The College of Medicine Indigenous Admissions Pathway is designed to support the growing number of Indigenous people choosing to becoming doctors in Saskatchewan.
The program helps to navigate the pathways and resources available to Indigenous students as they train to become physicians.
Through the pathway, Métis, Inuit and First Nations people can apply for admission to the Medical Doctor (MD) program of study. Ten percent of the positions available in the MD degree program each year are specifically for Métis, Inuit and First Nations people.
The program is open to all residents of Canada, with preference given to residents of Saskatchewan, Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. (Residency is defined more specifically on the College of Medicine admissions website).
To be considered in the Indigenous Admissions Pathway category, indicate on the application form and please upload your Métis, Inuit or First Nations documentation. Please contact Valerie Arnault-Pelletier if you need assistance or clarification about this documentation.
"Navigating medical school has been challenging. The boundaries I've had to overcome to exist in this institute could not have happened without the continued support I receive from my loved ones and my community.
"My presence epitomizes the resilience of generations before me and my only hope is to carry this responsibility with respect and humility."
- Jacqueline Nokusis, MD Class of 2022
Indigenous Admissions Circle *NEW*
Starting in the 2022 application cycle, the College of Medicine will have a new process to evaluate Indigenous applicants called the Indigenous Admissions Circle, made up of representatives from the Indigenous community. The group will support the college’s Indigenous applicants by reviewing and evaluating applicants through an Indigenous lens.
The admission process for applying through the Indigenous Admissions Circle includes:
- Submission of a written essay(s) that will have a cultural/Indigenous focus, as determined by the Indigenous Admissions Circle
- Participation in a panel interview that will be conducted by members of the Indigenous Admissions Circle in a culturally-safe and inclusive way
- Students applying through the Indigenous Admissions Circle will be offered the opportunity to provide a letter of support from an Indigenous community member
- A file review will be used holistically and based on the lived experience of the applicant
Requirements for Admission
NOTICE: Proposed upcoming changes to MCAT requirements to start for the next application cycle (2023 application for 2024 admission to the USask MD Program)
The following changes have been recommended by the Admissions Committee and are pending approval by the College of Medicine Faculty Council. A notice of motion will go forward to Faculty Council on March 29, 2023 and a vote on the motion will take place on May 31. The final decision of Faculty Council will be posted on the admissions webpage June 1. Applicants should plan their writing accordingly.
The proposed changes to MCAT requirements for all applicants are as follows:
- minimum required score will be a total score of 492 with minimum section scores of 123 in all sections, except one section may be 122
- earliest MCAT writing considered is January 1, 2019
- latest MCAT writing considered is August 26, 2023
- deadline for release of MCAT scores to the USask College of Medicine is October 1, 2023
- best score at one sitting will be considered
The College of Medicine selects students based on their academic ability and personal qualities. Be sure to thoroughly review the admission requirements posted at medicine.usask.ca/admissions for the most up-to-date and complete information.
The study of medicine requires a good background in the sciences as well as some training in the humanities, social sciences and communication. Applicants to the MD program must have a four-year baccalaureate degree prior to entry into medicine. The minimum average required for admission is 80 per cent.
Potential applicants should refer to the website for clarification as to how the university academic average (UAA) will be calculated and the timeframe requirements. High school students should review course requirements for the baccalaureate degree they intend to pursue when making decisions regarding high school courses.
The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is a requirement for admission.
Specific prerequisite courses at the university level are not required; however, introductory-level courses in the following areas are recommended to potential applicants to prepare for both the content in the MCAT and the basic sciences covered in the first two years of the MD degree program:
Further details regarding the MCAT can be found on the Association of American Medical Colleges website.
A good physician should be compassionate, personable, trustworthy, conscientious, hardworking, mature, and have broad general knowledge and interests. These personal qualities are assessed through the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) process described in more detail at medicine.usask.ca/admissions.
Looking to prepare for your upcoming MMI? Try some sample questions.
The College of Medicine Admissions makes its final decisions of those being accepted into the MD program each year in May.
If you have applied through the Indigenous Admissions Pathway, you are first assessed to see if you would be successful in the general applicant pool. If so, you are admitted in that category. If not, you are considered within the Indigenous Admissions Program pool.
The cost of medical school, including tuition, other fees, books, and equipment, is about $20,000 in the first year and a bit less in the following years. There are also the costs of housing, food and transportation.
