel that there are definitely parts of the curriculum that need to be tweaked to flow properly. 


Social life
It's good. The people here are super nice, friendly and helpful. Generally, everyone gets along and there aren't really any trouble makers. I guess that's probably due to the weeding out process in getting to medicine in the first place anyways. So, in terms of medicine, Flinders is great socially. Otherwise, well, it's hard to tell. See, that's one issue with medicine at Flinders - we become wholly and utterly socially isolated. You see the same people day in and day out and meeting people outside of the program is proving to be incredibly difficult. Maybe I just need to join some sports teams or local clubs. 



Anyways, I think that's the overview for now. I'll post more later about life here in general.


In the meantime, hope all is well and wish me luck on exams - end of June! Yikes!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Flinders - an overview

The much awaited post about Flinders. Well, it's been 3 months (almost) now. School is going well. I'm happy that I'm in medicine, it was the perfect choice for me and continues to be and I hope this feeling stays well into the future. I think this is largely due to Flinders itself. It's a wonderful little community and school they have here. I'll break it down into the specific aspects about the school that are particularly good (or bad).

Layout
The facilities range from ok to excellent. The school is built into the Flinders Medical Centre which is a public hospital and the FMC is attached to Flinders Private which is (obviously) a private hospital. Because the hospital is built onto a hill, the way you get to the school is by going to the 5th floor, but if you go out the back door of the school, you don't fall 5 stories, you end up walking onto a courtyard (the hill is rather steep). Anyways, when you get off the elevator, you have three main sections to the school. On your right, you have the clinical skills laboratory (will explain uses of these facilities in the curriculum section below). If you go straight, you'll get to the library and if you take a right at the libraries, you'll be in a hallway where the PBL rooms are located. Walking past the PBL rooms, you will get to the lecture theatres which are relatively old, but, and this is a big but, we don't use those anymore. See, the government of SA gave the Flinders medical school a buttload of money to build specialized lecture theatres for us. So, although we used these old lecture theatres for the first few months, we have no been switched to the newer, nicer, but unfortunately further away, theatres up the hill. To get to those, you walk past the old theatres, out the back door into that courtyard I mentioned earlier and up a rather steep hill to the new Health Sciences building. In there, the first theatre on your right will be the meds lecture theatre that we use and will be using for our remaining days (supposedly). There are pros and cons to this, the theatre is nice and new and has cool tech like streaming video and large plasma screens, but the fact that it's so far away from the school (well, it's only 5 minutes, but that climb is a pain when you're tired, sleepy, cranky and late for a 9 am lecture) makes getting back and forth between lectures a pain (eg. to get something from one's locker, getting food, going to PBL rooms, etc).

Resources
The library resources are generally fantastic and plentiful. It's funny, throughout my MSc and BSc back in Canada, I didn't once use the library resources other than as a place to study. Now, considering I'm doing something I'm really quite interested in, I find myself constantly getting books out and reading, taking books home, etc. It's good. The library itself is really nice with big, comfy couches, lots of desk space, outlets for laptops and plenty of private study rooms. The hours aren't as good as back in Canada, but I think that's just Aussie custom and something I've had to adjust to (generally, the library is open from 8:30 am to 10 pm except on Fridays and weekends). The really crappy thing though is that we can't study in the PBL rooms afterwards as we get kicked out of them by 11 pm. That is one thing I really don't appreciate. The School of Medicine also has a 24 hour mac-based (grrrr, stupid macs) lab that is available to med students. It has a couple of nice printers and it's nice that we can access it whenever we want (eg. at 8:58 when I haven't printed lecture notes for the 9 am lecture).

Curriculum
... to come in a future post

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Relationships as a source of self-medication

Hey all,
I've been away for a while now. It's mostly been because of the lack of internet at home and bandwidth caps at school, but it's also more been because I didn't know what to post until now. I've been here for a little over 2 months now and, in that time, a lot has happened. Probably most importantly, I've realised some important things about my behaviour prior to coming here and my behaviour since.

Firstly, I'm happier than I was back in Canada. I feel freer and I feel stronger. Perhaps this has to do with me finally starting on a career path that I think will fulfill me (and yes, medicine was definitely the right choice - I'm having a blast and the patient-oriented, clinical approach taken by Flinders in it's medical education suits me perfectly), but I think it has more to do with being on my own again.

See, I've been a serial monogamist for the better part of my adult life. I've jumped from one serious relationship to another and given myself little time to see what truly makes me happy on my own. I broke my own rule that I had made to myself when I was much younger and that was to always seek happiness through myself before seeking it through material goods. Yes, call me a hippie if you will, but it's just how I have tried to live my life. Obviously, I failed in this one regard as I failed to recognize that seeking happiness through another person is just as bad as attempting to seek happiness through inanimate objects. How can another person give you happiness before you even know what makes you, yourself, happy? Well, you can't, really.

So, I've decided to stay single for now. Not actively necessarily, but rather to not actively seek out relationships as I have previously. I think it's only fair to myself and to any future loved ones. I'm not saying that I regret anything from the past, but rather that I just want to remain true to myself and to others.

