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Canadian Citizen, Medical School Abroad, way to re-enter

Discussion in 'Canada' started by dreezy416, Oct 8, 2016.

  1. dreezy416


    Oct 8, 2016
    Hi everyone

    I am a canadian citizen. i left canada to come study at a medical college abroad. here the course is 5 years long and students get in right after highschool. also there is a 1 year of internship which the foreign students are not obligated to take (im considered a foreign student here at my medical college). so i basically skipped my undergrad years. im in 4th year of my studies here, and i need your help in returning back to my homeland, canada. btw im only 21 years old, so my level of experience will not be up to par with a lot of yours so any and all assistance will be greatly appreciated.

    how does the MCC work?
    when do i start taking them?
    what other exams are there?
    basically, what is the whole licensing procedure?
    (i know, i know, im a noob still, thats why im here looking for your help :-3)
    where do i send my papers for evaluation?
    as a canadian citizen, what advantages do i have over pure foreign IMGs? over pure locals (canadians having studied in canada)?
    my end target is surgery, orthopedics/cardio-thoracic/general basically any type of surgery where my hands will be good what are your suggestions for that?
    how can i arrange clerkship and internship in a canadian institute?
    im flexible with moving across canada so any preferable province where it may be easier?

    again thanks for helping me out with this.

    a little background about me:
    i made it to the premed in UofS, and i studied at Mac for 4 months (sem 1 of year 1 - life sciences). got into UOttawa for biomedical, as well as RyersonU and University of Regina.
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  3. Toothachee101

    Toothachee101 2+ Year Member

    Dec 28, 2015
    I can only answer this one. As a Canadian citizen, you're eligible to apply to Canada for residency (non-Canadians can't).
    No advantage over Canadians studying in Canada.
    Depending on where you studied, your chances of matching varies. Irish and Aus grads match back to Canada with greater success (>60%). As a whole, statistically, your chance of matching back to Canada is about ~20%. The actual data can be obtained if you dig around this

    I'd also suggest applying to Family Med and Internal Med instead because the specialties you're interested in has <15 IMG spots combined in entire Canada.
    Hope that helps!
    WolfLarson likes this.
  4. Medstart108

    Medstart108 5+ Year Member

    Mar 24, 2012
    There is a big disadvantage over Canadians studying in Canada in the sense that Canadians studying in Canada apply to CMG spots which are about 90% of spots, the competition for IMG spots is much more stiff and comes with return of service obligations.
    Toothachee101 likes this.
  5. Medstart108

    Medstart108 5+ Year Member

    Mar 24, 2012
    Realistically you probably aren't going to get surgery. The spots are very few for IMGs like yourself, only 6 in Orthopedic surgery across Canada, 5 in General Surgery 0 or 1 in Cardiothoracics each year across Canada. You have no advantages as a Canadian citizen because only Canadian citizens/PR can apply, so your competition all has the right to work in Canada.

    There is a lot of competition, many of the spots will go to people who have connections and people who are much older and more qualified than you are with a lot of research papers etc.

    I have to be honest with you if you are already in 4th year it is already a little bit too late for you, you need to do electives in your final year in Canada (aka your 5th year). You need to write your MCCEEs, your NAC OSCEs and you need a lot of networking and guidance to apply back. Do you have a chance to do internship or residency at the country you are studying in?

    You still have a chance to work in Canada but I would recommend you aim for something like Family Medicine and also try to get an elective in Family Medicine in Canada.

    Here is where you can look for electives.
    bigballer5 likes this.
  6. adrenergic91

    adrenergic91 2+ Year Member

    Jan 10, 2015
    Or you can forget Canada, and apply to the States.
    Licensing exams are much more straight forward. No need to work in the suburbs of Yellow Knife if you studied abroad. Much broader selection of specialties as an IMG (including General Surgery), etc

    Sent from my iPad using SDN mobile
  7. PistolPete

    PistolPete Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jul 16, 2006
    There are more options in the US, definitely, but competition is getting worse and worse due to more MD and DO graduating students from the US. Surgery as an FMG would be fairly difficult except in less-desirable areas. So... is Kentucky that much better than Yellowknife? Not sure. To each his/her own.
  8. mashmetoo

    mashmetoo Physician 7+ Year Member

    Oct 25, 2008
    Toronto, Canada
    What I don't understand is why didn't you do this research and find out the answers to these questions 4 years ago before you went offshore? You are an IMG unfortunately, and you don't have any advantages over them unfortunately. The only advantage that I see comes from your youth, you are only 21, which can work in your favour if you don't end up matching at first. You are almost at the end of your program now... did you take any of the USMLEs? Have any US clinical rotations? or Canadian ones? Have you taken the MCCEE or NAC OSCE yet? If the answer is no, these are major problems.
  9. Ultramarathoner

