Students across the globe choose to study MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) if they want to enter the healthcare field to become doctors and physicians. However, those pursuing an MBBS in Canada have a different option. This is because the Canadian medical education system doesn't offer MBBS as a bachelor's degree; it is termed a Doctor of Medicine (MD), which requires three to four years of extensive training to enter the medical field.
As the specialized medicine degree equivalent to the MBBS of other countries in Canada is MD, which can be pursued after completing an undergraduate degree in a related field, students who wish to study a healthcare subject at the bachelor's level get several other options in Canada.
The best medical colleges in Canada offer BMSc (Bachelor of Medical Science), BSc in Medicine, and BSc in Nursing, Pharmacy, and Dentistry. This variety in terms of courses at the undergraduate level and then the option to complete MD allows international students to gain a comprehensive education in Canada to enter the medical field in the country or other parts of the world.
Why Study MBBS in Canada?
1. Globally-recognized education
Canadian medical schools are known to maintain rigorous academic standards in all their programs, whether they are offered at the bachelor's level or the graduate level. These degrees are recognized worldwide, allowing students to practice medicine anywhere. Due to the high quality of education, medicine graduates from Canada are valued and given the right job opportunities anywhere in the world. , ensuring a comprehensive and top-notch medical education.
2. Quality healthcare system
Canada as a country has a well-established healthcare system wherein there are several opportunities for graduates if they wish to continue staying in the country after their programs are over. During the university years, students get the necessary exposure to diverse medical practices and experiences as part of clinical placements.
3. Career opportunities
There are several career opportunities for those who stay back in Canada after gaining their Post-Graduate Work Permit as medical graduates. Jobs in the medical sector in Canada are in high demand. According to Jobs Bank Canada, there will be around 50,900 new vacancies in Canada by 2028, and only 19,400 fresh graduates to fill those spaces. Even the salaries of medical graduates are among the highest in the country due to the specialized nature of their work.
4. Research and innovation
The best medical universities in Canada are particularly known for actively engaging in breakthrough research in the field. Over the years, Canadian universities have been instrumental in developing medical innovations that have changed the world. For instance, the discovery of insulin at the University of Toronto in 1921 revolutionized diabetes treatment. Today, many prestigious medical schools in Canada also provide students with opportunities to contribute to advancements in healthcare.
Types of MBBS in Canada
In Canada, the traditional MBBS program is offered as MD. In this case, medical education in Canada follows a different structure, which has the following components:
- Pre-Medical Education: Students typically complete a bachelor's degree in a relevant field before entering medical school. Here, they can take up medicine programs offered as BMSc, BSc Medicine, BSc Nursing, and BSc Pharmacy, among others. To complete the undergraduate degree, students can also take courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and other related subjects.
- Medical school: The specialized medical degree, known as MBBS in many other countries, is offered in Canada as a four-year program, leading to the Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree. The curriculum of this course includes a mix of classroom-based learning and clinical experiences.
- Residency training: Graduates must also undergo training in a specific medical speciality following medical school. These residency programs usually vary in duration and can range from two to seven years, depending on the chosen field.
- Licensing exams: In Canada, graduates must pass licensing exams to practice independently, for which they must take the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) examination.
The eligibility criteria to study MBBS in Canada usually include the following key components:
- Educational background: All students must hold a completed bachelor's degree in a relevant field, often with specific prerequisite courses in subjects such as biology, chemistry, and physics.
- Academic performance: As medicine is a competitive field, solid academic performance is crucial to studying for an MBBS in Canada. Many medical schools have a minimum GPA requirement, and a strong academic record enhances the chances of admission to the desired university.
- Medical College Admission Test (MCAT): Most medical schools in Canada require applicants to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). A competitive MCAT score is an essential component of the application. For Indian students, it is also mandatory to pass the NEET exam to study MBBS in Canada.
- Language proficiency: Proficiency in English or French is mandatory to study in Canada. International students may need to demonstrate their language proficiency through standardized tests in their program's language.
