Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums
Sign in to follow this  
AS9Wave

Mayo Medical School Or Ubc Medicine

Recommended Posts

update: It been 4 years and I can now come back to this post with new insight. I will post my thoughts in case someone else can benefit from this discussion. 

Match Results: Entering in a field that is in the Top 5 competitive CaRMS programs. Got my number 1 choice  

Verdict:  Go to a Canadian school if you want to live and practice in Canada (see my updated insight comments in brackets). 

 

Hey guys, 

I am in a very blessed situation where I have been accepted to both UBC medicine (OOP) as well as Mayo Medical School. Since I will be moving away from home in both cases, I'd like input on these schools. 

At Mayo,

Pros: 

1) I will receive a full tuition scholarship for all 4 years. --

( This would have been great, but I would have had to pay for the cost of living. It is really inexpensive in Rochester, but I would have had to deal with converting the CAD to USD. Moreover, the grants, scholarships, and bursaries I received in UBC more than covered my tuition and even covered large parts of my living expenses. I guess I received an equivalent "full ride" going to UBC, WHILE living in a wonderful Canadian city). 

2) I'll have a small class size (~50 students only) 13:1 faculty student ratio - it'll be easier to shadow and get more exposure to rare/common medical cases from patients from all over the world.  ---

( This is still a benefit that Mayo has, especially if you are one who enjoys the attention you will have from your professors and classmates. The great thing about UBC is that it has distributed site options of classes consisting of 32 people. Go there if you want this experience. But if you want the ability to kinda blend in the crowd, "hide" when you want, then go to Vancouver, where you will have 200 other classmates to chill with). 

3) The reputation of the school may help me match back to Canada while also giving me better options in the US.

(LOL silly me. Sure, this may have helped. But your strongest chance of matching into Canada is through a Canadian school. Moreover, I dont know how competitive I would have been to match into my specialty in the US. The competition there is incredibly amazing, and the USMLE step score can frankly shut down certain dreams. I'd likely have decided against the whole field if I just looked at the stats needed to get into this program in the US. Such a blessing to not have that limitation here). 

4) Free massages for med students every day? 190 students in the entire med school? TRUE Pass/Fail system (not even internal rankings for the first two years) Yea, they can afford to pamper you ---

( This is still a benefit. I think the mountains, the incredible climate, the diversity in the population/ activities of Vancouver>>>>>>  the free massages. The pass/fail system was also in place in UBC, and while they had internal rankings, it only benefited a small percentage of those academically strong enough to receive those forms of scholarships. It made no difference for most people and it was never an issue). 

Cons:

1) USMLE

(This is a HUGE negative. I didnt need to write this exam, and if I do in the future, it'll be with the intention to just pass. I won't need to be stressed about learning the minutiae of pathology in order to get into a field that has nothing to do with it, for instance, and have my dreams crushed bc I didnt do well on this test, potentially) 

2) I may need a visa for residency. I dont know how keen Mayo is at sponsoring me for a H1B visa. Maybe they are more inclined than other schools? who knows. All i know is that there is more paperwork involved. 

(LOOOL imagine being there in such a turbulent political environment? Im sure most med students dont feel the brunt of this... why take the risk if you can avoid it? These visas are apparently harder to come by. Am I wrong? It doesnt matter, I didnt waste time stressing about this.. phew :). 

3) I dont mind living in Rochester, and the weather is not much different from Toronto, BUT it's not as good as Vancouver. 

(Yep, being in one place for 4 years is a long time. Having great weather and a diverse population with lots to do for young people you can mingle with = great for self-care and wellness is incredibly important in medicine. Don't underestimate this) 

4) There was no basketball court in the clinic area. Not even in the gym. WHY!?

(Yep, we played a ton of bball in Van. Wrote about it in my app! Many of my closest med friends play sports in general. This would have been a huge loss for me. You may or may not pick up new hobbies in medicine, but you will likely continue with your old habits. Mine was bball. Figure out what this is for you and dont compromise on it. Dont underestimate this when selecting). 

UBC - 

Pros: 

1) Its in Canada. I love living here and I believe our healthcare system is better. I'll have a better chance at practicing medicine here, if I go to UBC. 

