Medical Council of Canada

PRA programs are building on their success and currently seeking assessors

PRA programs are building on their success and currently seeking assessors

December 5, 2019

Are you a physician who wants to support medical care in underserviced, rural communities?

Are you an internationally educated physician interested in giving back to your profession?

The National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) Practice-Ready Assessment (PRA) programs are building on their success and currently seeking assessors.

The PRA pathway helps determine whether International Medical Graduates (IMGs) are competent to practise in Canada. The 12-week PRA programs also offer exciting opportunities for practising Canadian physicians interested in helping IMGs on their route to practise in Canada.

The ultimate goal of the provincial PRA programs is to increase the number of physicians to meet medical needs in rural and remote areas in Canada.

For more information on becoming an assessor for PRA, click here to contact the provincial program* of your choice.

Dr. Emad Hanna

Dr. Emad Hanna is a physician who assesses candidates taking part in a PRA at the Hanna Medical Clinic in a rural community, also called Hanna, approximately 200 km northeast of Calgary.

“If you are able to do something to help somebody, why not?” said Dr. Hanna, who is also an IMG from Egypt, and understands how difficult it can be to start practising in Canada. He values the training he received from assessors in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, and today is paying that forward.

Here are just a few of the benefits of becoming an assessor:

  • Give back to your profession
  • Support medical care in underserviced, rural communities
  • Take part in a face-to-face training workshop and receive online learning modules
  • Be remunerated
  • Apply for Continuing Professional Development credits from the College of Family Physicians of Canada*

Patients also see the value of the PRA program.


I love that, at each visit, I can meet another aspiring doctor doing their training in our rural setting. I always cross my fingers that they see the appeal of a small community and want to choose it for their own practice in the future.”

Patient
Hanna Medical Clinic, Hanna, Alberta

 

The physicians at the Hanna Medical Clinic see 20 to 30 patients daily, but they also do rounds at Hanna General Hospital, a long-term care facility, a seniors’ lodge and are on-call at the Emergency Department of the Hanna General Hospital.

Dr. Hanna adds that the PRA candidates all do well, but while some are “ready to start right away,” others “need more time in practice.” In addition to assessing, Dr. Hanna directs PRA candidates to use clinical practice guidelines and to send patients for consultations with specialists in cases needing more complex medical judgment.

Dr. Hanna “is a phenomenal assessor. He is so approachable and takes the time to explain the why and how,” said Tannis Voltner, the clinic’s office manager.

“Dr. Hanna dedicates many hours to helping young university students and new out-of-country doctors coming to Canada, which is amazing! We have met many very interesting people who have worked with him,” said a patient at the Hanna Medical Clinic.

The PRA candidates who were assessed at the Hanna Medical Clinic have all been successful, with many now practising in rural communities across Alberta. In fact, the Hanna Medical Clinic is not only contributing to the success of IMGs, but it also benefits from it. The clinic will soon welcome a new doctor on staff, who, not surprisingly, is a graduate of a PRA.

………………………………

 * Please note that not all provinces participate and not all PRA programs offer credits for assessors.  

 

   PHOTO – Members of the clinic team (left to right):..
Ms. Tannis Voltner, office manager; Dr. Emad Hanna, family physician; and Ms. Shannon McBride, physician assistant.