Most people are unaware of our situation. These are the things that people need to know:
Unlike every other profession, where entry into the profession is merit based, entry into the medical profession is determined by the universities, on the basis of place of graduation, not on medical knowledge, not on clinical skills, and not on passion for medicine.
Universities gained full control of selection of who would be admitted into entry level jobs, which are called medical residencies, in 1993.
Hence, admission into the medical profession is controlled by the universities which are in a position of conflict. Admission is supposed to be regulated by the Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons which was designed for the purpose of controlling admission and regulation of doctors.
That the universities have set up a two class system where their graduates (and American graduates with whom Canadian universities have an agreement) get first pick of all the entry level jobs, no matter how well or poorly they did in medical school, while international medical graduates are prohibited from competing against Canadian university graduates (CMGs). International medical graduates, even from schools ranked higher than any Canadian medical school, can only compete for: The few leftover positions after the CMGs have had their pick; or
Positions in a limited opportunity stream for international graduates, [for example, 61 of 65 medical disciplines are NOT available to international graduates in BC] .
Access to the limited opportunity stream is only available, if, and only if, international medical graduates agree to enter into an indenture agreement where they agree to work where they are told for 2 to 3 years in BC (different periods for different provinces;
Graduates of the Canadian universities whose education has been highly subsidized have no such obligations—this is true even if they got into medical school on the representation that they would work in rural communities, had GPAs as low as 70%, and had low MCATS (UBC).
CBC reported in 2012 that 75% of the medical graduates, who were selected by UBC as good rural candidates, set up practice in urban centres rather than the rural centres, as represented when they were seeking admission to medical school;
Admission into UBC is heavily weighted by volunteer work. Students who have to work to put themselves through school and students who must care for family members who are disabled or otherwise dependent, are disadvantaged in getting into medical school;
Students with GPAs in the 90s and MCATS in the 99th percentile have been rejected by UBC. The average CMG applies 2.59 times before getting into a Canadian medical school. 67% of Canadians studying medicine abroad have not applied to a Canadian medical school or applied just once;
UBC claims that their medical graduates are better than international medical graduates which is easy to say when:UBC marks their students pass/fail;
Unlike the American system where everyone has to write the licensing exams before being selected for residency positions, Canadian universities do not require their graduates to take medical knowledge nor clinical skills exams;
Canadian international medical graduates are prohibited from competing with Canadian medical school graduates for entry level training jobs.
There are members of SOCASMA who have scored in the 98th percentile in the U.S. licensing exams, but they cannot compete against Canadian medical graduates for entry level (residency) jobs, while Canadians who graduated from American medical schools and scored much lower can. These American school graduates, like their Canadian school counterparts are pretty well guaranteed entry level jobs.
The Ministry of Health in BC has paid out more than $140 million dollars in the past year to try and address the doctor shortage by recruiting foreign doctors, restructuring and increasing existing doctors’ fees to try to retain them, and providing incentive programs to relocate doctors.
It would be more cost effective to hire more resident doctors whose training costs are about $28,300 per year plus salary of $50,000 in the first year, and $55,000 in the second year. (The average salary of a fully licensed family doctor is $233, 000 per year.) In two years we would have fully licensed family doctors.
The Ministry hires foreign doctors, and forces new Canadian physicians, who are ready, willing, and able to work, to leave Canada to meet the needs of other countries.
UBC says it is not the money, but their capacity to train more resident physicians, that prevents B.C. from training more doctors.
In the meantime, the universities, including UBC, use our doctors to train foreign doctors from the Middle East who buy residency positions. UBC charged $75,000 per residency position per year for a total of $7.13 million in the 2012/2013 year.
Most Canadians who go to study medicine overseas were not aware that they would be prohibited from competing for residency jobs against those who stayed home to go to school. Who can blame them? What right-minded Canadian would think that exercising one’s right to freedom and mobility by going to an internationally reputable school, and to travel and experience the world, would deprive them of the ability to compete, on their merits, against their peers? Who would think that in Canada that such discrimination could exist?
Help us to research facts and issues to assist in the lawsuit. Read more.
UBC and the Ministry of Health have deep pockets. We cannot compete with the money they have but we can reduce our costs by doing some of the factual research that our lawyers will need. If you can do some research, please contact SOCASMA for a list of topics.
Talk to or write a letter to your MLA and MP. Read more.
This problem could be fixed by our government. But so long as nobody is pressing them, they will let the universities and the bureaucrats, who are cozy with the universities, do what they want.