How's this been working for me? Wonderfully actually. It's funny, when you turn off your need to be with someone, you open a world of good-will you never thought could have existed. When I go out now, I don't go out in search of that someone special and ultimately coming home disappointed, instead, I go out with a smile on my face and expecting nothing but a good time with my friends. And, that's what I get. I dance, drink, eat and enjoy myself.

Perhaps more importantly, when I make important life decisions now, they are for myself and what I know will make me happy. No feelings hurt or decisions made with the weight of someone else's will diverting me from personal happiness. It's wonderful and I'm happy to say that, finally, I'm starting to feel like myself.

Anyways, just thought I'd post a bit here as it's been a while and I have access to real internet for the next little bit.

Expect more posts regarding medical school soon and hope everyone is doing well :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

AMSA Meeting with Health Ministers Produces Results - Favourable for Internationals?

I'm not entirely sure what this means for us, as internationals. From what I can gather, what's going to happen is that internationals are still being hung out to dry. Pessimism aside, at least they're working towards a solution. Let's hope they pull through for us (although I do recognize that this is unlikely, mostly due to political reasons).



The Australian Medical Students' Association (AMSA) welcomes the announcement from Friday's Health Ministers' meeting that Commonwealth-funded medical graduates from Australian universities will be guaranteed an intern place, however notes that some locally trained doctors are not covered by this guarantee.

President of AMSA Mr Ross Roberts-Thomson said this is a win for AMSA who has been calling for guaranteed internships for some time.

"However, guaranteeing internships for only Commonwealth-supported students means that the community may miss out on 1 in every 4 Australian-trained doctor.

"Australian medical students who are in full-fee paying places, those who attend private universities or those in state-funded places, as well as all international students, are not covered by this guarantee and may miss out on intern placements under this new arrangement. This equates to over 150 domestic students and over 500 international students per year," he said.

"AMSA acknowledges that the Federal Government has committed large amounts of money to addressing the current doctor shortage, and that they should be commended for doing so.

"Further, AMSA calls for urgent dialogue between the Universities and the State Governments to ensure there are adequate intern places for all medical graduates so that they can continue to train and serve the community," said Mr Roberts-Thomson.

[Source]

Friday, February 12, 2010

First Impressions

Let me say this first - Australia is awesome.

The weather, the people, the ecology, the air, the freedom. I have no complaints thus far (well, maybe a few but those are mostly $$ related and that's not something that actively bothers me, it's just something I have to deal with). It's been a great week and a bit so far (I've already been here for a week!?).

I've found a great 2 br, furnished place located within 15 mins walk to Flinders. I've met a few of the local meddies, a bunch of the internationals and another handful of the local addelaidians (sp?). Everyone is quite friendly and, with my phone number as well, I feel like I'm really starting to settle in. The only thing I need now is regular internet. Right now, I'm relegated to using my phone as a modem whose data I have to closely monitor and, with 3G speeds, I can't do much more than browse the net (I want to watch Lost damnit!!).

I've explored the campus a bit which is quite beautiful. It's large and hilly (my quads hurt), and the architecture is more modern than what I'm used to at my old Uni (I guess I was spoiled), but the fact that Flinders is so closely integrated with it's local ecology (there's a large conservation park that the uni is built around) makes walking around campus much nicer. Oh, and the fact that the school is on the hill means that you get spectacular views of the ocean. I'm also glad I didn't live in residence this year. It was exactly like res at my old Uni and I really wasn't a big fan of that (3 years of res there - 2 years don - enough). But, it was cheap and close to amenities so it was ideal for the few days I was there.

Anyways, I will be posting pics as soon as I get better access to internet. It's too slow through tethering so I'm gonna see if I can work around the 35 mb cap (yes, they cap us to 35 mb's per day!!!) at school so I can do this. If not, then pics will be coming in early March which is the earliest the internet companies could connect us. Speaking of which, the internet here is ridiculously expensive! Without a phone line, a 50 gb plan is costing us $70 a month for 1.5 MB down/256 Kb up... ouch!!!

Hope all is well with everyone :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Updates soon!

hey all - sorry about the lack of updates but I'm sure you can imagine that things have been a little hectic (dont have internet yet so typing this on my phone). I have a place now though and am getting settled in . I will try to post first impressions, moving tips and flinders meds stuff (along with early admissions info) as soon as I get internet on the laptop :)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The materialistic items I treasure most

Moving abroad forces you to compress your life into 100 pounds and 2 suitcases. After having done so, I realized that there are only a few things that I truly treasure in my life:

1) 2 letters from loves past and a beautiful picture of one of my most memorable moments during an unforgettable motorcycle trip in SK.

2) Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance + my sticky notes/highlights (book courtesy of my former supervisor, notes courtesy of my innate curiosity)

3) A Tibetan singing bowl recently given to me by one of the most beautiful people I've had the chance of meeting.

