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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by minah86, Mar 26, 2007.
...into an ivy league US med school if you're applying from the states.
hmmmm I can't wait to see how this one turns out... I don't know if posting this question in an American dominated forum will get you an unbiased answer.
Are you asking this question as an American applicant?
From observation, it seems that the difficulty of getting into a Canadian school and an Ivy as an American is about the same, since there are very few spots for Americans in Canadian schools. As a Canadian applicant however, I think it would be harder to get into an Ivy school than a Canadian one...
If you are an American, the only school you have a shot at is McGill. But looking at MDApplicant, I can't say it's more competitive to get into McGill than it is to get into an Ivy.
If you are a non-urban Ontario Canadian, it is definitely easier to get into your in-province school than to get into an Ivy.
If you are an urban Ontario Canadian... I'd say the process of applying to Toronto and Harvard is pretty similar--a hugely frustrating, ego-deflating crapshot.
I'd imagine it would be very hard to get into a Canadian med school from the US because it is very unlikely you would decide to provide medical services to Canada given the earnings differential for physicians between the US and Canada and the home nation of such applicants.
I agree with the last two posts totally. And, think about this. Approx 120 Allo med schools in US, and 17 Allo med schools in Canada. Just like specific State schools take in state residents over out -of-state, Canadian schools pick in Canada residents primarily. Each school does reserve a few seats for international applicants to though. If you are coming from the US to Canada for Med school, you must have an excellent reason, --such you are really interested in the research at whatever university, or you are going to live inCnada for sure (have done so previosly or will because of wife/husband) or something like that. Also, for Canadian schools there is nothing really like "Affirmitive Action". They basically just pick the top applicants. I think they might now be reserving some spots for the native Indiginous populations of Canada ( about time). Also, one fact for you--About 40% of Us applicants get into a US med school. ONly about 14% of applicants to Candaian schools get in ( mainly Canadian applicants). That is just the information I have gained over the years in my prep for applying to US and Candaian schools ( I am Canadian, but will be attending US school--don't know which one yet).
definitely pleased with the answers given and i wholeheartedly agree as a Canadian trying to gain entrance into Canadian med schools.....it bites!
Nice post. I just have some changes:
1) To the best of my knowledge, not many Canadian schools take international applicants. Only McGill regularly reserves seats. Toronto says they are open but haven't taken very many in the past.
2) The Canadian version of AA is called racial quotas. UBC definitely has it (or else they'd be all Asians and then some by now.)
Is this offical policy by UBC? Or just "one of the those things" we all know to be true?
Anyway, the aboriginal special consideration has been around for quite sometime now, it isn't new. Some schools bias different applicants based on where they live - UWO has got this SWOMEN thing and Ottawa has this francophone thing, rural thing, and this thing against anglophone urbanites (last on their priorities list)...I know Mantioba reserved 20% of their seats this year for rural applicants and have special admissions categories for military applicants, aboriginal, and disadvantaged (i think)...so it is hardly "selects the best, it's a free for all" - there is definitely a lot of quotas, and placing applicants into different categories and then subjecting them to different standards...
I actually have dual American-Canadian citizenship, so I applied to some of the top Canadian schools (Toronto, Western Ontario, Queens). One of the things that's different about these Canadian and the top US schools I applied to was that they had a very strict MCAT and GPA cutoff. If you don't meet the cutoff you might as well not apply, because they'll reject you based on that alone. In contrast, American schools may still read your application if your GPA is all right (but not 3.7), but your MCAT is high. Then you could wow them with essays and EC's and the rest of it.
That was a big surprise for me! I'll never say again that Canadian schools aren't competitive.
It's not official official, but appears to be hinted to students enrolled in the program as they wanted more people of certain ethnicity so they can serve their "own" people. It makes sense somewhat... After all we are a public school system so the needs of the population must be addressed. Nonetheless, the net result is that Asians get pretty screwed over in the process.
Hmm...that's too bad, not much you can about that then. Is UBC the only med school in BC?
I have a 3.7 and 34 on MCAT, but I would not have gotten any Canadian interviews (maybe toronto was my best bet). Either my GPA was too low or my verbal score (9) didnt make the cutoff which this year at most schools was a 10.
Anyways, I dont regret not applying to Canadian schools. I think oppurtunites are in America! Sure the tuitions gonna kill me eventually. lol. Why on earth an American citizen would want to practice and study in Canada is just beyond me.
agreed. urban ontario, because of the out-of-province stuff, also makes it as hard to get into anywhere in canada as an ivy for americans or canadians. in fact, if the applicant has only a solidly competitive gpa, but stands out in other ways, it may even be easier to get into an ivy. let's see.
EDIT: 'easy' meaning not all about highest gpa. standing out in other ways is not necessarily 'easy'...
not 'disadvantaged' to my knowledge, but there is something for coming from a working background in social services. that's only for in-province folks though. and they didn't say last year that there is a magic cut-off for gpa that they apply to out-of-province, so an awesome mcat does not make up the difference for an interview.
Yup, so the "smart" Asian BCer's flock to Ontario to take your seats
If you are applying from the US, its obviously harder to get into any Canadian school than a US Ivy. To be a US student coming to Canada, as posters said, there have to be good reasons, and chances are you'd only be considered if you were Ivy caliber anyways. The difference is that Ivy schools may have 150 or so spots for you, whereas the few Canadian schools have 5-10 spots. So yes, is is harder to get into a Canadian school than an Ivy as a US citizen, but not because of the requirements- simply because of the lack of spots.
Regarding the cutoffs: I'm a big fan of most US schools' method of assessing the whole applicant, and not excluding based on MCAT/GPA alone. I find your system to be much more fair and also result in people that really want to be doctors, not those who did well on some tests.
dam... we need those seats!
Define IVY league. If you are taking the Ivy League as a whole or certain schools like HMS specifically.
Schools like Brown or Dartmouth while competitive seem to be a bit less selective then HMS.
Also, not all Ivy league schools are top 10 schools.
That said, I think its safe to say that those who would be competitive for a school like an IVY league school (any of them but esp. HMS, UPenn, and other top 10 schools) you probably meet the cutoffs for most Canadian schools.
I don't know how Canadian schools take into consideration extracurriculars and other non numerical factors to make a proper judgement but I'd guess that the lower tier end of Canadian schools are significantly easier then the top IVY league schools, while the top canadian schools are on par with competitive factor of a top 10 IVY league school. Actually the situation is sort of weird because in America you could get a 40M and get in a school like HMS whereas if even one section at a Canadian school is below a strict cutoff you won't get a chance at that school. In that way Canadian schools are more competitive.
But if cutoffs are met and you are comparing an individual with the numbers that will satisfy both canadian and IVY league schools you'd have to look at how ECs, LORs, and other factors make a difference at the two sets of schools to decide which is more competitive to get into. Additionally, you'd have to look at the relative number of applicants who submitted an application, number of applicants who interviewed, number of applicants accepted, and number of applicants waitlisted and compare the statistics to be able to determine which is more competitive.
Ya like the political situation in canada is better? hah.
And you talk about universal healthcare. I am going to just laugh at that one. You realise the shortage of doctors up in the northern part of Canada? Do you realise the long waitlist (I have several personal experience with that)?
You speak of universal where is the justice in that?
Blah, of course, US has lots of problems. But to say Americans choose Canada for political reasons or universal healthcare is really pointless in my opinion. Those Americans who come to McGill to study, come there because McGill is a great school (one of the very few in Canada I might add), not for any other reason.
I agree with this. I remember a few years back some Canadian guy PMed me about a 40M on their MCAT. They had a 40M but were contemplating retaking it because the M didn't make the cutoff. I thought that was so sad. The Canadian system is seriously messed up to have such stringent cutoffs that even a score as high as that would not meet the cutoff just because of one section.
That's completely stupid in my opinion.
So do you know where you are going to go next year?? Just curious.
