View Full Version : IMG's
03-19-2004, 09:47 PM
There seems to be alot of (and sometimes conflicting)information on the chances of returning to practice in Canada if one was to attend at international school. If anyone could enlighten me on the following topics, that would be great.
First, are US, Australian, Irish, Carribbean etc. schools all considered to be the same, or does going to one country in particular make it easier to return to Canada?
Second, realistically speaking, how tough is it to return to Canada? I've heard from some people that it's next to impossible, while others have said that it's not that bad if you are willing to practice family medicine in a rural area.
US schools are LCME accredited to technically they are equivalent to Canadian schools an you can match in the first round at most places
03-23-2004, 02:25 AM
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04-25-2004, 01:15 PM
If you are set on practising in Canada, your best bet is to attend a Canadian or US medical school.
Although Australian/UK/Irish MGs can obtain residency positions in Canada (other than Ontario) through the 2nd iteration of CaRMs, there are basically only rural family practice positions left. Ontario is in the process of finalizing its new IMG Programme. It is likely that there will be a 5 year rural return of service component.
I think that most Australian/UK/Irish MGs go to the United States as it is possible to obtain competitive residency positions (including sought after specialties) in urban centres.
05-08-2004, 07:54 PM
hi Jane and others...
I was starting to think about applying internationally... but people keep saying its hard to get back into Canada to practise, which sucks...
just to clarify, say I go to some UK school for 4 years, get the MD... after which you apply for residency? and this is where its hard to get a residency at a Canadian school? (unless you go into rural family med, in which case the situation isn't as bleak)
so... say you go to the US or something to do some other (more competitive) residency, and do your residency there, for 2-3 years... after ALL that, you still wanna come back to Canada... so what do you do then? do you have to take some sort of exam? is it super hard?
the bottom line is that I would want to come back to Canada, eventually... but is it feasible? and how hard would the path be?
thanks everyone, this board, and the people on it, are super helpful!
05-09-2004, 10:09 AM
I am not sure how it works to return to canada if you do a US residency... but I do want to comment on your question.
I was accepted at an Irish school this year and decided to turn it down and hope for canada (only interviewed at one school) and take a year off otherwise.
I think that going abroad one needs to have a specific mentality... that their future is uncertain and they have to be comfortable with that. I do know some people who have successfully gone to the US with an Irish education and been quite happy. Many are really happy with the education they get there as well. The US is much more feasible than canada for residency/practice. But really I believe it all comes down to being open to what you will be offered and happy with it. There is no guarantee (even with staying in canada) at getting the residency you want but if you are devoted enough to the profession and flexible enough then going abroad might be a really good experience.
I personally decided that this year I wasn't ready to make the jump and so will ponder a bit more and weight my options in next year's application cycle (if required:) ). I just don't think that anyone will be able to tell you "yes you can go to the UK and be able to return to canada".
05-09-2004, 02:53 PM
thanks for the advice... I too, had only one interview this year (UWO), but i'm not too sure how well it went... and now, i'm not sure whether to try applying to international schools, or try again to OMSAS for 2005, and take the coming year off (or I was thinking of doing a 'special year')...
you're right that going overseas requires such a mentality... its hard to know, though, whether or not to "make the jump"... i guess, in the end, its a personal decision.
anyways, here's to hoping we get into local schools!
05-09-2004, 03:18 PM
If practising in Canada is a future goal of yours, then by far, the two places you should be aiming for are either Canadian medical schools, or US medical schools.
Both of these options are LCME-accredited, and are by far the most likely to enable you to land a competitive residency in either Canada or the US. Going outside of North America (ie. Caribbean, Australia, Ireland, etc) is certainly a viable option, but can really handicap you as far as getting competitive residencies or getting a less competitive residency in a desirable location, or in getting the competitive H1B visa (graduates of US med schools by far have the easiest time getting the H1B visa because they can extend their F-1 med student visa for a year; thus giving you ample time to complete the H1B paperwork, not to mention the fact that US medical graduates have top priority when it comes to getting a US residency spot by most US residency program directors).
In other words, if you can't or don't want to get into a Canadian med school, a US med school is generally the best other option.
05-24-2004, 10:07 PM
this is probably a dumb question, but anyways... what is the importance of getting into a "good" hospital to do your residency? I understand that, say, if you wanna go into X type of medicine, you wanna do a residency in X. But i'm unsure of the importance of *where* the residency is done.
I suppose that it's obvious that if you work at a more prestigious hospital that it looks better on your credentials... but, in the end, is the situation analogous to that of entering medical school with a B.Sc.? (by that I mean: it doesn't really matter where you did your undergrad when applying to Canadian Med schools - all universities in Canada are considered equal... so when applying for a "full time" position at a hospital, does it really matter where you did your residency?). I would think/hope it would be less of "where" you did it, and more focus on "how" you did it, as your references would attest to.
