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pibrahim123

Unique Situation

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Hello, 

I am currently a grade 12 student and trying to decide my post-secondary pathway. I have been accepted to med school in the UK (UCLan) and Ireland (RCSI) as well as undergrad programs here in Canada. Should I just go aboard and worry about getting a residency rather than staying here and trying to get into Med school? 

Thank you for your time. 

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If your goal is to do residency and/or practice in Canada in the future, I would decline RCSI and UCLan. The disadvantages of being IMG for CaRMS are immense, and it is not worth it if you don't even give Canadian medical schools a chance. I have worked with people who did the direct to medical school route abroad from high school, and every single one of them has regretted it. The time you save by going straight to medical school internationally will generally be lost when you spend many years applying for residency after medical school.

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If you want to be a taxi driver in Canada with a medical degree, then leave.

There are no worthwhile shortcuts. By avoiding the competitive lottery, you are selling yourself short and will end up with disappointment.  Have a Plan B in case you don’t get into medicine, work hard, stay motivated and let the chips fall where they may. Some members here have only gotten in after 5, 6 or 7;attempts. Persistence is absolutely required. 

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To be frank, I don't think the cost of tuition at those schools is financially even worth it, let alone the risk of not matching and limiting your choice of specialty significantly as well as ROS contracts.

I would do the undergrad in Canada. You will have to work way harder in med school abroad to get a residency in Canada than the work required in undergrad in Canada to get into med school.

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40 minutes ago, pibrahim123 said:

Thank you all for your responses!

Would it be more doable if I wanted to do a residency in the states? 

You will always face more barriers being an IMG (studying abroad) then you will just trying to get into school in Canada through a Canadian undergrad. However, don’t be convinced that it is impossible. I know two individuals who attended RCSI and UCC and matched back to Canada (albeit some sketchy connections to their first choice residency). 

Before making this big decision, connect with people who matched and did not match through the IMG stream. I think people who match first try will definitely be biased in promoting you to attend school in Ireland, however, perhaps some IMG who did not match will be more inightful. See what their next steps were, perhaps they wrote USMLE (American exams for residency). 

It may be hard to see this now, but the debt will be absolutely catastrophic if you do not match. 

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23 hours ago, pibrahim123 said:

Hello, 

I am currently a grade 12 student and trying to decide my post-secondary pathway. I have been accepted to med school in the UK (UCLan) and Ireland (RCSI) as well as undergrad programs here in Canada. Should I just go aboard and worry about getting a residency rather than staying here and trying to get into Med school? 

Thank you for your time. 

 

If you want to practice in Canada, I strongly advise against going abroad, as it is difficult to come back. If you are a dual Canadian/Irish/UK citizen and can afford the tuition, and would be happy staying there after graduation then by all means accept. But being an IMG is very tough and a lot write the USMLE's because of how unlikely it is to get a residency here. And even then you are mostly limited to family/internal medicine. My advice: If being a doctor in Canada is your goal, do your undergrad, maintain a high GPA. 

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On 4/4/2019 at 9:54 PM, pibrahim123 said:

Hello, 

I am currently a grade 12 student and trying to decide my post-secondary pathway. I have been accepted to med school in the UK (UCLan) and Ireland (RCSI) as well as undergrad programs here in Canada. Should I just go aboard and worry about getting a residency rather than staying here and trying to get into Med school? 

Thank you for your time. 

Hey buddy! It seems really stressful to go through the application process when an acceptance letter has been thrown on your lap. Dont sell yourself short and dont be intimidated by the numbers here in Canada! I suggest you do undergrad in Canada, apply to Canada and the USA, and if you eventually want to go abroad, you can always go. If you leave now, you are guaranteed to be an IMG and placed in a pool where it is extremely challenging to getting a residency spot (you will also most likely cut yourself off ever getting into certain specialties, as they rarely ever take IMGs). So why rush it and go down this route that is guaranteed to give you all these limitations, when you have not tried (even a couple of years of undergrad to see how you do) in Canada? Especially since the opportunity to go abroad will always be there! 

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You do not have a unique situation. You are simply looking for a shortcut that is a guarantee. It is a guarantee to nothing other than a big waste of your parent’s money. Do what we all did. Go for your undergrad, study hard, be focused, develop time management skills and good study habits. Become a competitive applicant in terms of GPA, while you create a C.V. with Can MEDS competencies. Throw your hat in the ring, apply, re-apply as often as required, while having a Plan B. The other approach is the fool’s way of fooling himself, his family and spinning your wheels. 

