Foreign-trained professionals can meet Ontario requirements with Ryerson courses

Toronto Star
January 15, 2009

Paul Dalby
Special to the Star

Mojgan Nadafi arrived in Canada from Iran two years ago, armed with a raft of impressive qualifications as a midwife and a deep desire to resume her career.

She held both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in midwifery, had worked in her profession for 15 years, taught midwifery at university and authored papers in medical journals.

“I thought when they saw my degrees and my experience, they would ask me to start a job. But they says, `No,’ I had to get certified.”

Nadafi, 34, was directed by the College of Midwives of Ontario to an innovative bridging course offered by Ryerson University.

The curriculum of the nine-month International Midwifery Pre-registration Program (IMPP) is designed to fast track foreign-trained and educated midwives into the Ontario healthcare field.

“The people at Ryerson really helped me for all the experience that I had,” Nadafi says. “When I am learning English and medical terms, they really concentrated on my writing and reading.”

The IMMP program provides internationally educated midwives with skills assessment, information about how midwives practice in Ontario, clinical placements, mentoring and a final pre-registration exam.

Most of all, the program is a determined effort to recruit international talent into the ranks of midwives – a respected profession around the world that only received legal recognition in Ontario in 1994 after a well-publicized outcry.

Funded by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, the program is run by a troika: Ryerson’s G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, the College of Midwives of Ontario and the Ontario Midwifery Education Program.

Nadafi is one of 70 midwives to have passed through the part-time program since it was established four years ago.

“Overall, we have an 80-per-cent pass rate and, of the people that pass, 91 per cent of them get jobs in midwifery within eight months,” says Holliday Tyson, the program director.

Part of the training includes a three-month practicum in an established midwifery practice.

Nadafi served hers in London, Ont., with the Thames Valley Midwives clinic, and liked it so much that she returned on a permanent basis.

Reference: Toronto Star