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What to do? (USMD vs IMG – surgical specialty)


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As the title suggests, I'm looking for advice. Here goes:

I am a dual citizen (Canadian and American). I recently applied to UBC but did not receive an invite and am waiting on a couple more Ontario schools. I plan on applying next year as well. My GPA is not great due to poor study habits and other factors early on in my undergrad, which may make it difficult to get into Canadian schools. So, I’m also looking abroad for med school (USA, potentially Australia). I would want to eventually practice in Canada. For the record, I recently completed my UG degree, my cGPA is 3.42 (82.75% AGPA for UBC) and MCAT is 524 (129/131/132/132). I am also looking at doing further UG classes to boost GPA, but that’s another story. Here are my questions:

I’ve done some research on USMD’s and IMG’s in terms of matching back to Canada. From my understanding, USMD’s are viewed nearly the same as CMG’s in terms of the stream they enter for CaRMs, while IMG’s enter a more limited stream. Is someone able to clarify what pool USMD’s are in?

I’m interested in pursuing a surgical specialty which I know are all extremely competitive. With that in mind, would it be a better option to try for a USMD or IMG pathway (i.e. Australia), going to match in the US for residency then trying to come back to Canada? I know that CaRMs has spots set aside for IMG’s but there are only 15 total spots for surgical specialties. Does anyone know if these spots are actually filled by IMG’s or if they go unmatched?

 

If anyone has any relevant information or experience, even if it is not directly addressing the questions I would really appreciate the input. Thanks!!

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9 minutes ago, Deipnosophist said:

As the title suggests, I'm looking for advice. Here goes:

I am a dual citizen (Canadian and American). I recently applied to UBC but did not receive an invite and am waiting on a couple more Ontario schools. I plan on applying next year as well. My GPA is not great due to poor study habits and other factors early on in my undergrad, which may make it difficult to get into Canadian schools. So, I’m also looking abroad for med school (USA, potentially Australia). I would want to eventually practice in Canada. For the record, I recently completed my UG degree, my cGPA is 3.42 (82.75% AGPA for UBC) and MCAT is 524 (129/131/132/132). I am also looking at doing further UG classes to boost GPA, but that’s another story. Here are my questions:

I’ve done some research on USMD’s and IMG’s in terms of matching back to Canada. From my understanding, USMD’s are viewed nearly the same as CMG’s in terms of the stream they enter for CaRMs, while IMG’s enter a more limited stream. Is someone able to clarify what pool USMD’s are in?

I’m interested in pursuing a surgical specialty which I know are all extremely competitive. With that in mind, would it be a better option to try for a USMD or IMG pathway (i.e. Australia), going to match in the US for residency then trying to come back to Canada? I know that CaRMs has spots set aside for IMG’s but there are only 15 total spots for surgical specialties. Does anyone know if these spots are actually filled by IMG’s or if they go unmatched?

 

If anyone has any relevant information or experience, even if it is not directly addressing the questions I would really appreciate the input. Thanks!!

There are plenty of posts on the forum to read and browse through regarding this topic, the search function will help immensely. 

But to answer a few, if you are able to get into USMD - and can afford it financially, dont look back. You'll be fine. You can apply to CARMS as a CMG like Canadian MDs, and apply to the US match.  You may have slightly lower odds of matching in Canada compared to a local Canadian MD grad, but if you really want to make it happen and do 4th year electives in Canada, it is probably fine. And worst case, you'll just do residency in the US anyways.  Surgical specialties generally are well $tructured in the U$A anyways :)  

USMD is not even comparable to Australia pathway, USMD is much better.  Studying on mainland USA at a UMSD, or USDO program, is the way to go. Barring special circumstances. Overall a safer, more secure pathway by training in the US for medical school

Everything stats related is answered on www.carms.ca  - it has every piece of publicly available statistic. 

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4 minutes ago, Deipnosophist said:

Thank you!! I will look at other posts as well. Maybe a stupid question: how much does the school matter for matching back to Canada or the US- should I consider any USMD school?

Getting into USMD as an international is not easy, so any one you get into will be good.

Even though you are a US Citizen, which does open up alot more potential schools compared to those who do not have dual citizenship, it may depend on residency status for some programs too...but that is a unique nuance. Overall, i think you will have alot more mid-tier options to apply to and hopefully be admitted to.

The US citizenship is a huge boon. But again, remember financials - and make sure before you even consider applying...you look into costs and see if you can make it work (i.e. if youll have parental support or not, and co-signer for Line of credit. Generally LOC in Canada are lower interest than US loans, so i would spend time looking at the differences and how you can save money).