(Yes, and I believe now it opened doors to a very competitive specialty, without the need of being an uber-competitive applicant and without the need of having an incredibly strong USMLE score. I also had a wonderful experience throughout my electives and the program is very supportive. Other staff across the country loved hearing that one comes from the West Coast, particularly Vancouver because many Canadians go there to vacation/ski/surf etc and visited strategically-located conferences. The patients are amazing and very grateful, and I cant imagine denying countrymen because they cant afford the care. I also didnt need to learn about insurance and issues. All programs are relatively small in Canada and so going from place to place, it is not uncommon to have preceptors who have a connection with your school somehow, and this acts as an instant ice-breaker. This also is very helpful in getting word of mouth to spread for good or for worse about you so be careful!!!)

2) The basic research at UBC is stronger. As an MSc. interested in continuing research, this is a plus. 

(Self-explanatory. Was very helpful. Did basic science research throughout med). 

3) Vancouver is beautiful. I can see myself living here and moving my entire family over. 

(Yes). 

 

4) Line of Credit without a co-signer. Proper. 

(Yea, great to not put your family in the hole in the terrible case where you arent able to pay back your loans). 

Cons: 

1) 1/288 students (1/192 in VFMP). Massive school so I'll need to work hard at standing out. 

(Yes, but if I wanted a smaller program, Id go to the distributed sites which is offered for all students!)

2) "pass/fail" with ranking? Defeats the purpose. The quintiles will make it competitive anyway. 

(Doesnt matter, as stated above). 

3) The hospital system may be good, but its not Mayo Clinic. 

(True, these hospitals are no match to Mayos' hospitals. But the variety in patients from all walks of socio-economic backgrounds and ethnic backgrounds certainly makes you an equally well-rounded physician here). 

4) New curriculum. I'll be a guinea pig to this. Who knows, could be good or could be terrible.

(True, we were guinea pigs and there were a lot of admin issues that our class did not like. But because the school was nervous about this, they provided us many opportunities to provide feedback and actively change the way they were doing things which was nice. Our class did very well with the match, so perhaps there was no tangible difference in our training. I guess we will find out in residency! 

I know both schools will give me a fine education. That's why I need your input to help me sway to one side. 

(I think as a Canadian wanting to practice in Canada, don't be dazzled by the names you may see down south. Stay in Canada, work with Canadians, and if you really want to take part in Mayo's amazing mantra, do a fellowship there. That's where you can make the most of your time with their incredible team). 

 

Thank you to this incredible community! I may not be very active here but message me if you want more deets. 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites



GO TO MAYO. The full scholarship and name brand of Mayo itself is well worth it. You are going OOP anyways, and the financial aspect is an non-issue due to scholarship. The only thing that holds people back from attending some top USMD schools over canadian schools, is $$. 

The small class size and opportunities you'll get at Mayo are also a huge bonus.

Visa's are non-issue, you will get J1 no problem, and H1B if you maintain being a strong student(as I assume you will, since you got into Mayo and UBC as an OOP lol).  Sure a bit more paperwork, but not at all a deal breaker for someone of your calibre. In addition, you can still apply back to Canada if you decide not to want to stay in the US for residency - and have decent odds. Just do electives where you want in Canada, and enjoy having all the options open.


Everyone in the US and everyone who wants to do residency or fellowhship in the US, takes USMLE. Your curriculum will prep you for it anyways. You mentioned you are into research - it is likely you would probably end up in the US for fellowship anyways at top name places.. and in most cases you need the USMLE anyways. 

It's even becoming popular(on a small anecdotal scale) for CMGs who want competitive specialties to write the USMLE too, to keep options south of the border open as well. 

Now, if you didn't have a full-scholarship - i'd say go to UBC just cause of the $. 

Way to go!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow thanks for the great input guys. I felt like because Mayo was my first interview, I was dumbstruck by its grandeur, and maybe that's why I wanted to attend. 

 

But this is unanimous.. Can you guys at least refute any of my pros-cons for either schools? Have I covered all angles? 

 

Remember since I come from a humble background, I have no one to sign for my LoC. I mean, OSAP should be good enough for my living expenses in Rochester, but it'd be reassuring to know that I have access to 250-300k, should anything go awry. 

 

Thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow thanks for the great input guys. I felt like because Mayo was my first interview, I was dumbstruck by its grandeur, and maybe that's why I wanted to attend. 

 

But this is unanimous.. Can you guys at least refute any of my pros-cons for either schools? Have I covered all angles? 

 

Remember since I come from a humble background, I have no one to sign for my LoC. I mean, OSAP should be good enough for my living expenses in Rochester, but it'd be reassuring to know that I have access to 250-300k, should anything go awry. 

