The following is an interview with Career Transitions coordinator Marianela Gonzalez

Q. Why is it important to have a program like Career Transitions?

A. As newcomers, internationally health care professionals need to go through their settlement journey. Career Transitions (CT) supports their employment journey. The program bridges the gap between the knowledge and skills they possess and the knowledge and skills they need to become practice-ready in the Canadian health environment.

Q. How does it do this?

With over 18 years supporting IHPs, CT has a vast practical one-on-one knowledge of the barriers to employment in the health sector and how to overcome them. Firstly, these individuals often face barriers such as lack of recognition of their credentials and experience, unfamiliarity with the Canadian healthcare system and workplace culture, and language proficiency requirements. A program like Career Transitions provides tailored support, guidance, and resources to help these professionals overcome these barriers and successfully integrate into the Canadian workforce. By doing so, it not only helps individuals achieve their career goals but also addresses labor shortages in the healthcare sector.

Q. Everyone has met a doctor (or another professional) driving a cab or an UBER. How does CT help newcomers transition to a new career?

A. The story continues to be true. Some clients decide to change careers after realizing their practical needs (family responsibilities, background in licensed health professions exceedingly difficult or non-existing opportunities to bridge to) and transfer their skills to other well paid job positions outside their previous career. We provide referrals to post graduate educational partners and to internship programs geared to help them gain Canadian experience.

Q. What are some of the things they learn?

A. The program provides focused training and one-on-one support. There is no cost in participating in the Career Transitions program. We help clients understand the Canadian health sector and what they need to do to work in their field. We also help with the practical stuff, like resumes and cover letters tailored for the Canadian market and and practice interviews to help them make a great first impression. Sometimes IHPs just want a fresh start. We will show them how to transition to a new career in health or follow a new dream.

Q. What are some of the occupations they end up in?

Some of the popular roles which are unrestricted are Clinical Research roles, Public Health roles, Project Management roles and administrative roles. Clients who are pursuing licensing prefer to opt for Physician Assistant roles.

Q. Why should Canadians support programs such as CT?

Canadians should support programs like Career Transitions for several reasons:

  • It addresses labour shortages in the heath care sector which results in better health care access for all Canadians.
  • Diversity and inclusion: Embracing the skills and talents of newcomers enriches the diversity of the healthcare workforce.
  • Economic benefits: Getting people to work contributes to our economic growth.
  • Social cohesion: Supporting newcomers in their career transitions fosters social cohesion by promoting integration, reducing disparities, and building stronger, more inclusive communities.