Ask Dr. Gray Q&A: How Do Canadians Stand out for US Schools?

Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts

Ask Dr. Gray Q&A: How Do Canadians Stand out for US Schools?

Session 65

It’s Day 2 of our live Q&A session where I bring one of you on the podcast. Today, we have a Canadian student who has a question about how to stand out in the U.S. medical school application.

Our episodes are recorded live on Facebook at 3pm ET on most weekdays. Like the page to be notified.

For more help on your medical school application, check out The Premed Years Podcast.

[01:25] Standing Out in Your Personal Statement

Q: How do I, as a Canadian applicant, stand out against the U.S applicants in the personal statement?

A: Regardless of your race, your personal statement is your story on why you want to be a physician. End of story. So it doesn’t matter if you’re a Canadian.

For example, I worked with a Canadian this past cycle. In her personal statement, she had a little backstory on her personal statement because it was relevant to why she wanted to be a physician. She was an immigrant to Canada and lived in low socioeconomic status. She lived around a lot of diversity and this got her exposed to some healthcare and medicine that led her on this journey.

She was able to show a bit of her journey in her personal statement. Outside of that part of her story, the fact she was Canadian didn’t come up because it wasn’t relevant to her personal statement.

'Your personal statement needs to show why you want to be a physician.'Click To Tweet

In your extracurriculars, you’re going to have locations for all of your experiences. All of your experiences are going to be in Canada. In your demographics, your citizenship is Canadian. It will be all over your application that you’re not an American citizen.

[03:33] How to Stand Out as a Canadian Applicant

Extending beyond your personal statement, you can stand out by doing what any student would do to stand out. Obviously, MCAT and GPA are very important. You can’t avoid these things

'They're looking for your story.'Click To Tweet

[03:50] Making Your School Lists

In making your school list, apply wherever you want to go. In terms of which schools are more likely to accept you as a Canadian student, you have to do your research. Look at the MSAR (Medical School Admissions Requirements) and see if the schools you’re interested in accept Canadian students.

Look at their breakdown to see who they’re interviewing and who they’re accepting. All of that is on the MSAR assuming the school gave AAMC that data.

This would be more challenging when it comes to DO schools. But do some research to find out which schools are “Canadian friendly.” One of them is Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. They hold seats for Canadian applicants. They have a deal in place with Canada to increase the osteopathic physician population in Canada.

'Find out which schools are 'Canadian friendly.''Click To Tweet

[05:15] Applying to State Schools

It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply to a state school in the U.S. if you’re Canadian.

The Canadian student I helped this past cycle, applied to the University of Kentucky state school as an international student. When it came to the secondary applications, she explained that she goes to Kentucky every summer to visit her uncle. So she had ties to the state.

It’s no different than a U.S. applicant applying to public out-of-state schools here in the U.S. You should have some reasons why you are applying to that school. Aside from your stats, have a great personal statement. Have good extracurriculars.

'There's no secret sauce. It's just a matter of finding the schools that are going to give you a shot as a Canadian applicant.'Click To Tweet

[07:50] In-State vs. Out-of-State

Q: Something we run into in Canada when applying to medical schools, they accept 90% in-province students, 10% out-of-province. Are there a lot of restrictions like that from U.S. schools?

A: Public schools in the U.S. may have very similar restrictions. If you look at Texas stats, they accept 90% in-state and 10% out-of-state.

This basically depends on the state’s guidelines for their public schools. For example, the University of Michigan MD program is about 50-50 in-state and out-of-state. They’re a public institution.

Michigan’s a little less populated with premed students. This is probably the reason they’re more forgiving with it. Again, look at the MSAT to see their breakdown of in-state and out-of-state.


Meded Media

The Premed Years Podcast

MSHQ Facebook Hangout Group

MSAR (Medical School Admissions Requirements)