Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums

Advice About My Decision: Try For Canada Or Accept Aussie Offer?


Recommended Posts

Hey Everyone,

I've spent a few days agonizing over a dilemma, and I wanted a sounding board here. This is close, but not quite a "What are my chances?" post, so apologies in advance if I made a mistake. Here's the past 6 years of my life, in brief:

  • Was diagnosed with a nasty illness from first term in 2010 at University of Alberta. From 2010-2014, taking full & partial classes sometimes and periodically hospitalized, at one point for an entire term.
  • Managed to keep my GPA high, so my total is pretty damn good (using Calgary's application methods of - worst year, to 3.91, OMSAS 3.86).
  • For my MCAT: 129 CPBS (Chem bit),  130 CARS, 131 BBFL (Bio), 128 PSBB (Psych)
  • Graduated with BSc.Chem Major/ Hist Minor in 2016 (full-course load and all that)
  • I have 1 small 100$ award for a top mark in a intro History course, 1 $2,200 for a top mark in another history course (it's difficult to get any if you're not full time), a 5,000 research scholarship
  • Have about 1000 hours of chemistry research, no papers yet with my name on them but I have done talks with faculty, a conference and a few other things.
  • Got 3 interviews in 2016, after only trying OMSAS and in Alberta: 2 in-province (U of A & Calgary) 1 out (McMaster after a waiting-list).
  • Got refused from all 3, so I spent the summer working on my lack of volunteering commitments (doing that while sick was hard), so my application is a lot better this time around in terms of volunteering (had a 100 hour gig as a tutor, 250 hour as a VP of a student group and a 125 hour role as a tutor in another group, alongside a 30 hour role as a director in another club, 80 trip I did abroad to Argentina, alongside another 50 hour role and another 60 hour role). Most of the large hour one's are relatively new, some of them are >1 year, but only one is long-term.

So I have applied to basically everywhere in Canada right now, but also did a few Aussie ones too. I got an offer from Griffith's but didn't want it as it came too early. Now I have my last offer on the line from Monash, in Melbourne. It would start in February 2017 and I need to put a $34,400 deposit down right now. It looks like it would cost me about $70,000 per year, though I know I could pay off the debt eventually.

 

Being concerned with the high cost (about 70k/year + 10k housing + ~10-15k expenses) and the fact that there are issues I may have when I graduate is balanced by the fact that this is a well-rated school (Times Higher Ed puts it at 45th for 2017). I also for sure can start there (I don't have to wait until June. Also, turning 25 soon, I am tired of being behind everyone else.

 

However, if I had a chance in Canada, I don't have to worry about residency/internship or other issues down the line, it's much cheaper and I know the quality will be good. But that's all if I get in.

So my thought was do the $34,400 deposit, do the necessary visa application, wait until mid-to-late January for any offers to come in, then decide whether I should go or not at that point. I may also do a few US applications in the interim (I have heard they can accept a few now). If I cancel at any point, I will lose the deposit, but I have enough cash to endure it, though its' painful to do. Deferral may be refused and would not guarantee me a spot for next February and my program has only like 15 slots, so it's would basically be almost like refusing.

So I guess I am asking you guys for your thoughts about my plan? From what I have told you here, is it fairly likely if the interview went well in a Canadian school, that I would get in? My deep fear is that I will have another awful May experience and have to start this again while one year older. Thanks for your thoughts and sorry if this is posted wrong or if anything sounds really stupid/naive/arrogant to you.

Link to post
Share on other sites

RKPM

 

You already know you have the GPA/MCAT to get interviews, as you achieved 3 in 2016.   Adding additional ECs can only maybe earn you a few more.

 

Most important is that you need to figure out what happened in those 3 interviews. Were you able to get any feedback at the time ?   Maybe it is a need for more MMI practice or maybe work on presentation and speaking skills. 

 

The way I see it, you won't really know much more about Canadian interviews (let alone successful acceptance)  prior to needing to start school in Australia. I would not intentionally plan to blow away a $34K deposit regardless of how much money you have.

 

There are a lot of threads on here about the statistical chance of coming back to Canada from overseas.  Would you be OK with ending up long term in USA instead ?

 

Really only you can answer this.  You will likely get 2017 Canadian interviews.   Do you have (or can you prep) the interview skills to garner an acceptance.

 

Do tell us what you decided to do ....

Link to post
Share on other sites

you don't deserve that GPA if you are even considering Australia 

 

 

What  :confused:    I believe this statement is worded poorly.

