For american citizens, have you thought about applying to Canadian med schools?

Discussion in 'General International Discussion' started by Thewonderer, Aug 16, 2002.

  1. Thewonderer

    Thewonderer Senior Member
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    Hey, the threads on UK and Irish med schools are cooking! So I thought that I might as well get into the mix.

    Have you thought about applying to Canadian med schools?

    Apparently, Warpath found the link and showed me that MacMaster now has up to 10 spots available for international students. So there are now at least 3 schools that are receptive to americans/internationals: McGill, MacMaster and Memorial University in Newfoundland.

    For more info on McGill, there is the other thread I started.

    http://www.studentdoctor.net/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=6470

    For more info on MacMaster, please see

    http://www.fhs.mcmaster.ca/mdprog/pool.htm

    One thing that I have to make absolutely clear is that this thread should not be on the international forum but instead should be in the preallpathic forum (but things get buried in the preallo forum too fast). Canadian schools are accredited by the same governing body, Liaison Committee on Medical Education, as the American schools. That's why schools on both sides of the border appear in the same book (the bible of all applicants), "Medical School Admissions Requirements," published by your one and only Association of American Medical Colleges. Therefore, as a graduate of a Canadian med school, you will not be classified as an IMG/FMG (unlike the case with graduates of British, Australian, Carribean, etc. med schools). Consequently, you will not need to take any extra tests that are required of IMG's/FMG's (IMG's need to get ECFMG certification while fifth-pathway requires extra science tests).

    Please see:
    http://www.nrmp.org/res_match/special_part/inst_officals/about.html

    http://www.aamc.org/meded/medschls/start.htm

    Moreover, Canadian schools are way cheaper, with tuition (when converted) being about 12k US or LESS per year. That is less than English, Irish, Carribean or even some private US DO schools. The living expense in Canada is also much less than in Europe by far and the living condition is probably like heaven when compared to the Carribean. Lastly, MacMaster's program is three years long. I believe that they go to school/hospital 11 months every single year to finish all the coursework in that time span. MacMaster also does not requirement MCAT. It's PBL model was also what Harvard and all the rest of American schools modeled theirs on (i.e. MacMaster was the first to start it and still continues to do it with pride). However, there is some controversy regarding PBL's effectiveness. I just mentioned MacMaster's role in PBL to bring some attention to the school, not to endorse any view of superiority.

    A couple things though.... Canadian schools usually have worse facilities than American schools due to decrease in government funding (however, that's the norm across the WORLD. Even when I did my junior year abroad at England, I heard that complaint about British Ministry of Education). Schools in Ontario have also been increasing their tuition like crazy in the last couple years but it is still way cheaper than the private ones in the US and the diploma mills in the Carribean. Moreover, the schools' scheduling might not be optimal for you to take time off to take USMLE step 1. Instead you need to find the right time for yourself. And Montreal and Ontario can be quite cold! But I probably experienced more grey sky in England than I did while living in Canada.

    Finally, the way I see, since there are reserved spots already for Americans, I might as well advertise for the Canadian schools. That way, the applicant pool will only get stronger and stronger, eh? :)
     
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  3. leorl

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    I did consider it at one point, but the thing is...there's really no point. Because of provincial requirements, it's harder to get into a Canadian school than a US school. The people applying for Canadian spots are very competitive med students, who could probably get in the ivies here. So why go there if you're competitive enough to get into an ivy? Besides the cost, I guess...but... it doesn't seem worth it. Unless a person had family there or some other reason to go there besides a desperate need to cut costs (even after loans) , there's no point.
     
  4. Thewonderer

    Thewonderer Senior Member
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    I can be quite sure that the 20-22 spots at McGill are definitely not as near competitive as Ivy med school spots. And if you look at MacMaster's website, the school is very careful to state that the up to 10 spots for internationals are "in addition to the current class of 128 admitted each year." Mac is very careful to make sure the international spots are separate and do not take away the normal number of Canadians they admit, because otherwise, they will create an outrage in Canadian public.

