The medical field is a regulated profession in Canada. You must be licensed by the provincial or territorial governing body to call yourself a medical doctor and to practice in Canada.
Most healthcare organizations in Canada refer to physicians like you, who have received their medical education outside of Canada and the United States, as international medical graduates (IMGs).
Before You Immigrate
There are steps that you can take before you immigrate to improve your chances of practicing your profession in Canada.
- Attend the Know Before You Go Webinar Series to learn more about life in Canada.
- Contact the Canadian diplomatic mission closest to you to learn about the employment requirements for the medical profession in Canada.
- Contact the medical regulatory association in the province where you’ll settle in Canada. Find out what procedures you must follow and the potential cost and time required to obtain a physician’s permit. Ask what licensing steps you can take before and after you immigrate.
- Contact the international medical graduate program in the province where you intend to practice, if such a program exists there.
- Start the licensure process while still in your home country by taking the following steps: confirm that your medical degree is from a recognized medical school; take an online self-assessment exam; submit your credentials with the Medical Council of Canada’s Physician Credentials Repository; take the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination.
- Improve your language skills and enroll in language classes in your home country and continue them after you move to Canada. You’ll need to prove your English or French (depending on your destination province) language competency, or be tested.
- Assess your language skills by taking an online self-assessment on the Canadian Language Benchmarks website.
- Gather and organize your official education, work and identity documents while still in your home country.
- Check with your provincial or territorial regulatory body to find out what documents you need to bring and verify if they need to be translated. You might need to use a professional translation service in Canada.
- Understand how the medical profession is practiced in Canada and familiarize yourself with provincial laws and legislation where you’ll settle.
- Know the name of your job in Canada and make a list of potential employers.
- Find out how to get your driver’s license when you arrive. It will be useful to help you get a job, or even to search for a job.