CANADIAN IMG - prospects of returning to Canada?

Deltoid

New Member
Great article. All of the sudden things are sounding more hopeful.

Two quotes I liked best:

[Measures to cut the unnecessary red-tape include] Fast-tracked accreditation for doctors already working in Canada, the United States and other countries with comparable health-care systems.

"It doesn't make sense," he said, to have doctors from elsewhere in Canada, the U.S., Britain, Australia or New Zealand with excellent medical education systems jump through hoops to get licensed.

I wonder though, will these proposed changes only affect fully-trained doctors (i.e. those at consultant-level)? Because as newly-qualified doctors we will still need residency positions to train in, and the best the government can do is put us on equal footing with Canadian graduates. That though, is unlikely, because the government's priority (understandably) is to Canadian-grads first, and IMG's second.

Ah, well, maybe all these "cutting the red-tape" measures will put us IMG's on more equal footing with Canadian-grads. We can only hope...
 

Nestea

New Member
"Health Minister George Smitherman will propose legislation later this month aimed at getting more doctors into the province's clinics and hospitals by cutting red tape now standing in the way."

i guess we will find out soon
 

samko

New Member
question?

Hello everybody,
do do u know anybody about advanced courses for MCC qualifying exam in Toronto for Fall Exam.? I tried my best in exam but I failed.
anybody can give advise?
Thanks
samko
 

cotroni

New Member
Hi Fellow Canadians,

I just got back from Canada 2 weeks ago, and I amnow in the UK preparing my september entrance with lot of excitement..
While in Montreal I spoke with some friends of mine about the CARMS, we check all provinces requirements one by one, and I can just go alongside your statements....chances are very slim...unfortunately..although not impossible....

I would say, for now, yes we need to go through our respective curriculum, and keep an eye on the changes that could be used at our advantages once back in the country....

Personally , I have been thinking of a the best strategy that would help optimizing our chance of success once back in Canada..
For instance: work hard at the same time for the MCCQE and USMLE and prepare ASAP, DO NOT WAIT until 4 months before the deadlines as Fellow North American graduates do, they can afford it NOT US....
the earlier we start the more detailed knowledge we'll get
Of course we need to secure electives in Canada for our 4th year
But try to have one also in the US, the reason being you never know where you will end up doing your residency.

Personally, my worst case scenario would be to work in the US border as it is less than an hour from Montreal.....

Keep in touch! and good luck to all of you, at least you're in medicine;)

Cotroni
 

Peptide Acids

New Member
to be accepted to post graduate medicine courses in Canada do you have to do F1andF2 or can you get accepted straight from the 5 year course?
 

ferno

New Member
I have also been told that doing your electives in Canada is a must for anyone who plans on coming back. Choosing an elective that is affiliated with the school you plan on doing your residence is essential; that way you can start networking and even make it clear to your supervisors that you would like letters of reference in the future.
hmm what do you mean by electives?
 

Deltoid

New Member
Electives are 4-8 week attachments that are a standard across UK medical school curricula. During the elective period you can go anywhere in the world to do something involving medicine. People generally go to third world countries to learn about medicine there, or to developed countries to pursue a speciality that interests them.

Most electives are held towards the end of the 5/6 year medical degree, either before or after finals.
 

ferno

New Member
ah so it could it be something like internal medicine, and you would have to find some doctor who wouldn't mind you hanging around?
 

