A one-of-a-kind schoolchildren vision-screening program in Toronto gives foreign-trained doctors a rare opportunity to improve their skills so they can apply to Canadian medical residency programs, reported CBC News on February 1, 2017.

A community health project  not only provides free glasses donated by eye-ware company Essilor to kids from 150 schools within the Toronto District School Board, but has given dozens of International Medical Graduates (IMGs) the experience they need to succeed.

Their job is to travel from school-to-school running mobile pediatric health clinics for primary-school children, including vision and hearing screening. Funded by the charity Toronto Foundation for Student Success (TFSS), the program has employed 65 IMGs since it started in 2007, eight of whom have now gone on to be employed as doctors in Canada.

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It is not known is any other employer in Toronto actively hiring foreign-trained doctors, but an innovative IT company in Quebec followed the example.

AkioSoft, a start-up in St-Bruno developing Artificial Intelligence (AI) based software for medical clinics followed the example and started looking for International Medical Graduates to promote the unique AI-based service that they developed for the needs of private clinics. Other jobs that also don’t require  performing medical acts but need medical qualification will be opened in the near future.

This doesn’t change the paradigm but is a first sign that International Medical Graduates can be used to contribute in a more meaningful way to the prosperity of the country if there is a good will to give them this chance.