How to Become a Doctor

Medical school is a demanding and competitive environment in which students must be well prepared and committed in order to succeed. Carleton University’s comprehensive undergraduate degree programs provide students with the educational resources to satisfy the academic requirements for medical school. In addition, the school’s student focus helps to build the well-rounded students desired within this ambitious field.

For those students who would like to study the sciences more intensively prior to medical school, Carleton’s undergraduate science programs are designed to provide students with a comprehensive science education. Carleton science students benefit from small classes, personalized interaction with their professors, lab experience (including hands-on labs in your 1st year), and excellent co-op opportunities.

Science students also have the opportunity to enroll in a First Year Seminar wherein they are taught by an experienced faculty member in a class of approximately twenty-five students. There is a specialized seminar for science students entitled Seminar in Science that introduces students to advancements in the field and current research questions. These Seminars not only help to bridge the gap between high school and university-level study but they also provide a great opportunity for students to get to know one of their professors on a more personal level, which is helpful for obtaining academic letters of reference required for medical school admissions.

Some of the programs available at Carleton for students going into medicine are Bachelor of Health SciencesBiochemistry, Biology, NeuroscienceNeuroscience and Mental Health, Biomedical and Electrical Engineering or Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering. For students interested in combining science with a non-science area, we offer a Bachelor of Humanities (Combined Honours) program in Biology and Humanities. This program satisfies the ‘pre-med’ requirements for the majority of medical schools in North America.

Carleton University Pre-medical Society

The Carleton University Pre-medical Society is aimed at assisting its members and providing insight on the medical school application process, the MCAT and what it means to be a medical student or physician. The society also hosts information sessions with guest speakers.

Applying to Medical Schools in Ontario

There are several medical schools in Ontario: Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine (McMaster University), Northern Ontario School of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Queen’s University, University of Toronto and Schulich School of Medicine (The University of Western Ontario). Students apply to these medical schools through the Ontario Medical School Application Service (OMSAS) – a non-profit centralized application service for the six Ontario medical schools that is operated by the Ontario University Application Centre (OUAC).

Application Process

Students interested in applying to medical school need to start early! The OMSAS on-line application services are generally available in the summer (for the subsequent year). Students must create an account on OUAC and apply in the early fall of the year before you wish to attend. Therefore, it is very important to be prepared and review important dates and deadlines! Check out the OMSAS website for the most recent information regarding the medical school application process.

Admission Requirements

The majority of Ontario medical schools require certain science-based courses to be satisfied in order to qualify for admission, however, there are schools that do not ask for specific prerequisites. Several of the Ontario medical schools also require Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores with applications for admission. In order to be considered for medical school, it is extremely important for applicants to have a significant amount of volunteer and work experience. In addition, most medical schools request to receive transcripts, essays and personal interviews from applicants. Make sure to research each school’s admission criteria to ensure you are eligible to apply. Visit the OMSAS website to review specific information regarding Ontario’s medical schools.

Cost to Apply to Medical School

To apply to medical school an application service fee is required plus an institutional payment for each school to which you apply. Find out more information about medical school fees and payment of fees.

Time Commitment

Becoming a doctor takes many years of intensive study and research. It usually takes four years after your Bachelor’s degree to obtain a medical degree (although some university programs may last only 3 years). After that you will choose between Family Practice (2 years minimum) or other medical specialties (at least 4 years) and will spend your time as a resident physician training for certification while being paid to care for patients.

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