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Canadian MD Matching to the US for Residency


garceyues
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Hello all, I am going to be graduating from a Canadian MD program in 2025 (thankful my graduation is before 2026) and I am considering going to the States for my residency. In order to do this, what steps should I be taking? I know I will have to start studying for the USLME steps 1 and 2. The step 1 is now pass-fail to my knowledge which bodes well. I will also have to try do some networking and electives in the states if I am to boost my chances from what I understand. Other than that and applying for visas, is there anything else I should be aware of?

Additionally, any resources or links to websites that detail this process would be much appreciated :) 

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You've hit the main themes, although step 1 being pass fail could also be a double edged sword as if you were able to do well on it, it could be an advantage for Canadians looking to separate themselves from the pack, and now you don't have that extra factor to set you apart. Focus on doing really well on step 2 because it seems that has become more of a factor with the transition of step 1. Networking, electives, connections to schools/states, LORs from US programs, in addition to research, etc. that makes you an all-round excellent candidate for your chosen field.

I'm not aware of any specific websites for Canadian MD applicants to US residency, and things change every year so I wouldn't necessarily trust them either.

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4 hours ago, bearded frog said:

Networking, electives, connections to schools/states, LORs from US programs, in addition to research, etc. that makes you an all-round excellent candidate for your chosen field.

Any advice on how to go about the networking process for American schools? Should I wait till clerkship gets closer to start reaching out?

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It's a good idea to look at options, but ultimately I think there's good reasons why there's only 2-3 CMG that match to the US per year and most likely not in competitive specialties.  

Basically, chances of a CMG matching to a competitive specialty in Canada > (>) US

  • Steps are a lot of work and Canadian education isn't geared to them unlike the US (or even the Carrib).  Even passing Step 1 from almost no knowledge would take at least 1 month.  That one month could usually be more effectively spent networking/researching in Canada or even taking a break.  There's very little in Step 1 which has much clinical applicability.  Unlike the MCAT, the Steps are not taken by general premeds, only medical students, so they're considerably harder from a curve/percentile  perspective.  That said, sometimes passing Steps could sometimes have some benefit later on post-Canadian residency.
  • Most Canadian schools are less known in the US which places one at a disadvantage consider the majority of clinical exposure, letters, experiences including networking/exposure.. will be in Canada.. . with sometimes Canada having the stigma of being "foreign" (and formalized soon as far as UME) and meaning more work for programs (visas etc) and more uncertainty (school name recognition can help).
  • For competitive specialties there are other cultural differences - like honor societies, some form of grading (class ranks, etc) that Canadian schools don't have.
  • conversely, it's much easier to audition/network in Canada with a smaller pool of applicants.

Ultimately, many early med students seem to lose interest in the US route as optimizing Canadian chances becomes more of a focus since it's the more likely route.

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16 hours ago, garceyues said:

Any advice on how to go about the networking process for American schools? Should I wait till clerkship gets closer to start reaching out?

It's a tall order to try to network at "all schools". You're kinda stuck until you know what specialty you want, but at that point you can talk to people at your program in that field and ask about US residencies, any recommendations, anybody they know in that area that they could put you in touch with to ask questions, etc. Maybe specific research in the field being done somewhere. Otherwise the option would be to reach out to the US program and say you're interested in the program, could they put you in touch with the chief residents to ask questions, etc. and go from there.

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