Interview With Dr. Parul Tandon
1. Please introduce yourself (name, age, Canadian undergrad/masters, medical school, graduate year, residency program and year, AOA or ACGME, and state).
Parul Tandon, Age: 28. Canadian undergrad: McMaster University (Major: Biochemistry)
Medical school: MSUCOM, Graduate Year: 2015
Residency program: University of Ottawa Internal Medicine 2015- present, Ontario, Canada
2. Why internal medicine? And any area of specialty you see yourself going into in the future?
Internal medicine is a great specialty for those who love to “think” and still remain hands-on inpatient care. I love taking the role of a diagnostician and being able to be involved in the acute care of sick patients. I am interested in gastroenterology as a specialty, mainly because of the interesting pathology (ie: IBD) and the opportunity for procedures.
3. What is a typical day like for you?
A typical day usually begins around 8 am, involves getting a coffee on the way into work, and then seeing patients in a team environment in the morning. Following lunch is usually a nice opportunity to connect with patients and their families. A typical day may involve teaching, bedside rounds, and listening in on grand rounds.
4. How did you first hear about Osteopathic medical education? Did you have any doubts when starting?
I first heard of Osteopathic medical education when I was applying to medical school in 2010-2011. The concept of MSUCOM really attracted my personal values and I was fortunate enough to gain acceptance. I certainly had doubts initially as it was a new concept at that time, unheard of in Canada, and at that time, very few DOs in Canada. Worth taking the risk though as the experience has been amazing!
5. Why did you pick a DO medical school vs the Caribbean? Ireland? Europe?
Location! Going to Michigan state meant I was only 4 hrs from home in Toronto and I was still a US medical graduate which is critical for residency as it allows for a solid cushion when applying! Even if Canada did not work out, I knew I had access to excellent spots around the USA which is reassuring.
6. You have done rotations in Canada? How different are they vs the ones in the US?
Not a huge difference in rotations. Wherever you rotate, the common theme is to work hard and learn from every case possible. You see similar pathology where you are and have equal opportunities. I would say Canadian rotations allowed me a chance to practice procedures more often (ie: thoracentesis, paracentesis, lumbar puncture).
7. What makes a medical student successful in their clinical years?
The biggest factors that lead to success are hard work, dedication, and passion for learning medicine. No matter what rotation you are on, as long as you show interest, you will do great! I tried to show up early, leave late, and offer to help any resident that required assistance during my rotations. This does not go unnoticed.
8. Any rotations you recommend for 3+4th year medical students interested in IM?
Take a variety of rotations. For example, take nephrology, cardiology (60% of IM is cardiology so this rotation is highly advisable). Definitely take consult medicine or CTU (ward) medicine as these are quite representative of daily life in IM.
9. How was the transition from 4th year medical student to first-year resident?
The workload and responsibility are significant changes from medical school to residency. You go from supervision to complete independence on July 1st (sometimes even on-call overnight by yourself). For some, this is fearful. But for others, exciting! I loved this transition as you finally feel like a doctor and can make a difference in someone’s life! It’s a fun time, prepare to embrace it!
10. Will the Leafs make the finals with Austin Mathews this year?
Not this year but we are close! Need another super-star though for this year and the trade deadline has already passed.