By Canadian Immigrant | June 30, 2021
The #EqualChance campaign draws a spotlight on the existing barriers faced by internationally trained medical doctors in Canada and invites Canadians to take action. Launched by the Institute of Canadian Citizenship in May 2021, the Campaign calls for changes to the pathway to practicing medicine in Canada.
There are thousands of internationally trained doctors in the country who meet the Canadian standards, but are unable to practice medicine. These doctors are Canadians and permanent residents with recognized training and experience. After passing the Canadian qualifying exams and certifying their degree, they are asked to take on extra exams, processes and certifications that Canadian graduates are not.
The campaign highlights the fact that Canada needs doctors and there is a solution that is available. The barriers placed in front of internationally trained doctors often result in them abandoning their quest to practice medicine. Sometimes they become so frustrated after years of applying that they leave the country.
“I am an Iranian immigrant, and an internationally trained medical doctor. I have 9 years of experience, my degree is recognized, and I love being a doctor, but I am still prevented from obtaining a residency position in Canada,” says Sahar (who wishes not to use her real name in fear of professional repercussions). “Only two residency positions are offered in my obstetrics specialty for internationally trained doctors. I didn’t get either of them, so I had to get a job outside the medical field.”
“Canada needs professional people of talent to help our country reach its full potential. Immigrants and new Canadians who are professionally qualified will enrich us with their talent,” say Rt. Hon. Adrienne C Clarkson and John Ralston Saul, co-chairs of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship.
During the pandemic, many of these doctors worked tirelessly to help Canadians stay healthy, even on a volunteer basis. The Campaigns asks why then, having put their own lives at risk, their path to full-time practice so impossible?
To find out more and request that internationally trained doctors have an #Equal Chance, visit inclusion.ca/equalchance.