So, in light of everything that is happening in the Spanish health system:
A number of people have expressed interest in coming to Canada to practice. I can understand why - one of the main topics you hear in the news every week is that Canada doesn't have enough doctors, especially primary care physicians. That made me wonder: if there are so many qualified doctors in other parts of the world, and there's a lack of doctors in Canada, what's the problem? What isn't working?
I started investigating things a couple of weeks ago and this is what I found. I'll also add a section about what I don't know at the bottom, and I'll post an update once I get the information:
a) If your medical school has been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), they will be able to provide you with a certificate that your medical school certification meets world standards.
b) Once you receive that certificate, you are required to establish professional competence by writing the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Exam (MCCEE), which compares what you've learnt to what Canadian medical school graduates would be expected to know. The exam tests your knowledge in internal medicine, ob/gyn, paediatrics, psychiatry and surgery. These exams are held every March and September and are offered in Canada and other countries. (See Note 1 below.)
c) Once you've successfully completed the MCCEE, you may (depending on which province you want to practice in) need to do a twelve-month residency program (whether this HAS to be in Canada or can be completed outside of Canada, I don't know.) There are thirteen post-graduate medical programs that accept foreign candidates (this is organized by the Canadian Resident Matching Service, here in Ottawa) It's not entirely clear from the information what kind of numbers we're talking about - how many they accept per year, whether that is a fixed number of residents or if it changes depending on need, and if certain specialties are given priority.
d) Depending on your speciality (and the province you end up in), you may be required to write supplementary exams. (May.)
Now, all that said, there's still a lot of stuff I don't know:
1. I don't know if you have to have any kind of English certification!!
2. I don't know how many potential candidates this could involve and I don't know how doctors are selected.
3. I don't know how much time this actually means - if you start the process now, I don't know how long you would have to wait, what with all the exams and everything.
So the good news is that it's not impossible.
The bad(-ish) news is that it seems to be a system that heavily favours exams.
I'll keep adding news as I find more out. Feel free to pass this on to anyone who might be interested. I'm not sure how much help I'll be able to provide, but I'll give you all the information I can find.
(Note 1: I haven't figured out where, exactly, the MCCEE is held outside of Canada. I would assume that they *should* offer it in Madrid, but it may mean going to London or Paris. I also need to find out what the registration process is and how far in advance you need to register for the exam, how much it costs, stuff like that.)