uOttawa medical students had the opportunity to attend the first-ever Networking with 4th Years in Family Medicine event on April 3rd. Organized by Kirsten Desjardins-Lorimer, First and third-year medical students with an interest in Family Medicine were able to meet with newly matched 4th year medical students post-CaRMS to hear about their experiences. We caught up with Rachael Weagle, a first-year medical student at uOttawa, who spoke to us about the event, FMIG and her longstanding passion for Family Medicine.
The event was very well received. Everyone that I spoke to was so thankful that the fourth year students were willing to take time out of their schedules to mentor their peers in upcoming years.
The fourth years presented information on many different aspects of their journeys in medical school such as how and why they decided to pursue Family Medicine. Additionally, they spoke to where they matched, the interview process and how they decided on their program. I learned so much from this event. I think I can speak for most of my class when I say that in first year medicine, you have so many questions. From CaRMs to choosing a specialty to surviving medical school, the list is endless. This event was a great opportunity to get those questions answered and hear from a wonderful group of individuals who have been through it and are now going on to start their residencies. Not only was this incredibly informative, it was also quite inspirational to hear from the fourth years and their passion for family medicine. Their commitment really speaks to the community at uOttawa.
I have to admit, I am somewhat biased when it comes to Family Medicine as my grandmother, mom and dad are family doctors. I grew up watching and becoming inspired by the bond that they developed with their patients. Learning more about the specialty now in medical school, I am amazed by the scope of the practice and the countless opportunities to make a positive impact, not only in a patient’s life, but also in a community. The program at uOttawa has definitely grown my interest in Family Medicine. Right off the bat in first year, we have the opportunity to go out into the community and work with a family doctor. Further, at the end of first year, everyone travels to rural setting to shadow a family clinic. These hands on experiences allow for the exploration of the practice of family medicine.
It has definitely been a busy year for the Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG). The four executives, currently in second year medicine, have put in countless hours preparing events to help students understand more about Family Medicine and the countless opportunities within the specialty. On Saturday, April 14th, FMIG held a simulated clinic event for first and second year students. At this daylong event, students learned practical skills for family medicine from doctors in the community. From vaginal deliveries to IM injections, the day was jam packed with developing skills for future practice. Additionally, FMIG is teaming up with Doctors of Ottawa to interview family doctors in the community. We have sent out a poll to all students involved with FMIG asking what questions they have for practicing physicians. Interviews will be underway soon and videos will be shared with uOttawa students and faculty. This will allow students to understand the depth of the specialty and the diversity of the practice of family medicine in Ottawa.
Rachael Weagle BSc., MPH
MD Candidate 2021
University of Ottawa