Discussion in 'Canada' started by Aria2012, Nov 19, 2007.

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  1. Aria2012

    Aria2012 2+ Year Member

    Oct 15, 2007
    The Future of Our Medical Careers
    Open Letter to International Medical Graduates in Canada
    Open Letter to Canadian Students at Saba University School of Medicine
    Revised July 31, 2007
    Please E-mail Your Comments --> [email protected]
    "For Canada to permit regulations to stand, which have as their sole foundation, appeals to discrimination toward Canadian citizens who are graduates of foreign medical schools, is to commit, a violation of the Bill of Rights, as heinous as the original set of injustices and inequalities, for which this Bill of Rights Act was created"
    Thank you for taking the time to read this. First off, let me start by addressing some of the most common comments I have heard among Canadian students here at Saba University School of Medicine:

    A) "I am going to do all my clinical rotations in Canada"
    An IMG (International Medical Graduate/Student) (which is what we are) CANNOT do core rotations in Canada. Regardless of wether you are a Canadian citizen or not. You can only do electives.
    In addition, the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada has ruled that the maximum length of time out-of-country medical students may be accepted for training in Canada is 12 weeks (, David Hawkins: [email protected]).
    Now, some Canadian's here at Saba have the idea that they will do their electives, and have Saba University count them as cores. For example, you go to Ontario (or somewhere else in Canada) and do, let's say, an elective in surgery, then Saba University accepts it for the Core surgery requirement. See what I mean? Well, this is a big mistake. Let me tell you why:
    When you finish medical school, and residency and apply for a license in Canada, the Canadian medical governing bodies will evaluate (in great detail) every clinical you have done. And if all your clinicals were essentially just "electives", and you broke the rules by doing more than 12 weeks of electives in Canada as a foreign student, do you think one of the strictest countries in the world is going to grant you a license to practice medicine? . . .I'll let you ponder this.

    B) "I going to transfer to a Canadian Medical School"
    None of the sixteen Canadian medical schools accepts transfer students from outside Canada. In fact most, wont even look at an application from WITHIN Canada.

    C) "I am going to get a residency in Canada"
    It is a fact that of all the IMG's that come to Canada, 90-95% will not obtain a residency. The few that do, do so, after either years and years of trying, or, because they know people in high places who 'pull strings' for them.
    Just visit and see how few IMG's get a residency in Canadian match every year. There are currently 12,000 (twelve thousand) IMG's in Canada, actively seeking a residency position. In Ontario alone, there are currently over 4000 (four thousand) foreign doctors with no job and no residency.
    Then you have all this talk about being able to get a residency in Canada 'outside the match'. Where? How? Don't just hear that and think that your set, you must have facts! The only ones that will be able to take advantage of this are those with some serious 'inside' connections. Their rumors, and hearsay are bogus, and we all know it. I definitely won't plan out my medical career based on the 'doors will open up' theory. Because quite frankly in Canada they never will, definitely not for graduates of foreign medical schools.
    Across Canada there are thousands and thousands of desperate foreign trained doctors. Some of them are outright Canadian Citizens! Of those select few that actually complete all the requirements needed just to apply, only 10% will obtain a residency position (it has varied between 4% and 16% over the past 12 years). Also, those residency positions are the worst, left over ones, that NO Canadian medical graduate wanted.
    [​IMG] Update on the 2007 Canadian (CaRMS) Residency Match
    2007 was the worst match rate in 10 years (1998-2007) for International Medical Graduates (IMG's) in Canada.
    Are you ready for the statistic?
    Only 6 (six) percent of all IMG's matched to residency position in Canada in the second iteration of the CaRMS match.
    This is the worst result in 10 years. Things will only get worse with the large number of Canadians going abroad for medical school and returning to Canada after graduation.
    If you add the stats from the first iteration for IMG's the total stat becomes 11.4% as a match rate for ALL IMG's in Canada for both the first and second iterations combined.

    Keep in mind that an IMG is not just a foreigner who comes to Canada with a medical degree. IMG can also mean a Canadian citizen who goes to foreign medical school.
    Stats obtained from the second iteration statistics here: (Scroll down to the bottom of the page).
    All the stats are here:
    Keep in mind that CaRMS only lists the number of IMG's in the 'match'. You can only enter a rank order list and be in the match if you receive at least one interview. There are hundreds of IMG's that apply but never get any interviews and thus are not in the match, but these IMG's are not included in the statistics! So the actual 'match rate' is even lower than 10% if you were to include ALL the applicants. Please read the CMA interpretation here:
    In the Canadian Residency Match, 93% of all residency positions in Canada are filled by graduates of Canadian medical schools. The only residencies available to IMG's are those left over 2 year rural Family Practice spots, that NO Canadian medical graduate wanted. In Canada, Family Practice is only a 2 year program, in the United States it is a 3 year program. So in Canada you are getting basically 2/3 of the educational time you would compared to the U.S. Also, many of those left over FP spots in the second iteration are rural spots, so if you did get one, your opportunity to learn is very limited, because of the small patient population.
    It amazes me that highly qualified foreign medical graduates, allow the Canadian medical system to degrade and humiliate them like this. IMG’s, have some pride! Do not let CaRMS, MCC, OIMGP and other Canadian medical organizations rip you off of your hard earned dollars. Because in the end, in Canada, you will have lost a lot of years and money and will have nothing to show for it, except your used airplane ticket.
    [​IMG] D) "I heard that IMG's can now enter the first round of the Canadian residency (CaRMS) match!"
    IMG's being able to enter the first round (first iteration) is not as good as it sounds.

    ** There are two different first rounds! **

    There is the CMG (Canadian Medical Graduate) Stream and then there is the IMG Stream.

    There are very few spots available in the IMG Stream of the first round of the CaRMS match. For example, Newfoundland has a grand total of 3 (three) spots in their IMG stream of the first round. The only provinces that allow IMG's to compete in the same stream as CMG's are Quebec and Manitoba. For Quebec you need to know French and Manitoba is a freezing cold hellhole.

    All this info is here:

    Not to mention there are nightmare return of service contracts that force you to work in the most undesirable places after finishing your residency training.

    Now the second round (second iteration) of the CaRMS match is a joke. Practically nothing left there except for the worst, left over, 2 year GP spots, in freezing cold areas of rural Canada

    Nothing has changed my friends. Canada is still a dead end and closed door for IMG's.

    E) "I am not going to write the USMLE, because I am going to Canada, so I won't need it"
    If you don't write the USMLE, your life and career will turn into such a big joke, that even the best comedians in Hollywood will have difficulty portraying it . . . that's all I'm going to say about this.

    F) "I am going to come back to Canada, after doing a residency in the United States"
    This won't happen. After you finish residency in the U.S. and return to Canada, you cannot practice medicine. Why? Because Canada does not accept the USMLE, Canada does not accept the ECFMG certificate. To work in Canada as a doctor you would have to do the entire Canadian certification process all over again. That's right, you would have to write MCCEE, MCCQE Part 1, MCCQE Part 2, and the Canadian board exams for the residency that you did in the United States.
    Also you may have to do extra year(s) of residency training in Canada, for example if you did an Internal Medicine residency in U.S. you would have to do one more year of residency in Canada.
    Ontario residents: Keep in mind that you cannot return to your home province initially. You have to go to another province first and then work your way back to Ontario via reciprocity. And when you do return to your home province you must go to a rural/underserviced area for five years. For more info contact: College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) , [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG](416) 967-2617[​IMG]
    Also to go through that whole process to come back to Canada to make a lot less money makes no sense either. After you finish your residency in the U.S. you will be offered a job for $150,000 (that's U.S. dollars). You are trying to tell me, you will pass this up to go back to Penetanguishene, Ontario to work in some rural area for $90,000 Canadian dollars (which converts to only $64,000 U.S. dollars by the way).

    G) "I absolutely will go back to Canada to live, after doing a residency in the United States"

    O.k. since you persist with this, let's entertain this delusional comment.
    To obtain a residency in the U.S. you have to pass USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 and USMLE Step 2 CS. Then during your U.S. residency you have to pass USMLE Step 3. Then to graduate from that program you have to pass the residency board exam. For example, if you are doing a residency in the U.S. in Family Practice, you have to pass the U.S. Family Practice board exam. Let's see, so far there are five board exams you need to pass.
    Now after you complete all this and go back to Canada, you must write all the Canadian board exams in order to obtain a license to practice medicine in Canada. Those tests are the: MCCEE, MCCQE Part 1, MCCQE Part 2, and the Canadian Residency board exam. That's an additional four board exams.
    I know people who could not even pass USMLE Step 1. It is impossible for me to believe that they will pass nine board exams. Whatever. . .
    Even if you did achieve this phenomenal and miraculous feat of academia, it would result in you ending up in some rural area like Northern Manitoba or the Yukon, earning half the salary that you could earn in the United States.
    For further info contact:
    Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada -
    College of Family Physicians of Canada -

    The truth is that as soon as you get on that airplane and head toward a foreign medical school, you have pretty much cut Canada off forever. Therefore you'd better fully accept this certainty before going abroad for the M.D. degree.

    H) "I am going to write a letter, to have Canada eliminate the Evaluating Exam, because there is no need for it"
    Canadian medical licencing authorities have the right and obligation to ensure Canadians get the best medical care in the world and it is my view this can be accomplished through generally accepted standardized tests such as the MCCEE that the RCPSC requires. Visit:
    RCPSC - Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

    Contact the CPSO for more info:
    College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (
    80 College Street
    Toronto, ON M5G 2E2 [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG](416) 961-1711[​IMG]

    Even the most massive letter campaign is NOT going to get them to change this requirement. I mean c'mon, that's like me saying "oh, I am going to write a letter to ECFMG, and ask them to eliminate the CSA, because I know my English well and because the CSA is too expensive."
    Be realistic.

