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Applying To Us Do Med Schools - Faqs Guide & Canadian Friendly Schools

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Annual Bulletin!

2016 highlights:

  • 2016 Canadian statistics - 64 matriculants, 263 applicants.
  • Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan update provincial policy - US DOs now have full unrestricted practice rights in all of Canada!
  • CaRMs 2016 update - British Columbia follows Ontario - US DOs lose CMG status in these two provinces, now match as IMGs starting 2016 onwards. 
  • WES and translation required for French Quebec Universities / French transcripts.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

What is Osteopathic medicine?
Osteopathic medicine is the best kept secret in medicine! There are TWO types of complete physicians in the United States—DOs (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) and MDs (Doctor of Allopathic Medicine). To be an osteopathic physician, an individual must graduate from an American osteopathic medical school. The fact is that both DOs and MDs are fully qualified physicians licensed to prescribe medication and perform surgery. DOs have exactly the same practice rights as their MD counterparts in ALL SCOPES OF MEDICINE.

http://www.osteopathic.org
http://www.osteopathic.ca
THE CANADIAN OSTEOPATHIC MEDICAL STUDENT ASSOCIATION (COMSA)
http://www.studentdo.ca

 

Since 2010, More than 20 percent of new U.S. medical students are studying at osteopathic medical colleges.

 

 

Canadian%20Stats_zpsrvqctebj.jpg

Figure 1. The annual number of Canadian applicants and matriculants to US osteopathic medical schools.

 

What makes a DO different from a MD?
They have the same exact practice rights! DOs and MDs take exactly the same classes, except DO’s are taught an additional skill- Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) which stems from the idea that structure and function of the body are interrelated. Based on this theory, any misalignment of the spine or joints causing impingement on nerves or fascia can cause the body to function less than optimally. Osteopathic Manipulation is gentle, directed manipulation of the spine, limbs, and joints that aims to restore the body to its optimal structure so it can resume optimal function. Osteopathic physicians also learn manipulation involving high velocity and low amplitude, which is very different from the high amplitude manipulation used by chiropractors, as well as a variety of other techniques. OMM is applicable for a wide variety of other complaints. If you are interested in applying to a DO school, you should be familiar with OMM and the theory behind it, and be able to explain why it appeals to you.

What’s the difference between an Osteopath and an Osteopathic Physician?
Only in the United States of America are holders of the DO degree considered "medical doctors" equivalent to practice rights as MDs. There are also Osteopathic Colleges in Canada, England, Scotland, etc. For example, you have the Canadian college of Osteopathy http://www.osteopathiecollege.com/ who also gives the "DO" degree. But graduates from these DO "Colleges" are only limited to Osteopathic manipulation (which is the cornerstone that makes Osteopathic medicine different from Allopathic medicine). These guys did NOT receive the FULL MEDICAL TRAINING THAT AMERICAN DOs do. These "Osteopaths", NOT "Osteopathic doctors", are NOT medical doctors, cannot register with the CPSO, or any medical specialty in Canada or the US. "Osteopaths" (NOT Osteopathic doctors) are in the same category as Naturopaths, chiropractors, whereas US trained DOs are full medical DOCTORS.

About myself:
I did my undergrad at the University of Toronto, St. George Campus. My stats were actually pretty competitive, except for the Verbal reasoning section of that MCAT. Overall, I had a 3.87 GPA on the AMCAS scale. My MCAT was 12BS, 10PS, 7VR, and T for my application to med school.

I applied in mid November of 2008 (VERY late in the cycle) due to problems with the MCAT prometrics center. I was initially supposed to write the MCAT in mid June, but after a whole bunch of setbacks with their prometric's awful computer system, my results came out in mid-late October 2008. By that time, the deadline for most US MD schools were passed. So I never really properly applied to US MD schools as a result, and only managed to get the tail end of the application cycle for DO schools. Fortunately, I was waitlisted with a guaranteed seat for the DO class of 2014

Will my Canadian prereqs be accepted by DO schools?
Canadian prerequisites are acceptable. Transcripts from English universities are acceptable without verification. However, transcripts from French universities in Quebec needs to be assessed by WES (or equivalent). Unfortunately, prerequisites completed at French universities are treated as foreign credits, and needs to be translated/ assessed for US equivalency.

Help! I went to UofT but they don’t have a second half credit of general chemistry with lab!!
As many of my fellow UofT premeds might know, UofT offers CHM138H1 with lab, but there’s no subsequent followup course for general chemistry that includes a lab. Most people take chm220H1, but that course does not include a lab component, and it is quite difficult. What I did to remedy the problem was I redid my general chemistry course work at Ryerson University right next door. I’ve had very good experience with Ryerson. I took their CONTINUING EDUCATION courses at night. I took a half credit general chemistry lecture course (pure lecture course) CKCH106 (there’s a follow up half credit course to CKCH106 that is also acceptable), followed by a half credit general chemistry lab course (pure labs) CKCH107. These 2 courses combined to give me 1 full credit of general chemistry, and they were acceptable to COMP. I might also add that while I was there, MANY UofT students were also there taking these 2 courses to fulfill their general chemistry credit requirement for US medical/dental/pharmacy schools. It was really quite something. Basically, a good fraction of those two chemistry classes at Ryerson were housed by UofT students. However, I can NOT guarantee if the MD/DO medical school in the US that YOU ARE applying to will accept these courses. I made sure these 2 credits were acceptable before taking them. So likewise, before partaking in them, I would strongly recommend that you get in contact with the admissions office of the MD/DO schools you applied to, and then confirm that CKCH106+ CKCH107 will be an acceptable choice.

