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Chances of US MD acceptance?


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Hi all, 

I've been lurking for quite some time. I have a few questions and would appreciate some advice. 

I am a non-trad that has an odd path since high school. Upon graduating, I attended Carleton University where I was enrolled in Bachelors of Law. I didn't enjoy the program and received a poor cGPA of 2.66, but I passed all my courses and completed the year. However, I became interested in the sciences during my time here and wished to switch into a science program but I lacked the prerequisites from high school. 

After this year, I decided to get into a trade (plumber in Alberta) while I obtained my pre requisites to get into a science program at a university. I did this for the solid pay, new skills, and I just like new construction. 

After working 2+ years and doing correspondence, I obtained all my credits (i.e. grade 11 and 12 biology, chem, etc) and got accepted into Ryerson University for Biomed Science. Here I obtained a cGPA of 3.75 and a sGPA of 3.74. 

My questions:

1) Is this cGPA and sGPA at all competitive? I really hope so!

2) I just received my MCAT score July 3rd and received a 503 (128/122/127/126). Do I have any chance at a low tier US MD school or MUST I retake? I already know I have no chance in Canada with that CARS score other than NOSM, UofO, and McGill.

3) My ECs could use some work. Im doing my first clinical research right now at a hospital which is great. I have lots of volunteer experience and even won a provincial volunteer award. I am also recently employed as a tutor at a local college. I intend to shadow the physician I currently work for, but I was wondering if you guys had any advice? What could I work on here, considering my GPA and MCAT aren't very competitive?

 

I know that's a lot so i'll stop there. I really would appreciate any of your advice and insight. Thank you so much!  

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On 7/8/2018 at 8:45 PM, DHarv said:

Totally inactive website lol. Forget about it!

LOL, love the way you completely dismissed the biggest pre-med site in Canada because you couldn't get a response in slightly over 24 hours.

https://www.aamc.org/download/321502/data/factstablea20.pdf

If you scroll to the bottom, you'll see matriculant statistics for those not residing in the United States. I vaguely remember from somewhere Canadians comprise about 60 percent of international applicants, so this should be fairly close to representative. Average GPA is 3.75 exactly, but average MCAT is 513.5. A lot of med schools also have computer screening process to weed applicants before file review, such as Georgetown University which screens out people with any subsection less than 125.

Not sure how the Law degree GPA counts, if it counts at all, but the 3.75 in and of itself is competitive.

If I were you, I would retake MCAT. Probably may want to consider D.O. schools as well.

As for volunteering, clinical volunteering is considered most important for USA since they use it to gauge your level of interest and exposure to medicine. LizzyM from sdn, an adcom, says if you're close enough to smell the patient, that counts as clinical experience. They count your non clinical volunteering hours as well and an adcom told me their particular school looks for over 200 hours in this regard.

Lastly, I'm a premed as well, so take my words with a grain of salt, but there's probably not much to debate with here since I've simply listed stats and general knowledge.

Good luck!

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  • 2 weeks later...

It think that sometimes we overlook the value that American's place on telling a story. They really look holistically. Your chances aren't bad on paper except for a few things: 

 

-Your MCAT

-Your EC's

Your MCAT is decent enough to apply with and they do look at trends but I would consider retaking it. I don't know what your EC's are like but they dont have to be medical but they like consistency and the ability for you to speak to them with regards to your impact and growth. Additionally, I would seriously look at things like your personal statement. That is a big thing for US schools DO and MD. I would seriously look at making sure that your personal statement is good and explains why medicine. Focusing on the stories that strengthen that thesis statement of why.

 

 

Please dont be inpatient witih the forum considering this is a long and arduous process and you will need plenty of patience in the future. I wouldn't just automatically tell you apply to DO schools. I will say it also does matter what your ethnicity is (black/native american/ hispanic). That said for the majority of canadians applying south that won't factor in much.

If you do get an interview be sure to do TONS of research on the specific schools. I learned that recently when prepping for interviews. They want you to know specific information on why this school.


I am new on the forum as a poster but I have lurked on here for around 2 years. My best advice is make sure you are working on the two things I outlined. You can keep in contact with the schools especially if you get an interview. ultimately the american process is less transparent so knowing exactly your specific chances ....no one can give you that answer except the schools themselves.

 

Put your best foot forward.