4) A copy of my favorite cd (in mp3 form) - Cafe del Mar 25th Anniversary

5) My memories (perhaps not materialistic but easily my most treasured item)

Lesson? I have 97 pounds of disposable clothes, electronics and toiletries.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A new beginning

I looked out and up. The grey clouds had started battering the plane with torrents of particularly sharp looking water droplets just as we had begun our takeoff. But then, just as suddenly as the rain had come, we were above it and, as our plane broke the clouds, I felt happy. I'm beginning anew. In that realization, I smiled, held the feeling close to my heart and cherished the beauty of dancing in the clouds with the sun warming me gently. I'm free!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

3 more days!

Almost there... just a few more days now and I leave for California. Going to be going to visit the cousins for a week there and then Australia on the 2nd of February (landing on the 4th... we lose a day during the flight and the flight itself isn't short!).

What am I truly going to miss?

This thing... my ewok dog


Monday, January 18, 2010

Ethics...

One of the cornerstones of medicine is ethics. It guides a physicians everyday decisions and are vitally important to making sure that one is looking out for the best interests of their patients. Since they are so vitally important, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about an ethical dilemma I see in my life everyday. See, I’m a vegetarian but the people around me, my loved ones, colleagues, acquaintances and strangers are predominantly omnivores. Recently, I’ve begun to realize that my passive stance against meat has been morally slant. See, in my opinion, meat cannot be justified unless one takes a hedonistic point of view in life. But how can one be a successful doctor if one is a hedonist (as many of my loved ones are). This has presented a dilemma I figured would be more suited to a discussion online.

Why do I want to talk about this? Well, I recently watched the movie “The Cove”. I highly recommend it. Unless you would rather be ignorant of the consequences of your actions, it is a must-watch movie.

On the surface, the movie is about animal cruelty. About our enslavement of animals, our manipulation of their ‘innocence’ and of our destruction of their lives at the benefit of our own. But, if you go deeper, you’ll see that it makes a very potent point on the state of the modern human condition. It talks about how we, as humans, have come to take for granted the planet that we live on – we take advantage of, destroy and misuse everything that this planet has been blessed (excuse the religious reference) to give us. Perhaps most importantly, this movie shows how humans, even those beyond the fishermen in this movie, take a completely self-righteous view of pain and murder.

There was specifically one point in this movie that struck me. The lead of the movie, Ric O’Barry, questions one of the fishermen as to why they do what they do (which is the murder of thousands of dolphins, rather cruelly, despite there being very little demand for dolphin meat). The fisherman replies by saying, “It’s part of our culture just like slaughtering cows is part of yours,” and Mr. O’Barry shrugged it off as nonsense by then asking why they’re so secretive of what goes on at The Cove (a place in Japan where this slaughter occurs). Whereas I agree with Ric’s point, I don’t agree with his self-righteous point of view in how he regards animals (somehow dolphins are more valuable than cows – under what criterion?). Time to start breaking down the logic.

I start by talking about some basic points that I believe are difficult to refute. These are simple points that I don’t believe can be ignored and upon which I will base my arguments.

1) Causing pain to those that can feel pain is wrong unless benefiting the greater good (eg. animal research is a necessary evil in order to benefit the greater populace). 
2) Any values we attribute to the hierarchy of animal importance (eg. monkeys should not be eaten whereas cows should due to an arbitrary criteria that they are ’self-aware’… whatever that means) is created by humans and, because it is a human device, is up for debate.
3) The ingestion of meat is a non-requirement now with our ability to supplement our diets with other healthy alternatives.

I’ll work backwards here and go from points 3 to 1. One of the first arguments I will often hear people quote to me when discussion vegetarianism is that meat is part of our natural diet and, thus, a requirement for us to be healthy. The fact is that, with globalization, we now have the means to attain any number of protein and vitamin supplements that would usually be attained from meat. I’m not even talking about artificial supplements. Foods such as soy, lentils and nuts have been a natural part of the Indian diet for hundreds of years due to vegetarianism being heavily integrated into it’s culture. These are tasty, healthy alternatives to meat that don’t require one to slaughter and cause undue pain to animals. Coincidentally, the argument that we need meat to sustain ourselves is archaic and ignorant. If you try to further say that eating meat is instinctual in us, then so is sexual drive and the urge to mate with multiple partners and yet monogamy is a cornerstone of Western society. If we can control ourselves in that (which is rooted in not-so-logical reasons), why can’t we control ourselves in this matter?

Second, people will often get up in arms about the Chinese eating monkeys or the Koreans eating dogs or the Japanese eating whales/dolphins. They do this whilst holding a burger in one hand and a ham sandwich in the other. Am I the only one that sees how stupidly arbitrary these criteria are? How is it that the dolphins/whales/monkeys/dogs deserve more sympathy than pigs, cows, chickens and sheep? Just because they’re cuddly? Because they have some supposed higher intelligence? I don’t know about you, but I feel pretty damned close to my dog who is, in my opinion, incredibly intelligent and able to interact with me actively. But, that doesn’t mean that a chicken, cow or pig would be any less able to do so. I used to have a pet bird that was incredibly intelligent and knew tricks, knew it’s name and even knew where it’s treats were. Is this not a form of intelligence? The criterion that people establish for themselves in the animals they consume are rather ridiculous and wholly arbitrary. If you’re going to eat one animal, then you should eat every animal as there is no way to measure sentiences or awareness quantitatively.