    O.K. now let's look at some of the points, we as Canadians need to be aware of, and consider when we are planning out our medical career and future:

    1) The licensing exams you need to pass, to practice in Canada are:
    1. successful completion of the MCCEE (evaluating exam)
    2. successful completion of the Qualifying Examination Part I (MCCQE part 1)
    3. successful completion of the Qualifying Examination Part II (MCCQE part 2)

    Information about the Evaluating and Qualifying Examinations of the Medical Council of Canada may be obtained from
    Medical Council of Canada, Box 8234, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, KlG 3H7, telephone: [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG](613) 521-6012[​IMG], fax: (613) 521-9417

    2) One year of unpaid clerkship requirement for IMG's in Ontario.
    One the requirements for obtaining a residency in Ontario, is to first obtain and complete one year of unpaid post-graduate training.
    MYTH: In the Ontario IMG Program, there are 50 spots for residency in Ontario for IMG's.
    FACT: Those 50 spots are not for residency. They are for this one year of unpaid post-graduate training that is a prerequisite for applying for a residency position in Ontario through the Ontario International Medical Graduate Program.

    The OIMGP provides this pre-residency training to evaluate and to upgrade the qualifications of IMG's. Contact the OIMGP for details:
    Ontario IMG (Scam) Program:

    Let's talk a little about this:
    Basically, after getting your M.D. from a foreign medical school you would have to:
    1) Pass the MCCEE
    2) Pass the required English tests (TOEFL, TSE)
    3) Apply to the Ontario IMG program Clerkship (which is NOT residency by the way, it is just one year of pre-residency training. It is an UNPAID position. Actually you have to pay $2000 to be in this program)
    4) There are hundreds and hundreds of applicants for the 50 spots that the Ontario IMG program offers, so they narrow it down with two tests
    5) First test: IMG exam, from which the top 200 are selected
    6) Second test: OSCE exam, from which the final 50 are selected, for this PRE-residency UNPAID program.
    (the above application process is about a year long, so one year lost)
    7) If selected, you must complete this one year, pre-residency, unpaid program
    (a second year lost, as this is essentially another year with no job)
    8) After all this is completed successfully, then you are eligible to APPLY for a residency in Ontario.
    (so in total, you lose two years of your life, trying to become eligible to apply for a residency in Ontario)

    9) In Ontario you cannot enter the first or second round of the Canadian CARMS residency match, you have to wait until after the second round. And after the second round there is nothing left. Keep in mind that there are 4000 (four thousand) IMG's in Ontario and 12,000 (twelve thousand) IMG's across Canada, who are actively seeking a residency position or employment as a physician in Canada. There are several thousands more IMG's who are in Canada but have long given up on this process.
    Reality my dear friends. Reality.
    The Practice Ready and PGY-2 positions are only for those IMG's who have completed a residency or at least some post graduate training in their home country. So this is not an option for Canadians who have gone abroad for their MD degrees.
    As for the PGY-1 Family Practice positions -> Family Practice in Canada is a only a 2 year program. As a result, you don't really learn anything. These positions are basically the scraps that the Canadian government throws (like left over meat to stray dogs) to desperate IMG's in the country. Worthless.

    The only thing available to IMG's outside of Ontario (other Canadian provinces) is some other worthless, left over, two year rural family practice spot that NO Canadian medical graduate wanted, not to mention that it will be in some boony town where it is -30 (minus thirty) degrees celcius everyday with a non-diverse population, up north (eg goose bay, labrador, or north battleford, saskatchewan).
    Will you honestly be happy with this?

    3) Not much left in the second iteration, and nothing left after the second iteration.
    Let's talk briefly about the CaRMS match.
    Canadian Resident Matching Service
    151 Slater Street, Suite 802
    Ottawa, ON Canada K1P 5H3

    The match is done in two rounds (iterations). The first round is open ONLY to graduates of LCME (Canadian and American) medical schools. Not foreign medical schools!
    The second round is open to graduates of foreign medical schools in some provinces. But if you go and visit the CaRMS web site, you will see that there is didly squat left in the second round . . . nickel and dime.

    4) B-1 Visa for clinicals.
    Yes, Canadians need a B-1 Visa to do clinicals in the United States. Apply as early as possible for this otherwise you won't be allowed into a hospital to do your rotations.
    US Embassy:
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada: for related info.

    5) The H-1B visa for residency training in the U.S.
    To get the H-1B visa a residency program in the U.S. has to be willing to sponsor you. Unfortunately very few residency programs in the U.S. do this. To get this visa you will have to write USMLE Step 3 before starting your residency. Around twelve states allow candidates to register for this exam before residency (Step 3 is normally written DURING residency).
    The great thing about this visa, is that once you get it, you can then apply for a Green Card, which will allow you to live and work in the U.S. permanently. This really is the BEST option.
    To find out which states, visit:
    FSMB (Federation of State Medical Boards):

    To find out about the USMLE Step 3 visit:
    For info about the J-1 and H-1B Visa's visit:

    6) The J-1 visa for residency training in the U.S.
    First of all look at the requirements you have to fulfill to get this Visa: -postdoct/2005-famil/index_e.html
    To get this visa from the ECFMG you will first need to get an offer from a residency program in the U.S. and you will need to get a "Statement of Need" from the Canadian Health Ministry.
    You need to pass the MCCEE before you can get that "Statement of Need" from Canada. If you get the J-1 visa, then you are entitled to stay in the U.S. to do a residency. But after the residency is completed you have to return to Canada for a minimum of two years. By law, this is a MUST, because when you first get the J-1, Canada requires you to sign a consent form which will allow them to recruit you when you finish residency in the U.S.
    When you return to Canada, you have to get your U.S. residency training assessed by the Royal College of Canada (for which they charge a hefty fee). Then you have pass ALL the Canadian board exams in order to obtain a license to practice medicine in Canada. Those tests are the: MCCEE, MCCQE Part 1, MCCQE Part 2, and the Canadian board exams for the residency you did in the U.S.
    Now, when you go back to Canada, your U.S. training alone is not eligible for Ontario, so forget about Ontario. You will have to go to some other province, where they will place you in some small rural town, where it is minus thirty degrees everyday (Labrador, Northern Alberta etc). But to get a permanent license to practice medicine there (or anywhere else in Canada), you MUST pass ALL the Canadian board exams! All this nonsense and degradation just to make half the salary you could have earned if you were allowed to stay in the U.S.
    If you are doing a residency in the U.S. on a J-1 visa, it is possible to stay in the U.S. after your residency, if you get a J-1 waiver. You can obtain this waiver by agreeing to work as a physician in a health manpower shortage area (rural/underserviced area in the U.S.) for 3-5 years. Each state in the U.S. has 30 J-1 Waiver spots per year. For more information about these J-1 waiver programs, visit:

    7) So as you can see, Canadians are in a different stream than all other IMG's, and that stream is appropriately called "Sh*ts Creek".

    8) The Doctor shortage in Canada.

    By now I am sure all of you have heard about this. But don't get too excited. Yes there is a doctor shortage in Canada. But the way Canada is solving that doctor shortage is by increasing the number of spots at Canadian medical schools. Every medical school across Canada has increased enrollment.
    In addition Canada has decided to open up a new medical school in Northern Ontario which will produce a new batch of Canadian medical graduates (Canadian MD’s) that will be used to solve the doctor shortage.
    New Northern Ontario Medical School:
    Think about it! There are 12,000 (twelve thousand) foreign trained doctors across Canada with no job and no residency, 4000 (four thousand) of them are in Ontario. They have passed the Canadian exams (MCCEE, MCCQE), they are ready to work now! . . . AND there is a doctor shortage. Why doesn't Canada provide opportunities for them? Why all this effort and money into this new Canadian medical school?
    Because the bottom line is that despite a doctor shortage, Canada will never provide jobs to graduates of foreign medical schools, even if you are a Canadian citizen. Canada only wants graduates of Canadian medical schools.

    9) Applying for a residency in the United States:
    To apply for a residency in the U.S. to have to apply through the ERAS
    Electronic Residency Application Service:

    The U.S. residency match is done by
    NRMP (National resident matching program):

    The list of all available residency positions in the U.S., is nicely summarized at this excellent site:
    FREIDA (Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database):

    10) Canadians need to be very realistic about their goals.
    The worst Saba student, who de-celled twice and failed USMLE on his/her first try (but is a U.S. citizen) will be able to get a residency in Internal Medicine in the U.S. without ANY problem. But you as a Canadian, even with a 90 on your USMLE and a #3 ranking in your class could still get screwed, blued and tattooed come match time. Hospitals look at applicants without a Visa, the way you and I would look at our feces, if we were suffering from inflammatory diarrhea.

    Source: --->
    Please read the whole article....
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  3. Aria2012

    Aria2012 2+ Year Member

    Oct 15, 2007
    11) It is important to do ALL your clinical rotations (cores and electives) in the U.S.
    We have (I hope) already established that Canada is a closed door for IMG’s. So our goal is a residency in the United States. Doing all your clinicals in the U.S. allows you maximum opportunity to make contacts, which are invaluable come residency selection time. Also, the USMLE Step 2 exam is based entirely on U.S. clinical experience, doing clinicals outside of the U.S. does not prepare you well for the Step 2 exam.
    Never do clinical rotations in Mexico or Canada or the Caribbean islands, this is a total waste of time. The whole point of going to a Caribbean medical school is to get clinical rotations in the U.S. at ACGME accredited hospitals. That is what maximizes your chance of getting a residency in the U.S.