 

As for law not exactly sure how that factors in but I am glad you bounced back. I dont know if I am missing anything crucial but I hope this helps. Again your personal statement and secondary essays are important. You can get in but it will be tough but you can get in. If you do anything major (NEW MCAT SCORE OR SIGNIFICANT EC's) you can write to the school and update them on your progress but it has to be significant.

 

 

 

My last advice is about DO schools. I am not saying don't apply because I am not against or for them one way or the other. I will say just be cognizant of how bad you want to be a physician versus how bad you want to be a physician in certain canadian provinces versus how bad you want to be a specific type of physician. Unfortunately, some Canadian provinces still have stipulations which prevent DO's who are trained in certain specialties from practising. If you go the DO route and you are 100% certain you want to come back to Canada be aware that you are most likely looking at a PCP (primary care physician) specialty. Think IM and FM. Additionally, keep in mind you will be seen as an IMG as the rules recently changed over the past few years so that you are no longer seen as a CMG as you would be as an USMD student. That said it opens up the doors to having a fair shot at US residencies (again high proportions of DOs end up in primary care specialties in the US but there is a good amount that end up with other specialties as well). These are just things to think about.

That said again if you want to be a PHYSICIAN at the end of the day then broaden your net and apply to USDO. I would say that the current policies will change at some point ... but things happen slowly.

 

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On 7/22/2018 at 12:22 PM, hopefulcanadian said:

It think that sometimes we overlook the value that American's place on telling a story. They really look holistically. Your chances aren't bad on paper except for a few things: 

 

-Your MCAT

-Your EC's

Your MCAT is decent enough to apply with and they do look at trends but I would consider retaking it. I don't know what your EC's are like but they dont have to be medical but they like consistency and the ability for you to speak to them with regards to your impact and growth. Additionally, I would seriously look at things like your personal statement. That is a big thing for US schools DO and MD. I would seriously look at making sure that your personal statement is good and explains why medicine. Focusing on the stories that strengthen that thesis statement of why.

 

 

Please dont be inpatient witih the forum considering this is a long and arduous process and you will need plenty of patience in the future. I wouldn't just automatically tell you apply to DO schools. I will say it also does matter what your ethnicity is (black/native american/ hispanic). That said for the majority of canadians applying south that won't factor in much.

If you do get an interview be sure to do TONS of research on the specific schools. I learned that recently when prepping for interviews. They want you to know specific information on why this school.


I am new on the forum as a poster but I have lurked on here for around 2 years. My best advice is make sure you are working on the two things I outlined. You can keep in contact with the schools especially if you get an interview. ultimately the american process is less transparent so knowing exactly your specific chances ....no one can give you that answer except the schools themselves.

 

Put your best foot forward.

 

As for law not exactly sure how that factors in but I am glad you bounced back. I dont know if I am missing anything crucial but I hope this helps. Again your personal statement and secondary essays are important. You can get in but it will be tough but you can get in. If you do anything major (NEW MCAT SCORE OR SIGNIFICANT EC's) you can write to the school and update them on your progress but it has to be significant.

 

 

 

My last advice is about DO schools. I am not saying don't apply because I am not against or for them one way or the other. I will say just be cognizant of how bad you want to be a physician versus how bad you want to be a physician in certain canadian provinces versus how bad you want to be a specific type of physician. Unfortunately, some Canadian provinces still have stipulations which prevent DO's who are trained in certain specialties from practising. If you go the DO route and you are 100% certain you want to come back to Canada be aware that you are most likely looking at a PCP (primary care physician) specialty. Think IM and FM. Additionally, keep in mind you will be seen as an IMG as the rules recently changed over the past few years so that you are no longer seen as a CMG as you would be as an USMD student. That said it opens up the doors to having a fair shot at US residencies (again high proportions of DOs end up in primary care specialties in the US but there is a good amount that end up with other specialties as well). These are just things to think about.

That said again if you want to be a PHYSICIAN at the end of the day then broaden your net and apply to USDO. I would say that the current policies will change at some point ... but things happen slowly.

 

A DO with appropriate residency training is able to practice in every single province in Canada.  There is no prevention of a DO who has a specific residency training from practicing. If its an approved royal college residency, then the initial degree is irrelevant.

Where a DO hurts is if you want to apply to CaRMS in the first place, but if you do an appropriate US residency, the MD vs DO doesnt matter.

Please dont spread false information.

