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17 Best Canadian Medical Schools in 2020 for International Students

Table of Contents

  • Introduction – what do you know about medical schools?
  • Medical schools in Canada requirements
  • Applying to Canadian medical schools
  • Medical school admission requirements
  • Best medical schools in Canada ranking
  • Medical school in Canada vs US
  • Medical schools without mcat
  • Conclusion

What do you know about medical schools?

A medical school is a tertiary educational institution, or part of that institution, that teaches medicine and grants a professional degree to doctors and surgeons.  Such medical degrees include the Bachelor of Medicine, the Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS, MBChB, BMBS), the Doctor of Medicine (MD) or the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO).  Many medical schools offer additional degrees, such as a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D), a Master’s Degree (M.Sc), a medical assistance program or other postsecondary education.

Medical schools can also carry out medical research and operate teaching hospitals.  Around the world, the criteria, structure, teaching methodology and nature of the medical programs offered in medical schools vary considerably.  Medical schools are often highly competitive, they use standardized entrance exams, as well as a grade point average and leadership roles, to reduce the criteria for selecting candidates.  In most countries, the study of medicine is completed as a university degree that does not require prerequisites for undergraduate courses.  However, an increasing number of places are emerging for graduates who have completed a university degree, including some mandatory courses.  In the United States and Canada, almost all medical degrees are second-degree degrees and require several years of previous studies at the university level.

Medical degrees are awarded to medical students after completing their study program, which generally lasts five or more years for the undergraduate model and four years for the postgraduate model.  Many modern medical schools integrate clinical education with basic sciences since the beginning of the curriculum.  The more traditional curricula are generally divided into preclinical and clinical blocks.  In preclinical sciences, students study subjects such as biochemistry, genetics, pharmacology, pathology, anatomy, physiology and medical microbiology, among others.  Later clinical rotations generally include internal medicine, general surgery, pediatrics, psychiatry and obstetrics and gynecology, among others.

Although medical schools grant graduates a medical degree, a doctor generally cannot practice medicine legally until authorized by the local government authority.  The license may also require passing a test, undergoing a criminal background check, verifying references, paying a fee and undergoing several years of postgraduate training.  Medical schools are regulated by each country and appear in the World Directory of Medical Schools that was formed by the merger of the AVICENNA Directory of Medicine and the International Directory of Medical Education FAIMER.

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Medical Schools in Canada Requirements

In general, medical students begin their studies after receiving a bachelor’s degree in another field, often one of the biological sciences.  However, not all medical schools in Canada require a bachelor’s degree to enter.  For example, Quebec medical schools accept applicants after a two-year CEGEP diploma, which is the equivalent of 12th grade from other provinces plus the first year of college.  Most medical faculties in western Canada require at least 2 years, and most faculties in Ontario require at least 3 years of university study before the application can be submitted to medical school.  The University of Manitoba requires applicants to complete a prior degree before admission.  The Association of Medical Faculties of Canada (AFMC) annually publishes a detailed guide on the admission requirements of Canadian medical faculties.

Admission offers are made by individual medical schools, usually based on a personal statement, autobiographical outline, undergraduate registration (GPA), scores on the admission exam of the Faculty of Medicine (MCAT) and interviews.  Medical schools in Quebec (Francophones and Anglophones alike), the University of Ottawa (a bilingual school) and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (a school that promotes Francophone culture), do not require the MCAT, since the  MCAT has no French equivalent.  Some schools, such as the University of Toronto and Queen’s University, use the MCAT score as a cut-off point, where scores below the standard compromise eligibility. Other schools, such as the University of Western Ontario, grant a growing preference for higher performance. McMaster University strictly uses the Critical Analysis and Reasoning section of the MCAT to determine eligibility for the interview and the range of admission.

