8 Tips When Travelling For CaRMS Interviews

Save where you can

This is probably the most expensive part of your training, (aside from tuition and accommodation.)
Some students have spent upwards of 10-15k on interviewing.



1. Set Up Separate Alerts Email

Avoid clutter in your professional or everyday email and set up a “Junk” email account for travel alerts.
By strictly using a separate email for travel alerts, informational emails and promotions, you’ll prevent getting important emails lost in the mix.

Example:  “JaneCaRMS2018@Gmail.com





2. Know your MD/student discount rights:

Sign up for your Medical professional and student association’s discount cards. From clothing to travel and maybe a good meal, there are so many student  privileges out there – take advantage of them!




International Student Identity Card (ISIC)

Sign up for your ISIC student discount card (International Student Identity Card) for travel discounts etc and Retail stores.

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Student Price Card (SPC)

Canadian Deals Sign up (10$ a year) and get great discounts on clothing, food, services (15% HBC Top Shop, Banana Republic, Aldo etc ) Get your interview outfits at a discount.

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Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS)

CFMS has negotiated discounts for various hotels etc.

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Canadian Medical Association (CMA)

As a member you have discounts for car rentals, hotels, travel. (Call or email for discount code)

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3. Get Air Travel Discount Alerts

For potential or confirmed destinations, setting up air travel alerts for Flash Sales/unadvertised deals can save you more than you think.


Here are some of our favourites:



Airfare Watchdog

This site has been around for a long time. You can search current deals, cheapest months to travel, specific destinations. Canadian Airlines included.

Visit Site




Canadian Airfare deals only

This website allows you to pick departure city, Montréal, Quebec, Toronto,

 Vancouver, NYC. sign up for alerts, and view by map, month of travel for current airfare deals. Bargain Charts and Calendars make your current search easier.

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Canadian founder

Set your city alert and find deals for destinations and departure point.

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4. Set Up Flight Status Alerts

Download your airlines app and get your travel alerts set!!!!


In January our climate lends itself to delays, cancellations, so it’s important to have a plan B.  Signing up for alerts will give you news of a cancelled or delayed flights right away. Often before the gate staff, so you can be the first to the customer care centre to seek alternative travel.


Air Canada

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West Jet

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Regional flight pass Deals

Sometimes it is worth looking at flight passes if your interviews are within a particular region.

Some good examples are:


Air Canada

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International flight tracker

Keep track of your flights and average delays for each route

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Know Your Air Travel Rights

KNOW THEM!! Know your rights regarding delayed flights, late luggage arrival.

Some Visa cards (if you purchase your ticket with it) give you great compensation for these delays, either with accommodation, food, and/or stipend for clothing, depending on the challenge.




Your trusty MDMGMT backpack is a known signal throughout Canada as a “traveling medical student”. Use it to carry on your most important assets (Clothes, Notes, Medication).





5. Call your cell phone provider

You use data while on the fly so don’t go broke over data roaming or texting. Call your provider and get an upgrade on your plan for the few weeks of traveling.





6. Catch the train or bus


Train – Via Rail

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Bus- Greyhound 

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7. Rent a Car


Rental Car

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Car Rentals

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Costco Travel

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CMA (call for code)

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8. Accomodations



We have a slot to list your own place for CaRMS Interviewees coming to town.

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Some other opportunities to start your search:



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Short term rentals

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BBC Canada

Bed and Breakfasts

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CMA Discounts for hotels

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Canadian Automobile Association (CAA)

Offers discounts at many well-known hotels/motels.

Visit Site




Best resource – other students:

Seek out your home med school grads now @ PGY1 (R1), and see if they are willing to host/welcome CaRMS tour interviewees in their new placement town.

Check out their grad class Facebook page and maybe post an “accommodation wanted” note.





Frequent flyer plans: some family and friends may have accumulated thousands of points and may be all to happy to help you out. Offer to pay them per point used.





Look after yourself



Appointments on arrival to town. Book these in advance by calling hotel for names of local hair salons or barbers. Nothing more relaxing than a head massage after travel, before the social or interview.


Has locations in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

Sign up for discounts and vouchers

Visit Site





Make sure you have a good manicure before you start the beat. No need for polish Ladies, or if you must, just a simple French Manicure.

If you are a nail biter, get French shellac nail manicures starting now. By Mid Jan they should look great.




September 13, 2018 / by / in ,
5 CaRMS Interview Tips By Someone In the Trenches

The CaRMS interview process is a key step along the path to practising medicine in Canada, but it can be intimidating. To ease your mind, we interviewed someone who has been there and done that!


1. Interview far and wide:

Even if a program’s location doesn’t appeal to you – if you can afford it – go and see it! The more programs and hospitals you visit, the more successful you will be at finding the best fit for you. Quite often the program that is at the bottom of your list before you begin interviewing ends up much higher than you would ever expect at the end of the interview season.




2. Prepare – but, don’t over practice:

Make sure you have answers to the basic questions – like ‘what draws you to Pediatrics’, but don’t over practice. Having interviewed many prospective Medical Students, Residents and Fellows, it is obvious when somebody has memorized their answer. This is not what people are looking for.

Interviewers want a genuine answer to their questions so they can get to know you as a person. They want to know that you’ve thought about the specialty and will be a good fit for the team for the duration of the program. So, think about your answers – but, don’t memorize or over practice – be yourself!




3. Dress for the Day:

You don’t need to have a million dollar outfit – or a flashy one – but, you need one that fits well. You have a few hours to show the interviewers you can pay attention to the fine details (like following up on labs), execute things appropriately and care about the task at hand.

One of the best ways to instantly show that you are NOT someone like this is to show up in ill-fitting, inappropriately chosen outfit. For the women – if you’re going to wear nail polish – pick a conservative color (or go for a French Manicure) and DO NOT GO WITH CHIPPED NAIL POLISH. Ever. Period. You’re interviewing for what is conceivably the most important interview of your life – so dress for it.




4. Know something about your interviewers:

People love to talk about themselves. One of the best things you can do is ask about someone’s research (pick a specific question after you’ve read a bit about their interests) and follow up with real interest. If you have time to read the most recent paper someone has published – jot a question down in your notebook and be sure to ask. And ask with interest – people can tell if you are asking just to ask.




5. Hand written thank you notes:

There is nothing that shows you appreciated the opportunity to see a program more than a hand written note.

Everybody can quickly shoot an email off – especially if you copy and paste it. A hand written note takes time and effort. BUT – most importantly – pick a specific moment, point of discussion or something that the person who interviewed you said and mention it in the note. This shows that you paid attention during the interview and the discussion meant something to you. It DOES take time and it DOES take effort – but, it is worth it. Plane rides home are the best time to do it – it’s fresh in your mind and you’ll get it done in a timely fashion.

WHO should you send them to? Anyone who interviewed you.

Good Luck!

BMWL M.D. PGY6 OBGYN/REI Fellow Interviewer

September 13, 2018 / by / in