The College of Physicians of Quebec agrees to admit more doctors from abroad

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The College of Physicians of Quebec agrees to admit more doctors from abroad

While Western Canada actively recruits doctors with foreign degrees, in Quebec, less than 40% of them manage to obtain their right to practice despite the recognition of their diploma. .

Abdelkarim Laribi dreamed of becoming a doctor in Quebec. He works as a teacher.

When he immigrated from Algeria in the late 1990s, Abdelkarim Laribi dreamed of wearing a white coat and practicing medicine in Quebec.

For a moment, he believed in , 2009, when he received a letter from the College of Physicians of Quebec (CMQ) acknowledging the equivalence of his medical degree and passing the Medical Council of Canada exams.

I had a party, invited some friends, remembers M.Laribi.

For me, that meant that I was going to reach patients in Quebec, that I was going to practice my profession here.

In principle, he still had to find a resident position in one of four faculties of medicine in Quebec.

The latter wanted to become a medical specialist two years later.

After an initial unsuccessful attempt with medical faculties, Mr. Laribi was selected in 2011 by the Center for the Assessment of International Health Graduates (CEDIS) for a four-month refresher course.

Funded by Quebec, the CEDIS aims precisely to give a helping hand to international graduates who are unable to obtain a residency position despite the equivalence of their diploma.

Despite his internship, Mr. Laribi comes up short a second time.

You feel a void, you feel like a good step and that we don't want any you, he laments.

Abdelkarim Laribi had obtained in 2009 the equivalence of his doctor of medicine degree from the College of Physicians of Quebec.

Abdelkarim Laribi has since rebuilt his life and currently works as a teacher in the suburbs of Montreal.

According to recent data from CEDIS, 60% of candidates will be selected for an internship, and eight out of ten interns will obtain a residency. A decade of improvement.

Over the past five years, most international graduates have obtained their CMQ equivalency, and an average of 67 regular licensure have been granted per year per year. the CMQ to international medical graduates.

Approximately 38% (335) of the 885 graduates who have obtained their equivalency in the past five years have been granted a regular license to practice.

Other permits are granted for example under of a Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) with France.

In preparation for this report, we spoke to many applicants who preferred not to be identified.

Some have pointed out that residency positions have remained vacant in recent years, as observed by Radio-Canada last spring.

A situation of concern to the Commission on Human Rights and Youth Rights (CDPDJ), which in 2010 investigated doctors trained abroad.

As Commission researcher Daniel Ducharme points out, in 2010, when the survey came out, about three quarters of the vacancies in Canada were in Quebec, and in 2022, at the last selection process for residency in medicine, we had 76 of the 115 positions left vacant in Canada that were in Quebec, especially in family medicine.

According to Mr. Ducharme, it is sure that it is difficult explainable that 12 years later there are still vacancies and that we prefer not to offer these positions to international medical graduates. This is something difficult to understand.

In the opinion of the researcher of the Commission, we are still in a form of resistance from the faculties of medicine.

< p class="e-p">In 2013, the Commission recommended that faculties guarantee a place for candidates who pass the refresher course (from CEDIS) […] to end discrimination against doctors trained abroad .

In Quebec, only 9% of physicians were trained abroad. The College of Physicians wants that to change. A report by Davide Gentile.

For their part, the faculties of medicine maintain that they are actively collaborating with the government, Recrutement santé Québec, CEDIS and accreditation bodies to improve their ways of taking into account the particular reality of students and IMG residents (international medical graduates) in order to maximize their chances of success.

In writing, the spokesperson for the Conference of Deans of the Faculties of Medicine of Quebec, Dr. David Eidelman, explains that candidates must have an excellent academic record and demonstrate, in an interview, that they will be able to integrate into the environment. North American educational institution.

“It would be imprudent to guarantee a place in residency to all holders of a medical degree, few it doesn't matter what country they got it from. »

— Dr. David Eidelman, spokesperson for the Conference of Deans of the Faculties of Medicine of Quebec

Foreign-trained physicians who have not practiced for more four years are discarded. For 20 years, more than 1,000 doctors who obtained their medical degree outside of Canada and the United States have been admitted to residency by Quebec medical faculties.

At the College of Physicians of Quebec (CMQ), we say we are open to increasing the number of doctors with foreign degrees.

I completely agree that we are looking at this again with the Ministry of Health to see how we could review our ways of doing things and admit more foreign candidates, I have no resistance to that, replies the president of the College, Mauril Gaudreault.

Mauril Gaudreault, President of the College of Physicians of Quebec

For five years , 13% of permits issued by the CMQ were for candidates trained abroad, including French doctors who benefit from the ARM.

Should there be more? In my opinion yes, and we will see how we can do that, continues Mauril Gaudreault.

Minister Dubé mentioned in September, at the start of the election campaign, that he had asked that we ensure that quality professionals who come from all over the world, that we are able to recognize them more quickly.

< p class="e-p">The CAQ has promised to admit 660 more students to medical schools in the coming years.

Elsewhere in Canada, provinces are actively recruiting medical graduates from abroad.

The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan, for example, awarded 47 residency positions this year to medical graduates from outside Canada and the United States, almost as many as Quebec (48), while its population is far fewer in number.

According to data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), in 2020, almost half of the doctors in the province of 'West were overseas graduates.

A portrait at the antipodes of Quebec, where 9% of doctors are foreign graduates.

In Canada, there were more than 90,000 doctors, including nearly 24,000 graduates from the 'stranger (26%).

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During our visit to Redvers, Saskatchewan, doctor Mehdi Shadmani had just joined a team of three family doctors.

A marathon journey for this doctor who graduated in Iran.< /p>

Mehdi Shadmani works as a family doctor in Saskatchewan after graduating in Iran.

He passed his exams in Canada in 2018 after four years of effort, then returned to practice medicine in Iran in order to gain experience.

His boys did not understand that he was so stubborn.

“I tried to teach them a big lesson. In Canada, it is a big and beautiful rich country. If you follow your dream, you will achieve it.

— Mehdi Shadmani, Saskatchewan Family Physician

In Redvers, the mayor of the town of 1,000, Brad Bulbuck, is proud to have a foundation that helps recruit health care professionals.

Having a hospital in a small community is what makes it possible to thrive where many small communities are dying, he says.

Their hospital was closed for six months last year for lack of nursing staff.

Redvers Hospital in Saskatchewan serves a population of 1000.

For the Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Anurag Saxena, retaining physicians in the regions remains a major challenge.

The reality is that many of them end up leaving after the end of their contract.

The government commissioned him to carry out a study on this issue.

That said, some, like Steven Lewis, health policy consultant and assistant professor at Simon Fraser University, raise ethical issues related to overseas recruitment.

I think there is a form of hypocrisy linked to the fact that a rich country like Canada, which is training more and more doctors, always relies on recruiting doctors abroad, he said.

According to him, countries like Nigeria, India and Pakistan have a fraction of the number of doctors that we have […] and these countries need their doctors.

If we consider ourselves good citizens, there is no reason why a rich country should hire doctors from poor countries.

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