Happy new year! What’s happening? I’m sorry I didn’t respond to any comments or messages through the Christmas holidays but I’ll work on them in the next couple of days.
So, now for my CaRMS 2019 update. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any interviews this cycle.
I did a Clinical Assessment Placement here in Alberta in 2018 and got a good evaluation report, so I was hoping that it would improve my chances of getting invited for an interview. Alas, that didn’t count.
I believe that MMI scores (organized by the AIMGA) also have a great impact on your chances of getting into a residency program. However, I don’t think that my score was competitive enough.
Going forward, I am considering several options:
1. Taking the PLAB exams.
2. Redoing the NAC OSCE to improve my score.
3. Attending a course to improve my MMI score.
Did you partake in the last CaRMS cycle? What was your experience?
These are great plans to work on! Love your persistence and hard work! I am so grateful that we can retake the NAC exam now 🙂
Yeah I know right! I’m still debating it ‘cos I got 77 and I don’t want to get a lower score if I redo it.
Oh yes, that would be a difficult decision! Have you decided to take any courses?
If I’m going to take the exam, I will take a course but I’m not sure which one.
Admire your persistence. I once write on VR blog that sometimes you need to venture out in a different country in order to achieve what you need to get where you want to be in Canada.
Take PLAB exams and get full GMC registrationwhich can be completed within 4-6 months. Work a year as a junior doctor and then while on the work permit, apply to their GP residency program, complete it in 3yrs , become a consultant and return to Canada as a consultant. Challenge the family medicine certification exam in Canada and get full registration bypassing residency. This can be achieved in 4-5 yrs.
Plab1 material is available for free online. Takes people max 2 weeks to prepare. Plab2 takes 6 weeks to 2 months to prepare.
Canada residency in my opinion is extremely biased and sometimes even the osce exams. Very expensive and yet not much value outside Canada if all steps not completed.
My qe1 of 470 done in 2016 is of no use in Toronto because they only accept qe1 scores from 2017 meaning one can’t apply to entire Toronto. Newfoundland won’t accept anyone with 3yrs gap out of practice, Quebec is not an option. Alberta and BC is where everyone is fighting for and those with connection, will get in first. Residency chances is almost negligible . Go out to UK while it’s easy, get in the system, work as a doctor, get some joy, get UK experience n GP or psychiatry residency, then return to Canada as a consultant.
I just got my PR and Alberta as well is my destination and despite doing mccee, qe1, NAC osce, I still haven’t applied to CARMS because my research so has has shown it to be a terrible investment. By then way the lmcc can get u jobvia competent pathway in Australia which is why I ventured Canadian exams but guess what so can the plab exams which I didn’t know and hence I have started the plab path way and almost done with it . You have a head start considering u are Canadian unlike those of us restricted to remain in Canada for 3yrs as PR even after passing plab like myself.
Your blog is inspiring and shows determination. Put it into a place where you will real reward and regain the smile you always had working as a physician.
The plab is very easy yes but still respect the exam. One thing for sure, when you done with it, there is certainly light at the end of that tunnel with sooner rewards. I can’t say the same for Canada and remember once a GP in UK, u return to Canada as a fully registered GP consultant after passing their certification exam and if not passed , u be provisionally registered if your have mccee plus or qe1 .
Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I have only a few months to qualify for citizenship. I can then go the PLAB route and come back afterwards by God’s grace.
Good to hear you’ve also started the PLAB pathway. It seems like a much more hopeful route.
So what happens to those of us who wrote QE1 earlier than 2017? And they won’t let is rewrite the exam. 😔
Hi Fomski, I congratulate your doggedness and successes along the way. the UK is such a viable option right now. You can still take the plab 1 in other centers outside the UK. Not sure if Canada is a center. You also have to take the academic version of the ielts to write the plab 1 so that is something to look into while waiting to qualify for citizenship and if you don’t already have a valid ielts result with the required pass. All the best going forward.
