Canadians Who Are Denied Statement of Need

The Canadian Ministry of Health is going to cap out how many Canadian citizens are allowed to get residency positions in the US.  I don't understand the reason behind it because Canada needs doctors, but it's important to know all the facts if you are Canadian citizen.  For those who plan to get a J-1 visa, you have you re-new your work visa every year but you need Statement of Need one time for ECFMG.

Get US Citizenship If You Can
If you are in basic sciences or in clinical rotations, do your self a favor and find a way to get US green card or citizenship. A strong factor for applicants to get residency is their visa status. Residency programs do have the ability to sponsor you but they will choose not to if they can avoid it because the fees and paperwork is overwhelming; also they don't have the staff to do all that.

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Guide Others After Getting Residency

One of the most frustrating things I came up with is there is not much guidance when applying for residency.  SJSM does a good job in guiding the ECFMG and ERAS process but they stay silent when it comes to licensing questions.  SJSM encourages to research States that will offer residency licenses to their students.

I think the best thing for you is to research which programs Saint James students got residency in in order to increase your chances to get matched there.  Not only that you should also consider programs with students from other Caribbean medical schools who matched there; such schools as Windsor, MUA, AUA, St. Matthews.  Ross, SGU, AUC, and Saba are the big four and they have full accreditation of all 50 states, in addition they have a giant alumni network.

The problem with SJSM is that a lot of students graduate in different years and they do not keep in touch with the Alumni network.  Do to that, they do not care about any graduation ceremony. Fortunately, SJSM's alumni network is growing and I encourage everyone to be part of the network.

If you are a SJSM alumni who matched, then please call SJSM office at their office, and leave your contact information with them so if any recent graduates needs guidance, they can call you.

I encourage all of you from Windsor, MUA, AUA, St. Matthews, and other schools which I don't know of, to guide new graduates from your respected schools.

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Canadian Citizens, Don't Go to International Medical Schools

If you are a Canadian citizen without US green card or US citizenship then I strongly advise you to NOT apply to any international medical school.  The Canadian government has put a cap on how many Statement of Need (SON) documents that will be issued.

In order for the ECFMG to sponsor your J-1 visa, you need a SON from the Canadian government to be sent to ECFMG.  The SON is needed because after you finish your residency training or fellowship, you are to return to Canada and stay there for 2 years before you are allowed to come back to the US for a job.

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