Best Medical School In Canada
Advice & Insight From Medicine Application Specialists
Winner: University of Toronto
Runner Up : McGill University
The University of Toronto, referred to as U of T by its students, is the most recognised school and one of the most prestigious medical schools in Canada. It faces stiff competition from McGill University, but from a global perspective we believe that U of T is the best medical school in Canada. The university is ranked number 18 in the world, and has 15,000 international students in a total student body of around 60,000.
University of Toronto Medicine Admissions
Applicants must have three years of full time study already completed, focusing on life sciences. The school has a low acceptance rate, with 8.3% of students being successful in their application. 86% of those accepted are from Ontario, 12% are Canadian from other provinces, and 4% are international students. The average GPA requirement is 3.95, and a minimum MCAT score of 125 per section is recommended. Interviews take place between February and April each year and are mandatory.
In 2020, the school had 3940 applicants to its Medicine program, and from this pool granted 631 interviews. Of the 631 interviewees, around 250 will go on to matriculate at the university. The majority of applicants did a 4 year undergraduate degree prior, while 40% already held a graduate or professional degree. Only 6% had completed a 3 year bachelor’s degree. 80 applicants came from McMaster, and around 60 came from the University of Toronto itself.
Looking at the minimum requirements, we find that the undergraduate minimum is 3.6, with more than 3.9 (as stated) being average. A 3.0 is the minimum for graduate degrees. Applicants must also complete four essays, an autobiographical sketch, three further statements, and provide three letters of reference. There is also an ‘academic explanations’ essay, that allows you to explain gaps in your academic performance and provide context for them. The MCAT score is not used competitively at Toronto, and therefore is used only as a minimum filter – i.e. you must have the minimum score, but beyond that it is not used to rank your application. Of course, that doesn’t guarantee that the admissions team won’t refer back to it if they’re struggling with a decision.
The interview is an MPI, or Modified Personal Interview. This consists of four independent interviews assessed by four separate interviewers. Each will be of around 12 minutes’ duration. Interviewers might be doctors, academics, medical students, or patients.
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What it’s like studying at University of Toronto Medical School
The school has access to more than 40 different hospitals across the city and beyond, many of which are world-class teaching hospitals. These hospitals and the residencies that you will take on within them will provide you with both greatlearning opportunities and the chance to meet leading doctors and healthcare professionals.
The program is divided into two phases – the first two years are called foundation years, and build foundational scientific knowledge and skills. You are then given the opportunity to take on two years’ worth of clerkships, which involve learning in a hospital setting, and provide the chance to build your knowledge of specific areas of Medicine.
Studying Medicine in The City of Toronto
The city of Toronto itself is a large one, with a population of around 3m in the city itself, with 6m in the city’s greater authority area. If you’re looking to continue working in the city that you’re studying in, this makes Toronto perfect – there’s a huge amount of work available in the public and private sectors, as well as research and teaching opportunities. The cost of living in Toronto is higher than the Canadian average, which might be a downside for students – but will be an upside when the time comes to start earning a salary as a practising MD.
The city is close to the US border, and also close to other Canadian cities like Ottawa and Montreal.
Toronto has a huge amount of culture, world famous sports teams, and a variety of architecture and landmarks that will satisfy anyone looking for a ‘big city’ studying experience. Teams that call Toronto home include the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Toronto Raptors. The Toronto International Film festival is one of the world’s premier film festivals and runs every year in fall.
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Overview of Medicine at McGill
Ranked number 31 in the world by QS and 42 in the world by the Times, McGill is consistently at the very top of Canadian medical education. The university itself was founded in 1821, and the medical faculty was the first to be fully established at the university, in 1829. There are more than 4000 academics in the medical school across all disciplines, with more than 8000 total students, residents and fellows. There are around 800 medical graduates studying at any one time.