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Best Overseas Medical School For Canadians? (Yes, I've Used The Search Function)


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Hey guys,

 

Just want to clarify a few things after having read through various forum posts about international schools.

 

After reading Premed101 and SDN, it seems like the UK (not sure about Ireland) is the best option for an overseas medical degree for people who only have a Canadian citizenship. From what I read, it is easy to acquire a work visa/become a PR/citizen in the UK when you go to medical school there, and your residency prospects are similar to those of UK citizens. They require UKCAT, high school, and college GPAs.  

 

Another option is Duke-NUS, but you have to be okay with living in Singapore. There's a mandatory 5 year service that you spend in Singapore and most people do residency there. There's still a very small chance of doing your residency in North America, but you still gotta do that 5 year service at some point.

 

Australia is a nice place to live, but it seems like it's hard to find residency positions in Australia as a non-PR/citizen, and it's also hard to come back to North America. So people can be stuck in a limbo where they have a degree, but neither their home nor their new country will take them in to become residents. 

 

For Caribbeans, it looks like the chance of coming back to North America is becoming smaller each year. Combined with the high fail rate, I'm not sure if this is an option that's in our best interests at this time.

 

So my questions are:

 

1. My biggest fear is not being able to work as a doctor anywhere after you graduate. Having said this, is it true that you're pretty much on equal footing/guaranteed a residency position without discrimination due to citizenship status in the UK? Are you really likely to become a UK PR/citizen if you go to school there?

 

2. What is the case like for Duke-NUS? How likely are you to become a PR/citizen of Singapore if you go to med school there?

 

Thanks!

 

 

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Well, do you have any specialties in mind? Generally the priority should be Canadian MD>USMD>USDO>Rest IMGs. The order of priority for the IMG programs really depends on what you are looking for, and time factors. Weather or not you're fine with the high likelyhood of a US residency and less likely chance of a Canadian residency etc etc. Many variables. As well as your risk tolerances and flexibilities with where you do residency within the US etc. How flexible you are with living conditions (1st world vs 3rd world, moving around alot for clinicals etc etc)

If you're okay with US FM for example, then theres no real reason to spend the extra time trying to go for UK programs or any other IMG programs, and just start in SGU or ROSS a.s.a.p and get on with it. You can even finish earlier than 4 years if you power through summers and take classes instead at Ross for example.  Mind you, US FM is 1 year longer than Canada.

There is no "best" option for med outside of Canada, it is heavily dependent on the individuals specific goals, timelines and preferences. Share some of those with us, and then can get a better idea.




 

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Another option is Duke-NUS, but you have to be okay with living in Singapore. There's a mandatory 5 year service that you spend in Singapore and most people do residency there. There's still a very small chance of doing your residency in North America, but you still gotta do that 5 year service at some point.

 

 

So my questions are:

 

 

 

2. What is the case like for Duke-NUS? How likely are you to become a PR/citizen of Singapore if you go to med school there?

 

Thanks!

 

I can speak to this as I had an interview with Duke-NUS this January.

 

  You are right. There is a 5 year return of service contract that you MUST do. They stress this over and over and over again in the interview and mention that if you aren't positive you want to do this, then you shouldn't apply. They seemed a little weary of North American applicants because they mentioned it wasn't as common in our culture to commit to such things for such long periods of time (for example in Singapore you have to do military service).

 

  While it is true a very small number of people do residency in the US, it has to be in a residency that isn't currently offered in Singapore. You also need permission from the Singaporean government and have to justify why you need to go to the US. I think one example is ophthalmology. If you are doing any of the other more common residencies, you will have to do it in Singapore.

 

   My understanding from the Duke-NUS interview is that if they accept you into their program, they REALLY want you to stay. Obtaining  a visa, PR, citizenship whatever is something they WANT you to do. I asked the Dean about leaving Singapore after 4 year med + 5 year ROS and he said you can leave, but they hoped by then you would be fully committed to remaining in Singapore (i.e. established roots, married a local, etc ...). Even though tuition is $56,000 a year, it is STILL somewhat subsidized by the government, so they don't want their investment running away. The class is very small (I think they said around 60 people are accepted) and they are highly invested in your future. I say this is an excellent route if a) you can actually get in (its quite competitive) and b ) you would enjoy living in Singapore for 9+ or more years (it is a very modern, clean, and green city/country). 