    Therefore, it does appear that the spots available at McGill, MacMaster and (perhaps) MUN are separate from the spots reserved for Canadians. This is an important distinction because as an international/american applicant, you are probably thrown into a different pool from the Canadian pool. I doubt that many Americans are in-the-know to make the international pool that competitive at this point.

    Moreover, the provincial requirement that you referred should apply only to out-of-province Canadians and not to Americans. For goodness sake, McGill takes a max of 5 out-of-province Canadians while taking up to 20-22 Americans a year! And there are way more out-of-province applicants than applicants from the US. I don't think the Americans are limited by the provincial requirement at McGill that much!

    As mentioned in my post before, yes, some of the Americans I met at McGill were choosing between Columbia and McGill but others were choosing between BU and McGill.

    And THE POINT OF APPLYING is to give it a shot (esp. now that Mac is available and it does admissions its own way (i.e. no MCAT requirement, loves non-traditional applicants, etc.)), and save many of you the headaches of being IMG/FMG's later on (or the headaches of living in Carribean, even though it might be St. George's you are going to).

    Lastly, don't get scared by what Canadians have to say about how tough their med school admissions are. Nobody is going to come out and say, "Oh, it is real easy to get into med schools in my country. It is like a walk in the park." Similary, I know many of you are giving a shot at Australian, Irish, and British med schools. But have you heard Australian or British med students coming out and telling you that it is a piece of cake to get into their med schools? No! But yet, you guys are giving those spots a shot so why not the Canadian spots where you will graduate with a LCME-approved degree?

    I am sure that Canadian med school admissions process is difficult in some ways. But heck, who knows what will happen until you apply? Maybe you are treated in a separate pool that will make your application easier?
     
  5. Thewonderer

    Thewonderer Senior Member
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    It seems that U of Toronto has opened up a bit, with up to 9 spots now available for internationals. The school has high GPA but relatively lower MCAT cut-offs (score of 9 or above is fine). However, of note, Toronto allows you to eliminate one lowest grade per year of undergrad you complete. so if you screw up your freshman year, you might get some forgiveness in your GPA calculation.

    http://www.library.utoronto.ca/medicine/educational_programs/undergradmed/selection.htm

    http://www.library.utoronto.ca/medicine/educational_programs/undergradmed/GPAformula.htm

    http://www.library.utoronto.ca/medicine/educational_programs/undergradmed/MCAT.htm





    It appears that UWO, Queen's and Ottawa are still strictly Canadian-only.

    http://meds.queensu.ca/medicine/subpages/requirements_for_admission.html

    http://www.med.uwo.ca/internat/index.htm

    http://www.medicine.uottawa.ca/admissions.pdf
     
  6. brontehardyeliot

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    I've thought about Canada as a possibility if I can't go to Britain or Ireland. Does anyone know what Dalhousie's policy on international students is?
     
  7. leorl

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    I don't think anyone doubted the competition pool between Americans and Canadians. But when you say "international," you also don't mean only americans. I'm not sure how many apply, but even if there are 20 spots open...it's still a lot of Americans competing against themselves AND OTHER internationals (middle east, indian, UK, Aussie, Irish, etc). That pushes the competition up because the brightest of everyone exclusive of Canadians are submitting applications.

    But also, many of us going overseas want something of cultural value and to explore the world. Okay, yes...Canada has a separate culture, but it's not so different from being in the US. If you could get in the US, I'm still not sure why someone would choose Canada (except for no MCAT, cheaper, etc) because it's not different enough. I don't think I'd consider going to Canada "exploring the world," whereas going to the UK or Ireland opens up all of Europe and Africa, or going to Australia opens up the islands, New Zealand, and Asia.
     
  8. governorgeneral

    governorgeneral Junior Member
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    ouch... :)
     
  9. Thewonderer

    Thewonderer Senior Member
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    Simply, one cannot accurately assess how intense the competition is until one applies and actually receives the rejection/acceptance letter. One can also not accurately assess how well of a fit one is with a school until one visits. So if applcation $$$ is NOT an issue, why, at this stage, worry about the "competition" from the best of the other countries' applicants and about the eventual choice of staying in USA v.s Canada v.s. Ireland v.s. Australia?

