How To Become A Doctor In Canada From Another Country (FAQs) | 2022

How To Become A Doctor In Canada From Another Country

Canada is one of the best countries in the world to practice medicine. However, some things are involved in practicing medicine in Canada as a medical doctor from another country.

At least, the good news is that there is an increasing demand for doctors in Canada. So, by following some simple steps, you can rest assured that you will be allowed to practice medicine in Canada.

Thus, read this article from beginning to end as it will tell you all you need to know to become a licensed medical doctor in Canada.

Who is an IMG? 

IMG stands for “International Medical Graduate.”

IMG is a person that did not earn a medical degree in Canada, has an authorized license-to-practice from his or her country, has already ranked in years of medical experience, and maybe a Canadian citizen that did not obtain his or her medical degree in Canada.

An IMG is a person who has graduated from a medical school that is not accredited in Canada or the USA, according to the Medical Council of Canada (by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools or by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education in the USA).

Is Medicine a Good Career?

Medicine is a lucrative and rewarding career choice.

Medical training is expensive and time-consuming, yet it has mediocre “exit opportunities” to other professional routes, and no platform for advocacy, compared to other fields of study.

This field is best suited to those who are constantly looking for new ways to push themselves.

One must be able to make good decisions in order to have a successful medical career. Moreover, working in medicine requires quick thinking and knowledge application in real-time.

There are three things that lead to success in medicine: compassion for others, a strong belief system, and an eagerness to help others.

It is possible to make a name for oneself in this sector on a global scale, but it will need time and devotion on your part.

The duty of making a difference in people’s lives comes with wearing a white coat.

On the other hand, one of the greatest feelings a doctor can experience is saving the life of a patient who was in danger of dying from an illness.

Your discovery of an antidote could save millions of lives around the globe. Incomparable delight and fulfillment are the driving forces behind many people’s decision to pursue a career in medicine.

Demand for Medicine in the Future:

Healthcare experts are in high demand in Canada and other developed countries.

Between 7% and 12% is predicted to be the growth in employment for nurses and doctors/physicians by 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

NB: As you read on how to become a doctor in Canada from another country, check out:

Medical Practice in Canada: 

Canada has a universal healthcare system called Medicare, which is funded by the government.

Health care services in hospitals are covered under this program for everyone regardless of their income level, regardless of their need.

Primary care is the bedrock of the healthcare system and is the first line of defense against disease. So, direct access to specialists without a referral from a primary care physician is available to patients.

To practice medicine in Canada, you must have a medical degree from a recognized medical school in Canada.

However, doctors who possess a medical degree outside Canada or IMGs must undergo some processes before they can practice in Canada.

This is because medical practice in Canada is highly regulated, and one must possess a license and complete the needed registration before practicing in Canada.

Moreover, IMGs are normally subjected to a series of tests and other assessments.

How To Become A Doctor In Canada From Another Country:

1. Medical Credential Submission:

To become a practicing doctor in Canada as a doctor from another country, you are expected to send in your application through an online portal called “Physicians Apply Canada.”

This is run by the Medical Council of Canada (MCC). You will be asked to create your account and upload your documents before being scheduled for the test.

2. Testing and Assessment:

MCC is one of the few organizations responsible for regulating medical doctors’ activities in Canada.

Besides the provincial test you must take, some doctors may be asked to take the MCAT, which stands for Medical College Admission Test if they want to enhance their knowledge before practicing.

Those who believe they are ready will be asked to take the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part 1 and the National Assessment Collaboration Practice Readiness Assessment (NAC PRA), which is coordinated according to provinces.

In less than 12 weeks in a clinical environment, NAC PRA allows evaluators to assess the medical knowledge of IMGs.

After 12 weeks, aspiring medical practitioners in Canada will be tasked with providing medical services to people living in rural settlements.

Meanwhile, MCCQE is only for IMGs that aspire to become general practitioners or family doctors.

Those who want to proceed into an area of practice, say surgery, must take the exams coordinated by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons.

However, before then, the aspirant must obtain a license from the provincial health authority in their province.

NB: As you read on how to become a doctor in Canada from another country, check out:

How to land a Medical Residency in Canada: 

A medical residency in Canada is always the easiest way for any IMG to obtain a license in Canada. This can be achieved in the following steps;

1. Pass the necessary examinations:

IELTS, MCCQE Part 1, and NAC PAR are some tests you must take before you can land a medical residency in Canada.

Moreover, aspirants must score at least 70 in the IELTS and do exceedingly well in the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part 1 and the National Assessment Collaboration Practice Readiness Assessment (NAC PRA).