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Well, do you have any specialties in mind? Generally the priority should be Canadian MD>USMD>USDO>Rest IMGs. The order of priority for the IMG programs really depends on what you are looking for, and time factors. Weather or not you're fine with the high likelyhood of a US residency and less likely chance of a Canadian residency etc etc. Many variables. As well as your risk tolerances and flexibilities with where you do residency within the US etc. How flexible you are with living conditions (1st world vs 3rd world, moving around alot for clinicals etc etc)

 

If you're okay with US FM for example, then theres no real reason to spend the extra time trying to go for UK programs or any other IMG programs, and just start in SGU or ROSS a.s.a.p and get on with it. You can even finish earlier than 4 years if you power through summers and take classes instead at Ross for example.  Mind you, US FM is 1 year longer than Canada.

 

There is no "best" option for med outside of Canada, it is heavily dependent on the individuals specific goals, timelines and preferences. Share some of those with us, and then can get a better idea.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for your reply :) . Yep, I'm looking at neuro or psych right now, with a small possibility of dabbling into research.

 

 

I can speak to this as I had an interview with Duke-NUS this January.

 

  You are right. There is a 5 year return of service contract that you MUST do. They stress this over and over and over again in the interview and mention that if you aren't positive you want to do this, then you shouldn't apply. They seemed a little weary of North American applicants because they mentioned it wasn't as common in our culture to commit to such things for such long periods of time (for example in Singapore you have to do military service).

 

  While it is true a very small number of people do residency in the US, it has to be in a residency that isn't currently offered in Singapore. You also need permission from the Singaporean government and have to justify why you need to go to the US. I think one example is ophthalmology. If you are doing any of the other more common residencies, you will have to do it in Singapore.

 

   My understanding from the Duke-NUS interview is that if they accept you into their program, they REALLY want you to stay. Obtaining  a visa, PR, citizenship whatever is something they WANT you to do. I asked the Dean about leaving Singapore after 4 year med + 5 year ROS and he said you can leave, but they hoped by then you would be fully committed to remaining in Singapore (i.e. established roots, married a local, etc ...). Even though tuition is $56,000 a year, it is STILL somewhat subsidized by the government, so they don't want their investment running away. The class is very small (I think they said around 60 people are accepted) and they are highly invested in your future. I say this is an excellent route if a) you can actually get in (its quite competitive) and b ) you would enjoy living in Singapore for 9+ or more years (it is a very modern, clean, and green city/country). 

 

Wow! Thanks for this very thorough information! Even admissions was kind of unclear regarding the visa/PR/citizenship issue LOL

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Hey guys,

 

Just want to clarify a few things after having read through various forum posts about international schools.

 

After reading Premed101 and SDN, it seems like the UK (not sure about Ireland) is the best option for an overseas medical degree for people who only have a Canadian citizenship. From what I read, it is easy to acquire a work visa/become a PR/citizen in the UK when you go to medical school there, and your residency prospects are similar to those of UK citizens. They require UKCAT, high school, and college GPAs.  

 

Another option is Duke-NUS, but you have to be okay with living in Singapore. There's a mandatory 5 year service that you spend in Singapore and most people do residency there. There's still a very small chance of doing your residency in North America, but you still gotta do that 5 year service at some point.

 

Australia is a nice place to live, but it seems like it's hard to find residency positions in Australia as a non-PR/citizen, and it's also hard to come back to North America. So people can be stuck in a limbo where they have a degree, but neither their home nor their new country will take them in to become residents. 

 

For Caribbeans, it looks like the chance of coming back to North America is becoming smaller each year. Combined with the high fail rate, I'm not sure if this is an option that's in our best interests at this time.

 

So my questions are:

 

1. My biggest fear is not being able to work as a doctor anywhere after you graduate. Having said this, is it true that you're pretty much on equal footing/guaranteed a residency position without discrimination due to citizenship status in the UK? Are you really likely to become a UK PR/citizen if you go to school there?

 

2. What is the case like for Duke-NUS? How likely are you to become a PR/citizen of Singapore if you go to med school there?

 

Thanks!

 

1. Yes, you are on equal footing in the UK. As long as you go to a normal medical school as opposed to some special programs, you will definitely be eligible without discrimination. Along your residency training path, you will get citizenship however this will take several years. First medical school, which is 4-6 yrs depending on if you go grad entry or not, then foundation year 1 and 2. All these will be on a Tier 4 student visa. After that you go into specialty training and you get on a Tier 2 visa, 5 years later you get PR and 1 year after that citizenship. 

 

Everytime you switch visas or renew visas you will have no issues with changing visas because the rules stipulate that if u did med school in the UK and you get into a foundation program you get a visa no problem and if you did med school and foundation in the UK you can get a tier 2 specialty training visa no problem either. Once you get that Tier 2 visa you are on the pathway to citizenship. 

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