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Unsure if I stand a chance at any low tier USMDs or DO schools


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After 3 unsuccessful cycles applying to Canada Ive been preparing to give USMD and USDO schools a shot (will try Ireland, UK and Auz as well) but the more I look into it I don't know If I even stand a chance at low tier USMD's or DO schools. My stats are okay, (3.9 GPA and 511 MCAT) but obviously not exceptional as an international applicant. My main concern however is that besides volunteering in a hospital during high school I have no clinical or research experience. I don't plan on pursuing research but wish to gain some more healthcare experience. I haven't had any luck volunteering in a clinical setting (due to COVID) or attaining a clinical job since I graduated in 2019. I understand schools will be a little more lenient with this because of COVID but even before the pandemic I made a sad effort to gain that experience. I was recently hired as a virtual medical scribe but haven't started working yet so cant include it in my applications and even if I could I don't think it'll pass clinical experience due to its virtual nature, but its better than nothing.

Do I have even the slightest chance of getting an interview with an average MCAT score, minimal clinical experience, no shadowing and zero research as an international applicant to low tier USMD's and USDO schools? 

Regardless, if anyone has any ideas how I can gain some clinical experience sooner than later let me know. I am considering applying to some medically related technical diplomas/certificates but wont be able to use it on my applications until I complete it and start working 2-3 years from now.

 

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12 hours ago, bearded frog said:

Your GPA is great, but US values MCAT even more than Canada so may struggle there. Could find some love in USDO. Have you reattempted the MCAT? With a better MCAT and a year of research you might have luck in Canada.

I agree that MCAT definitely holds me back pretty much everywhere besides my in-province school, but do you think its bad enough that it'd be a complete waste of time to attempt to apply to America this cycle with the conditions listed above? Im really open to DO, and my MCAT is decent enough for it but not sure if they'll consider me if all I have is the stats. 

I do plan on re-taking my MCAT(for the 4th time) but not till next spring. The first two times I wrote it I tried working full-time and studying MCAT but only managed a 497 and 504. Last summer, I feel like I gave it my all studying for it full-time but still couldn't achieve an exceptional score. This summer, I plan on taking some English pre-reqs (for American schools) and the UCAT for (UK and Australia). I'll study the MCAT from September to Spring of next year so I should be able to significantly increase my score with those 7 months. If i'm being totally honest I am truly not confident in my ability to achieve a great MCAT score if I were to drop the UCAT and English pre-reqs and devote my summer to MCAT studying, I feel like I need that September to march time frame to really knock it out of the park. I know that means i'll have to apply with my 511 this cycle. 

Keep in mind, Im also a lot more open to leaving Canada and totally understand that I may never be able to come back. At this point I feel like I stand a better chance elsewhere and believe that even with a stronger MCAT, i'll still be rolling dice with Canadian medical schools. I will still be applying broadly across Canada but just want to increase my odds with more schools.

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I'm in a similar situation, willing to gtfo of Canada at this point after two failed rejection cycles with a 3.94/513. US medical schools is the way to go and now that Step scores are P/F, you will be pampered going to medical school there and matching. 

However if you do apply to the US, if you don't submit within the first few days of application submission deadline (first week of June), you might as well not apply. It's a first come first serve type of application. This is one of the most important factors to getting into a US medical school based on my those I know that got in. 

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1 hour ago, Medase said:

I'm in a similar situation, willing to gtfo of Canada at this point after two failed rejection cycles with a 3.94/513. US medical schools is the way to go and now that Step scores are P/F, you will be pampered going to medical school there and matching. 

However if you do apply to the US, if you don't submit within the first few days of application submission deadline (first week of June), you might as well not apply. It's a first come first serve type of application. This is one of the most important factors to getting into a US medical school based on my those I know that got in. 

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1 hour ago, foodie said:

How do you match in the US? Don't you need to have a work permit (green card)? sorry for my lack of knowledge (I am beginning to explore this option)

Im sure its a process to deal with all the residence requirements, but at the end of the day you will find a way. Many Canadians have moved to the US for med school and completed their residencies there. Best to focus on getting an acceptance first, the permits will come after.

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1 hour ago, Medase said:

I'm in a similar situation, willing to gtfo of Canada at this point after two failed rejection cycles with a 3.94/513. US medical schools is the way to go and now that Step scores are P/F, you will be pampered going to medical school there and matching. 