- Interviews: Some of the best medical universities in Canada also conduct interviews as part of the admissions process. These interviews allow the admission committee to assess the candidate's communication skills, motivation, and suitability for a medical career.
When applying for MBBS programs in Canada, prospective students would need to submit a comprehensive set of documents, which are listed below:
- Academic transcripts of all the educational programs undertaken before applying to study medicine in Canada. This can include the bachelor's degree and high school diplomas if necessary.
- Language proficiency test score report
- Test score report of MCAT
- 2-3 letters of recommendation
- A comprehensive statement of purpose that explains why you are studying medicine in Canada
- A detailed and updated resume
- A valid passport and visa documents
- Passport-size photograph
MBBS in Canada Fees
Each university has a different structure to run the terms and semesters, which may have different tuition fees according to students' courses. Find the approximate fees for international students at some of the best universities in Canada below:
|Course Fee (approx.)
|University of Toronto
|$94,307 per year
|University of Calgary
|$132,237 per year
|$59,724 per year
|$46,000 per year
Best MBBS Colleges and Universities in Canada
The best universities in Canada offering exceptional educational programs in medicine according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023: Medicine are below:
- University of Toronto
- McGill University
- University of British Columbia
- McMaster University
- University of Montreal
- University of Alberta
- University of Calgary
- University of Ottawa
- Queen’s University at Kingston
- Dalhousie University
The financial requirements for MBBS in Canada can be a hindrance for students on a tight budget to pursue their higher education in their desired fields. Several organizations, including Canadian institutions, understand this and provide scholarships to deserving candidates wanting to study MBBS in Canada. The eligibility criteria and amounts of these scholarships may vary, so it is advisable to research the funding options you are applying for properly. Some of the major scholarships for studying medical courses in Canada are discussed below:
- Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships: The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships program generally aims to attract and retain world-class doctoral students by offering scholarships to those pursuing their PhD studies in health, natural sciences, engineering, and social sciences.
- Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Funding: CIHR provides funding opportunities for health research, including scholarships for graduate students in various health-related fields.
- Provincial scholarship programs: Some provinces may have scholarships specifically for medical students or students pursuing health-related fields—for instance, the Ontario Graduate Scholarship.
- University-specific scholarships: The best medical universities in Canada offer scholarships for students, which may be based on academic achievement, leadership, or other criteria.
After obtaining a medical degree in Canada, graduates can find diverse job opportunities within the healthcare sector. After completing their residency programs, they can pursue careers as general practitioners or specialists in hospitals and clinics or go for private practice. Obtaining a medical license from the relevant provincial or territorial regulatory body is also crucial, ensuring compliance with regional standards to continue practicing the profession.
How to Apply for MBBS in Canada?
Applying for a medical program in Canada involves several steps, which may vary according to the university. Some general steps that might be common in most medical schools are listed below:
- Research for the right programs: You can start by researching the best medicine programs at Canadian universities to find those that align with your academic and career goals. Carefully review the admission requirements to make sure you take the right steps.
- Prepare for and take the MCAT: The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is commonly required for MD program admissions. If required by the programs you are applying to, prepare for and take the MCAT. If you come from India, you must also take the NEET exam.
- Compile supporting documents: Gather all the necessary supporting documents, including transcripts, letters of recommendation, language proficiency test scores, a resume, and a personal statement.
- Apply: Most Canadian medical schools use centralized application systems. For example, the Ontario Medical School Application Service (OMSAS) handles applications for several Ontario medical schools. Other provinces may have similar systems that you can apply to.
- Interview process: If your application is shortlisted, you may be invited for an interview. Prepare for the interview by researching common medical school questions and practicing your responses.
- Acceptance and registration: If accepted into the program, follow all the medical school's instructions for accepting the offer and completing the registration process.
- Apply for a Study Permit: After receiving the acceptance letter from your university, apply for a study permit. Take the interview and wait for the final study permit before packing your bags to study in Canada.
Study an MBBS
If you would like to begin applying to study an MBBS in Canada, contact SI-Canada today for a free consultation on your future.