    Ultramarathoner 5+ Year Member

    Aug 2, 2012
    U wanted the easy way out, did no research, and now u want to come back and compete with people who busted their ass doing undergrad and research to get it. I have zero sympathy for u and u don't deserve to be here.
    ConfusedChemist likes this.
  10. kingston99


    Aug 11, 2015
    Hey. I am in a similar situation. Canadian studying abroad hoping to return home. So first things first, the exams. You need to write the mccee and nac in order to apply for the match. It doesn't hurt to have done other licencing exams. And of course it is important to have good scores. Along with this research work and Canadian reference letters and electives will boost your application compared to IMGS who have already graduated and have little to no Canadian experience. This is basically the just of the information I found onine. There is less info out there for IMGS applying to Canada vs USA. So we have to help each other out through this process, you can pm me if you want. Sometimes it helps to know another person is on the same path, it keeps me motivated to know it is possible.
    As for the last post. My only response is that everyone takes their own path. In my experience IMGS work just as hard if not more in order to prove their worth. We are put through more tests and greater competition to get the same jobs. So everyone struggles at their own time. It is useless to compare. Let the residency directors decide if a person deserves a spot or not.
    Lets keep everyone motivated. Spread the positivity.
  11. aProgDirector

    aProgDirector Pastafarians Unite! Moderator SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Oct 11, 2006
    There are two pathways from being a Canadian citizen IMG to return to work as a physician in Canada -- either match to a Canadian residency, or match to a US residency and then return to work in Canada.

    Pathway #1: Canadian Residency
    As you've already been told, this pathway is very difficult. The number of spots open to IMG's is very small, and they come with ROS contracts. In order to get one, you'd need to take the Canadian licensing exams. Realistically, you'd also need to complete some Canadian electives while in medical school, to generate Canadian LORs. You'd then apply to CARMS and try to match in Canada. As mentioned, doing so in a surgical specialty is very, very difficult. You're going to need great scores, lots of Canadian rotations, connections, and lots of luck. Even getting the lower competition fields (i.e. FM) is difficult, and as someone who skipped undergrad, I expect that might also work against you.

    Pathway #2: US Residency
    Your other option is to apply and match into a US residency. Because the US and Canada have somewhat unified systems, training in either country is considered equivalent. Therefore, you could complete a US residency, then try to get a job in Canada. There are some problems -- some Canadian residencies are longer than the equivalent US residency, so then you need to get some additional training to qualify. And there's no guarantee you'd actually get a job in Canada.

    In the US, your chances of getting a surgical spot are better, but still low. You'd need to take the USMLE exams and score well, and you'll need US experience. Canadian experience might suffice for both, but US programs might see lots of Canadian rotations and assume you're applying to CARMS, and decline to interview you.

    In both cases, you're already far behind the timeline you needed to follow. You need to decide which pathway you'd prefer, and start working on the exams. Taking the exams, and getting experience, and being ready for the match on time, and completing your medical school requirements will not be easy in the time remaining. Plus, you'll probably need study time for the exams. Theoretically you can apply to CaRMS and NRMP matches together -- the CaRMS happens first, so if you match there, you get withdrawn from the NRMP match. But as mentioned you'll need multiple Canadian rotations to have a decent chance in CaRMS, and that might hurt you in the NRMP. Plus to apply to both you'd need to take both US and Canadian exams.

    1. You're probably not going to match in Canada, and given your current timeline you're probably better off focusing on the US.
    2. You need to take the USMLE and do well.
    3. You need US or Canadian rotations while you're still a medical student.
    4. Your chances of getting a surgery spot are poor, unless you do very well on the USMLE and get good US surgery experience.
    5. Your chances of getting Ortho/CT Surgery are zero.
  12. wong2689


    Mar 28, 2017
    Hi, I am an IMG just matched to UBC FM this year. I met a lot of CSA while I had my interview in Ontario and UBC. So, for CSA to be able to come back for residency, there's a few crucial factors:
    1. Very good MCCEE and NAC-OSCE
    - this year Ontario FM asks for minimum EE 324 and OSCE 74, but most people gets much higher scores
    - For IM, a lot of candidates has EE >400, and also high MCQ1 >600
    - So one need to take every exam very seriously.