However if you do apply to the US, if you don't submit within the first few days of application submission deadline (first week of June), you might as well not apply. It's a first come first serve type of application. This is one of the most important factors to getting into a US medical school based on my those I know that got in. 

At this point med school is med school, but yes of course, with their rolling admissions you definitely want to apply the first week it opens, especially as an international applicant. I wish i had more confidence applying but ill give a few DO’s and USMD’s a shotYou plan on applying to a lot of schools?

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13 hours ago, foodie said:

How do you match in the US? Don't you need to have a work permit (green card)? sorry for my lack of knowledge (I am beginning to explore this option)

Many (but not all) residencies accept non-US citizens on visas.

23 hours ago, Fanofmed said:

I agree that MCAT definitely holds me back

Absolutely no judgment, but standardized testing is huge in the American medical school system (even with step 1 going to pass/fail, step 2 CK is going to be do or die for residency), and even moreso for DO (which still scores their COMLEX exams). US medical school is vastly more expensive (for non-Americans) than Canadian medical school. If you struggle with standardized tests are you sure you want to invest so heavily with the potential to hit a wall with the standardized tests that are so important for the US match? You could try to match back to Canada but it's definitely not a sure thing.

I don't see USMD as a realistic option with your current stats. Get the current MSAR and find schools that interviewed >10 and accepted >3 Canadians/international applicants with an average matriculant MCAT score lower than yours (you have to be above average to get in as a Canadian without any connections). I don't think there are any outside of PR or HBCU, but I don't have the current MSAR.

You won't know about USDO if you try, but you're committing yourself to a very uphill road that way, potentially putting yourself in a similar situation applying to CaRMS as an IMG and the US match with poor test scores, and not matching, only now you're 400k+ in debt.

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On 5/4/2021 at 9:47 AM, foodie said:

How do you match in the US? Don't you need to have a work permit (green card)? sorry for my lack of knowledge (I am beginning to explore this option)

You get visas to work in the US, however some schools give out very restrictive visa types (J1), where you need to come back to Canada for 2 years, so you need to be wary.  I'm probably gonna find my soulmate and get my green card from them lol.

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On 5/4/2021 at 10:54 AM, Fanofmed said:

At this point med school is med school, but yes of course, with their rolling admissions you definitely want to apply the first week it opens, especially as an international applicant. I wish i had more confidence applying but ill give a few DO’s and USMD’s a shotYou plan on applying to a lot of schools?

yea..

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11 hours ago, Medase said:

I will be deleting this post in 2 days, but as an international applicant, my options are VERY limited to where I can apply. So I'm happy to get in any school that accepts me. Thus why apply to multiple schools when you can apply to one through an early decision program. These programs have very high acceptance rates and if you meet the criteria to apply, it's almost guaranteed you'll get in. Easier to get one acceptance through ED than regular stream. With a 3.9 and 511, you should be fine getting accepted to a US MD early decision, but can't say the same about regular. That's my thought process and those that went through similar experiences. 

How high are the acceptance rates of early decision programs? I'm curious as I know my chances as a Canadian are low to get into the US in general

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On 5/5/2021 at 7:54 AM, Medase said:

These programs have very high acceptance rates and if you meet the criteria to apply, it's almost guaranteed you'll get in.

[citation needed]

Early decision is more compeditive than regular applications, and the requirements are higher... not sure if you know what you're talking about... and if you don't get accepted with the early decision you can't apply to anything else until October which makes your other applications quite late so you're double screwed. At least for MD, DO might be different.

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7 minutes ago, bearded frog said:

[citation needed]

Early decision is more compeditive than regular applications, and the requirements are higher... not sure if you know what you're talking about... and if you don't get accepted with the early decision you can't apply to anything else until October which makes your other applications quite late so you're double screwed. At least for MD, DO might be different.

Fully agreed, EDPs are usually not a big boon for acceptances for internationals especially. Very strange thought process, and ive never come across evidence to suggest the same.

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4 hours ago, bearded frog said:

[citation needed]

Early decision is more compeditive than regular applications, and the requirements are higher... not sure if you know what you're talking about... and if you don't get accepted with the early decision you can't apply to anything else until October which makes your other applications quite late so you're double screwed. At least for MD, DO might be different.

 

sorry you are correct, there is no guarantee to get in even if you meet the criteria. I was just referring that if you are more competitive than regular applicants (in my case 3.94/513), it would be much easier to get in and not worry about the hassle applying everywhere. Plus applying ED makes you stand out even more, as the schools know you want them and taking the risk. The ED criteria for many of the schools are much higher, some even explicitly say don't apply if you don't have a 3.75+/510+ application. It's risky as you can't apply anywhere else but same time..the odds are in your favour more in one school than distributing those odds it to many schools. Same time this decision is not for everyone and applicants should think very carefully before deciding this. 

