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Cost Differences Between Canadian Medical Schools

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The difference in tuition does not matter over the long term. This whole discussion is splitting hairs.

 

Get your MD and finish residency and you can pay off any med school debt in a reasonable amount of time. The guy who did med school at UBC will not be in debt for a significantly longer time than the guy who went somewhere else, the differential in tuition is just not wide enough.

 

One other things - you have to understand that these are SYSTEMS not just medical school - the idea is that most people do their residency in the same province as their medical school - not all of course, but for a whole bunch of reasons that is the typical (prior roots in the area, better contacts locally, actually like being there which may be why you went there, med school is a long enough time to settle there a bit....)

 

Residency pay is somewhat linked to the medical school tuition. Sure Quebec has low tuition. It also has low residency pay. BC is that great either with the residency pay compared to Ontario. Low tuition in Quebec? Check out their residency pay.

 

Also as it is a system you get things like yes Ontario is higher tuition wise BUT we have OSAP grants AND the OMA bursary. Guess what? we may be ahead of BC with that (ok we definitely are ahead with that).

 

So you have to look at the BIG picture here or you are going to mess yourself up.

 

and that is all assuming that the tuition really matters. Now to be clear I am not as unconcerned as others about LOC usage vs tuition - tuition is still going up way faster than inflation and the LOC are only cheap as the interest rates are low. I don't like either of those points - and it doesn't matter in the short term what you make as a doctor if you have to live as a resident/fellow for possibly 6 years in a cash flow crunch shelling out a grand a month interest (a likely scenario if interest rate move a point or two in the other direction - which would still be historically low rates). We should be holding the line on tuition because a) it can mess us up and b ) it is still and unneeded barrier to access even with the LOC.

Edited by rmorelan

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Well, it is, but the original question was if anybody had picked a school based on cost. Most people are not in a position to be in province in Quebec and also get into an out of province school. Therefore, for the vast majority of applicants, the cost difference between medical schools is not really a significant factor, because the price differences are small.

Obviously in the situation you described, I'd agree with you.

 

I just thought that as the original question is exactly about *anybody*.  And yes, there are lots of people who choose one school over another due to the cost. Just thought OP might be interested in a different perspective. Almost a quarter of the population of Canada lives in Quebec. By no means have I suggested QC residents are a majority, but a quarter of all med applicants is not such a small minority to be discounted either.  Being a QC resident going to QC schools is not the only situation where tuition difference is huge. At 6K, MUN has similar tuition for med school as QC schools or QC residents.  Slightly higher up the scale, Manitoba's tuition is $8900 is still less than half the cost of UofT.  

 

So why is everyone being so dismissive that the thought that cost of med school would factor in some people's decision on which school to go to?

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Residency pay is somewhat linked to the medical school tuition. Sure Quebec has low tuition. It also has low residency pay. BC is that great either with the residency pay compared to Ontario. Low tuition in Quebec? Check out their residency pay.

 

 

I was curious to see the actual numbers and did the following exercise : took the medical school tuition for BC versus QC, both 4 academic years.

Cost for BC : $83 204 - Cost for QC : $22 198 (higher in reality as it does not take in consideration textbooks, material, travel expenses, MCCQE fees...)

 

Then, compared the most recent remuneration schedule for BC/QC.

 

If we forget the remuneration annual increase and simply add the annual salary for R1-R5 for both provinces we get a base salary of  :

BC : $304 489 ( As residents in BC are paid as a fix amount / call, it is more difficult to evaluate the total remuneration, it would be fair to add, $25 000 - $30 000 over 5 years : $334 489) Also, I am unaware of any other prime for BC residents.

QC : $269 176 (Base salary + call&teaching primes / 28 days $316 456)

 

Numbers from :

BC :  

http://mdprogram.med.ubc.ca/student-resources/financial-support/cost-of-an-md-student/

http://www.par-bc.org/collective-agreement-constitution/collective-agreement/article-21/

http://www.par-bc.org/residency/faqs/call-stipends/#multicall

 

QC :

http://www.mcgill.ca/student-accounts/tuition-charges/fallwinter-term-tuition-and-fees/undergraduate-fees

http://www.fmrq.qc.ca/en/working-conditions/salary-scales

 

If you look at the numbers alone, the different is really not that impressive. Of course the tax rate is much higher in QC.

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I just thought that as the original question is exactly about *anybody*. And yes, there are lots of people who choose one school over another due to the cost. Just thought OP might be interested in a different perspective. Almost a quarter of the population of Canada lives in Quebec. By no means have I suggested QC residents are a majority, but a quarter of all med applicants is not such a small minority to be discounted either. Being a QC resident going to QC schools is not the only situation where tuition difference is huge. At 6K, MUN has similar tuition for med school as QC schools or QC residents. Slightly higher up the scale, Manitoba's tuition is $8900 is still less than half the cost of UofT.

 

So why is everyone being so dismissive that the thought that cost of med school would factor in some people's decision on which school to go to?

I never said Quebec students were a minority. I said that students who have the option of choosing between a Quebec school and an out of province school are a minority.

 

I'm not trying to be dismissive. I was just pointing out that for most people, the cost difference between schools is very small. Basically only students who are in province in Manitoba, Quebec, or the maritimes who ALSO get in out of province. I'm guessing that <100 people a year are in that position.

 

The cost difference in the OP was much less significant.

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On 3/18/2015 at 4:07 PM, rmorelan said:

(although for tax reasons that probably is kind of a dumb thing to do).

 

Sorry for reviving an old thread, but rmorelan, what do you mean by this? Is there some incentive for having debt for a longer period of time vs paying it off asap?

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4 hours ago, WannaBeRadOnc said:

Sorry for reviving an old thread, but rmorelan, what do you mean by this? Is there some incentive for having debt for a longer period of time vs paying it off asap?

The incentive it not the carrying the debit - it is the cost in terms of taxation required to pay it off. For pay off say 100 LOC debit at 3.2% to make the numbers round you need to take out of your corporation 200K in income (because your income tax rate is just over 50% at that income level - you are immediately going to lose 100K to the government). It may be more logical to instead keep that money in the corporation, have it lose a little bit to tax, and invest it (which say average stock market returns of 7%), and then say live off of a lower income (paying not just less tax but being at a lower income tax rate as a result) and pay off the debit slower. It is all a question of tolerance of the debit (some people hate it), fear of interest rates rising (and in 2015 when I posted that there wasn't nearly as much risk of that) and stock market performance (and again in 2015 the market wasn't at the same high it is now - has done actually 14% return over the past 5 years). 

Kind of dumb might be too strong a way of phrasing it - as personal finance is personal there often isn't a right answer (ha, although there are wrong answers). Still you probably would have come out a head not paying it off extremely quickly - and of course the advantage of being a fully doctor is some degree of flexibility - you have the option to pay off it off at any point from the safety of a pretty stable job. 

 

 

  

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