What is a credit hour/semester hour and what is the Canadian equivalent?
For AACOM (or AAMC) application purposes, full credit courses (1.0 credit) with labs are considered to have 8 semester hours. Full credit (1.0 credit) courses without lab are considered to have 6 hours. Half credit courses (0.5 credit) with lab are considered to have 4 credits, while half credit (0.5 credit) courses without lab are considered to have 3 credits . Basically, what this means is that Canadian schools do not give you 2 extra semester hours for labs in the courses. And yes, half credit courses (with OR without lab) are only "worth" 3 semester hours, while full credit courses (with or without lab) are only “worth” 6 hours. BUT the AACOM knows this Canadian difference, so they will adjust accordingly (and if not, your school will know of this difference so your school admission will adjust accordingly). On you AACOM application, you should write down the full name of the course followed by whether this course has a lab or not (e.g. BIO150Y1Y - Organisms in their environment (with lab)), vs. (ANT203Y1Y - Human Evolution (no lab)). The vast majority of problems can be avoided by doing this.

Can I practice as a US trained DO in Canada?

As of 2016, all US trained DOs have full practice rights in all provinces and territories in Canada.

The last two provinces to change their policy were Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island. Their policy was updated in 2016!

 

Do you know of any Canadian DOs who returned recently?
These are known USDOs who matched through CaRMS:
2010 - OBGYN (1)
2012 - Family medicine (2)
2014 - Family medicine (2)

2015 - Family medicine (1), Psychiatry (1), Internal medicine (1)

2016 - via IMG stream Family medicine (1)

 

Many others also returned after ACGME residency training in the US, and are now employed by Canadian hospitals across the provinces.

 

Can elective rotations can be done in Canada?
Electives definitely can be done in Canada. The Canadian DO student must contact the medical school in Canada that they wish to do their elective rotations in, apply to that program, and then coordinate with their home school (as Canadian electives usually counts as “international rotations”). The details will vary with each school, so it is better to look at your school international rotations policy.
Canadian DO students have successfully applied and done elective rotations at the University of Toronto, UBC, McMaster, University of Western Ontario, and Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Members of COMSA are actively trying to increase awareness in these medical schools, and to increase the number of Canadian medical schools that will allow USDO elective rotations.
However, at the present time, COMSA and I strongly encourage Canadians at US DO schools to forego Canadian elective rotations and focus their efforts in the US.

 

What exam do I need to remain in the US?
Osteopathic medical schools have their own set of board exams. These are the COMLEX exams. There are 3 COMLEX exams, parts 1,2,3. Taking the COMLEX series allow you to apply for AOA (American Osteopathic Association) residency spots. COMLEX exams are required by Osteopathic medical schools. However, if you want to return to Canada, you MUST match in ACGME (MD) residencies. In order to match for ACGME residencies, you MUST take the USMLEs (steps 1,2,3). Alternatively, there are dual accredited AOA/ACGME residencies, they take either the complete COMLEX or the complete USMLEs.

At the present time, COMSA and the COA strongly encourage Canadians to write both the COMLEX and USMLEs. This is because COMLEX is required for graduation from a DO medical school. USMLEs are required (the vast majority of the time) in order to apply for ACGME residencies. Lastly, Canada only recognizes ACGME residencies - so it is crucial for the Canadian trained DO to take the USMLEs.

Lastly, DOs can apply to BOTH ACGME and AOA accredited residencies, while MDs can only apply to ACGME residencies, and are barred from AOA residencies.

What Canadian exams do I need to attempt the Canadian match?
The MCCEE and the NAC OSCE are required for DOs if they plan to participate in CaRMS. The MCCEE is also a prerequisite for the the MCCQE part 1.

However, if a US DO competed an US ACGME residency, and then wishes to return to Canada - they can apply for a MCCEE exemption. It appears starting in 2018-2019, the MCCEE will no longer be a prerequisite for the MCCQE Part 1, thereby hopefully making the MCCEE exemption easier for US DOs.

Can US DOs return to Canada and find employment in Canadian hospitals?

In Canada, there are board certified USDOs in the fields of internal medicine, anesthesiology, psychiatry, obstetrics and gynecology, emergency medicine and family medicine. Besides family medicine, the rest of the fields require hospital privilege, and one can see that hospitals will not discriminate based on one’s medical degree, especially if there are provincial legislature that states the USDO degree being equivalent to the MD degree.

As long as the USDO is able to obtain provincial licensure (which includes board certification either through the CFPC or the Royal College), all medical career paths are open to you in Canada.

