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Thread: Canadian school with questions about Carib vs Ireland vs Aus

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    Michael W.W. is offline Junior Member
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    Canadian school with questions about Carib vs Ireland vs Australia

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    I am almost finished my second year at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada and have been feverishly researching foreign medical schools to study at next year. Since I only have 2 years of university and no MCAT I am looking to enter a premed program. I have researched Ireland and the Caribean and have already applied to some schools but have now turned my attention to Australia. My final goal is to practice medicine in the States. I like the look of Australia because it is cheaper than St.Georges in the Carib and the Irish schools. What I don't understand is that if your clinical rotations are done in Australia how can you get the hours at ACGME approved hospitals in the states in order to be eligeable for residency in the sates?????? Do US residencies except your clinical rotation hours in Australia??????? Are Australian graduates pretty much guaranteed residencies in the states if they pass the UCLME and required tests or is it possible that you won't find one???????? As far as practicing medicine in the US where is the best place to go Australia, Caribean, or Ireland????? Do I have a good shot at an Australian school with a 91% in high school and an 85% at Queens after 2 years??????

    Thanks for reading this and I DESPERATELY hope someone will answer as I really want to study somewhere else next year.

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    Queen's

    Hi.

    Both my husband and I are Queen's grads too (a few times over). I think redshifteffectz is your best bet. Look for his notes and send him a private note. He is the expert on Australia.

    One comment. If you are done 2 years at Queen's with 85% average, why don't you finish one more year and apply directly within the Canadian or US system? Your marks seem great. And then you would have an undergrad - forever - as another credential. If you walk after 2 years, you have nothing. That's 2 years of hard work for no academic recognition. You have to finish this year and then do another 8 months. Really I would encourage you to complete your BSc.

    Just my thoughts.

    S-

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    Michael W.W. is offline Junior Member
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    canadian student wanting St.Georges or Australia

    Thank you for answering me back, I REALLY appreciate it. I would be VERY interested in practicing medicine in the States but I hear its VERY hard for a Canadian to get into an Americain school because they only take about 2% of their students from outside the US and many don't even take students out of state! (this is just what I heard, I could be mistaken). I know of a guy who had a 3.7 average from a Canadian university with good MCAT scores who applied to 6 schools in the states and did not get an interview. Maybe he applied to the wrong ones? You mentioned that my marks could get me into SEVERAL schools in the states....hearing this makes me SO happy. I have no idea which ones I would apply to... any ideas? I don't care where I end up in the states, any school would do ABSOLUTELY fine. Do you know which I should apply to to maximize my chances of getting in (ie. the easiest ones - I don't want to use a lot of time and ressources applying to schools and not getting in like I know has happened to some Canadians). I have a book entitled "Medical School Admission Requirements United States and Canada 2004-2005," that indicates that HARDLY ANYONE with less than a full "baccalaureate" degree gets accepted to Americain schools (I am assuming that a baccalaureate degree means 4 years (am I wrong?). This means I would need two more years and the mcat. I am willing to do the work but don't feel my chances are that good in the states - I could be using up another 2 years of my life (or technically one) when I could just go down to St.Georges now and realize my goal of becoming an IM or ER physician in the states. In Canada I will FORE SURE need a 4 year degree and its really hard and would have to use much of my summers studying for mcats and doing volunteer work. I would like to pursue medicine as soon as possible so I figure premed at St.Georges would be a good opportunity.

    I am really greatful for this discussion board and have found it very helpful. Thank you so much for your message I really appreciate it! I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts.


    Sincerely,
    Michael W.W.

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    cantor is offline Newbie
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    hi

    You have the grades to get into a good American school if you keep it up. 85% in a Canadian school translates to about a 3.7 on the AMCAS scale, which is plenty good for a lot of schools. However, the big unknown is the MCAT of course. I would definitely not risk going overseas if you could help it, especially with you being Canadian. If you want to eventually work in the US, your main goal should be to get into a US school, and I think your GPA is good enough to get into a decent school. And yes, most US schools require a bachelors degree and the ones that don't are very difficult to get into with only three years (I know of no schools that will accept after only two years).

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    canadian student wanting St.Georges or Australia

    Michael,

    I was a highschool grad when I went to medschool, and I also applied to a bunch of 5/6 year programs in the US, Australia, Ireland and the UK. I got into all (Uni of Melb/Monash/Tasmania in Australia, Trinity/RCSI in Ireland, Leicester in UK). Getting in isn't really the problem. The problem is deciding which is the better choice.

