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Study: Foreign-trained physicians frustrated at lack of residency positions
Date:6/26/2014

TORONTO, June 26, 2014Foreign-trained physicians feel there are not enough residency positions for them in countries such as Canada and the United States and this information was not communicated to them before they emigrated, a new study has found.

Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital surveyed international medical graduates to better understand the concepts of "brain drain," the migration of health care workers from low- and middle-income countries to higher-income countries, and "brain waste," where their skills are under-utilized or not utilized in their new country. Many were older physicians who had spent a considerable amount of time and money trying to obtain a medical residency position.

Residency is a mandatory stage of graduate medical training in which someone who has received a medical degree works in a teaching hospital for two to five years learning from senior doctors.

Dr. Aisha Lofters, a family physician and researcher in the hospital's Centre for Research on Inner City Health, said only about 55 per cent of international medical graduates, or IMGs, living in Canada are currently working as physicians. In 2011, 1,800 applicants competed for 191 residency spots designated for foreign trained physicians in Ontario, Canada's largest province. The success rate that year was about 20 per cent for Canadians who had gone abroad for their medical training compared to six per cent for immigrant IMGs.

The numbers are similar in the United States where almost half of international medical graduates are unsuccessful in their first attempt at securing a residency position. In 2013, 47.6 per cent of non-American citizen applicants secured a residency position compared to 53.1 per cent of U.S. citizens trained in international schools. IMGs who are originally from the United States ultimately have a 91 per cent success rate, while only 73 per cent of IMGs born outside of the United States are ultimately successful.


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Contact: Leslie Shepherd
shepherdl@smh.ca
416-864-6094
St. Michael's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert  

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