    12) Is the United States a nice place to raise a family?
    YES! For those Canadians afraid to go to the U.S., let me offer you this: there are plenty of places in the U.S. that are as safe, and crime free as Goose Bay, Labrador . . . so don't sweat it. You can live a happy life, with your family, keeping your culture alive, and your children will have a prosperous future. It is a fact that the best and brightest Canadians move to the U.S., and never come back.

    13) Caribbean Medical Schools were never intended or designed to educate Canadians.
    They were opened to cater to rejected U.S. applicants. That is the whole premise, and that is for whom this whole system is geared toward. But what happened over the years is that, it became so ridiculously difficult to gain admission into a Canadian medical school that many, many Canadian students flocked down to the Caribbean.
    The Association of Canadian Medical Colleges states in their manual every year:
    "Applicants should be aware that enrolling in dubious, proprietary, for-profit medical schools opened specifically to cater to rejected applicants to medical schools in Canada or the USA is highly unlikely to be a path to practising medicine in Canada."
    The American Association of Medical Colleges ( publishes a list annually of the most difficult places to gain admission into a medical school. Ontario tops the list every year, followed by California, New York, British Columbia and Texas.

    14) Canada has ruined the lives of thousands of foreign doctors for the past twenty years.

    When I was younger, I always wondered why foreign doctors immigrated to Canada, when it is a world wide known fact that Canada is career suicide for them. Well the reason is as follows: Canadian Embassies around the world lie to foreign doctors.
    These embassies tell them “Oh yes, come to Canada, we need doctors!”. Canadian immigration organizations lie and paint this picture that Canada is Utopia, because they want foreigners to come to Canada. Why? Because foreigners bring money and they after they come they do the blue collar jobs. That is exactly what Canada wants! The Canadian government wants foreign money and cheap foreign labor.
    So after being deceived, these foreign doctors, pack up, and immigrate with their families (spouse, children) to Canada. They have to bring with them at least $10,000 and pay an additional $1500 to land in Canada. Canada has an immigration quota of 250,000 per year. So please do the math, 250,000 multiplied by $10,000 each equals a whopping 2.5 Billion dollars that Canada gains from immigrants every year.
    However, after they arrive, Canada shuts the door in their face and tells them that their foreign credentials are not ‘good enough’ and that they need to pass a series of expensive tests and do additional unpaid training. Shame on those Canadian embassies!
    This forces the foreign doctors to get minimum wage jobs like factory work, driving taxi cabs or delivering pizzas, and to try whatever they can to support themselves and their families. They have passed the Canadian exams (MCCEE, MCCQE), applied for residency positions with CaRMS year after year, yet the end result is nothing. This is the tragedy associated with immigration to Canada.

    15) Let's help each other.
    I love to share info I have gathered with my fellow Canadians.If you know something that I don't, please share it with me, I am willing to listen, but please back it up with proof and fact. As one of my Canadian classmates would say --> "During a drought, don't piss on my leg, and tell me it's raining". In other words, don't give me false hope,

    . . . depressed? Don't be! Here's what you need to do:

    My Advice (what I have been saying since day one):A) Pass (with a score greater than 80) the USMLE Step 1 and USMLE Step 2 CK and pass the USMLE Step 2 CS (CSA).

    B) Do all your medical school Clinical Rotations in the United States at ACGME accredited hospitals.
    If you have already graduated, then do some visiting electives with U.S. residency programs.

    C) Get your ECFMG certificate.

    D) Apply for a residency (post graduate training) position in the United States.

    (There a lot of opportunities in the U.S., as long as you choose an IMG friendly residency: e.g. internal medicine, psychiatry, family practice, pediatrics etc., things can work out.
    Saba is one of the few good Caribbean medical schools, and they are recognized with residency directors all over the U.S.)

    E) As soon as you graduate and obtain the ECFMG certificate, pass the USMLE Step 3 so you can become eligible to apply for the H-1B Visa. This will also help boost your application.

    (USMLE Step 3, is very similiar to Step 2, it consists of 480 MCQ's and 9 CCS cases)
    Take a look at this link for lists of IMG friendly hospitals in the U.S. that sponsor the H-1B visa for residency:
    Also, look into the J-1 exchange visa as a possible option as well. This visa used to be very difficult to get as a Canadian, but as of 2001, the Canadian Ministry of Health has loosened up their policies.
    You will need to pass the Canadian MCCEE (exam). Then once you have been accepted into a residency program in the United States, you must obtain a "Statement of Need" letter from the Ministry of Health in Canada. You can at this point, apply for a J-1 visa with the ECFMG.

    F) If you are single, marry a U.S. citizen.

    (There are a few people I know who have already done so, and they get their EAD (employment authorization document) within a few months. Later, they will have nice shiny green cards - permanent resident status.)
    Always remember, that if you are a graduate of a foreign medical school, and you are in Canada, and you plan on living and working in North America, then you have only ONE option: passing the USMLE's and applying for a residency in the United States. That's it. Believe it.
    Whew! Well, that's it for now my Canadian friends. I hope this has provoked some thought.
    I sincerely wish you all the best of luck.
    Asad Raza
    May 2007

    Foreign Medical Graduates! Please email me your story --> [email protected]

    I did an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics at York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. My GPA was 3.76. My MCAT scores were 9, 12, R, 10.
    I applied to six U.S. medical schools (I got no interviews).
    I applied to ten Canadian medical schools (I got two interviews - Western and U of Alberta).
    I had many extracurric's (I volunteered in a group home, in a hospital and I worked with disabled persons), and I was a varsity athlete (cross country running - 15:24 5Km, 31:39 10Km).

    So since I really want to study medicine I looked into Caribbean schools. I am a recent graduate of SABA University School of Medicine in the Caribbean. I am currently doing my post-graduate (residency) training in the United States on the H-1B visa. I will live in the U.S. permanently. View my:
    Why SABA University? I chose the school for the following reasons:

    1) Affordable tuition
    2) 100% Clinical placement
    3) Good USMLE pass rate
    4) Good residency placement in the U.S. residency match
    5) Safe, quiet island with small class size

    FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions- Answered by me
    1) How much loan can I get for Medical school and from what source?
    With CanHELP (through IEFC), as a medical student you can apply for $25,000 (USD)/year on your own signature. Or, up to the full cost of education per year including tuition and living expenses with a credit worthy Canadian Citizen as your co-signer. There is however a very high interest rate! Only certain schools are eligible.
    OSAP/CSL gives a max of $8580(CAN)/year for studying outside of Canada.
    In addition, any one of the banks (Bank of Montreal, Scotia Bank, CIBC, TD etc) offer a student line of credit for studying medicine abroad. Please contact the organizations for details.

    2) Can I get a residency in Canada after graduation?
    Realistically, no. The residency match in Canada by CaRMS is done in two rounds. The first round is open only to graduates of Canadian medical schools. IMG's can only enter the second round. On average, about 95% of all the residency spots in Canada are filled by graduates of Canadian medical schools.
    Some provinces will allow you to enter the second round, but there are very few residency spots left after the first round. In short, there are virtually no opportunities for IMG's to enter into medical training programs in Canada.
    In Ontario, you cannot enter the second round either, you have to go through the Ontario International Medical Graduate Program (OIMGP).
    MYTH: There are 50 spots for residency in Ontario for IMG's.
    FACT: Those 50 spots are not for residency. They are for one year of unpaid post-graduate training that is a pre-requesite for applying for a residency position in Ontario through the OIMGP.

    The OIMGP provides this unpaid pre-residency training to evaluate and to upgrade the qualifications of IMG's.
    There are currently 4000 (four thousand) IMG's in Ontario, actively seeking a residency position in Canada.

    There is also a very long waiting list that currently exists. Those thousands of IMG's on the waiting list have to be selected first, and this may take up to five years. New applicants can apply, they can pay their fees and sit for the exams, but they have to wait for years for the people on the wait list to get selected.
    So do you see how hopeless the situation is for a new foreign medical graduate in Canada! My friends, these organizations will not tell you the truth, they will lie to you on every occasion to get your money. I have done eight years of research into the Canadian medical system, in order to find out the realities. The conclusion is that: there is nothing in Canada for IMG's.

    3) Will I be able to practice in Canada after I finish a residency in the U.S.?
    It depends.
    Most residency programs in the U.S. are one year shorter than the programs in Canada. For example, Internal Medicine in the U.S. is 3 years, but it is a 4 year program in Canada. Psychiatry in the U.S. is a 4 year residency, but it is a 5 year program in Canada. So after you complete a residency in the U.S., and then return to Canada, you will have to do one extra year of residency in Canada to meet the Canadian requirements. But here is the problem: there are no 'one year' residency spots in Canada. So basically you are screwed. Your career is over.
    The only exception is Family Practice. It is a 3 year program in the U.S., but only a 2 year program in Canada. So if you do a residency in Family Practice in the U.S. and then return to Canada, you can obtain a license, but you will have to pass all the Canadian exams. Those exams are:
    1) MCCEE ( (Evaluating Exam)
    2) MCCQE Part 1 (Qualifying Exam)
    3) MCCQE Part 2 (Qualifying Exam)
    4) The Canadian Family Practice Licensing Exam given by the CFPC (College of Family Physicians of Canada)

    Keep in mind, that you cannot go back to Ontario, you have to try for another province. If you want to go back to Ontario, in addition to completing all of the above, you have to:
    5) Complete, in Canada, one year of post graduate training or active medical practice in another province

    There are additional requirements for an Independent Practice certificate, but those noted above are the basic requirements.
    The medical licensing requirements across Canada vary somewhat, and physicians seeking licensure are encouraged to contact each PROVINCIAL LICENSING AUTHORITY.
    The bottom line is, once you finish a residency in the U.S. you will most likely stay in the U.S. because to go back to Canada to earn half the salary and pay twice the taxes makes no sense whatsoever.

