canadian studying in U.k - need advice, please help

Discussion in 'Canada' started by johnny_blaze, Apr 23, 2004.

  1. johnny_blaze

    johnny_blaze And my name is hawkeye
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    Hi everyone, I was wondering if someone could help me
    I?m from Toronto but I?m currently in med school in the U.K. I still don?t know where I want to work after I qualify because Europe is really beautiful but there?s still a part of me that wants to come back home. I?m interested in doing either general surgery or radiology as my residencies in Ontario (hopefully Toronto). I know its gonna be very difficult for me if I want to come back but I have some good things going for me that might give me a bit of an edge if I want to go home.?

    -I was born and educated in Toronto, and therefore know the city very well
    -My father works with a lot of radiologists in Toronto (he?s a radiographer who owns his own clinic) and I?ve also done years of part time work with them and can easily attain good references. The letters I got from them helped me get into med school.
    -I?m doing my elective in Toronto? Hopefully in surgery but otherwise radiology, to get more Canadian experience and hopefully make some surgical contacts.
    -I?ve already told many surgeons here in the U.K about my interests in surgery and my enthusiasm has increased the amount of teaching I get and the amount experience I get in theatre. Hopefully I can get some good references off them if I continue to show interest.

    Does anyone out there know if any of this stuff will actually make a difference? Or can anyone please give me some more ideas on how to promote myself? I?m very determined and I?ve always been a hard worker and it?s always resulted in me getting what I wanted, so I believe I can do it? but any advice anyone out there can give me would be really appreciated. I still don?t really know where I want to practice after I qualify, like I said, Europe is beautiful? but there?s no place like home.
     
  2. Flankstripe

    Flankstripe Junior Member
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    Unfortunately, as an IMG, you are not eligible for the first round of the CaRMS match, where all the Radiology spots are invariably snapped up by graduates of Canadian medical schools. This year, there were also no General Surgery spots left unfilled after the first round of the CaRMS match either; although this is unusual, as there used to be a few spots left over. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this means that your chances of snagging a Radiology spot in Canada are effectively zero, and General Surgery isn't too likely unless you are willing to take a spot in a less desirable location. The intangibles you mentioned (from that city, connections already in place, etc), don't really matter because there won't be any spots left by the time your application comes up for consideration.

    Getting a Canadian residency in anything other than Family Medicine is extremely difficult if you are an IMG, and even that is a considerable struggle. Getting a US radiology residency as an IMG is also an extremely difficult feat.
     
  3. moo

    moo 1K Member
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    I agree with Flankstripe. You have a few things going against you. First you are an IMG (can't match during First Round). Second, you want to match into something that is very competitive (radiology) or moderately competitive (general surgery). Third, you want to match into probably the most competitive program in Canada (Toronto). That's three strikes against you. Now, if you want to do something like FP in rural Ontario, then it might be possible for you to match back home, but otherwise, unless things change in the future, your chances of coming back to Canada are virtually nil. Your best bet would be in the US, where you could be as close as a one or two hour flight from home, but even that, being an IMG and a Canadian would be very very difficult to match into radiology.

    Doesn't make a difference. There are many people from Toronto from all over who would want to match back home just from within Canada.

    As Flankstripe said, you can't even match into the First Round, and by the Second Round all the spots will be gone, especially in something as competitive as radiology and general surgery in the most competitive program in Canada.

    Again, doesn't matter. You can't match into the First Round.

    Again, good references don't mean a thing if you can't match into the First Round.
     
  4. johnny_blaze

    johnny_blaze And my name is hawkeye
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    Thank you guys for the advice you?ve given me. I really appreciate it and hopefully I can get help with another question. If I do a residency in the U.S, probably general surgery because I assume it?s easier to get than radiology, would I be able to work in Toronto after I qualify and if so what would I need to do?
    What exams do I have to write and would I have to start all over again as a resident?
    Is it difficult getting a visa to work in the U.S (I really don?t understand the way it works in the u.s for IMGs, even after reading other posts, can someone please simplify it for me ;)
    Basically I?m trying to find out if doing a residency in the U.S will help me work in Toronto? can some one please help clear this up for me?
     
  5. redshifteffect

    redshifteffect Senior Member
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    - I would contact the College of Surgeons directly. The problem lies with the fact that many US residencies are shorter than their CDN equivalents. Thus they are not usually recognised. Some people believe you can circumvent this problem simply by extending ur residency by one year...(or whatever length u need to make it equiv. to the CDN one). But I dont' know if this work, i have yet to find one person who has done this successfully.

    Working in Toronto is not going to be easy either way. Ontario has a new program that will recognize you after 5 years of practice somewhere and being fully qualified to work in that country, but you will require a 5 year rural commitment. Other provinces like NS, Manitoba, Newfoundland do recognise UK qualifications.

    My other advice to you would be to consider the UK. Do your training there and they try and come back to Canada. UK qualifications are recognised in some provinces, once you are licensed in these places and you have fullfilled your rural commmitments you can then work in Ontario.

    For the UK you can easily get a work permit and you dont' have to write any USMLEs!
     
  6. moo

    moo 1K Member
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    You need to first take the three steps of the USMLE. There are two types of visas, J1 and H1b and the short story is, the H1b visa allows you to stay in the US and get permanent residency after, while you need a statement of need from the govt of Canada and you must return to Canada after your residency for the J1. Another thing is you need to have taken the Step III before you can apply for the H1b. The H1b is clearly the better visa, allows you more options, etc. BUT it is harder to get. First you have to take Step I-III and then apply to residency programs. If you match, you have to see if the program will sponsor you for the J1 or H1b. If they do, then it should be pretty smooth sailing. Another thing is that getting the H1b will take a year (or more) so you may have to essentially sit out a year while you take the Step III (Canadians at US schools don't have this problem cuz they can extend their student visa by one year). As for getting licensed back in Canada after residency in the US or UK, this is difficult and varies from specialty to specialty. You have to contact the Royal College of Surgeons to figure this out, because I don't think anyone can give you a simple straight answer. You'd have to take a series of exams similar to the USMLE. Is it worth it? If you really can't see yourself living anywhere but Toronto, then I guess it is. But if I were you, I'd either stay in the UK where you seem to like it, or migrate over to the US and be closer to home. You can work in Buffalo or New York, Chicago, etc. and be just an hour or two by plane or car from home.
     

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