It’s official, spooky season is around the corner and so is CaRMS. I went through this process not too long ago myself, and as stressful and challenging it is, you WILL get through it in one piece! I wanted to share a few thoughts I had along the way.
- It’s draining… but it is temporary
Between covering the multiple financial costs incurred by the match process, the emotional and mental costs of the whole affair, it’s safe to say you’ll be tired. Please remember to take care of your body and your mind by continuing to do all those good-for-the-soul-things you do to keep yourself sane. It’s not forever, and every day that goes by, is one closer to post-match you.
- Make up your own mind about things
Remember that everyone processes this in their own way. Don’t let the CaRMS-talk get you discouraged; be comfortable making up your own mind about it all. This is also true when it comes to sharing the details of your applications with friends and colleagues. Think carefully about who you might want to proof-read your letters and prep for interviews with. Everyone has a different perspective to offer but sometimes when those impressions conflict with one another, it can leave you feeling a little lost. Consider picking your CaRMS team, and more importantly, listen to you! If you really like a component of your application that you’ve been encouraged to modify, stick to your guns!
- Try not to compare yourself to everyone else
You are awesome and have so much to bring to the table. Remember that, and don’t get caught off guard by other’s achievements. Everyone is smart and competent, just focus on what makes you, you, and you’re set for success.
- Life after the match
There is more to life than this moment even though it might not feel like it. The outcome of the match is, to a fair degree, not in your control. All you can do is put your best foot forward confidently, in a way that rings most true to you, and leave the rest to the match process. The result you get at the end of the day, does not reflect your quality as a person.
- Think about the way you think
Cognitive reframing might be one way to turn the stress of CaRMS into productive excitement. It seems silly to think about, but the way you present yourself – in your body language – matters. Have a listen to Amy Cuddy’s TedTalk on power posing. She explains how you can adopt postures embodying confidence – without necessarily feeling confident – and give the impression to both you and your interviewers of actual confidence.
This article was written by Madison Le Gallee, a first year family medicine resident in Montreal, Canada.