Career Planning

The path to becoming a physician is long, yet rewarding. There are many steps to set you on your path to becoming an MD in Canada. We encourage you to make use of the resources available to you at whichever stage of your career you are in, whether that is your high school guidance counsellor or your university career centre.

Path to MD

Career Planning before the MD Program

You are able to take your undergraduate degree in any field before applying to the MD program. It could be a science degree, or an arts degree — all programs are considered equally in the application process. Our advice is always to pursue the program you are most interested in. While you are in your undergraduate degree, we encourage you to make use of the resources available at your university to help you best prepare for medical school.

Career Planning in the MD Program

After you are admitted into the MD program, there are many resources to help you along your path to becoming a physician. The Office of Health Professions Student Affairs (OHPSA) offers career counselling, career exploration and much more.

Some students have an idea of the medical specialty they would like to pursue prior to enrolling in the MD Program, but others are unsure. In your third year of medicine, you will embark on clerkship where you will explore all of the core clinical areas of medicine. Following this, in your fourth year, you will take electives in areas of medicine that you have demonstrated interest in. This will help you when the time comes to choose your residency specialty.

Career Planning after the MD Program

Once you have completed your third year of medicine, you will likely have a better idea of which area of medicine you would like to pursue. In your fourth year, while taking electives, you begin applying for residency positions. The interviews for these positions take place in the winter semester of your fourth year and you will receive notification of the programs you matched with in March.

Once you are in a residency, you may choose to apply for a Medicine Subspecialty Match (MSM)  to further your medical training.

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