“When I meet with Canadian students, the top question I get asked is ‘Can I come back to Canada and work as a doctor? What are the options?'” said Ms. Gagne. “It’s exciting to me to help Canadian students realize that there are opportunities to practice medicine in Canada, despite the difficulties of getting into a medical school in Canada.”
Graduates from international medical schools have two pathways to establishing a career in Canada: either by completing a residency in the United States and meeting the requirements to earn licensure in one of Canada’s provinces, or by securing a residency placement in Canada through CaRMS. Dr. Aaron Hoo was the first UMHS graduate to match directly into a post-graduate training program in Canada and shared his experience.
“I currently practice clinical medicine in Vancouver in an urban setting. Prior to that I practiced in rural Manitoba and served First Nations patients as well as some members of the Mennonite Community – people who have very little access to medical care,” said Dr. Hoo. “When I graduated from UMHS in 2016 and matched through CaRMS, I had to strategically plan my time studying for American and Canadian boards. Now that process has been streamlined and is easier for Canadians.”
This year, 555 IMGs matched into residency programs through CaRMS, up from 439 placements in 2022.
“Canada has really opened up because we have such a doctor shortage, and being in the Toronto area, there are many IMGs practicing medicine now,” said Dr. Khan, who completed her residency training in the United States before returning to Canada.
When asked about advice for Canadians who are evaluating medical schools abroad, the panelists highlighted the importance of small class sizes and a supportive learning environment, opportunities for clinical experience, and affiliations with teaching hospitals in the United States and Canada.
“The experience of hands-on rotations as a UMHS student was great,” said Dr. Khan. “You’re at teaching hospitals and they want you to learn. This gives you the skills and confidence to diagnose patients and treat them on your own.”
The discussion also addressed questions about the affordability of going to a medical school in the Caribbean, how UMHS fosters academic success through its Accelerated Review Program (ARP), and resources to help students with residency match and CaRMS admission.
To learn more about UMHS admissions for Canadian students, visit https://www.umhs-sk.org/canadian-student-admissions.
The University of Medicine and Health Sciences (UMHS), is a small, mission-driven medical school with a commitment to student support and a legacy of successful residency placements in the United States and Canada. UMHS was founded in 2007 by medical education pioneers Warren and Robert Ross to deliver a highly personalized school experience. Graduates of UMHS earn a Doctor of Medicine degree (MD) and qualify to practice medicine throughout the United States and Canada. Students begin their Basic Science studies in St. Kitts, West Indies, and complete their clinical training in the United States. With an unprecedented 96% student retention rate, the vast majority of students that begin their medical studies at UMHS go on to obtain residencies. For more information, visit https://www.umhs-sk.org/.