Canada – the Best Kept Secret in the U.S.

Because of our point-based immigration system Canada is know for attracting some of the best and brightest around the world, resulting in a phenomenon known as the brain drain. But Canada often experiences its own drain, with many professionals and stars seeking bigger markets and opportunities in the U.S.

In a recent edition of The Medical Post, Matthew Sylvain notes an interesting phenomenon (Brain drain reversed? August 17, 2010). American physicians are moving to Canada, albeit in small numbers.

The most obvious reason is the economy, and Sylvain cites John Mabbott of Health Match B.C. in pointing to people letting their health insurance premiums lapse as one of the reasons why a for-profit system is hit harder in the recession.

Canadian physicians also don’t have to negotiate with big HMOs that bargain over fees and coverage. Consequently, more physicians are free entrepeneurs in Canada than the U.S. Less litigation here means lower insurance premiums.

The biggest surprise for me was that tax rates for the highest bracket in some states are comparable to Canadian taxes, and many Canadian physicians actually make more money than their American counterparts.

Sylvain quotes John Philpott of CanAm Physician Recruiting,

The best kept secret in the U.S. right now is Canada.

We have far less new law graduates in Canada looking for jobs. Unlike the U.S., we haven’t had massive lay-offs of lawyers from major law firms. Canadian recruiters I’ve spoken to have described more of a massive hiring slow-down. But could some of these hires be American counsel seeking greener pasture north of the border? Could we could eventually see a similar trend here in the legal industry?


  1. For those not following the conversations on Twitter I’ll add here that I actually know a few lawyers from the U.S. going through the NCA process, which is what prompted the question.

    One example would be Linelle Mogado, who shares her NCA experiences on Law is Cool today.