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Medical School acceptance rate

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[OP]
Jr. Member
Nov 26, 2016
195 posts
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Medical School acceptance rate

Hi,

I graduated with a B.Sc in Biochemistry. Got a B+ cGPA. Is it out of the question to apply to medical school? Anyone have an idea of what % of applicants actually get in? I've heard it's extremely difficult.

Thanks
21 replies
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Oct 3, 2006
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There's a bunch of people with As with good MCATs that don't get in. Your chances are not zero, but it's next to none.
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Jun 15, 2012
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Honestly I don't get this. Paucity of medical doctors and very few places offered in medical schools.
For instance university of Saskatchewan 800 applications but only 100 placements available annually.
Simply double or triple educational quotas.

I would say make sure you have high mcat and apply.
No need to type thank you; upvote=thanks.
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^all comes down to funding, i hear it is very expensive
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Jan 21, 2014
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It's not just MCAT. Some school doesn't look at MCAT, some just looks at one component of the whole test, some just uses MCAT scores as markers. You need GPA, ECs (TA, volunteers, researches, publishing), MCAT/CASPER, application essays, good reference letters and ultimately lots of luck. Med school is something you need to prepare when you started undergrad - the right program or right school, building up your ECs, protecting your GPA (3.90 or higher will give you better chance). Once you get all that and manage to get an interview, then your chances will be higher, ~40% on getting acceptance. Applying is also expensive so don't waste money if you don't think you have a chance. Sometime, people would do a Master degree to improve GPA & chances. You also need a backup plan in the event you can't get into Med (e.g. Dentistry, pharmacist, etc) as I heard the BofSc is pretty useless by itself
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Jun 8, 2008
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ronnielarmond wrote: Hi,

I graduated with a B.Sc in Biochemistry. Got a B+ cGPA. Is it out of the question to apply to medical school? Anyone have an idea of what % of applicants actually get in? I've heard it's extremely difficult.

Thanks
Their acceptance rates and average cGPAs are usually listed on their websites.
Sr. Member
Aug 17, 2008
697 posts
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Hate to break it to you, but a B+ GPA won't even get you through the screening system. I know at Queen's they have a computer that looks through the marks for individuals that have a minimum of at least a 3.85 cGPA. If you don't, you're automatically disqualified before they even look at your statement, references, CV, MCAT etc.

Many people that apply to med school have planned years ahead of time (publications, practice, protecting your GPA etc.). You're not going to get in if you've just NOW decided that you want to apply to med school (unless you're a prodigal genius)

Like the first poster said, you're chances are not zero, but you have a better chance of winning a small lottery prize.
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If you are actually serious about medicine, try overseas like the Caribbean, you may still have a shot with good MCAT scores.
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thechampion116 wrote: If you are actually serious about medicine, try overseas like the Caribbean, you may still have a shot with good MCAT scores.
true. their MCAT/GPA requirements lower than those in Canada but it will be very expensive. I knew someone mortgaged their house so their kid can go to med school there. Also there is a very high chance that you won't be able to come back to Canada for residency or practice after you finish
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OP, don't let anyone discourage you.
I don't believe in false hopes but you'll never know until you apply
may be you have experience other applicants don't.
i wouldn't bother putting too much weight in hearsay and average GPA is just that, an average.

that said, make sure this is what you want to do. It's a minimum 7-8 years commitment and not a walk in the park esp in residency. Many will burn-out.
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Apr 11, 2016
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With your average, you have a really low chance of getting into medical school in Canada. However, there are some schools that look at your two best years, so if you pulled off a 3.8ish for those two years, then it would be worth applying to those schools ...

Whatever you do, DO NOT GO TO A CARIBBEAN MD SCHOOL. Although it is a lot easier to get into those schools, MANY drop out and it is quite hard to land a residency position as a IMG (FMG?). You will literally have to ace your Step 1 to at least have a fighting chance against students from Canadian/US MD schools. Match rate is about a 54% for IMG (FMG?), while it is almost guaranteed if you go to school in Canada/US (~ 97%). If you do not end up matching, you can try applying again, but odds are less (on top of being from a Carribean school as well). You can end up graduating as a MD without matching, but you will likely not be a working physician, which will leave you with tons of debt if you take out loans.
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Jul 20, 2009
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KPanOpto wrote: With your average, you have a really low chance of getting into medical school in Canada. However, there are some schools that look at your two best years, so if you pulled off a 3.8ish for those two years, then it would be worth applying to those schools ...