 

OP, it seems that you are very hard working individual and resillent. It also seems that you are concerned about what you will do in the future if you do not get accepted into a med school in Canada this year.   It is a concern that a lot of us share, but, don't be discouraged, you have a good chance in Canada :) It is very normal to apply to Canadian medical schools for 2-4 times before you get in. You have the following options for next year if you do not get into a Canadian medical school: ( 1)  to go abroad and keep applying to Canadian schools until you get into Canada. If you get into Canada, it is great. If not you are working on becoming a doctor somewhere else. ( 2) Find a job or a volunteer opportunity that will help you grow personally and professionally , 3) look into other programs ( ex.  another bachelor degree, masters degree in field that you are passionate about) or any other career that you may be excite about while still applying to medical school. ( ie. follow your interests until you get accepted into medicine).

 

I suggest to look at how each of these options would impact you and consider the consequences of each decission.

 

Best of Luck :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for initial replies.

-@Yesican55 Well, you have to remember that I took a lot of part-time courses, so I only have two years with a full courseload. I think that dings the credibility of the GPA a little bit, regardless of my excuse.

-@ ballsortahard: Basically if you want to go back to Canada, then you need a stateside school. When you apply for residency they consider all Canadian and American applicants as a block and fill up places. After that, they consider everyone outside of Canada for far fewer places. Australia (according to my booking agent, so take it with some salt) is among the highest places to get international applicants spots. So there is that

-@ Meridian I knew for one spot I had everything at Alberta, at or even above the score for MMI and GPA, but they absolutely mauled my EC's, Got a 1 or two out of 6 and the average was like 4. I considered appealing or asking why they mauled me so badly, but according to the admissions people, appeals don't exist.  Calgary was my first experience with MMI, and I did it without properly studying ethics or being balanced enough in my answers (got a score in bottom 30%, everything beforehand was pretty close or above the admissions standards). Now though, I can study quite a bit more for the MMI, and I know I really nailed the interview for Monash, regardless of how low they set the bar. I think I can prep for this and make it.

-@ End Poverty, yeah, right now I'm doing a bunch of volunteer stuff. I know how stupid this sounds, but I just am starting to feel really old, while all of my friends graduated 2 years in front of me etc. etc. I guess I will have to suck it up and nail the interview at any cost.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Check out tables 50, 57, 65  for IMG match statistics. 

 

Oceania looks to have about 60% success last year which is much better than anywhere else.  I still would not fork out $400K and 4 years of very hard work to then face those statistics.

 

        http://www.carms.ca/en/data-and-reports/r-1/reports-2016/

 

 

Sorry to hop in on this but could someone explain to me how hard it is to end up working in canada after graduating from a Australian school? or is it entirely dependent on how competitive the specialty you're trying to get into is?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree 400K of debt is a lot to overcome anywhere, even though the earning potential is good. I would give it at least one more year in Canada. There are many in my class who entered at 24-25. You are not as far behind as you think you are. Keep working hard and you will be rewarded. Don't take the easy way out after coming so far.

Link to post
Share on other sites

you don't deserve that GPA if you are even considering Australia 

 

Wow that's incredibly rude..... as an applicant you should understand first hand that any acceptance is hard to turn away. This community is meant to be encouraging and informative to people who genuinely have questions. If you have nothing to contribute don't bother. 

 

@OP I wouldn't do it mainly because you've proven relatively consistently that your file isn't the weakness, it's your interview. I suggest to continue applying broadly in Canada and to work on your interview skills (see: http://forums.premed101.com/index.php?/topic/93146-how-to-do-well-on-the-mmis/?p=1023141 and http://forums.premed101.com/index.php?/topic/86211-is-it-too-early-to-prepare-for-interviews/#entry959565). 

 

I was in a similar position where I had an acceptance to Queensland, but I decided against it. I would try at least 3 cycles before I consider overseas options, regardless of below average matching statistics. 

 

- G

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would not do it, like others have said, and the reason is you have a good shot in Canada next year, Australia is a place you could get into anytime with your stats. 

 

Rankings don't matter at all, licensing is all that matters and also what the professionals in the field think. Harvard could be the #1 ranked medical school in the world, but if they had a clause that said they specifically took in any Canadian with a 3.4+ GPA and a 25+ MCAT you'd better believe that no Canadian doctor would respect a Canadian who went to Harvard Med the year that new policy was implemented. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Hey Everyone,

I've spent a few days agonizing over a dilemma, and I wanted a sounding board here. This is close, but not quite a "What are my chances?" post, so apologies in advance if I made a mistake. Here's the past 6 years of my life, in brief:

