Sep 24, 2017
3
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hey everyone,

A bit about me: I'm 18 and just graduated high school this past spring (went to a US boarding school... think Andover, Exeter, etc.). I'm a Canadian citizen and I'm currently taking a gap year. Since I'll be applying to college this fall, I wanted to get some opinions on where I should be applying.

My goal right now is to become a doctor, but I'm not 100% sure about it (given the long time in school to become one, the costs, etc.). In case I don't, I want to have a good undergrad degree to fall back on (thinking finance may be my second option). I want to work in the States in the future, and realize that I'll eventually need to get an H-1B visa to do so.

Option 1: go to a Canadian undergrad school. Thinking either UBC or Western Ontario's Medical Sciences program. UBC would be <$10k CAD per year and Western would be ~$25-30k CAD a year. U of Toronto's another possibility but I've heard it's extremely difficult academically for pre-meds...

Option 2: go to an American undergrad school. I'm a competitive swimmer and am able to be recruited to D3 NESCAC schools (Williams, Middlebury, Amherst, etc.) and Swarthmore. I like these smaller schools as imo I can stand out more in a smaller environment, there's 1 on 1 interaction with professors, I enjoy the small liberal arts college feel (based on my experience at my NE prep school), the D3 athletics/academics balance is good and they offer EAPs with some US medical schools. However, cost would probably be ~$65k USD (~80k CAD) a year.

My questions:

1. Do you think attending an American undergrad school makes sense in my situation? Becoming a doctor is my ultimate goal, but if I don't end up being a pre med and want to work on Wall Street, would a Middlebury degree, for eg, be better than a Canadian degree if I want to work in the US?

2. I know that GPA is a huge factor in medical school admissions. Do US medical schools care about where your GPA comes from? In other words, if I were to receive a 3.8 at Middlebury vs. a 3.8 at the University of Toronto, would my application to US medical schools be stronger with the former route, given that Middlebury is an American undergraduate school?

3. I know that it's best to save money in one's undergrad education to help pay the expensive tuition fees for medical school. I think my family would apply for financial aid to the American schools, but we may not receive much given our financial standing and I'm unsure about putting a financial burden on my parents. I am fortunate, though, that I don't think I'll have to ask for financial aid or loans if I were to apply to an American medical school.

4. Does attending a US medical school increase my chances of being accepted into an American residency program, or can I still get there through attending a Canadian medical school?

5. For those who know about EAPs: Do ones like Mt. Sinai or Dartmouth ever accept international students? Am I being unrealistic by saying I want to attend a NE liberal arts college and gain admission into one of those programs as an international student?

Thanks everyone for taking the time to read this. I'm hoping to hear honest feedback back, as I need to make a decision within the next few weeks where I'll be applying. Let me know if I should be posting this in another sub forum, too.

Cheers.
 

bearded frog

5+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2014
314
189
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Hey everyone,

A bit about me: I'm 18 and just graduated high school this past spring (went to a US boarding school... think Andover, Exeter, etc.). I'm a Canadian citizen and I'm currently taking a gap year. Since I'll be applying to college this fall, I wanted to get some opinions on where I should be applying.

My goal right now is to become a doctor, but I'm not 100% sure about it (given the long time in school to become one, the costs, etc.). In case I don't, I want to have a good undergrad degree to fall back on (thinking finance may be my second option). I want to work in the States in the future, and realize that I'll eventually need to get an H-1B visa to do so.

Option 1: go to a Canadian undergrad school. Thinking either UBC or Western Ontario's Medical Sciences program. UBC would be <$10k CAD per year and Western would be ~$25-30k CAD a year. U of Toronto's another possibility but I've heard it's extremely difficult academically for pre-meds...

Option 2: go to an American undergrad school. I'm a competitive swimmer and am able to be recruited to D3 NESCAC schools (Williams, Middlebury, Amherst, etc.) and Swarthmore. I like these smaller schools as imo I can stand out more in a smaller environment, there's 1 on 1 interaction with professors, I enjoy the small liberal arts college feel (based on my experience at my NE prep school), the D3 athletics/academics balance is good and they offer EAPs with some US medical schools. However, cost would probably be ~$65k USD (~80k CAD) a year.

My questions:

1. Do you think attending an American undergrad school makes sense in my situation? Becoming a doctor is my ultimate goal, but if I don't end up being a pre med and want to work on Wall Street, would a Middlebury degree, for eg, be better than a Canadian degree if I want to work in the US?

2. I know that GPA is a huge factor in medical school admissions. Do US medical schools care about where your GPA comes from? In other words, if I were to receive a 3.8 at Middlebury vs. a 3.8 at the University of Toronto, would my application to US medical schools be stronger with the former route, given that Middlebury is an American undergraduate school?

3. I know that it's best to save money in one's undergrad education to help pay the expensive tuition fees for medical school. I think my family would apply for financial aid to the American schools, but we may not receive much given our financial standing and I'm unsure about putting a financial burden on my parents. I am fortunate, though, that I don't think I'll have to ask for financial aid or loans if I were to apply to an American medical school.

4. Does attending a US medical school increase my chances of being accepted into an American residency program, or can I still get there through attending a Canadian medical school?

5. For those who know about EAPs: Do ones like Mt. Sinai or Dartmouth ever accept international students? Am I being unrealistic by saying I want to attend a NE liberal arts college and gain admission into one of those programs as an international student?