Whatever you do, DO NOT GO TO A CARIBBEAN MD SCHOOL. Although it is a lot easier to get into those schools, MANY drop out and it is quite hard to land a residency position as a IMG (FMG?). You will literally have to ace your Step 1 to at least have a fighting chance against students from Canadian/US MD schools. Match rate is about a 54% for IMG (FMG?), while it is almost guaranteed if you go to school in Canada/US (~ 97%). If you do not end up matching, you can try applying again, but odds are less (on top of being from a Carribean school as well). You can end up graduating as a MD without matching, but you will likely not be a working physician, which will leave you with tons of debt if you take out loans.
I went to a Caribbean school and am on the verge of completing my residency in Canada. I wouldn't put a blanket disclaimer to simply not go, but would agree that it's a lot tougher than most people realize to make it through and succeed. With a B+ you might have an outside shot in Canada if you can really shore up the rest of your application, perhaps consider a Masters and/or a PhD...and move to another province if you're in Ontario haha.

If you have no interest in doing further training or still don't think you'll ever get in, you can consider going abroad. If you're in a good Caribbean school (most of them are crap) and you make it through with no problems, the chances of you matching are still quite reasonable. You'll most likely end up in primary care in the States because of how hard it is to match in Canada as an IMG. It's certainly not easy to match in the US either...you're competing against Americans who have visas whereas you'll need a visa to do your residency there...simply, you'll have to be better than your fellow American to have a shot.

If you want more info, feel free to send me a PM. Don't give up on your dreams if it's really want you want to do, but make sure you're fully committed if you go down the international route.
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Nov 2, 2016
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oilerfan4lyfe wrote: I went to a Caribbean school and am on the verge of completing my residency in Canada. I wouldn't put a blanket disclaimer to simply not go, but would agree that it's a lot tougher than most people realize to make it through and succeed. With a B+ you might have an outside shot in Canada if you can really shore up the rest of your application, perhaps consider a Masters and/or a PhD...and move to another province if you're in Ontario haha.

If you have no interest in doing further training or still don't think you'll ever get in, you can consider going abroad. If you're in a good Caribbean school (most of them are crap) and you make it through with no problems, the chances of you matching are still quite reasonable. You'll most likely end up in primary care in the States because of how hard it is to match in Canada as an IMG. It's certainly not easy to match in the US either...you're competing against Americans who have visas whereas you'll need a visa to do your residency there...simply, you'll have to be better than your fellow American to have a shot.

If you want more info, feel free to send me a PM. Don't give up on your dreams if it's really want you want to do, but make sure you're fully committed if you go down the international route.
This. I admire your dedication! Another consideration is that it's getting more and more difficult every year to match back to Canada/US as an international medical graduate. And a big emphasis on making sure you're fully committed to following your dream if you're going international. The path is much more difficult, riddled with much more uncertainty, and in some cases is even longer than if you had just stayed in Canada. A lot of the residency positions for IMGs have a pesky return of service contract stuck on them where you are required to work in an underserviced community for 5 or so years.
Sr. Member
Sep 29, 2008
956 posts
198 upvotes
Mississauga
I honestly know at least 15 people who couldn't get into medical school in Canada but went to the Caribbean and are now doing residency or practicing in US and Canada. I don't know how much easier it is to get into Caribbean schools but everyone seems to be going there, and it does seem to work. A lot of these people were not outstanding students at all, neither were they from well off families.
Member
Jul 20, 2009
273 posts
435 upvotes
motime wrote: I honestly know at least 15 people who couldn't get into medical school in Canada but went to the Caribbean and are now doing residency or practicing in US and Canada. I don't know how much easier it is to get into Caribbean schools but everyone seems to be going there, and it does seem to work. A lot of these people were not outstanding students at all, neither were they from well off families.
In my time, my school was actually 70% Canadian. It's probably more like 40-50% now because of the exchange rate and my school getting US federal loan approval. It's WAY easier to get in, especially if you have a Canadian undergrad. You can say that it works, but you don't hear as much about the people that fail or the people that don't match because they tend not to tell anyone. I think only about 50% of my original class ended up graduating on time.

It's easy to say that people weren't outstanding students, but most of them did poorly in undergrad for a variety of reasons (excuses) and just needed some time to get their crap together. My excuse was that I had no idea how to study in my first two years and because of that my overall GPA was atrocious despite me figuring it out later in undergrad. Several of the kids in my school had 3.7+ GPAs and simply didn't want to wait for their chance in Canada. All of those students did really well so matching wasn't an issue for them as long as they were okay with primary care. One guy got into U of T med after starting with me so it's not like we were all underachievers. It's a little mean for me to say this, but the kids that didn't get their act together in undergrad and that were poor students all along ended up failing out pretty quickly because they didn't belong in med school in the first place. Medicine isn't for everyone and some people just can't excel in an academic environment even if they're otherwise intelligent.