The annual success rate for Canadian citizens applying for admission to Canadian medical schools is normally less than 10%.  There were only more than 2,500 seats available in freshman classes in 2006-2007 in the seventeen Canadian medical schools.  The average cost of tuition in 2006-2007 was $ 12,728 for medical schools outside Quebec;  in Quebec (only for Quebecers), the average tuition was $ 2,943.  The level of debt among Canadian medical students upon graduation has received medical attention.

Applying to Canadian medical schools

There are a number of reasons why you may want to attend medical school in Canada.

Maybe you are a non-Canadian attracted to the strong education system in Canada, with six of the schools ranked in the top 100 in the world by Times Higher Education, which gives graduates tremendous freedom to practice internationally.

Or you may be attracted to the low cost of attending Canadian schools, where the annual tuition is around USD 13,000 for Canadian students and USD 23,000 for international students, compared with an average USD 30,053 for students within the state and USD 53,469 for Out of state students in US.

Or maybe you’ve heard about the country’s high standard of living, its natural beauty, its vast opportunities, and it’s a place you want to call home.

Whatever your reasons for wanting to submit an application is, you may already know that admissions to medical school in Canada are somewhat different from those in other places.

The purpose of this article is to guide you through the process of applying to a Canadian medical school (whether you are an international student or citizen), highlight the differences between the application to American and Canadian medical schools, and describe strategies that should be used to maximize your chances of entering.

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Part 2: admission rates to the Canadian medical school and residence

How difficult is it to enter a Canadian medical school?

There is a myth that Canadian medical schools have lower admission standards than other schools because the country has a shortage of doctors.  Actually, the rates of admission to medical school in Canada are quite low compared to those in the United States, with an average of around 10-20 percent versus 46 percent.  In 2017, 81 percent of Canadian applicants were not admitted to any Canadian medical school.

The shortage of doctors, which is real, does not translate into a significant increase in admission rates, because class sizes remain limited.  There are simply not many medical schools and hospitals in the country, nor are there enough staff and resources to accommodate a greater number of students and interns.

That is why Canadian medical schools greatly favor candidates residing in the same provinces.  They feel more confident that these students will remain in the region to practice.

In addition, Canadian medical schools expect their graduates to enter a Canadian residency program with relative ease, while many Canadians who graduated from a foreign medical school find it very difficult to match a home residence.  (We will explain why later).

Do Canadian medical schools accept applications from international students?

Of the 17 Canadian medical schools, seven do not accept international students.

Two of the remaining 10, Dalhousie University and the University of Calgary, only accept students from foreign countries (usually in the Persian Gulf) with whom they have signed a contract.

They do so in part to ensure that their graduates continue to practice in Canada.  The Canadian government greatly subsidizes these schools and prefers to see graduates who attend to the health care needs of their own taxpayers.

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So, if you come from the USA. The United Kingdom or another country that generally does not have contracts with Canadian schools, you will have to concentrate your efforts on one of the other eight.  Also keep in mind that while these schools may allow international students to apply for their programs, there is no guarantee that they will take any, and when they do, it is often only in a single digit.  Only 11 foreign students without a contract enrolled in Canadian institutions for their first year of medical school in 2016-2017.

In addition, three of these schools – Laval University, Sherbrooke University and the University of Montreal, all located in Quebec – only offer instruction in French.

But admissions to medical school are competitive everywhere, and by running for a Canadian institution, it increases the chances of entering somewhere.  Canadian medical schools also tend to have fewer application requirements than American schools, so if you can add Canadian medical programs to your list and avoid burnout, you may feel better if you have more options.

Do Canadian medical residency programs favor applicants with a Canadian medical degree?

If you are a non-Canadian citizen interested in establishing your career as a doctor in Canada, you will have a much better chance of obtaining a Canadian medical residence if you obtain a Canadian medical degree.  In 2018, 91.6% of graduates of the Canadian medical school (CMG) successfully were favoured with a medical residence in Canada, compared to only 58.5% of graduates of the US medical school. 

Some Canadian residency programs do not even consider IMG or USG, while others, such as the University of Toronto and the University of McMaster, have fees for such applicants.

