ENTRY INTO THE MEDICAL PROFESSION IS NOT BASED ON MERIT.
Since the universities have taken over control of selecting resident physician, they have changed the rules. The new rules prefer and protect their graduates. Canadian universities have used an affirmative action program, designed to give immigrant physicians who suffered from language and cultural barriers the opportunity to work as resident physicians, to prohibit CSAs (Canadians Studying medicine Abroad), and those immigrant physicians who are not hindered by language and cultural barriers, from competing against their graduates. They have forced CSAs and immigrant physicians to be treated as second class citizens in the medical profession.
There is no issue that Canadian medical schools provide a solid medical education. In 2014, the Times international medical education rating rates the University of Toronto 15th in the world, McGill 18th, McMasters 26th, and UBC 30th. Ten out of 17 Canadian medical schools did not make the top 100 universities.
Nevertheless, Canadian universities say that their medical graduates are better educated to serve the Canadian public.
Objectively, one must ask: How would they know? What is the objective measure? UBC marks its students pass/fail.
This statement would have more credibility if Canadian universities required all medical graduates, including their graduates, to write the national knowledge and skills exams as the U.S.A requires. This would tell us how Canadian graduates really stack up to CSAs and other international medical graduates.
Is it credible that Canadian schools, none of which rank in the top 10 internationally, produce better medical graduates than Oxford and Cambridge in the United Kingdom which are ranked first and third respectively?
In every other profession, Canadian international graduates are allowed to compete on an equal footing against Canadian school graduates so long as they have passed the provincial and/or national exams which include testing on aspects of that profession that may be unique to Canada or the particular province.
What is it about Canadian health that is so unique so as to make an education in the best medical schools in the world inadequate?
It should be noted that Canadian national exams are designed to test for Canadian content including drug names, Canadian medical protocols, and the like.
Logically, one must ask, if CSAs who have passed the national knowledge and skills exams are not as good as Canadian medical school graduates (CMGs), what is there to fear in allowing CSAs to compete against CMGs? If CSAs are not as good or well suited, they will lose in the competition. But if they are as good, shouldn’t they be entitled the freedom and equal opportunity that is constitutionally due to all Canadians? If CMGs cannot successfully compete against CSAs, shouldn’t our universities and Canadian medical school students feel the pressure to pull up their socks? Isn’t it most important that Canadians choose from the best medical graduates regardless of their alma mater.
A guaranteed residency, free of competition, in a pass/fail system, does not generally motivate students to do the best they can do, to learn the most they can learn. One would have to be naïve not to recognize that this type of environment has implications for the quality of medical doctor that Canadian universities turn out.
Does it make sense that brilliant Canadians who are good enough to be admitted to the best medical schools in the world, are forced to compete in a second class stream that denies admission to 61 out of 65 medical disciplines? Does it make sense that Canadians can only attend the best medical schools in the world if they are prepared to give up their dreams and accede to the limitations of the international medical graduate stream of competition. Or they can move to another country to work as a resident physician in the medical discipline of their choice?
AND why should one Canadian be forced to enter into an indenture contract which forces him to work where he is directed for years after he becomes fully licensed when he paid for his own education with minimal subsidy from Canada WHILE another Canadian, whose education was highly subsidized by the Canadian taxpayer, do not?
AND especially, why do students who were admitted into UBC with lower academic standards because they represented that they wanted to practice in rural BC, be able to reneg on their commitment without any obligation to work in rural communities when they become fully licensed?
Why do we send our best and brightest students to Oxford medical school on a Rhodes scholarship and not let them come back to compete for jobs against their peers? Why must they decide between forfeiting their scholarship or their dream to become a neurosurgeon or some other specialist in British Columbia? Why must they sit out a year after graduation just to be able to compete in British Columbia in a second class stream?
It is in the public interest to train the best Canadian candidates, regardless of where they went to school. When we really need a doctor, we want the best doctor Canada has to offer.
It is well recognized that a system stagnates when it is inbred, and it thrives when it draws on new and different ideas.
Sending Canadians to learn in international environments is not only desirable, but necessary in today’s globalized world, particularly in a multi-cultural country such as Canada. This is recognized by the service plan of the Ministry of Advanced Education in British Columbia.
When the system goes askew, as the medical residency selection has, things stop making sense.
This is why it is so important that a professional entry system be merit based and administered by a body that is not torn by various loyalties and conflicts.