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What is the success of British graduates gaining residency positions?

Discussion in 'General International Discussion' started by Clipper, Jun 8, 2002.

  1. Clipper

    Clipper Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Jun 5, 2002
    Cambridge, UK
    I'm a Canadian student who was recently accepted to medical school at the University of Cambridge (UK)and is also on the waiting list at the University of Toronto. I am trying to decide if I should go to England for medical school or stay in Canada. I am some what leaning towards going to Cambridge. My ultimate goal is to be able to practice in the US. However, I know that if I do go to England, being an international graduate, it will be very dificult for me to come back to North America and do my residency or to practice. I was wondering if anyone knows how successful British graduates are in getting residency positions in the US?
     
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  3. The Pill Counter

    The Pill Counter Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Dec 6, 2001
    Obviously with UofT you could just walk into the States, choosing to do your training in Canada or the States, but at the same time, the opportunity to study at Cambridge is pretty amazing in itself. Although not as easy as with UofT, being a Cambridge grad with good board scores should open a lot of doors for you. As I've discovered since joining this board, no one can answer that question for you, since so many intangibles go into the final result, ie. board scores, LOR's, the impression you make in interview etc. But hey, Cambridge is Cambridge.
     
  4. leorl

    leorl Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    Did you go over to England to take their test???? That's one of the main reasons why I didn't apply to Cambridge or Oxford (I was looking at Oxford's fast track program). I couldn't spring the money or justify a good reason to fly over there to take a test I knew nothing about, and then fly over for interviews as well. Congrats on acceptance! Pillcounter is right. UT is a very excellent school, and with Canadian schools you'd be able to walk on right into US residency, which it sounds like is your ultimate goal. I know you'd have the Cambridge name behind you, but any UK grad regardless of schooling is probably going to face the same FMG status. Having Cambridge behind you probably wouldn't hinder your chances of obtaining residency really, though - as long as you get high board scores. I do not think it would hurt you that much, but you probably should do rotations/electives in the US. Having said all that, I'd personally choose Cambridge because going abroad appeals to me, and some of my best friends are at Cambridge. I would not look forward to high costs of living / renting in England, though - or their unfavorable exchange rate.
     
  5. BellKicker

    BellKicker Twisted Miler 7+ Year Member

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    Jan 23, 2002
    Up North
    Clipper, you're one lucky hound. Congrats on your acceptance to Cambridge.

    My two cents...... Don't let your present be controlled by your (vague) vision of the future. Take this from someone who knows, you'll be a very different person in 4 or 5 years. The acceptance criteria into US residencies might be unrecognizable. You might be married to a British woman looking for a house in the shires in 5 years. You might be working to eradicate some disease in Africa. The students that enter med school 100% sure of where they're heading, those are very often the same students that end up dropping out because of disillusions. It's a long road, man. On graduation day you'll smile when thinking back at who you were in 2002 and what you believed life in med school would be like.

    Do what your gut tells you. Don't go to Cambridge to impress anyone. Again, something like that loses importance as you grow older. How many State school graduates do you think regret not going to that Ivy League school 10 years ago? None, I bet.

    Anyway, good luck where ever you go.
     
  6. cp00739

    cp00739 Member 7+ Year Member

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    Dec 13, 2001
    Edmonton
    if you dont mind me asking what were your stats like? gpa and mcat wise

    i'm wondering how difficult it is for canadians to get accepted to cambridge...which is from all accounts an excellent school (name wise at least)

    thanks!!!!
     
  7. will_lam

    will_lam Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Mar 22, 2002
    Wow, a Canadian medical school and Cambridge...congrats on the tremendous achievement. Well done.

    It's a tough call and ultimately the decision should be in line with what's best for you. If I had to make this kind of a decision though, my thought process would probably include this:

    If the United States is ultimately the only place you can see yourself wanting to live and practice within then I would definitely choose the University of Toronto. Four years down the line it'll make things alot easier for you (although keep in mind you will still have to take the USMLE in addition to whatever testing the Canadian system administers). On the other hand if you are considering working on the international scene, even if it is only for a short time before settling down, then a University of Cambridge degree will probably open up alot more doors for you around the globe.