ALSO depends on which ED program you apply to! Heck if you apply to Yale's ED, your reach school, obviously you will be rejected, but if you apply to an ED school for your safety school, I think you should be alright.

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4 hours ago, JohnGrisham said:

Fully agreed, EDPs are usually not a big boon for acceptances for internationals especially. Very strange thought process, and ive never come across evidence to suggest the same.

Is there reason why it's not favoured for internationals? Does it mean its used for in-state applicants more than out-of state? I've never applied EDP, but have heard from others its the way to go for desperate Canadians that can't apply to many US medical schools. As long as you are eligible for applying for the school as an international/Canadian, shouldn't they place you in the same regards as an out-of-state resident (as stated on their websites). 

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20 hours ago, hopefulpremed98 said:

How high are the acceptance rates of early decision programs? I'm curious as I know my chances as a Canadian are low to get into the US in general

 

about 50% based on one ED program I've looked at. 

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59 minutes ago, Medase said:

Is there reason why it's not favoured for internationals? Does it mean its used for in-state applicants more than out-of state? I've never applied EDP, but have heard from others its the way to go for desperate Canadians that can't apply to many US medical schools. As long as you are eligible for applying for the school as an international/Canadian, shouldn't they place you in the same regards as an out-of-state resident (as stated on their websites). 

Overall, you are conflating statistics for EDP that are based on domestic students with internationals. There is no good data on EDP program acceptance rates for internationals. The data for internationals is based on overall applications to broad net of applications.     It sounds like you know some students perhaps who only applied to EDP and it worked out for them - i would find it surprising to hear if there was more than 1-3 of these people in existence, because the overall data for international students points to needing to apply broadly to the minimal # of schools that even take internationals, to broaden your chances at someone ultimately giving you an acceptance. 

It is not favoured, because it makes no sense to apply to just 1 school as an international, when its already tough when people apply to 15-20 schools etc and still often dont get any interviews with strong applications.

 

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513 is not especially compeditive for EDP. Average US matriculant MCAT was 512 in 2020, and while 513 is certainly within acceptance range for non-American applicants, it's not comfortably higher that I would say makes an applicant would be broadly compeditive for USMD, let alone early decision. Obviously there will be some schools where you would be more compeditive, I recommend consulting the MSAR for individual school stats.

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On 5/3/2021 at 7:42 PM, Fanofmed said:

After 3 unsuccessful cycles applying to Canada Ive been preparing to give USMD and USDO schools a shot (will try Ireland, UK and Auz as well) but the more I look into it I don't know If I even stand a chance at low tier USMD's or DO schools. My stats are okay, (3.9 GPA and 511 MCAT) but obviously not exceptional as an international applicant. My main concern however is that besides volunteering in a hospital during high school I have no clinical or research experience. I don't plan on pursuing research but wish to gain some more healthcare experience. I haven't had any luck volunteering in a clinical setting (due to COVID) or attaining a clinical job since I graduated in 2019. I understand schools will be a little more lenient with this because of COVID but even before the pandemic I made a sad effort to gain that experience. I was recently hired as a virtual medical scribe but haven't started working yet so cant include it in my applications and even if I could I don't think it'll pass clinical experience due to its virtual nature, but its better than nothing.

Do I have even the slightest chance of getting an interview with an average MCAT score, minimal clinical experience, no shadowing and zero research as an international applicant to low tier USMD's and USDO schools? 

Regardless, if anyone has any ideas how I can gain some clinical experience sooner than later let me know. I am considering applying to some medically related technical diplomas/certificates but wont be able to use it on my applications until I complete it and start working 2-3 years from now.

 

 

On 5/4/2021 at 6:20 AM, Medase said:

I'm in a similar situation, willing to gtfo of Canada at this point after two failed rejection cycles with a 3.94/513. US medical schools is the way to go and now that Step scores are P/F, you will be pampered going to medical school there and matching. 

However if you do apply to the US, if you don't submit within the first few days of application submission deadline (first week of June), you might as well not apply. It's a first come first serve type of application. This is one of the most important factors to getting into a US medical school based on my those I know that got in. 

