Examination outcomes and work locations of international medical graduate family medicine residents in Canada. Journal Articles uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: To describe the postgraduate medical education (PGME) examination outcomes and work locations of international medical graduates (IMGs); and to identify differences between Canadians studying abroad (CSAs) and non-CSAs. DESIGN: Cohort study using data from the National IMG Database and Scott's Medical Database. SETTING: Canada. PARTICIPANTS: All IMGs who had first entered a family medicine residency program between 2005 and 2009, with the exclusion of US graduates, visa trainees, and fellowship trainees. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: We examined 4 outcomes: passing the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part 2 (MCCQE2), obtaining Certification in Family Medicine (CCFP), working in Canada within 2 years of completing PGME training, and working in Canada in 2015. RESULTS: Of the 876 residents in the study, 96.1% passed the MCCQE2, 78.1% obtained a specialty designation, 37.7% worked in Canada within 2 years after their PGME, and 91.2% worked in Canada in 2015. Older graduates were more likely (odds ratio [OR] = 3.45; 95% CI 1.52 to 7.69) than recent graduates were to pass the MCCQE2, and residents who participated in a skills assessment program before their PGME training were more likely (OR = 9.60; 95% CI 1.29 to 71.63) than those who had not were to pass the MCCQE2. Women were more likely (OR = 1.67; 95% CI 1.20 to 2.33) to obtain a specialty designation than men were. Recent graduates were more likely (OR = 1.36; 95% CI 1.03 to 1.79) than older graduates were to work in Canada following training. Residents who were eligible for a full licence were more likely (OR = 3.72; 95% CI 2.30 to 5.99) to work in Canada in 2015 than those who were not eligible for a full licence were. CONCLUSION: While most IMGs who entered the family medicine PGME program passed the MCCQE2, 1 in 5 did not obtain Certification. Most IMG residents remain in Canada. Canadians studying abroad and non-CSA IMGs share similar examination success rates and retention rates.


  • Mathews, Maria
  • Kandar, Rima
  • Slade, Steve
  • Yi, Yanqing
  • Beardall, Sue
  • Bourgeault, Ivy

publication date

  • October 2017