Thanks everyone for taking the time to read this. I'm hoping to hear honest feedback back, as I need to make a decision within the next few weeks where I'll be applying. Let me know if I should be posting this in another sub forum, too.

Cheers.
The party line is do residency where you want to practice, and go to medical school where you want to do residency. The reccomendations for undergrad are less firm, but if you are a Canadian citizen, going to an American undergrad will help you apply for American medical schools, but hard to say by how much. That being said, it will make it marginally harder for Canadian medical school, mostly due to residency rules (ie preference given to residents of the province the school is in). More than anything, go where you can knock out that 4.0 with solid ECs.

/!\ BUT /!\
Canadian citizenship drastically limits the American medical schools that you are eligible to apply to, unless you can get PR by the time you get to that stage. Some say they do but have not in the last few years if you check the MSAR data. There are some great schools that take Canadians, but I would say the list is heavy on the lower ranked schools, so keep this in mind.

1. I think it makes sense. If you wanted to be a doctor in Canada it might be a harder option, but certainly still possible. Canadian medical students who did undergrad or graduate school in us/uk etc is not too rare.
2. GPA is GPA, and AMCAS has published their conversion scales for Canadian schools. Purely on GPA, Canadian GPAs will be taken at face value. There might be consideration given to certain US schools GPAs (Harvard 3.8 = State university 4.0 etc)
3. For a Canadian, American schools will be more expensive than Canadian schools, and significantly more so. American undergrad can also be significantly more expensive. Im not sure why you would need financial aid for American undergrad but not medical school? Medical school is usually more expensive.
4. Attending a US school increases your chances for US residency. US medical schools teach to the required USMLE exams and allow for straightforward electives at American schools. Canadian schools don't teach the exams and don't give you dedicated time to take it. Its also more difficult to do electives at US schools from Canadian medical schools.
5. You're going to have to do your own research on this. I know Mt. Sinai takes international students for their EAP. Many schools only do EAP for their own undergrads so you'll have to find this out when you are choosing an undergraduate school.

In summary, so much of this depends on your performance in undergrad, so just go where you can do the best in undergrad, hit that 4.0, do some research and volunteering and other ECs, and get good letters from your mentors. Everything else is quite secondary.
 

Prehealth1011

2+ Year Member
Nov 28, 2015
199
187
Status
Medical Student
The above poster covered everything. Go wherever you think you'll get your 4.0.
If you want to do a US undergrad, go to Wayne State where they'll give you a discount on tuition for being Canadian. I think University of Minnesota also does this. Otherwise, undergrad can get quite costly in the states.
 
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OP
T
Sep 24, 2017
3
0
Status
Pre-Medical
The above poster covered everything. Go wherever you think you'll get your 4.0.
If you want to do a US undergrad, go to Wayne State where they'll give you a discount on tuition for being Canadian. I think University of Minnesota also does this. Otherwise, undergrad can get quite costly in the states.
Thanks for your reply, appreciate it. I'd probably just stick to either a top undergrad school with better financial aid in the states or a Canadian undergrad, though.
 
OP
T
Sep 24, 2017
3
0
Status
Pre-Medical
The party line is do residency where you want to practice, and go to medical school where you want to do residency. The reccomendations for undergrad are less firm, but if you are a Canadian citizen, going to an American undergrad will help you apply for American medical schools, but hard to say by how much. That being said, it will make it marginally harder for Canadian medical school, mostly due to residency rules (ie preference given to residents of the province the school is in). More than anything, go where you can knock out that 4.0 with solid ECs.

/!\ BUT /!\
Canadian citizenship drastically limits the American medical schools that you are eligible to apply to, unless you can get PR by the time you get to that stage. Some say they do but have not in the last few years if you check the MSAR data. There are some great schools that take Canadians, but I would say the list is heavy on the lower ranked schools, so keep this in mind.

1. I think it makes sense. If you wanted to be a doctor in Canada it might be a harder option, but certainly still possible. Canadian medical students who did undergrad or graduate school in us/uk etc is not too rare.
2. GPA is GPA, and AMCAS has published their conversion scales for Canadian schools. Purely on GPA, Canadian GPAs will be taken at face value. There might be consideration given to certain US schools GPAs (Harvard 3.8 = State university 4.0 etc)
3. For a Canadian, American schools will be more expensive than Canadian schools, and significantly more so. American undergrad can also be significantly more expensive. Im not sure why you would need financial aid for American undergrad but not medical school? Medical school is usually more expensive.
4. Attending a US school increases your chances for US residency. US medical schools teach to the required USMLE exams and allow for straightforward electives at American schools. Canadian schools don't teach the exams and don't give you dedicated time to take it. Its also more difficult to do electives at US schools from Canadian medical schools.
5. You're going to have to do your own research on this. I know Mt. Sinai takes international students for their EAP. Many schools only do EAP for their own undergrads so you'll have to find this out when you are choosing an undergraduate school.

In summary, so much of this depends on your performance in undergrad, so just go where you can do the best in undergrad, hit that 4.0, do some research and volunteering and other ECs, and get good letters from your mentors. Everything else is quite secondary.
Thanks for all your comments! I actually just got a swimming offer from Amherst-- does that change anything? Also, what exactly is the MSAR? Thanks again.
 
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