Note: The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a standard test of English language skills for people who don’t speak English as their first language.

2. Participate In “The March”:

If your exam results show the required pass score, then, apply for residency as soon as possible. You must use the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) to do this successfully.

This service will enable you to choose a residency in your province. However, you must create a personal account to do this and upload your relevant documents, including your test score.

3. Be ready for an interview:

If your application is considered and picked by a hospital, you will receive an interview invite. But before you go to the interview, ensure you are ready, so you will be chosen.

4. Organize your preferred province or program:

You must choose more than one province when applying for residency. This will make it possible for the system to match you with more than one residency when it looks at your entry.

5. Get assessed for four to six weeks:

The assessment period for each province differs from province to province. However, all of them last between four and six weeks.

Meanwhile, you must note that the assessment period is very important because it can either make or mar you.

Your performance is normally ranked after the assessment period. However, understand that you will only land the residency based on how well you do.

In the meantime, bridging programs are used in some provinces to cut down on time it takes for IMGs to get their medical licenses after applying. 

NB: As you read on how to become a doctor in Canada from another country, check out:

Simplest provinces for IMGs to practice medicine:

1. Nova Scotia:

Nova Scotia is one of the simplest provinces for IMGs to practice medicine. The province runs the IMG Bridging program, making the entire process less taxing and shorter for IMGs.

The province also runs Dalhousie University’s Med 3 Clerkship Opportunities for IMGs program that schools IMGs on what they need to know before venturing into a residency in Nova Scotia.

People who make it out successfully qualify for the initial CaRMS matching round.

2. Saskatchewan:

Saskatchewan is a province in Canada that shares a southern border with the United States. This province considers applicants that have a school’s FAIMER membership.

Their assessment program lasts for 12 weeks, and it is known as the Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment (SIPPA).

3. British Columbia:

BC, or the Canadian province of British Columbia, is one of the country’s ten provinces and three territories.

The Columbia River, which originates in the Canadian Rockies and empties into the state of Washington, is the inspiration for the name “British Columbia.”

The BC assessment program is highly recommended for any IMG that wants to practice without supervision. BC offers provisional medical licenses to IMGs that allow them to practice their profession.

Benefits of being a doctor in Canada:

1. Quality of Education:

Doctors in Canada are educated according to the medical model, which implies that they are taught how to think, speak medical jargon, and correctly diagnose illnesses.

In Canada, doctors’ education is essentially compressed into five years, depending on the degree of study you pick.

2. Having a job that you enjoy:

Using their medical knowledge and expertise, doctors in Canada are able to improve the lives of their patients.

You will have the option to pursue a career in medicine that is both personally fulfilling and professionally fulfilling if you choose to become a doctor in Canada.

3. Flexibility of Working Hours:

Doctors in Canada have the option to work conventional office hours, evening hours (4 pm to 9 pm), shift work, or on-call schedules (day call, overnight call, or weekend call).

Only a small percentage of medical professionals accept contracts that include working nights and weekends as well as call and other fast-paced conditions.

It’s up to you how flexible your work schedule is as a Canadian doctor.

NB: As you read on how to become a doctor in Canada from another country, check out:

Frequently Asked Questions on How To Become A Doctor In Canada From Another Country:

How many years does it take to become a doctor in Canada?

At most Canadian universities, medical school is a four-year program. McMaster University and the University of Calgary are notable exceptions, as their programs run for three years straight, with no breaks for the summer.

Is it hard to be a doctor in Canada?

It’s a mentally and physically taxing job to bear the weight of someone else’s health and well-being on your shoulders. To pursue a medical career, you must first attend medical school, which has a reputation for being extremely challenging and intimidating.

Are doctors happy in Canada?

A recent study found that 72% of Canadian doctors are content with their job lives; this is especially true for medical professionals. Doctors in Canada appear to be content with their profession despite differences in other criteria such as work-life balance.

What is MBBS called in Canada?

Doctor of Medicine


Canada is currently one of the countries with a high demand for doctors. However, becoming a doctor in Canada is time-consuming, so many people have pushed away from such thoughts.

Meanwhile, with a little determination, you can achieve your goal.

On the other hand, the only things that could dissuade you along the line could be the cost and time of applying for the residency and the highly competitive levels of Canadian residency programs.

So, prepare ahead of time and come up with the right solutions that will help you overcome this problem.

Awesome one; I hope this article answered your question.

Editor’s Recommendations:

If you find this article good, please share it with a friend.

You May Also Like