    2. Get Canadian electives
    - focus on IM and FM +/-ped
    - they prefer Canadian RoLs ( My three RoLs are all from Canadian Fam doc.)

    3. Prepare for USMLE as backup in case you fail to match in Canada.

    4. If your French is fluent, congratulations! Quebec is waiting for you. For the past few years, a lot of FM positions in Quebec are unfilled even after 2nd iteration.

    5. Beware of the requirement for Clinical assessment program(CAP) for IMG/CSA. For example, from 2017, BC will have 200 positions for a COMPULSORY CAP - 100 for BC residents and 100 for others. No interview for candidate without CAP. Alberta also has strict criteria for CSA/IMGs. Please check accordingly.
  13. DoctorS84

    DoctorS84 2+ Year Member

    Sep 19, 2014
    You can also finish residency training and be a fellow in an approved jurisdiction. Most commonwealth countries are accepted by the Royal College and Family College of Canada. Although like someone mentioned earlier, this doesn't mean just because they allow you to sit the royal college exams and get a license, you will get a job. Your best bet would still be something you can set up shop yourself, or join a group practice. Less chance of getting any academia.
  14. AStark

    AStark 5+ Year Member

    Dec 9, 2011
    Alternatively you could apply to medical schools in Canada and repeat the whole process. You could get in... and it would certainly be a much easier path to postgrad training and, you know, a career.
  15. mashmetoo

    mashmetoo Physician 7+ Year Member

    Oct 25, 2008
    Toronto, Canada
    Somehow, with tuition being 100k dollars a year for 5 years of medschool in Ireland, I doubt anyone in their right mind would choose to redo all of their med school again in Canada. That really is not a viable option for anyone.
    MNurse2MD likes this.
  16. WolfLarson


    Apr 27, 2017
    So would you say that for a Canadian going to Australia gives the best chances of matching back here?
  17. bearded frog

    bearded frog 2+ Year Member

    Feb 24, 2014
    Unfortunately, when reporting IMG statistics, they don't differentiate between Canadians studying abroad (CSA) and other IMGs. The results by geographic location of IMGs in the latest match can be found on table 50 of the R-1 match reports, or pdf here

    The highest rate was Oceania at 46% followed by Europe (including UK) at 37% and the Caribbean at 20%. Note that these results are confounded by applicant demographics. For instance one can suppose that the Caribbean may have a higher proportion of US IMGs that apply to CaRMS with less chance of matching than CSAs, but it is impossible to know.
  18. Medstart108

    Medstart108 5+ Year Member

    Mar 24, 2012
    From what i've seen, CSAs come from all sorts of schools. I've seen Caribbean grads match into an IMG plastics, EM spots etc. In my opinion, where you go abroad won't have much influence on whether or not you match, it is more about the effort you put into getting back and that will show in your resume and your interview and elective performance.

    Australia and Ireland have higher match rates, but the schools are also more expensive have higher requirements and so the type of people going to these places are different in the first place. I would consider Australia for sure though, great place to spend 4 years of your life and people do match from Australia.

    In terms of medical education however, I would always recommend a school in Ireland, UK, Australia over others because of the quality of the education. I would recommend a school that takes less international students (UQ as i've heard) as the quality can sometimes be worse at some of these schools due to class sizes. With that being said, places like UQ and RCSI which have more internationals often have good matching rates because of their size and more dedication to helping students match vs schools where international students are not in large enough numbers to warrant helping them.
  19. Methodnike

    Methodnike Family Physician Physician 10+ Year Member

    Sep 5, 2006
    Greater Cincinnati area
    Kentucky is a good place to be. Moved here and been here for the last 6 years.
    Have you ever lived here, worked here, or even visited?
    The pay is great, cost of life is cheap, I pay less taxes and I have big cities amenities with Cincinnati 12 miles away (considered under served area).

    Write the US boards, and apply on both sides. Increase your odds. You never know where you might end up.
  20. dreezy416


    Oct 8, 2016
    Yes you are absolutely right, in the spur of the moment my research was close to being all of 9%. Whether canada receives me as an equally qualified physician is hard to say for now as I haven't finished yet, but once I do, and with a canadian passport the world is open for me. So yeah I think I did take the easy way out, not being bound to a norm that is in North American health care system feels great dude. You should try it some times :-D
    P.s. what you study in 8 years, we do in 5...

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