MD Program Admissions

A leading edge 3-year MD program at the University of Calgary

MD Program Admissions header image 2

Welcome to the 2019-2020 Application Cycle

July 1st, 2019 by Dr. Remo Panaccione

Happy Canada Day everyone!!! I hope everyone had a wonderful long weekend.

I have officially taken over for Dr. Ian Walker as Director of  Undergraduate Medical School Admissions here at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary.  I will be joined by Dr. Rabiya Jalil who will be the Associate Director. First of all, I want to acknowledge the truly amazing job Dr. Walker did in his tenure as the Director of Admissions.  He implemented many new policies and procedures during that time and his legacy will live on for many years to come.

As a school and as an admissions office we pride ourselves in being transparent with our process and policies.  This is why the most relevant material can be found in our application manual.  It details the admission policies and procedures and answers many of the questions that applicants may have.  I would encourage you to read it thoroughly to familiarize yourself with the way we do things.  Each year, including this year there are slight changes; so even if you have applied to us before, please reread the manual.

The manual can be found here:

If you have specific questions, we encourage you to first refer to the manual before reaching out to the office.  We are more than happy to provide clarification on specific points in the manual but our expectation is  that you have used the manual as a reference prior to calling the office.  Some applicants have a false belief that by calling the office that they will gain information that will help them in the application process. This is a not true.

The application site officially opens on July 3rd and can be found here.

We recognize that for many of you, especially if this is your first time applying that it can provoke both stress and anxiety.  However, we would encourage you to relax, get organized and use the remainder of the summer to prepare your application.  This will relieve much of the stress and anxiety that can escalate if you wait until the last minute to apply after the summer is over.

You should start with the following:

  1. Request that your transcripts be sent to our office by the post secondary institutions you have attended.
  2. Begin speaking to the individuals you want to nominate as your referees.
  3. Begin sketching out your top 10 list.

We wish you all the best, and we look forward to receiving your application and meeting many of you along your journey.

Remo Panaccione, MD, FRCPC


Tags: 11 Comments

Leave a Comment

11 responses so far ↓

  • Dear Allie,

    You will see throughout my blog the theme of letting us know who you are. There is no shame in mental health issues as they are common and some of the best learnings in life may come from overcoming these issues. If this has shaped the person you are then absolutely include it. It will not harm your application in the least as we train our reviewers not to be biased when it comes to these type of entries. We have many successful applicants who have included such issues/struggles in their top 10.

    What is meant in the applicant manual and perhaps we should reword it is that by the time an applicant matriculates they should be in stable emotional health. We have excellent resources for our students who may have “relapses” in mental health issues or experience them for the first time in medical school through our office of student advising and wellness.

  • Hi Dr. Panaccione,

    I was reading through the applicant manual and it states a student must maintain good emotional health. For my top 10, I was going to include that I had anxiety which I had to learn to cope with and how it makes me a better physician. But after reading this section, I am a bit wary about this because it may work against my application. What would you suggest in this situation?


  • You can still request the transcript that shows you are enrolled in the courses

  • Hi Dr. Panaccione,

    For grade-entry into the UCAN application, it is recommended that transcripts are sent out in July. I just graduated from U of C and I will be attending U of A in the fall for a professional degree. My courses for U of A are not finalized yet so how do I request a transcript from U of A? Also do I need to enter in classes I will be taking at the time of October 1st deadline?

    Thank you,


  • Hi Alex, we recognize there are a variety of circumstances that may affect performance on the MCAT. Re-writing it will not hurt your chances as we have no limit in our policies.

  • Hi Dr. Panaccione,

    I have written the MCAT twice already, with a steady improvement on my score. I am scheduled to write it again but will 3 MCAT attempts look bad to the reviewers and adversely impact my chances of admission?

    Thank you,


  • Welcome Dr. Panaccione! I am excited to participate in the University of Calgary medical experience when I apply.

    It says that the application opens today, however, the website just says “application for 2020 will open July 1st” when I click the new applicant button.

    • Hi Brooke,

      Our intent was to have the application site up and running today but we have run into minor technical issues that we are resolving. Hopefully it will be up end of day.

      Luckily, there is plenty of time to work on the application over the next three months 🙂

      • Hello Dr. Panaccione,

        Thank you so much for your response. I am glad to know that you are aware of the problem and making strides to fix it. I am a little quick the punch, eager to apply is all!

        Thank you again!

  • Welcome, Dr. Panaccione! I look forward to the next chapter for the University and the continuation of a legacy for the medical school.

    Would you be able to let us know when scores will be available for unsuccessful applicants? I recognize that they may not necessarily be representative year to year.
    Thank you!

    • Ellie, thank you for the salutation.
      Now that we have finalized last years cycle we will turn our attention to releasing this information to unsuccessful applicants individually as well as the aggregate data.

      I would anticipate that this should be done towards the latter part of this month.