Medicine

What does it take to be a doctor in Ontario?

In Ontario, doctors can practice in family medicine or as specialists. There are over 60 medical specialties. Physicians in family medicine provide primary care including the diagnosis and treatment of disease, disorders and injuries as well as health promotion. Other career paths for doctors include research and teaching positions. (Health Force Ontario) Practicing medicine in Ontario requires:

  • Medical degree (including clinical placement in a teaching hospital)
  • Passing the Medical College of Canada Evaluation Examination
  • Approved residency at a teaching hospital coordinated by the Canadian Residency Matching Service (CaRMS)

What are common academic requirements for MD programs?

  • Completion of 15.0 credits (or more) at the university level in any undergraduate program
  • A minimum GPA score above the institution’s cut-off point is strongly recommended. This varies and ranges from 3.0-3.7
  • Pre-requisites courses may include:
    • Biology, Zoology, Humanities, Social Studies, Life Sciences, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry

Where can I study medicine?

There are six medical schools in Ontario:

  • McMaster University
  • Northern Ontario School of Medicine
  • University of Ottawa (English and French streams)
  • Queen's University
  • University of Toronto
  • Western University

Visit each university’s website for specific information on their program and admission requirements.

How do I apply?

The application process is centralized through OUAC’s Ontario Medical Schools Application Service (OMSAS): www.ouac.on.ca/omsas

Applications are typically due at the end of September every application year.

Start Early!
Medical schools require a high GPA. Many look for demonstrated interest in healthcare on your application.

Improve your GPA:
Visit the AA&CC and the Centre for Teaching & Learning to improve your academic skills. AA&CC Events & Workshops are available via cln.utoronto.ca

Cultivate References:
Get to know a few professors early so that they write a strong reference letter for you.

Get Involved:
Join volunteer and co-curricular activities that demonstrate your skills and ongoing interest in a career in medicine.

Typical Application Timeline

Begin 1 year prior to your desired Fall start:

  • August – Create your OMSAS account
  • September – Complete the online application
  • October -- Submit MCAT score by Nov 1st
  • January – Submit all supporting documents and MCAT scores
  • February-April – Interviews are held
  • May – Admission decisions are sent to applicants

Possible Application Documents

  • Autobiographical Sketch
  • MCAT Score
  • Personal Statement
  • References
  • Official Transcript(s)
  • CPR Certification
  • Criminal Record Check
  • Proof of Canadian citizenship

MCAT

Medical College Admission Test, Administered by American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC)

  • Standardized multiple choice exam
  • 4 components (new in 2015)
    • Biology and Biochemistry
    • Chemistry and Physics
    • Psychology, Sociology and Behaviour
    • Critical Analysis

Use up-to-date preparatory materials!

Admission Interviews

If your application is competitive you may be invite d to attend a panel interview or a Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) for admission. You should attend our MMI Prep 101 workshop!

If you are invited to an interview you can review our Interviews and Preparing for the Multiple Mini Interview tip sheets, or attend our MMI Prep 101 workshop for access to a MMI practice session in the winter term. Visit CLN and look in Events & Workshops in Scarborough for MMI Prep 101.

How much does it cost?

All health care programs have a significant tuition cost, because hiring strong instructors and providing up-to-date facilities cost a great deal. Each institution’s fees are different. Annual tuition for Ontario students ranges $22,000-$27,000.

What other considerations are there?

Considering an international program?
According to the Canadian Residency Matching Service (CaRMs), only one in five Canadians who study medicine internationally secure a residency in Canada. Success rate varies dramatically by program and specialty. You can ask to speak with Canadian Alumni of the program to see if it is right for you.

Where can I find more information and resources?

Ontario Medical School Admission Services
University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine
Admission Requirements of Canadian Faculties of Medicine
Pre Med 101 Forums
Student Doctor Network Pre Med Forums

Financial Support
Professional Programs Guide accessible through CLN (Resources section)

Application & Personal Statement Resources

The AA&CC can help! Attend the Graduate & Professional Schools Fair (October), go to a Preparing for Professional & Graduate School workshop, meet professionals in the field through Extern, or speak with a Career Counsellor to learn how to get relevant experience!

Please note: While this tip sheet aims to ensure accuracy, requirements do change. Consider it a starting point for your further research. Visit individual medical school websites for detailed, up-to-date information about admission requirements and application procedures.

Last update: May 2015