Ross University Blog

MATCH: RUSM Student Matches Into Her Favorite Residency Program Back Home in Canada

March 23, 2015

RUSM student Meredith Austin-Appleton
Meredith Austin-Appleton (above) recently matched into her favorite pediatrics residency program back home in Canada.

Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) student Meredith Austin-Appleton, slated to graduate toward the end of March 2015, had convinced herself of one thing early on: Though she wanted to return to her home country of Canada for residency training, she’d be perfectly happy matching for residency in the United States.

It had to be pediatrics, though.

“I always knew I was going to work with children. Pediatrics was my first choice—really my only choice—for residency long before I started medical school,” Austin-Appleton says. “But I’d heard how difficult it was to get a spot in a pediatric residency program back in Canada, and I knew there hadn’t been a match there [from RUSM] in pediatrics for years.”

This year, she says, there were only 13 pediatric residency spots—total—in all of Ontario for international medical graduates (IMGs).  

Applying to Residencies in Both the US and Canada

So Austin-Appleton went through the residency application process, scoring interviews in both Canada and the US for various pediatrics programs. “I’d interviewed at some places in the US that I really liked, and would have been happy at—there, I had a clear idea of what my top program was. But in Canada, I had a very tough time making my rank list,” she says. “I loved them all.”

Her favorite, she says, was McMaster University’s pediatrics program.

On March 4th, 2015—Match Day for those seeking Canadian residencies—Austin-Appleton logged onto the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) to see what was in store for her.

“I’m Still Waiting to Wake Up From This Dream”

She’d matched at McMaster. According to McMaster University’s website, only 13 recent med school graduates were invited to the pediatrics program this year, and she was one of them. Only 4 of those spots at McMaster were dedicated to international medical graduates.

“I’m still in disbelief,” she says. “It wasn’t until I matched at McMaster that I realized how much I really wanted to return to train in Ontario. It’s one of those feelings that seems too good to be true—hence my feeling of disbelief! I’m still waiting to wake up from this dream.”

RUSM Gave Her Opportunity

Austin-Appleton credits RUSM both for guiding her through the residency process and for preparing her for success on the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE). In particular, she singles out Tom Harkness and Chuck Furey, RUSM’s Canadian advisors, for their support. “They’ve been amazing through the whole process,” she says. “Since starting down on the island, they’ve guided us through what steps we needed to take to give ourselves the best chance of matching in Canada.”

Her experience with clinical rotations in the US—at Central Michigan University, in Saginaw, Mich.—was “wonderful,” she says. Even better: She was able to pursue elective rotations back home in Canada, at Western University for pediatric genetics and at Dalhousie University for pediatric endocrinology.

As for the future? Austin-Appleton isn’t sure yet. “I’m considering a fellowship in critical care or emergency medicine,” she says. “But at this point, all doors are open.”

Tags: Residency , Canada , Alumni

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