Ryerson University's G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education Completes Second Cohort of Internationally Trained Medical Doctors Bridging Program

Program first and only of its kind in Canada helping doctors integrate
into non-licensed healthcare employment

TORONTO, May 4, 2016 /CNW/ - On Tuesday, May 10, 2016, Ryerson University's G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education will celebrate 14 medical doctors who have completed the Internationally Trained Medical Doctors Bridging (ITMD) Program. Launched in January 2015, this unique program aims to successfully integrate highly qualified, skilled, and experienced internationally trained medical doctors into non-licensed healthcare employment.

"Over 90 per cent of internationally trained medical doctors living in Canada face a number of professional and employment barriers. Many are underemployed and the majority are engaged in so-called 'survival jobs'. This represents a lost opportunity for our province to benefit from the advanced academic and professional credentials of these highly skilled professionals," said Marie Bountrogianni, Dean, The Chang School. "There is an identified need within the health sector for qualified professionals to participate in and support non-clinical initiatives."

The program addresses common barriers to employment by providing 11 weeks of sector-specific in-class training and four-week practicum placements within top-ranked health facilities in Ontario. The program provides additional skills for participants to gain employment in health research, health informatics, data analysis, and health management positions in Canada as an alternative to medical doctor licensing. Competition for the second round of the ITMD Bridging Program was intense; The Chang School received 150 applications for 14 spots. Participants in this cohort hailed from Ethiopia, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, and China.

"The Chang School offered me an excellent opportunity to build on the wealth of knowledge and experience that I'd already invested into practicing and teaching medicine," said Hamidullah Akbari, a participant who had been a medical doctor in Afghanistan. "The ITMD Bridging Program was a way to work towards the level of practice I'd left back home, and a path to achieving my long-term career goals here in Canada. My bridging program experience helped me gain employment in the mental health field. I expanded my professional network through my instructors and fellow students, and I enjoy working and learning every day."

 "Students from the second cohort have been extremely satisfied with the course curriculum. To date, eight participants have found jobs in the healthcare industry and others are currently going for interviews," says Shafi Bhuiyan, a Distinguished Visiting Scholar with The Chang School and Faculty of Community Services who is overseeing the program. "Practicum placements also help to build their confidence and connect to 'real life' work situations."

For more information about the ITMD Bridging Program, visit: ryerson.ca/ce/itmd.

With approximately 70,000 annual enrollments, The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is Canada's leading provider of university-based adult education. Offering over 1500 courses, seminars, and workshops, 89 career-related certificate programs – 22 of which can be completed entirely at a distance – and 13 part-time degree programs, the school's mission is to be a leader in innovative, quality, lifelong learning that empowers adults to reach their life and career goals. For more information, visit ryerson.ca/ce.

Ryerson University is Canada's leader in innovative, career-oriented education and a university clearly on the move. With a mission to serve societal need, and a long-standing commitment to engaging its community, Ryerson offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. Distinctly urban, culturally diverse, and inclusive, the university is home to more than 41,500 students, including 2,400 master's and PhD students, 3,200 faculty and staff, and nearly 170,000 alumni worldwide. Research at Ryerson is on a trajectory of success and growth: externally funded research has doubled in the past five years. For more information, visit www.ryerson.ca.

SOURCE Ryerson University

For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: Marilou Cruz, Manager, Marketing and Communications, The Chang School, (416) 979.5000, ext. 4670; m1cruz@ryerson.ca

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