The Association of Medical Schools of Canada even recommended last year that IMG and USMG cannot apply for residency until after the second round of admissions.Of course, a Canadian medical degree does not guarantee that it matches a Canadian residence.  To qualify for a Canadian medical residency program, you must be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada.  Foreign students who have studied for two years at an accredited Canadian postsecondary school may apply for permanent residence.

IMGs, on the other hand, have to pass the Canada Medical Council Qualification Exam, which graduates of Canadian and American schools will not have to do until they are ready to become full doctors, before they can apply for programs  of medical residence.

Bottom line: If your goal is to match a Canadian medical residency program, your life would be much easier if you attend a Canadian medical school.

Medical School Admission Requirements.

There are no established requirements for each medical school.  Many medical schools will make exceptions or emphasize different courses and topics in their admission process.  However, there is a basic set of courses and exams that are commonly accepted as basic medical school requirements that will be considered by almost all schools.

With the development of the new MCAT format, first used in 2015, additional courses are recommended.  These include psychology and social sciences, which will be evaluated in sections in the longer MCAT.

Most of the time, an initial screen of applicants is made by computer to ensure that basic things such as courses taken, GPA and MCAT scores meet the desired minimum.  After that, it’s about the person and not the numbers.  Consider what makes a medical school application sound and adjust yours accordingly.  The process of admission to medical school is a mixture of science and art.  To get an idea of ​​how competitive your MCAT and GPA scores are, try our Medical School Search tool.

  Course work

  Commonly accepted course requirements for medical school include a minimum of 1 year of:

  • General biology
  • Physics with laboratory
  • General chemistry (inorganic chemistry) with laboratory
  • Organic chemistry with laboratory
  • Calculus
  • English
  • Sociology
  • Psychology

If you plan to do your premedical course work after obtaining your university degree, you can take these courses at almost any four-year university.

GPA

Admissions to medical school are competitive, so you must have a strong GPA.  A GPA above 3.5 is preferable.  A GPA below 3.5 can sometimes raise a flag, especially if you attended a school famous for grade inflation, such as Harvard.  While things could have changed a bit at Harvard, there is still the impression that everyone gets a minimum of 3.3, so the GPA limit could be applied more strictly.

MCAT Scores

Your MCAT scores are important.  They say little about you as a person, but medical schools give them considerable weight.  The sections of the MCAT are similar to the required courses: physical sciences (inorganic physics and chemistry), biological sciences (biology and organic chemistry), verbal and psychosocial sciences.

It has been estimated that 70-80% of all medical faculty applicants have taken a course prior to the MCAT test.

Baccalaureate  Diploma

You need a university degree.  BUT, it doesn’t have to be in science.  In fact, for some schools a science degree is negative, for example, Johns Hopkins.  He must show medical schools that he is passionate about something: that he is willing to spend four years, study a subject he loves, learn it and be able to develop it.  The selection of a university specialty should not consist in entering medical school, but in studying what you like to think or do.

Research – optional

If you enjoy science, then research is a way to show that you take it seriously.  If you are going to do a research project as a university student, start early.  The first year is not too early to start.  That gives him a year or two to learn the ropes, then a year and a half of serious work before he can present his work in the medical school interview.  Choose a respected faculty member to do an investigation that interests you.  Work hard.  Read.  Understand what you are doing and why you are doing it.  You should be able to explain and defend your work to an educated scientist who does not work in your field.

Physician Shadowing: optional

Personally I am not a big fan of following a doctor.  It does not show much commitment, and suggests that you are only interested in entering medical school.  If you’re really not sure you want to go to medicine, find a doctor and find out what it is like.  Do not expect a “shading experience” to have a lot of weight in your application.

Voluntary service – optional

The impact of the voluntary service on your request will depend on the quality of the service and your commitment to it.  Is this a month, twice a week organized by another person, or is it a project in which you have participated for several years and in which you are assuming a leadership role?  How does this project affect you and how did it go?  A significant contribution to the project.

