If you’re an aspiring doctor in Canada the foremost decision you’ll make is to choose from this list of the best medical schools in Canada.
As you may have known, qualifying as a medical doctor in Canada takes over ten years. This long journey is not what you can begin on a faulty foundation. Hence, you should carefully and tactically select a medical school that can help make this long journey smoother.
Your choice of medical school determines the kind of medical doctor you become, all things being equal.
For this reason, you need to find the medical school that’s the best fit for you.
It’s not always easy, but it’s something worth doing.
According to Wikipedia, there are 17 accredited medical schools in Canada. If that’s the case, how, then, do you even begin to narrow it down?
Anyway, you’re in luck, we’ve shortened the long and rigorous walk for you by engaging in an in-depth analysis of the 10 best medical schools in Canada.
We chose these schools based on factors like quality of education, research output, acceptance rates, tuition fees, reputation, and graduate career prospects.
In the long run, you’ll have a comprehensive overview of each school and a clear picture of which aligns with your goals and aspirations.
Discover which aligns with your goals—seeking research intensity? A tight community? Strong clinical rotations? You will find your perfect match.
So let’s dive in and devour the list of the best medical schools in Canada.
How Did We Arrive at This List?
As we said earlier, choosing the right med school is a crucial decision. You’ll spend the next 4+ years of your life at this place. It’ll shape the kind of doctor you’ll become.
No pressure, right? So, you should find the school that fits you best.
But, how do you even begin your search? Here are the key criteria to help arrive at the best fit for you:
- Quality of education – Does the university have a smaller class size an innovative curriculum, and a top-notch faculty? You’ll learn best somewhere you feel engaged and supported.
- Research opportunities – Will the medical school provide opportunities for cutting-edge studies, research, and published papers? Some schools are better in this regard than others.
- Hands-on training – Is the medical school practical-oriented? Does it provide opportunities to learn on real patients? Schools connected to major hospitals give prime clinical access.
- Support services – You’ll need academic, financial, and mental health support to thrive in this demanding career. Your choice should include a medical school that considers the well-being of the trainee a priority.
- Reputation and rankings – Prestigious schools open doors for residencies and jobs down the road.
- Tuition fees – It’s an established fact that medical school ain’t cheap. Does the school provide alternative costs and financial aid options? State-funded schools tend to be more budget-friendly.
- Location – Where is the school situated? Urban campuses offer more diversion, and rural ones greater community. Go somewhere that suits your personality.
- Culture and vibe – Find your tribe. The overall environment and community matters.
The ball is in your court to decide what’s most important for reaching your goals. Time to dive into the meat of the post–the 10 best medical schools in Canada.
10 Best Medical Schools in Canada for Aspiring Doctors
1. University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine
As Canada’s number one medical school, the University of Toronto is a research powerhouse known for pioneering discoveries. With the country’s largest medical research budget, ample funding enables bold projects across every specialty in state-of-the-art labs. Publishing faculty share the latest findings, and an MD/PhD program nurtures scientific inquiry.
Eager to perform original studies?
You’ll thrive here. If not, no worries – research is optional. Focus instead on acing clinical rotations at U of T’s partner hospitals, which see over 1 million patients annually. This prime exposure readies you for residencies and beyond.
This Toronto school also earns high marks for student satisfaction and mental health resources. However, expect big city hustle and high living costs. With ultra-low admission rates, applicants need stellar academics and well-rounded achievements. U of T sets the bar high, so bring your A-game!
2. McGill University Faculty of Medicine
At Montreal’s McGill University, expect a broad scope education along with opportunities to drill down on special interests. The curriculum incorporates case-based learning, clinical skills training, and research projects.
Known for producing well-rounded humanistic physicians, McGill focuses on hands-on patient experience. Hospital rotations start early in year 1. By graduation, you’ll have supported hundreds of patients under mentorship.
McGill also offers joint programs in public health, biomedical research, global health, and epidemiology. Customize your training through diverse electives and learning tracks. Participate in ongoing studies or design your own. Present at conferences and publish papers.
Campus life benefits from Montreal’s bilingual vibrant culture. Yet McGill still retains an intimate grad student vibe. Support services encourage work-life balance for student wellbeing.
Applicants need competitive GPAs, MCAT scores, and references. Francophone and Indigenous students may receive priority. Extra points for music, arts, languages, athletics, and leadership too.
3. University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine
UBC Medical School takes a clinical focus with active patient interactions from day 1. Distributed learning sites provide broader access to healthcare settings and communities across BC.
The case-based curriculum covers core concepts and then leaves room to tailor your path. Options include an MD/PhD, and joint degrees in public health, business, policy, law, and more.
Research at UBC Med runs the gamut from bench science to population health. Partner hospitals offer ample opportunities to participate. Make an impact through Indigenous health initiatives too. Outreach programs build relationships between future doctors and communities.
Vancouver’s laid-back lifestyle beckons beyond the books. Enjoy the great outdoors, arts, culture, food, and diversity of a world-class city. Check out clubs, recreational sports, and wellness activities on campus.
UBC receives 5x more applications than available seats. Expect stiff requirements: high GPAs, MCAT scores, research experience, and rounded application. Indigenous, rural, and military applicants may get a boost.
4. University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry
The U of Alberta Medical School takes a community-focused approach. Distributed campus sites across the province emphasize rural, remote, and Indigenous healthcare.
