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Americans thinking that Canada is easier, read this!!!

Discussion in 'Canada' started by trustwomen, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. trustwomen

    trustwomen Senior Member
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    I found this on the Canadian forum and thought I would share.... I hope the poor soul gets in somewhere this year!!!! (bolding is mine)

    Yes, my dear Americans, in Canada a 3.59 GPA is "mediocre" and a 30 MCAT does not make the cutoff for an interview for many schools. So stop asking us if Canada is like the Caribbean. :mad:


    "This is my sixth time applying - yes sixth!! However, this is the first year I've actually applied with good MCAT score and to more than one school.
    I see now that six years ago, I wasn't committed enough to medicine. For some reason, I convinced myself that I would get into Mac and I didn't need to put myself through what I thought would be a torturous MCAT experience. Despite my mediocre cGPA of 3.59, this wasn't too much of a stretch as Mac didn't put nearly as much emphasis on GPA back then. My first two application cycles went by - no interview. Finally, on my third Mac application, I got lucky - or so I thought. Then I realized that they were introducing this new MMI. I'll admit, that freaked me out a bit. It was also the year that the average GPA sky-rocketed. Needless to say, I did not get in. My fourth Mac application brought with it another interview invite, however my performance was still not good enough to make up for my less than stellar GPA (not to mention the fact that my grandmother passed away just days before my interview). At this point, I was at a crossroads - do I keep trying or give up? After a lot of soul-searching and consideration of alternative careers, I realized that I was selling myself short. Becoming a physician was my dream and the only thing standing in the way of achieving it was ME! At that point, I committed myself to put everything I had into it. I only had one full-time undergraduate year (3.88 GPA) so I went back to complete one more full-time year (3.96 GPA). I also studied my butt off and wrote the MCAT. Unfortunately, I came down with the flu just two days before the MCAT. I wrote it anyway, but was convinced I had failed miserably. I applied to Western on the off-chance that I did well, and lo and behold, I actually got 30S (9PS, 11BS, 10VR). Considering Western's previous cut-offs, I was banking on getting an interview. Then January rolled around and the cutoffs went up. It turned out I needed at least a 10 in every section. Sigh...so I dusted myself off and kept going. I dug out my MCAT books, cracked them open and got studying. I wrote the MCAT again last April, and scored 36S (13PS, 13BS, 10VR). So, after all is said and done, this was really the first year that I've truly put all of my effort into my applications. I have three interviews, two of which I've already done. The moral of the story? I know it's been said a million times, but if medicine is what you want, don't let anything stand in your way. Oh...and don't wait 4 until Mac rejects you 4 times to write the MCAT!

    Best of luck to everyone. I hope all of our stories have happy endings come May 15!"
     
  2. LiveLife

    LiveLife Junior Member
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    this is amazing, I realy hope that the person gets in. I am encouraged now.
     
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  3. automan2

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    What did this person do to support themself for six years?
     
  4. applepark

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    Wow Trustwomen. I have to say you are persistent.

    I'm on my 4th round of Canadian applications and am crossing my fingers for UBC. However, I've also decided to apply to international schools as well this year and have been accepted to 2 Irish Schools.

    I totally understand what you went through. The East Coast schools especially are key with the MCATs and GPA. Which I think is somewhat unfair, but they have to make the cut somewhere I guess.

    I'll pray for you. Canadian schools are super hard to get into and Americans shouldn't think its a breeze.

    Good for you and I wish you all the best!
     
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  5. EMDream

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    :( This is both scary and encouraging. I have a crappy 3.6, I'm hoping I nail the MCAT :/
     
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  6. OP
    OP
    trustwomen

    trustwomen Senior Member
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    Should clarify: the person I quoted is NOT me. I had a much easier time getting in. (Not as easy as some, but all told not too bad). I merely wanted to clarify what Canadian (specifically, Ontarian) students have to go through.
     
  7. md2101Sam

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    Hey,

    I just wanted to back up Trustwomen. At the Canadian school I go to they let in less than 3% of applicants last year. I chuckled to myself when I was in undergrad and an American pre-med advisor told me that medical school is competitive and only about half of the applicants in the US are successful. Just as added point, the tuition for international students (including Americans) at my school is $91,000 a year, which is probably about $70,000 USD. So, don't think it is going to be cheaper either. Finally, the reason it is more competitive in Canada is because the government does not allow for private medical schools. As a result, government regulation rather than the market controls the number of seats available.

    About the GPA... I wouldn't call a 3.59 mediocre. I'd call it below the cut. While it does make the cut at a few schools it definietly is not competitive. Take U of O for example. If you're not from Ottawa the cut is 3.82. It doesn't make the cut at Queen's either. Even at McMaster where they claim that the cut is 3.0 only 1 or 2 people out of 162 will get in with a grade that low and they may be Aboriginal, Military or from underserviced areas. I'd say something like 3.75 - 3.85 is mediocre. Shoot for above a 3.90 and your grades will be safe/competitive. But that's my opinion.
    Cheers.
     
