A Completely Different Tour

The CaRMS interview tour is a really neat and unique experience for medical students: we fly around the country, visit new cities and hospitals, meet applicants who may be our co-residents come July, and get to imagine what it would be like to live and train in each new place. It’s exciting, stressful, and a lot of fun! I loved my tour last year and sharing impromptu conversations and shy smiles with other burgundy backpacks in airports and trains as we all bounced around the country and occasionally even seeing familiar faces in the crowds. It was a great experience that I’m so happy I had.

This year though… It was better. For one, I only had a handful of interviews last year and I managed to almost double them this year. It was the busy CaRMS experience I missed last time around. I had flight delays and missed info session, there were some gross Airbnb accommodations, I ended up flying to Alberta three times because of unfortunate interview scheduling, and I accidentally burned my main dress shirt an hour before one interview. Those three weeks were hectic and crazy and I loved it! Certainly not the terrible CaRMS stories some applicants had, but enough craziness to make me feel like I finally got a real tour experience!

But the thing that made this tour so special was the residents. Last year, I felt that the residents were like these slightly intimidating and very important people who were certainly a separate group from the applicants. This year, they were my classmates and my friends from the past four years! I loved getting to reconnect with them in whatever city I was interviewing in. We had honest conversations about not just their program but our lives since we last saw each other. It was a mini travelling reunion and was honestly amazing. Medical school is hard and stressful and through that we form such strong friendships. We were all so sad last spring knowing that after seeing each nearly everyday for the past four years, we were saying goodbye. And before January I hadn’t seen most of my closest med friends since they left last June. Reconnecting with them all over those three weeks in January was what made this CaRMS tour so special. From hot chocolates in Kingston, to mojitos in Calgary, my CaRMS tour was a blast. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone but I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Image credit: Zachary Nelson

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