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Old Dec 20th 2013, 2:18 pm   #76
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Default Re: Calling on Canadian Family Practitioners/ex UK General Practitioners

I wish I could name and shame this person, but legally I cannot
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Old Dec 20th 2013, 2:33 pm   #77
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Default Re: Calling on Canadian Family Practitioners/ex UK General Practitioners

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Originally Posted by Brainwave View Post
Guys, be aware that its not all rosy in Canada, especially in Vancouver area, lots of unscrupulous people there, its nothing like UK., in Uk we are very protected , laws are very employee friendly. canada is different. I was nearly conned into this awful job and now everyone has washed their hands, Health Match BC, BCMA, etc, left it to me sort it out with the physician, advised me get legal counsel. Its rubbish. In Uk , every contract has to have termination clause, there are no contracts without any termination clauses,. Not so in Canada, in Canada, they could get you sign a slave bond and no one will bat an eyelid.
Also, in metro Vancouver area, the salary is not that great, after overheads are paid and tax is paid, not much more different from UK + living cost is actually higher. Smaller communities may be much better.
Do not sign anything without actually visiting, preferably sit in the clinics, see how much potential is there
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I wish I could name and shame this person, but legally I cannot
Quick tip for you, if you think of something you want to add to your post within 2 hours of it, you can just hit the 'edit' button, rather than posting again.

HTH.
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Old Dec 21st 2013, 7:42 pm   #78
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Default Re: Calling on Canadian Family Practitioners/ex UK General Practitioners

Sorry I feel I must respond to the above.
I really can’t see how “Canada” can be blamed if someone signs a business contract with someone in another country whom they have never met!!
I do agree that Healthmatch- if they helped arrange the contract with that doctor- could be more helpful- i.e. give you a few names of lawyers but they aren’t lawyers and neither are the BCMA. The BCMA have no remit to help local or foreign doctors with legal advice- They advocate for doctors,help with education, reimbursements of various things, help with cheap hotels, good cell phone contracts etc., but they are not the BMA and cannot give legal advice.

For future NHS escapees! Snoopdawg’s thoughts re becoming a GP here!
Canadian health care is very different from the UK! For one there is no NHS and two, no Daily Mail!
As a GP, you are a local businessperson; as such you hold a certain amount of respect within the community and with your patients. You will know your bank manager personally with a week or so of arrival, you will be able to get credit etc fairly easily on arrival but will be asked frequently for donations for various causes!
BUT- you are in business, with no NHS back up. You pay for everything and everyone in your office, including medical supplies ( apart from lab supplies- eg swabs, pap slides) and computers, software. You have to do what a lot of clinically excellent GPs in the UK are bad at- run a business! We have had to become very business/money savvy. I want to know where my money is going, where I can make savings. I’m not tight, my staff are paid well with generous extras, I know we are more generous than most other medical offices. In return I expect hard work and loyalty!
There is no superannuation for retirement, as such you have to think about investing etc to make money. This is where your incorporation is useful, speaking of which, your incorporation also requires a certain amount of maintenance.

When you are considering moving here, you must realise that a lot of doctors already here are very good at running a business! If they are trying to attract you, as far as I can see there will be only 2 reasons. Either they are retiring and want someone to take over their patients and office OR they want you in to lower THEIR overheads!
In the case of retirement- consider strongly taking the patients but you have no obligation to take over the office unless you want to.
In second case- be careful. I personally would sign NOTHING until I had worked with them a while. Remember they need you more than you need them. I would only sign as a totally equal partner; anything else is unacceptable and unnecessary.
DONOT sign as an employee- do not earn a “salary”. Work only “fee for service”, anything else is crazy. If you worked, fee for service in an office with decent overheads, I think Vancouver would be do-able.

I doubt there are more than a few communities in Canada that aren’t desperate for new family doctors. When you decide roughly where you want to live, you can pretty much have your pick of town. If you have no immigration problems, PR or citizen, once you have sorted out registration with the appropriate college, you can literally just open an office as far as I’m aware. You may need a supervisor, but if you visit a town, you are bound to find a friendly colleague who will oblige.
If you need a TWP,it’s a bit more difficult but I would guess if you visited a town and talked to local GPs , you would find out about jobs available ( and who to avoid), they can advertise and it’s doubtful anyone would reply in Canada.

