Canada's Getting 3 New Medical Schools
Ontario, British Columbia, and PEI are all getting new medical schools over the next few years. Will this make becoming a doctor in Canada easier?
Becoming a doctor in Canada is difficult. Though our country of about 40 million people is home to 17 medical schools, there's simply not enough seats in these programs to accept many medical students each year. Each school only offers a couple hundred seats each year, for a total of fewer than 3,000 seats across the country. This means Canadian medical schools currently have an acceptance rate of under 10%.
That means that plenty of med students who would love to study in Canada aren't able to get a spot — even with stellar grades and community service. Couple this with the fact that many Canadians don't have a family doctor, and you'll see why Canada desperately needs new medical schools.
Luckily, three new schools are on the horizon, in communities across Canada.
Ontario, British Columbia, and PEI getting new med schools
Over the next three years, three new med schools will open for enrollment. Ontario's Toronto Metropolitan University, British Columbia's Simon Fraser University, and PEI's University of Prince Edward Island will all open seats for new medical students between now and 2026.
On top of all this, Nova Scotia's Dalhousie University will open a few dozen med school seats at a new campus in Cape Breton.
TMU will open nearly 200 spots at the undergraduate and post-grad levels in Brampton, a town outside Toronto. Programs are slated to open for students in September 2025, and are "designed from the ground up on the principles of social accountability, equity, diversity and inclusion and reconciliation," according to CBC.
TMU will work with local clinics and community health organizations to support patients and students alike.
Simon Fraser will open its med school in September 2026, starting with around 50 students before growing to 120 over the following years. It too is taking a community-based approach, integrating students into the surrounding area. Students will develop their skills in real-life settings, with a focus on people most in need of a family doctor, including Indigenous people and newcomers.
The University of Prince Edward Island has teamed up with Memorial University to offer a joint medical degree — the first of its kind in Canada. Students will receive a credential from both UPEI and Memorial when they graduate from this program, which will accept a handful of applicants to start in 2025. One space is specifically reserved for an Indigenous student.
The school intended to open for 2024, but with construction delays, the start date was pushed back. Things are on track now for a 2025 start.
If you're interested in medical school, these announcements are great news. While the schools are still a couple years away from accepting students, they represent a growth in capacity that will help Canadians access the healthcare services they need. New medical students typically need an undergraduate degree before med school, so this could be your chance to take a bachelor of science before applying when these schools open!
If you can't wait, or can't get accepted into a Canadian medical school, there are plenty of options in the USA, Europe, and the Caribbean for you to explore. Good luck!
Start exploring medical schools