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visiting student fee in Alberta???$$$

Discussion in 'Canada' started by mkmgal, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. mkmgal

    mkmgal Member
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    I wanted to pass on a letter I sent to a few "powers that be" in Alberta about my recent experience rotating in the province. All in all, a great experience....but just an idea of some lame loopholes to practice in Canada as a "foreign" US-trained student. Let me know if anyone else has run in to this before or any other weird obstacles... or if I'm the only lucky one.

    To Whom It May Concern:

    I am a 4th-year medical student from Arizona and recently completed a one-month clinical rotation in southern Alberta. I worked alongside competent physicians at a rural clinic and hospital near Lethbridge. Learning firsthand about Canada’s health care system was an eye-opening experience, and I enjoyed myself immensely. I quickly grew to love the local citizens of the community and my fellow colleagues.

    This summer, I will begin a 3-year Family Medicine residency in the states. Upon completion, I am considering a return to southern Alberta to practice medicine. (I was born in Alberta and raised in Washington state. My wife was born and raised in southern Alberta.) However, I am concerned about the many obstacles and loopholes I must overcome to practice in the province.

    One little-known obstacle is the fee for visiting medical students to have any training in Alberta. As a “visiting foreign medical student” (from Arizona), I was required to pay $400 to the University of Calgary to participate in a 4 week rotation – in a rural community, not at a major teaching institution! Alberta’s Rural Physicians Action Plan, on the other hand, openly encourages and compensates students to take part of their training in a rural area. In fact, they pay Alberta medical students hundreds of dollars for travel, room, board, etc.

    Why this great discrepancy? Why are visiting students, who are potential solutions to the health care shortage, penalized for training in the province? Does this not discourage, instead of entice, doctors from coming to Alberta?

    I am grateful for the opportunity I had to come to Alberta for such a unique training experience. It is a beautiful area with wonderful people. Perhaps, some day, I will return to serve them. Surely, there is a more effective method to allure students and doctors to practice in the province. I hope the governing powers will make new changes to entice equally qualified students and physicians to serve in Alberta, not push them away.


    Sincerely,
    (name withheld), MS-IV
    Midwestern University-Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine
     
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  3. karbouzie

    karbouzie Junior Member
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    so did u get a reply at all? im not surprised at the fee which potentially discourages pple like u to go over there, I know many canadians who left Canada and are studying in the states just cuz its so hard to get into med school, so they are also discouraging their own pple. best of luck! :luck:
     
  4. mkmgal

    mkmgal Member
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    I heard back from a few folks, but no real reasons or explanations. Nothing from the Uof C. Most said, "Sorry you had to pay the money. Hope you still want to come here!" Kind of sad.
     
  5. karbouzie

    karbouzie Junior Member
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    hey were u talking about the "summer student experience program" ? is this same as "rural rotations"? i was talking to a friend about this and we kindaf now understand the reason....

    paying AB students for the experience:
    1. encourage them to work in rural areas
    2. they or their families pay tax
    3. its "mandatory and elective rotations with rural and regional preceptors" from http://www.rpap.ab.ca/supportstudents/index.htm so I supposed they paid for it through tuition? not really sure about this....

    Maling "foreign" students pay: ( does this apply to non AB canadian students? not sure...)
    1. even if they encourage them to work in rural areas, its not guaranteed for them that u'll stick around.... i think ur case is different cuz ur ALbertan born and its home sweet home for ur wife...
    2. dont pay taxes?
    3. maybe theres an agreement with other countries cuz they don't want to lose their future physicians, u know what i mean?
    maybe if u put on ur application u have a Canadian citizenship, it would have made a difference? anyway, whats sad is u didnt get an explanation!
     
  6. docbill

    7+ Year Member

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    Yeah.. $hit like this happens all the time.

    BTW, IF you really have the B.A.L.L.S. and eneregy try contacting CBC, CTV, or Global, New Papers and see if they are interested in picking this up.

    Or write a letter to the Canadian Medical Journal.
     

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