There is a prejudice against CSAs.  Prejudice is arguably strongest in the medical profession.  Substantial effort has to be made to demonstrate, by involvement, that CSAs are as knowledgeable, clinically skilled, and able as their Canadian peers.  In a recent meeting with UBC and the Ministry of Health, their representatives advised us that Canadian and Americans had more and better clinical training than medical schools CSAs attend.  The reality is that neither Canadian nor American nor overseas schools have homogenous clinical training.  Often the quality of training in any particular rotation is directly linked to the teaching skills of the supervising practitioner.   Further, clinical training is only as good as the student.  Some people who excel academically, simply do not have what it takes to excel clinically.  CSAs, including CSA residents working in Canada, need to be cognizant of the prejudice and work towards dispelling it.  Knowledge and experience are the tools to overcome prejudice.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Keep a clinical diary of your experiences so you can have the facts when you need them.
  • Look for opportunities to talk about and demonstrate your knowledge and clinical experience in Canadian rotations and electives, with your supervising physician, when it is appropriate.
  • Join provincial and national medical associations.
  • Become a student or resident representative in professional medical associations or other medical institutions.  You will see on our Facebook page that Doctors of BC (BCMA) is looking for student and resident representatives now.  Deadline for application is March 28, 2014.
  • Use your personal contacts in the medical profession to educate the medical profession about the inequities and prejudices in the residency selection system.
  • Monitor medical journals and respond to articles that promote barriers and prejudice against CSAs.
  • Publish in medical journals and on the internet information that will dispel the prejudices against CSAs.