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On 4/5/2019 at 9:54 AM, pibrahim123 said:

Hello, 

I am currently a grade 12 student and trying to decide my post-secondary pathway. I have been accepted to med school in the UK (UCLan) and Ireland (RCSI) as well as undergrad programs here in Canada. Should I just go aboard and worry about getting a residency rather than staying here and trying to get into Med school? 

Thank you for your time. 

I wouldn't do it. I've seen the results, some smart classmates of mine who went abroad to the UK/Ireland after high school are unemployed. I would say about 70-80% did not match directly out of their medical degree. A few who were in the UK a100 pathway have stayed and done foundation years there. The rest have given up and have found random odd healthcare related jobs, others have gone into hiding, no one knows what they are up to now. 

If you don't have strong medical connections in Canada, are not an EU citizen and don't want to just stay in the UK forever (assuming UCLan), I would stay in Canada.

Also, the reality is there will always be some stigma towards CSAs even if you do match. If you look around at some of the vitriol towards CSAs on this forum by residents and physicians, you'll see what I mean. If you look at the faculty ranks, I don't think I've ever seen a faculty member who was a CSA in Canada. Unfortunately, the system is such that you may feel like a second class citizen if you try to go abroad and come back. 

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I went to a 6 year program straight out of high school and matched to a residency position without any gaps, albeit in the US. I have no regrets, as before embarking on this journey there were 2 things I accepted as possibilities:

1. I would likely match to the US not Canada (but can move back to Canada after training in the US). 

2. I would likely be limited to primary specialties like IM, FM, Peds, Psych

If you can agree to these 2 terms, then this is a viable path assuming you are a hard worker, self-directed and score well on the USMLE exams. I must say though, I was the exception not the rule bc most people are not hard workers/self-directed.  Good Luck 

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On ‎4‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 11:15 AM, Bambi said:

You do not have a unique situation. You are simply looking for a shortcut that is a guarantee. It is a guarantee to nothing other than a big waste of your parent’s money. Do what we all did. Go for your undergrad, study hard, be focused, develop time management skills and good study habits. Become a competitive applicant in terms of GPA, while you create a C.V. with Can MEDS competencies. Throw your hat in the ring, apply, re-apply as often as required, while having a Plan B. The other approach is the fool’s way of fooling himself, his family and spinning your wheels. 

First of all, don't listen to naysayers like the one above who think that their way is the only way. How applying  5,6,7 times in Canada (and then possibly  ending up in the middle of nowhere and in specialty you don't want - if you are not lucky with  CARMS) is a better route than training in reputable med school abroad and training in US? You are obviously comfortable with living and studying abroad, so US would not be a bad option for you.

Weight carefully all pros and cons, including costs.  Canadian IMG's chances are small indeed, but some still they get in - every year. US is quite realistic if you do well with USMLE.

Most importantly, you have to work hard either way. There are no shortcuts to medicine.

Last but not the least, congratulations on your offers. Contrary to what most people on this forum think, it is not "easy" to get to medical school in Europe.

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Exactly - as Older says, there are no shortcuts to medicine. And this is what you are looking for. Then again, perhaps Older has a M.D. from abroad and is now practicing in Canada. High doubtful but possible? Getting a medical degree in another part of the world is the easy part if you have the money. Doing something meaningful with it is the hard part. And getting a job as a practicing physician in Canada afterwards is almost impossible, at least the odds are seriously against you. I know 2 Canadian physicians who graduated at the top of their respective classes abroad who have been trying for years to get to Canada, all to no avail. 

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1 hour ago, older said:

First of all, don't listen to naysayers like the one above who think that their way is the only way. How applying  5,6,7 times in Canada (and then possibly  ending up in the middle of nowhere and in specialty you don't want - if you are not lucky with  CARMS) is a better route than training in reputable med school abroad and training in US? You are obviously comfortable with living and studying abroad, so US would not be a bad option for you.

Weight carefully all pros and cons, including costs.  Canadian IMG's chances are small indeed, but some still they get in - every year. US is quite realistic if you do well with USMLE.

Most importantly, you have to work hard either way. There are no shortcuts to medicine.

Last but not the least, congratulations on your offers. Contrary to what most people on this forum think, it is not "easy" to get to medical school in Europe.

oh but it is easy to get into medical school in Europe. i know too many people who got into med schools in Europe after high school but stayed for undergrad in Canada and now they messed up their grades so bad they changed their line of field to optometry or pharm. I would guess 90% of all applicants to OMSAS would have received admission to med schools in Europe.

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IMO, medicine isn't worth training abroad for and trying to come back to Canada with all of the additional stressors that sort of arrangement would bring.

I also would not recommend anyone to pursue medicine generally speaking.