    4) If there are virtually no opportunities for foreign medical graduates in Canada, then why don't foreign doctors, who have come to Canada, take the USMLE's and apply for residency in the United States?
    Great question. The reasons are as follows:
    Not every IMG can go to United States. They have families and can't relocate their children for residency time and then move somewhere else.
    Their spouse often doesn't want to move to U.S., this is especially a problem for ethnic women who have married a man who is living in Canada and does not want to move or compromise for his wife.
    Many IMG's are rejected by the U.S. embassy in Canada, to go to the U.S. to take the CSA and USMLE Step 3. So they have no other choice but to stay in Canada and take those useless Canadian medical licensing exams.
    A lot of IMG's, are scared of USMLE Step 1. Because that exam is based on the first two years of medical school, and most IMG's have long forgotten those subjects.
    Other reasons include insecurity, lack of self confidence, refusal to face reality, being very stubborn, unwilling to accept accurate advice, and lack of knowledge about the fact that there are virtually no opportunitites in Canada for foreign medical graduates.
    You would be surprised at how many foreign doctors that have come to Canada have beed lied to and deceived by the Canadian embassies and the Canadian medical organizations.

    5) Do you know of any recent news that is encouraging?
    Sure! Here are some great new changes pertaining to Canadians who wish to study at a Caribbean Medical school:
    a) The CanHELP loan is now available to Canadian Citizens studying at Caribbean Medical schools. As a medical student you can apply for up to $25,000 (USD) on your own signature. Or, up to the full cost per year w/ a credit worthy Canadian Citizen as your co-signer. No U.S. co-signer needed anymore!

    b) The number of residency spots in the United States has increased, and the number of applicants for those spots has decreased!

    c) In Fall 2000, the Congress completely exempted universities and non-profit hospitals from the annual H-1B visa cap of 65,000. This should really help future Canadian applicants when applying for a residency in the U.S.!
    Source: BCIS -

  4. Aria2012

    Aria2012 2+ Year Member

    Oct 15, 2007
    Frequently Asked Questions - Answered by others
    Hi, is it true that IMG's (who are Canadian citizens) who do their clinical rotations in Canada can get exempted from the one year of postgraduate training requirement in Ontario?

    ANSWER 1:

    Dear Asad:
    To become licensed to practice medicine in Ontario, IMGs must complete the Ontario IMG Program and a postgraduate residency program. Currently, there are no exemptions from any part of the postgraduate training. They must be either Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada to qualify for admission into the IMG Program. IMGs who are not Canadians or permanent residents are not eligible for residency training in Ontario.

    If you are referring to the clinical rotations in medical school, the answer is no - clincal rotations in Canada do not exempt you from the IMG Program requirement. You would still be considered an IMG, and be required to go through the IMG Program.
    You may obtain further information about the Ontario IMG Program on our web site.
    I hope this answers your question, but if not, please let me know.

    Mary Cunningham


    Hi thank you for answering my questions! one more:
    how do they get residencies? outside the match?

    because they can't get residencies in the match, because in Ontario IMG's can't enter the first or second round of the CaRMS match and after the second round there is nothing left.
    ANSWER 2:
    Yes - Ontario IMG Program residencies are separate from the CaRMS match.
    There is a "mini-match" for the trainees in the Ontario IMG Program, which is not run through CaRMS, but is set up in a similar manner. Because the Ontario government has targeted the IMG Program at underserviced specialties and areas of Ontario, there is a restricted list of residency programs for
    which IMGs are eligible.

    This list is subject to change for future sessions of the IMG Program.
    Mary Cunningham
    Hi, regarding the OIMGP requirement that:
    "All applicants must have lived in the Province of Ontario for a minimum of 12 consecutive months immediately prior to the commencement date of the International Medical Graduate Program"
    How can I be living in Ontario for a year prior to the start of the program when I am doing my clinical rotations in the USA?
    Some say -> "do your clinical rotations in Canada". But Canada only allows a maximum of 12 wks of clinical rotations for students attending foreign medical schools.
    Does anyone have an answer for this?
    ANSWER 3:
    Dear Asad:
    You must reside in the Province of Ontario to qualify for admission to the Ontario International Medical Graduate Program. If you are currently doing clinical rotations in the USA, then you do not qualify for admission at this time.
    You may become eligible for the OIMGP at some future date, provided you relocate to Ontario to live, and you also meet the other admission requirements. I hope this helps clarify the issue for you.

    Mary Cunningham, Administrative Coordinator
    Ontario International Medical Graduate Program
    email: [email protected]

    Can you please give me some information about requirement for obtaining a license to practice medicine in Canada?
    ANSWER 4:
    Good morning:
    In response to your request, we attach a memorandum which we hope will be useful. You may wish to visit our web site at:

    C. Fronton [email protected]
    Office of Education-Credentials
    Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
    774 Echo Drive
    Ottawa ON KlS 5N8
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]1 800 668 3740[​IMG] ext 7750
    Fax 613 730 8261

    Hi, can you please give me information regarding residencies that are available outside the match in Canada, thanks.
    ANSWER 5:
    In reply to your inquiry, none that we are aware of.
    Lynda Nesbitt ([email protected])

    If a student from a foreign medical school who is a Canadian citizen does their clinical rotations in Canada are they excempt from the MCCEE (evaluating exam)?
    ANSWER 6:
    I have contacted the Medical Council of Canada, and the answer is no, as one will still be considered a foreign graduate.
    E-mails I have received:
    Dear Asad:
    Hi. My name is Mark Gallow. I am a Canadian. I graduated from AUC in 1995. I completed a 3 year FP residency at St. John Hospital & Medical Center in Detroit, Michigan in July 2000. I had to wait 2 years (1995-97) for a "green card" before starting a residency. I am Board Certified in FP and work for a small practice in Warren, MI. I live in Windsor, Ontario and cross over to Michigan each day.
    I compliment you on the accuracy of your site. If anyone disputes your findings tell them that I and many others have researched this and have found it difficult or impossible to overcome the obstacles to return to Canada. Your findings are RIGHT.
    You may want to revise some things since the situation in Canada is changing because of the critical shortage of physicians. I have been contacted by recruiters for medical placements in Canada. They inform me that the Western provinces of Sask, Alta and BC have in the past provided temporary licensing to physicians willing to work in underserviced areas. I was offered a job in rural BC for $220,000.00 (that's right) by one of the recruiting services- Canadian Medical Placement Services, (they have a web site).
    I was originally contacted by Dr. Sussman. If you check the Ontario Parlimentary site for May 31, 2001, you will find my name mentioned by Windsor MPP Sandra Pupatello as an example of how stupid the barriers are to well qualified Canadians working in the US who want to return to Canada. It may be several months before any changes occur but if you want to return to Canada hope exists.
    I have done numerous local interviews with newspapers, radio and television. I had a 15 minute face-to-face meeting with the Minister of Health in Ontario - Tony Clement - to advise him of the terrible situation Canadians have returning to practice in Canada. He agreed that changes needed to be made. There may be another method of returning. In New Brunswick they grant reciprocity to licensed physicians in the Maine. Ontario may soon be forced to grant a reciprocal license to MD licensed in another province because of federal legistration requiring free movement of professional individuals. The Act has been passed and is due to be in force July 1, 2001. One of my classmates is in NB now.
    Please feel free to contact me if you have other questions.
    Mark Gallow, M.D.
    [email protected]

    Hi Asad:
    I just read your open letter to Canadians. I am a Canadian who lived in Canada for over 17 years. I completed my high school and undergrad in Ontario and then went to Spartan. I graduated in 1995.
    I passed the USMLE 1, 2 and 3. Got a H1 visa (Canada screwed me for 2 years over the J1 visa - I did not know about their restriction in 1995). Completed a family practice residency in the U.S. in 2000 and now am practising.
    Right after graduation in 1995, I passed MCCEE, QE1, QE2 and held the LMCC and went through Carms twice...NO MATCH in Canada.
    What's the lesson here?
    Take the USMLE exams, all of them ASAP. Take all the Canadian exams, ASAP. NEVER say, I wont need this. You WILL need them.
    In 1995, things were more restricted. Only 24 positions in IMG, NO WAY to get J1 letter from Canada,etc. Now, Canada is in crisis with shortage of doctors. I am practising in Edmonton. I will take the CFPC exam in May and move back to Toronto soon. I already have my "Diplomat of the American board of family practice" (even though, I dont NEED it).
    By the way, as far as residency or work in Canada...DO NOT count on it at all. Apply in both countries if you can. It will work out. Dont worry. I was in a similar situation. I completely understand the frustration.
    Email me if you have questions. It is sad that Canada restricts us so much, when it needs doctors so bad. It is also sad that we have to go to Caribbean for medicine! Say hi to guys in Saba!
    Vali Satei, M.D.
    [email protected]

