The move responds to the surplus of high-skilled medical professionals in the area
Ryerson University announced last month that the Internationally Trained Medical Doctors (ITMD) bridging program will be moving from the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education to the new Ryerson Innovation Zone in Brampton in order to expand the program.
“There is a pocket of underserved, well-trained medical professionals in Brampton that could serve our health-care system,” said Dr. Shafi Bhuyian, co-founder of the ITMD program. “With our new campus in Brampton it was a perfect opportunity to move the program there and better serve the community.”
The ITMD program is the first of its kind in Canada. It seeks to get doctors who have recently immigrated to Canada into non-licensed health-care jobs such as health systems management, health promotion and research positions.
Bhuyian started the ITMD program in 2015 and since then, more than 250 doctors have gone through the bridging program from 51 countries and over 85 per cent of the graduates have successfully landed jobs in the health-care sector.
“Extraordinary people come to this country every day with no clue where to go but I think this program has built a platform for them to learn from each other and to support public health in Canada.”
Bhuyian was quick to bring up how the ITMD program directly serves Canadian interests, especially during the COVID-19 health crisis. “What COVID did was expose every country’s health system. It’s not just Canada’s system that is broken. Our people are highly qualified and ready to assist the public but they are not allowed to practise medicine in Canada.”
Although these doctors aren’t able to practise medicine, many ITMD graduates put themselves on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic to help serve and give back to Canada.
“Almost two-dozen of my graduates are now working in the Ministry of Health to fight COVID. Their roles include case manager, the vaccine operations team, long-term care support and mental health support,” said Bhuyian.
Ryerson University announced the agreement with the City of Brampton in January 2020 to establish the Ryerson Innovation Zone in downtown Brampton. The Innovation Zone is one part of the new Brampton Innovation District, which will house the Rogers Cybersecurity Catalyst, the Brampton Entrepreneur Centre and a scale-up incubator for entrepreneurs to get their ideas turned into a business.
When asked about what the Brampton location will provide the ITMD program, Bhuyian emphasized the importance of space. “At the Chang School one recurring issue we faced was space. Our new facility in Brampton is very modern and spacious and in any respect, space is crucial for an effective teaching environment.”
Bhuiyan’s journey in Canada began when he moved here in 2010 from Bangladesh. He noticed the number of high skilled, internationally trained health professionals that were unable to find work in Canada.
“I wanted to be a part of the solution, not the problem,” he said. “I want to show Canadians that internationally trained health professionals are not here to take away something, they are here to give to the community. That’s what keeps me going and gives me motivation.”