international graduates

The licensure/registration process in Canada varies greatly from province to province. Each province has its own licensing authority (“The College of Physicians and Surgeons” of Ontario, British Columbia, etc.) and the rules, requirements and processes for licensure are different for every college. There are plans to introduce a universal set of licensing standards in the future, but they are still in the process of negotiating those standards. It can take anywhere from 3-6 months to complete the registration process, depending on the college.

There are two main types of licenses for international doctors, provisional and full. Most provinces require that international Doctors work under a provisional license for the first 12 months before becoming eligible for full, unrestricted licensure, which will also include a college-directed supervision period (or “mentorship”) to help Doctors acclimate to the Canadian medical system. In most cases, you will still treat patients and bill for procedures as usual while under supervision; they just want to make sure there is someone available to help you if needed.

To help International Medical Graduates navigate through the complicated Canadian registration process, Medidoc has dedicated Licensing Specialists to guide you every step of the way. Our staff assists with everything from the initial assessment to primary source verifications for medical education and post-graduate training, professional references, and will even review your initial application to ensure it meets the college requirements.

We have listed below, the general information regarding licensure for each province, but please contact us to discuss your individual qualifications with one of our specialists.

General Requirements for Licensure in Canada

The general requirements for medical registration in Canada are:

  • A medical degree from any country that is listed in the International Medical Education Directory (IMED)
  • GP (Family Practice) or specialty training that has been completed in Canada, the USA, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, or the UK
  • Authentication of medical certification by the Physicians Credentials Registry of Canada (PCRC).http://www.pcrc.org/ Most provinces require full verification before they will issue your license, but others will allow you to complete PCRC verification after starting work in Canada
  • Some provinces also require completion of the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Exam (MCCEE), but other licensing exams (such as the USMLEs) will be accepted by most provinces.

Before taking the MCCEE, internationally-trained physicians must apply to the Physician Credentials Registry of Canada (PCRC) and send a certified copy of your final medical diploma. The MCCEE is a computer-based examination available at 500 test centers in 72 countries. Further information about the MCCEE is available at http://www.mcc.ca/

Licensure/Medical Registration Requirements by Province
We currently own clinics or have partners in these three provinces: Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. But, if you are looking to work in other parts of the country, we will still may be able to assist you with registration and location of a practice through our network of partner clinic management companies.

General Requirements for Licensure in Canada

The general requirements for medical registration in Canada are:

  • A medical degree from any country that is listed in the International Medical Education Directory (IMED)
  • GP (Family Practice) or specialty training that has been completed in Canada, the USA, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, or the UK
  • Authentication of medical certification by the Physicians Credentials Registry of Canada (PCRC). http://www.pcrc.org/ Most provinces require full verification before they will issue your license, but others will allow you to complete PCRC verification after starting work in Canada
  • Some provinces also require completion of the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Exam (MCCEE), but other licensing exams (such as the USMLE’s) will be accepted by most provinces.

Licensure/Medical Registration Requirements by Province

We currently own clinics or have partners in these three provinces: Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. But, if you are looking to work in other parts of the country, we will still may be able to assist you with registration and location of a practice through our network of partner clinic management companies.

Alberta

Family Physician:

  • An acceptable medical degree listed on IMED
  • MCCEE (Physicians from the US- If you have completed your USMLE’s in the last couple of years, you will most likely be requiresd to take the MCCEE exams. Family Physicians from the US who have been in practice for several years MAY be granted an exception, but there are no gaurantees)
  • Successful completion of a post graduate program of medical training of at least 24 months duration outside Canada containing 8 months of community-based primary care; minimum 8 weeks each of three of the following: Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Surgery and Internal Medicine
  • Practice-based assessment satisfactory to the registrar

Specialist:

  • An acceptable medical degree or osteopathic degree as listed in IMED
  • One of:
    • Successful completion of postgraduate specialty training in Canada and one of LMCC, USLME, COMLEX, or certification from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (FRCP, FRCS), or
    • At least 48 months’ post graduate specialty training obtained outside Canada, specialty certification and recognition in the discipline of training by another medical regulatory authority, and successful completion of an assessment satisfactory to the Registrar, or
    • At least 36 months post graduate specialty training obtained outside Canada, specialty certification and recognition in the discipline of training by another medical regulatory authority, and successful completion of an assessment satisfactory to the Registrar. (Candidate may not be eligible for specialist recognition in Alberta)

For further information visit: http://www.cpsa.ab.ca/Services/Registration_Department/What_We_Do.aspx

British Columbia

Family Physician:

  • An acceptable medical degree as listed in IMED
  • MCCEE (USMLE’s accepted as equivalent)
  • Have successfully completed a minimum of two years of accredited postgraduate training acceptable to and recognized by the registration committee with a basic core of 44 weeks, consisting of 8 weeks in each of Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics and 4 weeks in each of Psychiatry, Emergency Medicine and Family/General Practice

Specialist:

  • An acceptable medical degree as listed in IMED
  • MCCEE (USMLE’s accepted as equivalent)
  • Completed postgraduate training and obtained certification in the applicant’s specialty from an international accrediting body where such training meets the criteria for postgraduate specialty education as set out by the RSPSC (Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons) regarding standards, content and duration which, in the opinion of the registration committee, should provide access to the RSPSC specialty examinations

Ontario

To practice medicine independently in Ontario, whether as a Family Physician or Specialist, International Medical Graduates (IMGs) must have all the required Canadian post graduate qualifications.

  • An acceptable medical degree as listed in IMED
  • Part 1 and Part 2 of the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examinations (MCCQE) or one of the acceptable alternative examinations. (see www.mcc.ca/en/exams for details)
  • Certification, by examination, by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) or the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC)
  • Completion in Canada of one year of postgraduate training or active medical practice with pertinent clinical experience
  • Canadian citizenship of permanent resident status

Family Physician:

Family Physicians who have a degree from a medical school on the WHO directory MUST have postgraduate training from Australia, Canada or USA. There are plans to include the UK in the future.

Specialist:

Specialists who are eligible for the RCPSC exams but do not have numbers 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the above requirements may apply to the Royal College of Physician and Surgeons. It can take a few months to assess your qualifications but if successful they can send a letter with no pre-conditions to the College of Physician and Surgeons of Ontario allowing you a restricted license to practice.

You will need to complete and pass within 3 years the LMCC (this is awarded once you have completed all 3 of the Medical Council of Canada examinations, the evaluating and qualification exams part 1 and part 2).

UK-trained specialists

Any UK-trained specialists who are eligible to write the Royal College exams may be granted a restricted license with supervision for a defined period of time (approx.18-36 month), during this time they would have to pass the MCCQ, LMCC I & II and the Royal College (speciality) exams before obtaining an independent license to practice in Ontario. There is the possibility of academic licenses which have to be applied for through the medical school/large academic centers provided they are interested in a candidate. The only exemption to the LMCC exams in Ontario is for the physicians who have passed the USMLE step I, II & III.

The first step for any UK trained physician should be to apply to the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Canada for an assessment of their training. If their training is acceptable then the RCPSC would issue a letter “Royal College Eligibility” which is generally the basis for the CPSO to start considering an application. More information about RCPSC, CPSO, LMCC and USMLE can be found by contacting them directly.

Details on gaining eligibility for the Royal College exams: http://rcpsc.medical.org/residency/certification/index.php?page_title=Examinations

For further information on any of the above visit: http://www.cpso.on.ca/registration/ or call Trish Taylor at 604 – 816 – 7119