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.

What if you are denied Statement of Need (SON)?
In a last post, I wrote that Statement of Need from Canada will be limited for the upcoming year.  To recap, SONs are needed to get ECFMG sponsored J-1 visas to start residency.  Unfortunately Canada sees the SONs as a whole for the entire country and the numbers are not correct, according to my research.  One way to get around this and get a SON from the Health Ministry is to call hospitals from your residential province and ask them if they need doctors for the specialty you are seeking to get residency in.  If they say yes, which is most likely, then get an office letter from them or an email, and send that to the Health Ministry. I’m sharing this because Canadians who were denied SONs in the past use this method.  I strongly recommend you stay away from specializing and focus on Internal medicine or Family Medicine to increase your chances to get an SON.

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.