Today, the United States is the destination for many aspiring physicians. Admission to medical schools is competitive everywhere but, as Canadian, you’ll face exceptionally stiff competition.
Can you actually be admitted into a US medical school as a Canadian citizen? The answer is yes! Every year, we work with Canadian citizens throughout the medical school application process who are accepted to medical school. Let’s take a look.
Can You Get into a U.S. Medical School?
You can be admitted to a U.S. medical school as a Canadian. However, most institutions in the country only accept U.S. citizens or residents.
Canadian applicants must be prepared for a highly competitive admissions process. Still, they often have an easier time than other international candidates do, largely because their education systems are comparable, and their coursework is similar to that of U.S. undergraduate schools. That means medical school admissions committees will usually be satisfied that, for example, organic chemistry in Canada is equivalent to that of organic chemistry in the U.S.
Moreover, some medical schools don’t even consider Canadians international students when reviewing their applications, or they distinguish them from other international applicants.
List of Medical Schools that Accept Canadians
This data comes from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
|Baylor College of Medicine||Houston, TX|
|Boston University School of Medicine||Boston, MA|
|Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine||Cleveland, OH|
|Central Michigan University College of Medicine||Mt Pleasant, MI|
|Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons||New York, NY|
|Duke University School of Medicine||Durham, NC|
|Emory University School of Medicine||Atlanta, GA|
|Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth||Hanover, NH|
|George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences||Washington, DC|
|Georgetown University School of Medicine||Washington, DC|
|Harvard Medical School||Boston, MA|
|Howard University College of Medicine||Washington, DC|
|Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai||New York, NY|
|Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine||Baltimore, MD|
|Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California||Los Angeles, CA|
|Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans||New Orleans, LA|
|Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine||Rochester, MN|
|Meharry Medical College||Nashville, TN|
|Michigan State University College of Human Medicine||East Lansing, MI|
|Morehouse School of Medicine||Atlanta, GA|
|New York Medical College||Valhalla, NY|
|Northwestern University The Feinberg School of Medicine||Chicago, IL|
|Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania||Philadelphia, PA|
|Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University||Stony Brook, NY|
|Rutgers New Jersey Medical School||Newark, NJ|
|Saint Louis University School of Medicine||Saint Louis, MO|
|Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University||Philadelphia, PA|
|Stanford University School of Medicine||Stanford, CA|
|State University of New York Upstate Medical University||Syracuse, NY|
|TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine||Fort Worth, TX|
|Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Paul L. Foster School of Medicine||El Paso, TX|
|The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine||San Antonio, TX|
|The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences||Toledo, OH|
|The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University||Providence, RI|
|Tufts University School of Medicine||Boston, MA|
|Tulane University School of Medicine||New Orleans, LA|
|University of Arizona College of Medicine||Tucson, AZ|
|University of California, Davis, School of Medicine||Sacramento, CA|
|University of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine||Los Angeles, CA|
|University of Chicago Division of the Biological Sciences The Pritzker School of Medicine||Chicago, IL|
|University of Colorado School of Medicine||Aurora, CO|
|University of Connecticut School of Medicine||Farmington, CT|
|University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine||Honolulu, HI|
|University of Illinois College of Medicine||Chicago, IL|
|University of Maryland School of Medicine||Baltimore, MD|
|University of Massachusetts Medical School||Worcester, MA|
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine||Chapel Hill, NC|
|University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine||Pittsburgh, PA|
|University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School||Austin, TX|
|University of Utah School of Medicine||Salt Lake City, UT|
|University of Virginia School of Medicine||Charlottesville, VA|
|Vanderbilt University School of Medicine||Nashville, TN|
|Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine||Richmond, VA|
|Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine||Saint Louis, MO|
|Wayne State University School of Medicine||Detroit, MI|
|Weill Cornell Medicine||New York, NY|
|Yale School of Medicine||New Haven, CT|
Why Would You Want to Attend a U.S. Medical School?
With only 17 medical schools in Canada and an admissions rate hovering around just 20 percent, the odds of acceptance are incredibly low. Of course, admissions are extremely competitive in the U.S., too, but with 154 allopathic and 38 osteopathic programs, you’ll arguably have a less difficult time being admitted to a US medical school.
Residency Options and U.S. Accreditation
Attending a medical school in the US will open doors to completing a residency at programs in the country. Given that it’s home to some of the top hospitals and facilities, this is an attractive option.
Furthermore, you’ll be accredited to work in the US after graduating from a medical school located in the country, which will give you more choices of employers and opportunities.
Tips for Applying as a Canadian
1. Ensure you have the strongest candidacy possible.
Because medical school is more competitive for Canadians, we advise this cohort of applicants to have higher than average GPAs and MCATs for accepted students. We also encourage them to have the best extracurricular profile possible.
2. Think about what you’ll do after medical school.
This is something you should consider before committing to attending a medical school in the US. If you’re hoping to return to Canada for your residency, you’ll have more difficult matching. Data from the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) shows that graduates of US medical schools match at Canadian residency programs at a considerably lower rate than graduates of Canadian medical schools — 59.5 percent to 96.5 percent.
So, you should think about your goals beyond medical school, particularly in terms of where you want to practice.
3. Start early.
The U.S. medical school admissions cycle begins earlier than it does in Canada. You can look up general AAMC deadlines and dates here, and check with individual schools for more details. Generally speaking, you should complete your materials as quickly as possible.
4. Focus on qualitative factors in addition to quantitative ones.
While both U.S. and Canadian medical schools weigh your GPA and MCAT scores heavily in determining whether you’ll be admitted, the US also considers additional materials, including personal statements and extracurricular activities. Make sure you understand the expectations for each component of your application and recognize that the US admissions process is more holistic than that of its neighbor.
5. Ensure you meet the requirements.
Usually, transcripts and coursework transfer smoothly between the U.S. and Canadian academic systems. But you should still make sure this is the case for you, taking the time to review requirements and ensure your credits are equivalent to US counterparts.
No matter what your nationality, admission to medical school is challenging, and the process itself is grueling. But attending a U.S. institution is possible for Canadian students. Learn more about how we can help you take this important step toward a thriving career in medicine.
JESSICA FREEDMAN, M.D., a former medical school and residency admissions officer at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, is the founder and chair of MedEdits Medical Admissions and author of three top-selling books about the medical admissions process that you can find on Amazon.