Helping IEHPs access resources for employment in Canada

July 27, 2023by CMF_Admin

Internationally Education Health Professionals (IEHPs) face many systemic and socio-cultural barriers when arriving in Canada and seeking a suitable pathway for their healthcare career. One of those challenges is accessing information to pathways that exist in transitioning to a career as a healthcare professional or alternative, adjacent career (including ones that exist through career laddering), and opportunities to share experiences and knowledge that can contribute to individual, familial, and community psychosocial support.

Resources to pathways for licensure and other options exist online, but they are often incomplete and scattered across different websites, leaving the user at a dead end in their search and further confused about how to navigate the system to move toward licensure. There are also questions of “Where do I look?”, given that each jurisdiction’s licensing process differs from another and some pathways may be viable for some and not for others. These pathways are also different depending on the user’s country of origin, credentials, experience, and whether or not they have the documentation to show for their eligibility (e.g., IEHPs often leave their homeland or interim homeland with limited belongings, forced to leave their livelihoods, culture, and familiarities due to war, violence, political strife, and loss of human security supports). Such pathways are also long, costly, and taxing on the individual and the family.

Given all of these challenges as well as licensing limitations, how do foreign-licensed healthcare professionals contribute to Canada’s health human resources and begin to build a life that is socially, culturally, and economically satisfactory for themselves and for their families?

The Canadian Medical Foundation has partnered with the Pegasus Institute to use knowledge mobilization practices (i.e., knowledge synthesis, dissemination, transfer, exchange, and co-creation by researchers and knowledge users) to build agency within IEHP communities and increase their access to accurate and relevant centralized resources to help them in their journey to searching for suitable pathways to employment upon arrival to Canada. This knowledge will be transferred through a website that is being developed, as well as a series of online and in-person information and mentoring sessions. One such session was held last week prior to the North American Refugee Health Conference (NARHC) held in Calgary.

To kick off the NARHC 2023, Pegasus Institute, the Alberta International Medical Graduate Association, and the Washington Academy for International Medical Graduates hosted a free, pre-conference networking event to discuss topics such as the comparison/contrast of the integration of IMGs across the USA and Canada, personal stories from international medical graduates and their unique challenges, alternative careers and viable career options, as well as the current situation and next steps to push advocacy, licensure opportunities, and utilization of IMGs.

CMF is proud to fund the work of the Pegasus Institute in providing the knowledge that IEHPs need to transition to new, fulfilling careers in Canada. If you wish to learn more, or to support this important project please visit our Programs page Sharing Strategies.

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