 

Hey - I'm a Canadian who applied to both USMD and USDO programs this cycle - interviewed and have been accepted to several DO programs and have also been interviewing at my IP Canadian MD program the past couple cycles. I'd agree with the comments above, USMD is tough unless you have a very strong combination of GPA+MCAT (on top of a strong EC profile) or other linkage. It's not impossible by any means, have a Canadian friend who will be starting this summer at a USMD, but you do need to be quite a bit stronger than US applicants. USDO is definitely more doable, but you do still need strong EC's and clinical experiences. I would say to go the USDO route over any international options though, as you have more of a cushion with much higher match rates in the US. There is obviously a lot more to this - depends on the specialty you'd like to pursue, if you're flexible with location/have a SO or kids to think about, etc. - but for the most part, you can complete a US ACGME residency (which all residencies in the US are now, post merger) and make your way back to Canada after. For family med, its more simple, for specialties, you need to complete the Royal college exam and often will need to complete a fellowship or extra chief yr to match training length. 

Again, there's a lot more to it, but hope that helps a bit. If you have other questions/want more clarification, feel free to comment here or PM. Cheers!

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On 5/6/2021 at 9:39 PM, bearded frog said:

513 is not especially compeditive for EDP. Average US matriculant MCAT was 512 in 2020, and while 513 is certainly within acceptance range for non-American applicants, it's not comfortably higher that I would say makes an applicant would be broadly compeditive for USMD, let alone early decision. Obviously there will be some schools where you would be more compeditive, I recommend consulting the MSAR for individual school stats.

Aww man, now I'm feeling bummed out. When will this competition go away lol. I wasn't even applying to a competitive school for EDP too.. (3.75/511 school stat avg) Feel as if my GPA (3.94) is useless lol. Note my ECs should be well above average, each thousands of hrs of clinical experience, research, and volunteer/paid activities. Maybe I'm underestimating myself after all these failed Canadian attempts. But EDP is my only hope right now, or it's going to be Australia for me.

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2 hours ago, Medase said:

Aww man, now I'm feeling bummed out. When will this competition go away lol. I wasn't even applying to a competitive school for EDP too.. (3.75/511 school stat avg) Feel as if my GPA (3.94) is useless lol. Note my ECs should be well above average, each thousands of hrs of clinical experience, research, and volunteer/paid activities. Maybe I'm underestimating myself after all these failed Canadian attempts. But EDP is my only hope right now, or it's going to be Australia for me.

If it’s any consolation it’s very easy to get into Australia. Pretty sure it’s free to apply too! I got in to several schools and completely forgot I applied. They only look at Gpa and mcat. None of those subjective things like ECs or letters.  Too bad matching is rough 

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7 hours ago, Medase said:

Aww man, now I'm feeling bummed out. When will this competition go away lol. I wasn't even applying to a competitive school for EDP too.. (3.75/511 school stat avg) Feel as if my GPA (3.94) is useless lol. Note my ECs should be well above average, each thousands of hrs of clinical experience, research, and volunteer/paid activities. Maybe I'm underestimating myself after all these failed Canadian attempts. But EDP is my only hope right now, or it's going to be Australia for me.

If its possible, I would suggest applying broadly in the US (both MD and DO) to all Canadian-friendly programs, as early as you can in the cycle. This will maximize the amount of potential interviews you can get early-on. If you have strong EC's/clinical experiences, letters, and write a good PS (with that MCAT and GPA), I don't see why wouldn't get interviews in the US 

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14 hours ago, Medase said:

Aww man, now I'm feeling bummed out. When will this competition go away lol. I wasn't even applying to a competitive school for EDP too.. (3.75/511 school stat avg) Feel as if my GPA (3.94) is useless lol. Note my ECs should be well above average, each thousands of hrs of clinical experience, research, and volunteer/paid activities. Maybe I'm underestimating myself after all these failed Canadian attempts. But EDP is my only hope right now, or it's going to be Australia for me.

My apologies, that was not my intention. Your stats certainly are "compeditive" for some USMD schools, but by not "broadly compeditive" I meant that you'll have to target (the many) schools in your range as opposed to applying across the board.

What I'm trying to say is your stats are certainly reasonable for an application to USMD, however I think you would be much better off with a broad application to multiple US schools, applying as early in the process as possible, and using the MSAR to target schools that are friendly to Canadians/internationals that are in your GPA range, as opposed to gambling it all on one EDP. I myself applied broadly to USMD and was accepted to an American program that I would have attended before I was accepted the same cycle in Canada. Have friends with similar experiences.

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