It is SOCASMA’s mission:
1. To fight to enforce every Canadian’s constitutional right to individual freedom, fairness, and equal opportunity which will allow Canadian doctors to come home;
2. To end discrimination by ensuring that all Canadians who passed the national exams have the right to compete for residency positions currently reserved for Canadian and American medical school graduates; and
3. To stop the emigration of new Canadian physicians who are ready, willing, and able to meet Canada’s health care needs.
In Canada, access to the practice of medicine contravenes the most fundamental principles of a free and democratic society: freedom, fairness, and equal opportunity.
Currently, provincial Ministries of Health allow Canadian medical schools to control selection for entry level training jobs called medical residencies. Canadian medical schools have used this power to exclude qualified Canadians from competing against their graduates for these positions.
Canadians who have studied medicine anywhere but Canada and the U.S.A. are prohibited from competing against their peers who graduated from Canadian and American medical schools. They can only compete in the IMG (international medical graduate) stream, and only if they agree to enter into return of service contracts. The IMG stream is a very limited opportunity stream.
In British Columbia, only 4 out of 65 medical disciplines are available to Canadians who have international medical degrees despite passing the national medical knowledge and clinical skills exams.
Canadians, who choose to study overseas, and other international medical graduates, are treated as second class citizens when it comes to competing for positions in one of the most prestigious callings in Canada. The two-class system of medical residency selection currently in place is an affront to the fabric of Canadian society. This type of class system feeds the growth of a culture of entitlement and it feeds prejudice, both of which are destructive to a free and democratic society. It also prevents Canada from hiring the most qualified Canadian physicians. This impacts access to health care and the quality of health care for all Canadians.