 

The path to licensure in Canada as a DO is the same as that for a US trained MD. The only difference is the additional board exams we have to take - i.e., COMLEX series, and the MCCEE (in addition to the USMLEs, and MCCQEs).

Canadian friendly schools:
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=921888&page=2 - Here's a link for pictures taken of some of these schools - many of them are absolutely beautiful looking schools.

MSU - VERY Canadian friendly
LMUCOM - very Canadian friendly
KCUMB - Canadian friendly

UNECOM - Canadian friendly** - UNECOM was founded around the same year as COMP - 1977 or so. I didn’t bother applying to this school because they want you to have finished ALL of your prerequisites at latest the December before your commencing year. At the time, I was still working out my general chem prerequisite situation at Ryerson, so I was not able to apply to this school.
NOVA - Fairly Canadian friendly** - NOVA is located in Fort Lauderdale in Florida, the other Sunshine state. They can be quite generous in their scholarship. However, I screwed up a step and handed in their secondary REALLY late. By the time my secondary was handed in, their class of 220 was full, and there were already 40 people on the waitlist.. The moral? – NOVA is a very popular school, so APPLY EARLY.
CCOM - Canadian friendly**
WesternU / COMP - very Canadian friendly. It's right outside Los Angeles.
AZCOM - Very Canadian friendly, but beware of their 300k escrow account request.
TouroCOM-NY - **Canadian friendly, also very minority friendly.

 

Schools that occasionally accepted Canadians:
LECOM - not Canadian friendly - They "officially" take in Canadians, but realistically, I have only heard of one or two Canadians getting into this school over the last several years.
PCOM / PCOM-GA - not Canadian friendly** - The Philadelphia college of Osteopathic medicine is a very old school. I guess you can say it is a very “prestigious” DO school in the US. The school was founded (I think) either in the late 1800s, or the early 1900s, making it one of the oldest DO schools around. There’s around 6 or so MD schools in Philadelphia, and PCOM has been able to hold their own against these competitor MD schools for the last century or so. I guess that should be a testimony to PCOM. However, I personally did not have a pleasant experience interacting with PCOM. This being said, I only heard/know of ONE Canadian attending the Georgia (GA) campus. I've never heard of Canadians getting interviews in this school.
KCOM - not Canadian friendly** - The Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine is the FOUNDING SCHOOL OF OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE. This is where it all started boys and girls. Andrew Taylor Still, the originator of Osteopathic medicine set up shop in the small town of Kirksville back in the 1800s. His original homestead is still there, and the very first school of Osteopathic medicine is now within a greater museum built by KCOM that commemorates Dr. Still. KCOM also has an unprecedented percentage of their graduates going into specialty residency programs. Unfortunately, KCOM is not very Canadian friendly. I only know of one Canadian who matriculated in this school over the past 7 years.

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The Canadian Initiative by Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MSUCOM)
MSUCOM is currently in the 3rd year of their Canadian initiative - "intent to recruit 20-25 qualified Canadian students each year over the next 2-3 years to help promote osteopathic medicine in Canada. MSUCOM has taken the initiative to recruit qualified Canadian applicants and will be setting a special tuition rate for these students". This is their attempt to promote Osteopathic medicine in Canada. MSU is a powerhouse, their application is rather strange and extremely demanding because there is no interview! You are accepted solely based on the application!

This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the DO schools that accept Canadians. There are a few more DO schools, many of which only ask for DO letters.

Are there any tips that you could give out to Canadians who're taking this path?
The best tip I can give this point is to apply AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. I mean as soon as the AACOM website application comes out, you should get cracking, and hand in your apps as fast as you can. The last time I checked, the AACOM application comes out in late May/early June. The thing with US medical schools (both MD and DO), is that they have “rolling admission”. What this means is that applicants are accepted throughout the year, so they don’t have a system like Canada where the applicant would get their acceptance or rejection all on the same day via mass mail/email. In the US system, for both MD and DO schools, this would mean that applicants are at a GREAT advantage if they apply ahead of the rest of the pack. Specifically, apply as soon as possible. The other thing is to pick and choose which schools to apply for rigorously. If schools only want a DO letter, chances are, you won't be able to get one unless you are willing to head down to the US for a couple weeks specifically to find a DO to shadow. Most DO schools that require DO letters will also alternatively take a MD letter. Check with the school you are interested in, some will take into consideration that you are in Canada, and will also accept a DO letter from a Canadian DO Osteopath (see the difference between Osteopaths and Osteopathic doctors at beginning of thread). If you do manage to secure an interview, and it is Mid February - mid March, I would strongly strongly encourage you to overnight any documents pertinent to acceptances - the last thing you want is to wait an entire year on the accepted waitlist. Lastly, there's a link to help you find a DO to shadow on the AOA website.

Which DO doctors have you shadowed? Letter of Recommendation from a DO/ DO shadowing:
As for the shadowing requirements, they just want a letter of recommendation from a DO/MD (some only want DO) that you have worked with. I personally didn't actually do any shadowing, DO or MD. I obtained a letter from a MD/PhD that I was helping doing research with. I was able to fulfill that letter requirement with my MD letter, and I didn't bother applying to schools that only wanted a DO letter. If you want to find a DO to shadow WITHIN Canada, your best option is to contact the Canadian Osteopathic Association on their website http://www.osteopathic.ca/, and ask if they have DO members near the city you reside in. I did this, and the COA was kind enough to give me the telephone and name of a DO doc (although I didn't bother with the shadowing).

Why should I choose an American DO or MD medical school over an international school?  

The MD and DO degrees are both bona fide North American medical degrees. The DO and MD degrees are considered equivalent by the medical jurisdictions in both the US and Canada. Just like the MD degree, the DO medical degree will give the wielder full practice rights in all of the US and Canada.

During the NRMP match for ACGME accredited residency programs, graduates of American osteopathic and allopathic medical schools (i.e. AMGs) perform much better and have a much higher chance at a successful match. Again, the important part of medical education is not so much where you go to school, or the name of your medical degree, but whether you can match into your preferred residency program for post graduate training.

The reason you should choose an American DO or MD medical school over an international medical school is because as an AMG, you will be virtually guaranteed a US residency position. The same cannot be said for non-US citizens of international medical schools.

The ease with which Canadian AMGs can obtain an ACGME residency spot is simple indisputable reality. This being the case, as Canadians, it does not make sense to go overseas to a foreign medical school, be it a Caribbean MD or European MBBS, to become a CSA, then an IMG and be forced to deal with all the issues facing IMGs, such as the abysmal match rate, inferior visas, and a real possibility of being in serious debt and not securing a residency.

This is a simple issue of graduating as an American medical graduate, where you have the full benefits of going to a US accredited medical school, compared to the difficult path of going through the IMG route and facing a much lower residency match rate. If you still insist on going to an international medical school, make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.

 

Why do hundreds of Canadians still go to international medical schools each year?

There are a numerous reasons for why this is still the case.

1) Many pre-meds who consider going to international medical schools are very uninformed of the risks they are taking when they leave Canada. They did not do their due diligence and research these things thoroughly. Many of them are not even aware that the osteopathic medical degree exists!

On several occasions, I have met IMGs or received emails from IMGs who tell me that they wish they had known about the US DO option before starting at a foreign medical school, for the simple reason that they did not know of the very existence of the US DO degree.

2). There is a chronic issue of poor visibility of Canadian DO physicians due to our historically low numbers (a situation that is beginning to reverse slowly). Due to our low numbers,  we have poor brand recognition in Canada. Even in 2017, there are less than thirty US trained DOs practicing in all of Canada.

3) There is also a lack of marketing by DO schools. US DO schools never seek out Canadians, but Irish, Australian and Caribbean schools spent significant effort and money marketing their brand in Canada.

In large Canadian cities, one can easily see Caribbean medical school advertisements on the subway system. These advertisements paint a rosy picture of Caribbean schools, basically stating that you do not require high stats, nor in some cases need the MCAT to enroll in these places. Unfortunately for the Canadian consumer, these advertisements do not at all mention the abysmal IMG match rates in the US and Canada that awaits them four years down the road.

The reason you don't see any US MD or DO marketing to Canadian applicants is that American medical schools do not have a shortage of applicants, as might be the case for international schools. When I applied to medical school in 2009, the school where I matriculated had 4500 applicants, where 500 interviews were given for 223 spots. The number of applicants that the average American medical school receive easily rival or exceed most Canadian medical schools.

 

What kind of attitude should I take if I’m considering IMG options?
With all of the "out of Canada" medical school options, regardless if it is a Caribbean MD, an Irish or Australian MBBS, one needs to be comfortable with the fact that they might never end up coming back to practice in Canada. The moment you go outside Canada for medical school, you should be comfortable with the fact that you might be forced to match and practice in the United States for a long period of time. This is simple reality and the faster one accepts this fact, the better the situation for all involved. The worst possible attitude a pre-med might have when choosing a Caribbean MD or an Irish or Australian MBBS school is to expect to easily make it back into Canada for residency. The chances are truly stacked against you, and it is often not feasible to make it back to Canada for residency.

How should I maximize my chances for residency matching?
As I said, ensuring success when attending a "out of Canada" med school means to maximize your chances to MATCH IN A US ACGME RESIDENCY (Canadian residencies will be a crap shot). As to why being a DO is much more advantageous than IMGs, take a look at the match rates for US DOs and IMGs in the following 2 images:

NRMP%20match%20rates%202012%20-%202016_z

It basically comes down to a ~80% success rate as a DO, vs. a ~50% success rate as an IMG. Also, keep in mind that American DOs also have their own AOA residencies (unfortunately at the present time, AOA residencies are NOT accepted by Canadian licensing authorities), so American DOs have their own residencies to fall back on if an ACGME residency is not obtained. The IMG match is still a very risky proposition.

What is it like applying for residency as an IMG in Canada (or the US)?
From some first hand observation in Canada:

 

You know of many Canadians but I'm sure there are also many who didn't match who you never hear of.

I see the struggles IMGs face (both Canadian-born who went abroad and newer Canadians who immigrated here) and it's not pretty. For Round 2 of Carms, my program (which isn't even that competitive to get into in Round 1) got 122 applications for 1 spot. The vast majority were IMGs who went to Ireland, Australia, and the Caribbean who didn't match first round.