Third, causing pain is wrong. Why is it wrong? Well, have you ever seen an animal dieing? How about a human? Have you ever seen something that could feel pain go through suffering? It’s not pretty and be they human, dog, cat or cow, the suffering of an animal/human is obvious. It is of no consequence what species they are a part of. It just comes down to the fact that unnecessary pain is not justifiable unless, in some form, it benefits the greater good. If the pain is caused simply because you decided you would like to have a juicy steak, then you sir, are a hedonist and have little right to judge others in acting in ways that make them feel good.

As a closing, I’d like to propose the following. If you choose to eat meat, then you should at the least respect where the meat comes from. I believe every person that eats meat should be forced to go to a slaughterhouse and watch their favorite culinary cuisine get killed, butchered and packaged into those neat grocery store packages that so slyly disguise the public from their vicious beginnings. I wonder how many people would eat meat if, when they ordered food in a restaurant, the animal was butchered in front of them?

I’m guessing we’d live in a very different world if people just thought about the consequences of their actions sometimes…

Monday, January 4, 2010

Change of Plans

So, the original plan for me was to leave on the 8th of January to do some pathology work in Tamworth. It looks like that isn't going to end up working out. It was a little disappointing at the time, however, it seems like it may have turned into a blessing.

I now have more time to finish things up in Canada. Immunizations are turning into a bit more of a pain than I thought (the nurse made a comment along the lines of "so typical of men to leave it til this late...") haha. I also get to spend more time with my family, spend more time in the lab to finish some experiments for future manuscript submissions/finish writing code and, in turn, to save up more money.

The only pain? Airlines... grrrr!

Anyways, I'm doing well and getting excited for Australia. It was -25* Celsius here today... ouch. Can't wait for the sun!

Oh, and by the way, I will be leaving on the 25th of January now.

New Blog

Throughout my Australia application process and integral to forming my future plan has been a guy who guys by the username redshifteffect on SDN. He's been a wealth of knowledge for me and has been incredibly generous in offering me help and assurances in my own future. I'm glad to say that he's offered me the ability to post with him on a new blog.

www.medinoz.com

Feel free to look over there for posts. Every post I make here will be duplicated there from now on, but you will get the added benefit of redshifteffect's knowledge (he goes by TheDoctor on that blog). Make sure to bookmark that site :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Vent out before stressing out...

Lately, I've been very stressed. I have a lot of things to do and, the more things I complete the more things pile up. It's weird how life works like that sometimes. I feel like I'm on a treadmill on a bus that's speeding towards a cliff. I have so much to do before I leave but I never see any progress and time is quickly quickly quickly running out... January 8, 2010. My life will change that day and I need to wrap this current life up before then... ack! On top of this, I have been saying my goodbyes to friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances and, perhaps most difficult, girlfriend. It's become quite a burden and I was feeling, for the last 3 weeks, like I was in a daze with everything. I haven't eaten, slept or been taking care of myself. I needed to talk to someone about it.

So, I decided to vent out. Not online, not to a friend, but to a professional. I needed someone to talk to and I needed it to be someone that was neutral. Someone that doesn't know me and wouldn't offer advice other than just listening. Holy crap did it help. I've never spoken to a professional about these types of things before, but I wish I had. It helped so much to just let it out and, before I knew it, I realized that I had used an entire hour of their time. I had spoken in a stream; the words just poured out of me and, with every new problem I explained to him, I felt weights being lifted off my shoulders. It's so tough to go through so much stress and hardship without letting it out and I could feel it building inside me. Just that one hour of therapy has let me step back, think about what I need to get done and make a plan for it. It was invaluable.

So, what's the lesson? Don't be ashamed of your problems, burdens or stresses. Everyone goes through this, but not everyone needs to do it alone. Pride is not a good enough reason to sacrifice your mental well-being or academic/work performance. Perhaps more importantly, these services are available to anyone. All it requires is a simple visit to your health clinic and talking to the nurse. He/she will direct you where you need to go. I'm glad I've learned this before medicine starts, it makes life that much easier.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Just little things

I haven't posted in a while, so I figured I probably should add something here.

I've finished my MSc. Defended and handed in and everything. For the next 2 months, I am no longer a student, which is both good and bad. Good because I feel accomplished, bad because I realize that this will be my last break for a long, long while.

I've got my visa, it came through in a few hours after submitting online. I have my criminal background check done - thankfully nothing on my record (I guess it was a dream!). I still need to get vaccinations... need to book an appointment with the family doc for that. Flights are booked - leaving on the 8th of January. School starts on the 22nd of February but I'm leaving early to a) get some hands-on experience in a rural path lab and b) to have time to find a place, set up and get things in order before the onslaught of medicine begins.

