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Advice needed: Try in Canada or go abroad?


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Hey there. You are right in that your chances are best at Western and Queen's. While Queen's is a bit harder to judge since they're a black box, at Western you'll be quite fine provided that your MCAT this time is above their cut-off. As for going abroad, I would rank the options as US MD > US DO > MD everywhere else. So I'd look into those options first before venturing to Ireland and other countries.

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I mean honestly, you have an acceptance, which is pretty great, and I think Ireland does have some pretty good match rates here. Do you want to spend another year applying just for a CHANCE that things will go in your favour again more locally (accepting the risk that you MAY be rejected, especially with the lottery that applying to Canadian med schools can be), or take the for sure option now? I suppose what you hope to match into may also be a factor, but I've heard of people at Irish med schools doing some electives in Canada. Not sure what the match rates are without looking into it for the more competitive specialties either, but that may be helpful for you to do. 

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How do you have an acceptance at an Irish school already, but haven't even applied to any Canadian schools or understand how you will finance the foreign education? Something about that scenario should tell you the timeline is all wrong!  It sounds like you've had a rough go of things outside of school - but certainly you deserve to give yourself the chance of applying locally, before just accepting an Irish spot that you knew you would get due to the lower barrier. 

That Irish acceptance will be there later. Focus on an MCAT retake and make some big improvement - then apply Queens/Western/Dal.   What about moving to the maritimes? look into what their requirements are for IP status for example. Maybe you do well enough on CARS, that McMaster might be feasible to get to the interview level!

10 minutes ago, hbmed said:

suppose what you hope to match into may also be a factor, but I've heard of people at Irish med schools doing some electives in Canada. Not sure what the match rates are without looking into it for the more competitive specialties either, but that may be helpful for you to do. 

All you would be doing is moving the pressure point from getting into medical school, to getting into residency.     Being an IMG is a tough situation, so why not try some more things (like the obvious one of retaking the MCAT) to try and get into a Canadian school?

Not to mention the astronomical costs of attending medical school outside of Canada, and the OP not having any clue on financing it. 

As well, not all foreign schools are created equal, and some of the Aussie/Irish ones aren't at the same par as others for matching back etc. 

 

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3 hours ago, MDancer said:

I believe my best chances are at Western, Queen's, Dalhousie - which as an Ontario resident, my chances aren't big at Dalhousie (I've only visited several times and have a genuine interest in practicing in the maritimes/worked with patients and doctors from there).

I do believe my ECs lean towards the strong side, I do things that I'm really passionate about, have varied hobbies and also have a good balance of research and clinical/volunteering experiences; but I also realized that many applicants will have stellar ECs as well. I can definitely DM my ECS for anyone who has a minute to look it over to evaluate my chances.

My question is whether it would be realistic for me to stay behind knowing that I realistically only have a chance at two schools (correct me if i'm wrong)? I also would appreciate any insight in terms of financing Irish education and returning to Canada from Ireland for residency.

Given that your MCAT goes well, I'd say you have good chances at interviewing at Western and Queen's. I also had a similarly low CGPA and a higher 2-YR WGPA and good ECs, and I interviewed at Western and Queen's and was accepted to Western this year. Key thing will be to write your ABS and Western's Abbreviated ABS well, so you'll have to reflect on your ECs and what you learned from them. However, you still have to do well at the interview stage, so you'll need to think about whether you can interview well and if you can commit the time to practicing for your interviews. So, there's a good chance that you may be successful at Western or Queen's, but it obviously is still a difficult endeavour.

As for going to Ireland, bird in the hand and all, but your decision depends on financial cost and your ability to meet them, the likelihood of you matching back to Canada, and having to move to a new place and all that it entails (away from friends and loved ones-- your support network). You should look into this carefully before you decide.

Please feel free to PM if you have questions specific to applying for Western or Queen's.

 

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1 hour ago, premed72 said:

I agree with DrOtter!! Correct me if I'm wrong though, have you already reached the dal mcat cutoffs? 

I did reach their cutoffs last year when I applied, but I believe it was assessed competitively, I remember myself and others on the forum who had similar MCAT scores/GPA as me also didn't receive an interview, granted I don't know whether my maritimes essay was strong enough :(

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1 hour ago, JohnGrisham said:

How do you have an acceptance at an Irish school already, but haven't even applied to any Canadian schools or understand how you will finance the foreign education? Something about that scenario should tell you the timeline is all wrong!  It sounds like you've had a rough go of things outside of school - but certainly you deserve to give yourself the chance of applying locally, before just accepting an Irish spot that you knew you would get due to the lower barrier. 