Yes, you will here of the one or two grads who went to SGU and got derm somewhere. But what you won't hear about are the countless others who make it through four-five years of med school, only to get rejected again in trying to secure a residency. Going overseas (non-LCME) is a HUGE risk and don't fool yourself into thinking that it's not.

This quote ought to cement the fact that aiming solely for Canadian residencies while overlooking US ones is a very bad idea. This being said, I'd take the 1st iteration as a DO in ON and BC over the 2nd iteration as an IMG any day, any time.

First hand observation in the US:

 


I emailed 40 program directors for 40 different residency programs in CA (the state I want to do residency) and proposed a hypothetical situation:

I got into both RVU (DO granting program) and SGU (caribbean MD program)

I asked which program I should attend to be most competitive for their residency program.

31/40 Said I should I should attend RVU
2/40 Said that IMG MDs and DOs are looked at equally
7/40 never responded.
0/40 Suggested SGU

I think that speaks pretty loudly.

An IMG is an IMG in Canada, it doesn't matter where one obtained their med education outside of North America. It's also a simple matter of fact that attending a US school (whether MD or DO) will give you a easier time during the residency match process (with first iteration putting you on the same footing as Canadian graduates). Also, it really isn't that hard to get into a USDO school in terms of hard stats. But the benefits of attending one will pay for itself when residency application time rolls around. If you have the stats to be enrolled in a Caribbean, or Irish, or Aussie school, then you shouldn't have a problem getting into a USDO school either .

Why I chose DO over the other international options
I've also researched the Caribbean/Irish/Australian schools, but the barriers to residency and beyond is simply too much for me to accept. I wanted to do my med school in the US or Canada, and didn't feel like going to a different continent. I read up extensively on premed101, and SDN on people's opinions on DO vs. MD, vs. IMG MD, vs. Australia etc. The consensus was that if your stats were slightly on the lower side, and you wished to remain in North America (US/CAD), the best option is to matriculate in US DO school because they look for a "more rounded" applicant and don't focus as much on the strict numbers/stats. Since I’ve been on SDN, I’ve actually come across several Americans who CHOSE DO medical schools OVER MD schools. They were accepted into MD schools, but they gave it up to attend a DO school. This being said, I believe that this behavior speaks volumes to quality and impression that Osteopathic medical schools have made on the American public. From my own assessment after reading the match rates, learning experience of IMG vs. DO, freedom of movement as an IMG in Canada, my conclusion was that if you do plan on practicing in Canada or the US (US ESPECIALLY), DO was the safer/better and more logical choice compared to all the Caribbean/Irish/Australian options.

As an IMG, you'll have a distinct disadvantage once you start applying for residencies in the US. However, if you are graduating from a US medical school (even if it is a DO school), you'll be considered an American medical graduate AMG (even with your Canadian citizenship, you would have what is considered an advanced US medical degree). You'll have a MUCH better chance of getting into your desired residency. If your goal is to come back to North America, then clinical rotation in the US is vital to doing residency in the US.

Additionally, Australian schools are taking on much too many international students than they can handle. The full tuition international students seem to be subsidizing the tuition of native Australian students. There are posts made by students in the "applying to International schools" section about how there are 500 people in some Australian first year med classes, and there are almost 3 digit numbers of students per cadaver (compare this to ~200 people DO classes, and ~4 person per cadaver). Stories such as not enough internship spots for Internationals (read, Canadian students) in Australia are also quite discouraging. http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/anger-over-lack-of-medical-internships-20100809-11u65.html - something like 100 "students" couldn't even get an internship this year. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/08/16/2984336.htm; http://ama.com.au/node/5996. All I can say on the subject of going to Australia is do your research very carefully, but go at your own risk.

Professional level support from the COA and COMSA
In the past two years or so, Canadian DO students have formed an advocacy group (of which I'm a founding member) to raise the awareness of Osteopathic medicine in Canada.
The Canadian Osteopathic Medical Student Association, or COMSA, is dedicated to spreading awareness of Osteopathic Medicine throughout Canada, and helping Canadians realize their dream of practicing medicine. Our activities range from advocacy of Canadian regulatory bodies and policy makers for increased accessibility of Osteopathic Physicians to practice opportunities in Canada, to matching Canadian pre-meds with Osteopathic Physicians in Canada for shadowing and letters of recommendation, and researching and compiling information about applying to DO school and returning to Canada.
More recently, COMSA has been invited by Canadian universities to host seminars and to participate in professional career fairs. Our advocacy efforts are ongoing, and we have seen a steady increase in the number of applicants and matriculants to US DO schools.
Recently, JOHNS HOPKINS University even mentioned as well as linked the COA, MSU the Canadian initiative, and COMSA on their website! http://web.jhu.edu/prepro/health/Applicants/canada.html

Final thoughts:
For many years, Canadians have missed a great opportunity by not being aware of D.O. medical schools in the US. Things are rapidly changing now, and there's a surge of Canadian applicants.
I consider it my duty to help fellow Canadian premeds to be aware of the DO degree, and to guide them through this journey, and to help them reach the other side.