It's an odd feeling. Leaving your hometown for what you know will likely be forever. To have to break ties, forcibly, with loved ones with whom maintaining long distance relationships would be impossible, to have to say goodbye to friends/colleagues that you will likely never see again and to leave ones family - permanently. Because, ultimately, that's my plan. I will be leaving Canada permanently. I do not plan to come back and, if all goes to plan, I will be setting up a new life in Australia or Asia in the next portion of my life.

To those I'm leaving in Canada, you'll be missed and, if we can't keep in touch, know that my life was better for having you in it.

I guess it's true what they say about life proceeding in chapters. This one is wrapping up and soon, I will be starting a new one. I wonder what I'll think when I look back and read these posts 10 years from now?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Coming back to Canada after studying medicine abroad

Healthforce Ontario Registry
Healthforce Ontario - not sure what this represents but it's a good start and should hopefully provide good up-to-date information... hopefully.

Government Lobby Group for Ontario
Perhaps more importantly, I am in the process of organizing a registry to organize us Ontarians to lobby the government. Just as the BC group is doing. I have gotten lots of input from that group so am in the process of organizing it. I am doing this along with a colleague who will be attending Flinders with me.

If you would like to be a part of the registration list, feel free to email below for your respective province (sorry, I'm not sure if there is anything available right now for any province other than ON or BC, if you are interested, starting one is encouraged!). I will add you to a registry and email list that will be sent updates as they appear and will give us a strength of numbers argument. The more, the merrier. Feel free to spread the word!

Ontario Return to Canada Email
BC Return to Canada Email

Australian dollar - hitting parity?

One of the scariest things about studying overseas, especially medicine due to it's relatively high cost, is that you have no control over dollar parity. I've been monitoring market conditions very closely as of late, and much to my dismay, I've noted that the Australian dollar has been increasing in value at a very high rate. Just back in March of 2009, when I was originally preparing my applications for Australia, the AUD was at ~$0.70 CDN. A wonderful rate for us Canadians and much more so for the Americans. Since then, the AUD has climbed to $0.97. Ouch!

I've been trying to understand why this happens and have had little luck until now. Look at this wonderful graph...




It's a relatively tight correlation. Well, there's my answer, I suppose.

Now, is there anything I can do about it? Not really... except to wait and hope that gold will drop. It does appear that gold has been selling at an extraordinarily high rate lately so it should drop soon, hopefully. As for now, I'm going to be biding my time on tuition payments until gold stabilizes.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Organizing the Canadians

A recent communication I received on organizing Canadians to lobby the government to allow for students trained abroad to practice medicine in Canada. Let's get this going, fellow Canucks!

Canadians Studying Medicine Abroad

This update is just to let you all know what is happening. Our small executive group from Vancouver and Victoria met again last night. We now have information on 258 BC students attending medical schools outside Canada. The big inflow of names has stopped so we assume that we have probably captured most people. Thank you for all your efforts in contacting people and helping create this list.

Other provinces:
We now think it is time to get other provinces doing the same thing. We have already had contact from people in Alberta and have encouraged them to follow our lead. We are convinced that the larger our lobby group grows the better. We would like you all, students and parents alike, to send the word out to your friends in the rest of Canada to start a similar process in each province. If they need help or advice, we would be happy to provide it.

New Medical Students:
We would appreciate it if you would pass our information on to all the new medical students starting school now. We need to build them into our data base so please give them our contacts. If there are Canadian Medical Student Societies at your school, please ask them to include this information in their welcome packages.

Membership of Provincial Medical Associations and CMA:
BC students, please join the BC Medical Association. It is essential that you do so in order to give us a strong lobby within the organization. Please notify us when you have received your membership so that we can track the numbers. The cost is $5 per year and that entitles you to membership in the Canadian Medical Association as well. Here again is the contact information: www.bcma.org or benefits@bcma.bc.ca or 604-638-2927
There are benefits to be had such as the BC Medical Journal and the CMA Journal. In addition, we would like you to encourage your colleagues from other provinces to join their provincial medical associations. The more we are, the stronger the lobbying voice.

Incorporation:
We are proceeding to get advice on incorporating the organization. We should have more on this in the next newsletter. With incorporation, will come the formation of a Board of Directors. Until then, we thought it might be easier to continue with the group we have and call on people who have volunteered to do various things as necessary. When the board is formed, there are many things to keep in mind for representative purposes: geographic distribution, years to graduation from medical school, physicians and non-physicians, special talents and skills etc etc.

Name:
We need a name for our group. The best we have come up with so far is Society of Canadians Studying Medicine Abroad (SCSMA). We felt this might be general enough and each provincial group could append their province so we would be SCSMA/BC. We are open to suggestions. We will begin to draft vision and mission statements.

Website:
We feel that development of a website will be an important step. So if you, and this is directed to the parents, have special skills in this regard, we could really use your help. Here is the website address of the International Medical Graduates of BC: http://www.aimdbc.com/home  Please take a look at this and see how good it is. We need ours to be at least as good as this if not better. At some stage, we will plan to meet with this group of International Medical Graduates as our goals may not be as far apart as they might think.

