Medical dean warns against overseas schools

Slim chance of residency upon return

Photo by Andrew Tolson

Students considering medicine may want to avoid studying overseas, Dr. Dave Snadden, executive associate dean of medicine at the University of British Columbia, tells the Vancouver Sun.

“They need to know how much more severe that competition is if they go abroad and want to apply for residency positions here upon graduation,” he says, referring to the thousands of Canadian students who go to medical schools in places like Ireland, England, Australia and the Caribbean, usually after failing to secure spots in Canada.

His point is that their luck doesn’t improve much when they return, at least in B.C. When applying to post-graduate residencies, Canadian citizens who studied overseas are considered international medical graduates (IMGs), and according to Dr. Snadden, only 26—or about 10 per cent—of B.C.’s 292 residency positions went to IMGs last year. That’s discouraging news to many: more than 90 per cent of Canadians studying medicine abroad plan to come home for post-graduate training.