As always, if you have questions, ask. I will be around ;)

Edited by Mashmetoo
Updated charts

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THANK YOU! Brilliant post Mashmetoo, thanks for putting the time and energy into this, greatly appreciated! This forum was lacking real information on osteopathic medicine and the DO route in the U.S. so thank you for initiating the topic. This needs to be made into a sticky asap!

 

Mashmetoo has pretty much hit all the nails on the head in regards to osteopathic medicine in the U.S. as a possible route for medicine, even for Canadians. I have done quite a lot of research into DO schools in the past year and it is a great option that should be given consideration.

 

Anyways, the discussion is open here and while some may prefer one route over another, it's always good to go on exploratory missions before jumping the gun :)

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Will my Canadian prereqs be accepted by DO schools?

If someone was to have done their prereq in (say) Mexico, or anywhere else in the world, they would then have to have their credits looked over by an agency for equivalence to the US credit systems. Fortunately for us, the American education system is nearly identical to the Canadian one, so we don't need to go through any of that. Just sent in your transcripts to AACOM, and it should be fine.

 

I also went to UofT. What do I enter for the "semester hours" on AACOMAS when you enter the courses? (3 hours for half course, 6 hours for full course, 4 hours for half course with lab, 8 hours for full course with lab?? I have been searching on SDN and some people state that courses with lab only count as 3 hours. :eek: )

question2.jpg

 

Secondly, is UofT considered a quarter system for entering the term list?

question1h.jpg

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I also went to UofT. What do I enter for the "semester hours" on AACOMAS when you enter the courses? (3 hours for half course, 6 hours for full course, 4 hours for half course with lab, 8 hours for full course with lab?? I have been searching on SDN and some people state that courses with lab only count as 3 hours. :eek: )

 

Secondly, is UofT considered a quarter system for entering the term list?

 

1) For AACOM (or AAMC) application purposes, full credit courses (1.0 credit) with labs (e.g. BIO150Y1Y) are considered to have 8 semester hours. Full credit (1.0 credit) courses without lab are considered to have 6 hours (e.g. ANT203Y1Y). Half credit courses (0.5 credit) with lab are considered to have 4 credits (e.g. CHM138H1), while half credit (0.5 credit) courses without lab are considered to have 3 credits (e.g. CHM220H1). Basically, what this means is that UofT doesn't give you 2 extra semester hours for labs in the courses. And yes, half credit courses (with OR without lab) are only "worth" 3 semester hours, while full credit courses (with or without lab) are only worth 6 hours. BUT the AACOM knows this Canadian difference, so they will adjust accordingly (and if not, your school will know of this difference so your school's admission WILL adjust accordingly). On you AACOM application, you should write down the full name of the course followed by whether this course has a lab or not (e.g. BIO150Y1Y - Organisms in their environment (with lab)), vs. (ANT203Y1Y - Human Evolution (no lab)). I did this, and there was no problem.

 

2) I'm fairly certain UofT is not a quarter semester school. They'd have 0.25 credit courses if that were the case if I understand correctly. I put down UofT as a semester school (this last part really doesn't matter imo, those semesters are for US SCHOOLS, since we went to a Canadian one, the folks at AACOM will know.

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Does anyone else have trouble finding their school in the AACOM applications? I'm from UBC and I tried typing in UBC (need 4 min letters), british columbia, and university of british columbia and nothing came up. I tried toronto and no matches either!

 

Then I chose the other institution option and mannually typed in University of British Columbia and got a message that the application might be delayed because they may have to verify the school credentials. :confused:

 

Also, for UBC the courses are usually 3 credits and a full course load is usually 30 credits / year (10 courses). Is the credit equivalent to semester hours that they are asking for?

 

TIA

 

1) For AACOM (or AAMC) application purposes, full credit courses (1.0 credit) with labs (e.g. BIO150Y1Y) are considered to have 8 semester hours. Full credit (1.0 credit) courses without lab are considered to have 6 hours (e.g. ANT203Y1Y). Half credit courses (0.5 credit) with lab are considered to have 4 credits (e.g. CHM138H1), while half credit (0.5 credit) courses without lab are considered to have 3 credits (e.g. CHM220H1). Basically, what this means is that UofT doesn't give you 2 extra semester hours for labs in the courses. And yes, half credit courses (with OR without lab) are only "worth" 3 semester hours, while full credit courses (with or without lab) are only worth 6 hours. BUT the AACOM knows this Canadian difference, so they will adjust accordingly (and if not, your school will know of this difference so your school's admission WILL adjust accordingly). On you AACOM application, you should write down the full name of the course followed by whether this course has a lab or not (e.g. BIO150Y1Y - Organisms in their environment (with lab)), vs. (ANT203Y1Y - Human Evolution (no lab)). I did this, and there was no problem.

 

2) I'm fairly certain UofT is not a quarter semester school. They'd have 0.25 credit courses if that were the case if I understand correctly. I put down UofT as a semester school (this last part really doesn't matter imo, those semesters are for US SCHOOLS, since we went to a Canadian one, the folks at AACOM will know.