  • Was diagnosed with a nasty illness from first term in 2010 at University of Alberta. From 2010-2014, taking full & partial classes sometimes and periodically hospitalized, at one point for an entire term.
  • Managed to keep my GPA high, so my total is pretty damn good (using Calgary's application methods of - worst year, to 3.91, OMSAS 3.86).
  • For my MCAT: 129 CPBS (Chem bit),  130 CARS, 131 BBFL (Bio), 128 PSBB (Psych)
  • Graduated with BSc.Chem Major/ Hist Minor in 2016 (full-course load and all that)
  • I have 1 small 100$ award for a top mark in a intro History course, 1 $2,200 for a top mark in another history course (it's difficult to get any if you're not full time), a 5,000 research scholarship
  • Have about 1000 hours of chemistry research, no papers yet with my name on them but I have done talks with faculty, a conference and a few other things.
  • Got 3 interviews in 2016, after only trying OMSAS and in Alberta: 2 in-province (U of A & Calgary) 1 out (McMaster after a waiting-list).
  • Got refused from all 3, so I spent the summer working on my lack of volunteering commitments (doing that while sick was hard), so my application is a lot better this time around in terms of volunteering (had a 100 hour gig as a tutor, 250 hour as a VP of a student group and a 125 hour role as a tutor in another group, alongside a 30 hour role as a director in another club, 80 trip I did abroad to Argentina, alongside another 50 hour role and another 60 hour role). Most of the large hour one's are relatively new, some of them are >1 year, but only one is long-term.

So I have applied to basically everywhere in Canada right now, but also did a few Aussie ones too. I got an offer from Griffith's but didn't want it as it came too early. Now I have my last offer on the line from Monash, in Melbourne. It would start in February 2017 and I need to put a $34,400 deposit down right now. It looks like it would cost me about $70,000 per year, though I know I could pay off the debt eventually.

 

Being concerned with the high cost (about 70k/year + 10k housing + ~10-15k expenses) and the fact that there are issues I may have when I graduate is balanced by the fact that this is a well-rated school (Times Higher Ed puts it at 45th for 2017). I also for sure can start there (I don't have to wait until June. Also, turning 25 soon, I am tired of being behind everyone else.

 

However, if I had a chance in Canada, I don't have to worry about residency/internship or other issues down the line, it's much cheaper and I know the quality will be good. But that's all if I get in.

So my thought was do the $34,400 deposit, do the necessary visa application, wait until mid-to-late January for any offers to come in, then decide whether I should go or not at that point. I may also do a few US applications in the interim (I have heard they can accept a few now). If I cancel at any point, I will lose the deposit, but I have enough cash to endure it, though its' painful to do. Deferral may be refused and would not guarantee me a spot for next February and my program has only like 15 slots, so it's would basically be almost like refusing.

So I guess I am asking you guys for your thoughts about my plan? From what I have told you here, is it fairly likely if the interview went well in a Canadian school, that I would get in? My deep fear is that I will have another awful May experience and have to start this again while one year older. Thanks for your thoughts and sorry if this is posted wrong or if anything sounds really stupid/naive/arrogant to you.

 

 

I am not a med student so take my advice with a grain of salt and things but from what I have observed and read over the past year of lurking/posting on this forum it's that going overseas as an IMG is a last resort if you can't get into a Canadian or US school after a minimum of like 3 application cycles. Matching as an IMG is considerably harder and an international medical education is very expensive. With your impressive grades and MCAT score I would say you have a very good chance at US and Canadian allopathic schools and US DO schools too. 

 

Best of luck in your decision. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

OP, your GPA and MCAT are tight as hell.

 

Take going the overseas route out of your mind. 

 

Spend some time reflecting on your interview performance and work on improving your self-presentation. Also consider working with your university's career centre if possible for interview preparation as they can be quite helpful.

 

Also spend a lot of time on self-care between now and interviews so you can feel as relaxed and at ease as possible, so you can express yourself naturally instead of feeling stressed out and anxious which stifles people mentally and physically on interview day.

 

I'm sure I must have made a post on interview advice previously that you can probably view.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I went to school in Canada, did residency in Canada and am now practicing in Canada. Even with all of that, there's so much uncertainty in this process that I can barely imagine how much worse it would be as an IMG. I can't comment on the intricacies of competitiveness today but on paper you look fairly good. Getting into Canada is a bit of a gamble so expect multiple attempts before you get in. I wouldn't go overseas; it isn't worth the anxiety and the uncertainty.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

You're probably right to defer but there is a lot to consider when thinking about the Australian route as this article shows: http://bemoacademicconsulting.com/blog/files/should-i-go-to-med-school-in-australia-or-new-zealand

If you want to do residency back in North America you are taking a risk, but a calculated one at that. I think if you were considering Australian med school you should be seriously okay with practicing there - I lived in Queensland for 9 months and there are far worse places to live and work in :-) Best of luck with your options going forward and do not listen to some of the less than supportive voices that have popped up on this forum!

From what I understand, it is also difficult to stay there and practice if you are not Australian. Also in this poster's situation where he/she has already got 3 interviews in the past cycle, there is no reason to accept an Australian offer with all of its additional stresses, risks, and costs. How is telling them that they have a really good chance in Canada being "less than supportive"?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...