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US & Canada Citizen Considering UofT

Discussion in 'Canada' started by IRASNA, 04.01.12.

  1. IRASNA

    IRASNA

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    Hey everyone. Before I dive into the questions here's some background info:

    I'm an American & Canadian citizen and have basically lived most of my life in America. I have a lot of family in Toronto, and visit there quite frequently. I did my undergrad in the states (Midwest), and will be applying to med schools this June.

    I've always loved Canada, and would not mind living and practicing there in the future if that's what I decide. At the same time, I would (at this point) probably prefer to practice in the US, but again, it doesn't matter to me too much. So.. I decided to look into U of Toronto, and found out that I would probably not be considered an "International Applicant" (and fight for 1 of 7 spots!), and the tuition is a lot cheaper ($20k) than any med school in the US.

    With that said, do you guys have any advice regarding the application process using OMSAS? Do you know of any Canadian med students that were in a similar situation? How are the residency prospects for graduates from U of T in Canada and US (and is there a match list)? Would you recommend this route? How do people rate U of T based as far as curriculum, clerkships/rotations, etc.?

    Thanks!
    Last edited: 04.01.12
  2. ladyluck2

    ladyluck2

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    Hey, feel free to PM me.

    I am a Canadian going to med school in the U.S. this year. I also applied to U of T though, and so I'm quite familiar with OMSAS.

    I think you are in an excellent position for having dual citizenship. When I ultimately apply for residency spots in the U.S., it's going to suck because I'm not American. Basically, both Canada and the U.S. like to give residency spots to their own citizens. So you should have no problem either way.

    Also, U of T is a great choice. From my experience, it is the most well-known and respected Canadian school in the U.S. (McGill being the other). Going to med school there won't shut any doors. Just remember, if you apply to residency spots in Canada, you won't be evaluated on board schools (which is nice). For U.S. residency programs you will have to write the USMLEs (I'm already dreading this). I'm not sure what the teaching style is for Toronto, but a U.S. med school may prepare you better for these, since everyone there (including the school's admin.) is counting on students doing well on the boards.

    Application wise - try to sound mature in your personal statement. I've heard that U of T is also very grades-focused (although in terms of MCAT, they just set a cutoff and don't weigh it beyond that). ou're lucky that they don't do MMIs for interviews, because those are dreadful.

    Cheers
  3. rhysticlight

    rhysticlight

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    One thing to look into is how going to a Canadian medical school will affect your status for the US residency match (NRMP). I know for example that a Canadian citizen who goes to a Canadian school and wants to match in the US for residency is considered second-tier applicant in the match; however, a Canadian who goes to a US med school is considered a first-tier applicant in both US and Canadian matches.

    I am not sure if the situation is any different for you since you are also a US citizen, but it is definitely something I would look into if you might want to go back to the US for residency/practice afterwards.
  4. IRASNA

    IRASNA

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    Good point regarding the lack of USMLE training...

    If residency spots aren't primarily based on board scores, what are they based on (I think UofT is pass/fail, so there are no grades)? And do you know if they release a match list like US schools?

    Is there a particular reason why you chose to come to the States over staying in Canada?

    I'm hesitant to contact the school and launch all these questions that would make them feel like I'm just trying to squeeze and education out of them only to come back to the US (not the case, although I guess it could end up that way).
  5. ladyluck2

    ladyluck2

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    Totally. I was applying MD/PhD. Canada has some great MD/PhD programs. However, the U.S. has some MEGA, AWESOME, FANTASTIC MD/PhD programs. Although it is very difficult to get accepted as an international student, if you do, the MD tuition is waived, and they give you a stipend to cover living costs. :cool:

    My impression is that for residencies in Canada it is based on things like: activities during med school, dean's letter/other ref letters (people may have evaluated your clinical skills unofficially), and where you rotated (sometimes its nice to rotate through the programs you are looking at so they know you). Research will also be a plus on your CV. Oh, and your interview once you get it.

    Now one thing to consider is that you can apply to both CARMs & NMRP. However, you are bound to the first system in which you match. In recent years, CARMs has released its results before the U.S. programs. So if you were matched to a Canadian residency program, then you will be removed from the American list.

    So my plan is to only rank Canadian programs that I would take over U.S. (if any). Thus, if I don't get into them, CARMs will consider me "unmatched" and I will still be eligible for the U.S. match.
  6. mlw03

    mlw03 Senior Member

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    I'll chime in regarding "USMLE training" in US med schools. There really isn't much of any, at least not where I went and not from what I've heard from friends. You're taught what's important in the first two years, and then everyone studies like heck for 2-3 months for the exam, knowing how crucial it is to matching in US residencies. But there really is very little formal teaching of the exam material specifically.