    Why close one particular door this early in the game? A lot of times, how your application ACTUALLY turns out differs GREATLY from your inital assessment. Many times, your ranking of the schools changes dramatically after visiting them on your interview tour. So I would say, just apply to all of them and let the rest of the pieces fall into their rightful place.

    However, if expense is an issue, and you HAVE to divide up your previous application $$$ between Canadian v.s. Irish v.s. Australian med schools, then I absolutely have no opinion on this. I would hate to steer people in the wrong direction, where they miss out on the opportunity of a life-time. My stance is the same on the "cultural" issue. This is highly personal. If you think that Canadian culture is not interesting enough and want to go across to the other side of the globe to become an IMG, then you should definitely skip your Canadian app's.

    If one's preference is for US MD, then one would choose Canadian MD (LCME-approved) program over all the other programs (IMG's) out there in the world. If one's preference is for worldly experience, then of course forget about Canadian MD because most likely, your preference does not lie with the American MD experience either. Plus, I don't know too many applicants who could say, "I will get into an American MD school" before they even apply. Of course, if you are a shoe-in @ your own state school, then don't bother with your Canadian, Irish, Australian school app's.

    The only points I can make are:

    1) Montreal is an unique jewel among N. American cities with its blend of Francophone and Anglophone cultures (+ conflicts).

    2) I did get a cultural shock when I came down to the states for college.

    3) Canadian health care system is touted by many American scholars to be the best health care system (or rather systems, because each province runs its own health care program) in the world. Yet it has its problems. Do you want to experience it first hand?

    4) Canada is a world in itself :D
     
  10. tussy

    tussy Senior Member
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    I graduated from Dalhousie. We had one american guy in our class. He was a Harvard grad with good scores as I recall. The policy on internation students, as far as i remember, is that they are considered along with the out of province (non-maritime) students. There are not that many spots for these students (maybe 10), and they are very competative.
     
  11. Thewonderer

    Thewonderer Senior Member
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    bump!

    The deadlines for Canadian schools are approaching, but none of them are rolling and they don't interview until after christmas. so this is still a good time.
     
  12. Thewonderer

    Thewonderer Senior Member
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    I found this on another discussion group.... According to Arcticaguy, this year's Dalhousie entering class has,

    "Hi all,
    here are a few snippets on some class stats for your enjoyment! These are not all confirmed but if you have a specific question feel free to ask or to contact the admissions office:

    There are 86 students in total
    -74 maritimers (57 NS, 15 NB and 2 PEI)
    -8 from ontario
    -1 Quebec
    -1 sask
    -1 BC and
    -1 from the United Arab Emirates!

    The ages range from 21 to 37

    MCAT scores accepted are between 24-38, with the average being 28 (down one point from the class of 2005). The applicant pool consisted of people with scores of 24-43!!

    there were 205 maritime applicants and 90 non-maritimers (this is a drop from the usual 200)

    We have an unusually high # of students with grad work
    28 Master's and 2 PhDs, with a large number who've completed multiple undergrad degrees as well.

    Btw. this is the first time in 5 yrs that we have a less than 50-50 (approx) split in m/f ratios. This class is 37% male!!!!"
     
  13. ocean11

    ocean11 Senior Member
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    Hi Guys listen as a Canadian with a 3.5 GPA I am realistically hoping for the states.... I went to U of T... and can kiss it goodbye (you have to get realistically a minimum of 3.75 as a Canadian probably higher as an American)... the others are also really tough... that's Ontario... McMaster... is an option... really hard to get into as well... the other provinces have little spots for international students if any... some don't even have spots for students in other provinces...

    I don't want to sound discouraging... but it's fuc$ing hard to get into Canada... Ireland is WAY easier... namely Dublin university...
    UK is also easier but you're lookin' at spending 6-7 yrs instead of 4. If you want my advice... if you don't get into the US head for the carribean... go ahead try Canada by all means... but its so very hard....
     
