IMG Secrets

How to become a consultant in Canada without residency as an IMG?

How to become a consultant in Canada without residency as an IMG?

There are three ways International Medical Graduates (IMGs) can directly be a consultant in Canada without repeating residency all over again. 

  • Hospital Based Consultant 
  • Province Based Specialist
  • Royal Collge Specialist

In this article, you’ll discover detailed insights on accessing the province-based specialist pathway and achieving success as an IMG as I share my personal experience. Let’s delve into the topic together and explore the valuable information awaiting you.

What are the steps to get into province based specialist path?

Here is a guide outlining the steps to enter the province-based specialist pathway:

  1. Ensure you have completed your medical school/college training from a WHO-recognized institution. If you are unsure about your training, you can click this link to access additional information about your medical school/college.

  2. Successfully complete your post-graduate training/residency training in your home country, gaining the necessary experience and expertise in your field.

  3. Obtain a specialization certificate in your area of focus, validating your advanced knowledge and skills.

  4. Apply for a clinical fellowship position in Canada, which allows you to further enhance your training and gain exposure to the Canadian healthcare system.

  5. Once you have secured a clinical fellowship position, you can enter the province-based specialist pathway in Canada, where you will have opportunities to practice and specialize within your chosen province.

By following these steps, you can progress towards your goal of entering the province-based specialist pathway in Canada and pursue a rewarding career in your desired field.

How do i get into a clinical fellowship in Canada from my home country?

The first step in pursuing a clinical fellowship in Canada involves applying to the desired program. To begin, research and identify the Departments of your specialization in Canadian universities that offer fellowships.

Click this link to find out how to find clinical fellowships and other jobs in top Canadian Universities. 

Once you find a suitable fellowship, you’ll compose a professional email address to the Department Chair and the fellowship program director. This email should include the following

  • A powerful cover letter
  • A comprehensive CV, and
  • Your profile photo, all aimed at making a strong impression.

It’s important to avoid sending a generic email merely expressing interest in a fellowship, as it may not yield a response. Instead, your email should be crafted meticulously to captivate their attention. Your aim should be to entice them with your impressive CV and a compelling personal statement, prompting them to call you for an interview.

I understand that many IMGs face challenges with their CVs and writing personal statements. If you require my personal one-on-one assistance in editing your CV and personal statement, click the link below. 

How does an interview for province based specialist path look like?

Once the hospital expresses interest in your application, they will invite you for a video interview. Congratulations on reaching this stage! Reaching the stage of being called for an interview is a significant achievement. 

During the fellowship interview, the focus will be on various aspects of your background and interests. This includes your motivation for moving to Canada, your passion for the specific specialty, and your aspirations upon relocating. It’s crucial to utilize this opportunity to highlight your unique professional and personal experiences that are relevant to the position. Emphasize the different perspectives you bring to the table and how they can contribute to the field. This is your chance to showcase your individuality and how it aligns with the fellowship’s goals and requirements.

If the interview goes well and the hospital likes you, you will be offered a clinical fellowship. Congratulations! I’ve received messages from IMGs who have successfully secured clinical fellowships, and I commend you on this significant accomplishment.

What happens if i get selected for a fellowship in Canada?

Congratulations on your selection for a fellowship in Canada! As you embark on this exciting journey, there are a few important steps you need to take to ensure a smooth transition:

  1. Credential Evaluation: It is crucial to have your credentials evaluated. You can initiate this process by applying for credential evaluation on Physiciansapply.ca. They will carefully verify your credentials and provide you with a report.

  2. Medical License: As a clinical fellow, you will need to obtain a license to practice in Canada. Depending on the province where you will be undertaking your fellowship, you will send all your required documents to the respective regulatory body. For example, if you are pursuing a fellowship in Ontario, you would submit your documents to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) for the issuance of a training license.

  3. Visa/Work Permit: It is essential to start working on your visa paperwork. This will be issued by Immigration and Citizenship, Government of Canada. You will need to apply for a work visa that allows you to engage in your fellowship activities in Canada. This visa is typically a work permit, which enables you to legally work in the country.

By completing these necessary steps, including credential evaluation, obtaining a medical license, and acquiring the required visa/work permit, you will be well-prepared to embark on your fellowship journey in Canada.