Do what you will, but realize there is no rush to accept an offer from abroad.

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What I will also say is, i don't necessarily agree with what older says, European medical schools are not all the same, and as a whole they are not too difficult to get into. The UK medical school you got into is a private school started within the last few years, and RCSI while being competitive, isn't the same level of competitiveness as a Canadian or American medical school

If you are willing to go to the US in a lower tier program/less desirable city and in a primary care specialty or you are willing to choose UCLan and stay in the UK and you genuinely fear not getting into Canadian medical school and would not want to end up in an allied health profession or in research and you have the funds, it is worth considering. Keep in mind what you are sacrificing. You are sacrificing not only the 500k, but you are also locking yourself into not just a profession but also to your location for the rest of your teens and twenties. This is a much more serious decision most 18 y/o's are tasked with making, so think carefully and do not let others around you try to push you in any one direction.   

 

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15 hours ago, pibrahim123 said:

Thank you all for your opinions, I am leaning more on staying in Canada and trying to get in here, but realistically, how do my odds fair compared to my odds of getting a residency?  

Not great. This is the 2018 match data https://www.carms.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/2018-carms-forum.pdf

UK IMG match rate was 39.3% (slide 45). Irish IMG match rate was 54.1%. I don't imagine it will get much better.  In fact if I recall correctly, the match rates for 2019 fell and Australia had the best match rate at around 53%. If you go this route you must also apply to the USA. But even then it is not a guarantee.

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15 hours ago, pibrahim123 said:

Thank you all for your opinions, I am leaning more on staying in Canada and trying to get in here, but realistically, how do my odds fair compared to my odds of getting a residency?  

Honestly, if you can get into residency as an IMG, chances are you can get into medical school in Canada. The only difference is, you will have many more career opportunities graduating from a Canadian school. If you go abroad and don't like family medicine or pathology? Well you're SOL.

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Even if options were equal, I still wouldn't give up my experiences in undergrad to get in a bit early. Undergrad is fun and you get to meet more people outside of medicine.

I've met a few IMGs who had direct entry into Western European medical schools, and they all felt like they got themselves into something they didn't truly understand at the time. They told me that they wish they pursued medicine in Canada instead (these IMGs were pursuing a moderately competitive specialty).

18 hours ago, pibrahim123 said:

Thank you all for your opinions, I am leaning more on staying in Canada and trying to get in here, but realistically, how do my odds fair compared to my odds of getting a residency?  

Residency anywhere in any specialty (i.e. US+Canada in non-competitive specialties)? You're much more likely to get a residency position.

Residency in Canada in FM/path (i.e. non-competitive specialties)? Odds are maybe about the same. Hard to compare.

Residency in Canada in most other specialties? Almost infinitesimally low.

There are other factors as well. If you pursue medical school overseas, it will probably be a lot more debt and more difficulty finding another career. If you are SWOMEN or have another in-province advantage, then it shouldn't even be a question whether or not you stay.

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On 4/5/2019 at 11:18 AM, Instagrammar said:

Before making this big decision, connect with people who matched and did not match through the IMG stream. I think people who match first try will definitely be biased in promoting you to attend school in Ireland, however, perhaps some IMG who did not match will be more inightful. See what their next steps were, perhaps they wrote USMLE (American exams for residency). 

As someone who went abroad, matched back, finished residency, and is now a practicing physician, I can say that any bias in favor of leaving isn't as strong as you may think. Successful IMGs who studied at international schools will often say that their experiences were great and life changing, but most will stop short of directly recommending that anyone become an IMG. Even though I made it, I have never promoted this route as a good or even reasonable option, because it is neither. It is a high risk, high reward gamble, and that fact is not truly appreciated by those who don't fully know what's involved.

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3 hours ago, Intrepid86 said:

As someone who went abroad, matched back, finished residency, and is now a practicing physician, I can say that any bias in favor of leaving isn't as strong as you may think. Successful IMGs who studied at international schools will often say that their experiences were great and life changing, but most will stop short of directly recommending that anyone become an IMG. Even though I made it, I have never promoted this route as a good or even reasonable option, because it is neither. It is a high risk, high reward gamble, and that fact is not truly appreciated by those who don't fully know what's involved.

Might not even be high reward. Someone from high school might end up hating medicine even if they found a spot.

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3 hours ago, 1D7 said:

Might not even be high reward. Someone from high school might end up hating medicine even if they found a spot.

Would also not be high reward if someone goes abroad, realizes they can't imagine doing anything other than derm/plastics/neurosx/other competitive specialty, and are stuck with family/peds/psych/internal as a best case scenario.

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