We advise all prospective students to review accreditation requirements in detail.
The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) strives to achieve the highest level of medical care for Canadians through excellence in evaluation of physicians. It assesses over 11,000 medical students and graduates every year through its examinations. Its exams are offered in both official languages in sites across Canada, and in the case of the MCCEE, in over 500 locations in 80 countries.
The MCC maintains the Canadian Medical Register, in which medical graduates are inscribed when they fulfill the MCC’s requirements. Additionally, the MCC supports research and development to ensure it remains at the forefront of innovation in medical assessment.
Residency in Canada
Most Canadian residencies are open to permanent residents of Canada and all residencies are open to Canadian citizens.
Securing Residency in Canada
In order to secure a Canadian post-graduate residency, it is recommended that Canadian students take the following preliminary steps during their final years of UK medical studies:
- Take Electives at a Canadian Medical School
During the final years of study in the UK, it is recommended that the medical student choose to do a few elective rotations at a Canadian medical school. This allows the student to evaluate the school itself and in turn, the residency to assess the student’s clinical and interpersonal skills. Electives may also facilitate letters of reference from Canadian preceptors who can help comment on the student’s abilities.
2. Write the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
The English as a Foreign Language Test (TOEFL) is a simple one-day test that evaluates the student’s ability to communicate in English. This should be done during the final years of study in the UK, as it is required for admissions with most Canadian residencies.
3. Write the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE)
As of 2003, the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE) can be written during the final year of medical school, so that the student can directly start their Canadian residency upon graduation from a UK medical school, without any lost time. Offered twice annually, the student should prepare to take this written exam during autumn of the final year of UK medical school.
4. Take the National Assessment Collaboration – Objective Structured Clinical Examination (NAC OSCE)
Most provinces now require students to pass the National Assessment Collaboration – Objective Structured Clinical Examination (NAC OSCE) to be considered for post graduate medical residency training. The NAC OSCE is a standardized clinical exam designed to test the knowledge and skills of International Medical Graduates (IMG) in order to assess their readiness to commence residency training in Canada.
Students/graduates must first pass the MCCEE before taking the NAC OSCE. It is important to check with the appropriate regulatory authority and the IMG training programs in the province in which you wish to practice, as eligibility requirements can vary.
5. Enter the Canadian Residency Matching Service (CaRMS)
During the final year of UK medical school, the student enters the Canadian Residency Matching Service (CaRMS), an online service that is designed to match students to desired residency slots.
As of the 2007 match, Canadian citizens who studied in the UK are permitted to enter the first round of the match in most provinces. The match rules vary by province. Some provinces have a parallel match with reserved slots for Canadians who are UK (or other international) graduates.
A few provinces have a unified match whereby graduates of both Canadian medical schools and UK (or other international) medical schools compete openly for residency spots.
During the early part of the final year of UK medical school, the residencies conduct interviews as part of their selection criteria. An interview time is arranged, and the residency programs interview the student.
7. Graduate Medical School and Begin Residency
The student enters a ranked list of their desired residencies via the Internet. Residency directors also enter their ranked list of candidates via the Internet. Students are matched to residencies and the results announced online. The student graduates from medical school in the UK and starts residency in Canada a few weeks later.
Completing Residency in Canada
1. Take the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examinations
Once the student has graduated from medical school in the UK and has begun residency training at a Canadian school, the student should arrange to write the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Exams. The Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination, Part I (MCCQEI) is usually written sometime during first year of residency training and the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part II (MCCQEII) is usually written somewhere between the second to final year of the residency program.
2. Take the Specialty Examination
Near the end of residency, the examination for the student’s chosen specialty is taken. For example, a family physician would take the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) examination.
Residency policy in Canada varies widely by province. These provincial variations can be reviewed on the CaRMS website. A residency may have extra requirements, such as proficiency in French for a francophone residency, or having lived in that province in the past. The provincial policies are updated regularly. For official information on licensing please contact the licensing authority in the Province or Territory where you wish to practice.
Variation in Residency Slots by Discipline
There is also a wide variation in the number of second iteration Canadian Residency Matching Service (CaRMS) places by discipline. Family medicine classically has many, while other disciplines have moderate to very few.
Canadian Residency Posts ‘Outside The Match’
Some provinces have specially funded residency positions available outside the CaRMS match process. Often these are tied with a return-of-service agreement. Details of these specially funded positions can be obtained from the universities or provincial websites.
Concurrent Application to USA and Canadian Residencies
It is possible for a Canadian citizen who trained in the UK to concurrently apply to residencies in both the USA and Canada. This involves writing the exams for each country and entering both the Canadian (CaRMS) and the American (NRMP) residency matching programs. However, there is a reciprocal agreement between the USA and Canada, in which a student who is matched in one country is removed from the other country’s match.
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All of Future Project’s partner Medical School are accredited by the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education & Research (FAIMER).