Hi Efeoma. Thanks for your words of encouragement. PLAB 1 can now be taken in Canada: they have a center in Toronto. I have also passed the academic IELTS. So, the only thing left is to take the exam. It seems a bit daunting to up and leave Canada to the UK but if it comes to that, if God is willing, I’ll go.
I have little bit different question that as per Mr Courage that as a doctor we can alternate route like PLAB UK and after getting 3-4 years let it be after 5yrs as a consultant you can challenge family physician certificate in canada. This sounds good but one UK degree or exam you can say is also very much renowned worldwide ie MRCP UK for example. What if after getting MRCP UK we can work directly as a medical doctor in canada or how is it possible to work as a doctor after MRCP UK.. Dr Fomski kindly comment on this.
Hi Dr Singh, to the best of my knowledge, it is the location of your training that is considered and not whether you have the MRCP. However, there is a possibility of getting work here in Canada based on your experience from your own country after passing the necessary exams and practice ready assessments.
If you have to remain in Canada, apply and go to a PA school for 2 years. Apply for government grant, bursary or loan.
PA and NP are taking up family physician jobs. NP run their own practice in the USA.
CRNA working as a locum can earn up to 420k per year in the US.
PA earn well as well for 2yr study.
Use your qe1 to apply for CA in Alberta . Pay is 6 figure if u secure a job.
These are valuable clinical experience while still applying for residency each year but having an alternative healthcare well paying career.
Well these are my plans once I settle in Alberta during my obligatory 3yr stay. I am just upset that these exams I took in advance of coming to Canada may not be of much use since province are now setting timeline for Canadian results that will be accepted. Some don’t accept mccee or NAC more than 5yrs old. Whole of Toronto won’t accept qe1 before 2017.
It’s becoming impossible and I can only imagine that the message is we only take consultants from designated countries and have no residency spots for IMGs.
Choice is yours . Make an informed decision.
Thank you so much for your words of encouragement, Courage House!! I considered PA school but there’s none in Alberta. Besides, I have only a few months to qualify for citizenship. I can go the PLAB route and come back afterwards by God’s grace.
So what happens to those of us who wrote QE1 earlier than 2017? And they won’t let us rewrite the exam. 😔
Good luck to you as you embark on this journey. It will end well by God’s grace!
Qe1 score before 2017 excludes one from applying to programs in all of Ontario. It’s in CARMS program description starting this year. Only choices left is Alberta and BC. The rest province have extremely few spots. So I envisage all IMG with older results applying to these two province or moving to quebec and learning French or going back to med school in Canada .
I literally have a migraine having spent so many days research viable options and possibilities. I was bit upset when mccee was phased out and qe1 became the criteria as Toronto needed 440 and BC need 450 to be competitive.
I was like okay at 470 I still have a chance and then I looked into program description and bang Ontario wants qe1 from 2017 onwards and next year they want from 2018 onwards.
End of the day, it comes down to working in any capacity in healthcare field while reapplying to BC and Alberta if residing in Canada while working or schooling. If outside Canada like in UK , then I guess BC becomes your only viable option for residency application as I don’t know if u would meet eligibility for AIMG program ( dec-may residency demonstration) or something like that.
Getting residency is like finding a needle in a haystack.
Am usually optimistic but sometimes in face of hard evidence and statistics, I try to be practical especially as I realize am not getting any younger, date of graduation gets older, credentials get older, chances get limited, new graduates becomes the competition.
But congrats on your timing since you almost getting citizenship. My prayer is that after 3yrs for me, that my plab doesn’t expire or that UK do not shut the floodgate . It will get supersaturated very soon especially with massive influx of doctors all over due to ease of passing their exams right now.
A part of me is contemplating dissing this PR and go to UK and pursue my career till I become a consultant but that would be unwise because laws change anytime. Its better to have a PR and be canadian first before any thing else in my opinion.
Yeah I saw the 2017 mention in the CaRMS description but I was wondering at the time if it was an error. It’s quite discouraging that they would do that. In addition, more and more doctors are coming to Canada daily, and I can totally understand why they would prefer younger ones to the older graduates.