Germandoc

New Member
Working as an otolaryngologist in Canada with German diploma

Hello everybody.
It seems like everybody is talking about CARMs, residency programs etc. I will tell you how I made it Canada. It is a quite different route.
I am Belgian and lived in Germany. I went to med school in Germany and did my residency in otolaryngology, head and neck surgery there as well. I tried for years to get into the Canadian system without any success. After finishing my residency, my wife being from around Winnipeg, I asked all the Regional Health Authorities (RHA) in rural Manitoba if they were interested in having an otolaryngologist. Single rural RHAs wouldn't take a specialist but several together would. So the RHA central Manitoba asked the Brandon RHA and the other RHAs around if they were interested in having an ENT surgeon. (My advantage is that I am french speaking (official language in Manitoba) and I know German and there is a very fast growing German population in Manitoba). They all agreed and the RHA central Manitoba sponsored me for a 6 months assessment (NRSAP see website of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba) with salary of a 5th year resident plus moving costs from Germany and a signing bonus. I passed the assessment and started 1st August 2008 my practice for otolaryngology in Portage la Prairie, MB (70km from Winnipeg where there is everything you need) and 2 days a month in Brandon, MB for surgery and clinic. I can also now apply through the FMRAC program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons to check if I am eligible to write the board exams. So, Canadian board certified otolaryngologist without Canadian Residency.
The only inconvenient is that as long as I don't pass the specialty exams I can only bill my consultations and referrals as a General Practitioner, but the surgery like an ENT-surgeon.

Fact is Canadian graduates want to go to big Canadian Cities. I they don't get it, they go to the U.S. Logically there is a shortage of physicians in rural areas.
Summary: If you are flexible, ask everywhere, especially in the region where you come from (or where you wife comes from in my case) but in rural areas (sometimes only kilometers from big cities), you might be successful. Rural areas are looking for physicians, who will stay not for physicians staying there for a few years to get there license and leave again. One more thing: rural RHAs want to be independent from tertiary centers for most of their patients, which means rural RHAs in Manitoba are recruiting all kind of specialists at the moment and try to work independently from Winnipeg
.
I haven't mentioned that I passed the MCCEE and that I have to to pass the MCCQE I and II within 5 years.

Good luck guys,
 
Thank you for relaying your story German Doc.

I am about to go off on a bit of tangent because I wanted to comment on how messed up the Canadian system is in terms of retention... First of all Medical Education in Canada is subsidised by the government, otherwise medical students would be paying tuition fees comparable to the US. There is a huge difference between $18,000 CAN dollars per year and the American tuition rates of around $36,000 US dollars...

So now, if medical education is subsidised, and we are trying not only to maintain but also to improve our inefficient and inaccessible publicly funded health care system then why the hell are Canadian medical graduates even allowed to leave the country to go make lots of money in the US?

Perhaps we should have a commitment to practice in Canada for a certain amount of years? Maybe even a quota of specialities and locations that must be filled out throughout the country? In the Canadian military one must complete however many years as a GP before then can go off and chose a different area for instance.

Furthermore, should there be a change in the screening processes and in the admission policies currently being used by our publicly funded Medical Schools?

I believe that the top socio-economic tier of our society is continuously filling out most of the undergraduate entrance spots in medical schools all over Canada. I haven't looked at stats in a while but the last article I read (I will try to find it and post it here) about this issue showed that Canadian Medical Graduates are not representative of the average Canadian, neither economically nor ethnically. Why would a rich kid chose Family Medicine or anything even remotely community-based, which is what Canada needs, just so that they can make a shitty little salary instead of going to the United Stated and make over 300 thousand dollars a year as a specialist?

What kind of a system is this?

Here I am signing my life away in debts in order to get a student loans as big as a mortgage just so I can go to the UK in order to attend Medical School and after all that and all the years of hard work and financial constraints I have to jump through hoops just so I can come back and practice here?

The Canadian public keeps on hearing about the shortage of doctors in all areas, the long waiting times for surgeries, the lack of family doctors, the foreign trained medical doctors working in pizza delivery, and who is talking about the real issues??? Does the public even know what a sham all of this is? What lies at the root of these problems? The profile of the people who are going into Medicine and the focus of Medical education in this country are to blame.

Why is it that you should feel so lucky just to find a family doctor,even if he or she as huge A-hole to you, who doesn't look you in the eye, probably doesn't even know your name, and barely touches you when they are supposedly examining you? If your GP spends more than 5 minutes with you and allows you to even talk about ANOTHER problem you are having other than the one they will charge for then you are definitely lucky. But we think nothing of this because we are lucky enough just to HAVE FOUND a Family Doctor? Even if it takes you 3-4 weeks to schedule an appointment with them because they are overloaded, over worked and dissatisfied??