  14. The Pill Counter

    The Pill Counter Senior Member
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    McGill and Maritimes may be a different story, but forget schools in Ontario
    Wonderer-don't fill some pre's with too much hope, five years at UofT taught me that
    You're being way too optimistic
     
  15. leorl

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    The UK has some graduate-entry programs that do take 4 years to complete. You would have had to already earn Bachelor's degrees preferably in science before commencing, however. There are only four universities at the moment which offer this (Oxford being one if them), and they are extremely hard to get into. You have to take their qualifying exam, and then pass their interviews. The 6 year route is also an option, maybe not quite so difficult to obtain...but for example, I believe Oxford only has 7 spots available for international med students in the 6 year program. Maybe someone has detailed it in the UK thread.

    Dublin University, which is Trinity College, is easier to get into in terms of requirements - the MCAT is not required, although the other irish schools require it. I don't know why this is the case, as Trinity has a brilliant program and is internationally recognized as a magnificent school. However, you still have to have grades competitive with US med school entrants, and they really count the strength of your personal essay and extracurriculars. I'm not sure how much LOR's count, but it seems they want to see people with quite a few experiences, as well as research. I'll know more when I get there, but I believe there are 25 spots for North Americans. That's not too many.
     
  16. Thewonderer

    Thewonderer Senior Member
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    I am not being too optimistic. I am going with the facts, the numbers. I am very careful with what Ontario schools I suggest (we both agree about McGill and MUN). I said, forget about Ottawa, UWO and Queen's. However, consider U of Toronto and McMaster because "the Undergraduate Medical Programme at McMaster University is offering up to 10 positions in the MD Programme to applicants with International status...The positions were made available for the first time for the class beginning in September of 2002" and at U of Toronto "no more than 9 places will be offered to non-Canadian/non-permanent residents who will require student visas if admitted." I have never seen these wordings before from these two schools on the application materials they sent out previously. So these appear to be new opportunities for international applicants to explore (while Canadians have to duke it out in their own pool). I would not have had suggested ON schools unless I have read these.

    http://www.library.utoronto.ca/medicine/educational_programs/admissinfo.html#sel

    http://www.fhs.mcmaster.ca/mdprog/pool.htm

    The whole application process is a game. Everyone knows about applying to their own state schools. The key then is to isolate other opportunities that others cannot find. However, if you are short of application $$$, then of course you should think twice about spending it on ANY schools and should not necessarily gamble on these Canadian schools if you don't feel comfortable.
     
  17. woolie

    woolie Intermountain West
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    I was interested in Dalhousie and called them up a year or so ago and while they were very friendly and polite to this Yank, they made it clear I could just about forget it. They said it like this: "we are very happy to have Americans here and we welcome to your application - we never turn anyone away - but we look for higher standards from Americans..." and then she said I would have to have at least a 14 in each subject on my MCATs and a 4.0 gpa, etc. (or did she actually say "15?") I could hardly believe her!!

    Like other people have said, why bother with their school if I HAD scores like that (which I don't). Heck, I'd stay here and apply to Harvard or Stanford, or JHopkins, etc. My paternal ggrandparents were all from New Brunswick, Canada and I have a soft spot in my heart for the Maritimes. But I guess I won't be applying to medical school there! :laugh:
     
  18. Thewonderer

    Thewonderer Senior Member
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    Agree. If I were American, I would probably lean away from Dalhousie.
     
  19. Skip Intro

    Skip Intro Registered User
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    But, is it REALLY necessarily easier to get into a Canadian school if you aren't admitted to a U.S. one (as a U.S. citizen)?

    Just curious.

    -Skip
     
  20. Thewonderer

    Thewonderer Senior Member
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    Don't know for sure. However, when I interviewed @ McGill a couple years ago, I did meet a couple Americans who were choosing between Boston U./some other expensive private schools and McGill. In the end, it was not that hard for them to choose McGill med instead. So not every American applying to McGill is a shoe-in for an US med school for sure!

    As for U of Toronto and MacMaster, who knows? The international spots there appear to be new... Unless someone applies there and let us know how those app's go, we might never find out?!