Cost wise, it depends where you go. A school like St. Georges or Ross is pretty expensive, whereas Saba and MUA are more reasonable. Your province also determines your government funding. Ontario kids got very little from OSAP or whatever they call it. I got 3x what they got being an Albertan and of course there are $150k lines of credit to cover the rest. I paid for the entire thing myself as I'm not from a well off family and I somehow have less debt than many of my Canadian colleagues. Mind you, they used their lines of credit to go on vacation and buy themselves nice things whereas I lived on instant noodles.
Buster34 wrote: Ireland works.doable
Yep, though it's crazy expensive. Two years in Ireland is about what I paid for my entire education. If you go from high school then it's obviously better, but I don't see why people go to Ireland if they already have an undergrad. After talking to my Canadian IMG classmates, I probably would have done Australia if I could do it all over again and money wasn't such an issue. They seemed so much happier than I was in the Caribbean.
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Sep 29, 2008
956 posts
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Mississauga
oilerfan4lyfe wrote: In my time, my school was actually 70% Canadian. It's probably more like 40-50% now because of the exchange rate and my school getting US federal loan approval. It's WAY easier to get in, especially if you have a Canadian undergrad. You can say that it works, but you don't hear as much about the people that fail or the people that don't match because they tend not to tell anyone. I think only about 50% of my original class ended up graduating on time.

It's easy to say that people weren't outstanding students, but most of them did poorly in undergrad for a variety of reasons (excuses) and just needed some time to get their crap together. My excuse was that I had no idea how to study in my first two years and because of that my overall GPA was atrocious despite me figuring it out later in undergrad. Several of the kids in my school had 3.7+ GPAs and simply didn't want to wait for their chance in Canada. All of those students did really well so matching wasn't an issue for them as long as they were okay with primary care. One guy got into U of T med after starting with me so it's not like we were all underachievers. It's a little mean for me to say this, but the kids that didn't get their act together in undergrad and that were poor students all along ended up failing out pretty quickly because they didn't belong in med school in the first place. Medicine isn't for everyone and some people just can't excel in an academic environment even if they're otherwise intelligent.

Cost wise, it depends where you go. A school like St. Georges or Ross is pretty expensive, whereas Saba and MUA are more reasonable. Your province also determines your government funding. Ontario kids got very little from OSAP or whatever they call it. I got 3x what they got being an Albertan and of course there are $150k lines of credit to cover the rest. I paid for the entire thing myself as I'm not from a well off family and I somehow have less debt than many of my Canadian colleagues. Mind you, they used their lines of credit to go on vacation and buy themselves nice things whereas I lived on instant noodles.



Yep, though it's crazy expensive. Two years in Ireland is about what I paid for my entire education. If you go from high school then it's obviously better, but I don't see why people go to Ireland if they already have an undergrad. After talking to my Canadian IMG classmates, I probably would have done Australia if I could do it all over again and money wasn't such an issue. They seemed so much happier than I was in the Caribbean.
So what is the deal with these Caribbean schools? So many people I know have studied there. I don't tend to ask questions but it has got me a bit curious. Is the education just as good as in Canada? Do people specialize there? Do they tend to get paid the same once they become Canadian doctors and such? What if they want to specialize in something more demanding such as dermatology or surgery? Are these schools more expensive than Canadian schools? I actually also have a friend from Alberta who is in Australia studying medicine, that seems a better option to me.

Thanks.
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Apr 11, 2016
108 posts
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motime wrote: So what is the deal with these Caribbean schools? So many people I know have studied there. I don't tend to ask questions but it has got me a bit curious. Is the education just as good as in Canada? Do people specialize there? Do they tend to get paid the same once they become Canadian doctors and such? What if they want to specialize in something more demanding such as dermatology or surgery? Are these schools more expensive than Canadian schools? I actually also have a friend from Alberta who is in Australia studying medicine, that seems a better option to me.

