Canadian interested in MD/PhD program at American schools

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by Epidemic, Apr 23, 2004.

  1. Epidemic

    Epidemic Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi All!


    Does anyone know if Canadian citizens that apply to American schools for MD/PhD programs are eligible to get the tuition scholarships/stipends, etc.? I'm interested in pursuing my MD/PhD, but without the funding support I cannot afford to go to an American school.

    Any info would be great!
    Thanks!
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  2. tofurious

    tofurious Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    Messages:
    576
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    As far as I know, MSTP funding is only for citizens/PRs, although some schools do have non-MSTP MD-PhD positions available, so you may be eligible for scholarships offered for those. A few Canadian medical schools also started combined MD-PhD training, so you might want to look into those as well.
     
  3. Maebea

    Maebea Member
    15+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2003
    Messages:
    407
    Likes Received:
    223
    This has come up a few times before in this forum. Rather than go back through all the postings, check this section in Habari's website: http://intransit.us/international/

    Contact the programs you are interested in and ask how many international students they can accept. Some have funding for only a few, while others can fund a significant number.
     
  4. Epidemic

    Epidemic Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the help!
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  5. nothingman

    nothingman We're getting there.
    Physician PhD 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I was in your situation when applying last year (Canadian citizen, non-PR, US college grad - the latter most likely helped). It can certainly be done in spite of the MSTP restrictions - there are a surprising number of programs that have private funds for non-US students. There's a list of them circulating somewhere on here that surge put together, or you check Habari's site above. I wouldn't recommend applying to schools not on that list, or if you're interested in a particular place not on there, email their director as policies do change from year to year.

    Most of these are upper-tier east coast/midwest private schools. Canada does have several good MDPhD programs; U of Toronto comes to mind as the best (research/student body size wise) though their funding may not be as complete (though again there are options, and my year they did have some full funding scholarhips). In general, at most of the US schools you'll be held to somewhat higher standards for admission than a US applicant.

    PM me if you have more questions - I'd be happy to try and help.
     
  6. Alexs42

    Alexs42 Spaceman Spiff
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Certainly possible, especially at better MSTP programs. You would be a part of the MSTP program, without actually getting the NIH funding, you'd get school's own money. Since you would be officially part of the MSTP that matters not to you at all. I am on an F1 visa and in Vandy MSTP. One of my good friends here is a Canadian on an F1 with the same deal.
    Point being: Good candidate, no problem
    Best of luck to you,
    Aleks Stanic
     
  7. Epidemic

    Epidemic Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks - very helpful and nice to know that there is a possibility. What would qualify as a "good candidate"? I have a CGPA 3.5, MCAT 34N, MSc in epidemiology, 2 first author publications and 1 currently in progress. My girlfriend is also really interested in MSTP and she has a CGPA 3.5, MCAT 30Q, finishing up a Masters in Immunology from the University of Toronto and worked on neurostemcell research during undergrad. Are either of us realistically competitive?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  8. nothingman

    nothingman We're getting there.
    Physician PhD 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I don't want to dash your hopes, but those numbers may be a bit on the low side for the better US MD-PhD programs. While an American with those credentials has a decent shot at mid-range programs and a chance at upper-tier ones, us foreigners are held to higher standards at most places (I'd say 3.7-3.8 GPA and 36 or so for the MCAT). On the other hand, though, you have two advantages: a very solid publication record and an advanced degree. I would certainly not rule out some adcoms overlooking the numbers given your strong research background. Also, you went to a school where high GPAs are very hard to come by, and those who are familiar with the rigor of U of T will take that into account.

    There are a few options to ponder.

    1) Apply to U.S. MD-PhD programs. Apply to all of the lower-tier ones from the list of schools accepting foreigners (of course, these are all above average schools), and a few reach schools, especially if they have particular faculty/programs you're interested in. I won't guarantee success, but you never know what will happen. If your current research supervisor can put you in touch with people at places you're interested in, that may work in your favor when you apply at those places.

    2) Apply to U.S. MD programs. This doesn't sound favorable to you in light of how expensive US medical education is, but you will certainly have a shot at the lower-mid range schools, and again at a few reaches. Again, the $$$ involved doesn't make this a great option.

    3) Think about staying in Canada. I know how competitive Canadian school admission is and again your GPA may be on the lower end of what places will consider but... the Master's is definitely to your advantage. Also, at many Ontario schools, graduate GPA is considered more heavily. Is that cGPA your undergrad or grad result? A strong master's showing can make a good impression for at least those schools and probably some other Canadian ones. Also, at many places, there is heavier weighting towards the upper years. If you've done better towards the end of your degree, this can work in your favor. Check with individual schools, but as I remember from when I was applying, there is greater leniency in general with graduate school work.

    Also, the MCAT result, which is on the lower range of upper-tier US schools and is considered heavily by US adcoms, will not hurt you at most Canadian schools, since there you usually just have to clear a particular cutoff (which you will easily) and it's not counted very much from that point on.

    Lastly, money. Apply MD/PhD at some places and if you want to be considered for MD only in case of MD/PhD rejection, let them know that too. In any case, funding or not, Canadian medical education is way cheaper, and if you want to work later on in the US, it seems pretty easy to get licensed there as a Canadian medical graduate (certainly easier than going back to Canada).

    Again, PM me if I can help more, and I hope others who have been in this situation can chime in here. All of the above options can be tried simulatenously though it will cost you some in application fees (OMSAS - yikes!). Good luck!
     

Share This Page