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Alberta - Newly passed Bill 21 - considerations as you decide on your rank-order lists


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I'm currently a resident in a specialty in Alberta. As someone on the other side of the CaRMS process, I've noticed nobody is really talking about the new bill that has been passed by the Alberta UCP government. They have recently passed Bill 21, where they plan on limiting practitioner ID's for new grads, controlling where they work. A lot of residents right now are worried they might not be able to find a job when they finish residency, especially if we want to stay in an urban area in Alberta. Especially those of us who have kids, or have significant others in Calgary or Edmonton. 

I just want to put this information out there for those considering their rank order lists right now. This is especially directed to the out of province applicants, who may decide to rank Alberta programs highly; as you make a 5 year (or 2 year) commitment to live in Alberta, as you grow roots in this province, the government may prevent you from staying in the city you trained.

Nobody really knows what's going to happen right now. This might not end up affecting us, or it might mean we won't have jobs in urban areas when we graduate. All we know right now is that the UCP government is intending on pushing forward with this, and I just want everyone to make as much of an informed decision as possible. 

Further reading:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/alberta-omnibus-bills-1.5338632

https://edmontonjournal.com/opinion/columnists/opinion-restricting-where-doctors-practise-in-alberta-could-drive-them-away

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Definitely interesting to consider. I've heard from a few people who've seen this attempted in other provinces that it's unlikely to proceed given the innumerable things that will preclude it from being successful (e.g. new family grads just going one province over and taking one of the countless other urban job offers, rather than going rural). 

But, this government is doing a lot of things that aren't based on reality +/- good evidence, so who knows. I know for myself as a potential AB FM graduate, I'll be one of the many who will just move a province over if this bill does pass, as I don't intend to practice rurally for family reasons. Shitty that not everyone has this kind of mobility, though.  

Edit- in doing more reading, it was apparently all of B.C., New Brunswick and Nova Scotia that have tried and given up this strategy as it was seen to be a failure. It would be hilarious that the AB government is thinking the result there will be somehow different, if it weren't so worrisome. My fear is that they'll try it for a while and a lot of good docs will have to pull roots (myself included), before they're forced to realize the mistake.

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I wouldn't worry too much, a lot of this stuff tides over. Alberta is going through a rough patch economically, but like a lot of government made solutions to crises they are often poorly thought of and poorly done and come with a lot of loopholes. 

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