And regardless of MD, DO, Canada vs US,  the majority of trainees are in FM and IM anyways and primary care in general, something like 70%+. 

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On 7/7/2018 at 5:24 PM, DHarv said:

Hi all, 

I've been lurking for quite some time. I have a few questions and would appreciate some advice. 

I am a non-trad that has an odd path since high school. Upon graduating, I attended Carleton University where I was enrolled in Bachelors of Law. I didn't enjoy the program and received a poor cGPA of 2.66, but I passed all my courses and completed the year. However, I became interested in the sciences during my time here and wished to switch into a science program but I lacked the prerequisites from high school. 

After this year, I decided to get into a trade (plumber in Alberta) while I obtained my pre requisites to get into a science program at a university. I did this for the solid pay, new skills, and I just like new construction. 

After working 2+ years and doing correspondence, I obtained all my credits (i.e. grade 11 and 12 biology, chem, etc) and got accepted into Ryerson University for Biomed Science. Here I obtained a cGPA of 3.75 and a sGPA of 3.74. 

My questions:

1) Is this cGPA and sGPA at all competitive? I really hope so!

2) I just received my MCAT score July 3rd and received a 503 (128/122/127/126). Do I have any chance at a low tier US MD school or MUST I retake? I already know I have no chance in Canada with that CARS score other than NOSM, UofO, and McGill.

3) My ECs could use some work. Im doing my first clinical research right now at a hospital which is great. I have lots of volunteer experience and even won a provincial volunteer award. I am also recently employed as a tutor at a local college. I intend to shadow the physician I currently work for, but I was wondering if you guys had any advice? What could I work on here, considering my GPA and MCAT aren't very competitive?

 

I know that's a lot so i'll stop there. I really would appreciate any of your advice and insight. Thank you so much!  

Apply to MSUCOM DO program. It is a DO program that exclusively takes Canadians (Some spots are reserved). You are very competitive there. Just apply early. It is quite expensive to go there but they offer scholarships to Canadians I think. You could also apply to their DO-PHD program. Although its a little longer (7 years vs  4 years) , the tuition is virtually the same as Canada because the PHD portion pays a stipend and you also get in-state tuition which is very cheap (approx 100k total cost). Look into it. Great back up IMO. If you are into research apply to DO-PHD since its way cheaper and your MCAT is competitive for it.

Also, for Canada your verbal is low so I suggest rewriting if you wanna stay here. Based on profile, you have come a long way and overtaken odds so I think you have the potential to get a higher verbal score with practice. I wish you best! Try to hit atleast 125 CARS for Queens and ideally 129 for Western.

If you are from Alberta, I would still apply to UCalgary. CARS is only 10% for them. Once you get the interview, since the interview is worth so much, you mcat is not as important to getting in. Your GPA is decently competitive, Ideally try to boost that GPA to 3.8 and MCAT to 125 or higher for calgary if you apply next cycle.

Good luck!

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3 hours ago, strawberryjams said:

Apply to MSUCOM DO program. It is a DO program that exclusively takes Canadians (Some spots are reserved). You are very competitive there. Just apply early. It is quite expensive to go there but they offer scholarships to Canadians I think. You could also apply to their DO-PHD program. Although its a little longer (7 years vs  4 years) , the tuition is virtually the same as Canada because the PHD portion pays a stipend and you also get in-state tuition which is very cheap (approx 100k total cost). Look into it. Great back up IMO. If you are into research apply to DO-PHD since its way cheaper and your MCAT is competitive for it.

Also, for Canada your verbal is low so I suggest rewriting if you wanna stay here. Based on profile, you have come a long way and overtaken odds so I think you have the potential to get a higher verbal score with practice. I wish you best! Try to hit atleast 125 CARS for Queens and ideally 129 for Western.

If you are from Alberta, I would still apply to UCalgary. CARS is only 10% for them. Once you get the interview, since the interview is worth so much, you mcat is not as important to getting in. Your GPA is decently competitive, Ideally try to boost that GPA to 3.8 and MCAT to 125 or higher for calgary if you apply next cycle.

Good luck!

Thanks for the response and best wishes.  I looked into applying to DO schools but they all required an English credit. So I won't be able to apply this cycle because of that, but I'm thinking about taking an English credit in the fall despite already graduating... 