What about the people in small rural communities throughout Canada with chronic conditions such as diabetes, respiratory problems and cardiac issues, who have to put their names in the town's lottery system just so they can see a GP? These are the people that either end up dead or in critical condition in some Emergency Room somewhere because they ran out of insulin or their asthma puffer. These are people whose tax dollars are paying for some invisible health care system that they can't access!!!
Come on now!

We have to demand accountability from the policy makers, from the Medical Associations, from the Universities, not kiss their ass and beg to God that we'll find a spot to come back and practice here. Any region in Canada should be so lucky to have a physician who went through such long and difficult lengths just to get to practice Medicine because this person is probably more likely to be excellent in many aspects including intelligence, compassion and essentially respect for other people, unlike most of the physicians I have met and dealt with in Canada.

Maybe most of the people in this forum want to come back to Canada because their roots are here, their families, loved ones, friends , whatever...

But then if you have been one of the few who have made it back into the Canadian Health Care system then please, be an advocate for policy change. Talk to your colleagues, send a letter to your Medical Association, write a letter to the newspaper. Do something!!

Physicians aren't "healing machines"! Historically physicians have also been social agents in our communities but somehow in North America this role has diminished and physicians only stick to themselves and rarely step out of their comfort zone. Could this be one of the reasons why the public feels so distance from doctors? Is this right? Should people be afraid or suspicious of the medical system and the doctors that are treating them? Have we reached a point of no return?
 

raymdc-89

New Member
Hey trampolinelaughter,

I feel your frustration. The more I hear about it, the more pissed off I get. My med class had a session the other day regarding internship positions for medical graduates, and they said that international students (me, among others) are not guaranteed a spot for internship after we receive our degrees (although they did say they're working on it).

This saddens me. I am a Canadian, paying an absolutely insane tuition fee of $33,000 (a few of my Australian classmates respond in many ways after hearing the number) every year to study med - but I am not guaranteed to be an intern in Australia, yet if I try to turn back to my home country, I get the door slammed in my face.

Yes, I am very fortunate and happy that I am able to study med in the first place. I have many high school friends back from Vancouver going through the long, arduous 'pre-med' crap and absolutely hating it. I feel very fortunate that I may very well be able to do what I really want to do as a career in the future...

But I don't see why IMG's, even Canadian IMG's, must go through so much just to come back. Sometimes I feel they're treating us like we had left elsewhere only to come back infected by some form of 'foreign-ness' with the need to exclude us.

I agree that any IMG that had gone through hell to get to Canada and made it should really speak up. Otherwise no one will know the state of our healthcare system, Canadian medical education, and in the long run the ones that suffer are the patients.

Gosh I've run out of things to say, really. I've been out of the loop with topics on returning to Canada after med school. Not a lot of time lately with the tons of study I have to do.

If I could do something to raise some awareness of this, I would. But seriously what can someone like I do? Any suggestions? Considering I'm merely a 1st year med, over half a world away from my home country?

- Ray
 

raymdc-89

New Member
Electives are 4-8 week attachments that are a standard across UK medical school curricula. During the elective period you can go anywhere in the world to do something involving medicine. People generally go to third world countries to learn about medicine there, or to developed countries to pursue a speciality that interests them.

Most electives are held towards the end of the 5/6 year medical degree, either before or after finals.
Hey Deltoid,

Regarding electives, have you had any yet, considering you're a 5th year med student? If so, did you return to Canada? I'm not sure whether I should do mine in Canada or not. I know I'm very far off from getting to any electives, but I've been thinking whether that'd be possible during my more senior years. I know I have several weeks for an elective during my 5th and final year (maybe 4th as well, but I can't be sure)... but studying in Australia means my seasons are reversed and I don't know if there is any overlap between my schedule and whether, for example, UBC has their own strict 'schedule' for whenever it is they take in international students.

I know a cardiologist in BC (I was his patient) and he did mention that I might be able to get a bit of help from him if I ever wanted to do an elective at BC children's! I'm just not quite sure if that will ever work, you know - 'connections'.

But yeah, I've heard that if I wanted any chance of getting back to Canada for residency, I better choose Canada for my elective. Others say I shouldn't even bother at all and go for the US instead.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks. I hope you're doing all right with 5th year. At the moment I can't stand musculoskeletal anatomy.

