It’s long been the assumption that Canadian doctors are jumping ship and heading to other countries like the United States to live and work. However, new statistics show quite the opposite as American physicians have begun moving to Canada to work instead.
Some reasons are surprising: the pay is better for some medical specializations and physicians have more freedom within their own practices while another reason is less surprising – the health care reform the United States is facing.
The statistics are from several sources, including immigration patterns and medical recruiters. The CEO of CanAM Physician Recruiting, which is based in Halifax, told the National Post this week that, “Canada is the number one spot in the world for doctors to come and work, live and play. Talking to physicians in the United States, they’re shocked how much more money they can make in Canada,” he said.
Fewer Canadians are also leaving to practice in the United States lately. For almost 10 years, doctors were leaving Canadian soil for seemingly greener pastures and then finally the number returning after leaving surpassed the number leaving according to statistics released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information.
Still, the assumption that Canadian-born and educated doctors were abandoning Canada remained in most people’s thoughts even though for at least six years the number of Canadians returning has been higher, and the number of American doctors coming to Canada increased 650% in 2008 over 1995.
While the numbers of American doctors coming to Canada for better pay and more opportunity has yet to eclipse the historical numbers of Canadians flocking south, there’s nothing saying it won’t someday as more American doctors discover what Canada has to offer.
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