Meeting with the Ministry of Health:
We will be meeting again with officials from the Ministry of Health on October 9th. We will be following up on all the points we raised in the first meeting. They promise to have some answers for us. We also have some new issues to raise with them. If you have questions or points you wish us to bring up, please let us know right away.

Meeting with the Dean of Medicine UBC:
We have requested a meeting with Dean Gavin Stuart to discuss our issues.

Lobbying:
If you have access to the Premier, the Minister for Health or Liberal Ministers and MLAs, then please talk to them about this issue. They are very aware of it but pressure from voting constituents may help move this forward. It is probably not wise, at this juncture, to involve Opposition MLAs or the media, as backing the government into a corner could merely harden attitudes.

Communication:
Please feel free to contact us with any ideas, comments or suggestions you might have.

Ross, James, Drew, Angela and Curby

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Communication with Ontario Premier Dalton Mcguinty

Frustrated with the way that the medical system in Canada has been chugging along - lack of doctors, lack of medical school spots, lack of IMG support, lack of pathways for qualification of IMGs; I recently wrote a letter to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. Here was his reply:

Thanks for your online message regarding physician recruitment. Your concerns are important to me, and I appreciate your taking the time to share them.

I understand your frustration. In response to the need for more medically trained professionals we are creating 100 more medical school spaces by 2011, bringing the total to 260 new spaces  a 37 per cent increase since 2004.


A report released in March by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), an independent body that governs the medical profession, revealed that the college issued licences to 3,467 doctors in Ontario in 2008. This highest-ever number continues a decade-long upward trend, and results in an increase of 16 per cent since 1997 in the overall supply of physicians in practice in Ontario from 20,133 to 23,266. It also demonstrates that our province is making significant progress in ensuring more patients have access to care.

To boost this trend, our government has increased the number of family medicine residency spaces by 87 per cent to enable 330 more family doctors to start practising in 2008. And we have launched a recruiting drive aimed at doctors who are registered to practise in Ontario, but live elsewhere.

The new Northern Ontario School of Medicine  the first established in Ontario in 35 years  received its initial class of 56 medical students in 2005, and today trains 224 students. People living in underserviced northern communities will benefit directly from the school’s extensive community placements. The school has just reached another landmark of achievement and celebrated the graduation of its first medical doctor class.

We will continue to ensure that there are more doctors to care for Ontario families: we have already created 150 Family Health Teams (FHTs) that provide comprehensive front-line health care to more than two million Ontarians right in their own communities, including more than 280,000 people who previously did not have a family doctor. We are heartened that, as the most recent data shows, approximately 800,000 more Ontarians have a family doctor now than in 2003.

In addition, our government has committed to adding 50 more FHTs that target rural and underserviced communities. As well, we are moving forward on creating 25 new nurse practitioner-led clinics to ensure that more Ontarians have access to this health care option.

We are enabling more qualified foreign-trained physicians to train and practise here. In 2008, 393 independent practice certificates were issued to international medical graduates (IMGs), breaking a record set in 1985. This also surpasses the number in 2007 by 43 per cent, a record one-year increase. Creating greater opportunities for IMGs will continue to play an important role in bringing more physicians to communities in need  that is why we have more than doubled the number of training and assessment positions for IMGs from 90 to 235.

On November 27, 2008, the Increasing Access to Qualified Health Professionals for Ontarians Act received Royal Assent. The new act will ease the way for more internationally trained health care providers to practise in the province, and help ensure that all Ontarians have access to adequate numbers of qualified, skilled and competent health professionals.

The new legislation is part of a larger plan to remove barriers for internationally trained doctors. The CPSO also approved four new pathways to registration, effective December 2008, which included fast-tracking doctors practising in other provinces and the US to begin working in Ontario. Our government and the CPSO will continue to work on other changes to further remove barriers for international medical doctors.

To help attract and recruit health care professionals to Ontario, our government has also developed the HealthForceOntario strategy. This strategy will have profound and far reaching effects on improving a fundamental component of our health care system  its human resources  and better equip our province to compete for health care professionals.

Since our government understands that few things in life are more important than people’s health, we remain committed to giving Ontarians the results in health care they need and deserve.


Thanks again for sharing your concerns. Your comments are always welcome.


Dalton McGuinty

Premier of Ontario 


I will be doing research into the claims listed above. Will post what I find.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Is there a quantitative method to qualify a 'good doctor'?

So, other than disseminating information, I created this blog to let me post thoughts on things that interest me or things that I've been pondering. This will be one of those posts.

Having sat at a window seat of the library at my current University for the last 3 weeks (I'm writing my thesis for my MSc), I've had the opportunity to watch incoming students as they go through their orientation week activities. Being a veteran of the university (I did my BSc and MSc here), I know how they feel, but it's strange looking at them as someone who knows so much about the place they will spend a good chunk of their lives at. Moreso, I sat in my little corner one day and watched as the new medical students played their med games, did their tours and bonded as many do during orientation activities. As I watched them, I wondered to myself, "Are they so different from the rest of the student populace?"

