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Canadians Now Having Trouble with Foreign Medical Education .pdf

Original filename: Canadians Now Having Trouble with Foreign Medical Education.pdf
Author: Erin Jarboe

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Canadians Now Having Trouble with Foreign
Medical Education
For many years, aspiring doctors and surgeons in Canada have left British Columbia to obtain their educations. However,
upon returning home to BC and rejoining their families, they are finding it increasingly difficult to be taken seriously in
the workforce – particularly when it comes to entry-level residencies.
The Challenges Students Face
Medical students in Canada regularly leave the country to attend medical schools, and they have been doing so for
decades. However, due to government regulations that allow universities to ultimately determine which students are
accepted into residency programs, the students who travel to obtain a foreign medical education are being met with
prejudice. These universities are giving their residencies to their graduates, which leaves many students struggling to
complete residency programs.
The Trouble in 1999
Back in 1999, a human-rights case sparked some controversy and ultimately led to the creation of very few residency
positions designed specifically with foreign graduates in mind. The Canadians who had obtained their educations in
foreign countries were encouraged to apply because, after all, they were international medical graduates and therefore
met the criteria. Unfortunately, barriers prevent many Canadians from ever obtaining these few coveted positions.
Although Canada nationals may have obtained their educations in foreign countries, they are still Canada nationals,
which puts them at a disadvantage.
Unfounded Prejudice?
The common view is that CSAs (Canadians studying abroad) are simply not as good as students who graduate from UBC.
As those CSAs are fighting for an opportunity to prove otherwise, they are being stonewalled. They are unable to enter
UBC to complete residencies, and therefore unable to prove that they are not second-class students simply because they
chose to study elsewhere. It’s an unfounded prejudice, and one that many Canadian students and nationals alike want
to see stopped.
Guidelines for UBC Entry

CSAs are given many reasons for being denied entry into UBC. They’re told that they did not do enough volunteer work,
or that they must pass national examinations before even applying for a residency position. However, students coming
from Middle Eastern countries and who pay $75,000 per year to attend are not required to meet these same
expectations, which essentially means that residency spots in Canadian schools are being given to foreign applicants
based on their ability to pay for them.
The Common Opinion
In order to reestablish some sort of fair treatment, many CSAs and their families believe that these students should have
the very same opportunities – and the very same guidelines – as students coming to UBC from other parts of the world.
After all, if they truly are substandard students, this would be weeded out in the examinations and performance, and
these students would pose no real threat to Canadian medical school graduates.
The best medical schools in the world aren’t in Canada, and that’s why the number of CSAs traveling outside the country
continues to climb each year. However, the way students are granted entry into medical residency programs at UBC
needs to change if Canada residents are to have a shot at residency following a solid education in one of the world’s best

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