- Ray
 

Deltoid

New Member
Musculoskeletal... hoo boy. I always had a hard time remembering all the muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, and bony prominences in the body! Somehow we were meant to learn that in two weeks.

Anyhow, in Liverpool we actually do our electives at the end of third year. I didn't actually do my elective in Canada but in another country I'm considering moving to. A good friend of mine tried to get his elective in Canada (UoT particularly) but wasn't able to since he wasn't in final year.

Since my elective, I've been told by people that it's pretty essential to spend your medical elective in Canada if you plan to work there. It's a big plus because it shows you're familiar with the system there and you know what you're getting into. I'm hoping to spend one of my holidays in Canada getting experience in the hospital. I'm not sure how it'll work, but hopefully they'll accept me even though it won't be as an official elective.

If you want to be really keen and organized with your elective, start contacting people one and a half years ahead of the elective. Two years ahead is probably being too keen, but at one year ahead the places start to fill up. I'm not sure how timing will work with your Australian system and all, but you're best off contacting people first before you assume they won't accept you because of this one issue. In my last hospital, we had elective students from Germany the same time I was working in the hospital.
 

raymdc-89

New Member
Well thanks for the information Deltoid, at least now I have an idea how to go about arranging electives in the near future.

Yeah, anatomy's sorta ridiculous but there's no real way outta not learning it I suppose. I just had a surprise anatomy practical test today in the dissection lab and I scored a 55% which is a pass, but I feel I could've done better. And my other test earlier on Monday i managed to grab a 65% which is a credit, but at the same time I'm trying to be a bit more competitive than that.

The reason being that I'm not sure if Canada will look all the results from all my years in med school. Like, how important exactly are my grades in the first year or the first two years? Obviously getting a 70% is better than passing or a 60, but will Canada seriously look at them when considering international graduates for residency matches?

Or do they look at your more senior years (clinical stuff)? I think my senior years turn into a pass/fail system, so will they base more of their decision on reference letters and other stuff like that?

I was thinking of just getting credits, but the one and only fact of competing for a residency match in Canada is basically forcing me to have no life in order to get a distinction. And even then I have a feeling that I won't be good enough to compete.

I'm not sure if you have the answer to that question, but that's one thing that's really worrying me.

Hope to hear from you again soon.. thanks a lot again for your answers and advice.

- Ray
 

Deltoid

New Member
I know what you mean, Ray. To be honest at this stage I'm not really sure what exactly Canada will look at when I eventually submit my application to them. But hey, just keep working hard and try to have a life at the same time. There's no point in slaving away at your course and if it's only making you despise medicine. And being well-rounded is always a good thing. These days I'm taking up long-distance sport like half-marathons and sprint triathlons - partly out of personal interest, but I'm also hoping to use them as examples of extracurricular achievements.

The key, I suppose, is finding that balance!
 

henryanaest

New Member
How to apply

First of all, I want to congratulate you for getting the job.Well done!
I graduated from the Philippines and finished my residency in Anesthesia, passed the specialist exam and worked on my field with additional emergency experience since then.
But on 2005 I decided to work in Australia and got a job here in area of need as a principal house officer first( a junior position), and then shifted to General practitioner. Note: I have already passed their english exam and amc mcq but I still need to take their clinical to become fully registered instead of having conditional licence.
Now, I did applied for Canadian permanent resident 4 years ago and successfully got it last year.Ofcourse as a rule we need to fly there to validate our PR status hence, we did last August and just came back last month.
I'm preparing for my MCCEE right now, do you think I can land a job there in Manitoba as a GP and can you tell me how to proceed with the application.I really need your help because if I don't go back to Canada after 2years I will lose my Permanent resident which I don't want to happened for the reason that my kids WANTS TO STAY THERE FOR GOOD.
Hello everybody.
It seems like everybody is talking about CARMs, residency programs etc. I will tell you how I made it Canada. It is a quite different route.
I am Belgian and lived in Germany. I went to med school in Germany and did my residency in otolaryngology, head and neck surgery there as well. I tried for years to get into the Canadian system without any success. After finishing my residency, my wife being from around Winnipeg, I asked all the Regional Health Authorities (RHA) in rural Manitoba if they were interested in having an otolaryngologist. Single rural RHAs wouldn't take a specialist but several together would. So the RHA central Manitoba asked the Brandon RHA and the other RHAs around if they were interested in having an ENT surgeon. (My advantage is that I am french speaking (official language in Manitoba) and I know German and there is a very fast growing German population in Manitoba). They all agreed and the RHA central Manitoba sponsored me for a 6 months assessment (NRSAP see website of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba) with salary of a 5th year resident plus moving costs from Germany and a signing bonus. I passed the assessment and started 1st August 2008 my practice for otolaryngology in Portage la Prairie, MB (70km from Winnipeg where there is everything you need) and 2 days a month in Brandon, MB for surgery and clinic. I can also now apply through the FMRAC program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons to check if I am eligible to write the board exams. So, Canadian board certified otolaryngologist without Canadian Residency.
The only inconvenient is that as long as I don't pass the specialty exams I can only bill my consultations and referrals as a General Practitioner, but the surgery like an ENT-surgeon.