I asked this because, obviously, I was not accepted into medical school in Canada. Had I been, the theme for this blog would be much different. That's not to say that I am bitter, as I am incredibly happy to be attending Flinders, but rather that I am curious. What is it about them that is so different from those that do not make it? Despite the tangible differences such as GPA or MCAT scores (both of which are often matters of persistence and dedication than some inherent quality), is there a quality that is required of someone to be a doctor? Is it empathy? Adaptability? Intelligence?

I'm curious. If a survey were done of the medical profession, what would be the values that doctors themselves would value the most? Would this correlate with the strict admission standards that Canadian medical schools adhere to? What about what the public's opinion on what is the most perceived valuable asset? I'm not sure, really.

Since I am not a doctor or someone that has significantly worked in a healthcare field, I'm not sure. So, that leads me to the big question that almost every medical student, it seems, goes through. What is it about me that will make me a great doctor and, if I do not have that, how can I get it? I don't want to be a middle-of-the-pack physician. I want to, regardless of my specialty, be someone that will positively change the area that I live in whilst minimizing any negative impact. Will my education give that to me, or is this something that will be learned through practice?

Sigh... so many questions and absolutely no answers.

As for now, I guess I'll have to be happy in knowing that the future is going to be interesting.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Interesting Study

This is an interesting study I stumbled upon the other day.

It is a comparison of healthcare systems between Canada and 29 countries from the EU. It's interesting to note how Canada came in the top of the bottom quartile in the rankings and, considering how much we spend on healthcare (according to the CBC, we spent $171B!), we were ranked dead last for bang for the buck.

Where is our money going? Any ideas?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Loans for Canadians

Funding medicine for Canadians is difficult. Very difficult. Here are some issues that you will need to consider before even applying to the schools:
1) First and foremost, you will need a cosigner. I'm sorry guys, but if you do not have this, getting a loan for overseas study will be next to impossible. The cosigner needs to be significant too, with assets or equity equivalent to the total funding required (usually ~$200,000 CAD).

2) Limit of $150,000 with annual limits on total amount allowed to be borrowed. This is obviously not going to be enough. So you're going to need other sources of funding or need to get creative. Australian schools do not offer financial aid or scholarships to internationals (medical programs at least).
3) So you're thinking, "Oh, that's not too bad. I'll just get government loans (OSAP) and add that to my $150K". Nope, still not enough. The Canadian government, unlike the US with Stafford loans, is cheap and non-progressive (I have plenty of choice words about Canadian government impotency on healthcare reform). Max you're looking at, from Ontario at least, is ~$8K pear year. Not nearly enough to even cover living, let alone travel, books, equipment and the odd time you may want to have a life.
4) Please don't forget living! If you look at the post about Aussie med schools, you'll see that the tuition is usually in the range of $180K AUD in total. But, you're also going to want to live. Plan to spend at least $20K in cities like Sydney or Brisbane. This is a big reason why I chose Flinders - Adelaide is relatively cheap.
Anyways, if you think you can handle the points above, here is some information for you. As a note, I went with NBC because of the not having to pay interest during your studies (although it does accrue). This is a big bonus because paying interest would have depleted my precious loan even more than I needed and I would then have been paying interest on interest. In total, I would have spent about $8K on paying the interest on interest.
Here ya go:
DISCLAIMER: this is not a list I personally typed up. Credit goes to Trinity Medical School from the Carribean whose web site I took this from (http://www.trinityschoolofmedicine.org/admissions/canadian-loans.html)

National Bank of Canada

National Bank of Canada offers students a credit line up to $200,000 at a variable rate of Prime with no account handling charges.

General Program Elements Include:
A flexible lending solution that allows you to craft your own financial package including the ability to:
1. Defer principal and interest payments on your line of credit while enrolled as a full time student and up to 12 months following graduation. (interest will continue to accrue on the outstanding balance)
2. Or make interest and principal payments in accordance with your budget.
3. Draw funds from your account at anytime up to the maximum annual amount.
4. Convert the line of credit to a standard loan with an amortization period of up to 15 years.

You also receive a full line of complimentary services with your line of credit.

·     Cheques and Pre-authorized debits.
·     Full range of electronic banking services.
·     200 Free Cheques annually.
·     A National Bank Platinum Card
·     Access to a financial advisor to assist you with planning and developing annual budgets.

Additional Information:
Visit NBC Web site - http://www.nbc.ca
Contact Options
1. Preferred Method: Call at (514) 394-5555 or 1-888-4-TelNat and speak to a representative.

Application Process
1. Contact the branch nearest your home and make an appointment.
2. You will need to provide proof of full time enrollment.
o This can be a notice of registration or copy of fall schedule.
3. NBC has 475 branches which are concentrated in Quebec.
4. Branches are located in other provinces including Ontario and British Columbia.
5. The bank web site provides a branch locator tool.