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16 hours ago, Deipnosophist said:

As the title suggests, I'm looking for advice. Here goes:

I am a dual citizen (Canadian and American). I recently applied to UBC but did not receive an invite and am waiting on a couple more Ontario schools. I plan on applying next year as well. My GPA is not great due to poor study habits and other factors early on in my undergrad, which may make it difficult to get into Canadian schools. So, I’m also looking abroad for med school (USA, potentially Australia). I would want to eventually practice in Canada. For the record, I recently completed my UG degree, my cGPA is 3.42 (82.75% AGPA for UBC) and MCAT is 524 (129/131/132/132). I am also looking at doing further UG classes to boost GPA, but that’s another story. Here are my questions:

I’ve done some research on USMD’s and IMG’s in terms of matching back to Canada. From my understanding, USMD’s are viewed nearly the same as CMG’s in terms of the stream they enter for CaRMs, while IMG’s enter a more limited stream. Is someone able to clarify what pool USMD’s are in?

I’m interested in pursuing a surgical specialty which I know are all extremely competitive. With that in mind, would it be a better option to try for a USMD or IMG pathway (i.e. Australia), going to match in the US for residency then trying to come back to Canada? I know that CaRMs has spots set aside for IMG’s but there are only 15 total spots for surgical specialties. Does anyone know if these spots are actually filled by IMG’s or if they go unmatched?

 

. If anyone has any relevant information or experience, even if it is not directly addressing the questions I would really appreciate the input. Thanks!!

TLDR: DO NOT GO IMG.

You have dual citizenship you can apply broadly in the US and Canada, and get either US or Canadian loans. You may have better success with mid/low tier USMD with your GPA, depending on your extracurriculars. You should also apply USDO before going IMG as a US citizen.

In terms of matching to Canada USMD can apply in the first round on par with Canadian MD. In general, your school won't matter. In theory for matching back to Canada a CaMD might be better due to elective opportunities/networking, but you can still do Canadian electives in USMD. Note that USDO and IMGs would only be able to apply in second round of the Canadian match, however the advantage of USMD and USDO is that you can apply for US residency without IMG stigma, which may be the option you want to go if you want a surgical subspeciality, as there will be way more spots in the US.

In all honesty, if you go IMG, you basically rule out matching to a surgical subspeciality, in either the US or Canadian matches. Matching at all is a hurdle, and people with 4.0s and research degrees in surgery do not match. I will be honest that your current GPA suggests that you will not be the extremely rare exception to this.

So my recommendation is to apply broadly across Canada and the US next year, if you are not successful then apply broadly Can/USMD/USDO. In your circumstances CaMD and USMD are probably equal in terms of shooting for a subspeciailty, as doing well on standardized exams is important to US residency and their medical schools teach to the exams, and you may have a better chance in the US with electives/networking than focusing on Canada. (A lot of Candian MD students who are interested in competitive specialties will take the American exams and also apply to the US for residency but have the disadvantage of needing visas which you will not).

 

***Now this advice is specifically for matching a competitive subspeicality, but I would strongly encourage you to reflect a bit on how realistic it will be for you to match to that specialty. Lots will bust their ass gunning even in undergrad and not match and have to go with their second choice. I don't know about your research or extracurriculars but with that GPA, unless your last year was >3.9 and something has drastically changed, odds are not in your favour. Not what anyone wants to hear but its the truth. If you end up going for something a bit less crazy competitive say medicine or radiology than still IMG is a no-go but if you want to practice in Canada I would recommend choosing a Canadian MD vs USMD if given the opportunity as, while you can still apply to the US for residency, you will have a slightly better chance at staying in Canada, if that is your goal.

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Thank you for the detailed response! It helps a lot. I appreciate your honesty - at this point a candid perspective is what I am looking for.
 

My first goal is (of course) to get in to medical school, no easy task. While I am currently aiming for a surgical specialty, I believe that things will become clearer as I progress down this path, i.e. I will realize how realistic this is. Assuming I get in to Med school, my plan is to do everything I can to set myself up for a surgical position. At this point I am very motivated and am prepared to do whatever it takes to get there. I believe that it is possible if I can manage to excel in Med school/electives/exams. I realize that this may sound idealistic and if things seem futile, I will seriously reconsider. I’m not trying to say that my goal will happen, only that it won’t if I don’t give it my all. If this is very out of line with any possible reality, let me know.

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You very much should strive for whatever goals you have, but it only becomes an issue where you box yourself into a corner by gunning for that 10% chance you leave other opportunities behind. like I said luckily for you the paths are not very divergent, but consider that USMD might be your best option for that competitive subspciality, it could be more expensive, harder to be away from family/friends/supports, and otherwise less ideal vs Canadian md for almost anything else. It wouldn't shut any doors though.

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