More Barriers For Canadians Studying Medicine Abroad

Canadians who study medicine overseas have a hard time returning to Canada for residency training which is required to become licensed physicians.  For many years it has been virtually impossible for Canadians who study medicine overseas to access residency training in British Columbia in the year of graduation.

Other provinces have always ensured that they could attract the brightest of Canadians who choose to study overseas by having assessments timed so these new physicians can begin their residency training in the year that they graduate.   B.C., on the other hand, arranged its assessments so that Canadians who studied abroad had to sit out one or two years out before they were eligible to apply.  This forced British Columbians who graduated from international schoolsout of B.C. to work in other provinces and the U.S.A.

In 2015 the other provinces adopted the same mandatory clinical assessment examination as B.C.  They made the examination available in a timeframe that allowed Canadians who studied medicine overseas to compete for residency positions in the year they graduated.

So in 2015 Canadians who studied medicine abroad for the first time were able to compete on the basis of merit in the year they graduated by taking the examination anywhere in Canada instead of just in B.C. where access to the exam was restricted.  Given this opportunity to be assessed and compete on the basis of merit, Canadians who studied abroad went from being unable to access residency training positions in British Columbia to getting the majority of positions which were designated for international medical graduates.

But a new mandatory assessment has been introduced in B.C.  This new assessment, required for the 2018 competition, will once again create a barrier so that the majority of British Columbians who study medicine overseas will be unable to access residency training in the year of graduation.

The Society for Canadians Studying Medicine Abroad will be holding a meeting on Thursday, August 17, 2017 at West Point Grey United Church at 4595 West 8th Avenue, Vancouver, BC (Between Tolmie and Sasamat) at 7 p.m. to discuss the access to residency in B.C. including the new program and its implications.  Those wishing to attend or wanting more information can email socasma@outlook.com.

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