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  1. #1
    stepchow is offline Junior Member
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    My experience and my humble advice...

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    Howdy all,

    Just wanted to share with you my experiences and pain in trying to get back into the Canadian system so that hopefully you can avoid some of the mistakes that I've made. It's been a long while since I've posted, but for those of you who've been around long enough you may recognize my username. Anyhoo, like most of you, I started off in the caribbean for medschool after finishing my BSc. I actually ended up transferring to another caribbean school (MUA) along with several other students to finish up our clinicals in the US. Passed all the USMLE's and also passed the MCCEE and MCCQE's. With that, I obtained an IM residency in Oklahoma with an H1b visa and passed the IM boards. This is where I made my biggest mistake....I decided to NOT take the Canadian Royal College exams for a stupid reason.....yes, it was a girl. I thought I would end up staying in the US for sure. Nonetheless, I knew I didn't want to do IM, so I pursued a subspeciality in Cardiology. I wasn't able to match in the US, but was able to get a position in Canada, so I completed my fellowship there. After the 3 years in cardio, I went ahead and did another one year subfellowship in Echocardiography (also in Canada). Since I've been in Canada for training for 4 years, I had to give up my H1 visa. And u guessed it, me and my girl broke up. So I figured, no biggie, I'll just get a license in a state that I want to go to and try to get a job......too bad it wasn't that easy. There were jobs in the states that I was willing to go to, but none willing to sponsor an H1b visa.....searched around for 6 months with no luck. Don't get me wrong, there are cardio jobs out there, but lets just say they're in less than desirable places with brutal work schedules. Luckily for me though, during the last month of my echo fellowship, BC had just changed their requirements for FMG/IMG's....they would accept my US board certification in both IM and Cardio (they also accept it from a handful of other countries), BUT only as a provisional license. After acceptable performance under a provisional license for 18 months, I can advance to FULL licensure without having to write the Royal College exams. Why don't I just take the Royal College exams you ask? Well, to be able to take the Cardio exam, they require you to take the IM exam first. And to take the IM exam, they require you to register for it one year in advance. All in all, I figured it would take me a little less than 3 years to write both exams. So I decided to bite the bullet and do the 18 months of provisional licensure as that way I'd still draw a salary. This is where I sit today....job offer is on the table, but still waiting to complete paperwork (and believe me, there's lots of it). It's been roughly 3 months since I've completed my echo fellowship and let me tell you, it doesn't take much time to start forgetting stuff!

    So take home lessons:
    1) don't do medicine! It takes too damn long!
    2) if u still want to do it, take ALL the exams for the US and Canada
    3) plan ahead!
    4) girls suck! (jking....not all :P


    Good luck to all!

    SC

  2. #2
    mapleLeaf is offline Junior Member
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    haha. I was just debating whether to go through the pain of writing the QE1 and QE2 or just the MCCEE . Thanks for the tips. I guess I'll write them all now. Good luck with everything and hopefully they're giving you some decent coin even though they're shafting you with the provisional license.

  3. #3
    A-Rogue is offline Junior Member 518 points
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    Thanks for this post. Sorry about the girl!!!

    While I haven't been admitted to a Caribbean school I'm very hopefully. I'm born and raised in Kingston Ontario and want to work in Canada. I don't care where, but I want to come back to Canada to work. I've read some government sites about IMG's and noticed a 3 year ROS contract that they have to sign.

    Am I correct in assuming that if I want a residency here and a job the best way to go about it is to write each and every licensing exam for Canada?

    Best of luck with everything dude. You may hear from me again =)

    Andy

  4. #4
    alfildor is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    COME ON DUDE, you are cardiologist and you are sweating over a girl??????...i suggest u go get your pimpin white coat and get your self a dime. unless may be you are like 5'5 with no hair and a bulging belly . even the deficient dudes dont sweat

  5. #5
    stepchow is offline Junior Member
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    A-rogue:

    When you're choosing a school, especially in the caribbean, pick a well known school that has been around. Ideally pick one that has California approval (if they have Calif approval, u know the school has a good reputation and has been around awhile). I've been around long enough to see a lot of these caribbean schools come and go. And tbh, if i was doing it all over again (although I wouldn't!), I'd try and go to an Australian or UK school. The Canadian medical system holds these grads in higher esteem than carribbean grads.

    As for the ROS issue, it depends. Each province has different requirements and these requirements change all the time. Like in my above post, I was SOL until recently when BC changed their laws. From what I've seen before in other provinces, I'm suspecting once they "get enough physicians" to fill the shortages, that they'll make it nearly impossible again to be licensed. And I wouldn't rule out the US so fast....you may like it there. I still like it there and would probably prefer to work there if I could find a job willing to sponsor me a visa. But like I said, take ALL the exams u can (both US and Canadian), no matter how painful. The US exams are fair and straightforward (USMLE step 1 however is a man's best friend for some). I found both the US IM and Cardio exams to be fairly easy actually.....didn't really have to study a whole lot for it. The Canadian exams (IM and Cardio) on the other hand are a pain in the ***. They still use the outdated oral exams, and if u don't have the old exams, u are royally screwed. There is no way one could answer some of those questions they ask. IF u have the old exams however, you're at a distinct advantage over those who don't. There are a lot of repeat questions as Canada does not have a question bank (or if they do, it's pretty terrible). Anyhoo, feel free to contact me anytime if u have any questions. I don't check the forum very much, but if u give me ur email, I can send u mine. Take it easy!


