by Allison Dennis
Navigating the licensure process is a daunting task at its easiest. Being prepared, understanding the cycle and applying as much as possible as you prepare and plan is ideal, but full of challenges.
At year-end, as AIMGA reflected on the programming offered, we felt that perhaps there was a better way to apply transparency to the process; that perhaps there was a way to broaden the scope of the supports we provide, and we decided to take it to the membership to see how they felt. We sent out a 35-question survey.
The response we received was overwhelming; over 200 submissions received, resulting in many members feeling the same way about the process and their place within it, as well as the need to explore other healthcare options. This became the starting point; the foundation for our project and this is how the Physician Pathway Portal came into development.
“The response we received was overwhelming; over 200 submissions received, resulting in many members feeling the same way about the process and their place within it, as well as the need to explore other healthcare options.”
Using the member-driven input, a prevalent feature which emerged from the survey was the importance of preparing for and considering a Plan B. 88.57% of members felt it was important to have a Plan B, 73.57% of whom had one for themselves. So, what does this mean?
It means we expand the way and the manner in which we support our members. We have always supported Plan A, but we need to consider the benefits and sustainability of supports for Plan B options as well; comprehensive assistance.
The Alberta Government and the Foreign Qualification Recognition Unit recognized the value of this initiative and decided to fund our project.
The Pathway Portal will assist both pathway considerations; however, with a focus placed on Plan B access to resources and options. The Portal will be an on-line tool where members are able to checklist, track and see alternate routes available to them outside of the Plan A scope. It will allow them to research and explore health occupations in Alberta like: ultrasound technology, physiotherapy, registered nursing, to name but a few which were flagged by members as viable options to consider; based on outlook, cost, length and location.
It will also house the Plan A process, cycle timeline, and provide application resources in addition to providing overall settlement, financial, counselling and language support tabs to better service our members. It will be an interactive, user-friendly approach to planning and seeing where one “sits” in the greater picture of healthcare employment.
If you are interested in supporting this project in its pilot phases, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org directly.