4th year looms

We made our senior lottery selections on January 18, 2017. I submitted my top 4 choices for areas where I would like to spend a year of my life learning all the midwifery things. This is an intense process, with many considerations.

1st Consideration: Scope

For me, the most important part of my 4th year regional selection is scope. My Normal Childbearing placement in 2nd year was a low-scope placement, meaning we had to transfer care to an obstetrician for epidural management. This was due to hospital policy, which mostly boiled down to hospital politics. As I want to be competitive on a resume next year, my choices were made based on Ontario regions that allow midwives to practice to our fullest scope – that is, managing epidurals and inductions independently of a doctor. The unfair part about it is that even if you choose 4 places that are full-scope, the lottery does what the lottery will do and you may not get any of your choices. You may end up with a low-scope placement anyway, despite your best efforts. So my job competitiveness in my New Registrant (NR) year is entirely dictated by a manually run, cue-card based, hand-shuffled lottery.


2nd Consideration: Social Life

I wanted to pick a community that had some things going for it on the social side. Gem and I are alone in this giant province, so it was important to me to find a community known for its activities. Outdoor things, patios, a good size group of young professionals, cheap rent, etc. This meant that I was mostly avoiding really rural placements, as well as Toronto proper. In my last placement, however, I learned, that a rural placement isn’t the worst thing, so if I happen to fall out of the lottery again and get a rural placement … it’s all good.

3rd: There is no third

other than ensuring I follow the geographical restrictions employed by the MEP. Our cohort, and the one coming after ours, are the only remaining classes that will be able to choose placements in 2 of the 3 Ontario regions. After this, the MEP is planning to regionalize placements to be close to the schools. So, McMaster placements will all be in Southern Ontario, whereas Laurentian placements will mostly be in the north and Ryerson will have Toronto area.  I still neither agree with this approach, nor the way it was implemented, but alas, the MEP has never been very good at accommodating its students.

Embarrassingly for me, even after almost 3 years of living here, I still don’t know anything about Ontario, so the regional restrictions don’t really mean much to me. I might as well throw darts on a map and hope for the best. Luckily, there is a circulating spreadsheet that MEP students have self-organized to guide me. We can reference this spreadsheet to get a sense of clinics that have good preceptor relationships, parking, % of homebirth, etc. If you’re a member of the Canadian Midwifery Students Facebook page, this spreadsheet is pinned to the top of the page and updated by some magical, lovely human student midwife on an annual basis.

My choices

  1. Ottawa
  2. Ottawa-Montfort (Frenchie Ottawa)
  3. Halton/Burlington
  4. Guelph/Cambridge (low-scope, but I had to choose a 4th and it had to be in the McMaster region)

I’d be happy with any of those, but most happy with Ottawa or Burlington. We shall see what the cards hold for me!

The Lottery

The lottery ran February 1, 2017. Those who did not get any of their choices will be notified that they’ve fallen out some time after that. As you remember, things didn’t go so well for me during the last lottery, so the fall-out notification day is a big day for me. As long as I don’t get an email that day, it means that I got one of my first 4 choices.

Confused yet?

Honestly, though, I’m feeling pretty at ease this time around. I had so many expectations last time that it drove my anxiety through the roof. This time, I am happy to go wherever I need to, probably because the move is for a year and because it’s all out of my fucking control anyway.

I am the definition of zen.


Wish me luck!




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