A CaRMS Odyssey

L’Odyssée (1850). Artist Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.

“While CaRMS is officially and visibly bilingual, there are barriers to matching between English- and French- speaking medical schools that extend beyond language. Notably, there are different research traditions and other cultural distinctions with respect to student evaluation and support. Additional electives for unmatched students, for example, are not offered in French-speaking medical schools. While many English-speaking schools have extensive research and other opportunities that allow medical students to distinguish themselves for matching purposes, French-speaking schools have traditionally relied more extensively on letter grading to separate students (however, French-speaking schools have also now adopted pass/fail grading). Matching across linguistic divides between Quebec and the rest of Canada has therefore occurred somewhat sporadically.

When I re-applied through CaRMS the year after I did not match, a helpful note was eventually added to the front page of the Dean’s letter, which mentioned my linguistic adversity. Though my language issues were noted to various degrees in my evaluations, having a senior administrator acknowledge language as a factor in my overall record was likely crucial in my securing interviews in the second round. My own explanations, given in the first round, may have been simply dismissed as excuses – I had naively believed that the practical challenges of bilingualism, which also lie at the core of our national identity, would have merited some additional consideration.”

More on A CaRMS Odyssey via CMAJ.

Celebrating Resident Doctors Appreciation Week

It’s the start of Resident Doctors Appreciation Week!

Resident appreciation is a year-round activity and endeavour we strive for. We are shining a spotlight on it especially this year for the week of February 7-11, 2022. Traditionally, the second week of February has been known nationally as Resident Awareness Week and, following a provincial rebranding decision in 2021, we are continuing to celebrate Resident Doctors Appreciation Week in 2022.

The residents of our Health & Wellness Committee and our External Relations Committee have been hard at work creating a mix of old and new ways to show appreciation for their fellow residents. We are excited to host our residents at a return of last year’s well loved event, Virtual Trivia Night, on February 9 where teams will go up against each other to prove who is the ultimate trivia-lover—all the while enjoying a good dinner on us.

Launching at Trivia Night will be the External Committee’s video on residents in BC, where residents were invited to participate on-site at Vancouver General Hospital to chat about their work and themselves. Residents at distributed sites were invited to submit video clips and photos discussing their experiences in residency and to highlight the province-wide work of residents in BC. This video will be made public on our YouTube channel following its launch.

Also special this year is a new podcast episode where our residents spotlight and interview BC Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry about her experiences in medicine. Be sure to check it out once it launches later this week!

Lastly, as is tradition, BC has declared February 7-11, 2022, Resident Doctors Appreciation Week in the province. View the full declaration.

Thank you to all our residents for all that you do for the people of BC!

via Resident Doctors of BC.

Positive Lexicography Project

Via Dr. Tim Lomas

“Lomas’s Positive Lexicography Project aims to capture the many flavours of good feelings (some of which are distinctly bittersweet) found across the world, in the hope that we might start to incorporate them all into our daily lives. We have already borrowed many emotion words from other languages, after all – think ‘frisson’, from French, or ‘schadenfreude’, from German – but there are many more that have not yet wormed their way into our vocabulary. Lomas has found hundreds of these ‘untranslatable’ experiences so far – and he’s only just begun.”

Explore The ‘untranslatable’ emotions you never knew you had via BBC.

Made me think about the language we use in medicine and how some of the experiences we go through may have no words to describe.

~ Jacqueline

Prescribe Parks Canada Discovery Pass

“‘It’s the first time in Canada that a doctor or a nurse or licensed health-care professional can actually prescribe nature with something extra to their patients,’ said Lem.

Lem said if a doctor registered to prescribe through the PaRx program believes a patient could benefit from a dose of a nature, they just have to click a box on the parks prescription website when they’re logging the patient’s nature prescription.

The BC Parks Foundation will then mail the patient a free Parks Canada Discovery Pass, which would typically cost $72.25 for an adult. Admission is already free for youth 17 and under.”

Read more on B.C. physicians can now prescribe Parks Canada Discovery Pass to encourage people to get outside via CTV News.

Related articles: B.C. physicians prescribing time outdoors to improve overall health: Q+A via CTV News.