New process results in more doctors practicing in Saskatchewan

Health Minister Don McMorris announced a brand new Saskatchewan-based assessment process designed to recruit a higher number of foreign-trained physicians to the province.

The assessment is effective January 1, 2011, and will ensure physicians are screened with sufficient rigor to ensure patients receive the best high quality care. “Even while we work to expand the number of College of Medicine seats and to train our own doctors here at home, Saskatchewan continues to rely on and value our international medical graduates,” McMorris said. “As part of our ongoing efforts, we are pleased to introduce this provincially-based assessment process. Physicians and Saskatchewan citizens alike have asked for it, and we are pleased to move forward in improving access for all of our communities.”

A key change to note involves removing the barriers that had once existed based on IMGs’ country of training. Once new assessment in implemented, IMGs from across the globe will be assessed with the one requirement that they pass the pre-screening criteria. This opening assessment is going to skyrocket the employment and recruitment in the province by welcoming a wider range of participants. “There are many benefits to this new assessment process,” College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan Registrar Dr. Dennis Kendel said. “For instance, assessing IMGs prior to their work practice allows for safer patient care as well as less disruption for communities and IMGs alike, as physicians will no longer need to leave their practice to be assessed.”

Other benefits of the new assessment process include:

  • IMGs to receive orientation of Canadian practice prior to assessment, assisting in IMGs’ adjustment to the province increasing success rate.
  • Elimination of current group practice requirement results in  IMGs successfully passing their assessment,  can go directly into the community where which they are recruited and practice independently.
  • A larger number of IMG candidates can be assessed annually.
  • Allows for full labour mobility between provinces.

This will make it easier for Physician Jobs Canada to work directly with the government of Saskatchewan to improve the employ-ability of North American and International Physicians looking to work in Saskatchewan.