My Frustrations and How I Keep Motivated

Pushing through challenges and climbing my way to the top. Story of my life.

How do I keep motivated when things are not going my way?

This is a brutally open and honest post. For the past couple of months, I have found myself losing the drive and motivation to get up, get ready and accomplish the goals I’ve set for myself.

My efforts seem futile. What’s the point of continuing with (traineeships, research etc.) when I have been struggling to match into a residency program for YEARS in Canada and the US. Taken all the required board exams, stacked up experience in recent clinical experience, recent LORs, clinical research, volunteer work etc.. Used my parents and my husband to pay for EVERYTHING and yet I am still here in an unpaid traineeship and preparing to apply again for…..what exactly? Another year of a failed Match? Why am I not a good enough candidate?

My thoughts are horrible aren’t they?

Stay calm, take deep breaths and think positively.

Instead, I should be thankful! 

  • I made a major transition in my life in 2017 to move from Ontario to BC for a clinical traineeship position to keep up to date with my skills and knowledge.
  • I found wonderful selfless doctors take me on as a trainee to teach me (they don’t get paid taking me as a trainee and I actually slow them down at work).
  • These same doctors go out of their way to help me prepare for exams and help me connect with other physicians to strengthen my application for the next residency match.
  • I have patients who are so kind as to let me question them and poke and prod them for my benefit.

How do I keep motivated?

  • Talk it out, network – I talk it out with my understanding husband, family, friends and mentors. By speaking to people you may get new ideas on what to do next or how to approach or tackle the next hurdle. Be careful who you speak with and ask advice from. They should understand the situation you are in, otherwise, you may just hear advice that will hurt you rather than help.
  • Make a change – I realized that the clinic was getting monotonous for me and plan to work as a trainee in the hospital. I continue with different clinical research projects so I can meet new doctors and help out with various projects. This keeps my brain stimulated and interested. No other field interests me quite like medicine.
  • Sign up for the next challenge – I signed up for another exam. This helps me work toward a date and gives me a sense of purpose.
  • Have hobbies, participate in activities – I love hiking, it takes me outdoors and keeps my mind and body active. I also love painting and taking care of my plants. These activities give me a sense of purpose and it keeps me busy so that I don’t mope and complain about my life too much!
  • Continue to believe and keep going – this one is hard but I make myself believe that everything that I am going through right now, the ups and downs, the exams, traineeships, interviews, match days will all amount to something (hopefully a residency match!).

I’ll end it here for now.

For those of you who are reaching out to me and letting me know that my website is inspirational, it means SO much to me! I love knowing that my little blog is reaching out and helping you 🙂 Let’s keep at it guys, we can do this!


I will leave you with a motivational video I came across on YouTube…

Peace, Love and Happiness Always!

6 thoughts on “My Frustrations and How I Keep Motivated

Add yours

  1. Hey VR! Your post sounded JUST like how I felt 5 years ago when I was going through this entire process myself. I am an IMG myself and I worked hard to match to a residency position and now am almost at the end of all my training and looking back makes me realise how much effort all this requried but also like you said, all the people who worked selflessly to help me get here today. Kudos to you for still going strong and motivating yourself. I have recently started a blog about IMG resources as I felt a stong desire to mentor other IMGs like you to give back. Very refreshing to come across your site. All the best!


    1. Thank you for this! Congratulations on matching into a Canadian residency and being successful in this! I look forward to reading your posts. Now that the next CaRMS application round is around the corner in a few months, a post on what you did to set you apart from other applicants and matching would be really helpful 🙂 Thank you!!


  2. Consider leaving Canada and challenge UK Plab exams , after which u get full GMC registration, work a year in non training post as Senior house officer, then apply to their 3yr family medicine program, finish it and become a consultant and return to Canada bypassing Canadian residency and becoming a consultant in Canada since u have the lmcc certificate already and would only need to write the CCFP which can be challenged in second year of your family medicine training anyways while in UK . Sometimes one need to leave and go elsewhere to achieve the key ingredients needed to realise their dream. Thanks for your post. I empathize with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Another choice is to use your lmcc and clinical experience to apply via the competent pathway in Australia which is another way to get registration and license there. First you go on indeed and apply for medical house officer jobs and once u get an offer, use the offer along with lmcc to apply for license to practice in Australia . After 2yrs of house officer work, u will get permanent residence with which u can then use to apply for medicine or GP or any other residency training which when u finish u can return to Canada bypassing residency again. Love g route compared to UK but it means u don’t need to do UK Plab exams which in itslef also can be used for Australia just same way like u could use lmcc.

    Age is marketibility or so I tell myself, it’s admirable to keep holding on and fighting but sometimes you need to take a step back and analzye other pathways that are more feasible and pave the way to bring u back to Canada at a higher level. It only takes 10 days to a month to prep for plab 1 and 6 weeks for plab2 and that’s that u get registered and back to working as a doctor for a year after which u apply for residency. All these by the way depend on the assumption that you done a year of internship already be it from any country at all otherwise u get provisional registration in UK rather than full registration.

    There are Google links on UK Plab like dr.naseer journey plab. Think outside the box because as we get older, it feels like we are sinking and u feel left behind and feel worthless and like a burden to everyone and that is the Genesis of depression. Act now, act fast, in no time be it 4-5 years you be back. Chance favours the prepared mind. Your biggest challenge would be your marriage. Stay blessed. I am in same shoes and after seeing my colleagues taking this u-turn, I have had to embark on same journey. Stay blessed

    Liked by 1 person

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