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Does anyone else have trouble finding their school in the AACOM applications? I'm from UBC and I tried typing in UBC (need 4 min letters), british columbia, and university of british columbia and nothing came up. I tried toronto and no matches either!

 

Then I chose the other institution option and mannually typed in University of British Columbia and got a message that the application might be delayed because they may have to verify the school credentials. :confused:

 

Also, for UBC the courses are usually 3 credits and a full course load is usually 30 credits / year (10 courses). Is the credit equivalent to semester hours that they are asking for?

 

TIA

 

Mmmmhmmm, I don't recall having this problem while applying... What you could do is email them about this situation, their response is quite quick, usually within the the same day. Email them to avoid time delays... You could even post the UBC website link on your email lol..

 

As for your credit load, I didn't go to UBC, so I don't know. From experience however, half courses (that last half the year) with lab is 4 hours, half courses without lab is 3. Full courses (that last the entire year) with lab is 8 hours, and full courses without lab is 6 hours. I would just put UBC down as "semester" school. They'll know you are Canadian and that our system is different. So they'll fix accordingly. G'luck :)

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I've been getting some feedback that resolves around forumites saying how the DO route is not inherently more advantageous than going an International IMG route. I completely disagree with that assessment. If no one route is better than the other, what you are saying then is that in the USA, an IMG will get it just as easily as an AMG.. This just isn't right. I've said this many times before, and I'll say it here again for the record.

 

As Canadians, the moment you set foot in the Caribbean/Australia/Ireland/Poland/Russia/China/Romania/England for medical school, you WILL be an international medical graduate. No matter what anyone tells you, or anecdotes you hear on forums such as these, currently, GETTING A RESIDENCY IN CANADA AFTER MED SCHOOL IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY OUTSIDE CANADA/US IS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT. Your only sure bet of ever recovering your 300,000+ DOLLARS of medical school tuition is land into a US residency. Now, have a look at this link here: the NRMP matchlist for 2010: http://www.nrmp.org/data/advancedatatables2010.pdf. Scroll down to the part where they mention the match rate for Osteopathic medical students to ACGME residencies compared to Canadian MDs, IMG MDs with US citizenship, and IMG MDs without US citizenship: if you don't believe what I say, at least believe in these numbers:

 

Students/Graduates of Osteopathic Medical Schools

- Active Applicants 2,045 applicants

- Matched PGY-1 1,444 (applicants) 70.6% successful match

- Unmatched PGY-1 601 (applicants) 29.4% unmatched

 

Students/Graduates of Canadian Medical Schools

- Active Applicants 24 applicants

- Matched PGY-1 18 applicants 75.0% successful match

- Unmatched PGY-1 6 applicants 25.0% unmatched

 

Notice how Osteopathic students have almost as good a chance of matching into ACGME (MD) residencies in the USA as Canadian MD students.

 

Now look at this:

 

U.S. Citizen Students/Graduates of International Medical Schools

- Active Applicants 3,695 applicants

- Matched PGY-1 1,749 applicants 47.3% successful match

- Unmatched PGY-1 1,946 applicants 52.7% unmatched

 

Non-U.S. Citizen Students/Graduates of International Medical Schools

- Active Applicants 7,246 applicants

- Matched PGY-1 2,881 applicants 39.8% successful match

- Unmatched PGY-1 4,365 applicants 60.2% unmatched

 

Soo, foreign IMGs, (read Canadians who went to the Caribbean/Ireland/Australia) had only a 40% chance of getting into an ACGME residency, where as 70% of DOs got into ACGME residencies, not to mention the AOA accredited DO residencies which will no doubt take up all or most of the DO stragglers who were not accepted into MD residencies.

 

So no, I absolutely disagree that "no route is better than the other", look at those numbers, and if you are realistic, you'd come to a similar conclusion as myself.

 

DOmatch.jpg

 

vs.

 

IMGmatchUSA.jpg

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Nice post! Still kind of discouraging that as an Osteopath graduate you still have about 1/4 chance in not matching into an ACGME residency. But, if you don't match you can still go to DO residencies, what exactly does that mean? Are the residencies the same?

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Nice post! Still kind of discouraging that as an Osteopath graduate you still have about 1/4 chance in not matching into an ACGME residency. But, if you don't match you can still go to DO residencies, what exactly does that mean? Are the residencies the same?

 

Osteopathic medical schools have their own residency programs accredited by the AOA (American Osteopathic Association). These residency programs train DOs in ALL the medical specialties available to the MD world. DOs have the RIGHT to apply and matriculate in ACGME (MD) residencies, and they also have AOA residencies to choose from. US citizens with DOs can attend either AOA residencies, or ACGME residencies, depending on what their particular needs/interests are. As Canadians however, if you ever plan on coming back to Canada, you MUST take ONLY ACGME residencies. AOA residencies are currently not recognized by any Canadian jurisdiction. My point is, American DOs don't have a problem with choosing either AOA or ACGME, but if you are Canadian, and you want to return to Canada for whatever reason, you can only go to ACGME residencies. On the other hand, if you don't plan on returning to Canada, and you don't have any visa issues/ or you got married to a US citizen, and became a green card holder, all the AOA residencies suddenly becomes available to you, giving you yet another option to thrive in America.