Fact is Canadian graduates want to go to big Canadian Cities. I they don't get it, they go to the U.S. Logically there is a shortage of physicians in rural areas.
Summary: If you are flexible, ask everywhere, especially in the region where you come from (or where you wife comes from in my case) but in rural areas (sometimes only kilometers from big cities), you might be successful. Rural areas are looking for physicians, who will stay not for physicians staying there for a few years to get there license and leave again. One more thing: rural RHAs want to be independent from tertiary centers for most of their patients, which means rural RHAs in Manitoba are recruiting all kind of specialists at the moment and try to work independently from Winnipeg
.
I haven't mentioned that I passed the MCCEE and that I have to to pass the MCCQE I and II within 5 years.

Good luck guys,
 

adrianus

New Member
non-Canadian studying in Canada

Hi,

I am a non-Canadian non-US citizen planning to study MD in Canada. Is there a realistic chance for me to continue for residency/specialist training in Canada after I graduate? I am applying to McGill University.

The policy keeps changing and I couldn't find information specifically directed for my case. Will I be included in the first iteration or second iteration of matching? Will I be classified as IMG?

Thank you.
 

Deltoid

New Member
First of all, I want to congratulate you for getting the job.Well done!
I graduated from the Philippines and finished my residency in Anesthesia, passed the specialist exam and worked on my field with additional emergency experience since then.
But on 2005 I decided to work in Australia and got a job here in area of need as a principal house officer first( a junior position), and then shifted to General practitioner. Note: I have already passed their english exam and amc mcq but I still need to take their clinical to become fully registered instead of having conditional licence.
Now, I did applied for Canadian permanent resident 4 years ago and successfully got it last year.Ofcourse as a rule we need to fly there to validate our PR status hence, we did last August and just came back last month.
I'm preparing for my MCCEE right now, do you think I can land a job there in Manitoba as a GP and can you tell me how to proceed with the application.I really need your help because if I don't go back to Canada after 2years I will lose my Permanent resident which I don't want to happened for the reason that my kids WANTS TO STAY THERE FOR GOOD.
Hey henryanaest, not really sure how I can advise you. I've only looked into gaining entry into Canada as a junior doctor, not as a more experienced senior clinician.

Hi,

I am a non-Canadian non-US citizen planning to study MD in Canada. Is there a realistic chance for me to continue for residency/specialist training in Canada after I graduate? I am applying to McGill University.

The policy keeps changing and I couldn't find information specifically directed for my case. Will I be included in the first iteration or second iteration of matching? Will I be classified as IMG?

Thank you.
Hey adrianus, being outside the Canadian at the moment I'm not sure whether I'm the best person to advise you. From what I understand though, if you do manage to get into McGill (or any other Canadian university) you should be classed as a regular Canadian doctor.

In England (where I'm at now) that's the way it works for UK-trained foreign doctors. Being in that category myself, the only thing I'll need to worry about is getting a work visa, but job-application-wise I'm classed the same as a UK-trained British doctor.
 
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