Interesting conversation about IMG's.
I am surprised that a lot of people on this thread think that the solution to the problem of CMG's going unmatched is to have more residency spots dedicated to CMG's at the expense of IMG spots. Fact is: there are as much residency spots for CMG's as there are graduates, so ideally everyone should be able to match. The problem is that there are not enough spots for everyone to match to their specialty/location of choice, which is natural. If everyone were to become ophthalmologists, who would become family doctors? If everyone were to go to U of T, who is going to take care of patients across the rest of Canada? The fact that there are not enough spots for everyone to match to their specialty/location of choice creates competition, which I personally view as something healthy rather than a problem that needs to be fixed. Unfortunately, with competition, some CMG's are bound to go unmatched.
I think the first step to address the problem of CMG's going unmatched is by research. I am not sure if this is already happening or not, but the AFMC should start gathering data from CMG's who went unmatched to try to gain a deeper understanding of why they went unmatched. Personally, I can only think of 2 ways a CMG can go unmatched: either someone applying to a highly competitive speciality/location with zero backup or someone whose performance is so poor that a program would rather have their position unfilled than to rank him/her. In both cases, I don't think the solution is more spots.
Now back to IMG's. There are 2 questions that I would like to address:
1. Are CMG's necessarily better than IMG's? It is hard to tell. IMG's come from all over the world and you simply cannot paint everyone who trained outside of the US & Canada with the same brush. Moreover, there are a lot of factors that go into determining one's competency level besides location of training. One thing is for sure though, the chances of matching to residency as an IMG are so slim that only the best of the best are selected. On the other hand, you can find CMG's who actually match to residency yet still end up failing the QE1 exam, and, as I previously mentioned, there are CMG's whose performance is so poor that they end up being unmatched. So the idea that all CMG's are gods and all IMG's are crap is not true.
2. Should CMG's be prioritized over IMG's when it comes to residency spots? In my opinion, yes, but not to the point where IMG's are excluded. It is important for CMG's to understand a couple of things about IMG's. First of all, IMG's are canadian citizens who have the same rights and responsibilities as any other canadian citizen (including the responsibility to pay taxes). You simply cannot have a CMG-only first iteration because that way you are completely excluding IMG's - who are canadian citizens - from certain specialties that typically have no leftover spots for the second iteration. You can't do that, you have to at least give IMG's the chance to compete. The second thing that CMG's need to understand is that the Canadian healthcare system needs IMG's. According to recent statistics, 25% of the physician workforce in Canada are IMG's. Moreover, certain provinces rely heavily on IMG's e.g Saskatchewan where 53% of physicians are IMG's. And remember: there are as much CMG spots as grads, so IMG's are not really taking anything away from CMG's.