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Canadian - 3.5 GPA / 32 MCAT

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by CDNMD93, May 19, 2014.

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  1. CDNMD93


    May 19, 2014
    Hello everyone,

    I've been lurking the forums for quite a while, and today I've finally decided to make my first post!
    I'm in need of some advice as to what I should be doing for the next couple years. My stats are as follows:

    Canadian citizen, entering 4th year undergrad at Canadian university

    American GPA: 3.50 overall/3.53 science

    MCAT: 13PS 10VR 9BS

    Non academics:
    -volunteered in a university lab; no publications/posters - three semesters ~200 hours
    -university student council (latter two years VP) - three years
    -tutored college student with learning disability - one semester ~50 hours
    -intramural sports
    -worked as lifeguard - three semesters ~150 hours
    -VP of a local chapter of a student club ~one semester (and counting)
    -volunteer at medical clinic - three years ~450 hours (and counting)
    -worked as semi-private swim instructor - a few months ~50 hours (and counting)​

    I recently started to consider American medical schools and thus I am quite uneducated on the topic. I have one year left in my undergrad and if I work hard in my final year, I can raise my GPA to ~3.6. I also have another MCAT booked for Aug2/14 and hope to raise my score to ~37 (~14/11/12) as I only studied for a month the first time I wrote it.

    My questions are:
    • would my stats, assuming I can attain 3.6 GPA / 35-37 MCAT, be good enough for American medical schools?
    • are there any differences between "high", "middle", and "low" tier schools in terms of future prospects after graduating?
    • should I take a 5th year to raise my undergrad GPA or start a Masters after I graduate next year? Do American schools give preference to those with a Master's degree?

    Thank you in advance for all your time and help.
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  3. kyamh

    kyamh 2+ Year Member

    Aug 8, 2013
    You should probably ask the International Applicants on this site, but your stats seem pretty low. Typically international applicants will need higher stats than US applicants to get in, and a 3.5 is below average. I would take a look at schools that are international friendly - I hear Wayne State is one - and try to get those numbers up as high as you can.
  4. gonnif

    gonnif Only 1199 Days Until Next Presidential Election Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

    Jul 26, 2009
    The Big Bad Apple
    If you want the absolute answer to this its easy.

    If you dont apply, your chances are zero, zilch, nada, nothing

    If you do apply, you might, I said might, get in.

    Any other answer is speculation
  5. CDNMD93


    May 19, 2014
    Thanks for the quick replies. Do you know if there are any disadvantages after graduating when going to a school that is ranked relatively low?
  6. lmn

    lmn 2+ Year Member

    Dec 18, 2013
    Your stats are too low for an international student imo, and I think it is great to dream that you may jump 5 points to a 37 on your MCAT, but unless your practice tests have been averaging that, it is really just wishful thinking. Now if you get in to a US school, the lower ranking may only make it more difficult to seat into competitive residencies. Everyone has to pass the USMLE's, so it wouldn't be like you can't get a job or would be considered 2nd rate when you reach the real, working world.
  7. That-Indian-UCB-Gunner


    Apr 2, 2015
    what uni do you currently attend in Canada?
  8. pink/\floyd

    pink/\floyd 2+ Year Member

    Nov 27, 2013
    You have a decent chance to get into medical school here in the US. Apply day-1 and make sure you submit all the secondaries on time. Apply everywhere, especially to locations nearby.
  9. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Lifetime Donor Gold Donor SDN Moderator 5+ Year Member

    You have to buy the MSAR to identify the 62 MD schools that accept applications from internationals.
    Eliminate the ones that only matriculated 1 or 2. Apply to the ones where your stats are at or above the median.

    Consider the following DO schools:
    WesternU-COMP(Pomona), AZCOM, CCOM, Touro-NY(Harlem and Middletown), Nova-Southeastern, Marian, MSU-COM, KCUMB, LMU-DCOM, and UNECOM.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
    Jplewis002 likes this.
  10. That-Indian-UCB-Gunner


    Apr 2, 2015
    honestly, american schools should have a special category for Canadians, like they shouldn't label them as internationals!
  11. UNMedGa

    UNMedGa Emotionally tortured falcons fan 2+ Year Member

    Feb 2, 2015
    Capital of Passive-Aggression
    Seriously though. Most of the Canadians I've met are just like Americans, only nicer.
    Bottle and crossingthefingers like this.
  12. ZedsDed

    ZedsDed Blech Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    Perhaps consider a postbacc? Your stats are below average for a US matriculant.
  13. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Lifetime Donor Gold Donor SDN Moderator 5+ Year Member

    The real deterrent is how hard it is to get them a residency position.
    They are often absolutely lovely, but unless they are Ivy material, they are left with the same sad residency options that befall other IMG's and there is little we can do about it. We can only see this happen so many times before it's just too heartbreaking to take another.
  14. youououa

    youououa 2+ Year Member

    Jul 25, 2014
    I'm confused (and have a Canadian friend and thus am curious).

