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Bethany Wilken

Mon, 11/22/2021 - 19:14

In reply to by tmedweb

Thank you for bringing up this point Sophia and thank you Kyla for an excellent discussion and summary. I think there are many benefits to working and traveling abroad. As future physicians and researchers, we can learn many things from other countries. As Alyssa mentioned, there’s the possibility to learn new skills and techniques which can develop your own work and can be valuable when coming back home. Not only research or medical skills but also soft skills such as communication and networking. From personal experience, living in a new country for a few months and not speaking the native language taught me the importance of non-verbal communication and how to be resourceful. Working abroad will undoubtedly push you out of your comfort zone, leading to personal development through gaining new perspectives.

Based on these and other benefits expressed by my colleagues, I started to wonder why policies are in place to make practicing medicine in other countries so difficult. For example, in 2021 2,696 Canadian medical graduates were matched to a residency program in Canada, while 110 spots were filled by international medical graduates and only 9 doctors were matched from the United States ( Although I understand wanting to keep doctors in Canada, I believe international collaboration can advance medicine. I would encourage Canadian residency programs and international ones to reserve more spots for international graduates. I find the barriers between practicing medicine in Canada and the United States require particular reform as the United States is debatably more advanced in medicine with regards to technology and pharmaceuticals. Perhaps the differences in the health care system (private vs. public) is a contributing factor but I still wonder why collaboration is discouraged. Does anyone else have thoughts on this?


Bethany Wilken

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