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Remember, medical schools are looking for people who are willing to take the time and effort to make a serious contribution.  That contribution can be in a volunteer program, an academic search, research or even sport.  You just have to show that you are willing and able to work hard enough to achieve an important goal.

Best Medical schools in Canada Ranking

Are you interested in the field of medical sciences and technology?  Do you have a preference for a country of study and that country is Canada?  Learn more about the best Canadian medical schools 2020

Do you have any problem finding the perfect school for you?  Listed below are the best medical schools in Canada 2020, which coincide among the best medical schools in the world.  Schools are briefly explained with the official websites of the schools.

University of British Columbia

Registration: 39,000 CAD

Established in 1915, the University of British Columbia is one of the best international universities in the world.  It is a public research university.  The medical faculty of the University of British Columbia is one of the best medical faculties in Canada 2020 and consists of nineteen departments, three schools and twenty-three research centers and institutes.

  Official Web site

University of Alberta

Registration: 20,400 CAD

The University of Alberta is one of the accredited Canadian Medical Schools that offers undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate programs in the medical field.  It is a public research university that offers standard education and medical care services as well as research opportunities.\With good scholarship opportunities and fundamental values ​​of integrity, excellence, partnership, social responsibility, respect, compassion and care in a relationship with patients and working with colleagues.

  Official Web site

Cumming Medical School; University of Calgary

Registration: 12,700 CAD

The University of Calgary is a public university intensive in research.  The Cumming School of Medicine is leading to medical research in Canada.  They focus more on the brain and mental health, chronic diseases and cardiovascular sciences.  They offer MD, BHSc, Ph.D., MBT and BCR programs.

  Official Web site

Faculty of Medicine of the University of Saskatchewan.

Registration: 17,500 CAD

With the vision of leading the improvement of the health and well-being of the people of Saskatchewan and the world in general, the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Saskatchewan is a university with a focus on research and education and other social skills to produce clinicians  and expert scientists.

  Official Web site

Manitoba University

Registration: CAD 14,700

Rady’s faculty of health at the University of Manitoba stands out for its excellent results in medical research.  Its objective is to produce leading professionals in the fields of medicine around the world to improve people’s health.  They are one of the best medical universities in Canada.

  Official Web site

Northern Ontario Medical School

Registration: CAD 24,600

Rooted in the north, the French medical school is a medical school that focuses on improving and addressing health requirements and improving the quality of medical care for people in northern Ontario and contributing to the economic development of people.

  Official Web site

Western university;  Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry

Registration: CAD 27,300

The school that focuses on both practical medicine and medical technology aims to provide the best medical services for the country and the world in general.

  Official Web site

McMaster University

Registration: CAD 22,400

The department of medicine at McMaster University has the vision of providing outstanding clinical care to the world.  They have the reputation of being one of the best research and innovation centers in the world, their goal is to provide an excellent education and maintain their position as the best in the world. They offer full-time and non-GFT courses in internal medicine.

  Official Web site

University of Toronto

Registration: 45,690 CAD

Medical School: With students from all over the world with different socioeconomic backgrounds, the University of Toronto School of Medicine aims to solve medical problems worldwide.The school aims to improve an international relationship, the school offers generous financial support to students to study with them.

Official Web site

Queen’s University in Kingston

Registration: 27,500 CAD

Faculty of Health Sciences: The public research university school was founded more than one hundred and fifty years ago.  They offer different branches in medical sciences for undergraduate and graduate programs.

The faculty of the school of health sciences aims to advance the tradition of preparing exceptional doctors and the best leaders in medical care.

  Official Web site

Ottawa University

Registration: 25,500 CAD

The University of Ottawa medical school is the only medical school in Canada that is bilingual.  With the commitment to excellence in education and health research, the school aims to meet the medical needs of communities, from their local communities to global communities.

