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Hello,
I am a master's student who is interested in applying to medical school. While it is my goal to gain admission into a Canadian Medical School, I do not have the Cars score. My overall GPA is 3.9; however, my MCAT is 509 with a 124 Cars. This was my third time rewriting. In my first two attempts, I got 125 on cars but a lower overall score - not sure what happened on the latest test as I was averaging 122-127 in cars, it happens :(.
Due to my low Cars score, I do not think I have a great chance anywhere besides Ottawa. Therefore I am looking at international schools. Specifically, I have heard that Ireland medical schools and Israel medical schools are well established international schools. I have heard that while it is more difficult, people have been able to come back to Canada.
I am looking at all Ireland medical schools and 3 Israel schools - Sackler, Technion, and Ben Gurion. Does anyone know which schools are better recognized and will give me the best chance to come back to Canada? I have heard more people coming back from Ireland, but I also know more people that went there. On the other hand, those 3 Israel schools are affiliated with New York Medical schools.
Please let me know! Thanks :)

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I'm more nervous about taking it again and not improving. I've gone through basically all the AAMC Cars material 3x and TPR, uWorld and EK101 cars material. I think that I have been primed on many of the AAMC cars questions and the other material isn't too representative. As well, I read that taking it another time can hurt my chances if I do not see a major improvement and some school may see 3+ MCATs as a red flag - for the US and IMG, not Canada. Therefore I want to keep all my options open as I know people with 129 in Cars, 3.9 GPA who cannot get into Canadian medical schools.

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With postgraduate training from a Commonwealth country, like Ireland, you are eligible to challenge the Canadian royal college exams. This means if you go unmatched in Canada, you can always stay do residency in Ireland, hopefully in your desired specialty, and challenge the Canadian exam as a specialist. I don't know if Israeli undergraduate training allows you the same eligibility.

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14 hours ago, W0lfgang said:

With postgraduate training from a Commonwealth country, like Ireland, you are eligible to challenge the Canadian royal college exams. This means if you go unmatched in Canada, you can always stay do residency in Ireland, hopefully in your desired specialty, and challenge the Canadian exam as a specialist. I don't know if Israeli undergraduate training allows you the same eligibility.

I think many people who go through this process(of getting foreign commonwealth residency training accounted for..outside of FM) generally will say it's not as straight forward when factoring in different provinces, and the beauracratic paperwork, and training differences etc etc.

If I was the OP, I would target US medical schools - because there should be less hoops with ACGME American residency training versus otherwise(because if you go unmatched to Canada, your next step would be a US residency anyways). A

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@JohnGrishamThank you for your response. While I have heard success stories about people coming back from Canada, I have also heard many stories of ppl who could not. If I am not able to come back to Canada for residency I plan to apply to the US as well and hopefully return to Canada later in the future. 

I am very interested in applying to the US, however I wrote my MCAT late this summer and was told that it was too late to apply in September. Therefore, I am looking to apply to Israel/Ireland to start Sept 2021. I know there is no rush, however I am about to finish a master's and want to get into medical school as I am already 2 years out of my undergrad.

Do you know which IMG schools have the best reputation. I was told that I am a strong applicant, it is mainly my Cars score that is restricting me from receiving Canadian interviews.

 

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If you want to come back to Canada Irish schools are a better option than Israel. If you don't mind doing residency in US then both are reasonable, as well as Carib options. 

Irish schools especially the older ones like RCSI have great international reputation, and anecdotally there seems to be more Irish grads here, probably on par with Carib.

Either way you should ask yourself if you are psychologically and financially prepared for the IMG route.

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As alluded to by fingerscrossedpls, you should know before you decide to go abroad that some schools only use the MCAT as a cutoff. At u of t you only need a 125 in each section with a 124 allowed in one section, and after that your score doesn't matter. So you are eligible for u of t along with ottawa. UBC also does this when deciding who gets an interview, although they do look at MCAT competitively after the interview

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Thanks for your response! I am aware of the UofT exception and have also applied but my chances are still low applying to only 2 schools. That is why I'm open to IMG and possibly planning to apply to the US next year. I know the US is better than IMG but there's no guarantee I get into the US either as even though I have a higher GPA than most schools need, my MCAT is average and that is what a lot of schools prioritize.

I appreciate all the advice about Canadian schools however this is my third year applying and that is why I am asking about IMGs.

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8 hours ago, jerrypremed_45 said:

@shikimate thanks for your reply and input. Correct me if I'm wrong but are US med schools just as expensive, if not more than the IMG route? 

Yes but if you go USMD you can apply to Canadian residency first round in CaRMS and are first tier for the US residency match which gives you a lot of options. Ireland would make you only eligible for IMG spots in Canada and its harder to match to a US residency.

Now there is a little asterisks next to Israeli schools as from what I've read on studentdoctor that Israel is slightly different when it comes to IMG match rates in the US match, apparently due to their origin descending from New York medical schools. See this thread https://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/why-do-israeli-schools-match-better-than-do.1162755/

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@bearded frog yes I’ve read that too. That is why I’ve included Israel as even though it’s not as popular as Ireland, I’ve heard great things about matching to top schools in the US - specifically New York. 
I understand that if I go to the US I won’t be considered an IMG, however I’m worried about delaying another year. Do you think my stats are good enough to be accepted by a well-rounded medical school, for example Wayne state?

also how do I reply to specific comments? Can’t see a reply button. 