If you want to do a fellowship after, it is probably better that you do your residency at an academic center. For example, it would be kind of hard to get a GI fellowship (one of the most competitive medicine subspecialties) if you do your medicine residency at a lesser known community hospital. If you want to do something like ENT, then I think most applicants would settle for whatever program they match into, since the match rate is so low.
05-25-2004, 11:10 PM
this is probably a dumb question, but anyways... what is the importance of getting into a "good" hospital to do your residency?I think this is much more of an issue in the US than it is in Canada. In Canada, all residency programs are tightly regulated, and they all meet very high standard set out by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (usually higher standards than the corresponding US Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education).
For that reason, if you get into a Canadian program, you can be sure that the quality of your training falls within a very uniform and narrow range.
The same cannot be said for the US, where there is a much wider variation between the quality of training of residency programs within a given specialty. In the US, it is very possible to match to a residency program which has a poor track record of teaching, few to no research opportunities, and a propensity to see residents less as junior physicians to be trained, and more as low-paid labour to be used to generate revenue. This is the kind of program you want to avoid, and that's why having competitive numbers can help you land a residency where there is a greater emphasis on teaching, there are more faculty to act as your mentors, there is more research and grant funding available to explore your academic interests, and you have a higher quality of training and knowledge. All of these facets of a stronger program will make you a better clinician, and make you more competitive for landing your desired fellowship and first choice job offer.
Of course, any accredited residency program can give you the chance to pass the boards and become a board-certified physician, but a higher tier program will likely boast higher board pass rates, more research and teaching, and a better track record of putting graduates into competitive fellowships or competitive job markets and cities.
05-27-2004, 07:21 PM
So are you saying that if I was not picky as to where i did my residency (lets say up in timbucktoo) for anything as an Canadian IMG, then there is a good chance of getting residency spots and ultimately working in Canada, say if I went to an Irish school? I don't care where I do residencies or for what so can i scrape the bottom of the barrel and get some spots?
And when I do all my residencies, and pass the exams will it matter if i just want to open a private clinic up, say in fort Smith, or some other rural area?
05-27-2004, 10:03 PM
I don't know the exact answers to your questions. It's not an area that I've ever investigated to a great degree, as it's not applicable to me. Here's my attempt at answering your question:So are you saying that if I was not picky as to where i did my residency (lets say up in timbucktoo) for anything as an Canadian IMG, then there is a good chance of getting residency spots and ultimately working in Canada, say if I went to an Irish school?Coming from an Irish med school, you would be ineligible for the first round of CaRMS, and still might have difficulties in the second round of CaRMS (all the unmatched Canadian med students from the first round will likely have priority for those second round residency spots over you). As a result, your best chances are in obtaining a US residency.
If you obtain a US residency, completion of this allows you to write the US board exam for that specialty. This alone does not entitle you to work in Canada. To work in Canada, you need to pass the Canadian board exam for that specialty, which is administered by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (for all specialties), or the College of Family Physicians of Canada (for Family Medicine). Not all US residency training is recognized in Canada, so you may not be allowed to write the Canadian board exam, and therefore may not be able to work in Canada.
The best course of action is to contact the RCPSC or CFPC to see if a US residency in your particular specialty of interest is sufficient to allow you to write the Canadian board exam. If not, then doing a US residency won't allow you to work in Canada, at least not without additional training of some sort.I don't care where I do residencies or for what so can i scrape the bottom of the barrel and get some spots?Rest assured that there will always be residency spots available for any ECFMG-certified IMG's in the US match. As before, you need to check whether that particular residency will qualify you to write the Canadian board exams. As well, you need to know whether you would be happy going to one of these programs, particularly after investing many years and hundreds of thousands of dollars for medical school. A "bottom of the barrel" residency is usually that unpopular for a very good reason (ie. located in a rural environment, poor to non-existent teaching or malignant atmosphere, high failure rate of graduates on board exams, located in a ghetto or other high-crime setting, etc).And when I do all my residencies, and pass the exams will it matter if i just want to open a private clinic up, say in fort Smith, or some other rural area?If you complete your residency, and if you are allowed to write the Canadian board exam and pass it, I believe that you should be able to practise in Canada. Seeing as I'm not at that stage in my own education, nor are any of my friends who are currently studying medicine abroad, it's impossible for me to say this with any degree of certainty. This kind of information seems to be exceedingly hard to come by online.
I understand that in attending an international school, the chances to come back to Canada for a residency may be difficult. What happens if I were to say go to an Austrailan school for medicine, then to the States for a residency...what are the options to get a job in Canada?
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