Can my spouse and children join me to Canada?

Spouse: If you have a spouse accompanying you, it’s important to know that your spouse may be eligible to obtain a dependent visa. This visa would allow them to join you in Canada and, in addition, they can apply for an open work permit. The open work permit enables your spouse to seek employment in various job sectors, subject to certain restrictions and regulations. This provides your spouse with the opportunity to work in Canada and contribute to the household income or pursue their career goals, within the established guidelines.

Children: If you have children, they are eligible to receive a dependent visa, allowing them to accompany you to Canada. Once in Canada, your children have the opportunity to enroll in regular schools, similar to any other legal resident of the country. They can attend local schools and benefit from the education system available to Canadian residents. This ensures that your children can continue their education and have access to the same educational opportunities as other children in Canada.

How do i get into province based path?

If you have a satisfactory candidacy, congratulations! you will have a high likelihood of being selected under the province based pathway. If selected, at this stage, you will have important academic achievements to complete. 

Upon successfully completing these obligations within the designated timeframe,  you will become a fully-fledged consultant in Canada, free to work in any location across the country. You will have the flexibility to open a private clinic, work in a clinic of your choice, or even join a prominent university hospital. The possibilities are vast, and you will have the freedom to make decisions aligned with your professional goals and aspirations.

Simultaneously, during your work in the hospital, you can apply for Canadian permanent residency through the Canadian Experience Class program. This pathway typically leads to the approval of permanent residency within a few months, granting you a Canadian permanent residency card.

Once you attain an unrestricted license and complete all the contractual obligations, you will have a range of opportunities and choices available to you as a consultant in Canada.

How long does it take to get into province based specialist path?

Based on my experience, it is not uncommon for IMGs to take an average of two to three years to successfully navigate their way into a province-based specialist pathway in medical specialties, anesthesiology and radiology. However, it’s important to note that for surgical specialties, the timeline may vary, and it could potentially take longer.

While the process may require time and dedication, if your goal is to establish a career in Canada and you are able to secure a province-based specialist pathway, it can be highly rewarding. The opportunity to practice in your desired specialty and contribute to the healthcare system of the province can bring immense professional satisfaction.

It is essential to remain focused and committed throughout the journey, actively pursuing the necessary steps such as obtaining licenses, undergoing evaluations, participating in interviews, and fulfilling any contractual obligations required by hospitals or regulatory bodies. By persevering and consistently working towards your goal, you increase your chances of successfully entering the province-based specialist pathway and ultimately achieving your desired career trajectory in Canada.

What if i am not eligible to apply for a fellowship?

This is a great question, and there can be several reasons why you may not be eligible to apply for a fellowship. One common reason is if you are a fresh medical graduate or still a medical student. In such cases, there are alternative options you can consider:

  1. Residency Program: If you are a fresh graduate or currently a medical student, your best option may be to pursue a residency program in Canada. Residency programs provide structured training and education in your chosen specialty, and upon completion, you can gain valuable clinical experience that will enhance your eligibility for fellowships in the future.

  2. Focus on Atlantic Provinces: Another approach is to explore opportunities in the Atlantic provinces of Canada, which include Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. These provinces often have unique programs and initiatives that cater to IMGs. By focusing your search on these provinces, you may find fellowship opportunities that are more accessible for IMGs.

  3. Job Opportunities: Alternatively, you can explore job opportunities in Canada that align with your qualifications and experience. This could involve securing employment in a hospital or medical facility where you can gain valuable clinical experience and further establish yourself in the Canadian healthcare system. This route may provide you with the chance to progress towards a fellowship in the future.

To find out more about the exact steps click this link

It’s important to thoroughly research and understand the specific requirements and pathways for your desired specialty and province in Canada. Consulting with medical regulatory bodies, specialty organizations, and experienced professionals in the field can provide valuable guidance and insights tailored to your unique circumstances.

About the Author

Dr. Rajeev Iyer; MBBS, MD, FASA

Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, 

The University of Pennsylvania, 

Philadelphia, USA.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not represent the views or opinions of the University of Pennsylvania or any other organizations mentioned.

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