The National IMG Database: An
Emerging Picture of International Medical
Graduates in Canada
2012 Physician Workforce Research Conference
Tamara Brown, Project Manager
Steve Slade, VP Research and Analysis
Canadian Post-MD Education Registry
Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada
The History Behind the IMG Database
Why the focus on IMGs?
• Increased immigration of medical
graduates to Canada
• Balancing our need for physicians with
• Growing emphasis on foreign credential
recognition and standardization
• Ethical recruitment and treatment of IMGs
History of the National IMG Database
2004 Canadian Task Force on the Licensure of
International Medical Graduates
2005-2009 Phase 1: Foundational Activities
2010-2013 Phase 2: Development of an Analytical
Agenda and Increasing Project Visibility
• Medical Council of Canada (MCC)
• 7 IMG assessment centres
• 17 Faculties of Medicine
• The College of Family Physicians of
• The Royal College of Physicians and
Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC)
• Collège des médecins du Québec (CMQ)
• 9 regulatory authorities
Cumulative Number of Distinct IMGs in the
National IMG Database
Source: National IMG Database, 2011
Number of IMGs who passed MCC
MCC Exams: Early Signs of Incoming IMGs
Data in an Evolving Context
Increased Number of First Year Post-MD Trainees
Source: CAPER, AFMC, 2010. Note: Excludes visa trainees.
Following a Cohort of Canadian Citizen IMGs
461 MCCQEI & MCCQEII
IMG Certification, 2008-2010
IMG Licensure, 2008-2010
IMG Statement of Need Applicants
What is a Statement of Need?
IMGs wishing to pursue postgraduate medical training in the United
States need to obtain a J1 Visa – a “Statement of Need” is one
necessary component in the J1 Visa Application. Applicants must be
Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents of Canada.
A Statement of Need signifies two things:
o It serves as confirmation to those issuing the Visa that qualified
physicians are required in Canada;
o Confirms the applicant has the full intention to return to Canada
following residency training.
Candidates are expected to train in medical specialties identified
by provincial and territorial physician resource planning.
Source: Health Canada
Category A (Final Year Medical Student)
•Final year medical students wishing to pursue medical specialty training in the
•Medical graduates wishing to pursue either a fellowship, or a short-term rotation or
elective training program in the United States.
Category B (Non-Licensed, Non-Student/Resident)
•Medical graduate not currently enrolled in Canadian postgraduate training and not a
licensed specialist in Canada who wishes to pursue medical specialty training in the
Category C (Licensed Physician)
•Licensed physician wishing to pursue a fellowship in the United States that is either
within or different from their current field of practice.
Country of MD Graduation - Distribution across
Statement of Need Categories
An Increase in IMG Applicants
IMG Statement of Need Applicant by Highest Level
of MCC Exam Passed
Number of IMG Statement of Need Applicants
Having Reached Key Milestones
IMGs comprise 66.1% of all Statement of Need applications.
Of IMG applicants who have completed one or more MCC
exams, 82% of these individuals are CSAs.
Large numbers of IMG applicants have reached the point of
having written an MCC exam, however very few have
reached PGME, certification, or licensure.
The data suggests that Immigrant IMGs are less likely to
apply for a statement of need, likely as a result of their
planned immigration to Canada.
The IMGs in Canada Project Team:
Steve Slade, VP, Research and Analysis CAPER-ORIS
Tamara Brown, Project Manager, email@example.com
Linda Bourgeois, Research Associate, firstname.lastname@example.org
This project is funded by the Government
of Canada's Foreign Credential