    SC
    S.Chow, MD
    Cardiology, PGY-4

  6. #6
    Mourning Cloak is offline Member 529 points
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    Congrats on the loophole!

    But how did you manage it?

    The current bylaws state (revised August 5 2010)

    (9) A specialist granted provisional registration must,

    (a) within one year of commencing practice in British Columbia, submit an application and appropriate documentation of his or her postgraduate training for an assessment of his or her eligibility to sit the examinations of the RCPSC, and

    (b) within the period designated by the RCPSC, successfully complete the RCPSC examinations leading to certification in his or her specialty, failing which registration will be cancelled unless extended by the registration committee in exceptional circumstances.

    https://www.cpsbc.ca/files/u6/2-14.pdf

    Did you apply prior to August 5, 2010?
    Last edited by Mourning Cloak; 11-05-2010 at 05:07 AM.

  7. #7
    benevolo is offline Member 520 points
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    Not to derail the thread but...4294967295 infractions, Mourning Cloak? What's going on there?
    Last edited by benevolo; 11-05-2010 at 10:01 PM.

  8. #8
    Mourning Cloak is offline Member 529 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by benevolo View Post
    Not to derail the thread but...4294967295 infractions, Mourning Cloak? What's going on there?
    I'm a bad, bad butterfly

    Incidentally, this number isn't random - it's the largest number that can be represented by a 32-bit unsigned integer. So I'm an infinitely bad butterfly. And no, I have no idea why it's there - it just appeared one day.
    Last edited by Mourning Cloak; 11-06-2010 at 03:19 AM.

  9. #9
    bitebullet1 is offline Junior Member 512 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by stepchow View Post
    Howdy all,

    Just wanted to share with you my experiences and pain in trying to get back into the Canadian system so that hopefully you can avoid some of the mistakes that I've made. It's been a long while since I've posted, but for those of you who've been around long enough you may recognize my username. Anyhoo, like most of you, I started off in the caribbean for medschool after finishing my BSc. I actually ended up transferring to another caribbean school (MUA) along with several other students to finish up our clinicals in the US. Passed all the USMLE's and also passed the MCCEE and MCCQE's. With that, I obtained an IM residency in Oklahoma with an H1b visa and passed the IM boards. This is where I made my biggest mistake....I decided to NOT take the Canadian Royal College exams for a stupid reason.....yes, it was a girl. I thought I would end up staying in the US for sure. Nonetheless, I knew I didn't want to do IM, so I pursued a subspeciality in Cardiology. I wasn't able to match in the US, but was able to get a position in Canada, so I completed my fellowship there. After the 3 years in cardio, I went ahead and did another one year subfellowship in Echocardiography (also in Canada). Since I've been in Canada for training for 4 years, I had to give up my H1 visa. And u guessed it, me and my girl broke up. So I figured, no biggie, I'll just get a license in a state that I want to go to and try to get a job......too bad it wasn't that easy. There were jobs in the states that I was willing to go to, but none willing to sponsor an H1b visa.....searched around for 6 months with no luck. Don't get me wrong, there are cardio jobs out there, but lets just say they're in less than desirable places with brutal work schedules. Luckily for me though, during the last month of my echo fellowship, BC had just changed their requirements for FMG/IMG's....they would accept my US board certification in both IM and Cardio (they also accept it from a handful of other countries), BUT only as a provisional license. After acceptable performance under a provisional license for 18 months, I can advance to FULL licensure without having to write the Royal College exams. Why don't I just take the Royal College exams you ask? Well, to be able to take the Cardio exam, they require you to take the IM exam first. And to take the IM exam, they require you to register for it one year in advance. All in all, I figured it would take me a little less than 3 years to write both exams. So I decided to bite the bullet and do the 18 months of provisional licensure as that way I'd still draw a salary. This is where I sit today....job offer is on the table, but still waiting to complete paperwork (and believe me, there's lots of it). It's been roughly 3 months since I've completed my echo fellowship and let me tell you, it doesn't take much time to start forgetting stuff!

    So take home lessons:
    1) don't do medicine! It takes too damn long!
    2) if u still want to do it, take ALL the exams for the US and Canada
    3) plan ahead!
    4) girls suck! (jking....not all :P


    Good luck to all!

    SC


    Out of interest mate,how hard is it for non candian citizens from foreign med schools to get into the canadian system in specialties which arent very popular e.g.family practice?Iv heard canada has a shortage of docs,but why dont they allow more imgs into the system like the US?
    Thanks

  10. #10
    Mourning Cloak is offline Member 529 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitebullet1 View Post
    why dont they allow more imgs into the system like the US?
    Long story short, nobody wants to pay for the extra residency spots. Training a supernumerary family med resident costs an additional $200K-$300K that no one has to spend.
    Last edited by Mourning Cloak; 11-06-2010 at 07:42 AM.

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