My experience at the CPA Conference
Constanza Testart Aguirre, 4th year medical student
The train stops at the Ottawa Station. It’s a beautiful sunny day and I am filled with gratitude for my mentor. Encouraged by a senior resident, I registered for the CPA conference and managed to organize my busy schedule to attend. It was an extraordinary experience: I attended hyper-interesting sessions, I asked many questions to dynamic and talented psychiatrists, I immersed myself in the world of residents, and I wandered through the beautiful streets of Ottawa. The icing on the cake: they invited me to participate in the Resident Trivia Competition. Guess what? The team from the University of Montreal, which I was part of, won!
Many medical students would be interested in this kind of intellectual, cultural and networking activity, but the participation rate is very low. The collaboration between medical students and residents during clinical rotations makes exchanges between the two possible. The role of residents in these contexts should be to spread the message and encourage students to participate in conferences and other activities where people, psychiatry, recreation and culture meet.
Some practical tips for students and their wallets:
- Sign up for the CPA! It’s free while you’re a medical student, and you have a great discount for conference registration fees.
- Look for accommodation on the internet. I stayed at a B&B very close to the Shaw Center, which allowed me to save on transport. I took the opportunity to discover the city on foot.
- The train into Ottawa is fast, affordable, and will allow you to study (or relax!) during the trip.
- Hang around residents and be open to participate in activities and workshops. They are very welcoming and happy to share their experiences and tips for CaRMS and Resident Life.
- Have fun! These are unique opportunities to learn, inspire, connect and explore the city.
So friends … until we meet again in 2018 in Toronto! Hope to see you.