Survey Results


In 2016 we conducted a survey with members of AIMGA. We asked questions about different career options. These are the results and the initial guiding force behind this portal.

Plan B Career Options Suggested by AIMGA Members

(Type size reflects the amount of responses)

Were you born in Canada?

Have you ever or do you ever intend to apply for Licensure in Canada via Residency Programs?

How many attempts have you made to pursue Residency?

How many attempts will you make to pursue Residency in the future?

Have you ever or do you ever intend to apply for Licensure in Canada via Practice Ready Assessment (PRA)?

How long did you wait or have you been waiting for sponsorship?

Is having a Plan B important to you?

Do you have a Plan B for yourself?

Would you consider finding a career via the Alternate Pathway – Direct Transfer (Physician Assistant, Clinical Assistant, ACSAP, USA, etc.)?

Would you consider finding a career via the Alternate Pathway – Retrain Route (other occupations within the greater healthcare field)?

Please explain why you do not intend to apply for Licensure in Canada via Residency Programs. (Selected replies)

  • Because I did residency before back home and it takes a long time, at least five years again.
  • The texts are hard, expensive and too much.
  • Very low chance of being selected
  • I’m already had previously full practice in family medicine as I’m specialist family doctor
  • I am 56 yrs. It seems harder for me to relocate and leave my family for 2 years.
  • The number of seats are limited. There is no assurance that even after passing the licensing exam one can get selected for residency.
  • I changed my alternate pathway and attained a M.Sc. / Doctor of Audiology qualifications from USA
  • I have 2 postgraduatespecialties and would not like to write the exams with no guarantee
  • I have a post graduate degree.
  • Because I know that my chance is very low. and they allocate only very small percentage for IMGs in the program
  • Very small chance of success, financial and family issues. Already done 5 years of residency in home country, already practiced for many years in home country
  • I have 50 years old. Residency program is highly competitive, and I believe it is suitable for young physicians. I have more than 15 years work experience in pediatrics that I believe will be helpful in Canada.
  • Takes too long
  • I am a retired physician in my country. I think I would like to go to a different healthcare position.
  • It is just frustrating.
  • As it may take a long time to get the license , I tried the evaluation exam before but I didn’t pass it, also I have a good experience at my speciality at my home country so it is difficult for me to repeat the all steps again.
  • It’s a lengthy route
  • As an IMG we need almost 10 years duration to earn money for exams and pass all exams. When we reach there they need us to provide a proof of clinical experience within recent 3 years. This is only possible for those who are fresh graduates but for many physicians who decided to live in Canada with their families, this is the biggest hurdle. For practice readiness they need recent experience.

Please explain why you do not intend to apply for Licensure in Canada via Practice Ready Assessment (PRA). (Selected replies)

  • I don’t know. What is PRA?
  • IELTS, Internship period of Iran
  • I do not have 3 years family medicine experience ( 8 weeks rotational duty in each department). I have working experience in Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine and Neuromedicine.
  • Never been trained in any residency positions in past, no clinical experience. Hence I am not eligible to apply
  • I have been out of the practice for almost 5 years now. I believed that I have to go back to my home country to do an independent practice for a certain period of time for me to meet this requirement. Anyhow, should this will be the only option left for me, I will consider doing it.
  • Too complicated
  • A lot of vacancies are seen only in the Internet but reality is different
  • I stop practicing in 2012. So I do not meet the criteria.
  • Practice Ready assessment is offered to limited medical areas such as Family Medicine
  • College doesn’t recognize postgraduate credentials
  • I don’t know what this is.
  • This program is relatively new. I arrived to Canada in May 2010. It means I have been out of practice for 6 years. However, not out of knowledge in my humble opinion. Besides,I do understand that in order to apply to this program I should not been out of practice for 3 years or less. I am not sure about the time though. As a result, this option does not apply to me either. Furthermore, I feel happy that other physicians are taking advantage of this program. Again, the IELTS exam is required as well. Therefore, even if I want to apply I cannot do it. Which, is very unfortunate.
  • I not eligible anymore (over 3 years out of practice)
  • My 10 years General and Cardio-thoracic Anesthesiology, experience , Certificate of Anesthesiology and MD part 1A are not counted
  • According to my knowledge PRA is just for Family Medicine or related clinical specialties, but no PRA for Radiology or other nonclinical specialities
  • No suitable position found
  • I want to come closer to the system via residency first
  • I have no idea what that is
  • No experience
  • I don’t have a sponsorship
  • Out of practice for more than 3 years
  • I can’t get the confirmation of my medical practice from back home because of the messy situation of IRAQ
  • Do not have proper information still searching for guidance
  • I actually don’t know if I qualified. I’ll try to study and research on that.. Thanks
  • Outside the time limit. Did not know about it earlier.

Please explain why you would not consider a career via the Alternate Pathway – Direct Transfer Route (Physician Assistant, Clinical Assistant, ACSAP, USA, etc.) (Selected replies)

  • Difficult to move. Family issues
  • I’ll consider USA as an alternate pathway as there is more match rate. Living in Canada has taught me that it’s not IMG friendly country, so don’t want to add in my frustration and stress by waiting to get into other pathways here.
  • I think with my talent and experience, I can’t play a second fiddle where job satisfaction is very low, I want to practice independently
  • Not enough appreciation to the profession
  • It’s not what I want
  • Economic challenges. Applying to USA is really expensive and time consuming. Moreover, the clinical and physician assistant routes are underpaid and employ in a work schedule that is not suitable for a good quality of life (only nights and weekends).
  • if after 10+ years of trying i somehow did not make it into a residency program i would default back to my nursing career, which, without a residency, is what I would be doing in between application cycles anyways
  • Will go to USA but wouldn’t likely come back. The process is too complicated even after a US residency.