I think it would be wise to stay here and get your citizenship first. In the meantime, explore all the possible options as you mentioned: apply for a residency program, apply for a clinical assistant program while working in some healthcare job. Aim for a good MMI score because I think it weighs heavily on interview invitations here in Alberta.
I couldn’t follow up with short cuts in the posts.PA,CRNA,NP,CA could you please elaborate them.
CRN or RN= Certified registered nurse
PA = Physician Assistant
NP = Nurse Practitioner
CA = Clinical Assistant
Yeah I will stay. I don’t think rewriting NAC is a safe choice. 77 ain’t bad as it’s above 74. There is a significant difference there. But redoing it and getting 76-79, I don’t see much significant difference especially as NAC format is changing. You basically paying alot of money for a chance to earn more or less same score. I have never attended any course for the exams and graduated 2007 with just a year of internship experience.
Don’t get me wrong, courses will help but there isn’t any guarantee. Use the course notes if u can get them, watch YouTube videos, practice with people taking the course or with friends . That’s cost effective based on my experience. But maybe if I was financially bouyant, I would take a course someday so I guess choice is yours but 77 isn’t a bad score although yes 80 looks better. Maybe research on those with 80 and similar qe1 scores as you and profile and see if they got interviews etc.
But thanks for your blog and yes unfortunately I will stay back for 3yrs but not sure I would put my money into carms . I rather do an alternative healthcare job n earn money and after 3yrs, move to UK for GP and then return as consultant.
You’re right. It’s quite risky to retake the NAC and get a similar or even lower score 😔
As for the courses, I attended one in Bow Valley, Calgary for my QE2 and to be honest, it didn’t help much. But I’ve been eyeing those ones in Ontario but it’s a costly venture to pay for exams and courses at the same time!
Also am guessing you have qe1 and NAC , why not apply for CA post in Alberta , Nova Scotia, Manitoba?
I’ve applied for a CA job several times in Alberta in the past but don’t forget that many people are also applying for similar positions ☺ Not considered Manitoba or Nova Scotia though
Nova Scotia needs LMCC , 1 year internship and 2 year post internship experience which is not worth applying to.
Alternatively they accept clinical assistant experience from another province in lieu of post internship experience but why would any CA leave other province job to NS.
Manitoba only needs internship experience plus qe1 and NAC osce so obviously I am also targeting that as well as Alberta.
Problem with Alberta is that some CA jobs employers require 3 years post internship experience while others need specific specialty experience like neonatology etc but am sure there would be others that only require a year of clinical experience so I would say Manitoba and Alberta are better choice for CA job application.
Everything is competitive because we as IMG are applying for everything and hence with less demand and more supply, employers have the luxury to get the very best and most overly qualified for entry position salary. Who wouldn’t take the most experienced for an entry position salary. More experience and less pay for such experience.
It’s a vicious circle. But if you have the lmcc then try Australia competent pathway and if that’s too far then try plab.
I know it’s hard for IMG to consider another career but I strongly believe PA and NP, CRNA career after graduating from the respective schools isn’t so bad. Once done with such schools, register as a locum and compensation is immense. Job satisfaction can also be acheived. Their salaries rival family physician salaries when you compare duration and cost of schooling, work life balance, little or no oncalls, no administration and insurance crap, many other perks.
If one is bent on being a physician in subspecialty field then it’s worth it but if it’s just primary care, then I don’t think the lifestyle and earnings far outweighs that of the aforementioned alternative healthcare careers.
And of course nothing stops a practising PA/NP/CRNA/CA from always flirting with Carms application each year .
I obviously intend to apply to these schools as an out of province student . It’s only at least 2years of commitment with instant job security and marketability afterwards. It will be my safety net should I never get a physician residency.
I am furnishing these suggestions to you because I have been following your blogs and admire your work so far but I always am a bit worried that the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to CARMS has been extinguished already.
Be a consultant in Canadian designated countries like UK , Ireland , Australia, USA and return to Canada to practice.
Stay in Canada , go to med school again or go to PA,Nurse, CA program and work in those field while applying to CARMS .
