Ontario is known for its high level of medical training throughout Canada. What’s more, most medical schools here have excellent infrastructure. And if you’re considering applying to one of them, that’s a great decision.
So in this article, you’ll learn about essential medical schools in Ontario requirements and valuable tips to help you become a student at one of Ontario’s top medical schools.
Medical Schools in Ontario Requirements: What You Need to Know Before Applying to Medical School
Medical education in Canada is the most in-demand in the country and beyond. But becoming a certified specialist takes a lot of financial and time resources. Below are the main factors to consider before applying to medical school in Ontario.
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1. Medical education in Ontario is a complicated and lengthy process and, more often than not, an expensive path. Consider that it takes 7 to 8 years to study to be a doctor, plus 2 to 7 years of internship.
2. Compared to other specialties, the cost of medical education in Canada is relatively high. You must decide if you’re willing to cover all your tuition for the entire study period. Earning a part-time job while studying to become a doctor is usually impossible because of the high workload during training.
3. You must be prepared to brainstorm continuously for at least 10-12 hours daily. And you also need to make sure your Grade Point Average (GPA) is high enough, as it affects your transition between courses and getting a job.
4. Many know doctors’ high salaries can be more than $50,000 a month. But not many people know that the average doctor’s work schedule is 100 hours a week. So it would be best to weigh the pros and cons before choosing this specialty.
Essential Sections of the OMSAS Application
You first need to know what centralized online services Ontario medical schools use. And here we’ve made it easy for you.
So students apply for admission through the Ontario Medical School Application Service (OMSAS). You’ll need to pay $220 for the OMSAS application. Please find below the main sections of it.
# 1 Address and Personal Information
In principle, everything is evident here from the title. There are only a few critical points to elaborate on.
First, if you are seriously considering the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, don’t skip the “Rural Origins” section, and be sure to fill it out.
And two, if you’re related to Aboriginal tribes, you need to detail your status. Also, note that the criteria for assessing ancestry may vary from school to school.
# 2 Questions
In this section, you need to answer three critical questions that determine your academic background and previous history of applying to a healthcare institution.
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# 3 Choices
In this section, the students specify which of Canada’s six medical schools they would like to attend. Next is the choice of language, although, in 2022, only the University of Ottawa may offer courses in French.
The last choice in this section is the preferred MD-PhD course. Five medical schools have MD-PhD programs.
However, consider that you’ll need a very high level of medical training for this purpose, including high-level research writing.
# 4 Sketch
To complete this section in the best way possible, you should prepare for it in advance. First, make a journal of all of your extracurricular activities for medical school.
Then record the key dates, completed hours, and the verifiers’ names. And after that, you won’t have to rack your brains to remember these important details.
Of course, it would be superfluous to specify what science clubs you attended or biology books you read in kindergarten. But what information must the autobiographical sketch (ABS) section contain?
Generally, it can be described as a functional and standardized summary of your path at the time of admission to medical school. You’ll be required to provide information on 32 items in categories such as:
- Formal education
- Volunteer work
- Extracurricular activities
- Awards and achievements
Each paragraph should not exceed 100 characters, and each paragraph description should not exceed 150 characters. It would help if you also assigned a verifier for each item in this essay who could confirm your experience.
# 5 School Submissions and Referees
It is where the student must upload the referee data and essay requirements for admission to a medical school. Note that the essay requirements are different and vary from school to school. So it makes sense to use the help of an essay writer if you want to receive the best results for your work.
If you apply to the University of Toronto, you only need to write a short personal essay. However, at other schools, it may not be enough. At the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, for example, you may be bombarded with many additional questions about the specific characteristics they are looking for according to their values and mission (don’t be scared, preparation matters at all schools).
On the other hand, you may be asked to talk about your prior experience related to studying the medical field. To be successful in all of these tests, check out the specific requirements on the websites of each university you’re interested in beforehand. Don’t forget about the character limits on each prompt as well. What is their primary purpose?
As you might have guessed by now, these prompts help schools to get to know you better as an applicant and determine your suitability for a particular program. Take your time responding to the prompts, carefully review their content and the school’s mission statement, and check the CanMED roles to see which ones you can highlight in your response.
The “Referees” section should include the details of at least three referees on the Confidential Assessment form. Here, your referees need to respond to questions regarding their opinion of your medical training, communication skills, problem-solving skills, professionalism, and empathy. They also should indicate areas where you must improve your skills. Last, they have to share any valuable information with the admissions committee.
