Medical school admission review boards are required to ensure that candidates are thoroughly qualified and possess the potential to have a successful career in medicine. Although applicant prerequisites vary, most Canadian medical schools require candidates to provide proof of a bachelor's degree, Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores and Canadian residency. Most schools also require applicants to submit letters of recommendation and a personal essay.
All Canadian medical schools require program applicants to have some undergraduate experience. Some schools require applicants to have completed at least two years at an accredited college or university, while some require three years and others require applicants to have earned their bachelor's degree. Schools also have varying undergraduate prerequisite course requirements; for example, Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada, requires applicants to have completed six semester hours in English before applying. CanadianCareers.com reports that most Canadian medical schools ask applicants to have taken prerequisite courses in general and organic chemistry, physics and biology. Other Canadian medical schools require students to have passed courses in statistics, mathematics, biochemistry, humanities, social science, French and English as well.
According to CanadianCareers.com, 11 of the 16 medical schools in Canada require students to submit MCAT scores with their application packet. The MCAT tests students in four areas: analytical writing, verbal reasoning, biological sciences and physical sciences.
Letters of Recommendation
Medical schools in Canada typically require applicants to submit letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant's intelligence, compassion, work ethic, drive, determination and aptitude for a career in medicine. Letters of recommendation should not be written by family members or personal acquaintances; they should be written by former or current employers, professors, mentors, co-workers or professional contacts.
Medical schools will want to get a personal impression of program applicants. Most Canadian medical schools require admission applicants to submit a personal statement or essay, explaining their personal and academic history, why they are choosing to go medical school and what they believe they can contribute to the medical profession. Before submission, essay writers should thoroughly examine their work for content, grammar and spelling mistakes, and then ask a trusted party to review their work.
Some Canadian medical schools will ask applicants to list their extracurricular activities. This gives the admission review board an opportunity to see whether or not a candidate is well-rounded and examine their problem-solving skills and leadership ability.
Most Canadian medical schools require applicants to be citizens or permanent residents of the province in which the school is located. Schools that accept students from outside the province may only have limited slots available.
Once an applicant's initial application and credentials have been reviewed, they will likely be asked to come in for a face-to-face interview with one or more members of the review board. According to CanadianCareers.com, applicants can expect to be asked interview questions such as "Why do you think you would make a good doctor?", "Why do you want to attend this medical school?" and "Why do you think you are prepared to deal with the stress associated with a career in medicine?" Applicants should sit for a mock interview with an advising party before going on their real interview.
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