There were an estimated 3750 Canadians studying medicine abroad in 2010, and over 90% of these students intended to return to Canada for postgraduate medical training. Unfortunately, in BC, only 24 of the upcoming match’s 279 residency positions are dedicated to international medical graduates (IMGs).
These IMG BC positions are offered only to BC residents and all of them include return-of-service contracts in geographical locations of need. In comparison, there are 201 dedicated IMG positions in Ontario, all without provincial residency restrictions.
To be eligible to complete postgraduate education in Canada, IMGs must pass the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination. Canadians studying abroad can complete this multiple-choice exam in their final year of medical school (at a cost of $1615) in preparation for the residency match.
In BC, however, applicants are additionally required to undertake an IMG BC assessment and submit a passing National Assessment Collaboration Objective Structured Clinical Examination (NAC OSCE) result. The Objective Structured Clinical Examination costs $800 and there are only 70 seats offered in BC, but the biggest barrier is timing.
The problem is that most BC residents in their final year of medical school abroad cannot complete the IMG BC assessment and NAC OSCE in time for the residency match. The BC IMG assessment and NAC OSCE are simply held too late in the year. A passing Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination result is also currently required to apply for the BC IMG assessment and NAC OSCE, further delaying the process.
Instead of applying to the dedicated IMG BC positions in their home province, these students are forced to find training positions elsewhere in Canada or abroad. They can also scramble for a handful of vacancies in BC in the second iteration of the match, or simply take a year out after graduation and then, once eligible, apply to the IMG BC positions.
Urgent changes are required to the IMG BC assessment and NAC OSCE to make BC residents in their final year of medical school abroad eligible to concurrently apply to the existing IMG BC residency positions.
—Robert Obara, BSc, MPH
1. Canadian Resident Matching Service. Canadian Students Studying Medicine Abroad 2010 Report. Accessed 1 December 2011. www.carms.ca/pdfs/2010_
2. Canadian Resident Matching Service. Quota overview for all universities in R-1 match main residency match—first iteration 2011. Accessed 1 December 2011. https://w1c.e-carms.ca/pdws/jsp/
Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee
of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally
accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.
About the ICMJE and citation styles
The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.
An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.
BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:
- Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
- There is no period after the journal name.
- Page numbers are not abbreviated.
For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org