Maybe you are a first year med student looking at what your future could be like, or entering the CaRMS era of your life where decisions are endless, or maybe you are just looking to find a place where all your dreams can come true. In any case, I can tell you to look no further because the University of Manitoba Emergency Medicine Program has what you are searching for.
I am a second year resident in the program here, so it wasn’t long ago that I was going through the CaRMS process myself. You can study the books, practice your skills, and iron (or occasionally wash) your white coat to make the most of yourself as a student. However, there are a few things that you can’t control once you are settled into your choice of residency. These include the people you work with and the city you live in. I am very happy in the program here and I know it is mainly because of the people I work with on a daily basis. As for Winnipeg, it is a great city to live in for residency.
Our residency group is made up of people who all contribute unique strengths from a variety of backgrounds. Be sure to check out our resident profiles for more details. When I started here I felt very welcomed. We kicked off residency in the simulation lab where we ran life-like codes and various other scenarios with our state of the art sim equipment. It was an excellent way to learn and bond as a team. We also spend time together outside of work, like at our annual weekend retreat.
The attendings are friendly too. They are approachable and make an effort to get to know you in a short time. It is also helpful to have a program director like ours who has an open-door policy for any questions, concerns, or suggestions. The staff and senior residents will assist you with your interest areas as well as trouble areas to help you make the most of your training. Indeed, we do make the most of our training here in Manitoba. It is well known that our graduates are incredibly competent. I won’t talk about the program in depth because details are available on our site and the CaRMS site. In addition to having a strong program and enthusiastic attendings, there are also opportunities like working for Lifeflight air ambulance, and teaching paramedic or advanced nursing lectures to enhance our learning and skills. There is no shortage of excitement on a day-to-day basis in the emergency department. Don’t be fooled by the size of our city, we have a catchment area that includes Nunavut and Northwestern Ontario. We have the trauma center and the cardiac center for these areas, so it all comes to us.
If you are interested in emergency medicine then you are probably keen to deal with extreme situations. I present to you: Winnipeg weather. The summers are hot so we can enjoy ourselves at the multiple lakes that surround Winnipeg. If you prefer to stay in the city there is plenty to keep you busy. There are several parks including Assiniboine park, where picnickers, sports teams, Assiniboine Park Zoo animals, and runners spend their days. Many of us live in the Osborne Village area of the city where we are connected to running and biking routes, as well as a wide range of shopping, dining, and nightlife. You can enjoy watching the Blue Bombers (or their rivals depending on where your roots are). Construction is currently underway for their new stadium. We are also proud to have the Winnipeg Jets back in action. Although the winters are cold, it doesn’t stop any of us from enjoying winter activities like skiing, snowshoeing, skating on the river path, and for some, running. To balance out those cold days we have several hot yoga studios. If you prefer indoor events you will not run out of things to do, for Winnipeg has an active and culturally diverse entertainment scene. There is the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, local festivals, and the MTS Center which hosts world-class musicians, Jets games, and more!
Lets face it, residency is pretty busy so we don’t have time to gallivant every evening. Sometimes I just want to get home and relax. No problem. From where I live I can drive to work at both of our main hospitals within fifteen minutes and be home in slightly longer. Traffic is nothing compared to the bigger cities. Some of my more ambitious colleagues say it takes about 20 to 25 minutes by bike. Winnipeg is both convenient and affordable. I currently live in a roomy apartment and find rent quite reasonable, which is what many fellow residents say about the housing market here compared to other Canadian cities.
I have had an amazing year and a half in this program and would be happy to tell you more about it if you would like to email me. I wish you luck in finding out where you will be happy, and I hope to see you at the CaRMS interviews!