Canadian Citizens Applying To Canadian Schools
One recent grad wrote, “Most Canadian schools reserve 90% of their seats for in-province (IP) applicants. As an IP applicant, you are at an advantage for those medical schools within your province. Canada has 17 medical schools and of these, three have French as a first language for instruction. The other 10% are for out-of-province (OOP) applicants from across the country, and it’s an extremely competitive pool (think, 4.0 GPAs and 520 MCATs). So your best bet is as an IP applicant. If you fit the high-score profile it may be worth applying broadly.
In regard to assessing files, Canadian and American schools have very different approaches. Canadian schools use GPA and MCAT scores as cutoffs – competitive IP averages are usually ~3.7+ and 129+ (for each MCAT section, so 512ish). Schools like McMaster and UCalgary only take into account your verbal score – which should be quite high by default as Middlebury hones this critical thinking skill very well. The rest of your application is of course important: become engaged in things you care about! One recent grad wrote, “If I were to change one thing about my premed experience it would have been to focus more on my GPA. This REALLY matters in Canada. Luckily many schools drop your lowest semester or year so there is some remediation.
Canadian schools do not care where you went to undergrad. In fact, you may have to fight registrars offices to make sure they give you full semester credits for your courses. (Applicants in Canada take 5 courses/semester and to admissions committees looks like we’re slacking at Midd!)”
American schools take a more holistic approach and it is not uncommon for people with 3.5+ GPAs and 508+ MCATs to be accepted as long as they have a compelling personal statement and check ALL the boxes of a well rounded candidate (shadowing, research, volunteering, music/sports/other passions).
Acceptance rates are close to 40% for American school applicants and 10% for Canadian schools. This is mainly because there are just so many more schools in the states. Applying to both makes sense if you are willing to attend an American school (5-10x more expensive), or have aspirations of doing residency in the States/naturalizing. (Though you can still do clerkship rotations/residency in the states as a Canadian grad and vice versa.)
If you really want to attend school in Canada note that many applicants go through the cycle 2-3 times.”
Handling Letters of Recommendation
Canadian medical schools do not have a central application service that will accept letters of reference (they typically do not use the term “recommendation”) and distribute to participating medical schools. However, all Canadian medical schools in Ontario use the Ontario Medical School Application Services (OMCAS). Medical schools in other provinces in Canada vary considerably in how they request and handle letters of reference and the information is not readily apparent at some schools. To the best of our knowledge, letters of reference at Canadian medical schools are handled as follows:
The Ontario Medical Schools Application Service (OMSAS) is the centralized application service for applying to Ontario Medical Schools.
The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) represents Canada’s 17 faculties of medicine and is the voice of academic medicine in this country. For more admissions-related statistics, please visit the website.
The Association also publishes an annual guide to the Admissions Requirements of each Canadian medical school.
- Profiles of Canadian Medical Schools
- Facts prospective Canadian International Medical Graduates Should Know
- Wikipedia Guide to Canadian Medical Schools
American and Other Foreign Citizens Applying to Canadian Medical Schools
It is extremely difficult to gain admission to a Canadian medical school if you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. To explore further, visit the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada’s statistics page.
Canadian Citizens Applying to US Schools
U.S. medical schools vary in terms of whether they classify Canadian students as international students or not. Penn State, George Washington, Albert Einstein, Medical College of Wisconsin, and Yale all view Canadian citizens the same way as U.S. citizens. Many other schools classify Canadians as international students. When in doubt, check the Medical School Admissions Requirements or the website of the particular program. There are also a number of online forums where applicants list American schools that accept Canadian Citizens.
A SPECIAL PROGRAM:
A recent grad sent us a list of U.S. Medical Schools that she had heard were more friendly to Middlebury graduates/International applicants: Boston University, Tufts, Dartmouth, Brown, Harvard.
Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MSUCOM) plans to recruit 20-25 qualified Canadian students with an interest in primary care to help promote osteopathic medicine in Canada. Graduates of MSUCOM are recognized by the Canadian Resident Matching Service as an approved non-Canadian medical school http://www.carms.ca. MSUCOM has taken the initiative to recruit qualified Canadian applicants and has set a special tuition rate for these students through scholarships. Interested applicants are encouraged to review scholarship information on the MSUCOM webpage: http://www.com.msu.edu/Students/Financial_Aid/Scholarships.htm