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Which would you rather American Medical School or Canadian Pharmacy School


Which would you rather? American Medical School or Pharmacy School in Canada  

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  1. 1. Which would you rather? American Medical School or Pharmacy in Canada

    • American Medical School
      15
    • Canadian PharmD
      6


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This year will be my third time applying for medical school in Canada, and should it all go well neither of these options will go any further. 


Unfortunately I'm growing restless, so I am trying to at least ensure I have some sort of direction in my life, hopefully by next September.  So in that spirit I have also applied to American medical schools, and am strongly considering applying to several Canadian pharmacy schools.   The former will require my family to move to the United States, not to mention the likely egregious medical school tuition that I will have to pay, while the latter will keep me in Canada and still leave professional career options open to me, even the option of owning my own business should I want to.

 

As you can see, I am not particularly a fan of living in limbo as I am growing further from my mid-twenties, and I want some sort of stability for my family and daughter.  Canadian premeds feel free to comment, and what would you do?

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If you have the same passion in both fields, canadian pharmacy is a smarter financial decision. If you like medicine more, American med is not that bad, its not like going to Europe or australia or the Caribbean in terms of finaces and matching / being able to actually work somewhere. You can work anywhere you want with an American MD.

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Maybe if you had asked me if I was younger, I would say medicine as a career and financial reward would have pushed it into first place.  However, I guess I've learned that money doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of pursuing happiness, and to me debt and thinking about debt seems like a source of stress.  If only American education was more affordable, haha.  Not to mention the near necessity of spending 7+ years in the States, where universal healthcare is still a controversial topic.  I just wonder if I will have any regrets about a career as a pharmacist in 15-20 years.

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1 hour ago, downinggr said:

Maybe if you had asked me if I was younger, I would say medicine as a career and financial reward would have pushed it into first place.  However, I guess I've learned that money doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of pursuing happiness, and to me debt and thinking about debt seems like a source of stress.  If only American education was more affordable, haha.  Not to mention the near necessity of spending 7+ years in the States, where universal healthcare is still a controversial topic.  I just wonder if I will have any regrets about a career as a pharmacist in 15-20 years.

There is a strong Canadian bias here in Canada obviously and there is a lot of dogma that runs around that I am not sure is true. From what i've heard from American colleagues, people do get care in the US. US med students have told me that they never once had to discuss insurance etc in the care of their patients, which leads me to believe that the system is similar to here. The care may be better and wait times shorter for those with better insurance vs those with less good insurance, but people get the care they need. There is no question that the debt you take on is a very real negative factor, but I don't think from a practical point of view that going to an American medical school is any worse than going to a Canadian medical school. 

In terms of your career, a career as a doctor is probably the better option. As a pharmacist you'd only be focusing on the medications, whereas as a doctor you focus on everything. Looking back, I simply could not fathom doing pharmacy whereas before it all, I didn't think it sounded as bad of an option. 

I've heard that pharmacy is also an oversaturated market. I think it's likely a minority of pharmacists who truly do manage to own their own pharmacy etc, it is a tough business to run and I'm not sure it is as nice or as lucrative as you might think. 

 

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I'm a dual citizen by birth (Canada and USA if you were wondering), and having shadowed a physician in the United States, it was pretty clear that different values are held not only by the physicians, but the general population about healthcare.  Surprisingly there were no expectations that healthcare should be universal or free by either party.   

I would argue the med students/physicians who did not talk about insurance with their patients were inadvertently racking up the bill without knowing whether or not they could pay, but I guess that's par for the course there.  The physician I shadowed actually did not take insurance, but rather something called Direct Primary Care, which was a really cool idea, like a subscription for a physician, but still urged patients to keep insurance for acute hospitalizations or medications from pharmacies (despite the fact that he dispensed a variety of medications for his 'members' in house, nearly at cost).  

Realistically though, there's a good chance that I wind up in a private school in the United States, which would still cost a fortune, and yes I am fortunate that I can get loans from  the United States Gov or US Private loan companies without needing to fish for a cosigner.

Edict, there's a good chance you're right, but I still need to get an acceptance to an American school, which isn't guaranteed, and maybe just maybe I have improved enough to get myself off a waitlist next year at my in province school.  At least I would have the option of returning to Canada, should I still want to after residency.

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Have you talked to any Canadian Pharmacists? Ideally several?

I have friends who are in Pharmacy school right now/a relative who's a young Pharmacist (mid 30s) and they've all shared different POVs. Some of my friends are miserable and wished they did something else. My relative seems relatively happy, but he's an owner Pharmacist. 

The one constant is that "PHarmacy isn't what it used to be". To be fair, I've heard almost every professional say some version of this for their field, so take it with a grain of salt. 

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6 hours ago, downinggr said:

I'm a dual citizen by birth (Canada and USA if you were wondering), and having shadowed a physician in the United States, it was pretty clear that different values are held not only by the physicians, but the general population about healthcare.  Surprisingly there were no expectations that healthcare should be universal or free by either party.   

I would argue the med students/physicians who did not talk about insurance with their patients were inadvertently racking up the bill without knowing whether or not they could pay, but I guess that's par for the course there.  The physician I shadowed actually did not take insurance, but rather something called Direct Primary Care, which was a really cool idea, like a subscription for a physician, but still urged patients to keep insurance for acute hospitalizations or medications from pharmacies (despite the fact that he dispensed a variety of medications for his 'members' in house, nearly at cost).  

Realistically though, there's a good chance that I wind up in a private school in the United States, which would still cost a fortune, and yes I am fortunate that I can get loans from  the United States Gov or US Private loan companies without needing to fish for a cosigner.

Edict, there's a good chance you're right, but I still need to get an acceptance to an American school, which isn't guaranteed, and maybe just maybe I have improved enough to get myself off a waitlist next year at my in province school.  At least I would have the option of returning to Canada, should I still want to after residency.

Could you get in-state for any American schools? Apparently Texas schools are easy to get into and have low tuition.

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I'll take American med any day compared to Canadian pharmacy school. Pharm is way too oversaturated, career wise it's a hassle in the future with possibilities with technology interfering, and the fact that it includes foreign pharmacists in the competition pool (they can easily work in Canada as a pharmacists unlike IMGs). With American med, you have a huge leg up for US residencies, some chances in Canadian residencies, which balances out the heavy debt burden from tuition once your making money. Unless I had a true passion in pharmacy that is more than medicine, I would not choose pharmacy school in Canada.

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