Since 2013, Professional Immigrant Networks association leader Dr. Syed Jaffery has been helping international medical graduates find meaningful employment through his association, TNO-IDEAS. He talks about why he set up his association and the work they do in helping their members connect to meaningful employment.

“As an international medical graduate, settlement in Canada is a daunting process. However, exploring avenues on our own was also useful and it led us to share our knowledge of what was out there to help other newcomers. The desire to give back and support others was the driving force in forming the Professional Immigrant Networks (PINs)  association, TNO-IDEAS (International Doctors Exams And Support).

My wife, Dr. Nusrat Parveen, and I set up TNO-IDEAS in November 2013, to help and support international medical graduates in the Greater Toronto Area with Medical Council exams and alternative career options. We realized that there was a real lack of resources to help people successfully clear their medical exams. That’s why we decided to share our knowledge and expertise with other newcomers in the community.

At our first event in November 2013, we identified the need for a study group and in January 2014, we organized our first session, hosted by Dr. Parveen. We also established a partnership with PINs partner organization the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office (TNO), who donated meeting space for the group. Since then, we have been hosting weekly meetings to help our members prepare for their medical exams and have helped many of them clear their exams and find meaningful employment.

One of our study group members was Dr. Noma Salman, a graduate of Damascus University, Syria. Dr. Noma practiced Family Medicine in Dubai before coming to Canada. Upon arriving here, she learned about our study group and began attending the classes. The study group helped her prepare for the exams and she cleared her Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE) in 2014 -15. She is now doing her Residency in Family Medicine at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center.

In addition to exam preparation, we have connected with Ryerson University, who offer a Bridging Program for international medical graduates who want to apply for non-licensed healthcare positions in Ontario. We also help our members connect to alternative career and volunteer opportunities, so they can find meaningful employment in related industries. We provide support with resume preparation, recommendation letters and filling out the application to the Medical Council examinations.

For a newcomer to succeed in Canada, making connections is vital. It’s important to join professional associations, network and volunteer extensively, and meet with positive people to stay focused and committed to their goal. It’s also important to not get distracted, discouraged or depressed. The best way to destroy all ‘D’ evils is through determination, dedication, hard work and a positive attitude!”

Professional Immigrant Networks (PINs) association leaders volunteer their time to help skilled immigrants connect to meaningful employment by sharing their skills and expertise. Learn more about the Professional Immigrant Networks program.

Learn more about TNO-IDEAS and how you can join this association