15+ Year Member
- Oct 11, 2006
- Reaction score
The very first thing you should do is take a big deep breath. You're putting the cart before the horse here, worrying about neurosurgery when you're just looking at colleges. Lots of people are 100% certain what career they want -- then after further exposure change their minds.Hi, so I am currently in Grade 12. I am a dual Canadian-US citizen who wants to go into neurosurgery and I have applied to around 26 schools in 3 different countries.
The pathways I am looking into are the following:
1) Undergrad in Neuroscience, Biochemistry, or Biomedicine at a Canadian University (either University of Toronto, McMaster, Queens, University of Ottawa, Carleton University, or Waterloo)
2) Attending University of New Mexico (a very low ranked university but offered a scholarship that would allow me to pay only $8000 per year, many of the biochem courses happen in the medical school campus, and I have reached out to a researcher working in neuroimmunology who is willing to let me work in their lab as soon as classes start with high potential for publications).
3) Attend a Irish Medical School (I have applied to multiple 5 year medical programs and have received offers for interviews, it is very expensive but will reduce time in medical school and increase time working as a practicing neurosurgeon; I am worried about the matching process and I don’t know if being a dual US-Canadian citizen will be beneficial)
4) Attending a well-ranked university in the US like the University of Rochester.
I would really appreciate any advice because if I go to the US for undergrad, I plan on pursuing an MD/PhD program.
You abslutely should not attend an Irish medical school. You will NOT be a neurosurgeon if you do that. Students from international schools are much less competitive than US or Canadian students and have great difficulty getting into competitive fields or programs. This would be a huge mistake.
UNM and U Rochester are fine schools, but they are not top US schools.
The first step in this journey is doing well in college. Pick a school you're happy with, and a major you enjoy. If there's a pre-med "track" of some sort, then enroll in that. If not, you'll just need to make sure you take the basics you'll need - chem, math, bio, physics, etc. I would choose the best and cheapest school you can. If you can get into U of T or McGill, they are both great choices. Some research while in school would be great, but don't sacrifice your GPA. Some shadowing also important.
Then, you'll apply to medical school, you'll have the choice of the US and Canada and can apply to both. Hard to give you advice since it depends on how undergrad goes, and your MCAT scores. A school in the US or Canada will give you many more choices.
There are some combined BS/MD programs in the US, I don't know if they exist in Canada. In the US they tend to pick students who are local, so as an external candidate your chances aren't great but you could try.
Do not rush this. Take your time. Shortcuts usually lead to dead ends.