That Irish acceptance will be there later. Focus on an MCAT retake and make some big improvement - then apply Queens/Western/Dal.   What about moving to the maritimes? look into what their requirements are for IP status for example. Maybe you do well enough on CARS, that McMaster might be feasible to get to the interview level!

All you would be doing is moving the pressure point from getting into medical school, to getting into residency.     Being an IMG is a tough situation, so why not try some more things (like the obvious one of retaking the MCAT) to try and get into a Canadian school?

Not to mention the astronomical costs of attending medical school outside of Canada, and the OP not having any clue on financing it. 

As well, not all foreign schools are created equal, and some of the Aussie/Irish ones aren't at the same par as others for matching back etc. 

 

Hey John, I really appreciate your comment thanks for taking the time to reply. 

I do know how I will finance myself in Ireland but I just wanted to see how others do it because I would be taking out an LOC, OSAP and using my savings, I was wondering if other people had better ways to go about it even though I know most people either have family's support or will do what I mentioned earlier.  But you're right in that i really should give myself the chance to apply to Canadian schools... I think I look at people's applications online and around me and just am not sure whether I could match up; but I guess I won't know until I try!

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I want to echo John's comment about moving to maritimes. If you're willing to do it, you can greatly increase your chances at dal. I know of people who made the move and it worked out well. But of course moving might not be feasible depending on your personal situation but I thought I'd just emphasize that it could be an option.

Whishing you best of luck with the MCAT and everything else :)

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I have a family friend who went to medical school in Ireland with the goal of coming back to Canada, and while he is now an ER doc in Ontario, he had a very long and difficult journey to get there. After med school in Ireland he was not able to match back to Canada and did residency in the states. After that, he had another difficult time transferring from the US to Canada. He was determined to be a doctor, but he now believes that the extremely difficult process for him was not worth it and he regrets this path. Totally up to you if you are willing to risk something like this- but all that said, I would agree with the above posters that Canada is a much better option if possible!

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14 minutes ago, Psych said:

I have a family friend who went to medical school in Ireland with the goal of coming back to Canada, and while he is now an ER doc in Ontario, he had a very long and difficult journey to get there. After med school in Ireland he was not able to match back to Canada and did residency in the states. After that, he had another difficult time transferring from the US to Canada. He was determined to be a doctor, but he now believes that the extremely difficult process for him was not worth it and he regrets this path. Totally up to you if you are willing to risk something like this- but all that said, I would agree with the above posters that Canada is a much better option if possible!

Emergency medicine is particularly tough, as it is typically a 3 year program in the US, or 4 years at some schools(that don't usually take IMGs), and 5 years in Canada. So it is often tough to match the training requirement differences. 

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1 hour ago, Psych said:

I have a family friend who went to medical school in Ireland with the goal of coming back to Canada, and while he is now an ER doc in Ontario, he had a very long and difficult journey to get there. After med school in Ireland he was not able to match back to Canada and did residency in the states. After that, he had another difficult time transferring from the US to Canada. He was determined to be a doctor, but he now believes that the extremely difficult process for him was not worth it and he regrets this path. Totally up to you if you are willing to risk something like this- but all that said, I would agree with the above posters that Canada is a much better option if possible!

This is really helpful to know thank you, I've spoken to about 3 people who graduated from the University I got accepted to and one of them went through a similar path as what you mentioned, a much longer road and as John mentioned, seems like it just gets harder down the road as an IMG even though it's slightly less barrier getting in at first.

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21 hours ago, Psych said:

I have a family friend who went to medical school in Ireland with the goal of coming back to Canada, and while he is now an ER doc in Ontario, he had a very long and difficult journey to get there. After med school in Ireland he was not able to match back to Canada and did residency in the states. After that, he had another difficult time transferring from the US to Canada. He was determined to be a doctor, but he now believes that the extremely difficult process for him was not worth it and he regrets this path. Totally up to you if you are willing to risk something like this- but all that said, I would agree with the above posters that Canada is a much better option if possible!

we might know the same person, is this person now working in Hamilton? :)

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