In summary- you must visit and meet other doctors you are considering working with.
Sign NOTHING until you are 100% happy- preferable after working here. Only sign if 100% equal partners- you may to put in some money to achieve that status ( i.e. "buy in") but I feel is worth it. Work only “ fee for service”.
Be aware you will have to be more involved in running a business rather than just practicing medicine.
If you are smart, you will financially better off than the UK, whether you will be happy here is another much more personal matter!
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Old Jan 7th 2014, 2:18 pm   #79
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Default Re: Calling on Canadian Family Practitioners/ex UK General Practitioners

Hi Snoopdawg

I agree that I was stupid to sign on with someone based on sweet talk over the phone and certainly naive to think that any employer coming through Health Match BC would be vetted. Well, Once bitten, twice shy!

I need a good lawyer to help me out of this, if anyone is able to give a number or contact details of a good contract lawyer, it will be much appreciated.
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Old Jan 8th 2014, 2:49 am   #80
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Default Re: Calling on Canadian Family Practitioners/ex UK General Practitioners

I'm sorry re your situation. Have you tried talking to this man and maybe even lying and saying you can't emigrate now or something to see if he will "release" you!!
Otherwise the best I can do as I don't live in Vancouver, is point you in the direction of http://www.lawsociety.bc.ca/page.cfm...=Find-a-Lawyer
They say that they charge $25 plus tax for an initial talk- ? Skype possible. I think a lawyer will be expensive overall, so I think I would try a chat first.
Re Healthmatch, I know for sure that they don't vet jobs, TBH I won't expect them to, they help you by being a go between with the college, helping with immigration and sending out resumes etc, plus they allow job adverts.
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Old Jan 9th 2014, 7:40 pm   #81
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Default Re: Calling on Canadian Family Practitioners/ex UK General Practitioners

speaking for myself we have just lost our GP in our village ,he did his time (sponsored by village)has newish build surgery and has now moved to the city..the nextdoor village is in the same boat old doctor(GP)surgery at local hospital wants to take it easier but no one wants tae move To rural Manitoba ,,just been told Altonna (town)about an hr away is advertising on internet for GP $200--250k(job bank canada.)
i really cannot understand why GPs do not want to move to rural Canada (manitoba) as it is a great lifestyle.,hell the village even tried to give the GP that left a house if he stopped.
jimmy

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Old Jan 10th 2014, 12:34 am   #82
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Default Re: Calling on Canadian Family Practitioners/ex UK General Practitioners

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...
i really cannot understand why GPs do not want to move to rural Canada (manitoba) as it is a great lifestyle.,hell the village even tried to give the GP that left a house if he stopped.
jimmy
They can earn significantly more for less hours in a city practice.
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Old Jan 10th 2014, 2:35 pm   #83
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Default Re: Calling on Canadian Family Practitioners/ex UK General Practitioners

aye recon so,,but quality o life must come into it somewhere .
The village tried sponsoring a doctor through his training at uni...let him come away from uni debt free but locked into the village for 5yrs..
he did his 5yrs but his wife pulled him away to the smokeshe was not happy being a house frau ).
So now we have a lovely health clinic wi a dentist ,foot doctor,and no GP.,,
so is life!.jimmy.
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Old Jan 23rd 2014, 2:13 pm   #84
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Default Re: Calling on Canadian Family Practitioners/ex UK General Practitioners

Hi Guys,

I have not been here for a while but this particular thread was useful before I moved here last year. I echo a lot of what snoopdawg is saying and I have learned a huge amount about practice in BC. I have to admit that I see more UK and Irish trained GP's turning up than ever before so there must be some draw.

Some key points I would note since moving and working here:

1. I have generally had very good interactions with Healthmatch BC but I agree that the jobs are not vetted in anyway. I actually fed back a lot of my experiences via Skype chats with my recruiter when I had visited to check out clinics and warned them about some of the disreputable places I had seen.

2. It is imperative you come in advance, check out some BC communities (even in the lower mainland/Vancouver metro area). There are big differences even between places such as Burnaby, Richmond and Surrey in terms of ethnicities, language skills required to make life bearable. For example, in Surrey, if you have the ability to speak Punjabi you will do well in large parts of it. In Richmond, your ability in Chinese dialects will serve you well. Other parts are more mixed e.g. Burnaby/New Westminster.