Ongoing outreach programs connect students with diverse populations early on. Learn cultural sensitivity and teamwork through case studies and group projects.
The curriculum follows an integrated systems-based model with an emphasis on critical thinking. Simulation labs and clinical experiences reinforce learning in family medicine, psychiatry, surgery, internal medicine, and more.
Research strengths include cancer, diabetes, neuroscience, cardiovascular, and transplant medicine. Partner with faculty on studies at the forefront. Publish papers as lead author.
Edmonton’s vibrant arts scene balances studies. Outdoor enthusiasts will love the river valley trails just minutes from campus too.
To get in, expect to score very competitively on GPA, MCAT, CASPer test, references, and interviews. Rural, military, and Indigenous students may get a boost.
5. McMaster University Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine
McMaster takes an innovative small-group approach with problem-based learning modules. Work closely with classmates and faculty mentors to tackle real-world medical cases.
The 3-year condensed program provides early patient experiences through clinical placements. Primary care focus emphasizes communication, professionalism, diagnosis, and treatment planning.
Research in primary care, aging, chronic disease, and population health drives discoveries to impact communities. Scholarly projects are expected before graduation.
Located in Hamilton, Ontario, Mac med students enjoy proximity to Toronto’s big city attractions. On campus, find green spaces, rec facilities, and vibrant student life.
Applicants should demonstrate academic excellence, critical thinking, communication skills, and passion for medicine. Rural and Indigenous students may be favored. CASPer test required.
6. University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine
The U of Calgary med school focuses on competencies for tomorrow’s doctors. Learn in state-of-the-art simulation labs before treating real patients in 100+ partner clinical sites.
Distributed learning at rural regional campuses, hospitals, clinics, and cancer centers expands exposure. Customizable electives are available too.
Research spans oncology, neuroscience, cardiovascular, chronic diseases, and community health. Partner with faculty on clinical trials, policy development, and knowledge translation.
Calgary’s sunny location at the foothills of the Rockies feeds those adventure cravings. Easy access to mountain escapes, festivals, and natural wonders. Vibrant student life on campus.
With a broad pool of applicants, you’ll need to stand out with high GPAs, MCAT performance, diverse achievements, strong references, and interview skills.
7. Western University Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Western Med School provides early patient contact and small group learning for personalized education. The clinical focus prepares graduates to practice in underserved communities.
The 3-year condensed program fast-tracks students into clerkships across family medicine, internal medicine, psychiatry, surgery, pediatrics, and more.
Research strengths include neuroscience, cancer, imaging, epidemiology, and Indigenous health. Plentiful opportunities to get involved in faculty projects, including in the new medical innovation building.
Located in London, Ontario, Western students enjoy a full range of campus life with green spaces, arts, music, sports, and nearby big city attractions.
Applicants should demonstrate excellent GPAs, MCAT performance, communication skills, passion for medicine, and breadth of experience. CASPer test required.
8. Queen’s University School of Medicine
Queen’s Med fosters independent learning and critical thinking skills through clinical exposures, simulated practice, lectures, and small groups. The block schedule allows focus on one subject at a time.
The program emphasizes understanding not just what and how, but why – digging into the root causes of illness. Research focus areas include cancer, cardiovascular, inflammation, neuroscience, and mental health.
Queen’s draws students from across Canada who become part of the tight-knit Kingston community. Historic charm meets modern amenities for quality student living. Outdoor options abound with nearby lakes and provincial parks.
Academic excellence is expected, along with communication skills, resiliency, professionalism, and well-roundedness. CASPer test required. Rural and Indigenous applicants may be prioritized.
9. Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine
Dal Med takes a collaborative competency-based approach to prepare physicians as lifelong learners and leaders. The curriculum integrates clinical experiences, simulation, lectures, and small groups.
Core rotations and electives provide broad exposure to family medicine, pediatrics, surgery, internal medicine, and more. Distributed sites expand access to diverse communities and specialized settings.
Research strengths include neuroscience, heart health, cancer, population health, and medical education. Both independent and group opportunities to advance discoveries.
Halifax provides big-city amenities with small-town charm by the ocean. Outdoor access, arts and culture, restaurants, and student activities balance studies.
To get in, you’ll need outstanding GPAs, MCAT performance, references, and well-rounded achievements. Focus on rural, military, and Indigenous communities a plus.
This overview of the top 10 medical schools in Canada just skims the surface of all each has to offer. Take time to dig deeper into their websites, virtual tours, blogs, forums, etc. Attend info sessions and campus visits once allowed. Talk with current students. Determine the best fit for you based on the criteria important to your success and happiness as a future doctor. Wishing you clarity and confidence as you embark on this journey!
We’ve covered a lot of ground exploring the 10 best medical schools in Canada. We used criteria like quality of education, research, clinical training, culture, costs, and more to arrive at these choices.
What do you want to achieve with your admission into medical school? Reflect on your priorities. Then, reach out to current students for inside perspectives.
Deciding which medical school to attend is a big decision, but you’ve got this!
Trust your instincts.
Think about where you wish to find yourself over the next 10 years. The school that ticks all your boxes is the right one for you.
You’re going to make an amazing doctor someday. We’re rooting for you.
Have any questions, suggestions, or contributions? Our comment section is always open to you.
Catch you later.