    Asad Raza
    I read your article or info on your web page. It is true word by word. I am an IMG living in Canada for the last 2 years.I had 6 years of postgraduate experience before immigrating to Canada, including completed residency in surgery from south east Asia. All of my training spots are recognized by the Royal colleges of surgeons of uk.I passed MCCEE on my immigration.
    Despite this all I am working in a warehouse as general labor.Daily I hear the plunders and blunders of Canadian health care system in the news,the shortage of doctors the long waiting lists of patients and get frustrated. I am good enough to to teach anatomy to the medical students here but not good enough to work as resident ( by the way this job is hourly, part time position specifically 8 hours a month and not enough to pay for grocery bill.I am doing it to deceive myself that I am working in an academic unit).
    In my opinion the Canadians don't have a system for IMG. The matching system ,the Ontario assessment program or others, mean only to keep IMG doctors busy and collect money from them, as if the taxation is not enough. It is also necessary for Canada, to keep her good books and avoid the comments of philanthropic organizations such as Humane rights commissions.
    The matching system here encourages you to apply to each and every post available in 2nd iteration They are arranged the way that you have to apply to almost all if you want to be secure but all you receive is that "sorry you were not matched".
    You may ask why I immigrated to Canada. The answer is that When I applied to immigration,they accepted my application without telling me any detail.All they did was to sent me a paper telling me that I need to pass certain exams to get in medical profession.It was here that I realized that I am in deep ****.Anyhow this is my personal experience about Canada.I am sorry if these words discourage some one.But it is good to be safe than sorry.
    Dr. N.K.
    Montreal Canada

    ". . .hope, is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies"
    Tim Robbins "Shawshank Redemption" 1994

    Canada is a closed door for International Medical Graduates
    Even for those who are Canadian Citizens
    The sooner you conclude that Canada is a dead end for IMG's, the better it will be for you. There are thousands (!) of IMG's in Canada who pass the Canadian exams (MCCEE, MCCQE) and apply year after year for a residency or a job. They never get anything. Then, finally, reality hits them, so they sit for the USMLE's, after having lost a lot of time and money. Do yourself a favour, forget about Canada from day one.
    Take a look:

  5. treva

    treva 2+ Year Member

    Sep 26, 2007
    Interesting read, although I'm not sure I'd like to believe everything he says, as he does work to promote Carribean Medical Universities. No, no bias there at all :rolleyes:
  6. Aria2012

    Aria2012 2+ Year Member

    Oct 15, 2007
    Definitely he is trying to promote the Caribbean schools, still he is referring to some interesting stuff.
  7. Methodnike

    Methodnike Family Physician 10+ Year Member

    this guy is anti-Canada to the max, and now practices in the states.
    Although there is some truth to it, he fails to mention the positive sides. He's like the Michael Moore of Canada:D
  8. doctorJP

    doctorJP Mr. Pragmatic 5+ Year Member

    Oct 15, 2005
    I can't even be bothered trying to argue with all the holes I've found in his pathetic argument. There is some basis for a FEW of the things he mentions, but for the most part things are grossly overstated or incorrect. Go to the Canadian medical school forums at if you want some more accurate answers, not from some guy who is paid to promote the Caribbean medical schools.
  9. treva

    treva 2+ Year Member

    Sep 26, 2007
    IMG's are also getting spots in the first round, are they not? From the CARMS website :
    I believe 2007 was the first year that this has happened with CARMS (ie, IMG's getting first round spots) but I can't find any stats on the % awarded on the CARMS website. This could explain why the second iteration for IMGs was only 6%.

    Anyone have any input on this? I'm about to start med school in Aus and I'm very interested in coming back to Canada after training (much prefer Canada over the US) and I'd like to have a good idea of what my chances are.
  10. JPR22

    JPR22 New Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 27, 2005
    <1mm from margins
  11. treva

    treva 2+ Year Member

    Sep 26, 2007

    Damn that's pretty ****ty. It'd be interesting to know the demographic of those who matched - ie are the majority Canadian citizens who went international for med school. I wonder how many of the applicants are foreign nationals who went to a foreign medical schools and are applying for residency in Canada.
  12. aProgDirector

    aProgDirector Pastafarians Unite! SDN Advisor SDN Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Oct 11, 2006
    A couple of thoughts, from a complete outsider.

    1. It appears that the major issue here is that in Canada, the number of residency spots approximately equals the number of canadian MD grads. Hence, there are no slots for Canadian IMG's. In the US, there are many more residency slots than US MD grads, and hence there are slots for IMG's.
    2. If Canada took IMG's without increasing residency slots, then canadian MD's would not get slots in the match, which seems equally unacceptable.
    3. Increasing the number of residency slots is a complex economic / social question. Addressing Canada's physician shortage by simply licensing docs who have trained in other countries without assessing their skills is also a questionable plan. Increasing the supply of physicians increases healthcare costs, which is another factor to consider. My bottom line here is that this is a complex issue, and licensing more docs has many downstream effects -- both good and bad -- that need to be assessed.
    4. If Canada considers taking more IMG's into the match, I don't know if Canadian citizen IMG's can get priority -- in the US basing hiring decisions on citizenship is discrimination. May be different in Canada.

    There were a couple of inaccuracies about the US system:

    This is true in the US also. An IMG is anyone (regardless of citizenship) who trained outside the US. Foreign nationals in US medical schools are considered US grads.
    The US and Canadian dollar are now virtually at par.

    Not all US residency programs require passage of Step 3, but many now do and more are including this.
    If you do not plan on practicing in the US, you do not need to take the Board exam. They are not required of most residencies. A few boards have a multi-step process -- you take one exam in residency, and then one after. In Internal Medicine (my field) the exam is after residency. Taking it is optional.

    In the US, you can actually start working if you are eligible to take the boards, even if you haven't. Most employers have a 2-3 year window to take and pass the boards. Most US grads take the boards right after residency, but you don't have to.

    As far as the US and Canadian step exams are concerned, these are two countries with two different exam/licensing systems. Some states accept the Canadian exams (and Canadian residencies) and some do not.

    If you are a Canadian citizen IMG, to keep your options open it seems best to write both the US and Canadian exams in parallel -- i.e. take Step 1 and the MCEEE after 2nd year, etc. Rules will change over time, but it would be sad to not be able to proceed because of an exam.

    If you can't pass Step 1 (or it's equivalent), then you don't get to be an MD in the US either.
    There are many, many residency programs in the US which sponsor H1b visas (depending on what field you are interested in). This is especially true in IM and FP.

    Registering for Step 3 is a very strange process. In order to qualify for Step 3, you need to have passed Step 1 and 2, graduate from medical school, and be sponsored by a state. Some states place additional requirements (i.e. GME training). However, to be sponsored by a state you do NOT need to: 1) Live there, 2) Work there, 3) Have ever visited there, 4) take the exam there. You can be sponsored by Alaska, do your residency in Nebraska, and take the exam in Hawaii if you want. Hence, IMG's simply get sponsored by any of the states that have no GME requirements, then register for the exam in whatever city they would like.

    H1b visas can lead to US citizenship, but not usually in your residency. In order to get an employer sponsored green card from your H1b, your employer has to certify that you have a permanent job, which residency (thankfully!) isn't. The usual timeline is that you get your H1b, finish your residency, renew your H1b (for another 3 years), get a job on your H1b, and your new employer sponsors you for a green card.

    J-1 waiver jobs are not terribly easy to come by, and are often the same unpopular jobs you mention above that you might get in Canada (although perhaps not quite as cold)

    IMHO, this is simply not true. 50% of IMG's do not get spots in the match. The "big 4" carribean schools likely do better than this, and this statistic ignores spots outside the match. This is only true for the non-competitive fields, and the Carib student you describe above would likely have great difficulty getting a spot, and would have very little choice of where they would go.

    This is a very sad state of affairs. Canada has the right to decide that all/most of it's licensed docs will be trained in Canada. We can argue the pros/cons of this plan. They do not have the right to lie to people about the challenges they will find when they immigrate.

    True, but this cuts both ways. If your H1b is obtained outside the cap, it can only be transferred to another program outside the cap. Thus, when you finish your residency, you can only work for a Univeristy or other non-profit. Otherwise, you will have to reapply for a new H visa all over again (under the cap).
    Cracker.Jack. likes this.
  13. JPR22

    JPR22 New Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 27, 2005
    <1mm from margins
    aProgDirector-thanks for the input, youve brought up some good points. I agree that Canada simply cant let every IMG train/practice, for many reasons. My solution is to endorse a handfull of reputable international medical schools (say Ireland, England etc.) and provide a few extra spots for Canadians who went to those schools, thereby increasing the number of residents and associated social costs by a controlled amount.Id love to hear feedback on this.
    As far as the H1B goes, my experience has been that fewer and fewer places are sponsoring it, and its not as readily available as some beleive.
  14. avenirv

    avenirv Member 5+ Year Member

    Aug 19, 2005
    requirement: MONEY !
    they come from canadian income taxes.
    so, do you want guys to pay more taxes to sponsor a residency position for a guy that failed to go to a canadian medical school (15k tuition) -because he was not the best one !- and got into a carraibean school (30k tuition) ?
    as re the initiator of this post: on this thread he says he is from a carraibean school, in other thread he says he studies in hungary.
  15. avenirv

    avenirv Member 5+ Year Member

    Aug 19, 2005
    "To obtain a residency in the U.S. you have to pass USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 and USMLE Step 2 CS. Then during your U.S. residency you have to pass USMLE Step 3. "

    this is not true.
    you need step 1, that's all. even in your post you contradict yourself. just read what you posted; not a good logic for a medical doctor.
  16. aProgDirector

    aProgDirector Pastafarians Unite! SDN Advisor SDN Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Oct 11, 2006
    IMG's must pass Step 2 as part of their ECFMG certification. Without ECFMG, you cannot match and it is unlikely anyone will take you in the scramble nor prematch you (although that could happen). So, although it may not be required by the rules per se, it would be a severe disadvantage for an IMG not to have Step 2 done long before application deadlines.

