Resident Doctors of Canada (RDoC), which represents over 10,000 resident doctors across Canada, is concerned about Saudi Arabia’s recent actions and their impact on medical students, residents, and the ability of the Canadian health system to provide quality and timely care.
RDoC is firmly committed to social accountability, which is intrinsic in medicine and is a guiding principle for our work within the broader healthcare system. As an organization, we are also dedicated to increasing awareness and support for marginalized populations, gender equity, and human rights for all.
The withdrawal of Saudi trainees will affect medical residents differently across the country based on how many international medical trainees work as part of their team of physicians. In many urban and rural centres, the sudden withdrawal will create increased stress on an already fragile system. Resident doctors provide round-the-clock care to patients in our teaching hospitals, and the removal of our Saudi Arabian colleagues will result in a large void that will need to be filled.
RDoC is committed to working with our partners, including our provincial partners and the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC), to advocate that the remaining resident physicians will continue to provide safe patient care while ensuring resident wellness continues to be respected, as outlined in each region’s collective agreement.
The disruption in training to our Saudi colleagues is detrimental to the trainees themselves and will result in a delay of the completion of their training. These trainees have worked alongside Canadian resident doctors and will be greatly missed as part of the healthcare team offering unique perspectives that enrich the healthcare environment. The Saudi Arabian learners and their families also have been part of communities across Canada. They will be missed by both the trainees and the communities they will leave behind.
We will continue to monitor this evolving issue closely and will assist the Government of Canada and our various partners in medical education as required.