  Official Web site

McGill University;  School of Medicine

Registration: CAD 29,200

The McGill University School of Medicine is aimed at producing the best health professionals, scientists, students and staff who will commit to compassionate evidence-based care.  They offer educational opportunities, research opportunities and research opportunities.

  Official Web site

Dalhousie University;  School of Medicine

Registration: 18,000 CAD

The Dalhousie University medical school was established more than one hundred and fifty years ago.  The university focuses on innovative, collaborative and vibrant research that aims to improve the state of life and health of the world in general.

Among the Medical Schools of Canada, they offer medical health education and medical research programs in undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate programs, in addition to residency and continuing professional development training programs aimed at providing excellent training opportunism for their students  medicine, residents, fellows and graduate students.  and providing excellent medical service to the community and the world in general.

  Official Website

University of Montreal;  School of Medicine

Registration: 7,500 CAD

Dedicated to education and research, the medical school for the development of skills to improve medical care and well-being through the guidance of values ​​and principles through innovation, social commitment, thoroughness, patient association, respect and responsibility.The school offers professional courses to train people for general and specialist medical positions, professionals and researchers in basic sciences, professionals in clinical sciences, audiologists, occupational therapists, nutritionists, speech therapists and physiotherapists.

  Official Website

Study in a Medical School Without MCAT

MDAT programs without MCAT requirements admit students through the Early Guarantee Programs.  Students passionate about medicine can apply as soon as their second year and have a position in medical school after finishing college.  Admission standards vary by program, and the MCAT often does not apply.

For example, Tufts University in Boston offers an Early Guarantee Program that does not require MCAT scores.  However, students must have a general GPA of 3.5, which includes a 3.5 in the required science classes along with a combined score greater than 1300 in the reading and math sections of the SAT or a composite ACT score greater than 30.

Tufts University also offers an MCAT-free Early Assurance Program for college students interested in the Maine Track for MDs.  Students study in Maine and earn a combined diploma from Tufts and the Maine Medical Center.  University students can apply for the Tuft Early Guarantee Program during their second year.  Graduates are encouraged to practice primary care in the less rich parts of the state.

Medical Honors Programs

The University of Florida at Gainesville offers an accelerated B.S./MD program through its Medical Honors Program.  Admission to the Medical Honors Program is open to all U.S. citizens and permanent residents.  Second year students with a higher academic ability can apply for the honors program and enroll in the UF medical school without taking the MCAT.

Factors taken into consideration include a grade point average of 3.7 in university and math prerequisite courses at the university level, volunteer work in a medical setting and research experience.  Selected participants complete an accelerated degree of B.S./MD in seven years.

Flexible admissions programs

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City offers a unique FlexMed program named after Donald and Vera Blinken.  The program attracts students of various academic specialties.  Admission decisions are taken comprehensively, taking into account the standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, work history and academic achievement.  The MCAT is not mandatory.  Students request and receive a decision letter the last semester of their second year.

Consider retaking the MCAT

There is no easy way to enter an accredited medical school in the US MD programs without MCAT requirements setting very high admission standards.  The main advantage of enrolling in a program without MCAT requirements is that you can have more time to study in school, explore a wider range of courses and work or volunteer in health care centers. However, many students return to take the MCAT to increase their scores.  The average MCAT score in 2018-2019 was 500, as reported by the Association of American Medical Colleges.  The highest percentage of repeat examiners initially scored between 494 and 501. Retaking the exam may result in higher scores when students study and take additional courses in areas such as physics where they feel less safe.  In addition, reviewing the MCAT can be a useful preparation for the courses you will take in medical school.

Conclusion

Canada is one of the world’s most reputable country when it comes to offering quality education and accepting international students for study. Getting a degree in Canada has been considered to be a very high achievement for anyone who does, let alone getting a degree in medicine. If you study medicine in Canada you’ll be considered to be a top notch. With the information here, you’ll be to turn this in to a reality.

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