    There is not doubt that if your goal is to return to Canada the caribbean is not a good option. Doing your medschool in a well respected western country will probably allow you to attempt a residency in Canada (which is pretty hard to get as I'm sure you know and pretty subjective/biased) but there is no doubt that residency directors prefer students from these countries over carib grads. Not to say that an education from the carib isnt' good, but the fact is taht these grads are not nearly as well respected in Canada as they are in the US.

    The advantages to going to the Carib first:
    - prepares you for the USMLE
    - US clinicals

    Disadvantages:
    - Only place you can practice is US or in some cases UK
    - Practicing in the US may not be as great as the ppl. on these forums make it seem..if you do research you will see cost of living in the US is higher, work hours are longer and there is a huge hassle with dealing with insurance companies. I know most ppl don't think of these issues, but you are about to make a 150 000+ investment and this is for the rest of yoru life, so think about it

    The advantages of Ireland:
    - very well respected in some provinces like Newfoundland or Manitoba
    - excellent education with high probability of doing well on USMLEs if you study for them


    Disadvantages
    - No USMLE "prep" like at the carib unis
    - High cost of living in Ireland
    - NO chance of a residency after graduation, though i heard you can attempt UK

    Advantages of Australia
    - Good unis
    - Good lifestyle for docs
    - Excellent weather
    - Low cost of living (Aussie dollar is usually lower than CDN dollar)
    - Cheap tuition (in comparison)
    - Fair chance of returning to Canada under new ontario program (search for more details in this forum)

    Disadvantages
    - No USMLE prep like in Carib unis
    - Can't get a Permenant Residency (which is what you need to be able to do your residency here)/Internship if you go to a post grad uni (well it will very difficult)
    - a lot further than the carib/ireland so you can only go home once a year

    Couple things to consider, a lot of ppl have posted here that it's possible to return to Canada with a US residency, I think that this is not the case. I have enquired with the Ontario licensing authorities and they have told me that most US residencies are SHORTER than their Canadian equivalents and thus would require an EXTRA year of that residency in order to be eligible to even SIT the tests (or for their new program). This is not the case if you were to do a residency from the UK/Ireland/NZ/South Africa or Australia. Also places like Newfoundland openly admit they PREFER grads of these countries...proving their is bias against carib unis in Canada.

    At the end of the day it's up to you, but I hope this is a more realistic picture of what you're up against as a Canadian.
    irelandorcaribbean likes this.

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    canadian student wanting St.Georges or Australia

    Michael,

    I was a highschool grad when I went to medschool, and I also applied to a bunch of 5/6 year programs in the US, Australia, Ireland and the UK. I got into all (Uni of Melb/Monash/Tasmania in Australia, Trinity/RCSI in Ireland, Leicester in UK). Getting in isn't really the problem. The problem is deciding which is the better choice. - Forgot to mention I got accepted to Case Western Reserve and Brown for their 6 year "accelerated" med programs, but due to high costs I turned it down.

    There is not doubt that if your goal is to return to Canada the caribbean is not a good option. Doing your medschool in a well respected western country will probably allow you to attempt a residency in Canada (which is pretty hard to get as I'm sure you know and pretty subjective/biased) but there is no doubt that residency directors prefer students from these countries over carib grads. Not to say that an education from the carib isnt' good, but the fact is taht these grads are not nearly as well respected in Canada as they are in the US.

    The advantages to going to the Carib first:
    - prepares you for the USMLE
    - US clinicals

    Disadvantages:
    - Only place you can practice is US or in some cases UK
    - Practicing in the US may not be as great as the ppl. on these forums make it seem..if you do research you will see cost of living in the US is higher, work hours are longer and there is a huge hassle with dealing with insurance companies. I know most ppl don't think of these issues, but you are about to make a 150 000+ investment and this is for the rest of yoru life, so think about it

    The advantages of Ireland:
    - very well respected in some provinces like Newfoundland or Manitoba
    - excellent education with high probability of doing well on USMLEs if you study for them


    Disadvantages
    - No USMLE "prep" like at the carib unis
    - High cost of living in Ireland
    - NO chance of a residency after graduation, though i heard you can attempt UK

    Advantages of Australia
    - Good unis
    - Good lifestyle for docs
    - Excellent weather
    - Low cost of living (Aussie dollar is usually lower than CDN dollar)
    - Cheap tuition (in comparison)
    - Fair chance of returning to Canada under new ontario program (search for more details in this forum)

    Disadvantages
    - No USMLE prep like in Carib unis
    - Can't get a Permenant Residency (which is what you need to be able to do your residency here)/Internship if you go to a post grad uni (well it will very difficult)
    - a lot further than the carib/ireland so you can only go home once a year

    Couple things to consider, a lot of ppl have posted here that it's possible to return to Canada with a US residency, I think that this is not the case. I have enquired with the Ontario licensing authorities and they have told me that most US residencies are SHORTER than their Canadian equivalents and thus would require an EXTRA year of that residency in order to be eligible to even SIT the tests (or for their new program). This is not the case if you were to do a residency from the UK/Ireland/NZ/South Africa or Australia. Also places like Newfoundland openly admit they PREFER grads of these countries...proving there is bias against carib unis in Canada.

