Meet the Canadian-born doctors who can’t work in Canada – CBC

There’s a shortage of doctors — and thousand of Canadian physicians abroad can’t come home easily

Feb 16, 2023

Thousands of Canadian-born doctors are working abroad at a time when the country is facing an acute shortage of physicians — and there’s little prospect of them practising here because of barriers that block foreign-trained professionals from launching a career at home.

While it’s difficult to establish just how many Canadian doctors are working overseas, a CBC News analysis of publicly available data suggests they number in the tens of thousands.

Since the early 1990s, the number of Canadian international graduates who aren’t matched with residencies has grown significantly. Medical schools, which run the system, privilege their own Canadian-educated students over home-grown doctors trained abroad for the limited number spots that are available each year.

In 2022, for example, only 439 foreign-trained Canadian doctors out of a pool of 1,661 applicants were actually matched with residencies — post-graduate training that is required in order to be licensed. That’s a 26.6 per cent match rate.

That means 1,222 would-be doctors were cut loose and forced to find work elsewhere, according to data from the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS).

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