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Canadian student - US MD application or just US DO


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Hello wonderful people!

I just finished my 4th year at a University in Canada - I'm a Canadian citizen, and I am currently planning to do my 5th year to boost my GPA and build up my ECs. 

I am almost done with my primary application for AACOMAS (DO schools), but I am a little hesitant to apply for AMCAS as well. Given that my stats are 3.65 cGPA with a strong upward trend (3.2 - 3.7 - 3.7 - 4.0) and 508 MCAT (127 125 127 129), should I give it a shot for US MD schools for this cycle? I am just worried because I heard US schools don't like to see reapplicants, so I was wondering if it would be better to wait and apply next cycle with a better GPA and a new MCAT score as a first time applicant. (I am rewriting my MCAT in September for Canadian schools, and I'm not going to declare that on my US applications to avoid any delays) I'm not really sure of my chances in the States as a Canadian student. :(

[my EC: 2 clinical research experiences - one paid, one volunteer - with a publication, hospital volunteering for a year, international student training at a hospital, shadowing, executive positions at 2 school clubs, years of community volunteering]

Any insights would be greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance! :wub:

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5 minutes ago, JohnGrisham said:

Why not just wait until next summer to apply to US programs all together, after you have 5th year under your belt and the repeat MCAT?

Would it be a bad idea to apply for DO schools this cycle? I thought I had some chances for DO schools for this cycle :( I guess I can hold off, since I have all my LoRs uploaded on Interfolio to be used for next cycle as well. 

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31 minutes ago, premed1214 said:

Would it be a bad idea to apply for DO schools this cycle? I thought I had some chances for DO schools for this cycle :( I guess I can hold off, since I have all my LoRs uploaded on Interfolio to be used for next cycle as well. 

You can definitely apply this cycle, but its unclear what you will do if you get interviewed in Canada next time? what if you get waitlisted?  Only apply to the US if you are ready and willing to go. 

 

If you are willing to go, then you should submit your application ASAP. You might as well drop some money on AMCAS too and apply to some schools if you want to go for the very small chance you can sneak an interview. 

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Don't do DO until it's the only viable option left. If you have any intention to practice in Canada at all, doing DO will make that virtually impossible. With the elimination of numerical grades on Step 1, DOs might be significantly disadvantaged in matching in US residencies as well.

With a slightly better MCAT (preferably 126+ in all sections), you can apply to Queen's med and maybe a few others depending on which province you're located in. If you manage to get past Western's MCAT cutoffs, you can apply there as well.

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24 minutes ago, DrOtter said:

Don't do DO until it's the only viable option left. If you have any intention to practice in Canada at all, doing DO will make that virtually impossible. With the elimination of numerical grades on Step 1, DOs might be significantly disadvantaged in matching in US residencies as well.

With a slightly better MCAT (preferably 126+ in all sections), you can apply to Queen's med and maybe a few others depending on which province you're located in. If you manage to get past Western's MCAT cutoffs, you can apply there as well.

This is an extremely unfounded viewpoint.

But given that these sorts of extreme views lead to hijacking of threads - OP just search the forum and do your own research on the topic, to know the pros and cons of whatever path you take.  

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25 minutes ago, JohnGrisham said:

This is an extremely unfounded viewpoint.

But given that these sorts of extreme views lead to hijacking of threads - OP just search the forum and do your own research on the topic, to know the pros and cons of whatever path you take.  

I apologize if this is the case. I didn't mean to mislead OP. Doing DO is a really difficult choice to make and does require a whole lot of consideration in terms of the risks/benefits it might carry. 

Of course the Step 1 comment is just speculation at this point but before committing 300k+ and 4 years of their lives, it is something worth looking into as well.

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1 hour ago, premed1214 said:

Would it be a bad idea to apply for DO schools this cycle? I thought I had some chances for DO schools for this cycle :( I guess I can hold off, since I have all my LoRs uploaded on Interfolio to be used for next cycle as well. 

I would say the thing is that you're already pretty competitive for DO programs, but not very competitive for MD schools. So if you apply this cycle, you could end up with DO acceptances and then be in the tough position of having to decide whether to take one of those or decline with the hope of getting into an MD program next year. As others have mentioned and as you likely well know, there are significant barriers in the DO path compared to a USMD, especially in terms of practicing in Canada or matching to a competitive speciality (either in the US or CANADA).

I would recommend that you take the extra year, improve your GPA (you seem to have a great upward trend) and MCAT. Even a slight improvement to a 3.7GPA and a decent 510+ MCAT would make you a much more competitive applicant for MD programs (not to mention an extra year of ECs). However, this is definitely a personal consideration. You have to decide whether you want to wait the extra year. Alterantely, if you think you would be happy in FM or another uncompetitive speciality (or potentially working in a rural area to pursue a more desirable speciality), then applying to DO this year may be worthwhile. 

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24 minutes ago, zxcccxz said:

especially in terms of practicing in Canada

Just to be perfectly clear, there is minimal barriers to practice in Canada as a USDO vs a USMD, once you are at the residency stage. Being able to practice in Canada, is dependent on your residency qualification, not which medical school you went to. However, which medical school you went to  WILL 1000% affect potential residency options, but often overblown for the average medical student who will end up in primary care anyways. 

Again do your own research, most of which is readily available and already hashed out here on these very forums - use the search bar. But please, can users refrain from making absolute statements that are not founded. 

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This depends on if your goal is to be a doctor or to be a doctor in Canada. As someone who just graduated in the US and match back in Canada, I can say that you have a significantly better chance coming back if you go to an MD school. As you might know, this is because you would count as a CMG for Carms purposes rather than an IMG.

Before you judge yourself on your GPA, make sure to convert it to the AMCAS scale. Your grade will convert differently depending on which school you went to for undergrad and what their scale was. I don’t remember how to figure that out as it was so long ago, but I remember my AMCAS GPA was about 0.1 higher than that of my OMSAS GPA. I don’t know how to interpret your MCAT since I took it when it was out of 45, but the MCAT is certainly important for MD schools.

One thing you can look into for making you more competitive for both US and DO schools is to get clinical shadowing experience. It’s not important at Canadian schools, but the US definitely cares about it. It’s a bit tough to come by here, but if you have connections with physicians or ask the right people, you can likely get some.


Hope that helps!

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13 minutes ago, bearded frog said:

In terms of  matching back to Canada for residency, consider DO = IMG. In terms of eventually practicing in Canada, CMG = USMD > DO >> IMG because DO has better access/chances to US residency vs IMG. Personally I would wait and apply CMG/USMD at least twice before going DO.

Agreed overall, with the minor edit of "Eventually practicing in Canada, CMG > USMD=USDO > IMG "       as both UMSD and USDO will match just fine to US residencies, on average for the average student.  The degree won't make a difference for practicing in Canada after you are at the residency stage.   If you're going for derm/optho tier, then yeah USMD is more likely, but its unlikely overall for whatever school you end up at CMG or not.

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