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The Ethics of Recruiting Foreign Docs


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Foreign-trained doctors are helping to staff our health system, but is it ethical to recruit from developing nations?

No mention of Physician assistants or Nurse Practitioners of course.

Interesting quotes:

Fast, for example, was trained at a federally funded university in Brazil. "For six years of med school, I didn't pay a thing," she said. But she doesn't believe education subsidies should oblige doctors to practise in any particular location.

How long before she jumps to the US--

Each resident in the IMG–B.C. residency program costs the province about $180,000 over the course of the two-year program.

Last January, the Medical Post magazine published excerpts from an April 2006 letter from the Libyan Embassy in Ottawa that said Libya invests $500,000 in each of these students and asked licensing authorities to refuse to license them. But when the Medical Post contacted nine provincial and territorial licensing authorities, only the licensing colleges in B.C. and Manitoba said they would not license such students.

In September, 256 undergraduate students will enter UBC's medical school. This number falls short of meeting our province's need for 400 more doctors annually, as estimated by the B.C. Medical Association. In the unlikely event that they all stay in B.C., there would still be a 144-doctor shortfall in their graduating year.

Nadeem Esmail, health director for the Fraser Institute, says relying on IMGs to fill human-resource gaps is a shortsighted solution. "It's very nice to pull in a fully trained doctor, but in a way it's irresponsible of Canada, because we know we're turning away Canadian students at the medical schools," he said.

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