    On the side, you know, I just looked @ the International Forum and found that you were the last poster for ALL the threads on this page (posting @ the rate of 1 post per two minutes). You even manage to bump the Ireland thread to the second page!!!
    :)
     
  21. Thewonderer

    Thewonderer Senior Member
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    bump....

    so any americans applied to mcgill, MUN, etc. and also applied to a bunch of US schools and/or carribean schools? curious in terms of how your applications turned out....
     
  22. cdn2004

    cdn2004 Junior Member

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    Just FYI...
    @ UofT, it is very competitive to get in as a US student. the first year class this year has 1 American who ended up dropping out... it is more difficult for US students to get into CDN schools than US schools (the same is true for CDN's trying to get into top US schools). Because Canada has relatively few medical schools relative to the US, your best bet if you're American is to apply to all the schools there!
    At McMaster, I spoke with one of the admissions officers and she said that basically, you have to have some "mother teresa" experiences to make yourself competitive as an international... also, you need an exceptional GPA and outstanding personal experiences.
     
  23. Thewonderer

    Thewonderer Senior Member
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    Curious,
    so why did the American drop out? How was his or her grades/MCAT coming in?

    I personally think that it is easier for Americans to get into McGill and MUN than some of the American med schools (for example, McGill has 20ish seats for Americans every year). It is U of Toronto, MacMaster and others that I am curious about because a couple years ago, they did not even consider non-Canadian applicants. I wonder if the de-regulation of tuition in ON has some effect on Americans' chances of getting in ON schools.

    I personally don't like the "official" words from admissions office because I have never heard of any school saying, "we are really easy to get in." Nobody likes to talk low about themselves. I mean, sometimes UBC and MacMaster admission offices strod around like they are Harvard med or something.....

    A couple Americans on the board were thinking about applying to Mcgill but they backed out. Now, it is hard to get a good sample at all.....until some brave American souls decide to give CDN schools a shot instead of turning to the Carribeans and Ireland all the time :)
     
  24. LoneCoyote

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    I am going to apply this cycle and am thinking about adding a Canadian school or two. I was doing a search and came up with this thread and a couple of others that seem too out of date. So from what I gather McGill would be my best shot at a Canadian school? Does UBC take any Americans? Is it worth my $ to apply to nay of these schools? I have a high GPA, unknown MCAT but probably not going to be spectacular, am somewhat non-trad, interested in primary care, preventive medicine and public health. Any thoughts? Thanks.
     
  25. Badkarma25

    Badkarma25 UCD Med Class of 2008
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    It is more difficult for foreign students to get into Canadian schools, at least in Ontario anyway which has been found the 2nd most difficult place in North American to gain admission to medical school. McMaster, for example, gives preference ot those people who have lived in the immediate vicinity for the past 12 months (up til a few years ago it wasp reference to those who had lived there all their lives). McMaster also has a very mysterious black-box type admissions process, where I'm sure that Jesus Christ himself would have trouble getting in even if he made Lazarus rise up and walk during the interview.

    Finally, to the person that said the admissions office at McMaster sometimes tries to sound like Harvard, there's a very good reason for that; Harvard copied McMaster's problem-based learning style completely (it was originated and developed at McMaster) and they routinely get on the order of ~4000 applications per year for ~100 spots. Things can sometimes go to people's heads...I've had PBL and I think it sucks totally. That's just me though.:laugh:
     
  26. Thewonderer

    Thewonderer Senior Member
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    From the following link, you can see how many students are possibly from the U.S. or other countries who study medicine in Canada every year. It is the fourth column I am looking at:

    http://www.carms.ca/stats/pgy-1_2002/table1-totalreg.htm#top

    The list is from the Canadian match in 2002. hence these people entered med schools in 1998. You can clearly see that McGill and Memorial in Newfoundland offer you the best chances.

    Calgary and Dalhousie also appear to accept quite a few internationals who were on student visa while attending med schools.

    Western Ontario, however, has stopped accepting international students. Furthermore, it appears that U of Toronto and MacMaster have started accepting internationals (according to their websites) but did not do so before. I really have no idea what your chances are at MacMaster and U of T.

    UBC has never accepted international students.

    You can call up the admissions offices directly.
     

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