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On 7/22/2018 at 3:22 PM, hopefulcanadian said:

It think that sometimes we overlook the value that American's place on telling a story. They really look holistically. Your chances aren't bad on paper except for a few things: 

 

-Your MCAT

-Your EC's

Your MCAT is decent enough to apply with and they do look at trends but I would consider retaking it. I don't know what your EC's are like but they dont have to be medical but they like consistency and the ability for you to speak to them with regards to your impact and growth. Additionally, I would seriously look at things like your personal statement. That is a big thing for US schools DO and MD. I would seriously look at making sure that your personal statement is good and explains why medicine. Focusing on the stories that strengthen that thesis statement of why.

 

 

Please dont be inpatient witih the forum considering this is a long and arduous process and you will need plenty of patience in the future. I wouldn't just automatically tell you apply to DO schools. I will say it also does matter what your ethnicity is (black/native american/ hispanic). That said for the majority of canadians applying south that won't factor in much.

If you do get an interview be sure to do TONS of research on the specific schools. I learned that recently when prepping for interviews. They want you to know specific information on why this school.


I am new on the forum as a poster but I have lurked on here for around 2 years. My best advice is make sure you are working on the two things I outlined. You can keep in contact with the schools especially if you get an interview. ultimately the american process is less transparent so knowing exactly your specific chances ....no one can give you that answer except the schools themselves.

 

Put your best foot forward.

 

As for law not exactly sure how that factors in but I am glad you bounced back. I dont know if I am missing anything crucial but I hope this helps. Again your personal statement and secondary essays are important. You can get in but it will be tough but you can get in. If you do anything major (NEW MCAT SCORE OR SIGNIFICANT EC's) you can write to the school and update them on your progress but it has to be significant.

 

 

 

My last advice is about DO schools. I am not saying don't apply because I am not against or for them one way or the other. I will say just be cognizant of how bad you want to be a physician versus how bad you want to be a physician in certain canadian provinces versus how bad you want to be a specific type of physician. Unfortunately, some Canadian provinces still have stipulations which prevent DO's who are trained in certain specialties from practising. If you go the DO route and you are 100% certain you want to come back to Canada be aware that you are most likely looking at a PCP (primary care physician) specialty. Think IM and FM. Additionally, keep in mind you will be seen as an IMG as the rules recently changed over the past few years so that you are no longer seen as a CMG as you would be as an USMD student. That said it opens up the doors to having a fair shot at US residencies (again high proportions of DOs end up in primary care specialties in the US but there is a good amount that end up with other specialties as well). These are just things to think about.

That said again if you want to be a PHYSICIAN at the end of the day then broaden your net and apply to USDO. I would say that the current policies will change at some point ... but things happen slowly.

 

Thanks so much for the detailed response. I'm not particularly interested in DO because I wish to become an Emergency Room physician, which I guess would be difficult. 

I am happy to hear that someone thinks I have a chance at US MD schools. I was able to narrow down to about 3 or 4 US MD schools that had low GPA and MCAT averages (as provided by AAMC's database), but I felt really unsure about which US schools to apply. I mean, there are so many... I have a feeling that if I applied to all (just theoretically), that I could get accepted into one, but how should I narrow down my options considering my application? This bit of advice would be so helpful to me. 

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19 hours ago, JohnGrisham said:

A DO with appropriate residency training is able to practice in every single province in Canada.  There is no prevention of a DO who has a specific residency training from practicing. If its an approved royal college residency, then the initial degree is irrelevant.

Where a DO hurts is if you want to apply to CaRMS in the first place, but if you do an appropriate US residency, the MD vs DO doesnt matter.

Please dont spread false information.

And regardless of MD, DO, Canada vs US,  the majority of trainees are in FM and IM anyways and primary care in general, something like 70%+. 

So I knew this would come up. So let me address a few things. I did not mean any disrespect. 

 

I went through the college and physicians and surgeons website for each individual province and went through. Newfoundland was a prime example. It is unclear. Alberta (may have changed their rules since last I checked) previously prohibited practise in certain specialties. In most of the provinces such as in Ontario the scope of practise is unlimited. The point was that more research is required.

Here is a link from the BC college of physicians and surgeons:
https://www.cpsbc.ca/for-physicians/registration-licensing/applying/independent/osteopathic
From "Osteopathic registrants may not practise primary care obstetrics or surgery"
however later on it does state this:
" Osteopathic physicians who have completed an allopathic ACGME-accredited postgraduate program in family medicine or a specialty may be considered for registration in the full class, rather than limiting their practice to the musculoskeletal system and associated conditions"

Again the key word is may 

Not trying to spread lies or anything like that. Very sorry if it comes off that way.


