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Canadian considering International Options Help Please


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Hey,
I'm finishing up my research based masters in Ontario and have applied to med three times and haven't gotten an interview. My stats are quite poor, but medicine is all I've ever wanted and I don't feel like I would be fulfilled if I tried every option at med. cGPA is around 3.1 but depending on wGPA it's ~3.6 . I have a huge upward trajectory in grades, but still didn't make Western or Queens' cutoff. MCAT is 508 (128/126/126/128). Have a 4.0 in my masters but I'm aware that usually doesn't count for much.

I think my ECs are very strong- multiple leadership positions both in research and in extracurricular activities, volunteer time at a hospital, two pubs submitted for review to journals.

My end goal is to practice FM or peds in Canada- doing residency here too would be ideal, but if I have to go abroad I'm not opposed to just continuing to do residency there. So far the options I've come up with are:

1) Apply to Ireland right now (a bit of a rush for my references but I might be able to do it)

2) Go back to school to take a year of prereq courses for US DO that I never took, then apply Ireland and US DO

3) Work for a year while I try to get EU citizenship (I hear this significantly reduces Ireland tuition) then apply Ireland

4) Give up and find another career path

If I'm being honest- I hate the consequences of each of those options and I need to feel that I'm progressing towards my goal in some way. So please, if you've gone international to study medicine I would love to hear your opinion and what your experience has been like. Canadians tell me that applying outside of Canada is a death sentence in coming back, Irish students tell me it's the best place ever to study, Americans tell me I better stay in North America.. I really can't make up this decision and if I'm being honest, leaving my friends, family and SO is also quite scary to me, but I guess I'll do what I need to. Any opinions or advice would be great, thank you.

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Ireland might not be a bad idea, especially when it comes to matching batch to Canada. I've personally met a few senior residents in moderate competitive (non-FM, non-IM, non-rural) specialties who graduated recently from Irish MDs. They worked pretty damn hard during medical school with solid CVs but it's not impossible. 

US DO is also good because you get to match to US residencies just the same as US MDs and once certified as a specialist, I believe that you can come back to Canada easily if desired. In terms of matching back to Canadian residencies, the order of ease is USMD >> USDO >= IMGs.

I'm really not sure easy getting EU citizenship is these days so you need to do some solid research into that as well.

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So I'm assuming it would be a bit easier if I were to go to Ireland then FM?

Would I have a shot with my stats at US MD? I was under the impression I didn't. The research I've done on US MD and DO has told me that there are only a handful that accept Canadians to begin with, and those that do require a bunch of undergrad courses I didn't take, some also look exclusively at sGPA. I took a few science courses as electives, but I'd still probably have to take 4 courses or so if I were to apply to the US. Knowing that it would probably take me a year to even put myself in a position to apply to the US, does this change your opinion on which path makes most sense for me? Thank you

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  • 3 weeks later...

Have you considered doing a second undergrad in Canada? If you can do an accelerated degree (most can be done in 2-3 years) and get a GPA in the 3.8-4.0 range, your chances at multiple Canadian schools would go up significantly (especially at Queen's and Western). Many schools would ignore all or at least some of your first undergrad grades if you did this. Just a suggestion if you haven't considered it!

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