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Hello all, Im an IMG interested in General Surgery and was wondering what the different pros and cons of each program are, and what respective residents think about their programs 

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When you say you're an IMG -- what school did you go to? When did you graduate? You may find that you will have a very difficult time matching to a Canadian general surgery specialty.

Last year (2019), 83/83 spots in general surgery were filled in the first iteration. Of the 83, only 4 spots were given to IMGs. One at Ottawa, and 3 at Toronto. The year before that (2018) again only 4 spots for IMGs - 1 at Ottawa, 2 at Toronto, 1 at Manitoba. In 2017, there were 5 IMGs that matched to General Surgery -- 1 at Ottawa, 3 at Toronto, 1 at Manitoba.

2016 - 4 IMG General Surgery spots across Canada - 1 Ottawa, 3 Toronto

2015 - 5 IMG General Surgery spots across Canada  - 1 Ottawa, 3 Toronto, 1 Manitoba

All of this data (and previous years data) is available on the CARMS website. It seems like in the last 5 years, an IMG has never been accepted to either of the programs you mentioned.

You may want to call the McMaster and McGill general surgery programs and ask if they actually take IMGs. Even then, it will be extremely competitive.

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34 minutes ago, Med0123 said:

Actually, McGill takes a significant number IMG from Saudi Arabia every year

Isnt that a special type of IMG tho? Funded by the Saudi Arabians with the stipulation that they go back.

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5 hours ago, hero147 said:

Isnt that a special type of IMG tho? Funded by the Saudi Arabians with the stipulation that they go back.

Yea Saudis are a whole different ball game. They are paid by their own scholarships and sponsors and the program actually makes good coin from training them (in addition to FREE LABOUR). IMG spots on CaRMS are the exact same spots at could be going to CMGs. So when CMGs are going unmatched, it's puzzling why spots are open to IMGs.

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12 hours ago, swoman said:

Yea Saudis are a whole different ball game. They are paid by their own scholarships and sponsors and the program actually makes good coin from training them (in addition to FREE LABOUR). IMG spots on CaRMS are the exact same spots at could be going to CMGs. So when CMGs are going unmatched, it's puzzling why spots are open to IMGs.

In Ontario I always understood those non saudi IMG spots came with extra provincial government funding for the university vs a CMG spot. And the university likes extra cash a lot more than they like helping their students. 

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19 hours ago, Med0123 said:

Actually, McGill takes a significant number IMG from Saudi Arabia every year

Yes, that is true when you look at the numbers overall, from every discipline, but not when you are looking at a specialized program like General Surgery.

If you look at the CARMS Data for CMGs (see below), there are only about 4-6 spots in General Surgery residency spots per school per year. Some Gen Surg programs have only 2-3 spots per year. The school with the highest number of residency spots in General Surgery is at U of T, and the number of spots is 10. 

https://www.carms.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2019_r1_tbl27e.pdf

For IMGs, it's only 4-5 spots for General Surgery in the entire country (see below).

https://www.carms.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2019_r1_tbl28e.pdf

There are currently 1100 medical residents from Saudi Arabia across all R years and schools and disciplines. In any one application year, there might be ~200 S.A. residents across all of the disciplines (family, internal, the various surgical and non surgical specialities) across all of the schools. McGill has 225 S.A. residents across all years, all specialities. 

So, there are not loads and loads of trainees from Saudi Arabia in General Surgery. General Surgery residency programs tend to be quite small -- around 4-6 residents per year per school. There might be one student per year of those who is from Saudi Arabia.

The original poster is aiming for 1 or 2 spots within a very select number of General Surgery programs -- and likely not from McGill or McMaster.

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On 10/17/2019 at 4:41 PM, WoredeWold said:

Is a Non-Carribean IMG like myself with no surgery related research experience, 4 years from graduation a good candidate for a Gen Surg residency? what sort of residency program has the kind of 'leniency' in terms of graduation date? 

The typical IMG who gets into something as competitive as Gen sx as an IMG is a CSA new grad or 1 year out of graduation with (optional) strong step scores 250+, strong MCC and NAC OSCE scores, research, connections (whether that be through family or through networking) and electives. If you are a true IMG, the best way to break in is to do research for at least a year with a staff and shadow that staff, it will make you more competitive. Some of these IMG spots are even filled internally, i.e. they have a candidate in mind they have worked with before.  

The most lenient residency program in terms of graduation date is probably family medicine.

 

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