You may not realize that you can get into many medical school with any undergraduate degree; you don't need to major in a 'hard' science to be eligible for admission. You are able to prepare for the study of medicine through many varied educational backgrounds. Your GPA and MCAT score are both important, but so is writing a strong personal statement essay for your application and getting involved in extracurricular activities while in school. Although some programs do not require a full course load (5 per term), being able to maintain a full academic schedule with a good GPA will prepare you for the rigorous medical education curriculum.
Most medical schools in Canada have provincial/regional admission quotas so your chances of being accepted into a school out of your province/region are much lower than for one in your region.
Detailed admission requirements vary from one medical school to the next and you should investigate the schools you are considering to make sure you meet their specific requirements. There are seventeen faculties of medicine in Canada that offer programs of study leading to the award of the MD degree. The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) is a good source of information on Canada's medical education. Each year they publish an up to date document listing admission requirements and statistics applicable to each faculty of medicine. The links at the right will take you to individual medical school admission requirement pages.
Most admissions committees prefer students who have taken a full course load during their undergraduate degree. They also look at your volunteer experience and your extracurricular activities, which become even more relevant if you make it to the interview stage of the process.
MCAT Information and Prep Courses
The MCAT stands for the Medical College Admissions Test, which is a standardized test that most institutions require for acceptance into medicine. For more specific information on the format and content of the MCAT, you could visit the official site MCAT where you can register and reserve a seat to write the test. MCAT test scores must be received by late August to early October depending on your school of choice. Check strict deadlines for each school using the links on the right. Test scores are generally released within 30-35 days. Some schools post useful tips and strategies for applications, admissions and interviews, info about MCAT review courses and a forum for students to share information.
MMI - The interview process and preparation
MMI stands for Multiple Mini Interview. Students complete several mini-interview stations, each consisting of a different scenario or question. Students usually have 10 minutes to complete each station. McMaster University was a pioneer in using the MMI (Eva K.W. et al. 2004, sample MMI questions in Appendix), but these days most med schools across Canada have now adopted this interview process. The objective of the MMI is to assess non-congnitive variables such as interpersonal skills, integrety and professionalism while reducing examiner bias and variability. Characteristics that are often mentioned in applicant assessment are reliability, responsibility, collegiality, self-directedness, compassion, willingness to work hard, teamwork, altruism.
Courses recommended by Acadia students interested in medicine
The following list of courses are useful when studying for the MCAT: introductory biology, intro or general physics, anatomy, physiology, intro psychology, intro sociology, intro or general chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry. Acadia students have also recommended the following, in no particular order or weight:
History of Medicine, Biomedical Ethics, 1000 level English, Research Topics/Methods in any Faculty, Honours Thesis (by permission only)
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