One of the many questions we get at PJC is what provinces are open to internationally trained physicians (IMG’s)? And should I be looking for a full time jobs or would it be better to consider a part time position, i.e. a locum opportunity?
To answer that question requires a short preamble first. If we were to look at the history of IMG’s in Canada we would see that it essentially started in the early 70”s. The provinces that were fist to accept Medical education outside of North America were Newfoundland , Saskatchewan, and the Maritime provinces, i.e. Nova Scotia , New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, however at a much less degree than the first two provinces . Today, foreign trained physicians are get jobs in various disciplines and are accepted in every province and territory in Canada. Still the most active and “easiest of entry” provinces would be the afore mentioned first two provinces.
Given the upgraded medical standards internationally, it has allowed for an active and dynamic immigration of IMG’s. Canada is in serious need of medical doctors today and that vacancy of jobs trend is expected to increase 10 fold over the next 20- 25 years. The basic question a doctor / physician has to ask themselves is what level of commitment they have in coming to Canada. The reason that’s important is because even the so –called easy provinces have a North American standard of medical treatment and patient care. Some of the benefits of a less populated province for jobs, are is it allows for an ease of entry into North American medicine in a more laid back environment. Also, most of the smaller provinces have a higher demand and will offer more benefits than larger ones for improving one’s medical education through the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada or the College of Family Physicians of Canada .
At this point each province has a wide difference in licensure policy and ease of entry varies. Ontario , British Columbia and Alberta probably have the most stringent requirements. However there is a move to change policy in each of these provinces as we speak allowing for equitable job opportunities across Canada. In fact, the federal government of Canada is hoping to have in place by the end of 2012 a national standard for all provinces with respect to Internationally trained medical doctors/ physicians. But for now we will have to work with the individual policies of all provinces and territories.
As for the second question of the pursuit of locums verses full time jobs for IMG’s this will be addressed in an article to be posted in www.physicianlocumscanada.com under the title of Locums or Full time Jobs: As an Internationally trained physician or doctor what should I be pursuing.
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