LETTER TO PROVINCIAL MEMBER OF LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
IN WRITING TO YOUR POLITICAL REPRESENTATIVE, IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU CONSTRUCT A LETTER THAT IS NOT LIKE EVERYONE ELSE’S. SO PLEASE PERSONALIZE THE LETTER AND CHOOSE THE POINTS THAT ARE MOST MEANINGFUL TO YOU.
My name is…
I am currently studying at….
I chose to study outside of Canada because ….
We strongly suggest that you review the Public Concerns, Spread the Word, and Money Facts pages of this website and write about what concerns you the most. You may also wish to refer to the article that was published in April 2014 by our president attempting to dispel the prejudice of CSAs as second rate medical graduates.
Please conclude your letter by asking your MLA to bring this matter up in the Legislature and to push for a fair selection system that is based on merit. Remind him or her that we are all concerned about good quality of medical care and that that a protectionist system which was set up by universities to protect their own graduates breeds mediocrity at best. This is unfair to Canadians who studied medicine outside of Canada and their friends and family. It is unfair to the public which deserves that resident physician jobs be given to the best medical graduates Canada has to offer. There is nothing to commend guaranteeing that a person will become a doctor before they have attended their first medical lecture. Public interest demands that a fair system of competition between all Canadians determines who advances and who is left behind.
Some possible example paragraphs.
Because I chose to study medicine overseas, it appears that I have lost my right to compete for resident physician jobs in Canada against Canadian and American graduates. This is not because I am not as good as them. It is because Canadian universities which gained control over hiring residents 20 years ago have in the last 10 years decided that they should construct a system of competition for medical doctors which protects their graduates. The universities virtually guarantee their weakest graduates jobs.
Canadians who chose to study overseas are prohibited from competing against Canadian medical graduates. Even our Rhodes scholars are prohibited from competing. Canadians who studied abroad, no matter how good we are in our field, can only compete in a second class stream. We have no right to compete at all unless we agree to work where we are told for up to 3 years after we complete residency training. Canadians whose education is subsidized by $400,000 per graduate have no such obligations to the public.
I do not begrudge having to write the national exams set by the Medical Council of Canada which prove that international medical graduates have the knowledge and skills of a Canadian graduate. I think it is good policy to force a medical graduate to prove themselves before being qualified to practice medicine in this province. In fact, I think that Canadian and American medical graduates should write national licensing exams in order to qualify to compete for resident physician positions, as is the case in the U.S.A. Then our province could have a universal measuring stick for choosing the best doctors.
POSSIBLE QUESTIONS to ask your MLA
Is this system consistent with a free and democratic society? With a fair system that is merit based?
Why did studying medicine abroad disentitle me, as a British Columbian resident, from accessing competition in 61 out of 65 medical disciplines.
Why have the universities been allowed to control the medical profession? They are in a conflict of interest.
Why isn’t the College of Physicians and Surgeons regulating who gets into the medical profession?
Why isn’t the public entitled to pick the best Canadian doctors to residency positions?
Does this government think that it is healthy for Canadians who studied abroad and immigrant physicians to be accused of being less worthy, while Canadian and American medical school graduates are “entitled” to consider themselves most worthy? The current system promotes prejudice and a culture of entitlement. Medicine, of all professions, should not be fostering this type of environment.
*STUDYING ABROAD IS CONSISTENT WITH THE HIGH STANDARDS AND EDUCATIONAL NEEDS OF CANADA
. I wanted to travel and experience various cultures while studying. I believe that considering the multi-cultural nation in which we live, this would make me a better doctor. I note that I am not alone in this thinking. I draw to your attention the Service Plan of the Ministry of Advanced Education of B.C. which reads:
“Objective 2.2: Develop a highly internationalized education system.
o expand opportunities for B.C. students to participate in study and work abroad experiences to gain knowledge and build relationships that will enable them to be successful in an increasingly global society.”
The service plan also reads:
“The province is also becoming more culturally diverse. We need to expand our international focus in B.C. to remain competitive in an increasingly globalized world. This will lead to greater understanding and tolerance, enriching personal connections between British Columbians and other people around the world. It will also help create and maintain key international pathways for commerce, research and innovation”.
LETTER to FEDERAL MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
In writing to your MP, you may wish to make the following points: