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Wishing to return to Canada to practice? There are a few things that you must consider before putting in your application to secure a license in Canada to practice medicine. Firstly you must graduate from an ACGME accredited residency. AOA residencies are not seen equally and graduates of AOA programs will not be accepted into Canada. With the current AOA/ACGME merger, all residencies are now considered ACGME accredited. If you have graduated from an AOA residency prior to the merger, you may want to contact the College of Physicians and Surgeons in the province in which you wish to return. 

If graduating as a Specialist (anything other than family medicine), then you must ensure that your program and elective time fits the requirements for that specialty in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. For each specialty you will require a certain requirements in order to return to Canada. Therefore when selecting elective time in residency be sure to fill the requirements listed here.  In most cases, the Royal College exam will be required for eligibility to practice.

The Canadian Standard

The Canadian Standard was established by the Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada (FMRAC). It is a combination of qualifications from different regulatory bodies in Canada which, when met, make a candidate eligible for licensure in their medical specialty in all provinces and territories. From the MCC website:

Physicians applying for the first time to become licensed to practice medicine in a Canadian jurisdiction may achieve full licensure only if they:

1. Have a medical degree [from a medical school that, at the time the candidate completed the program, was listed in the FAIMER’s International Medical Education Directory (IMED) or the WHO’s World Directory of Medical Schools (WDMS) Seventh Edition (2000)], or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from a school in the United States accredited by the American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation; and 

2. Are a Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada; and 

3. Have satisfactorily completed a discipline-appropriate postgraduate training program in allopathic medicine and an evaluation by a recognized authority; and 


4. Have achieved certification from the College of Family Physicians of Canada or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada or the Collège des médecins du Québec.


Preparation to Return to Canada

Use the following steps to prepare yourself for licensure in Canada.

  1. Apply into the Medical Council of Canada's physiciansapply.

    • Through, you can share your information with the provincial regulatory board, which makes it easy to transmit certified documents.​

  2. Apply to the Regulatory body of your choosing. CPSO for Ontario, CPSBC for British Columbia, etc. (see Registration information)

  3. Apply for certification for either the College of Family Physicians of Canada or Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Family medicine has a different process than Specialties. Both The College of Family Physicians of Canada(CCFP) and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada(RSPC) are viewed under the Medical Council of Canada(MCC). However Family Physicians must become certified through the CCFP and all other specialties through the RCPSC. See the below diagram. 

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