    For US grads, Step 2 is not a requirement.
  17. bethbeth


    Jan 31, 2008
    "My solution is to endorse a handfull of reputable international medical schools (say Ireland, England etc.) and provide a few extra spots for Canadians who went to those schools, thereby increasing the number of residents and associated social costs by a controlled amount.Id love to hear feedback on this."

    Well, i `d say shame on you for this comment.So, do you mean IMGs that weren`t born or studied in one of the privilidged countries you meantioned above such as ireland or england should be considered`less of a doctor`? In my opinion the best doctors come from third world countries where there is more patient turnover, more people die, more have traffic accidents, more poverty,more malnutrition, birth defects,more get killed, injured, more cadavers to study in medical school, more cases, plenty of all kinds of diseases,...Don`t forget that people had been living in those parts of the world for thousands of years and medicine was born in those places. I don`t understand the mentality that assumes anything that is foreign to you, that you don`t know much about must automatically be inferior. I instead suggest after obtaining passing scores in medical exams, all the IMG should be incorporated into the medical system.Especially the ones, who are already specialized in a field and had been practicing for years.There must be an orientation, maybe an observership or mentoring to assist them to adapt to the canadian way of history taking, interview etc...skills.. It is not fair that doctors even after passing all written, oral. structured patient interview etc exams aren`t deemed eligible to practice.
  18. bethbeth


    Jan 31, 2008
    For the quote: "My solution is to endorse a handfull of reputable international medical schools (say Ireland, England etc.) and provide a few extra spots for Canadians who went to those schools, thereby increasing the number of residents and associated social costs by a controlled amount.Id love to hear feedback on this."

    Well, i `d say shame on you for this comment.So, do you mean IMGs that weren`t born or studied in one of the "privilidged" countries you mentioned above such as ireland or england should be considered`less of a doctor`? In my opinion the best doctors come from third world countries where there is more patient turnover, more people die, more have traffic accidents, more poverty,more malnutrition, birth defects,more get killed, injured, more cadavers to study in medical school, more cases, plenty of all kinds of diseases,.... I instead suggest after obtaining passing scores in medical exams, all the IMG should be incorporated into the medical system one way or the other.Especially the ones, who are already specialized in a field and had been practicing for years.There must be an orientation, maybe an observership or mentoring to assist them to adapt to the canadian way of history taking, interview etc...skills.. It is not fair that doctors even after passing all written, oral. structured patient interview etc exams aren`t deemed eligible to practice.
  19. JPR22

    JPR22 New Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 27, 2005
    <1mm from margins
    There's a few problems with simply incorporating all IMGs into the system. Countries with more poverty and disease tend to need doctors more than Canada, so by making it easy for docs to leave third world countries, it would deplete these countries physician supply. I dont believe competance can be appropriately evaluated just by a few tests, but that being said, the MCCEE should be improved to better assess docs.
  20. gerickson03m

    gerickson03m Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Salt Lake City
    I'm a canadian who has done my entire training in the US (medical school, surgery residency, and soon 2 year vascular fellowship). Im on a J1, to get a J1 was NO PROBLEM (it took 1 week and no test taking like the poster said!) Also I will take the written and oral american board of surgery for general and vascular surgery and the exams are transferrable, meaning, I can go to canada. Called the royal college myself on this. The poster can not be trusted.
  21. redshifteffect

    redshifteffect Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 25, 2003
    As long as the Royal College deems you eligible to sit their exams (and you pass them) you shouldn't have a huge amount of trouble practicing in Canada. Some provinces may even let you start before you pass the Royal College exams.

    As for J1 - a friend of mine last year couldn't get it without writing the MCCEE, maybe this is a recent policy shift?
  22. MeowMix

    MeowMix Explaining "Post-Call" 10+ Year Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    Although there is a lot of useful info here, I think some of it is a little misleading or outdated.

    One specific issue: I have been trying to figure out whether I (dual citizen, US med school with US residency) would have to take MCC exams as well as USMLE 1-3 if I wanted to practice in Ontario after residency. What I see on the CPSO site seems to contradict that:
    - The United States Medical Licensing Examination or USMLE from 2004 onward is considered equivalent to the MCCQE parts 1 and 2. (Note: USMLE taken before 2004 is considered equivalent only if it has been supplemented by subsequent completion of the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (Step 2 CS) component that was introduced in 2004.)
    - The Comprehensive Osteopathic Licensing Examination or COMLEX from 2004 onward is considered equivalent to the MCCQE parts 1 and 2.
    - The United States Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates or ECFMG examination from 1998 onward (which includes the USMLE) is considered equivalent to the MCCQE parts 1 and 2.
    - Examen Clinique Objectif Structur&#233; (ECOS) of the Coll&#232;ge des M&#233;dicins du Qu&#233;bec, completed between January 1, 1992, and December 31, 2000, (which includes a clinical skills component based on the OSCE format) is considered an acceptable qualifying examination.

    In other good news, US board-certified physicians are also exempt from the MCCEE:
    Effective in 2005, an International Medical Graduate (IMG) with an acceptable medical degree who is a specialist certified by:
    a member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)
    or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC)
    or the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC)
    may be granted an exemption from the requirement of a pass standing on the MCCEE and therefore be eligible to apply directly to the MCCQE Part I. Note: The ABMS, RCPSC or CFPC certification must be valid at the time of applying for the MCCEE exemption and at the time of the MCCQE Part I session that will be applied for.
  23. JoeNamaMD

    JoeNamaMD Banned Banned

    Jan 31, 2004
    I have a few classmates interested in working in Canada, I am in Australia, and I shake my head, why bother? Australian physicians are paid better salaries, the weather is warmer, the cost of living in Australia is comparable, the work life balance is also better, Canadians work like Americans but get less money. Some people say the US is a headache but the numbers speak for themselves, nearly one third of US physicians were educated outside of North America.

    To one of the previous posters, US training is recognized in Canada but physicians from other countries, even the UK and Australia, have formidable barriers to becoming licensed to practice in Canada.
  24. zizany


    Jun 20, 2007
    I don't think this is true anymore, now Canadians are paid as much (if not more) as Americans.
  25. JoeNamaMD

    JoeNamaMD Banned Banned

    Jan 31, 2004
    Still considering the imposing obstacles for IMGs I think those classmates of mine are sick in the head to leave Australia for Canada. The situation is different for Nurses in CA.
  26. redshifteffect

    redshifteffect Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 25, 2003
    Not quite true.

    1) Not all training in the US is recognized. Canada has no reciprocity agreement with any country. Also everything works on a provincial level, so what's true in one province may not be true in another.

    2) In terms of gaining full registration with the National licensing body (Royal College of Surgeons) UK, Australian etc programs are recognised:

    Though on a case by case basis.

    American residencies are a bit trickier since they are different lengths/content then some of the equivalent Canadian residencies. Thus to make them equivalent you'd have to do extra training somewhere (hard to do in Canada).

    3) It's much easier to get licensed as a specialist or with a fellowship then to do a residency in Canada. The reverse is true for the US.
  27. JoeNamaMD

    JoeNamaMD Banned Banned

    Jan 31, 2004
    There are many European surgeons including those from the UK busy driving cabs in Montreal and Toronto. Like I said Australia vs. Canada is a no brainer.
  28. dirtymac42

    dirtymac42 Member 5+ Year Member

    Mar 16, 2005

    After reading this nasty thread, i had to post my 2 cents as an IMG who is a natural born Canadian citizen.

    I chose not to go to the Caribbean for a number of reasons, but went to a very well-known school in Europe instead.

    I wanted to clarify a few errors that are stated below:

    "[No] Canadian schools will accepts transfer students from outside Canada." Misleading. You may have to reapply and start again, but I know a number of students who were successful at doing this.

    "Return of service contracts force you to work in the most undesirable locations." False. Most Ontario IMGs find work in Southern Ontario (especially GPs but specialists as well). If you mean outside the City of Toronto as most undesireable, well, you should specify that.

    "IMG can mean a Canadian citizen who trains abroad." Misleading. You must be a citizen or landed immigrant to apply to CaRMS.

    "Canada is still a dead end and closed door for IMGs." False. I have neither my LMCC part one or a final medical diploma yet got a number of very competitive interviews through CaRMS. Why? From a program director: Canadian electives and Canadian letters of reference. (Which is also what you need to match at a competitve program in the States.)

    Let's not kid ourselves here, Canadian programs for the most part, are of the same standard as the top ranked US programs. If you're not good enough for those top US programs, you won't be good enough for the Canadian ones either. More people match in the US because there are more places but also because the programs themselves aren't as sought after and prestigious as Canadian ones.

    "Canada will never provide jobs to graduates of foreign medical schools." Completely false. Approximately 20-25% of currently practising MDs in Canada are IMGs. If they aren't getting residency spots, ask why. And who better to ask than a program director: "We are looking for a particular type of applicant. Many that we've had didn't know the Canadian medical system or the Canadian way of life and we don't have time to train to them that way, especially in the latter. These residents have been consistent under-performers." (An internal medicine program director.)

    And from another IM program director, "The IMGs we've accepted so far are performing quite well. I'm quite happy with them. We tripled our quota of IMGs this year and intend to increase it again next year."

