International Medical Graduates
Thunder Bay is an eligible Ontario community for the purposes of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Return of Service Programs. If you are an international medical graduate (IMG) considering where to fulfill your return of service, view practice opportunities for family physicians and specialists in Thunder Bay.
Physicians in Ontario must be registered (licensed) with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), the provincial governing body.
Family physicians in Ontario must be certified with the College of Family Physicians Canada (CFPC), Canada’s legal certifying body for family medicine, by obtaining the Certification in the College of Family Physicians (CCFP) designation.
Specialist physicians must be certified with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC), Canada’s legal certifying body for specialists.
There are a few ways to become licensed to practice medicine in Ontario.
Obtain Canadian Postgraduate Training
Graduates of an international medical school may obtain Canadian post-graduate training by applying for a residency with a Canadian medical school. IMGs apply directly for residency positions through the Canadian Resident Matching Services (CaRMS).
Complete and Obtain Canadian Credentials (the National Standard)
Necessary requirements for an independent license to practice medicine with the CPSO:
- Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examinations (MCCQE) Parts 1 and 2
- Specialist certification with the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) or Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC)
- Valid Medical Degree
- Immigration Status in Canada (citizenship, permanent residency, work permit)
Both the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) recognize postgraduate training in approved jurisdictions. View approved jurisdictions for family physicians and for specialists to find out if you qualify for certification in Canada.
Physicians who do not meet all the requirements for an independent licence with CPSO may be eligible for a restricted licence. Visit CPSO online to learn more about independent and restricted licensing.
Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA)
The CFTA is a federal-provincial labour mobility agreement under which a regulated professional with a licence in one Canadian province may be eligible for an equivalent licence in the others, even if they do not meet the exam requirements in other provinces. Physicians with medical licences in other Canadian provinces can apply for registration with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement. View more information for international medical graduates and registration types on the CPSO website.
CPSO Alternative Pathways A & B
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) outlines two pathways to reduce barriers for qualified physicians to obtain registration to practice medicine in Ontario.
HealthForceOntario Marketing and Recruitment Agency (a division of Ontario Health) provides advice and information to the following groups of physicians who want to relocate and practise in Ontario:
- Physicians who have completed postgraduate training in the U.S.
- Physicians who have completed postgraduate training in Canada
- Physicians who have completed postgraduate training outside Canada or the U.S.
Information for physicians who may be eligible for a licence to practice can find information on HFO’s website in the physician relocation guide.
Physicians who are not eligible for a licence in Ontario can find information on HFO’s website under the Access Centre for Internationally Educated Health Professionals.
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