    At the end of the day it's up to you, but I hope this is a more realistic picture of what you're up against as a Canadian.

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    Michael W.W. is offline Junior Member
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    Canadian looking at the possibility of US pre-med programs and finding it hard to choose a foreign med school

    Hi redshifteffectz,

    Thank you for the response, I really appreciate it and it was very helpful. I know for a fact that returning to Canada from the Caribbean is impossible and still VERY hard from Australia and Ireland. My goal is to practice medicine in the states so this is not an issue for me. I have family practicing medicine in the states and after some thought I have realized it is what I would like to do.

    I want to go to a well respected school with a good reputation; therefore, the Australian and Irish schools are very appealing to me. On the other hand my goal is to practice medicine in the states so the idea that I would be doing my rotations during my last two years at a Caribbean medical school (I would choose one of the big 3) seems logical. I also like structure while studying, so having classes geared towards the UCLMEs at a Caribbean school would be a good thing for me. On the other hand an Australian school is much cheaper. I am having trouble picking and even after lots of research I'm still not sure what is best for me. Am I safe to assume that no matter where I go I will definately get a residency in the states (assuming I work hard and pass all the required tests and recieve the required visa)? After researching I have concluded that all these schools will get me a residency in the states if I work hard making it so hard to choose.

    My first choice would be to get into a 5/6 year program in the states. I know there are many that exist but am not sure if I really understand what they are for. I called one in New York - they have a premed program but I was told it lasted 4 years and does not guarantee you passage into medical school once you complete it - it is simply an undergrad program geared to medicine. I was under the impression that there are 5/6 programs in the states that are like in Australia and Ireland where if you are accepted into the premed program you are in for good and will become a doctor. Am I mistaken? Do you know of the schools in the US that offer a premed program like Australia and Ireland or where I could obtain a list of them? You mentioned that you were accepted to Case Western Reserve and Brown for their 6 year "accelerated" med program. Are these schools in the states? Are these programs built like an Australian school where once you enter you progress through the program all the way to becoming a doctor, or do you still have to apply to med school after completing them? Would I be eligible or have a good shot to enter one of these programs with 2 years of university, no mcats, a 3.7 GPA and a 91% in high school? If there are programs like this I KNOW this would be the right choice for me. I am worried that I am too late though since it is quite late in the year.

    I am so sorry this message is so long but I am SO curious where you ended up going for medical school and why? What were your reasons for going right after high schools (I know I have many)?

    Thank you so much for your help, without this chat forum I would be a lot further behind in my knowledge of possible pre-med programs than I am now.

    Michael

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    Canadian looking at the possibility of US pre-med programs and finding it hard to choose a foreign med school

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael W.W.
    Hi redshifteffectz,

    Thank you for the response, I really appreciate it and it was very helpful. I know for a fact that returning to Canada from the Caribbean is impossible and still VERY hard from Australia and Ireland. My goal is to practice medicine in the states so this is not an issue for me. I have family practicing medicine in the states and after some thought I have realized it is what I would like to do.

    I want to go to a well respected school with a good reputation; therefore, the Australian and Irish schools are very appealing to me. On the other hand my goal is to practice medicine in the states so the idea that I would be doing my rotations during my last two years at a Caribbean medical school (I would choose one of the big 3) seems logical. I also like structure while studying, so having classes geared towards the UCLMEs at a Caribbean school would be a good thing for me. On the other hand an Australian school is much cheaper. I am having trouble picking and even after lots of research I'm still not sure what is best for me. Am I safe to assume that no matter where I go I will definately get a residency in the states (assuming I work hard and pass all the required tests and recieve the required visa)? After researching I have concluded that all these schools will get me a residency in the states if I work hard making it so hard to choose.

