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- January 5th, 2012, 09:44 AM #1
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Pakistan vs Canada
I'm of Pakistani origin but have been in Canada for 11 years now.
I'm currently in my senior year at high school and deciding which universities to attend. So if I go for any university in Canada, I'll have to do my BSc first and then med school. If I apply for Pakistan I don't have to do that, so I save time and tons of money. But I want to specialize in Canada because (no offence, I may be wrong) but I was assuming that we probably have better research facilities here.
So I was wondering if I should just stay here or go back and then come back to specialize? What would be more beneficial?
Thank youJanuary 7th, 2012, 11:40 PM #2
I think studying in Canada is far better than studying in Pakistan... Knowledge and experience matter more than time and money (according to me)... You have a lot of facilities, research centers etc, far better than Pakistani education... I also wanted to study in Canada but due to financial problem................ u knw the rest! Anyways I would say that Canada would be better, but you must do what you want to do! Good Luck!October 18th, 2012, 12:23 AM #3
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I just stumbled upon this post of yours. I'm in the same boat as you, Pakistani origin, in Canada for 15 years, just graduated high school, and, at the time that this was posted, contemplating applying to Pakistani medical schools!
I went ahead and applied to see if I can get in , and am currently in health sciences at a uni in Canada.
i was wondering, did you end up applying? :)October 18th, 2012, 02:17 AM #4
Going back to Canada for specialization is extremely hard. Even tougher than the U.S. just some food for thoughtOctober 18th, 2012, 07:39 AM #5
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I also studied my entire life in Canada. However, if you look at all the years you would have to spend in Canada, it would be around 10-12 years. Also, after 4 years of studying BSc, there is a possibility that you won't even enter into medical school, thus wasting and 4 full years for nothing. Whereas in Pakistan, after 4 years of med school, you'll only have 1 year left!October 18th, 2012, 07:41 AM #6
So where do you want to get into?November 2nd, 2012, 12:57 PM #7
The chances of getting into a Canadian medical school are pretty slim even if you have a good gpa and MCAT. About 25% of applicants actually get in whereas the remaining 75% either completely change their career aspirations, do a Master's or PhD, or go to foreign medical schools in Europe, Australia, Asia and the Caribbean. Its really unfortunate but just based on the number of spots available and the number of applicants each year, the chances of a person getting in are very low even if you do very well in your undergrad and have great extracurricular activities. About half of the people shortlisted for interviews get rejected so the majority the applicants never have the chance to become doctors.
So unless you can manage a 95%+ GPA in four years of university (which is not easy, trust me) it probably is a good idea to go off the Pakistan right after highschool. But then again there are countless benefits of getting the undergraduate education before going off to med school; this is probably why the undergrad is a requirement here in the first place.
And it is quite difficult to get into a competitive residency spot as an IMG from Pakistan but it is possible. So I guess you can weigh the pros and cons and decide what's right for you.November 4th, 2012, 10:13 AM #8
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It is far easier for canadian medical graduates and american medical graduates to attain residency as they participate in the first round of the Canadian residency matching services (CARMS). The second round is than for all others who didn't match in the first round and for the international medical graduates, as well as CMG's (Canadians studying abroad). By this point, all of the spots are already filled in the first rounds, and the only positions available in the second round are usually Family Medicine/General Practinior positions which you must serve in rural or undesirable locations - and even then it involves high board scores, good letters of reference, and good clinical evaluations just to gain these seats.
Not being able to attain a residency and being in debt were the reasons I decided to stay in Canada. I am currently completing my 3rd year BSc and will be applying to both Canadian and American medical schools next year. It is possible to get a high GPA in Canadian schools provided one is willing to put in the hard work. And you certainly don't need 95% (4.0 GPA) marks in order to gain acceptance. The key to gaining acceptance to Canadian schools is to get at least an 85%+ average (which is in the range of 3.9+) and have a wide breath of volunteer, work or research experiences.
Anyone who is either deciding on enrolling into a foreign medical school or staying in Canada and fighting for a position here, needs to weigh both the costs and benefits. For me it was easy; going abroad for my medical education was considered a huge risk; and I would rather much graduate with the MD degree either in Canada or America than the MBBS degree in Pakistan. I am not saying that the MD degree is more desirable, as both degrees will lead you to have equal practice rights; however the MD degree is more widely and internationally recognized and I would much rather prefer my education to be somewhere in North America.
In the end, whether one wishes to go to Pakistan or battle it out here in Canada; both routes should eventually lead to the same common goal. Best of luck to everyone in this amazing, yet stressful journey.
Last edited by Pak-legend; November 4th, 2012 at 10:21 AM.November 14th, 2012, 04:03 AM #9
I decided to go to Pakistan after completing my BSc and applying to medical schools in Canada. I had fairly decent grades and MCAT scores with a lot of extracurricular activities and research experience but unfortunately this wasn't enough to get me in. I went to a top competitive university and was in a fairly tough program so I suppose that's where I was at a disadvantage. I only applied to schools in Ontario, and was so discouraged after being rejected despite the time and effort I had put into my application and MCAT that I decided that it wasn't worth waiting another year to reapply to Ontario and other provinces. I suppose it is possible to get into some schools with an 85% but most people who get into Ontario have GPAs above 90%. The majority of my graduating class wanted to get into medical school and I only know 2 people who got into Canadian schools; both of whom had 3.9/4.0 GPAs. So just based on this I assumed that a 95%+ GPA would guarantee you a spot at a Canadian medical school, but I supposed its possible with a lower GPA if you have an amazing MCAT and extracurriculars to compensate. I also know a few people who got interviews at several schools but were still rejected at all of them. I guess if your marks are good enough (way above the GPA and MCAT cutoffs) to get you to the interview stage then you have a good chance at getting in. But about half of interviewees will still be rejected because of the small number of seats available.
Most of my fellow graduates ended up going to the Caribbean, or pursuing further study in a Master's or other unrelated field, and many intend to reapply after a few years. I only know two girls who got into medical school in the States and one of them only went because she was offered a full tuition scholarship in a MD/PhD program. The U.S. is an option but unfortunately not a very good one in terms of your chances of admission and the cost of tuition/living. Because most schools prefer students from their own states and Canadian applicants have to compete with other international applicants, you only have a good chance if you have a near perfect GPA and MCAT. Even then many schools refuse to accept Canadian students so the number of schools you can apply are limited. Generally if you get accepted to Canadian schools you would probably have a good chance of getting into the States. So considering all this, I decided it would be better for me to save the time, money and effort required for the U.S. application and apply to Pakistan where I have better chances of getting in. In fact I ended up getting into all the schools I applied to in Pakistan!
So if you feel you're a very competitive applicant then I definitely encourage you to apply to medical schools in Canada. I hope you have better luck then I did!
I agree that it is better to get a medical degree from North America if you can get into the schools here but since I wasn't able to, despite the extensive time, money and effort I put in, Pakistan was the next best option for me. I know that I may be at a disadvantage when it comes to applying for residency but I know several people who have gotten residencies in Canada with Pakistani MBBS degrees so it is possible. Plus I'm looking into Family Medicine anyway so hopefully I'll have better chances of matching into the residency of my choice.
As was already mentioned, every individual has to weigh the pros and cons of studying Canada vs. Pakistan. Canada is definitely a better choice since you won't have any barriers when obtaining licensure to practice here. But if you're unable to get into medical school in Canada (like the 80% of medical school applicants that apply each year and are unsuccessful) then I think Pakistan is a great choice.
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