Seeking advice (Canadian). Been out of the loop for a very long time!

Aug 28, 2016
I'm a Canadian who went straight to work right after my undergrad in a non-related field. I had no intention of going the science route since I was handed a decent paying job right after, and now that I'm 28, I'm considering going back to the health sciences for another degree, or perhaps pursue a career.

I am completely out of touch with academia and I have no idea what to do! I think I would like to attempt to try for a MD or DO, but not sure if it's out of my grasp.

My concerns:
  • It would be impossible for me to get a LoR from my professors/lab supervisors at this point. I have not seen any of them since 2011. I was not a memorable student, I highly doubt my lab supervisor remembers me academically (probably as a "friend" if anything).
  • I graduated with a 3.4 GPA back in 2011. I've read about some Post-Bacc degrees (SMPs) - are they a viable strategy for Canadians trying to apply to International/American schools?
  • Is my first step just writing the MCAT?
I really have no idea how to approach this. I am just trying to read everything thread in the FAQ. Any advice, tips, or links to resources I should look up on would be greatly appreciated!
Oct 22, 2014
Hey, I was a 27 yo Canadian with cGPA 3.4 hoping to apply to US MD schools. Currently in cycle.

- Get a greencard if you can. There are 2 obstacles as a Canadian: 1) for most schools in the US, you will be considered intl, which puts you in that 10% of non-US admissions, if the school takes them. 2) You will need to have 4 years of tuition to put into an escrow as an intl, you can't get fed student loans as an intl (but you can get the private ones). You can apply as a Canadian, it just really cuts your chances. Plus, afterwards, you still need to go through the H1B or J1 process for residency, and the same difficulties arise again except when you have to choose what kind of doc you will be. If you also need to do pre-recs, then it doesn't hurt to have this going on at the same time.
- If you don't have physics, bio, chem, o-chem, biochem - you'll need to take a post-bacc program and get 4.0. It'll take about 2.5 years. You can get good LoR from this.
- you'll need to take the MCAT eventually, and probably a prep-course. It now covers pyschology and sociology things, so might consider taking classes for that too. This is something you'd do after your post-bacc prep.
- when you have the visa thing / premed classes going, consider clinical shadowing to really understand what you're getting yourself into. I might actually recommend doing shadowing first so you don't waste time/money/effort if you don't actually want to be a doctor.
- the MD/DO choice will be made for you. If you have good grades, you can get into MD. If you get bad grades, then MDs won't take you, and DOs will be a better option.
- establish residency in a state where the schools that you want to get in are, takes about a year or two.
- consider applying to Canadian schools too. If you go North, it'll be more difficult to come back South for residency though.

Good luck! hit me up if you have other questions.


5+ Year Member
May 12, 2013
I know a Canadian who did a formal post bacc, did Caribbean MD and is a resident in the US.

First step is decide for sure you want to do this. Volunteer, talk to doctors, etc.

I think you can do a second degree in canada. Look at how this would affect your GPA at the schools you are interested in. It variesounds by school.

There are US post baccs that you can do as a Canadian. If you did well there are some US schools you can apply to if you also have a good mcat.

Getting a green card is not going to be possible unless you get married... A lot of Americans don't realize you can't just ask for it. The exception is if you work in the US make your company sponsor you!

Hope this helps a bit.