TD Canada Trust

TD Canada Trust offers financial assistance via their “Student Line of Credit” These programs are customized to satisfy the individual needs of each student. TD Canada Trust does not maintain a centralized education funding team. They recommend students visit branch locations and discuss funding alternatives with the branch manager. Depending on previous relationship and credit worthiness, TD Canada Trust may modify normal program terms to better accommodate student needs.

Line of Credit can be used for expenses related to:
·     Tuition
·     Books
·     Fees
·     Living Expenses

General Program Elements Include:
1. Pay no monthly or annual fees.
2. Competitive interest rate, (Normally equal to TD Prime plus a variance rate).
3. Withdraw funds as the needs arise (up to your approved credit limit).
4. Pay interest-only monthly payments for up to 12 months after graduation.
5. Enjoy low monthly payments after the interest-only grace period.
6. Up to 20 years to repay.
7. May require an approved Co-signer.
8. Access funds through:
·     EasyWeb Internet banking
·     EasyLine telephone banking
·     Interac Direct Payment
·     Green Machine ABMs
·     Cheques
·     TD Canada Trust branch

Medical Students Only
·     No annual re-application
·     Maximum Credit Line Value - $150,000
·     May access up to $60,000 in Year 1 of study.

Additional Information:
Visit TD Canada Trust Web site - http://www.tdcanadatrust.com
Contact Options
1. Preferred Method: Visit your nearest TD Canada Trust Branch. (More than 1,000 Branches Nationally)
2. Call EasyLine at 1-866-222-3456 and speak to a representative.
Allow 7 business days from time of application for review, approval and funding of line.

RBC

RBC Canada offers students a credit line to fund the educational needs. They recommend students contact the bank by phone and complete the application process. RBC Canada encourages students attending international colleges or universities to contact them. The terms and structure of the program do not allow for customization. Students with an existing relationship with RBC may score higher on the overall credit evaluation.

Line of Credit can be used for expenses related to:
·     Tuition
·     Books
·     Fees
·     Living Expenses
·     Travel

General Program Elements Include:
1. Pay no monthly or annual fees.
2. Competitive interest rate, (RBC Prime).
3. Withdraw funds as the needs arise.
4. Pay interest-only monthly payments for up to 12 months after graduation.
5. Enjoy low monthly payments after the interest-only grace period.
6. Up to 20 years to repay.
7. Will require an approved Co-signer.
8. Access funds through:
·     Internet banking
·     Royal Direct telephone banking
·     Cheques
·     RBC Royal Bank Personal Touch Automated Banking Machine
·     RBC Canada Branch

Medical Students Only
·     No annual re-application
·     Maximum Credit Line Value - $150,000
·     RBC Personal Banker will establish annual maximum available based on documentation of annual costs.

Additional Information:
Visit RBC Canada Web site: http://www.rbcroyalbank.com

Contact Options
·     Preferred Method: Call at 1-800-769-2511 and speak to a representative.

Application Process – RBC Canada recommends that you complete the application process via telephone or internet. Students must provide:
1. Confirmation that you are enrolled at a post-secondary international educational institution and pursuing a medical degree.
2. An estimate of your education costs (including tuition, supplies, fees, accommodations, food, travel and other qualified expenses.)
3. A list of your financial resources (including savings, bursaries, summer employment, etc.)

Allow 5 business days from time of application for review, approval and funding of line.

Bank of Montreal

Bank of Montreal offers students a credit line to fund the educational needs. They recommend students contact the bank by phone and discuss their needs with the education lending team. Bank of Montreal encourages students attending international colleges or universities to contact them. The terms and structure of the program do allow for a modest amount of customization. Students with an existing relationship with BOM may experience more flexibility on the part of the bank.
Line of Credit can be used for expenses related to:
·     Tuition
·     Books
·     Fees
·     Living Expenses
·     Travel

General Program Elements Include:
1. Pay no monthly or annual fees.
2. Competitive interest rate, (BOM Prime plus Variable Rate).
3. Withdraw funds as the needs arise to annual and lifetime maximum.
4. Repayment plan for Medical Student Line of Credit:
o Make only monthly interest payments while you're in school and during your residency (to a maximum of 7 years of residency).
o In first year after completion of residency, choose one of three repayment options:
1. Interest only payments during the first year of residency followed by gradually escalating monthly payments of principal and interest.
2. Gradually escalating monthly payments of principal and interest.
3. Fixed monthly payments of principal and interest based on an amortization of up to 15 years.
4. Repay all of the outstanding balance at any time without penalty.
5. Will require an approved Co-signer.
6. Access funds through:
·     Cheques
·     Automated Banking Machine
·     BMO Bank of Montreal Branch

Medical Students Only
·     No annual re-application
·     Maximum Credit Line Value - $150,000 (may be negotiable depending on student and co-signer credit worthiness and proof of need)
·     Disbursement
·     Annual Maximum: $30,000 (Fist 4 Years)
·     Annual Maximum: $15,000 (Residency)

Additional Information:
Contact Options
·     Preferred Method:
Email: Kim Wolf at kim.wolf@bmo.com
Call at (780) 408-0123 and speak to Kim Wolf