My IMG journey to Canada

Hi everyone! Welcome to my blog. My name is T and if you are reading this, there is a good chance you are a medical student somewhere outside North America wondering about how to align your stars so you can do your residency training in Canada. Well, I have been where you are now so I want to share my story and what I learnt in the process.
I went to medical school in Pakistan and the majority of my peers were planning on going to the USA for residency training. Everyone was all about them USMLEs. The path was well-defined and there was a clear recipe on how to. I was the odd one out. I wanted to train in Canada and no one around me knew anything about it.
I was on track to graduate in Sept 2013. I didn’t want to take a gap year unless it could be helped. So I started doing my research and got my ducks in a row.
I figured out the exams I needed to ace, the work experience I needed to organise and the contacts I needed to build to make my application stand out. It took a lot of  stress, sweat but mostly it took a LOT of planning.
I have done this and you can do this too. In the next few blog posts I will share more detail about each step of the process and tips to guide any potential IMG applicants out there.

11 thoughts on “My IMG journey to Canada

  1. Thank you for visiting me site! I am so glad to see IMG success stories, can’t wait to read your posts! 🙂 Thank you for the motivating comment you left on my site. Much appreciated!


  2. Well, Im so happy that I found this information on the net. Im going to start my process and this information is so useful. Thank you for the motivation. Please, keep updating your blog, it is kind of important to to be updated in this journey. Greetings from Colombia.


  3. Hi! Thank you for your blog, it’s very informative! If I may ask, what residency programme did you get in? Do you believe that it was worth the husstle?


    1. Hi Zuz
      Im glad you found the blog post helpful. To answer your question, I matched to Internal medicine for my residency and then finished it off with a fellowship in rheumatology.
      I am very glad with my choices in life and very grateful to have been given the priviledge. It certainly was hard work however not any harder than what I would have done to apply for a residency in the USA. So since being in Canada allowed me to be close to my family, I 100% approve of my hustle.
      Remember that the journey always seems more daunting before you start, especially if you have many naysayers around you. Only you can decide if the hustle is worth it in your own personal circumstances.


  4. Hi!
    This is a great blog! Lots of useful information.
    But can I ask you, how did you improve your application, other that acing the exams ?
    Hope you can answer! Thanks again !


  5. Hello,
    Firstly, thank you so much for making this blog! It’s been extremely helpful to me.

    I am a Canadian who is studying in Pakistan right now for medicine. As you’ve mentioned, everyone around me is studying for USMLEs.
    I’m split on which one to study for because I know there are greater chances in the US than Canada for residency.

    So I was wondering if you could share your personal take on the matter.

    Thank you!


    1. Hello! Yes I was in the same boat as you.
      At the end of the day its a personal decision. You have to weigh the pros and cons of both options to decide what is best for you. For me below are the factors that I considered:
      Pros for applying to Canada: I could get my Canadian citizenship ( I was a PR at the time), I would be in same country as the rest of my family, Canada was more attractive to me as a place to live long term
      Cons: Higher risk of going un matched in Canada, lower income for physicians compared to US, less clear on how to succeed in the residency process.

      I made my decision and went all in. I was prepared that if I went unmatched in Canada, I might take the USMLEs later and apply to the US. That was my thought process. I hope this helps.


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