The thought of getting a residency spot can be an addiction. The exams and residency application all seems like a brutal money making venture for the medical board who knows what our chances are once you are not a fresh img, and even the img that match, most are recent Canadian medical graduates who studied abroad in the designated countries listed already.
I am not pessimistic , am just saying it as I see it. Am opened to various opinions. I am just gutted that I was mis-informed before committing to doing the Canadian exams after already doing my usmle exams. I finished medical school age 23 with distinction and now am mid 30s and yet no residency in the states and Canada . Makes me question my career choice. UK at the moment seems like redemption but like u said I have to stay back due to PR requirement.
Who knows what will happen in 3 years time. Everything is changing fast and everyone needs to keep.upgrading to stay competitive and to.have faith .
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Thanks so much Courage. I’ll put those programs in mind. I can’t write them off as they seem more straightforward in the long run. It’s true that the CaRMS applications can be a vicious cycle and addiction, and I can’t put all my eggs in one basket.
Hi doc, since you’re planning to take the PLAB, just wondering how you’ll be able to apply for full GMC registration if there are gaps in practice? Are there specific steps you’ll be taking for that?
That’s a very good question Mimi. I am hoping that if I do a clinical attachment in the UK, that will help. If not, I’ll probably go home and practice a bit.
People with gaps of 10yrs do get full registration . It’s all case to case basis. Clinical attachment counts as experience. It’s costly though, 400 pounds to get 6 weeks experience and if you wanna go by the books, u need 12 months experience prior to full registration application so imagine the number of 6 weeks attachment that fulfills that. Having any medical related postgrad especially those needing MD as pre-requisite counts as experience, . GMC website explained all this on there website but end of the day you write a detailed letter explaining why you have gap including maternity leave, having kids etc , doing CPDs etc. It’s all case by case but many img are getting registered. There is another program called WAST program for img which can be applied for before plab I think. U can Google it. I ain’t looking much into UK for now as am stuck here for some years but just Google this link
Dr.naseer plab journey( preferred site)
Roadtouk for doctors
Thanks Courage House, you’re too much! I’ll look through the blogs you referred to. And I’ll definitely write a very detailed letter!
Thank you so much, Doctor Fomski. I am learning a lot from your blogs. And Courage house, God bless you more for your inputs, they have been enlightening, educative and most importantly opened my eyes and make me hopeful about my future in Canada. I am an iMG as well and moving to Alberta in some couple of months, I have decided to shelve the idea of writing the MCC EE exams and all that due to poor outcomes. My question is, is going non clinical helpful? For example, I am looking to apply for MPH, what are the prospects of getting a good job once done, is it also competitive and fulfilling? Thank you for your anticipated response and I pray that God opens more doors for you.
Yes, going non-clinical might be helpful. Doing an MPH improves your chances of getting a good job once you’re done. Many programs will even offer a practicum job at the end of the program. I don’t know how competitive it is but I figure it should be fulfillling.
Hi Dr Fomski,
I am currently doing my house job here in Nigeria and considering doing my residency in Radiology in South Africa. From there, I’d apply to Canada to work as a consultant. Reckon that it takes about 5years to get a consultancy in South Africa but it takes a longer time to get the same consultancy status in the UK.
More so, I am scared of litigation which is what’s tilting me to specialty with less patient interaction but still clinically related.
Should anyone want to get more info, do well to reach out.
Well done Dr Fomski for this. God bless you for all your efforts. You’re a rare gem
I guess it depends on your reason for MPH because if it takes a year to secure that, then what’s the graduate employment rate considering that your bachelor is probably not Canadian . So like for like between a Canadian trained graduate and a PR applicant, I reckon an employer would look at both where the BSC and MPH were acheived. If that’s the case then I think the applicant with a Canadian undergrad plus Canadian MPH might have an edge. I don’t know but that’s the competition.
I still think commiting 2 years in an accelerated Bsc program in PA, Nursing , respiratory therapy or any other 2 year healthcare related degree is a better investment. Nurses RN, entry level earn 45 dollars an hour pending on province. Some 56 per hour. That’s just after 2yrs of school. Job market for the aforementioned programs I think is more favorable than MPH in terms of competition plus u be having a Canadian BSN or BSC and would be on level playing field as any other Canadian graduate.