    Finally a note about Canadian embassy staff. I agree, there may be some misleading things going on here, but these people are NOT doctors. These immigrants (who ARE doctors) should be doing their own research before packing up and moving their whole family or face the consequences.

    Anyway, enough for now. Do your own research and get it first hand, not just from what's posted on websites.
  29. avenirv

    avenirv Member 5+ Year Member

    Aug 19, 2005
    so, why do you raise this subject IF you say what you say ? or you know that it is not true what you say...
  30. iDoc64

    iDoc64 2+ Year Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Ok three questions:

    a) As a US grad who did residency in the US, how do you overcome this residency gap? How do you get that extra year of residency training? Surely your career is not over because you cant complete that gap when you do residency in the US and want to come back.

    b) If you are a US grad, what applies here and what doesn't? Aren't don't your USMLE's qualify as MCCEE so they are exempted?

    c) does being a US grad help you get the H1B visa? If you have to get a J-1 visa, is it common for people to go back and just do a MSc or do they frequently waiver the requirement by going to an underserviced area?
  31. d0m0


    Jun 7, 2010

    I am an IMG and was thinking of giving the MCCEE, as due to various reasons, going to the US is not an option for me.

    How much of the information that the original poster has written is still valid?

    To apply for a residency in Canada, I only need to clear the MCCEE?
  32. Giemsa

    Giemsa Eat some leafy greens! 5+ Year Member

    To apply for a residency in Canada, the first and most important requirement is that you MUST be a Canadian citizen / permanent resident.

    If you are a Canadian citizen/PR who studied in a medical school outside Canada or the US, then you are an IMG. All applications to Canadian residency positions are handled by CaRMS (the Canadian matching program / service). The eligibility criteria to participate in the CaRMS match are outlined in the two links below:

    If you meet all of these criteria, you may participate in the CaRMS match. However, the odds are poor that you will match. In 2010, nearly 1800 IMGs participated but only 380 secured positions (21%). Your odds can be improved by:

    a) being an extremely recent grad
    b) graduating from a better quality school (note that "better quality" is defined by the individual program director (PD), and varies from PD to PD)
    c) being completely, fabulously fluent in English (or better, French) and intimately familiar with North American medical culture
    d) applying widely across the country, with an emphasis on family medicine
    e) having great letters of reference from Canadian physicians / PD at Canadian training programs
    f) having done med student electives at Canadian hospitals

    Important tips:
    IMG residency positions are associated with return-in-service contracts. See the criteria links for more information.

    I note that your member status is marked "resident". Previous residency training (depending on where it was taken) may make you ineligible for the first round match.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
  33. d0m0


    Jun 7, 2010
    Thanx for the reply Giemsa.

    Well I have PR, but after extensively reading the different threads... i am very discouraged.

    First of all, I am a graduate of 2003, and wasn't able to clear step 1 and 2 which I gave last year (didn't study properly, family problems etc etc.) So even if I clear USMLE now, being an old graduate and not clearing STEPS in first attempt, my chances of getting a residency are pretty slim. Moreover, I am from Pakistan, so due to Pakistan being in the list of High Security Risk countries, my chances of getting a US visa are also slim.

    If I clear my MCCEE, and apply for residency, maybe i don't get it in the first match and in the next too.. what are the chances of getting residency after that. Do they decrease with time or is there any hope? I am willing to do regular jobs at petrol pump/convenient store etc till the time I get a residency, but after reading this forum, it seems to me that there is no chance at all for IMGs?

    In the link that you provided, it states November 2009 to be the last date to take the MCCEE exam for the 2010 match. What about the 2011 match? What is the last date for that?

    A few points that might go in my favour are that all my education has been in English, so am pretty confident of getting a good band in the IELTS exam. Secondly, I am interested in Family Medicine, and that will be my 1st preference, and third I am not choosy about where I get residency (I plan on landing in Ontario, but i am confused coz residency requirements vary from province to province?)

    I could not understand what Return of Service contract means, could you explain a little?

    What is the use of giving immigration to Doctors as Skilled Workers if they won't even let them get a residency?
  34. docbill

    docbill 7+ Year Member

    Aug 20, 2004
    That is just it. They should not be giving foreigners PR based on being a physician. There are enough Canadian citizens (>1500) who left to study medicine abroad (read non-Asian country, ie Western Country) who want to come back and do residency at home.

    Plus the fact that you could not succeed at USMLEs works against you.

    Just cause they say PR and Canadian citizens can apply for residency, don't be surprised, unwritten preference (AS IT SHOULD BE) is for Canadian citizens, people who grew up in Canada. It only makes common sense. Of course this will seem an unfair way of doing things, but that all depends on what side of the fence your on.
  35. JPR22

    JPR22 New Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 27, 2005
    <1mm from margins
    Givin that the majority of IMGs in CaRMS dont match, you'd think the ones that do match are truly exceptional. While this is often the case, I've dealt with a number of IMGs who have fallen below the standard. I really think the program directors are at fault for this.
  36. Giemsa

    Giemsa Eat some leafy greens! 5+ Year Member

    The skilled worker categories are for family physicians and specialists who are fully qualified in their home countries, not for med school grads. Ideally*, these categories would be filled by individuals who have fully completed training which makes them eligible to sit the Royal College exams in Canada and be licensed to practice here (in other words, people who can pack a suitcase and start practicing at once, not people who need additional years of residency training before they can begin).

    *However, it appears that frequently the government has no clue as to which schools are acceptable and which are not to the Royal College, and they bring in all sorts of physicians with specialty certificates from countries that will never be recognized by the Canadian regulatory bodies.

    Forgive the history lesson, but the return of service contract (ROS) requires a historical context. Back in ?2006 it was decided to add some residency spots through CaRMS that were exclusively dedicated to IMGs. Since IMGs couldn't apply to the Canadian-trained medical student (CMGs) spots, they would add spots for the IMGs that CMGs couldn't apply to. There are currently around 300 or so IMG spots in the CaRMS match.

    The question arose who was going to pay for these. The federal government didn't want to shell out the hundreds of millions of dollars (literally) to fund these spots - each specialty resident costs about $500,000 to train, and each family med resident between $200,000-300,000). So the individual health regions - the communities - banded together to scrape up the money and fund a residency position, usually in family medicine. So, for example, the Pas in northern Manitoba needs two family docs in their community in the worst way, and they just can't recruit one for anything. So they spend $400,000 and sponsor two 2-year family medicine residency spots for IMGs at the U of Manitoba. But what does the Pas get in return?

    Enter the ROS. The IMG who takes the spot is required to enter a contract to practice in a designated in-need community. For example, in the case of the Pas, the IMGs who took the two seats would both agree to practice family medicine in the Pas for two years after graduating. After this period, they would be free to go wherever they liked. Note that (in general) the ROS is attached to the position, not to the IMG (so that if a CMG, in the second round of matching, took that IMG spot, they would also be expected to honour the ROS contract. On the other hand, if an IMG matched to a CMG spot in the second round, there would be no ROS contract applicable).

    Typically, the length of the ROS contract is equivalent to the number of years of residency training (so two to three years for family medicine, five years for specialty training).
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2010
  37. Giemsa

    Giemsa Eat some leafy greens! 5+ Year Member

    Duplicate post
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2010
  38. d0m0


    Jun 7, 2010
    Thank you again Giemsa for the reply. I now understand the ROS, and if I get the residency, would have no problem in signing and honoring the ROS.

    And yes, the Canadian Immigration policy should be explained a little better to the doctors to avoid the impression that Canada is a haven for IMGs.

    Anyhow, your post has given me some hope. Does this means that it is actually not a TOTAL hopeless matter. I might get a residency, but might have to wait a year or two?

    Are you an IMG yourself?
  39. rayjay

    rayjay 5+ Year Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    posts like this scare the crap out of me. I'm mid-way through my masters and I now cannot decide whether or not to apply abroad (Aus/Ireland/Caribb) or whether I should just try and do a second undergrad and apply to Canadian/US schools...
  40. Giemsa

    Giemsa Eat some leafy greens! 5+ Year Member

    I honestly don't know what your chances of matching are. Virtually no one on this site will, unless there is a Canadian program director lurking about. My advice is to go and talk to the program director in your local family medicine program. Lay out your situation for him/her and ask him whether s/he thinks there is any point in your spending the money to apply. The program director might also have some career counseling suggestions (e.g. pursuing alternative careers, etc.)

    No - Canadian grad.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2010
  41. dixon476

    dixon476 2+ Year Member

    Jun 3, 2009
    hello Dr. Giemsa,
    i am a new member. i am an Indian MBBS graduate finished in 1997. finished my postgraduate degree in INTERNAL MEDICINE [MD ] in India in 2002. working in saudi arabia as Internist.
    2months back i applied for migration to canada with my wife and 2kids.

    i have researched about the residencies in canada via internet in last 2months.
    can u please clear some of my doubts?
    1. i am an above average student. and wish to do residency in neurology.
    i know more opportunities are in ontario. but i am thinking of going to vancouver since there is better climate. is it wise to go to BC ? or should go to ontario itself just like others?
    in other words how is the chance for img in BC at present?

    2. how should i proceed to get great refference letters from program directors?

    3. i am planning to come to canada after passing my mccee 2011 september and well prepared for lmcqe part 1.and osce.

    4. can i earn some money for my living expenses and children's education during my first 12months before i can be eligible for imgbc programme or ontario programme.[since both requires minimum stay of 12months in that area as first critetia for eligibility]
    i am not clear if i can work somewhere as a GP once i reach canada and clear my lmcqe 2 in the first month of arrival?. or how much time i require to get my registration /licence if i clear my lmcqe2?

