Society For Canadians Studying Medicine Abroad Goes National
VANCOUVER – The Society for Canadians Studying Medicine Abroad (SOCASMA) was incorporated to assist British Columbians to return to practice in Canada. However, many Canadians from other Provinces, especially Ontario, have received assistance from SOCASMA. Yesterday SOCASMA filed its constitution changing from a provincial to a national mandate.
Canadians Studying Medicine Abroad (CSAs) attend more than 155 medical schools in over 64 countries on six continents. Most commonly they choose to study at accredited Medical Schools in Australia, the Caribbean, Ireland, England, Scotland, Israel, and New Zealand. The current system limits these Canadians and immigrant physicians from accessing postgraduate medical training. Almost all positions are reserved for Canadian and American medical school graduates. To practice as physicians in Canada, most CSAs and immigrant physicians must obtain their postgraduate training outside of Canada. As a result most do not return to Canada.
SOCASMA believes that postgraduate Medical training positions should go to Canadian citizens and residents who have the best knowledge, skills, and characteristics to practice medicine regardless of where they graduated. Merit based selection has social and economic advantages to the public. Canada is facing escalating physician shortages. Waiting lists are growing. By assisting CSAs to practice in Canada, SOCASMA is working to increase the number of qualified physicians to care for Canadians. SOCASMA’s new constitution (available on its website, socasma.com) formalizes its purpose of assisting CSAs and enabling merit based access to postgraduate medical training for all Canadian citizens and residents.