3. As a follow on from point 2, I took two weeks to meet lots of people in various clinics, and immediately you get a sense of how people work here. So much of it was fuzzy to me when I started looking but I now have a clearer understanding of what is involved. I am relieved I ended up in a reasonable situation but look at the clinic, ask how many other doctors are working there, try to speak to them if possible (I actually exchanged contact details with doctors at several clinics who seemed very nice and then via email got the lowdown on what it was really like when the spokesperson/office manager/doctor-owner was not around snooping on the conversation). Some of the 'friendliest' clinics turned out to have the worst recommendations.

4. The fee split is CRUCIAL. It seems to range from 20-40% of your income (please feel free to correct me if this is incorrect). In effect, you bill the government for what you did for each patient and then the clinic will take a percentage as "overhead" for running the clinic on your behalf. It is harder to negotiate a good split when you are coming from the UK. This can change with time. This can take a significant chunk of your income. The more they need you, the favourable the split can be. In more competitive environments (e.g. the city of Vancouver), they will take more due to higher costs and the fact that desirability is on their side.

5. As snoopdawg has pointed out, you must learn to become savvy in managing your financial affairs. There is simply no equivalent of being 'salaried' as we know it. Forget unemployment/sick benefits, cover, annual leave and the like. When I talk to GP friends back in the UK I describe it as being a locum on a long term basis. You are responsible for your tax affairs (get a good accountant) and arranging financial cover as you see fit. You work, you get paid. You're not at work? No income. It is rare to see FP's working as "salaried doctors" in the community. The agreement you sign is often more to help CIC understand how to process your application - it is not a true employer-employee contract in that sense in most cases and there is a time period otherwise getting your immigration paperwork sorted out is a nightmare.

6. Incorporation: in effect, you can become a Ltd company the way many UK GP locums are. It can provide tax shelter and for many doctors here, it is their retirement fund since there is no pension provision whatsoever provided by the government. You need to have an honest discussion with your accountant/tax adviser regarding the point at which it makes sense to incorporate. I would advise against rushing this decision until you know what you are making and how much you are spending (bear in mind the costs of emigration and setting up a new home and the cost of any dependents). Talk to colleagues about who they use and trust.

7. BC is harder on incoming FP's (as GP's are called) than many other provinces. They know this but also know that the weather and lifestyle will continue to draw doctors here. Alberta and the prairies are pretty much along the line of "get your MCCEE and we will get you in". See my previous posts regarding exams but briefly: you can get in without the MCCEE to BC but with a catch - you get between 3-5 years to take MCCQE 1 and 2 which are tougher exams and there is no getting out of these (unlike other provinces where if you behave and stay long enough, they will fully license you without them). Although there is a new integrated MCCQE Part 2 + CCFP exam, for most newer UK GP graduates this is no help whatsoever. You will need to take the traditional MCCQE Part 2 anyway. MCCQE 1 is a written one day exam and tests both primary and secondary care knowledge and I although I appreciate what snoopdawg is saying about taking it but I took it and it's no joke and I did prepare for this. I did reasonably well on it but I must admit, I took it quickly after a few months of practice and studying (I socially networked with a few Canadian med students and their insight was great). Part 2 is a clinical exam. As someone who took AKT not that long ago, I can say MCCQE Part 1 covers greater depth and is far more intense.

8. When you arrive, the College will insist you take the UBC IMG Integration Course (offered twice a year) - get on it at the first available opportunity. It will help you understand much of what is on this thread with clarity and more importantly, get there, talk to people and network with other incoming IMG's. Networking has helped me enormously.

9. I will point out that in my division of family practice (they have these, akin to regional BMA type GP groups) we have had an increase in the number of UK/Irish GP CV's being handed out to us who are looking for jobs and need a supervisor. The closer you are to Vancouver, the harder these are getting to find. Many of the health authorities are tightening their criteria in the recruitment process and now demanding that a supervisor also has to have hospital privileges (i.e. the ability to directly admit and care for patients in a hospital) and they want you to mirror this. This type of supervisor is getting harder to find in urban communities in Metro Vancouver since most abandoned their privileges due to lifestyle/income choices. In rural parts you will have no trouble with this since most FP's will cover hospitals as part of their work. The bottom line is that the two health authorities that will be hardest to work with because of this requirement are Vancouver Coastal (covering Vancouver/Richmond/Sunshine Coast) and Fraser Health Authority. I have met with the other health authorities who have a much harder time recruiting (e.g. Interior Health) and they rely much more heavily on South African doctors or other FP's who prefer those locations and they are much more active in their recruitment/support process.

