On July 28th, the Health Care Committee of WIL Employment Connections (WIL), in collaboration with the LMIEC and the Access Centre for Regulated Employment, hosted a guest panel and roundtable discussion for 31 International Medical Graduates (IMGs) pursuing licensure or alternate employment in our community. The event was an important first step to better assist IMGs in identifying realistic employment opportunities that match their international training and transferrable skills in the health sector and related fields. IMGs are one of the hardest groups of skilled immigrants to connect with employment due to lengthy and complex licensure processes to become a practicing medical doctor. Given the high costs in-volved and the limited demand in the labour market, many IMGs find themselves seeking jobs in unrelated fields.
The panelists’ presentations were followed by Roundtable Conversations. Participants discussed a wide variety of topics and supports for IMGs at these roundtables, including licensure challenges, educational requirements, clini-cal fellowships, medical observerships and alternative career paths. The participants’ input has been compiled to inform next steps and a community-based response to the challenge. This response is already underway thanks to an investment by RBC Royal Bank. The RBC Career Launch Program has provided an RBC Associate to work with the LMIEC and WIL’s Health Care Committee to develop a Health Care Labour Market Integration Strategy for IMGs and other Health Care Professionals in our community. This first phase will include a full review of available data on the employment outcomes of IMGs in our region, an environmental scan to identify gaps in programming and how they relate to current and projected labour market realities, and a series of key informant interviews with individuals providing immigrant employment programs. The results will be compiled into a final report to identify new tactics to better support IMGs in London region.