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Interview With Dr. Dennis Fiddler


Interviewed by Pranay Chander


1. Please introduce yourself (name, age, Canadian undergrad/masters, medical school, graduate year, residency program and year, and province).

Dennis Fiddler, 25, University of Toledo (Biomedical engineering), Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine, 2014, PGY-1 Family Medicine at the University of Toronto (Barrie Site), Ontario

2. Why Family Medicine?

Family medicine for me was looking into the challenge that is medical care. Family physicians are the first line to see a variety of disease and have to manage it on a daily basis. It allows us to be detectives to try and determine the cause of the disease, direct their medical care, and if necessary contact a specialist on their behalf. There is also the aspect of managing one’s care over long term and seeing how they have improved by your hand which is rewarding.

3. What is a typical day like as a FM resident?

Every program has different areas where to the residents are on a daily basis. Typically the day is divided into halves or thirds. You can have any assortment of specialist clinic, hospital, surgical, obstetrical, or family medicine clinic depending on the rotation you are on. Depending on the rotation you can be quite busy with extra call added on to the schedule.

4. How was the CaRMs/NRMP residency match?

I found that the CaRMS match was better put together than the NRMP match. All of the interviews were along the same time frame and CaRMS essentially walked you through the application process. The NRMP match seemed really scattered a lot of the interviews and talking to programs about their information was all done by yourself, which was more time consuming for a 4th year medical student.

5. How different or similar are clinical rotations/residency in Canada vs the US?

Essentially the same. You go to the site you are supposed to be learning at and get as much educational exposure to the program you are in. As a “clerk” in Canada it appears as though residents and attendings give you more independence and one of your key roles is learning how to document properly. I know that when I went through the 3rd and 4th years I was not able to write anything on a real chart as there was the potential for litigation with whatever I wrote. In addition I have transferred from large academic center where I did my rotations in my clinical years to a smaller suburban setting. I can tell that there is a difference between the people that you interact with on a daily basis. In the smaller areas people are more willing to help you as a clerk or resident. Versus in the bigger centre it was a free-for-all and you have to be first in line to get your proper experience.

6. Do you miss the warm Florida weather and beaches?

Florida was great really in the winter. Otherwise for me it was too hot. Going to the beaches was also awesome. The problem was though that if you were outside you weren’t studying. This was the challenge. You could try to study on the beach but the sand and the wind would blow your papers everywhere. Therefore a lot of my time was spend indoors looking at the outdoors.

7. Do you have any tips for interviews in the USA/Canada residency programs?

Be genuine. I was able to participate in the interviews as part of the University of Toronto last year. Many people would hold onto their research and how it has made them who they are. Honestly I didn’t care. My purpose was to ensure that you would be a good person to work with in the future. If they couldn’t hold a conversation with a person they just met then they would not get very good marks. We all know that people who graduate from medical school are smart, otherwise they would not have made it this far. You have to showcase yourself as a person first.

8. As a Canadian, what do you recommend doing anything special to improve your application for residency?

Getting as many rotations as you can in the area you want to practice. This is very helpful in getting your application seen by people in Canada.

9. Where do you see the Canadian DO population 5 years from now?

Hopefully bigger than what it is now. I understand that there are difficulties for people to return for various reasons. However I find Canada is a great place to practice.

10. Last question (and most important), did the Toronto Maple leafs do the right thing by trading for Phil Kessel?

Absolutely

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