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  1. #1
    EdmontonOilers is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    The Situation For Canadian At Irish Med Schools

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    I have really looked into our options as Canadian Irish IMGs (Canadian citizens going to Irish med schools) over the past month and this is what I found our situation boils down to. I have posted this little synopsis under the thread ďA Question for Upper Year Canadians in IrelandĒ as well (this is a great thread to read if youíre a Canadian attending an Irish med school by the way).

    (1) You could possibly go back to Canada for family medicine (possibly a specialty but small chances). If you worked hard and put together a good CV you would have a great shot in a rural area for family med. There are programs outside the match in certain provinces you could apply to as well. But there is also a good shot that you would not get a spot back in Canada. Not all of us are successful in going back for FP. I donít think it is realistic or responsible to assume you can get one of these spots even if you work hard and have good electives in Canada.

    (2) You could finish your degree and possibly get an internship in Ireland. Once (and only once) you finish your internship you are certified to practice medicine in Ireland and you can branch off and practice in Australia, the UK and other English speaking parts of the EU. BUT every year there are more and more Irish citizens entering medical school and by law the government must give internships to EU nationals first. Apparently it is becoming harder and harder for Irish med schools to place their North Americans in Irish internships who want them. I have been advised by RCSI and UCD staff that it would NOT be good idea to assume that I will get one of these positions. So, like FP in Canada, I donít think itís responsible to assume that you can get one of these spots even if you work hard and have great marks at an Irish med school.

    (3) That leaves going back to the US. This is a very, very good option and I believe that as a Canadian IMG from Ireland that works hard, does descent on the USMLEs, has a couple electives in the US, and wants a primary care specialty (ie. FP, Peds, IM, psych) you will certainly get a residency in the US on a J-1 visa. This route is essentially certain and very realistic. It is hard to get an H1-B and I donít think you can assume that you could get one of these visas even with a great CV; therefore, you will probably be going down on a J-1. Again, no problem, a hard working Canadian will get this visa. THE PROBLEM IS, no one really knows what us Canadians are doing after finishing our residencies on the J-1. Are we getting J-1 waivers? Really, how difficult are they to get for us? MORE IMPORTANTLY, those of us that are not getting J-1 visas (and I believe there are some of us that donít) head back to Canada for 2 years. Are we able to get back to the US after our 2 years? Are we having difficulty? Are many of us just settling for research in Canada? Some of us may be getting fellowships and working as physicians in Canada but again it would be irresponsible to consider this as a good option (see http://members.tripod.com/~donalda13/canimgexp.html). Canada has very strict regulations against IMGs even with US residencies and I know from researching the web that some successful Canadian IMGs are unsuccessful at getting positions in Canada (even when they made sure that their US residencies were equivalent in years and recognized in Canada).

    So my conclusion in terms of our ability as Canadian Irish IMGs to get jobs as physicians when we finish....... Canada is a good option for FP but it is by no means a certain option and it would be irresponsible to assume you could go this route even if you worked hard and did well in your studies. Ireland is a good option for an internship, but once again I think it would be irresponsible to assume you could guarantee yourself one as a North American with the increasing amounts of Irish kids entering med school. The US is a very, very good option. You could definitely get a residency in primary care if you worked hard. But what are your chances at a J-1 waiver? No one seems to really know. What are your chances of getting back into the US after two years return of service in Canada? My gut feeling says you should be able to find something with the doctor shortage in the US, but again no one really knows. I cannot get in contact with any Canadian Irish IMGs who have completed this final step.

    So after all my research I am yet to find a pathway that a hard working, successful Canadian Irish IMG (CII) could take and know with reasonable certainty that he/she would have job at the end. If you could get a Canadian residency or an Irish internship you can definitely work as a physician. But a hard working CII can not responsibly rely on either of these as solid options. In contrast, I believe a successful CII can definitely rely on a US residency on a J-1 as a great option but at this point I cannot assume that this leads to a job with reasonable certainty as I have not been able to collect any concrete evidence that Canadians are getting J-1 waivers or jobs in the US after their 2 years back in Canada. If I knew Canadians were getting back to the US after their 2 years in Canada I believe this would be the most reasonable and essentially certain route for a hard working CII.