    My first choice would be to get into a 5/6 year program in the states. I know there are many that exist but am not sure if I really understand what they are for. I called one in New York - they have a premed program but I was told it lasted 4 years and does not guarantee you passage into medical school once you complete it - it is simply an undergrad program geared to medicine. I was under the impression that there are 5/6 programs in the states that are like in Australia and Ireland where if you are accepted into the premed program you are in for good and will become a doctor. Am I mistaken? Do you know of the schools in the US that offer a premed program like Australia and Ireland or where I could obtain a list of them? You mentioned that you were accepted to Case Western Reserve and Brown for their 6 year "accelerated" med program. Are these schools in the states? Are these programs built like an Australian school where once you enter you progress through the program all the way to becoming a doctor, or do you still have to apply to med school after completing them? Would I be eligible or have a good shot to enter one of these programs with 2 years of university, no mcats, a 3.7 GPA and a 91% in high school? If there are programs like this I KNOW this would be the right choice for me. I am worried that I am too late though since it is quite late in the year.

    I am so sorry this message is so long but I am SO curious where you ended up going for medical school and why? What were your reasons for going right after high schools (I know I have many)?

    Thank you so much for your help, without this chat forum I would be a lot further behind in my knowledge of possible pre-med programs than I am now.

    Michael
    Michael,

    I'll try and answer as many of your questions as I can:

    - First of all about the 6 year accelerated medical programs. The ones I know about are Case Western Reserve and Brown (and those were the only two I applied to anyway). Getting in was okay for me, but then again I still had to write the SAT 1 and the SAT 2's. I can tell you that i had marks in highschool in the 90's as well. I will PM u my scores if you would like so you can see what kind of chance you have. The problem with these schools is extremely high costs (ball park around $40 000 US)/ year from what I remember and the structure is a lot different than those in Ireland or Australia. What essentially happens is that you have to do 2 years of a 4 year bachelors degree and you are required to maintain a B average, if you can do so you'll be guaranteed a spot in medicine, though you will still have to write your MCATs and go through a formal interview. Basically though from what I remember if you don't maintain the B average then you could still be kicked out of the program so it's not a 100% guarantee you will be a medical student, and that on top of the high costs were too much for me which is why i didn't accept the offer. However like all schools in the US they do not admit foreign students very easily so be prepared to do well on your SATs.

    - As for your goal of practicing in the US, while I think that it's great you know a lot (and have done your homework) I still think you can't be 100% sure that this is what you really want. Other than close proximity to Canada the US does have some disadvantages to practicing there, and the only way you will really know whether or not you don't want to practice somewhere else is if you actually experience the country that you would potentially practice in.

    - MY situation was not that complicated. I really like Australia as a country, there are a lot of similarities between Canada and Australia, and from the research I did my chances were probably much better if I studied in an undergraduate school rather than a post graduate one, which worked out for me since I didn't have to waste 4 years trying to complete a degree. Then to further narrow my choice, I consulted immigration lawyers and some buddies of mine and came to the conclusion that the University of Tasmania (where I'm at now) was a much better choice in terms of immigrating to Australia then either Uni of Melb. or Monash simply because they are in big cities, and that does not look good on a PR application. Even though I'm not planning to return to Canada I do not want to rule out that possibility, and as I said after having spoken to the licensing bodies in Ontario I could see that the shortage of a year or so in most US residencies was a significant hassle that I didn't want. Unless I did FP (which is longer than it's cdn equivalent) then I would have no hassle. But again i didn't want to restrict my choices and I decided I could probably have the best of both worlds if I did my complete training in Australia.

    - If your main goal is the US I can see the problem you are having. Price is no question even if you were to attend a full 6 year program (most are only 5 years now) but still the total cost of the 6 year program would still be cheaper than a 4 year program in the carib. Combined with lower cost of living in Australia makes it economically a better choice. However your USMLE issue is also valid. But from the forums you can see that most Australian grads are not at a significant disadvantage when it comes to this issue, and most aussie unis allow you to do electives whereever you want (i have 6 months free in 4th year and about 6 weeks in 5th year), so it's possible to still do some US rotations. However I can't accuratly tell you which will better prepare you for the USMLEs (though i probably suspect in some ways carib unis would)...but you will have to decide what you want.

    - My only advice is that you are already limiting what you can become as a doctor (likely IM or FP) simply because you are going to the US as a non citizen/ non green card holder. But then to further limit the location of practice (because remember if you ever decide to go back to Canada or go to another country the carib degree would certainly make the process much more difficult) would really be limiting your choices. I personally didn't want to limit my choices because in all honesty you just never know.


    anyway best of luck in what you choose. Hope this was of some help.

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