    If it were my decision to make I would probably go with Cambridge simply because I do have an interest in practicing medicine outside of North America for a while before returning home. Not to mention the fact that Cambridge is a beautiful place and the whole history of intellectual achievemnt there would make it a great place to study. But that's just me and hopefully this means absolutely nothing to you. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />

    In the end it's a pretty good situation to be in. Good luck whatever you choose.
     
  8. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

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    As others have noted, there really is no way to gauge how successful you'll be. On the average, grads of UK schools have been rather successful in obtaining US residencies - however, a selection bias is probably at work here (ie, only those who think they may be successful apply).

    Don't overstate the case - a la "it will be very dificult for me to come back to North America and do my residency or to practice. ". It WILL be difficult to go back to Canada (if the current restrictions against studying abroad hold) but you should be competitive, all else being equal, in the states (ie, provided you don't apply for a super-competitive specialty, you have good board scores, etc.).

    Your options are wider open at Toronto. But should you not gain admission there and don't wish to try again next year, my hunches are you would have a wonderful time at Cambridge, get a great education and be successful in the US residency match.
     
  9. Clipper

    Clipper Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Jun 5, 2002
    Cambridge, UK
    Thanks everyone for all your feed back. I know making my decision has become a little more easier after all your helpfull comments. Cambridge has been my #1 choice all along....I know having the opportunity to study there will be an amazing experience. Even though gaining a residency position in the US from Cambridge maybe a bit more difficult than from the University of Toronto, I think in the long run that extra effort will be well worth the experience. So...I'll have to write a few more exams and fill a few more applications....but hey...nothing in life comes easy. I've already traveled this far, so I might as well travel that extra bit. Who knows what the future will hold...as BellKicker stated it...maybe my goals will change completely in 4 years.

    Leorl: If you are thinking of applying to the fast track programs at Oxford or Cambridge, you don't have to go there to write their entrance tests. I was able to write them both at my undergrad university (University of Toronto). You just have to arrange a place that will proctor the test for you (such as your undergrad institution) and both Oxford and Cambridge will mail the test to your institution. Also, you can find out more about the tests from the schools' websites. I was able to download a few tests from the previous years. Since I have already gone through the process, please contact me if you need more information.

    CP00739: To be honest, I don't think getting into Cambridge is that much more difficult than getting into a Canadian school. The only draw back is that you will be considered an international applicant and as such they have a quota and can only take in a limited amount of international students. Having said that, you shouldn't get discouraged either. After all, I did make it in there myself....and I'm sure there are a lot more applicants out there with better GPA's and MCATs than myself. (As the stats I had a 3.81 GPA and 36Q MCAT) The good thing is that Cambridge looks beyond your test scores when admitting students. They know that there are more important criteria other than good test scores that determine if your going to be a good doctor or not. (ie personality, ability to handle stress, ability to think on your feet, etc....and trust me they thoroughly do test each of these criteria on the interview!!). Hope that helps.

    Thanks again for everyone's feedback

    Clipper
     
  10. The Pill Counter

    The Pill Counter Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Dec 6, 2001
    Those are excellent stats. The scary thing isn't that Cambridge accepted you, but that UofT waitlisted you! I can't believe that place sometimes, I was there 5 yrs, take this as a sign and leave T.O.!
     
  11. leorl

    leorl Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    Thanks very much for the offer! But I'm already committed to either studying in Ireland or Australia. Applying to Cambridge/Oxford appealed to me, but being in England did not. I might consider doing rotations there, though. Good luck!! If I ever make it to Cambridge, I'll have to visit you along with my friends there :) !
     
  12. Jedi4

    Jedi4 Member 7+ Year Member

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    Apr 30, 2002
    NYC
    Congrats on having two great choices, I think Cambridge would be an amazing experience.
    Can someone explain how the fasttrack program works? I can't seem to find any info on it... thanks :)
     

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