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Hi,

 

This might be a silly question but I can't seem to find much information on it and was wondering if anyone here might know. Are there any 'special considerations' taken for individuals with disabilities when it comes to applying to medical school in Ontario or Canada? I know some schools have policies around First Nations people or people living in certain geographic areas and was wondering if there are any comparable considerations for people with disabilities. Any info on this and how it relates to specific medical schools would be greatly appreciated!

 

Thanks!

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As far as I know, the only thing would be if you had a disability that affected your academic performance you could explain it in the "special circumstances" box.  Also, I suppose you could talk about it in interviews/your essays if you wanted.  But in terms of quotas/special spots, not that I'm aware of.

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Some schools provide opportunities to explain poor academic performance due to adverse circumstances, though even in these cases, it would usually be to excuse a discrete time period (say, a semester or a year) to allow for short-term disabilities (or the introduction of a new long-term disability) temporarily affecting ability. This usually occurs in programs with less forgiving GPA requirements - such as U of T - and less so at schools with looser requirements that naturally allow for episodes of lower GPAs - like Western.

Longer-term disability would generally not be considered in admissions criteria, as undergraduate programs generally provide reasonable accommodation for disabilities within their programs. To consider disability again at admissions would effectively be double-counting.

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I'll echo what's been said - that there aren't any special considerations for applicants with disabilities at any of the Western Canadian schools, as far as I know.

Personally, I discussed my chronic pain in my application to UofA as a barrier I overcame, and in other applications as a life experience. I also discussed it when explaining some poor grades in a masters degree I didn't complete under special considerations. I didn't go into too much detail, just what I felt I've gained from the whole experience. I don't know if it will help or hinder, but it's been, and continues to be, a defining aspect of my young adulthood and I couldn't leave it out. 

UBC offers accommodations for interviews as well as accommodations as a med student should you be accepted. I imagine most schools are similar. Don't wait too long to ask about accommodations if you need them - it's a bit of a process. 

I wish there were more encouragement for students with disabilities to apply to medicine, unfortunately we still live with a lot of stigma around it. Hopefully we will see that change. 

:) Good luck OP!  

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Ive said this in other threads, but as someone who has actually worked on reviewing applications while in med school, DO NOT bring up any disability or mental health issue.  All it will do is strike doubt with the reviewers that you are "one of them" and can handle med school.  There is no benefit.  I think its a pre-med fallacy that you can excuse away poor grades with things like personal/family issues...I mean this, it doesn't convince anyone, you are not helping yourself.  Admission committees aren't supposed to discriminate based on your health issues, but you bet your ass from what Ive seen that they do.  All you are doing is risking getting your application tossed, ie giving yourself a "red flag" for no reason.  

Ofc people with health issues do get in, but the health issue definitely did not help their app.  Its more they were a strong enough applicant on their own terms.  I'm not trying to be negative I just think its too bad when people unintentionally harm their applications after all the work they entail

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