Different schools may have specific requirements for who can be your referent. So it’s worth checking admissions websites in advance for all the references you need. It is not the best decision to ask a particular professor for a recommendation letter and immediately go about your business. If this is important to you, take the time to refresh the professor’s memory about yourself and your accomplishments.
It ensures they will write the best medical school recommendation letters for you. Your referees should have at least one month to prepare a recommendation. So it also doesn’t hurt to make sure they have the desire to write it for you. It would be best if you did it before you entered referral information into the OMSAS portal because once the referee form is filled out, it cannot be changed.
If there is no problem with this, print out the completed form for the referee to take the following steps to draft a recommendation letter. And the last tip in this paragraph concerns your activity. The student should keep track of their letters in OMSAS to ensure they are received before the deadline.
# 6 MCAT and GPA
It is where you must list your MCAT score and GPA, considering converting your grades to meet specific requirements for a final GPA. You can use any OMSAS GPA calculator for this task. Some medical schools don’t require the MCAT, but adding these data to this section is mandatory for others. For example, when it comes to the University of Toronto, medical schools here don’t use the MCAT on a competitive basis. Instead, they require MCAT scores to ensure the student scores at least 125 in each section.
# 7 Postsecondary Education and Transcripts
If you have reached this point, include your complete postsecondary education history. Next, add information regarding the year summary, detailed year description, course summary, and course description. OMSAS can automatically calculate the student’s GPA as you enter each item. You should also remember any summer programs you attended and schools you enrolled in that you did not participate in. Lastly, provide a complete transcript so that OMSAS can confirm your academic record. You need to mail this information to the address below.
170 Research Lane,
Ontario – N1G 5E
The Path to Being a Doctor
Obtaining a doctor’s license in Canada is not the quickest process. And if you’re a foreigner, you should remember that even Canadians who want to become doctors sometimes go to Australia or the USA to study. So already, upon arrival, they get the necessary licenses to work. So we decided to devote a separate section directly to the path to becoming a doctor in Canada, including Ontario.
And one more important note: if you plan a flight to Ontario just before you go to medical school, ensure that your plane trip is as comfortable as possible. It’s better to save yourself the extra worry before an important event, don’t you agree?
Obtain a Bachelor of Science
A Diploma or Advanced Diploma is not suitable for further admission. Generally, medical schools have a list of required courses, mainly in the sciences, that you must take in the Bachelor’s program. Therefore, when applying to the Bachelor’s program, you should look carefully at the courses you must take. They need to be designed in terms of hours and topics so that the number of academic hours, knowledge, and skills will meet the entrance requirements of medical school.
Since there is no exact wording for what major you need to get your Bachelor’s degree, you can theoretically study in any program, but life or health sciences, chemistry, biology, psychology, and so on would be the most appropriate option. After receiving your Bachelor’s degree, you’ll have permission to look for a job for three years.
Go to Medical School
If you’re a foreigner, consider that there are usually 5-10 places for international students. The competition can be 250-400 people per place. Both overall academic progress at the university, recommendations from academic staff, and other achievements in the professional sphere are evaluated. Tuition is mandatory, and scholarships are usually not available.
Complete an Extended Internship
In medical school, students spend the first two years of their residency learning theory: medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology. After that, they work with patients in various clinical departments for the next two years, which is already a practice. Finally, in the fourth year, students prepare to take the problematic MCCEE (Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination) exam, a specialty course.
They can also take an elective course in a subspecialty area. After passing the exam, you graduate with an MD (Medical Doctor) degree, but the degree does not entitle you to practice independently. After receiving the MD degree, practical training in a subspecialty residency is mandatory. After being accepted into the program, you will begin your first year of training, also called an internship.
Canadian internships are arranged centrally through CaRMS (Canadian Resident Matching Service), which places graduates of Canadian medical schools into various internships around the country. Internships last one year, but residencies can last anywhere from three to seven years, depending on the specialty chosen.
For example, pediatrics is three years, neurosurgery is seven, and many other things are in the middle. At the end of your residency, you will take an exam on the program you have completed, where you will receive a certificate for practicing in your chosen specialty. The first 1-2 years are usually a period of medical training (so-called Fellowship) when the doctor works as a consultant under the supervision of a senior physician.
During this time, the young doctor gains experience and can undergo additional training in their chosen subspecialty. It turns out that the total period of medical education is 9-15 years, during which the student must show high results and excellent knowledge of the subjects.
In contrast to all the challenges described above, being a doctor is one of Canada’s most prestigious and well-paid professions. To achieve your goal, you should prepare for medical school in Ontario and carefully examine the necessary admission requirements. After reading this article, we hope your intention of becoming a doctor has become much more substantial.