Advocacy for IMGs


Advocacy for IMGs

Date / Time
December 3, 2020
11:00 am - 11:45 am MST


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Panelists: Dr. David Swan and Michael Embaie
Moderator: Deidre Lake

The journey to licensure is not an easy one. With increased attention on equity, diversity, and inclusion it doesn’t seem like faculties of medicine, who have limited the number of residency seats IMG applicants can apply for, have IMGs in mind. While Alberta is unique in that it is the only province that offers a Practice Readiness Assessment route that has streams for both specialists and general practitioners, the pathway for those who must complete a residency program in order to become licensed remains an issue. Last year, 97.3% of Canadian Medical Graduates (2,078 of 2,135) obtained a residency seat in the R-1 match whereas only 28.4% of the IMG applicants who were called for a residency interview (289 of 1,019), matched. While IMGs are selected to immigrate to Canada, the chances of practicing are slim.

In this session we will talk about ways we can advocate to government to encourage them to look at the issues more carefully. Also, given that government responds to issues impacting the general public how do we make the issues of IMGs known to the public. How can we at AIMGA garner support and advocate more effectively?

Presenters include:

Dr. David Swann, is a retired medical doctor and Canadian politician.  He was the leader of the Alberta Liberal Party and Leader of the Opposition the Alberta Legislature from December 2008 until resigning as party leader in September 2011. He returned as interim leader of the Alberta Liberal Party on February 1, 2015, following the resignation of Raj Sherman and led the party through the 2015 provincial election. He is a humanitarian and worked in mission hospitals in South Africa for three years after graduating from Family Medicine, where he met his wife, Laureen Ross, also a doctor. There he discovered the deep connection between medicine and politics firsthand. He later went to the Philippines and to Iraq for other humanitarian medical trips.

Michael Embaie, came to Canada as a refugee from Eritrea. He worked for the federal Government of Canada, Department of Immigration and Refugee Board from 1989 to 2013. He also taught graduate and undergraduate courses at the University of Calgary in the following areas: Canadian Social Policy; International Social Work; Diversity, Oppression and Social Justice; Human Behaviour and the Environment; Immigration: historical patterns and Trends; Ethnicity, Race Relations and the Canadian Mosaic. Michael also worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as a Resettlement consultant and Training expert in Eastern and Southern Africa. He is an active community member and an advocate for social justice, immigration and the plight of refugees, multiculturalism; race relations and international languages education.


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