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I cannot say. Your GPA is definitely in range, your sGPA and ECs will dictate if your MCAT is lethal. I would try the mid-low range of Canadian accepting USMD schools and perhaps DO over Ireland. If you can get into an Israeli school (do you have connections with Israel? I imagine since they are seen as equivalent to USMD they have high application requirements) I would do that before DO or Ireland. Canada > USMD > Israel > USDO > other IMG IMHO.

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You should have a decent chance at USMD/DO, it's probably worth the wait, you'll save lots of headache and whatnot down the road when it comes to matching and practicing. Some Carib are cheaper for tuition but living on a tiny island is expensive, not to mention cost of clerkship!

If you go to US school tuition is high but the peace of mind you get with matching is priceless. Unless you really screw up or fail step 1 as USMD you can at least match to FM or psych somewhere even if you are bottom of class. If you are ace student you can contemplate competitive area. I know Carib grad with stellar Step 1 that can match to plastic surgery or derm if he was USMD but because he's Carib the best he can do was only Internal. 

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On 1/8/2021 at 11:54 AM, jerrypremed_45 said:

@JohnGrishamThank you for your response. While I have heard success stories about people coming back from Canada, I have also heard many stories of ppl who could not. If I am not able to come back to Canada for residency I plan to apply to the US as well and hopefully return to Canada later in the future. 

I am very interested in applying to the US, however I wrote my MCAT late this summer and was told that it was too late to apply in September. Therefore, I am looking to apply to Israel/Ireland to start Sept 2021. I know there is no rush, however I am about to finish a master's and want to get into medical school as I am already 2 years out of my undergrad.

Do you know which IMG schools have the best reputation. I was told that I am a strong applicant, it is mainly my Cars score that is restricting me from receiving Canadian interviews.

 

Just wait until next summer to apply, and keep building experience this year. Its not a race to get into medicine, and if youre a strong applicant, try to get into a Canadian or American medical school for the peace of mind.

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I would recommend writing again and trying for a Canadian School. A US school would be the only other alternative I would recommend. Too many stories of people going abroad and not being able to find a residency. The degree isn't worth too much without one and the debt burden can be significant and will often require a co-signer. It is one thing to be insolvent yourself but another thing altogether to bring a financial burden onto your family.

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45 minutes ago, blah1234 said:

I would recommend writing again and trying for a Canadian School. A US school would be the only other alternative I would recommend. Too many stories of people going abroad and not being able to find a residency. The degree isn't worth too much without one and the debt burden can be significant and will often require a co-signer. It is one thing to be insolvent yourself but another thing altogether to bring a financial burden onto your family.

I think I've pretty much took writing it another time off the table. I studied all summer last time and it's unfortunate that I underperformed on Cars. I've talked to multiple people and it seems like writing another time can actually do harm than good. Even if I kill the MCAT, it does not guarantee me getting an interview as I have friends with a 3.9+, 515 who did not receive any. At the same time, I'm in a masters and taking 2 courses so I will not have any time to study. 

I'm still dealing about Ireland but I will be applying to Israel due to its strong reputation as an IMG school. I understand it will be harder to get back to Canada, but if I need to do my residency in the US and then try to get a job in Canada, that's something I will have to do.  I'm also going to be doing research to see if I get an acceptance to the US for 2022, am I able to complete and just pay for one term at the IMG school.

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I was in the exact same position as you last year - 3 MCAT attempts, poor CARS, MSc student who had no time for MCAT studying. I only had a realistic shot at u of t and ottawa and was fortunate enough to secure an ottawa acceptance. Sometimes you gotta just play with the cards you're dealt - don't count yourself out for the schools you're eligible for. All it takes is one of them to bite haha.

I do admit however that one difference between you and I was that I was prepared to make a career change if I did not get accepted. I dont know much about international med schools so can't help you there. I just thought it would be worth hearing from someone who had a similar situation as you. Goodluck! 

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@premed72 thanks for your comment, that gives me hope! I’m still banking on Ottawa! I’ve wanted to be a doctor for a long time and believe that I can find a way back to Canada, just not sure the best route or how long it will take. Maybe I’m just being optimistic, but everyone I know that went oversees got back, whether it took them 1 or 6 years. That being said I only know 8 ppl who went IMG which is a very small sample size 

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in my humble opinion, the Irish schools cost as much as some of the American ones. And you will have a much easier time matching as an American MD rather than an Irish IMG. Both your GPA and the MCAT look great for some schools. Check out MSAR for specific stats and apply early (June/July) if you decide to go down that route.

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On 1/8/2021 at 10:14 PM, jerrypremed_45 said:

Thanks for your response! I am aware of the UofT exception and have also applied but my chances are still low applying to only 2 schools. That is why I'm open to IMG and possibly planning to apply to the US next year. I know the US is better than IMG but there's no guarantee I get into the US either as even though I have a higher GPA than most schools need, my MCAT is average and that is what a lot of schools prioritize.

I appreciate all the advice about Canadian schools however this is my third year applying and that is why I am asking about IMGs.

I get what you mean but it is always worth a shot! I applied to 4 schools for one cycle in 2018 and only got one interview (UofT and then got waitlisted) and then 4 schools for the next cycle in 2019 and only got one interview again at UofT and now I am a first year UofT med student so it really only does take 1 interview and 1 admission :)

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