    Are Canadian seniors from US medical schools not eligible for the same range of medical schools as American seniors? Is their situation better than that of US citizens who complete medical school abroad?

  15. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Lifetime Donor Gold Donor SDN Moderator 5+ Year Member

    Canadians, along with all other internationals who attend US medical schools, require a residency that supports an work visa. Many residencies do not. The ones that do, tend to be either very competitive (Ivies) or not very competitive at all. I have not seen an analysis of the outcomes of these students compared to matched controls from their home countries (or similar US IMG's). I would hope that they do better but my experience is that applicants with student visas match much more poorly than equally well qualified applicants with permanent resident status.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
  16. Jplewis002

    Jplewis002 2+ Year Member

    Jun 28, 2014
    MSU-COM reserves 20-25 spots for Canadians in each of their classes.
    gyngyn likes this.
  17. Hey OP, you could always get a green card. Though it might be hard if you don't have a sponsor (workplace etc)
  18. mariambaby3

    mariambaby3 7+ Year Member

    Nov 10, 2009
    Your current stats are not competitive as an international for US MD schools, but you should still have a chance at the lower-ranked MD schools who accept internationals.
    A GPA of 3.6 and MCAT of 37 would increase your competitiveness for middle and some higher ranked US MD schools.

    If you are really serious about attending med school in the US, I would urge you to apply to every school in the US that you could foresee yourself attending. This is both a time-consuming and expensive process.

    In correction to previous posts, after graduation from a US MD program, if you want to do residency in the US, you need to find a residency program that sponsors either the J-1 or H-1B visas. Almost every program will sponsor a J-1 because it does not cost the program any money. But only certain programs - usually top-tier program or lower-ranked programs - will sponsor the costly H-1B visa. I suggest you do a bit of research to the pros and cons of the J-1 vs H-1B.
    gyngyn likes this.
  19. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Lifetime Donor Gold Donor SDN Moderator 5+ Year Member

    Sorry, I messed up my visas! I only wish most programs would sponsor a visa. I have found it very difficult to get interviews for internationals at any but the H1b programs and most students are not competitive there. This may be a regional bias but CA programs tell me that they don't need to go through the hassle.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015
    mariambaby3 likes this.
  20. mariambaby3

    mariambaby3 7+ Year Member

    Nov 10, 2009
    Most internationals prefer the H-1B over the J-1 because the H-1B does not require the individual to return to the home country (for 2 years I think, unless they work in an underserved area) after completing their training. Until recently, I was under the impression that the H-1B was better than the J-1 in every way, but I have come to learn that the J-1 may be a better visa for certain individuals depending on their specialty and future practice styles. But OP, this is not something you have to worry about yet.
  21. nakittaxu


    Jul 31, 2014
    Chicago, Illinois
    I have a follow-up question on that: may I know how likely it is for residency programs to sponsor international students H1B visa, and if the program is willing to sponsor, is it very likely for international students to get the visa in the lottery process?
  22. mariambaby3

    mariambaby3 7+ Year Member

    Nov 10, 2009
    You understand correctly that for most H-1B visas, there is typically a lottery process. However, residency programs that are part of an educational institution are exempt from this lottery process; there is no cap for the number of H-1B visas that can be issued to an educational institution. This definitely applies to university residency programs, but I'm not sure if this also applies to smaller, rural residency programs.

    As mentioned previously, well-established residency programs have the funds and resources to sponsor H-1B visas and won't care if their applicants will need one - they just want the best applicants possible. Smaller residency programs that are not as attractive for US applicants will also often sponsor H-1Bs to attract international applicants.
    nakittaxu likes this.
  23. nakittaxu


    Jul 31, 2014
    Chicago, Illinois
    Thanks for the information! Seems like the major concern for international students would be to work hard and do well in a medical school then :)
  24. Bottle

    Bottle 2+ Year Member

    Oct 22, 2012
    If I commit to saying sorry from now until my app cycle, can I become Canadian? they are so lucky :(

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