Canadians studying medicine abroad and their journey to secure postgraduate training in Canada or the United States
Background: From national and international workforce perspectives, Canadians studying medicine abroad (CSAs) are a growing provider group. Some were born in Canada whereas others immigrated as children. They study medicine in various countries, often attempting both American and Canadian medical licensure pathways.
Methods: Using data from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) and the Medical Council of Canada (MCC), we looked at CSAs who attempted to secure residency positions in both Canada and the United States. We detailed the CSAs’ countries of birth and medical education. We tracked these individuals through their postgraduate education programs to enumerate their success rate and categorize the geographic locations of their training.
Results: The majority of CSAs study medicine in one of 10 countries. The remainder are disbursed across 88 other countries. Most CSAs were born in Canada (62%). Approximately 1/3 of CSA from the 2004-2016 cohort had no record of entering a residency program in Canada or the United States (U.S.). Recently graduated CSAs were most likely to secure residency training in Ontario and New York.
Conclusion: Many CSAs attempt to secure residency training in both Canada and the U.S. Quantifying success rates may be helpful for Canadians thinking about studying medicine abroad. Understanding the educational pathways of CSAs will be useful for physician labour workforce planning
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