 

Thoughts?

The bank would probably give you a line of credit without a cosigner for a smaller amount, like $50K maybe. You should go talk to them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow thanks for the great input guys. I felt like because Mayo was my first interview, I was dumbstruck by its grandeur, and maybe that's why I wanted to attend. 

 

But this is unanimous.. Can you guys at least refute any of my pros-cons for either schools? Have I covered all angles? 

 

Remember since I come from a humble background, I have no one to sign for my LoC. I mean, OSAP should be good enough for my living expenses in Rochester, but it'd be reassuring to know that I have access to 250-300k, should anything go awry. 

 

Thoughts?

Just make sure with the school there is no hidden things about your full-ride scholarship.

 

The banks will also still give you a LOC, and if you're family is not in a position to be a cosigner - you can get a reduced LOC at a much lower(relatively) amount i'm sure if there is an emergency, without a cosigner. Talk to the banks, only they can tell you for sure.. I'm sure they could spring you for 50-100K no problem without cosigner, on the fact that you're at medical school and got a full-ride haha. 

 

Still think long and hard, and talk to Mayo. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all so much! This has been immensely helpful, and you all gave me such great insight.

 

I will be talking to the banks, and confirming that there are no strings attached to the full ride from Mayo! 

 

Also, this decision is difficult bc I'd still be ecstatic if I end up at UBC. Maybe I'll see you around yet, Gohan ;) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally would never go to the US.  I have my heart set on practicing in Canada, and even though USMG = CMG on paper in the match, having that knowledge of how the system works here, the electives, the contacts - I'd never have gone to the US.

 

Plus the US healthcare system is a nightmare.  Even if you're healthy now, your own healthcare might become an issue if you do get sick.

 

Moving to another country isn't something to take lightly IMO.  Even from Canada to the US can be a bit of a culture shock.  I've lived in the US and I'd never go back.  Ever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all so much! This has been immensely helpful, and you all gave me such great insight.

 

I will be talking to the banks, and confirming that there are no strings attached to the full ride from Mayo! 

 

Also, this decision is difficult bc I'd still be ecstatic if I end up at UBC. Maybe I'll see you around yet, Gohan ;)

Definitely, you're set either way! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally would never go to the US.  I have my heart set on practicing in Canada, and even though USMG = CMG on paper in the match, having that knowledge of how the system works here, the electives, the contacts - I'd never have gone to the US.

 

Plus the US healthcare system is a nightmare.  Even if you're healthy now, your own healthcare might become an issue if you do get sick.

 

Moving to another country isn't something to take lightly IMO.  Even from Canada to the US can be a bit of a culture shock.  I've lived in the US and I'd never go back.  Ever.

Ya, these are some good points. If you look at my reply just now to people asking about Legal Aid Lawyers in the "What's On Your Mind?" thread, doctors, especially family doctors, need to deal with similar issues in the U.S. and that can be really tough. 

 

I know a Canadian doctor who tried to move to the US but was too frustrated with the insurance issues that she came back. I also know a Carribean trained Canadian who is a US doctor and trying very hard to come back.

 

You are just not free to help people who need help and count on being paid the way you are here. There is also so much red tape that they say it can be unbearable even with good admin people. I wouldn't want to spend half my time dealing with insurance companies. 

 

Another thing to take into account is that family residency is an extra year and they have a lower expected income. Residency benefits are also not as good, as ellorie stated, and if you are female, there isn't the mat leave we have here. 

 

That being said, I am still totally jealous of the opportunity you have in the US! Do you mind sharing your stats/your secret?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since you asked for input into pros/cons...

 

 

UBC - 

Pros: 

1) Its in Canada. I love living here and I believe our healthcare system is better. I'll have a better chance at practicing medicine here, if I go to UBC. 

--> You're right; our healthcare system here probably is better (in terms of coverage). I think the premium might be slightly lower in BC than in ON, too. That said, depending on where you live in BC you might have trouble finding a family physician.

3) Vancouver is beautiful. I can see myself living here and moving my entire family over. 

--> BC is indeed beautiful. However real estate in Metro Vancouver is ridiculously expensive, as is renting (e.g., 470 sq. ft. apartment on the West Side could cost you around $1,300/month). Hopefully you could live on campus if you went to UBC, because the community is friendlier and you'd have no commute. (They do have housing for families.)