Infact Canadians with BSc are sometimes taken over foreign BSC completed with a Canadian MPH. The more Canadian your credentials, the more marketable or desirable u would be.
That’s my view. No risk no reward.
The Toronto rule on only accepting mccqe1 from 2017 onwards applies only to family medicine Residency NOT other programs. But then realistically , that’s the program where IMG have a chance anyways.
Second, I decided to relocate to Barrie in Ontario instead of Alberta. I can’t stand the weather in Alberta. It’s brutal. -22 degrees , that’s worse than Toronto . Plus the AIMG application Residency requirement etc is just too complicated as it doesn’t allow me to go elsewhere between Dec to may .
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Dr Courage , thank you for the detailed input. Dr Fomski did I mention how much of a blessing you have been to me, since I started following your blog? Well done Ma’am.
Dr Courage Please do you have a link to these PA, NP programs you just mentioned above.
Secondly, I am interested in the health insurance sector. Do you know how one can mark it into that sector. I am sure there are certifications/courses to do. But I don’t know why I cannot find any information on those. I am probably using the wrong key words. Please help.
Hello Catherine, I deeply apologize for not responding sooner. I’m glad this blog has been a blessing. I hope Dr Courage will be able to respond
is it true that in some Nac centers in some province IMG tend to score better?
For example if you were to retake NAC would you still do in Alberta? All the people I know score close to 75 or 75 in Alberta Calgary centers. Do you have any info on this?
Anyone in toronto Nac who scored highly?
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Hi Bibi, I don’t know if it’s true but I’ve heard stories like this. Some people say Quebec is better but these are all just rumours
Thanks for your reply. One of my friends is suggesting I do MCCQE2 before NAC so I get high scores in Nac How true is this? is QE2 easier than NAc?
QE2 is harder than NAC. However, it is possible it might help you get higher scores because it will give you an idea of an OSCE format.
Thanks Courage and Fomski for your advice. Currently a surgical resident in Nigeria, took USMLE step one though passed with a low score. Already seven years post graduation so I struck that out since I don’t have the strength to go all the way. Was considering Canada but your blog has being an eye opener. Back home, we are quite ignorant about going abroad. We seem to think everything will just fall in place. I’m trying to re-evaluate my options and decide on what to do. Like Dr courage pointed, one keeps aging.
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You’re most welcome. Wishing you good luck on your future endeavours
Hi guys, thank you for all the advice and information. I just want to know how feasible it is for a PR in Canada to get into medical school..assuming you don’t mind starting afresh
I apologize for the delayed response. Starting afresh is not a bad option. I’m not very sure but I think you will have to take the MCAT exams like other applicants and your admission will depend on your scores and GPA.
I am a fresh medical graduate from a non approved jurisdiction wanting to explore my chances in Canada.
Can u advise me which path is better? The Carms route or I do my residency training first then apply for PRA? Which do u think will give me a better chance?
I’m really naive about IMGs in Canada and if ever I go I am unsure of what my future would be like. Will I be able to practice wherever I like or will I be assigned to remote places? Is my chance really low and is the system that competitive that you’ll advise me to just stay in my home country?
Thank u very much for your response. You’re a big help to other IMGS. God bless!
I lover all the information here. Thank you so much. Best of luck for all of us in this long and expansive path to become a doctor in Canada. I hope it all end up in your favor.
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I have been inspired by your page. Pls do not give up, make the application this year and I believe a miracle will happen.
I’m sure you’ve started other plans as back up but I’m convinced that something good is in the works for you.
I wish you all the best.
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Thanks so much D1
Hello DR. Fomski, I would like to ask you, for instance we not get residency and qulified the meq1 meq2 or nc. I mean will we get job thr. as I am applying for PR. I mean its very exhausting process with cloudy path. can you help me in thank you
Hello Call, I’m sorry I’m only just responding to this. I missed this unfortunately. Please email at email@example.com if you still need some answers.