    So to be honest I am a little freaked out right now. I would be happy working in any one of these three countries (Canada, US, Ireland) because my dream is to work as a physician and where I do this is absolutely irrelevant for me. I plan on pursuing all three routes. I am very hard working and I am doing well in my studies but I cannot find any path that I could pursue that could lead me to a job in the end with reasonable certainty. I know nothing is guaranteed in life but I am not looking for a guarantee. I am looking for a route that I could be reasonably confident that I could take and get a job when Im finished if I worked really hard and did well on my exams etc. The only route that I think offers this would be the US IF someone could show me that most Canadians are getting J-1 waivers or MORE IMPORTANTLY jobs back in the US after their 2 years return of service in Canada. I think it would be in any Canadian Irish IMGís best interest to look into this diligently. ANY HELP ON THIS ISSUE WOULD BE VERY, VERY APPRECIATED.

    Thanks so much guys. This forum is great.

  2. #2
    gadanju is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    CII- Options

    It will be advisable for you to apply in all three countries: Ireland, Canada and the US. Score well in your USMLEs as well as the MCCQEs. This way when match time comes, you will have more options. Canada has been accepting Canadian IMGs the last four cycles of the IMG-Ontario and more provinces are opening up as well. The US is also a very viable option. Lots of my classmates decided to go to the US for their residency training and did serve their J1 waivers uneventfully. Some of them even decided to stay on in the communities where the waivers were served. (Most of my US based classmates are thinking of slowing down or doing career shifts because of the insurance premiums there but that's another blog for another day). For me? Canada is still the best option specially if you decide to start your family simultaneously with finishing your residency. Another bonus point is that Canada is family friendly. Just look at the maternity benefits! As an aside, my wife was doing transitional residency at Mt. Sinai in NY and when she gave birth to our baby, she only took a three week leave and had to go back to residency. That would be a crime in Canada!

    My two cents (Canadian) worth.

    Gadanju

  3. #3
    EdmontonOilers is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Hi,

    Thanks for the reply. If you dont mind me asking; where did you do your medical degree? When did you graduate? Did all your classmates get J-1 waivers that applied? Were any unable to find jobs in underserviced areas and get J-1 waivers? Did any have to return to Canada for 2 years return of service? Those that did, were they able to get back to the US after their 2 years?

  4. #4
    EdmontonOilers is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    How to acces link that doesnt work in my first post

    The link that I included in my first post under this thread isnt working right so for those of you who are interested you can get to the appropriate web page by doing a google search on "The Ultimate Canadian International Medical Graduate Web Site." It should come up as the first link listed on the search results. Once you get to the web page scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the link "Canadian International Medical Graduate Experiences."

    I think if you're a Canadian IMG you may want to have a look at this.
    Thanks

  5. #5
    Shilikanti is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    EdmontonOilers,

    I'm currently finishing my first year of medicine at University of Southampton, UK. I have come to the same conclusion that the US is just about the only likely option for us CII or CUKIs (in my case).

    The VISA seems to be only another of several hurdles that we need to get over. Let me know if you resolve how to not have to return to the great white north for 2 years while the interest of my loans crushes both my finances and my soul.

    When are you planning to write Step I? I'm thinking about next summer. That gives me all the basic science training as well as a bit of time if I need to repeat.

    thanks
    Canadian going to...

    University of Southampton
    School of Medicine
    Year 2 MBBS

    MSc., BSc.

  6. #6
    NPNaik is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Recently with new laws passed, coming back to Ontario should be a bit easy. All you need is USMLEs

  7. #7
    senz_asian is offline Senior Member
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    Slowly but surely, they are opening up the doors for us .. Canadians citizens studying medicine abroad represent roughly from 1200-1500 annually, .. and the government is slowly recognizing this tremendous potential workforce. I strongly believe within 5 years things will dramatically change and it will be possible to go back with less harassments by our very own government.

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