‘Eligibility may expand,’ says College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta

Some international medical graduates can now fast-track their licensing in Alberta.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) announced a five-year pilot project Monday to bring more doctors to the province faster, amid an ongoing shortage and strained emergency departments.

The CPSA released a 10-page document that outlines the jurisdictions, fields, institutions and years studied which make international medical graduates (IMGs) eligible to opt for a three-month process to become licensed in the province. 

The goal of the pilot is to evaluate whether eligible IMGs may begin independently practising in their identified communities faster, the college said in a news release. 

“Physicians are a worldwide resource in demand. While we’ve put our best foot forward, we realize we can’t single-handedly solve the concern with physician staffing in this province just with this program,” said Michael Caffaro, the CPSA’s assistant registrar.

“We know that there have been several handfuls of physicians who have been holding back on their applications until now.”

In 2022 alone, the province began assessing more than 100 international medical graduates, according to the CPSA. 

The pilot will waive certain requirements, such as clinical review exams, and the first three-month assessment for IMGs who have comparable training to that obtained in Canadian universities.

Those who qualify will then go directly to their identified communities and begin practising independently while completing their supervised practice assessment. 

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Katarina Szulc · CBC News ·