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US or Canadian Schools?


Guest joshto

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Here's the deal, I want to practice in the US...I would assume (from what I now have come to learn) I have two options, go to an American Med. School and have no problem practicing there once I finish residency, etc. Secondly, I can attend a Canadian med school, but then take relatively easy (not sure??) entry tests to practice in the US (how difficult/time-consuming is this option?). Can anyone confirm the details of either of these two routes and are these the best options and if so, which one is the better route to pursue my overall goal of practing in the US?

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Guest ilitvino

Dear joshto,

 

Going from a Canadian medical school into a US residency is not much different than groing from a US med school into a US residency program. In both cases, you will need to do well on USMLE test (www.usmle.org/). This is the only test that you will have to take (although, there are different steps of USMLE). Also, since all Canadian medical schools are accredited by LCME (www.lcme.org/) and AAMC (www.aamc.org/), attending a Canadian MD program is not much different than attending any MD program in the US of A ;)

 

I hope this helps...

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If you intent to practice in the US (for whatever reason), it is likely not to your advantage to do med school in Canada but would not be a big disadvantage either.

 

The US med schools are geared towards having you do well on the USMLE. In contrast, the Cdn schools could care less about the USMLE and do not direct their curriculum towards it. This is not a big problem because the Canadian schools provide good quality instruction that covers most (but not all) of the things covered on the USMLE. However, as a cdn student, you will have to study some topics on your own and most topics on Step 1 in more depth than is taught/emphasized at canadian schools.

 

You also need to be aware that some cdn schools will not give you time off to do the USMLE when you want/need to do it. Most schools have somewhat limited summer vacations in the later years and some schools (like Mac) offer very limited free time to study/write the USMLE from day 1. I have no idea how the Canadian schools' system of elective rotations and schedules works into the US match either... because it is not geared to take that into account. Canadian schools give 4th year students time off to attend Canadian residency interviews, however, US ones are not held at the same time... so you may have some issues getting time off to attend US interviews.

 

If you choose to do med school and residency in Canada and then try and go to the US, you may have some difficulty depending on the specialty. For example: Cdn neurosurg training is no longer considered equivalent to US training. So you need to investigate the specialty you are thinking about carefully because it varies from specialty to specialty.

 

If you are really set on practicing in the US, why not train there from day 1? You might as well get used to the US system from the beginning, go to a US school that will be more easily recognised by a US residency program and become fully qualified in the US with no extra red-tape hassles of trying to make Cdn training 'equivalent'.

 

I guess the added bonus is that there are thousands more med school seats in the US... so the competition to get in might be a little less too.

 

Good luck!

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If you attend a Cdn school, you will need to probably take a year off because of the difficulties in securing the H1 visa, which requires Step III (much preferable over the J1 which requires you to return to Canada for two years after you're done).

 

Really though, you can go back and forth between the two countries fairly easily in terms of applying to residency programs. However, you should do your residency in the country in which you intend to practice, as many specialties will not allow you to take their boards if you did your residency in the other country.

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  • 1 month later...

I agree with everything that's been said above.

 

You should note, however, that US schools cost A LOT more than Canadian schools, as an international student (unless you are already a US citizen or permanent resident). The only US school that offers full scholarships is Washington University in St Louis (Missouri), which is an awesome medical school.

 

If you do apply to the US, you need to apply EARLY. Have your application ready for submission in June. Work on it right after your April exams, and submit it on the first day it opens.

 

Good luck!

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Guest canmic

If you do med school, residency and RCPSC exams in Canada, then you are 'board eligible' in the USA. If you write the american exams afterwards you are 'board certified' in the state(s) where you wrote them (some states accept exams from others, it gets a bit complicated at that point).

 

The good news is that for most states/positions you only need to be 'board eligible', so you'd be all set.

 

Getting the visa can be simple or difficult, if you do a MD/PhD and get a teaching job in the USA it's super-simple. Also if you are going to an underserviced area, then it's super-simple. If you want to go to an overserviced area (plastic surgery in LA for example) good luck to you...

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Guest joshto

Well I plan to write my MCAT the summer after 2nd year, so applying early shouldnt be a problem i would assume. What does it mean to "work" on your application? And what are secondary applications?

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Guest mesoderm
If you attend a Cdn school, you will need to probably take a year off because of the difficulties in securing the H1 visa, which requires Step III (much preferable over the J1 which requires you to return to Canada for two years after you're done).

 

Do you need to do this if you attened a US med-school?

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Guest Talon01

If you've been in practice for 30 years as a physician can you just practice in the states or would you need to write the USMLE still?

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Guest quebecboy

Talon01, if you check around the forums, you'll see that the LMCC is accepted in all but 10-12 states... However, even if you go into one of these states, I believe you'll still need to write the state boards before practicing.

 

QcBoy

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Guest canmic

To attend a US medical school (or be a medical resident) you need a student VISA

 

To work in the US as a doctor, you can either incorporate in canada and work under NAFTA or you need a work VISA (green card).

 

Academics can usually get a H1 VISA (the school that hires you takes care of it) otherwise you have to work in an underserviced area (for your specialty) and you can get a H2 VISA (takes a lot more work).

 

If you did residency and wrote your exams in canada, you are considered board eligible. To be board certified, you need to write the state board exam for your specialty in the state you want to be certified in. Different states and different situations require either board eligibility or board certification.

 

If you did residency and wrote your exams in the US, then you're obviously OK for the US, BUT you need to write canadian exams (at the very least) to get licensed in Canada, provided you are even able to write them (depends on the program and school you did in the US).

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Guest Madz25

mesoderm - when you are accepted to a US med school, they give you a form so you can get an F1 visa (student visa), which will allow you to study there.

 

madz

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