Is becoming a doctor in Canada harder than becoming a doctor in the UK?


New Member
Is becoming a doctor in Canada harder than becoming a doctor in the UK?

Does anyone agree with this statement.
I know that the Canadian and UK system is quite different, i.e the UK is the most direct route.

But if becoming a doctor in Canada is so hard, then clearly there should more employment opportunites and opportunities to specialise in Can!
Does this mean that almost every medical student in Canada are guranteed a decent job and a specialty?

Im quite interested on this matter because everything that it seems to be quite differnt from what i expect.

I am applying to the UK as an international due to the fact that it is very direct. But this means that i wont be able to EVER practice in Canada EVER again. Not to mention that a medical degree in the UK will cost me a fortune ;)


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There is firstly a complete lack of medical schools in Canada and each medical school has a horendously low number of places. 3/4 of my life science program want to do medicine plus all the health science people (so roughly 1700 people) wanting to apply in my year alone. Plus the GPA cut-off is quite high and the amount of things you need to do for it are horrendous. This is why I'm re-applying in the UK for medical schools (PS I'm in first year life sci, just came to canada this year) I am now so put-off applying for medical school in canada, in the UK you stand a much ebtter chance


New Member
...But this means that i wont be able to EVER practice in Canada EVER again...
Never say never - I was at the BMJ Careers Fair the other week where there were quite a few Canadian stalls and they were actively looking for GPs/consultants so there is an opportunity but it wouldn't be until you finish your specialist training.



New Member
I agree with flarestar. There are several problems Canada. It is a huge country with a relatively small population, most of which is concentrated in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal (and close in proximity to the US border). Doctors are relatively well paid and it is considered a very desirable profession...but the federal and provincial governments do not do enough to fund medical student spots at Canadian universities and residency training positions - hence it is very very competitive both at student level and at residency level. The vast majority of Canadian medics want to practice in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal (urban centres where there are good teaching hospitals and more and better opportunities for their spouses and children (eg education, culture, restaurants, airports, etc). A substantial number of Canadian trained doctors also move to the US for greener pastures.

The flipside is that rural areas suffer and are in dire need of doctors.....most Canadian trained doctors refuse to work in these undesirable rural areas or provinces (these rural areas are not like Sussex, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire!!). The few doctors recruited to these areas are over-worked. Canadian provinces / municipalities have to actively recruit doctors from abroad in order to deal with this problem. Their partial solution is to force foreign trained doctors (including Canadians) into 5-yr rural "return of service" contracts in exchange for residency/training positions. The goal is to make them stay long enough put down roots and make it hard for them to move on. There are now a substantial number of Canadians in UK, Irish and Australian med schools that are now being used/exploited to fill these rural GP gaps as they often want to or have to return to Canada.....not an ideal situation for them.

I left Toronto 8 yrs ago - graduated from Kings in 2008 and am currently an F2 at Tommies. Luckily I have UK citizenship so I don't have to return to Canada after F2.

Jonathan - I imagine the Cdn recruiters at the BMJ Careers Fair were trying to fill opportunities in locations where no Canadian trained doctor is willing to work. UCL is such a prestigious med will have way better opportunities in the UK.