In summary, as a UK trained GP you have several advantages: native English speaking ability, recognition of your MRCGP (equivalency given to CCFP and therefore MCCEE exemption) and a general sense of respect for your training and background country (Canadians can be very picky about this as colleagues from other countries have told me and my personal interactions). I am still shocked, however, at how many GP's I've met from the UK and Ireland or had questions from who just did not do their homework over such a huge move. Overall, I am enjoying the experience and it is different. Embrace that and you will do well.

I hope that helps some of you reading this!

Last edited by Medix; Jan 23rd 2014 at 2:17 pm.
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Old Jan 24th 2014, 1:25 pm   #85
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Default Re: Calling on Canadian Family Practitioners/ex UK General Practitioners

I would like to point out couple of things in response to the post above
1.BC is not that hard to get, infact BC does not even require MCCEE, you just need the training requirements to be fulfilled. The foundation programme counts so thats really easy. MCCQE part1 and part 2 are not that hard, just needs time , like any other exam.
2.: fraser health authority still looking for GPs , there is no anticipitated lull in recruitment
3. South African doctors are in great demand, the only reason BC/canada stopped recruiting from there was that the SA government made an appeal to Canada to stop poaching their doctors as they are themselves facing an acute shortage but the college states that any doctor looking for registration individually wills till be considered, but the drive has stopped.
4.: I am coming to vancouver tow ork because I have family/cousins etc there but it is not necessarily the best place in canada. Places like calgary etc has higher income and better quality of life
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Old Jan 24th 2014, 2:01 pm   #86
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Default Re: Calling on Canadian Family Practitioners/ex UK General Practitioners

and also if you all the steps of USMLEs(which I have), BC does not require the LMCC exams. Alberta would still require the LMCC for full license.
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Old Jan 24th 2014, 5:40 pm   #87
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Default Re: Calling on Canadian Family Practitioners/ex UK General Practitioners

I am not saying it is hard - there is still a great need for GP's on the ground but the health authorities are having a harder time getting their GP's in due to this hospital privilege requirement that is coming into force; the lesson I have learned is be careful who you sign up with. You are right about exams - it takes time to prepare for them, just don't underestimate that when you are relocating and busy setting up house. I have also done some of my USMLE's and they way to gain exemption is by having all the steps (unfortunately if you don't have all of them, it doesn't count). I have met UK GP's who failed Part 1 because they didn't take enough time to prep (unlike the MCCEE which is more straightforward).

As for Alberta, it is a different quality of life (I went in winter and it was brutal) but definitely better money. Everybody is different but I am surprised to hear that you still need LMCC since I have met UK GP's who took the MCCEE and then are told to stay on the provisional register for 5y and then are converted to a full licence without the need for any more exams.
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Old Jan 26th 2014, 1:06 am   #88
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Default Re: Calling on Canadian Family Practitioners/ex UK General Practitioners

Thanks for all the info! Its all really helpful. I am planning on moving to Calgary for GP - I am not cold friendly but it was the easiest province to get licensing in so thought I would give it a go!

When I was checking things out I contacted a guy who runs a practice in Calgary and had a position available for advice. He was really nice and he contacted me after I got my eligibility review and offered to sponsor me.

I have not visited the place yet and I am not exactly sure what it would mean if I agree to this. He says its normally a 70/30 split (I think this is about average?) and that is about all I know. He is also very keen - and this concerned me a little....however going with this would mean that the process will be a lot quicker otherwise I will have to wait for the recruiters to get back to be me and organise a trip out there to do the interviews which could add another few months and money to move things forward. Initially I thought it does not really matter if I do not see the place beforehand as I will be practising independently but after reading the posts it seems like the consensus is to see the place first.

I would love to chat to any GPs who work in Calgary and who would be happy to offer unbiased advice about what to do.
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Old Jan 26th 2014, 9:05 pm   #89
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Default Re: Calling on Canadian Family Practitioners/ex UK General Practitioners

Try GPincanada (Hope this is allowed on here) just google it
It's a site set up by a UK GP now in Alberta for what you seem to be asking for
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Old Feb 8th 2014, 1:16 pm   #90
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Default Re: Calling on Canadian Family Practitioners/ex UK General Practitioners

Thanks for the info. I have had a look at his site and it's very informative. I will def try and contact him.

He is not in a Calgary though. Is there anyone on here who works in Calgary?
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