Groundwork set to grant residency to 10 more international medical grads

It will soon be easier for Nova Scotians who attend medical school outside Canada to complete their residency at home.

The Province has created a designated pathway to residency for 10 international medical graduates studying outside Canada, with priority given to those with a connection to Nova Scotia. Previously, there were six designated seats for international medical graduates interested in a Nova Scotia residency; this brings the total to 16.

Dalhousie University gets about 800 applications a year from medical graduates around the world for these coveted residency spots.

“We have heard from Nova Scotians who have gone away for medical school and want to come home but cannot get a residency here,” said Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson. “This new stream will help these future doctors start their careers where they want to be – at home.”

These 2023 residency positions under the Nova Scotia International Medical Graduates Program are part of the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) program, the national service that matches all physician residency program applicants with open spots at Canada’s medical schools. Students begin applying to CaRMS on Wednesday, December 7.

If any of the seats go unfilled by Nova Scotians during the first CaRMS matching round, they will open to other international medicine graduates. These seats come with an agreement to work in an area of high need in the province for five years after completing the residency requirement.

The Province has also created 10 new residency seats in family medicine across the province for 2023. 


“We know that doctors stay and practise where they train. Without this pathway, these students are forced to accept a residency program wherever they can find a match. If they match outside Canada, they have a longer pathway to come home. Some are spending five to 10 years in another country at that crucial age when people start to lay down roots and build community. This program will make a real and immediate difference for Nova Scotians.”
     – Dr. Nicole Boutilier, Vice-President of Medicine, Nova Scotia Health, and co-lead of the Office of Healthcare Professionals Recruitment

“This program will allow and encourage more graduating doctors with ties to the province to not only finish their training here, but to stay afterward and begin their careers in primary care.”
     – Dr. Jordan Morash, graduate, University of Wollongong Graduate School of Medicine, Australia; currently practicing in Cape Breton Regional Municipality

“We are excited by the investment that the provincial government has made in expanding family medicine residency positions in Nova Scotia. We look forward to welcoming these international medical school graduates to Dalhousie and providing them with excellent family medicine residency training and then having them work in our province.”
     – Dr. David Anderson, Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University

Quick Facts:
— Dalhousie had 48 family medicine residency spots for Nova Scotia in 2022; there will be 58 in 2023
— applicants for the 2023 Nova Scotia International Medical Graduate residency stream must verify that they have a connection to Nova Scotia – they must have attended a Nova Scotia high school or university for at least two years, currently be a resident of Nova Scotia or have another connection to the province 
— increasing the number of residency seats is an action item in Action for Health, the government’s strategic plan to improve healthcare in Nova Scotia

Source: Release

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