--> UBC is always under construction. Really detracts from the beauty of the campus. Since most med classes are in one building this might not be as annoying, though.

Really though, go to Mayo if you can! Serious props to you for getting in there. If I were accepted there with a full scholarship I would probably go in a heartbeat. Even if you want to do your residency in Canada, the prestige of the school and program should help you landing one of the limited spots available to Canadian students studying abroad. If you wanted to stay in the US, then Mayo is second or third to Johns Hopkins in terms of obtaining H1B visas for its students.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some interesting comments on here.

 

Regardless, what is your end goal OP? How sure are you that you want to live and stay in Vancouver? That is the only reason to choose UBC (to have the inside track for residency and hopefully to stay).

 

Other than that, go to Mayo. The attention and teachers are phenomenal. The several (n = 5) graduating Mayo senior medical students that I know all went off to the best of what the US has to offer in terms of residencies. And the financial aspect is not even an issue thanks to your scholarship.

 

A medical school has *nothing* to do with obtaining H1b visas for its students. You will be on an F1 like any other Canadian studying in a US school. It will be up to you to secure H1b commitments from residency programs you interview at. The great news is that Mayo is very good with allowing for H1b's to those applying into their residency program (they are unique because they actually have a separate office for this, know this from their commitment to me for an H1b and being certain to match) if (and this is a big IF) you wanted to stay.

 

Don't pay attention to US News by the way. They have Mayo Med outside of the top 20 but the problem with such lists is understanding what goes into them and what does not. For all intents and purposes, Mayo medical students are the part of the cream of the crop come time for residency in any specialty, as long as the rest of their application is competitive.

 

Congratulations, a fantastic opportunity. PM me if you want to hash things out more OP, don't want to clutter your thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since you asked for input into pros/cons...

 

Really though, go to Mayo if you can! Serious props to you for getting in there. If I were accepted there with a full scholarship I would probably go in a heartbeat. Even if you want to do your residency in Canada, the prestige of the school and program should help you landing one of the limited spots available to Canadian students studying abroad. If you wanted to stay in the US, then Mayo is second or third to Johns Hopkins in terms of obtaining H1B visas for its students.

Just as an FYI, USMD grads are not considered IMGs. For all intensive purposes, as they are all LCME accredited, they have the same odds as Canadian MDs in CaRMS Don't let the match data fool you - as long as you do an elective or two, there is no reason a USMD would not get into a Canadian residency, if they are competitive. The reason for low match stats (even though it is already low sample size) is because people likely don't apply as broadly. They would only apply to their top programs, and rather go to much better programs in the US over their lower ranked ones(or less desirable locations) in Canada etc. Waaaay too many variables in play. 

 

Even then, you can do residency in the US and come back after, it isn't as hard for many specialties. Especially when you're a "brand name" grad, you'll make connections and figure things out.

 

As for compensation, don't forget you're being paid in USD, and actually from everything i have read, most residencies in the US (at least in the few specialities I looked at) are on par, and sometimes higher. Some places had very decent benefits too(although not standardized like Canada). At least in my comparison of a few ideal US states v.s. BC residency and Ontario. Absolute values were higher, even more so factoring conversion. Again, money is a minute point and shouldn't be the decision factor here.

 

All the other considerations about the healthcare systems being different are true though, although from a student/resident perspective for educational purposes however- I can't imagine it would be significantly different. Aside from the fact that Mayo and the likes would provide way more in the terms of clinical opportunities.  

 

IF I had ended up in the US, i would not have stayed there to practice either. Especially not in FM. Way too much headache. But the good news is, there's ample ways of coming back to Canada, either via CaRMS or as a trained and licensed physician. Maybe some extra leg work, but not likely to be that you'd be stuck there or something extreme. 

 

GGGsaint made a lot of good points.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I got really sick in the US or had a bad accident (which can happen to any of us any time) I'd risk being put into crippling debt from medical bills or being unable to get adequate care.  I already have a chronic health condition, and while the Canadian system has flaws, I know that I can get minimum care for my condition without breaking the bank (although I can't get everything I need).

 

Generally speaking, the US is more conservative and there is still a fair amount of bigotry against LGBT people.  You definitely see that social and religious conservatism when you live there, even in more liberal parts of the US.  I don't like living in that atmosphere.  And I just generally don't like the culture of the place.

