CCI’s Career Transitions program helps internationally trained medical doctors and other health professionals join the Canadian workforce. Some will find alternative careers in the health care field, working in research, community health, academics or the private sector. Others will gain entry into residency – a necessary stepping stone to practicing medicine in Canada.

Thanks to the support of the Career Transitions program, Anas Wess, a Syrian newcomer and CCI Volunteer accomplished exactly that.  His dream was to gain a surgical residency spot in Canada and in April this year he received what he called, “the greatest news of my life!”

Anas was selected to join the General Surgery Residency Program at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, which when completed will allow him to practice as a surgeon in Canada. “I am so happy and excited to start the next chapter of my life as a resident,” said Anas. “Today, my dream comes true. I hope it inspires a lot of people who are in need. ”

What Anas accomplished is no small feat.

For doctors trained outside of Canada, there are many difficult hurdles they have to leap before getting residency in Canada. First, they need to pass demanding exams and complete applications to the schools of their choice. If they’re lucky, they’re selected for an interview and if they nail that, they may be one of the very few international medical graduates selected for residency in Canada each year.

CCI has had successful Bridging programs for internationally trained professionals for years.  Since 2007, the Career Transitions program has helped more than 537 of its clients find paid employment, 519 have been accepted for continuing education or volunteering roles, 71 have been licensed and more than 30 international medical graduates have gained a residency spot in Canada.

According to Anas, “I knew there were only a few residency spots for international medical graduates in Canada, especially for general surgery. I joined the Career Transitions program because I knew it would give me more confidence. They helped me so much, providing feedback in practice residency interviews and assisting me to prepare all the application documents. I am really grateful.”

Anas plans to drive to Winnipeg so that he can see parts of Ontario he’s never seen before, and will begin his residency program on June 1. Congratulations Anas!