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Nice post! Still kind of discouraging that as an Osteopath graduate you still have about 1/4 chance in not matching into an ACGME residency. But, if you don't match you can still go to DO residencies, what exactly does that mean? Are the residencies the same?

 

well, it depends on if you are a "the cup is half full", or "the cup is half empty" type of person. I see it as "YES!! I have a 71% chance of matching to a MD residency! that's awesome! :D:D"

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Canadian Standard

 

The set of qualifications that automatically entitles an applicant to a full license in any jurisdiction in Canada (see Appendix 1). To achieve the Canadian standard, the applicant must:

 

a) have a medical degree from a medical school listed in the FAIMER’s International Medical Education Directory (IMED2) or the WHO’s World Directory of Medical Schools (WDMS3); and

B) be a Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada; and

c) be certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

 

http://www.cpso.on.ca/uploadedFiles/CTAs/Internal_CTAs/registration/FMRAC_Agreement.pdf

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Don't forget to check the licensing requirements of the hospital you want to work in / admit to.

 

Requirements for licensing privileges by hospital often differ from those of the province.

 

I did not know this. Do you have any specific examples of how a hospital's policies would differ from CPSO policy?

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For example, the hospital my husband is with (no, I won't name it, but no, it isn't in Ontario) requires you to have the LMCCs (and the Royal College exam, of course). One of the attendings (American trained) had been hired without them, but he was required to pass the exams within 24 months or he'd be let go.

 

The province made an exception for the LMCCs if you had the USMLEs (you can probably guess the province by this information) but the hospital required them.

 

So if you've got your heart set on some place in particular, make sure you email them for their credentialling requirements.

 

There are more hoops to jump through than I could have imagined. I'm not really looking forward to it :)

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For example, the hospital my husband is with (no, I won't name it, but no, it isn't in Ontario) requires you to have the LMCCs (and the Royal College exam, of course). One of the attendings (American trained) had been hired without them, but he was required to pass the exams within 24 months or he'd be let go.

 

The province made an exception for the LMCCs if you had the USMLEs (you can probably guess the province by this information) but the hospital required them.

 

So if you've got your heart set on some place in particular, make sure you email them for their credentialling requirements.

 

There are more hoops to jump through than I could have imagined. I'm not really looking forward to it :)

 

o wow... the hospitals can actually override the rules set forth by the province?... That's quite unfortunate. Can't a US doctor negotiate with the particular hospital he/she is interested in? Surely, in Ontario where the 3rd pathway applies, there are hospitals that follow the CPSO guidelines, and don't insist on the LMCC/MCCQEs if a US doc only has the USMLEs and COMLEX? I mean, it's not like there's an over abundance of doctors in Ontario. Shouldn't docs have greater negotiating power due to the shortage?

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Shouldn't docs have greater negotiating power due to the shortage?

 

Depends how desperate the hospital is, I guess. I'm just a Med I in Ontario - I haven't checked into the credentialling requirements of any of the hospitals here.

 

If you decide to call and ask some of the hospitals about their requirements, tell us what they say.

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Guest tongtongcuty

I think I need to say something. I am also a Canadian citizen, third year in an osteopathic school in the states. There are quite a few Canadians in my class. As far as I know, there is no limitation as what a DO can apply for residencies with the proper board score. The exception might be neurosurgery, dermatology, radiology oncology, plastic surgery and ENT.

As far as coming back to Canada for residency, BC and ON consider DO candidates in the first round match as CMG. Even though it is just a written confirmation, but at least it is an edge comparing to the IMG, which they have to sign ROS and compete for the limited and left over spots in the SECOND round of the match.

Canadian match is usually earlier than US, so if you don't match in Canada, then US match will be by default. After you did your US ACGME residency, you can easily come back to Canada to work. The best part is you can work in both Canada and US, as you are both country licensed.

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I think I need to say something. I am also a Canadian citizen, third year in an osteopathic school in the states. There are quite a few Canadians in my class. As far as I know, there is no limitation as what a DO can apply for residencies with the proper board score. The exception might be neurosurgery, dermatology and radiology oncology.

As far as coming back to Canada for residency, BC and ON consider DO candidates in the first round match as CMG. Even though it is just a written confirmation, but at least it is an edge comparing to the IMG, which they have to sign ROS.

Canadian match is usually earlier than US, so if you don't match in Canada, then US match will be default. After you did your US ACGME residency, you can easily come back to Canada to work. The best part is you can work in both Canada and US, as you are both country licensed.

 

Hey Tongtongcuty, glad to hear from you again. I'm happy that you are doing well in the US and that there are lots of Canadians in your school!!

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Guest tongtongcuty

I have interviewed at a few schools, and there are at least 5 Canadians per school. The following are just a few of them:

PCOM, MSUCOM, COMP, AZCOM, NOVA

They are all great schools. Choose the school based on their clinical sites, tuition, and location.

 

 

Just curious, which school you are at? (Just want to know about schools which are cool about being a Canadian since I am applying soon)

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