However, you may qualify for government assistance, band support and various bursaries and scholarships. Once you have completed the four-year MD degree, you will receive a salary during your postgraduate residency or specialty training.
Pathways to Medicine: Before You Apply
From spending a day with a physician to networking with other health sciences students, there are many pathways to medicine that will help you learn more about the profession and gain experience even before applying to medical school.
There are opportunities to connect with Indigenous medical students, physicians or other mentors through the wakohtowin mentorship program. For more information, contact Valerie Arnault-Pelletier, Senior Lead, Indigenous Programming and Initiatives, College of Medicine.
Want to know more about the College of Medicine MD program before applying? Join staff, faculty and student role models for a day of programming, networking and information about the Indigenous Admissions Pathway at the University of Saskatchewan.
The day will include:
- Knowledge Keepers
- MMI Process and Practice Sessions
- MCAT overview and information session
- Admissions information
- Role Models and Social Accountability Information
There are many student groups that offer opportunities to meet students with similar interests to help prepare you for medical school.
- Indigenous Pre-Health Science Group — Join our Indigenous Pre-Health Science Group to receive information about events, workshops and scholarships. Contact us for more information.
- Indigenous Student Achievement Pathways (ISAP) — First Nations, Inuit and Métis students who are passionate about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) have the chance to ask questions, solve problems, access professional careers and give back to their communities through ISAP.
- University of Saskatchewan (U of S) Pre-Med Club — The U of S Pre-Med Club is a student-run group designed to help students interested in medicine and health sciences.
- University of Regina Pre-Medicine Club - The U of S Pre-Med Club is a student-run group designed to help students interested in medicine and health sciences.
- University of Regina (U of R) Pre-Medicine Club — The U of R Pre-Med Club is open to all students considering a career in medicine.
- Campus Howlers Toastmasters Club — Toastmasters can help with improving your public speaking and communications skills.
Considering becoming a doctor? There are many ways to find out if a career in medicine or health care is the path for you. Find the College of Medicine at the following events to learn more:
- Indigenous Spend-a-Day — This one-day event is designed as an opportunity for Grade 10, 11 and 12 First Nations, Métis and Inuit students to receive hands-on experience and to learn more about admission requirements.
- Northern Lights Health Career Symposium
- USask Open House — This is an opportunity to explore the University of Saskatchewan! Explore facilities, talk to faculty, staff and fellow students, and receive hands-on experience in an area of interest.
- The Future Is Yours Career Expo — Students in Grades 10, 11 and 12 are invited to explore and find their career path.
- Other career fairs and local events
These events are a great way to receive hands-on and personal experiences, including:
- Reading x-rays
- Facility tours, including the Clinical Learning Resource Centre
- Traditional medicine lectures
- Laparoscopic surgery demonstrations
- Other activities
The career fairs also provide opportunities to hear stories of inspiration from Indigenous medical role models.
Electives in Indigenous Health
Electives in Indigenous Health are (subject to availability) at the following sites:
- Wellness Wheel – Regina
- Métis Addictions Council of Saskatchewan Inc. (MACSI) – Saskatoon
- First Nations and Métis Health (Saskatoon) – St. Paul’s Hospital and Royal University Hospital
- All Nations Healing Hospital – Fort Qu’Appelle
- Whitecap Health Centre – Whitecap Dakota First Nation
- Sturgeon Lake Health Centre/Victoria Hospital – Prince Albert area
Making the Links
Making the Links started in 2005 as a unique service learning experience offered by the College of Medicine. Selected undergraduate medical students experience community health and development in three contexts:
- Urban underserved community at SWITCH (the Student Wellness Initiative Towards Community Health) in Saskatoon
- Rural and remote communities in Saskatchewan (Île-à-la-Crosse, Dillon, Kawacatoose, and Pinehouse)
- International communities globally
Awards and Scholarships
Pathway Support for Indigenous Students to Pursue Medicine
These awards are open to Indigenous students who are continuing beyond first year of a program and registered in a minimum of 24 credit units (September-April) working towards a bona fide four-year baccalaureate degree program at an accredited Saskatchewan post-secondary institution, as determined by the College of Medicine Admissions Office and the Award Committee.
Awards for Current Students
All University of Saskatchewan student awards can be found on the main 'Awards' page.
- Enter "Indigenous" as a keyword to find awards for Indigenous students.
- Many awards are not college-specific. Don't restrict yourself to searching only for Medicine awards.
Senior Lead, Indigenous Programming and Initiatives