Canada has 16 accredited medical schools. There are no universities that specialize in premed, but all major postsecondary institutions offers courses that will qualify candidates to apply for medical school. Admissions vary from university to university, but most require courses in biology, math, physics, chemistry and English. Most medical schools require at least three years of university education. Others demand a four-year degree. Students applying to medical schools in Canada should be aware of the qualifications required for each of the schools they are are applying for, and plan their premed course work accordingly. The Canadian Medical Association Journal has rated the strengths and weaknesses of the 16 institutions.
Medical Schools in Western Canada
The University of British Columbia is strong in internal medicine, pathology, radiology, genetics and sports medicine, and weak in psychiatry and surgery. The University of Alberta specializes in cancer and heart disease research. The university offers excellent instruction in biochemistry, microbiology, neurophysiology and pharmacology. Anatomy is considered weak. The University of Calgary is strong in family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics, gynecology and pediatrics, but weak in pathology and radiology. The University of Saskatchewan excels in anatomy and pharmacology. The University of Manitoba is known for its work in physiology, pharmacology, pediatrics, internal medicine and respirology.
Medical Schools in Ontario
The University of Western Ontario excels in neurology. It is also strong in anatomy, physiology, obstetrics and microbiology. The University of Toronto is Canada's largest medical school with 15 affiliated hospitals. McMaster University offers a three-year program where students are responsible for the planning and execution of their education. Queen's University offers a good education in pathology, ophthalmology, and physiology. According to the CMAJ, it is weak in pediatrics. The University of Ottawa is strong in cardiovascular surgery, biochemistry, nutrition, ophthalmology, dermatology and urology.
Medical Schools in Quebec
The University of Montreal is strong in microbiology, internal medicine, pediatrics neurosurgery and community health. McGill University is made up of four teaching hospitals and nine affiliated hospitals. The University of Laval is strong in physiology, pathology, surgery and community health. The University of Sherbrooke has strong departments of psychiatry and pediatrics.
Medical Schools in Atlantic Canada
Dalhousie University is strong in surgery, obstetrics, physical medicine and rehabilitation. Memorial University is home to Canada's smallest medical school with only 56 seats available in its first-year class.