Thanks.
I suggest that you look at the premed subreddit for more information on the Carribean schools. They all say that it is not worth it to go there - your chances of matching into residency are lower and your chances of getting into a competitive field is even lower (not to say that it isn't possible, because it definitely is if you work extremely hard and score well). Literally search on their subreddit for the term, "Caribbean" and you will see a lot of negative views on the subject matter. As one of the other posters mentioned, a good portion of his original class did not graduate with him. Whether it's because they dropped out or did not match (or whatever reason), the question is: Do you want to risk going to a school where the odds are stacked against you to (A) get into residency, (B) get into a competitive field (if that's your cup of tea) and (C) graduate? In my opinion, a US MD will always be the better option - you will have a much higher chance to land a residency and your field of interest is probably possible as well. I've seen a couple of posts on the subreddit that you can graduate with a MD but not get into residency. You will most likely not be able to practice as a MD if you don't do residency and then you'll have a TON of debt that you will have to pay off. If you want to take this risk, go ahead. There's a reason as to why they accept almost anyone ...
Member
Jul 20, 2009
273 posts
435 upvotes
motime wrote:
So what is the deal with these Caribbean schools? So many people I know have studied there. I don't tend to ask questions but it has got me a bit curious. Is the education just as good as in Canada? Do people specialize there? Do they tend to get paid the same once they become Canadian doctors and such? What if they want to specialize in something more demanding such as dermatology or surgery? Are these schools more expensive than Canadian schools? I actually also have a friend from Alberta who is in Australia studying medicine, that seems a better option to me.

Thanks.
Caribbean schools are a second chance for people who REALLY want to become physicians and don't think they'll ever get into Canada (or the US). The education is much worse than what students get in Canada. That doesn't mean that Caribbean grads aren't just as good, but rather that there's a lot less help and if you want to be good, you have to do it mostly on your own. I was told that compared to my resident colleagues I was better than average with book knowledge and a bit below when it comes to clinical skills so I focused on improving the latter in my first year of residency. It makes sense since med school for me was frantic studying in order to excel on the USMLE so I had lots of book knowledge, whereas in Canada the focus is more on clinical skills and not just book knowledge. Some schools don't even have grades, they're pass/fail.

Most Caribbean schools have you down there for about 2 years give or take to do classroom learning, but your last 2 years of medical school are done in the US...those are called clerkships. Once you pass those 4 years, you get your MD and then you have to match to residency which is like a practicum prior to practicing independently. Your education will obviously depend on how good of a school you go to, even in the Caribbean. Last I checked there were something like 100 Caribbean schools and they're definitely not equal. There are about 5-6 of them that are above the others in terms of quality. The clerkships that you do also depend on your school and the agreements that they have with US hospitals/universities. Better schools have better clerkships but the quality still isn't what US or Canadian students get as the Caribbean grads are essentially getting the rotations that US students don't want.

Some people do specialize, but the vast majority of Caribbean grads end up in primary care. There are very few spots for specialties if you're applying to residency as an international grad, especially in Canada. The year I applied, there was one spot in each of anesthesia and radiology in all of Western Canada. I know that there was nothing for derm in Western Canada...I assume U of T had one spot for derm...so that's one spot in the entire country for international grads. Almost everyone that wants to specialize from the Caribbean ends up getting their residency in something like family first, then transferring either during residency or doing further training to tailor their practice to their desires. For example, a family med resident can apply to do a 3rd year of training in anesthesia and then work in a rural area as an anesthesiologist. Once you're in residency, no one really cares if you got your MD from Harvard, U of T, or from the Caribbean. The only other consideration is that some provinces have return of service agreements where you're forced to work for a certain amount of years after finishing residency in an underserviced area of that province, so they can potentially block you from specializing based on that.

We have 3 residents in my class that are Canadians who went to Australia for med school. All of them seemed to enjoy their time a lot more than I did. They also have the option of getting residency in Australia and staying there, though it's generally a longer process there than it is here. My knowledge of their system is limited so I'll let you look that up yourself.
KPanOpto wrote: I suggest that you look at the premed subreddit for more information on the Carribean schools. They all say that it is not worth it to go there - your chances of matching into residency are lower and your chances of getting into a competitive field is even lower (not to say that it isn't possible, because it definitely is if you work extremely hard and score well). Literally search on their subreddit for the term, "Caribbean" and you will see a lot of negative views on the subject matter. As one of the other posters mentioned, a good portion of his original class did not graduate with him. Whether it's because they dropped out or did not match (or whatever reason), the question is: Do you want to risk going to a school where the odds are stacked against you to (A) get into residency, (B) get into a competitive field (if that's your cup of tea) and (C) graduate? In my opinion, a US MD will always be the better option - you will have a much higher chance to land a residency and your field of interest is probably possible as well. I've seen a couple of posts on the subreddit that you can graduate with a MD but not get into residency. You will most likely not be able to practice as a MD if you don't do residency and then you'll have a TON of debt that you will have to pay off. If you want to take this risk, go ahead. There's a reason as to why they accept almost anyone ...
Remember that places like reddit, valueMD, premed forums, etc. are biased. You'll have more people who fail out or do poorly sharing their experiences compared to those who excel and do well.