 

I didn't enjoy living there and I wouldn't go back.  I would NEVER want to practice there as a physician - negotiating with insurance companies is from all accounts a nightmare and so is hounding your patients for money they don't have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ya, these are some good points. If you look at my reply just now to people asking about Legal Aid Lawyers in the "What's On Your Mind?" thread, doctors, especially family doctors, need to deal with similar issues in the U.S. and that can be really tough. 

 

I know a Canadian doctor who tried to move to the US but was too frustrated with the insurance issues that she came back. I also know a Carribean trained Canadian who is a US doctor and trying very hard to come back.

 

You are just not free to help people who need help and count on being paid the way you are here. There is also so much red tape that they say it can be unbearable even with good admin people. I wouldn't want to spend half my time dealing with insurance companies. 

 

Another thing to take into account is that family residency is an extra year and they have a lower expected income. Residency benefits are also not as good, as ellorie stated, and if you are female, there isn't the mat leave we have here. 

 

That being said, I am still totally jealous of the opportunity you have in the US! Do you mind sharing your stats/your secret?

 

My stats aren't stellar. I got in OOP because UBC drops one of my years, and in that case I get a 90% average. Apart from that, my cGPA for undergrad is 3.7-4.0 with a 33 mcat. Good, but not great. 

 

Unlike most prestigious schools, Mayo doesn't heavily weigh academics, relatively. They are really interested in your story, and whether or not you're the right fit for their vision. As others who have applied in the US know, they look at you much more holistically (they know where I immigrated from, how many siblings I have, what my family income is, and what made me pursue medicine etc.). Something in my application popped out apparently. And I doubt it was my nerding skills. 

 

Hope this helps :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Assuming that you had to pay normal tuition, the answer would be very easy: if you want to eventually practice in the US, go Mayo, if you want to practice in Canada, go UBC. However, the fact that Mayo is free means that unless there are deal breakers there its probably best in the long-run.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My stats aren't stellar. I got in OOP because UBC drops one of my years, and in that case I get a 90% average. Apart from that, my cGPA for undergrad is 3.7-4.0 with a 33 mcat. Good, but not great. 

 

Unlike most prestigious schools, Mayo doesn't heavily weigh academics, relatively. They are really interested in your story, and whether or not you're the right fit for their vision. As others who have applied in the US know, they look at you much more holistically (they know where I immigrated from, how many siblings I have, what my family income is, and what made me pursue medicine etc.). Something in my application popped out apparently. And I doubt it was my nerding skills. 

 

Hope this helps :)

Yes, that is helpful thank you! I have been curious about the states, because I am a non-trad and I think that the holistic approach might help me. I also went to UWO so my AMCAS GPA seems to be about 3.7 compared to an OMSAS GPA of 3.59 (OMSAS verified, AMCAS this is just a rough first look). 

 

When you say 3.7-4.0, I'm not exactly sure what you mean? A 33 MCAT is very good! I'm not sure if whether or not I could get that, but I'm glad that you didn't say something crazier like a 39 or something. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I got really sick in the US or had a bad accident (which can happen to any of us any time) I'd risk being put into crippling debt from medical bills or being unable to get adequate care.  I already have a chronic health condition, and while the Canadian system has flaws, I know that I can get minimum care for my condition without breaking the bank (although I can't get everything I need).

 

Generally speaking, the US is more conservative and there is still a fair amount of bigotry against LGBT people.  You definitely see that social and religious conservatism when you live there, even in more liberal parts of the US.  I don't like living in that atmosphere.  And I just generally don't like the culture of the place.

 

I didn't enjoy living there and I wouldn't go back.  I would NEVER want to practice there as a physician - negotiating with insurance companies is from all accounts a nightmare and so is hounding your patients for money they don't have.

I would just like to point out that when a student is attending a school in the US as an international student (this applies to anyone that is not a US citizen), they are on a health insurance plan. Meaning they wouldn't be under crippling dept. Usually 60-80% of every visit is paid for by that insurance plan.

 

Also there are up sides to the US system. If you need to see a specialist, you don't need to wait for 3 months before an appointment can be made. You can straight up walk into a specialists office and show your insurance and they will be able to see you. (you don't even need a referral to see a specialist)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Assuming that you had to pay normal tuition, the answer would be very easy: if you want to eventually practice in the US, go Mayo, if you want to practice in Canada, go UBC. However, the fact that Mayo is free means that unless there are deal breakers there its probably best in the long-run.

I don't think "where one wants to practice" should be in the decision making process. Why would it be hard for a US grad (from Mayo) to come back to Canada?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×