As for your second point, I mentioned the fact that it hurts from a CaRMS standpoint since you are seen as an IMG.

Lastly, yes the majority of people in medicine are in primary care specialties, however when you look at the data my point still remains. The majority of osteopaths end up in primary care fields and not in competitive specialties. Especially those who are Canadian and decide to come home. In fact I have yet to meet one who is Canadian and who came back to Canada who is not. My point is that while anything is possible if this Canadian person wants to give themselves the best shot of potentially expanding their possibility of obtaining a specialty outside of primary care in Canada they should focus on MD schools aka Canadian and US MD schools first then DO.

If you read my post I actually stated that broadening the search on DO schools is in fact a good idea.
 

It was not a slight against DO holders or seekers.

 

I am just in favor of thinking this through and asking yourself the following question: how badly do you want to be A PHYSICIAN? That is actually something I stated in the first post and its a valid for someone to ask themselves. Personally, I want to do what it takes to give myself the best chance to succeed and have options.

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You misinterpreted the cpsbc link. That is specifically referring to DOs who only want to practice OMM and muskuloskeletal medicine, so if they are registered under that limited class, then yes they are NOT allowed to do obstetrics or surgeries like a regular Family Medicine doctor registrant would. If you do an appropriate acgme residency, you will get licensure. Full stop. If you meet requirements that are unrelated to MD vs DO. Same with MBBS vs MCBH vs MD, as long as its a legitimate school, the degree stops mattering and residency takes precedence. Anesthesiology, internal medicine, psychiatry and of course family medicine are all represented by Canadian DOs practicing in Canada. There are Canadian DOs who in recent years who have matched to plastics, radiation oncology, radiology and Ophthalmology.  They were all obviously rockstar applicants.

I agree a US MD is preferred but the mild limitations for the average person aren't going to be realized since most will end up in primary care regardless of MD or DO. Again, 70% of CMGs end up in primary care: FM, IM, Peds, and Psych. All fields easily obtainable by a USMD or USDO irregardless. Better to go DO then wait around 2-3 years for a chance at MD that may never appear. 

If you want emergency medicine, you will have a slightly easier time with USMD but not by much because the main roadblock is Health Canada will not sponsor 3 year EM programs in the US, for which the majority of US EM spots are. The 4 year EM spots are super competitive. 

Easier to do FM and a +1 in EM and work in a smaller centre first then work back to a big city.

 

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7 hours ago, DHarv said:

Thanks for the response and best wishes.  I looked into applying to DO schools but they all required an English credit. So I won't be able to apply this cycle because of that, but I'm thinking about taking an English credit in the fall despite already graduating... 

Why not apply to Calgary? Don't try to apply to DO in a hurry before you try for Canadian schools. Try your best and rewrite MCAT atleast one more time with the goal of applying to Queens, Western and UCalgary. Also do take the english credit, I think it will help you for UBC aswell. You need to hit atleast 125 CARS and I genuinely think you have what it takes to hit 128/129 CARS. But even 125, 126 CARS might give you a shot at Queens/Calgary and UBC (if your GPA is high and you are IP)

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11 hours ago, strawberryjams said:

Why not apply to Calgary? Don't try to apply to DO in a hurry before you try for Canadian schools. Try your best and rewrite MCAT atleast one more time with the goal of applying to Queens, Western and UCalgary. Also do take the english credit, I think it will help you for UBC aswell. You need to hit atleast 125 CARS and I genuinely think you have what it takes to hit 128/129 CARS. But even 125, 126 CARS might give you a shot at Queens/Calgary and UBC (if your GPA is high and you are IP)

Yup that's basically my plan. I am applying to Calgary this cycle because I meet the IP requirements and I will also rewrite the MCAT in 2019. Thanks for the belief, I really hope I can get a higher CARS score! 

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4 hours ago, DHarv said:

Yup that's basically my plan. I am applying to Calgary this cycle because I meet the IP requirements and I will also rewrite the MCAT in 2019. Thanks for the belief, I really hope I can get a higher CARS score! 

Start practicing for the MMI since this will likely be your only shot this cycle and ideally you want to get in!

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