Training International Medical Graduates Through an International
Published online: 8 March 2018
International Association of Medical Science Educators 2018
A large number of international medical graduates (IMGs) exist in immigrant countries such as Canada and the USA. However,
there are few affordable public continuing education resources available to prepare them for their future career. Here, we
introduce a new model of IMG training through an international physician organization.
Keywords International medical graduates
International medical graduates (IMGs) are a group of skilled
professionals with a potential to contribute to the local
healthcare system following proper training. However, lack
of affordable and high-quality continuing education resources
is a major difficulty faced by IMGs for their admission into
residency programs. One of the main hurdles reported by
IMGs is a lack of information and learning opportunities .
Commercial courses are available; however, they do not pro-
vide continued educational support, and the tuition cost pre-
vents many from accessing these services. Recently, a new
model has been established to provide ongoing education for
The Association of International Physicians and Surgeons
of Ontario (AIPSO) is an organization formed by IMGs to
facilitate licensing processes of foreign-trained physicians.
With resources provided by St. Michael’sHospital(SMH),a
teaching hospital in Toronto, AIPSO has launched a training
program for IMGs. Our educational activities include:
1) We conduct lectures for Canadian licensing examinations,
focusing on the introduction of Canadian medical
guidelines and regulations. IMGs familiar with the
Canadian healthcare system are recruited to provide
year-round weekly lectures (3 h/week) following the pub-
lished objectives of Canadian licensing examinations.
Special workshops are organized to discuss ethical/legal
aspects of medicine in Canada.
2) Info sessions on licensing process are conducted by IMGs
who have entered residency programs (i.e., practicing
physicians). We approached local residency program di-
rectors and IMG residents at SMH and have successfully
initiated a popular annual symposium to disseminate up-
to-date information about residency programs.
3) Career and resume workshops are provided through panel
discussions and peer mentorship. Social media is utilized
to post career opportunities, and resumes from job appli-
cants are reviewed by those working in related fields.
4) A survey study is taken out in collaboration with faculty
members at SMH to assess career development of IMGs.
To facilitate participation and increase the program’sout-
reach, AIPSO has launched its official Facebook page.
Interactive discussions on medical topics and exchange of
information on licensing process take place on social media.
With the lecture hall provided by SMH, an open-door policy is
maintained so that all IMGs interested can attend the lectures.
After its implementation, the demand for the program is so
high that in 12 months, the online registration went beyond
1500 and participants for lectures top 200. In a recent survey,
92.4% (85/92) participants state that they are likely to recom-
mend this program to others. The continuation of education,
free services, and peer mentorship is especially appreciated.
* Yiming Wang
Diagnostic labs, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s
Hospital, Room 447, 209 Victoria Street, Toronto, Ontario M5B
Association of International Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Medical Science Educator (2018) 28:273–274