Are you a GP/family medicine doctor thinking about relocating from the UK to the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) or Ottawa in Canada?
My goal with this, the first blog post for Healthglobal Recruiting, is to discuss in broad terms some of the benefits (and a few of the challenges) of relocating you as a UK GP to Ontario, Canada. From the familiar National Health Service model that you have come to know oh so well, and no doubt love, you will shift to the fee-for-service model under which most clinics operate in Ontario, Canada. We will talk about the school system in Ontario and how it compares to that of the UK, and even touch on where to live with a basic guide to where to situate your family.
- The only Canadian recruiter with a GP, and immigration legal counsel on staff
- No charge service for physicians
- Step by guidance with Canadian credentialling
- Arrive and be working in Canada in 4 to 6 months
- Great clinics with strong earnings potential
- Assistance with real estate and schools
- We meet every clinic owner in person so you get the best fit
- Register for free job alerts at: https://jobs.healthglobalrecruiting.com/
Perhaps I should start with a little information about Healthglobal Recruiting. Healthglobal is a niche GP recruiting company. We represent a limited number of surgeries/clinics in the region and match qualified GPs—primarily from the UK, but also from Australia, the US and Ireland— with opportunities. Our team includes a Canadian immigration legal counsel and an on-staff GP consultant, who herself works as a GP and owns multiple clinics in Ontario. No other GP recruiting company in Canada offers either an immigration legal counsel or a GP on staff. This makes us uniquely qualified to answer your questions and ensure that you find the right fit with a clinic in Ontario.
Our services are available no charge to candidate GPs who have signed an employment agreement with one of our clinics. We help candidates through the credentialling process with guidance on getting their credentials verified and getting themselves established, and we help clinics locate prospective candidates and organize their process when it comes to getting their candidate GPs’ and their families’ work permits and visas in order so they might come to live and work in Canada. We focus primarily on the area surrounding Toronto, Canada, including cities such as Mississauga and Brampton, the Niagara Falls region, and as far afield as Ottawa. We work exclusively in Canada, exclusively with GPs and exclusively in the Ontario region. This helps us to focus on our hands-on model, not on industrial-scale recruitment in further afield provinces or countries.
Obviously the decision to relocate yourself and your family is not one to be taken lightly, and we encourage all our candidates to do the necessary research into the region so that the process is as free of surprises as possible. A good place to start this journey is in discussing the region and the variety of different areas, towns and cities that make it up. Toronto proper is the fourth biggest city by population in North America, with easy access to arts, culture and nature. Toronto is also conveniently located in the east of Canada with convenient two-hour flight access to Montreal and New York City and all that they have to offer. When it comes time to visit friends or for family to visit you from the UK, Toronto is a direct seven-hour flight away. Compare that with 23.5 hours to get from Australia to the UK! No comparison. . . . That’s an Ontario win.
Within a fifteen-minute drive of downtown Toronto are innumerable safe, liveable neighbourhoods with convenient access to the city centre, each with good road and transit links and many with excellent bike paths and parks. It really needs to be seen to be believed. Schools are of a very high standard and IB (International Baccalaureate) schools offer an easy transition from an international or UK education. There is also a large selection of high-calibre private schools in the region and we are always available to assist our GPs with issues related to settling down in a new community, whether they be around schools, real estate or simply finding the right neighbourhood to put down some new roots. Surrounding cities such as Brampton and Mississauga offer close proximity to Toronto while having a smaller city feel. With populations of 650,000 and approximately 800,000 respectively, each city has its own atmosphere and amenities. Areas slightly further afield, such as the Niagara Falls/Niagara-onthe-Lake region, where one of our clinics is located, have a smaller-town feel along with the natural beauty of their many lakes and vineyards. Ottawa, which is the capital of Canada and is situated on some beautiful lakes, is a two-hour drive from Montreal and the French culture that predominates there, along with the culinary offerings and spectacles of the Montreal Jazz and Just for Laughs festivals, and the annual Formula 1 race.
I mentioned planning and research a little earlier, so perhaps it is worth touching on the basic timelines for a move to Toronto and surrounding areas. A realistic timeline from the point a decision to proceed with one of our clinics has been made to realizing it is in the neighbourhood of six to eight months. The process, while not necessarily transparent from the outset, is actually quite straightforward; obviously documents such as medical degrees will need to be digitized and uploaded to the various portals for verification purposes. A inexpensive scanner is probably a wise investment at this point. For candidate GPs or clinics not wanting a candidate GP with a restricted license there is a one-day examination that can be taken once the credentialing process has been initiated. Feedback from candidates who have recently written this examination is good and we haven’t had any candidates not pass this on first attempt. As of the time of this blog post’s creation, the actual requirement allows for this examination to be written within three years of arriving in Canada, but the downside to the extended timeline is that supervision is required of GPs with a restricted license, and not all clinics have a supervisor available, which might limit employment opportunities.
So for now I would like to thank you for taking the time to read our introduction to transitioning from your UK (or Irish, Australian or US) medical practice to a Canadian one. I hope you have found this basic introductory blog to be informative. We are always available to discuss your personal circumstances and credentials, along with current opportunities. Not all positions are listed on our website or LinkedIn page, so I really encourage you to reach out to discuss your options and let us assist you with the move or at the very least your due diligence. Remember, there is no cost to you as a candidate GP, and I can’t put enough emphasis on the importance of gathering all your facts to make an informed decision on setting yourself up for a happy future practising in Canada.
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