Can an International Student study Medicine in Canada?
What is the Cost of Medical Schools in Canada?
Are international Students allowed to study Medicine in Canada?
This is not one of those yes or no questions.
The closest answer is that it is extremely competitive (if not impossible) to study Medicine in Canada as an international student except in the rare cases where some faculties of medicine have contracts with foreign governments or institutions to accept applications for “supernumerary” positions( i.e. creating extra position through a contractual agreement with countries like the United States to admit some of their qualified students)
The major reason why it is impossible for just any international student (other that those mentioned above) to study medicine is because majority of places in a faculty of medicine are allocated to permanent residents (i.e. Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents) of the province in which the university is located. The number of places available is determined by provincial government based on educational and financial resources as well as Canada’s future physician workforce requirement. In simpler terms, Medical schools across the country are partially funded by taxpayers therefore preference are given to the residents of that province.
Out of Seventeen faculties of medicine in Canada, only seven of them state that students with study visa can apply. In most cases, they are referring to students from those countries with some contractual agreements.
The GPA required usually range from 3.5/4.0 -4/4. Based on the Stats on The Associations of Faculties of Medicine in Canada (AFMC). Most students admitted had grade point average of 3.80/4.0 (95.5%).
The information on AFMC shows that tuition cost in the first year alone is very high for Canadians and even more for international students. In some schools like those in Quebec international Students pay about eight times more. The table below outlines the tuition cost for 2014 in each Province. Look and chose which province you want to become a resident (lol). In My next life I personally want to be a resident of Quebec because I once wanted to be a medical doctor. They have the lowest tuition for their residents in the country.
The other challenge international students face is that admission to the Undergraduate MD Program does not confer eligibility to apply subsequently through the Canadian Residency Matching Services (CaRMS) for a residency training position in Canada.
I have met Canadians and permanent residents who have tried numerous times to get admission but to no avail. Most end up moving to the US or going to the Caribbean to complete their studies. These students all have excellent results but due to the limited amount of space they are not offered admission.
So as an international student from Nigeria, I could not study medicine in Canada.
So now here is the new question; based on the information you just read, would you still come to Canada with the hopes of studying medicine?
Share your thoughts :)
photo credit: Wix
Reference: The Association of Faculties of Medicine in Canada