    5. in bc what are the requirement for GP job ? should i clear lmcqe2?[from what read and understood it looks like we can work without lmcqe2]

    6.if imgbc or ontario ministry choose me for funding my residency how much i will earn including my allowences from the hospital where i do my residency?[during residency period]

    please give me some informations u have on these areas.
  42. MontereyMD

    MontereyMD 5+ Year Member

    Aug 2, 2009
    Hi Dixon

    I hate to give you the bad news but it will be impossible to practice in Canada.

    It will be far easier to go to the United States. You should get a J-1 visa and apply for US residency.

    With Canada, a couple of things:

    You'll be joining at the back of a long line of thousands of Canadian Citizen IMG physicians already living in Canada who have lived and paid taxes for years and years and are trying to get the 10 residency slots per year in BC at least.

    Everyone who comes to Canada wants to live in Vancouver and Toronto where there is an abundance of physicians. If you want to get a job you have to set your sites on interior areas like Prince George, Ft.St. Johns, Yukon, Newfoundland.

    It takes years to become a Canadian citizen. Only Canadian citizens can get residencies or jobs even. You are just applying and haven't even got Permanent Residency. You have to live and work in Canada as a PR for 3-5 years before you can even apply for citizenship which can take at least a year.

    Same with the exams. In order to take MCC1 or MCC2 you have to be in a residency and as above you'll be joining the back of the line. You can take the MCCEE but that's does not guarantee a residency position.

    The other thing is that it costs thousands and thousands of dollars just to take these exams without any guarantee.

    To save you time and money and practice in North America go to the US.

    Take the USMLE, get a J-1 and apply to US residency
  43. Giemsa

    Giemsa Eat some leafy greens! 5+ Year Member

    Monterey MD has made some very salient points.

    To re-iterate:

    Canada very well may be the hardest country in the world in which for foreign-trained doctors to get licenses to practice. I know that probably isn't what the recruiters told you, but it's true.

    There are lots and lots of doctors in big cities like Vancouver and most of southern Ontario. Note that Vancouver is also the most expensive city in Canada to live in, with housing prices that are bordering on insanity.

    You must be a Canadian citizen / permanent resident to work in Canada as a doctor, or to do a residency. In the meantime, you will need some other way of supporting yourself and your family.

    Then, credentials: to practice in Canada you need a license. You get a license from your provincial College of Physicians and Surgeons - in British Columbia, it would be the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC. To practice, you need the MCCEE, MCCQE Part I and II, and the Royal College exams in your specialty. (You are not eliglble to practice family medicine unless you are a family doctor). If you have graduated from a set of approved schools, you are eligible to sit the Royal College exams once you have the rest. Most of these exams are only held once or may twice a year.

    If you haven't graduated from an approved school, then you need to apply for a residency, re-do residency training in Canada, and sit the Royal College exams at the end of residency. In Canada, general internal medicine is four years. You must be a Canadian citizen / permanent resident to apply for residency, and you must have graduated from a FAIMER/IMED accredited school. The odds of obtaining a spot are, unfortunately, generally poor. There are many, many more IMGs than there are spots available, and program directors appear to favour young Canadian-raised students who have gone abroad to the UK to train and are very recent grads.

    It may be easier to apply to residency positions in the US, train there and remain. With few exceptions, you wouldn't be able to come to Canada to practice medicine after completing a US residency without completing the relevent Canadian exams (e.g. MCCEE, MCCQE Part I and II, and the Royal College exams).

    Additional links:
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2010
  44. Giemsa

    Giemsa Eat some leafy greens! 5+ Year Member

    Note that there are ONLY 3 spots for IMGs in neurology in all of Canada, and NONE of them are located in BC. Competition is fierce.

    Reference letters are requested during medical school. Since you can't practice here, you can't be observed by the staff, and no one will be able to write a reference letter. I would consult with the IMG Physicians of BC for their suggestions.

    No, to practice as a family physician you need to have completed a family medicine residency and have passed the CFPC (College Canadian Family Physician of Canada) board exams. To practice medicine at all requires a license.

    Residency salaries are posted on the resident union websites. In BC, this is Par-BC. According to the website, first-year residents currently earn ~$48,000 annually (before tax). Also note that IMGs are subject to return-of-service contracts (basically, for each year of residency training, you are subject to practicing in a designated underserviced area for one year - this is an example of BC's ROS.)
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2010
  45. PacificBlue2012

    PacificBlue2012 Banned

    Aug 27, 2010
    Not that I would want to live in Canada but I heard Australian trained physicians are able to work in Canada without doing any additional residency training is this true?
  46. dixon476

    dixon476 2+ Year Member

    Jun 3, 2009
    thanku very much MONTEREY MD and GIEMSA for ur quick response and guidence . i think i should reasses things.

    can u PLEASE tell me , getting canada PR first and going to USA for studies or directly trying to USA which is best?[myself is from INDIA]
  47. Giemsa

    Giemsa Eat some leafy greens! 5+ Year Member

    Assuming you are a Canadian citizen / PR:

    It may be possible for family physicians.

    The CCFP designation may be granted without examination by the CFPC to those physicians who have met all of the following:

    1) successfully graduated from accredited postgraduate training in family medicine in a jurisdiction where the standards for accreditation of postgraduate family medicine training and the criteria for certification are judged comparable and acceptable to the CFPC;
    2) hold certification in family medicine in that jurisdiction;
    3) met all other requirements for Certification in the CFPC;
    4) met all other requirements for licensure and apply for or are granted registration to practice in a Canadian province or territory

    Approved jurisdictions include:

    United States of America: Graduates of family medicine residency training programs that have been accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and who also are Diplomats of the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM)

    Australia: Graduates of Australian General Practice Vocational Training programs that have been accredited by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) and meet the standards of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and who also hold Fellowship in the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP)
    Note: These programs vary from Canadian programs in that training in intrapartum care is not compulsory.

    Ireland: Graduates of general practice vocational training schemes that have been accredited by Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) and who also hold Membership in the Irish College of General Practitioners (MICGP) TRAINING/default.asp?s=1

    As for specialists, depending on your specialty you may be eligible to have your training assessed by the Royal College in Canada on the basis of holding fellowship with one of the approved colleges within the Australian Medical Council. The Royal College reserve the right not to approve your training. If they do, then you are eligible to sit the Royal College exams in your specialty. These are quite challenging for IMGs, I understand, but if you can pass then you can be certified by the Royal College.

    Note that each province controls licensing to practice medicine within the province, and the individual provincial of College of Physicians and Surgeons may or may not accept your credentials on an individual basis. The CFPC and the FRCPC do not confer license to practice. It would be very wise to contact the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the province you're interested in practicing in, and putting this question to them.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2010
  48. Giemsa

    Giemsa Eat some leafy greens! 5+ Year Member

    Your odds of getting residency are likely higher in the US than in Canada. Being a Canadian PR won't help.
  49. MontereyMD

    MontereyMD 5+ Year Member

    Aug 2, 2009
    Hi Dixon

    Here is what you should do:

    Apply for Canadian PR at the same time as you apply for J-1 and US Residency.

    There are thousands of positions in the US for citizens of India. You don't need US citizenship or US PR. India citizen can apply for J-1 visa with the US Department of State.
    So apply widely in US for residency.
    Go to the US and do residency.
    By this time you should have perhaps been approved for Canadian PR.
    The problem with J-1 visa is that you have to return to your country for 2 years after completion of US residency. However if you have Canadian PR then you can cross the border into Canada and perhaps start practice there. But just remember everyone wants to go to Vancouver or Toronto so look at rural areas and there should be openings.
  50. PacificBlue2012

    PacificBlue2012 Banned

    Aug 27, 2010
    Thanks for the input, honestly though I prefer Australia, I am currently an intern in Australia and will be going on to doing my residency in Oz. A few Canadians I know have told me that Australian qualifications are recognized in Canada especially those for GPs.
  51. Giemsa

    Giemsa Eat some leafy greens! 5+ Year Member

    Only insofar as described above. If you're a specialist, you still need to pass all the relevant exams, but you may not have to re-do residency. The Royal College reserves the right to tell you no.

    For family docs (the concept of the GP is being phased out) you may be eligible for not having to write the CFPC, but this is contingent upon your already being fully eligible for licensing by the province of your choice*, and having applied for said licensure, fully meeting the rest of the CFPC requirements, and being fully licensed in Australia. The CFPC reserves the right to tell you no.

    For the Australian-trained crowd, I would be very, very nervous about that qualifier: "intrapartum care is not compulsory". I read that as: if you haven't done it (say as an elective), we won't license you because in that event your program doesn't meet our standards. If anyone out there is looking at trying to sneak back in using this particular loop hole, I'd definitely check into that statement.

    Practically, these exceptions-to-the-rule are used as a way to introduce foreign-trained physicians into jobs that the provinces couldn't fill otherwise. Most med students and residents have no idea how convoluted it can be to get licensure, even if you are a Canadian trained grad with all the bells and whistles (I know of what I speak). For IMGs, even with theoretical recognition (e.g. US, Ireland, Australia), they are not obligated in any way to let you come here and practice. Many, many Canadians training abroad and going to be unpleasantly surprised when it comes time to try and get recognition here without a Canadian residency - it's not impossible, but it's not going to be easy.

    * This is key. The province may have any number of individual specific requirements including but not limited to the MCC exams, and meeting this is key to getting the CFPC exam deferral from the CFPC.

    In other words, if there is anyone out there doing residency in the privileged countries who wants to return to Canada upon completion, check into the requirements NOW.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2010

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