  8. jochi1543

    jochi1543 President, Gunner Central
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    She got in!:)



    Her stats are quite similar to mine - my MCAT's lower than her 2nd, but higher than her 1st, and my GPA is slightly below hers at 3.52, but with a definite upward trend. So it's inspiring for me, too, also as an upcoming Western applicant! And yes, Western will probably be my #1 choice, even though I gotta say that U of C's 3-year program and Alberta location are also very tempting. Calgary rents aren't, though.:(:laugh:

    Take me, Canada.:love::hardy:
     
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  9. nima123

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    Well, let's be fair here. 3.80+ is competitive; 3.90+ is very competitive, even though none of them guarantee acceptance. There's the MCAT, EC's, interviews and so forth.
    Anything between 3.7 to 3.8 is mediocre. If you're below 3.7, you could still get in, but you should have all the other stuff going for you and really impress the interviewers.

    It seems that getting into med in Canada is overall more competitive than the US.
     
  10. Meatwad

    Meatwad Reformed
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    I'm American and I already knew it's practically impossible to get into Canadian schools. Good luck everyone, eh.
     
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  11. freyja

    freyja Shredder
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    you're well-informed, EH?:D


    aside from the academic requirements, don't forget about volunteer work and EC's.
     
  12. NHL Fever

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    From sheerly anecdotal experience, it seems that the difference between Canada and the US is the HUGE range of quality in the US, vs the more or less standardized quality across Canada's far fewer (1/10 the population) schools. The best US schools will of course be more competitive than the Canadians schools, but the average overall for licensed med schools puts Canada over the US in terms of competitiveness.
     
  13. jnuts

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    Just to throw in 2cents. First my biases: I'm a Canadian who went to undergrad in the States at an ivy league school. I have a crappy GPA but an MCAT score of 36Q. I have been very involved with the University of Toronto but my experiences outside of Ontario are very limited.

    Americans may have a very easy time applying to Canadian schools or a very difficult one depending on the standards of their undergraduate institution. The Canadian admissions process is institution blind. This is justified by the idea that as Canada has relatively few undergraduate universities and that they all have similar academic standards (a matter of some debate).

    These standards are largely based on absolute percentage grading that is later converted into a point system GPA. For examle, any exam grade above 80% is an A at the university of Guelph.

    As I'm sure anyone who is reading this post knows, this is not the norm at American Universities. The vast majority of American schools give grades that seperate their class and the overall standard of grading is conveyed by a combination of raw score and the reputation of the institution. This is why all American Medical schools will ask for the name of an applicants institution before giving a responce to even the most basic inquiry. Consequently, undergraduate students who have attended competitive American institutions are placed at an extreme disadvantage in terms of their GPA, as the relative nature of GPA will NOT be taken into account.

    MCAT scores are on average lower for successful applcants to Canadian medical schools than American schools. In general, a score of 8 or higher on each section is perfectly satisfactory (this i a stated policy of the University of Toronto). Again, unlike American schools, Canadian medical schools tend to ignore MCAT scores beyond a simple pass/fail evaluation. For example, an applicant with a score of 30 will be considered no more desirable than one with a score of 40.
     
  14. skittleys

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    In Canada, it really feels like if you have a GPA below 3.8, you might as well give up. MCATs aren't even required some places, and others use it only as a "flag". While American schools (claim they) look at each application thoroughly before deciding who gets interviews, it's well known that, up here, first thing they do is take the top x people by GPA, then take the top y people by MCAT (if that), then the top z by supplementary materials (which there's not much of, comparatively!) I've never had an American med student disagree with this; it's MUCH harder to get into a med school in Canada than in the US. Not saying that every school is harder than, say, Harvard, but overall, given the number of med schools and the attention devoted to applications, getting accepted SOMEWHERE is easier.
     
  15. Witigo

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    I haven't applied 6 times, that's for sure (I'm going for round 3 this year). Last year I applied to all Ontario schools with a 39 MCAT and a 3.8 GPA. I didn't even get an interview. I think it's because I only had an 'N' on the writing sample: I was told by admissions at Queen's to consider rewriting the MCAT.... It made the 39 feel pretty meaningless, even though I feel like I should be proud. So I'm currently applying in the states. I will also apply out of province, we'll see what happens this year. I'm still very hopeful.

    ....I don't have any experience with American schools yet. But from what I have read, and my experiences with Ontario schools, it is MUCH more difficult to gain an acceptance in Canada.
     
  16. Witigo

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    But in Ontario you have very slim chances of gaining an acceptance if you have a score of less than 10 on any section (unless you are a rural applicant). Also I'm pretty sure that a score of less than 9 is considered unsatisfactory at UOT.
     
  17. 87138

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    As soon as I bought my MSAR a year ago, I leafed through the pages and found the Canadian section by accident. After looking at the average matriculant stats, I thanked Jeebus I'm not Canadian. Not because you guys aren't cool, but because the standards seem ridiculous.

    Good luck to you all.
     
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  18. Scottish Chap

    Physician PhD Moderator Emeritus Verified Expert 15+ Year Member

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    If you are an international applicant, this is not the case for U of T.
     
  19. Lonelion87

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    So if I am a resident of Ontario, but attending a liberal arts university in the States, am I in even worse shape because of the Canadian universities' lack of respect for the American system?!
     
  20. PreMedicalStudent89

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    Oh man if that is not perseverance I don't know what is!
     
  21. jnuts

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    Yes. This is a common problem. 36MCAT and a 3.5 GPA from an Ivy? They'll laugh at you. 30 MCAT but a 4.3 from Brock geology? Hello Canadian doctor!
     

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