Going to the Caribbean was the best life decision I ever made. I got my MD and I matched to residency in Canada. Yes, it's not that sweet for everyone, but I definitely lucked out and couldn't be happier. I would have always regretted it if I gave up and did something else just because I couldn't get into med school.

While it's true that only about 50% of my class graduated on time, I'd guess that 90ish percent of us got a residency somewhere in something on the first try. Out of the remaining 10% most of them got a spot the following year. I doubt there are more than 2 or 3 people who graduated on time and never matched. That's also in part because I went to a hard med school. If you couldn't hack it, you failed out. If you made it through, your chances of matching to residency were quite good.

After all that typing I think the best way to sum it up is to say that the Caribbean should be a last resort for people who absolutely want to be physicians and can't get into Canada or the US. Your life will be a million times easier and less stressful if you get into med school in Canada/US and are considered a domestic applicant instead of an international.

Sorry for the essay...hope that helps.
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oilerfan4lyfe wrote: Caribbean schools are a second chance for people who REALLY want to become physicians and don't think they'll ever get into Canada (or the US). The education is much worse than what students get in Canada. That doesn't mean that Caribbean grads aren't just as good, but rather that there's a lot less help and if you want to be good, you have to do it mostly on your own. I was told that compared to my resident colleagues I was better than average with book knowledge and a bit below when it comes to clinical skills so I focused on improving the latter in my first year of residency. It makes sense since med school for me was frantic studying in order to excel on the USMLE so I had lots of book knowledge, whereas in Canada the focus is more on clinical skills and not just book knowledge. Some schools don't even have grades, they're pass/fail.

Most Caribbean schools have you down there for about 2 years give or take to do classroom learning, but your last 2 years of medical school are done in the US...those are called clerkships. Once you pass those 4 years, you get your MD and then you have to match to residency which is like a practicum prior to practicing independently. Your education will obviously depend on how good of a school you go to, even in the Caribbean. Last I checked there were something like 100 Caribbean schools and they're definitely not equal. There are about 5-6 of them that are above the others in terms of quality. The clerkships that you do also depend on your school and the agreements that they have with US hospitals/universities. Better schools have better clerkships but the quality still isn't what US or Canadian students get as the Caribbean grads are essentially getting the rotations that US students don't want.

Some people do specialize, but the vast majority of Caribbean grads end up in primary care. There are very few spots for specialties if you're applying to residency as an international grad, especially in Canada. The year I applied, there was one spot in each of anesthesia and radiology in all of Western Canada. I know that there was nothing for derm in Western Canada...I assume U of T had one spot for derm...so that's one spot in the entire country for international grads. Almost everyone that wants to specialize from the Caribbean ends up getting their residency in something like family first, then transferring either during residency or doing further training to tailor their practice to their desires. For example, a family med resident can apply to do a 3rd year of training in anesthesia and then work in a rural area as an anesthesiologist. Once you're in residency, no one really cares if you got your MD from Harvard, U of T, or from the Caribbean. The only other consideration is that some provinces have return of service agreements where you're forced to work for a certain amount of years after finishing residency in an underserviced area of that province, so they can potentially block you from specializing based on that.

We have 3 residents in my class that are Canadians who went to Australia for med school. All of them seemed to enjoy their time a lot more than I did. They also have the option of getting residency in Australia and staying there, though it's generally a longer process there than it is here. My knowledge of their system is limited so I'll let you look that up yourself.



Remember that places like reddit, valueMD, premed forums, etc. are biased. You'll have more people who fail out or do poorly sharing their experiences compared to those who excel and do well.

Going to the Caribbean was the best life decision I ever made. I got my MD and I matched to residency in Canada. Yes, it's not that sweet for everyone, but I definitely lucked out and couldn't be happier. I would have always regretted it if I gave up and did something else just because I couldn't get into med school.

While it's true that only about 50% of my class graduated on time, I'd guess that 90ish percent of us got a residency somewhere in something on the first try. Out of the remaining 10% most of them got a spot the following year. I doubt there are more than 2 or 3 people who graduated on time and never matched. That's also in part because I went to a hard med school. If you couldn't hack it, you failed out. If you made it through, your chances of matching to residency were quite good.

After all that typing I think the best way to sum it up is to say that the Caribbean should be a last resort for people who absolutely want to be physicians and can't get into Canada or the US. Your life will be a million times easier and less stressful if you get into med school in Canada/US and are considered a domestic applicant instead of an international.

Sorry for the essay...hope that helps.
Thanks for the informative and honest posts and for sharing your personal experience...

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