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A Smorgasbord of CaRMS Tour Advice

A smorgasbord is a type of Scandinavian meal with multiple dishes of various foods. In English, it often refers to a large heterogeneous collection of diverse items. During my CaRMS tour, I got a lot of useful advice from residents and other students. Each fact on its own would not be worthy of a post, so instead I am going to group them together for a rapid fire collection of interview tour tips.

Packing Tips

  • Pack for the right weather – if you are going to Vancouver bring an umbrella, if you will be in the prairies bring a warm winter jacket. Dress accordingly to the climate
  • Stuff socks in your dress shoes and wrap them separately in plastic bags to make packing easier
  • Have a waterproof ziploc bag for your toiletries
  • Roll your clothes to pack more efficiently and to save space
  • Your interview clothes should never leave you – bring it on the plane as carry-on
  • Bring a lint roller


  • Book flights on Tuesday/Wednesday when there are seat sales
  • Use points to book flights if possible
  • Stay with friends to eliminate accommodation costs
  • Travel with other people to split the costs of hotels/car rentals
  • Use public transportation – it’s a lot cheaper than taxis
  • Save money on breakfast and lunch by attending the free refreshments provided by residency programs


  • Avoid backtracking during the tour, ideally you should go from West to East or vice versa, once.
  • Have a pitstop at your home school midway to re-energize, repack, relax
  • Explore every place you go to, get a feel for the placeĀ  – you may end up there
  • Walking is one of the best ways to see a city
  • Meet up with friends staying in other cities

Personal Sanity

  • Enjoy the process and mix your interviews with some sightseeing
  • Don’t have regrets – always focus on your next interview at hand
  • Spend some time with people who are not on the tour for perspective
  • Visit home if/when possible
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One Comment

  1. Ted
    Ted August 21, 2012

    If you are a weird fuck-up, and you know it, don’t bother going on a CaRMS tour at all. Save your money or go on a vacation during that time. Apply to all of the programs that nobody else wants to go to. Match to psych in Saskatchewan, even if you don’t like psych or Saskatchewan. Then you can have no regrets because you didn’t overshoot your aim. You just took whatever was available, because that’s all you’re capable of.

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