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Rules for Foreign Medical Graduates Wishing to Work in Canada

Author: Ali, Posted on Monday, July 19 @ 00:00:00 IST by RxPG  

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Individuals who receive basic medical degrees from medical schools that are not accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) or the equivalent committee in the United States, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), are considered to be international medical graduates (IMGs).

Canadian citizens or legal permanent residents who have taken their medical training outside Canada or the United States are also considered to be IMGs.

Immigrating to Canada

If you wish to train or practice medicine in Canada, you must contact the Canadian embassy nearest to you for more information on immigrating to Canada.

Establishing Professional Competence

Before any application for immigration can be approved, IMGs must establish

professional competence. Canadian immigration officers rely on the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) in this regard.

Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE): IMGs seeking admission to Canada on the basis of their medical qualifications must pass the MCCEE. The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) administers the MCCEE to evaluate general medical knowledge compared to graduates of Canadian medical schools. The examination is designed to test your understanding of the principal fields of medicine, including internal medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, psychiatry, surgery and others.

In order to sit the MCCEE, IMGs must have completed all the academic and practical

Requirements to obtain the qualification of Doctor of Medicine (MD), or equivalent, from the university that granted the medical degree. The university awarding the medical degree must be listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools, published by the World Health Organization (WHO). The examination is held in English and French in various centres in Canada and abroad. It is usually held in March and September. To obtain an application to write the MCCEE or, to receive a list of examination centres, contact:

Medical Council of Canada, Box 8234, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, KlG 3H7, telephone: (613) 521-6012, fax: (613) 521-9417.

Pre-registration Clinical Training/Postgraduate Medical Training Success in the MCCEE is only the first step toward obtaining a general license to practise medicine in Canada. In some provinces, IMGs must also undergo pre-registration training in Canada. This training generally consists of an approved residency, the length of which varies from province to province. For specific details, contact the licensing authority in the Canadian province or territory in which you wish to practise. A list of the licensing authorities is given below. It is important to note that, at present, there are very few opportunities in Canada for IMGs to pursue the postgraduate medical training that would lead to medical licensure in this country.

Thirteen accredited Canadian postgraduate medical training programs participate in the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS). This service matches prospective physicians to a training program. Not all medical schools participating in the matching service accept international graduates into their postgraduate medical training programs. Applications from IMGs are processed according to the policies established by each institution. For more information about the service, please write to the following address or refer to their website at www.cma.ca.

Canadian Resident Matching Service
151 Slater Street, Suite 802
Ottawa, ON. Canada K1P 5H3

Achieving Licensure

The registration for licensure of physicians in Canada is under the jurisdiction of the medical licensing authorities. Most Canadian medical licensing authorities require physicians to become a Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) before being considered as candidates for licensure. The MCC issues the LMCC to IMGs following

1. successful completion of the MCCEE;

2. successful completion of the Qualifying Examination Part I;

3. proof of satisfactory completion of 12 months of postgraduate medical

training; and

4. successful completion of the Qualifying Examination Part II.

In addition to the professional competence standards, some licensing authorities also require supplementary professional examinations and/or language examinations. For information regarding specific provincial/territorial requirements, please contact the licensing authority in the province or territory in which you wish to train or practise. A list of the licensing bodies is given below for your convenience.

Studying In Canada under certain limited circumstances, IMGs may obtain additional medical training in Canada with a view to returning to their home country. Such individuals require registration with the provincial medical licensing authority, as well as authorization from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Contact the relevant provincial/territorial medical licensing authority for more information.

You may also wish to purchase the CMA publication, "MedGuide", which provides current licensing requirements for all provinces and territories, important information about specialty certification and other medical organizations representing the interests of Canadian physicians, and other valuable information. For further details about this publication and how to order, please contact the CMA Membership Services Centre toll free at 1-800-663-7336, extension 2307.

The information outlined above is not definitive or exhaustive. Please contact the relevant authorities referenced for specific details.


Dept. of Consumer & Corporate Affairs
Government of the Yukon
P.O. Box 2703
Whitehorse, YT Y1A 2C6 Phone: (403) 667-5811

Professional Licensing, Dept. of Justice & Public Service,
Gov't. of NWT
P.O. Box 1320
Yellowknife, NT X1A 2L9 Phone: (403) 920-8058, FAX (403) 873-0272

College of Physicians and Surgeons
of British Columbia
1807 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6J 2A9 Phone: (604) 733-7758

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta
900 Manulife Place, 10180-101 Street
Edmonton, AB T5J 4P8 (403) 423-4764

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan
211 Fourth Avenue South
Saskatoon, SK S7K 1N1 Phone: (306) 244-7355

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba
494 St. James Street
Winnipeg, MB R3G 3J4 Phone: (204) 774-4344

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
80 College Street
Toronto, ON M5G 2E2 Phone: (416) 961-1711

College des medecins du Quebec
2170, boul. Rene-Levesque Ouest
Montreal (Quebec) H3H 2T8 Phone: (514) 933-4441

College of Physicians and Surgeons of New Brunswick
1 Hampton Rd., P.O. Sack 628
Rothesay, NB E2E 5K8 Phone: (506) 849-5050

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia
5248 Morris Street
Halifax, NS B3J 1B4 Phone: (902) 422-5823, FAX (902) 422-5035

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Prince Edward Island
199 Grafton Street
Charlottetown, PE C1A 1L2 Phone: (902) 566-3861

Newfoundland Medical Board
139 Water St., St. John's, NF A1C 1B2 Phone: (709) 726-8546

Note: (This information is provided by the Canadian Medical Association)

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