Oh and :laugh at the comment in paranthesis for number 2.
opps i misread you. If American McGill grads end up staying in Canada to finish with residency...I will give them kudos. I dont think I could resist going to the states if I was an American. I guess I am selfish because i would probably earn more in the US.
I hope you told him NOT to retake and apply to Yale/Hopkins/HMS instead
Sure did what you said to do just now.
I'd never advise a person to retake with a 40 because the good 'ol USofA will love them with that kind of score and a stellar profile in other areas.
My preinterview rejections % is higher for the Canadian schools then for the Ivy league schools.
Not sure if that answers your question or not.
I think I'm going to add my number to the brain-drain statistic in Canada. But then, this depends on if I do get the minimal financial aid I need, ie a $25000/year unit loan.
If I had seen your post half a year ago I'd have jumped up and started a flame war, being a Liberal wiener as I was and still am, but now I seriously agree that our system needs a major shakeup. The waitlist numbers are becoming appalling throughout the nation. The rhetoric of those Ontario liberals is now offensive to my years. I can't believe they still have the guts to sit back and talk about "Canadian values", while making people wait over two years for hip replacement and shipping them off to other nations for three times the expense as that of endorsing private clinics. Not to mention the problems of rural medicine. I've encountered so many Northern BC residents who rely on information from public organizations such as the Heart & Stroke Foundation rather than going to their over-booked family doctors for medical advice. These are certainly NOT the "Canadian values" I've learned.
While I couldn't agree with you more that our healthcare system isn't perfect, I don't think defecting to the states is necessarily the answer. I am also just stating the answer to the question of "why Canada?" that many American students in my program give--some of which are politically motivated. Hell--I can't blame them...if given the choice, why would I chose to live and practice in a country in which I cannot get legally married?
There's only a few schools that have this cut off - so it's not the entire system that has these cutoffs.
Only Queens and Western, actually. Toronto will consider any section lower than 9 to be a red flag but it will not disqualify your application.
I also think an either 10-10-10 or >33 as cutoff would be the most reasonable.
....and Toronto - especially if you have a graduate degree. Admission is easier (note: not easy) if you are international vs. Canadian without question.
I really don't think you earn that much more. Look at the stats. Maybe compared to quebec but even then you have to factor in the free education, the super cheap housing etc. Also, resident salaries are essentially equivalent, and after residency it's not hard to return to practice in the states as long as you passed the USMLes and are an american citizen. In addition, there's the malpractice issue -- one surgeon i talked to had practiced in new york for a while before returning to quebec because he couldn't take the constant threat of being sued.
However, I do agree that the waiting is outrageous. Patients come in to see the doctor irate from having waited for like 6 hours and the doctors are like "whatever we get this all the time, just ignore it". It's really rude and not respectful of people's time. I don't understand why they quadruple book everything for 8 in the morning when they know they won't get to the patient before 3pm. Just tell them to come in at 3... Having witnessed both systems I think it's definitely better to be in the states if you have good coverage. The problem is that many people do not, and so healthcare becomes a privilege of the employed middle and upper classes. But anyway waiting is an annoyance on the patient, not the doctor side.
Do you think US schools or Canadian schools look more at the EC's and essays? I'm from Canada and I heard that the US schools seem to put a greater emphasis on GPA and MCAT.
I agree with you omega, but I want to know if you plan to return to Canada after 4 years or even after residency?
Ideally, I want to make a name and establish my credentials before heading back home and working towards some big changes.
What are you thinking?
You mean, get yourself established and recognized so that Canadian hospitals will BEG! for you to come back lol?
And are you referring to the healthcare system? I'm not sure what you'd have to do to be able to influence that...if you know, let me know too b/c I'd like to get in on it as well.
Oh crap, my secret agenda has just been exposed, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
My ideas for the health care system are probably too radical anyways. I would get flamed flesh and bones if I just mentioned a word on this forum. One area I would like to work on, though, is the regulation of the pharmaceutical industry. Universalizing pharmacare and adopting the PHARMAC system of New Zealand sounds like a good idea
Glad to hear that you plan on coming back to Canada to solve our healthcare problems ;-)--does that mean you have made a decision yet??