  7. IRASNA

    IRASNA

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    Trying to read up a bit on OSAP. Subsidized loans until 6 months after graduation is nice (now a luxury the US gov't. can't afford...), and only $7000ish debt maximum per year? Rest is grants through the province? Would this apply to someone who is a Canadian who has resided in Ontario/another province?
  8. futuredoc1004

    futuredoc1004 future_doc

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    ALL med schools in Canada are excellent period! You should apply broadly. And the MMI is fun, requiring a minimum to no practice.
  9. ladyluck2

    ladyluck2

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    Of course all med schools in Canada are great. I was referring to American perceptions of Canadian schools though, which I have experienced first hand for the last year.

    Also, Toronto doesn't have provincial quotas. Applying broadly makes sense if one is competitive enough to get in as an out-of-province candidate. I don't know how competitive the OP is, but I wasn't going to ask.
  10. IRASNA

    IRASNA

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    I believe I'd be competitive...GPA would be close to what is on their site (3.8something?) with a science GPA over 3.9. Extracurriculars + leadership + some research. And I anticipate my MCAT scores to be above their cut-off. I probably wouldn't apply broadly simply because I have a lot of family in Toronto, which would be a decent support network for me.

    Does Toronto release its match list for Canadian or US residencies? I haven't seen anything in my occasional google adventures...
  11. futuredoc1004

    futuredoc1004 future_doc

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    Everybody who applies to Canadian medical schools has family located somewhere but limiting yourself to just one Canadian med school is foolish in the extreme. There are others in Ontario that are not too far. U/T does not know or care about your family and we don't often get into our first choice. I go to med school in a city where I did not know a soul and now only know my classmates. Had I restricted myself to my city of choice, I would not be in med school today. And if I had to do it again, I would have made where I am as my first choice.

    I am not familiar yet with Carms and any match list, sorry. And wherever you go to med school, you may or may not end up doing your residency in TO. Restricting yourself is like tieing up your hands at the starting gate and restricting your possibilities. U/T does take a holistic approach and you need a killer essay that makes the reader want to meet you. Routinely, applicants with a 4.0 GPA don't get interviews. It is somewhat of a lottery as there are far more excellent candidates than seats available. And that is why applying to only one Canadian med school is highly problematic. I wish you every success.
  12. ShadowMagiq

    ShadowMagiq

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    All medical schools are great but if you want to keep the option of coming back to the US open, you should investigate further and be more selective. I know McGill routinely sends graduates to the US top programs (like Harvard programs) and I doubt this is true for many other schools. However, I do think going to US med school is better if you're not sure where you want to be as you get time to study for USMLE and prob have better chances of matching into what you want in the US. (side note, there are schools that teach to the USMLE, like Baylor).

    The other thing with Canada is that it's much harder to get your specialty in a city you like so from that standpoint it might be easier to go through the US system... this is purely from what I hear others say so maybe it's not valid at all... but Toronto is not graded and residency is based mainly on letters (good and bad points.) If you're good at taking exams, then prob US system is 'easier' to get where you want to go?

    Something for OMSAS: DETAILS. I did not put in nearly enough time into my 'sketch' and did like one sentence descriptions for most of my activities, that was a bad idea. Might be obvious to Canadian students but from an US school, you only get info on AMCAS. From talking to other people at interview, it seems like you were suppose to write a paragraph for each? (mb someone want to confirm this). But this section is very important and at Toronto, ~40% of your 'score' is based on this i think.

    I am also interested in Toronto's match list as I'm considering it with some US schools. I don't think they release it though although maybe one can contact their office?
    Last edited: 04.09.12
  13. ladyluck2

    ladyluck2

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    On the OMSAS autobiographical sketch, you literally get 150 characters to describe each of your activities. It's actually kind of horrible, because who can relay everything they gained from such activities in only 150 characters? With that said, maybe it's better Toronto requires an essay (vs. other Ontario schools), because this is where you can truly express yourself.

    ShadowMagiq, which U.S. schools are you stacking U of T against, if I may ask?
  14. ShadowMagiq

    ShadowMagiq

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    Oh haha opps. Well then I guess maybe I didn't input enough activities... It was really weird cuz I felt like I didn't write much about anything compared to all the stuff in AMCAS... I feel like Canadian schools are more random than US schools though maybe because there are just less spots.

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