View Full Version : As a Canadian, I'm a little confused about the whole process of becomming certified

07-03-2011, 11:35 PM
Most of the information on the net that I can find applies to students that plan to work in the USA. I'm from Canada, and I'm hoping to be able to work in Canada.

Would this be the order of events for a Canadian wanting to practice in Canada?

1. 5 Semesters Basic Sciences
3. 5 Semesters Clinical

(Graduate from Saba)

4. MCCQE 1
5. Residency
6. MCCQE 2

(You're a doctor now)

07-04-2011, 09:35 AM
Not sure of the specific order for Canadian licensure, but as a Saba student, you still have to take the USMLE Step 1 and more recently they are requiring you to take and pass the Step 2 before you can graduate from the MD program. US and Canadians alike must take the Step 1 and 2.

Mourning Cloak
07-04-2011, 04:46 PM
Would this be the order of events for a Canadian wanting to practice in Canada?

Don't forget about sitting the Royal College exams in Ottawa.

07-12-2011, 12:04 AM
For Canada, the order is more like this
1. Basic sciences
2. Step 1
3. Core rotations
4. Step 2 + MCCEE
5. Electives
Graduate from Saba

6. First year of residency + MCCQE Part 1 (+Step 3 if you're doing a residency in the US)
7. Remainder of residency + MCCQE Part 2 + board exams for your specialty

I think in some provinces you can stop after 6 and be a general practitioner if you've also done MCCQE Part 2. Other places are now requiring a full residency + board certification before you can practice. Some provinces will take your USMLE steps 1-3 in place of the MCCQE exams, but this could change on a dime so many people still end up doing both sets of Can/US exams just to be safe. As it stands the canadian family med college will accept american FM training and board certification so you don't have to write both sets of board exams if you do FM.

07-12-2011, 10:50 AM
This applies to Canadians wanting to practice and get licensed in Canada. Read carefully. This is accurate at the time of posting

Semesters 1-5 with Comp then
You will do Step 1 USMLE

Semester 8 somewhere around this time
Step 2 CS & CK


Get ECFMG clearance and also registration of qualifications in Canada so that you can do the MCCEE and enter the Canadian match You MUST do the MCCEE to enterthe Canadian match. USMLE will not count for CaRMS application


Apply to CaRMS (Canadian residency matching service) and US match

For safety do MCCQE1 also after the MCCEE - gives you extra kudos when applying for Canadian residency
For licensure purposes USMLE and American Boards are not equivalent to Canadian exams except in a couple of provinces. Family Practice Certification in the USA will allow you to get a licence to practice FP in Canada in most provinces.
Near the end of PGY1 year residency in the USA Step 3 then speciality boards after completing residency. This will allow you to practice IF you can get a green cardOtherwise you have to go back to Canada for a time before applying for permanent residency in the USA- and you won't be able to work in Canada (no license!)

If doing a residency in the USA, do speciality Boards- if you then wish to go to Canada to practice as a specialist you will have to have your training assessed by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. They may ask you to do more training before you are allowed to write the Canadian Fellowship exams. You cannot practice in Canada as a specialist without a Fellowship of the Royal College. (Tough exams) or an agreement from the licensing province that your US board certification is adequate in your speciality- in underserviced areas you may be able to do this- certainly not in Toronto ,Montreal, Vancouver. Internal medicine and peds in the USA are primary care and three years training. In Canada at least 4 years training.

I hope this time line helps. It's hard to get into Canada for residency, but it's worth it. The training is all University based and the quality is standardised right across the country. Residency in Canada is always done in a University affiliated hospital with faculty on the staff of that University.

07-13-2011, 02:03 PM
MCCEE should be done around the same time as Step 2, not later. You could potentially even do it earlier, after Step 1. I've heard it's a fairly simple exam that is testing really basic medical knowledge and less about higher management of medical problems like theStep 2 does.

Medical licensure is a provincial issue in Canada and thus differs from province to province. In general you need to have LMCC/MCCQE steps 1+2 passed plus 1 year of post-grad training. Some provinces will accept your USMLEs (BC for sure, Ontario too I think) so you don't have to write them, but as an IMG you still always have to write the MCCEE exam.

Board certification is not determined by provinces but is determined on a national level by either the Royal College of Physicians/Surgeons or the Canadian College of Family Physicians (CCFP). As it stands the CCFP will take the American Board of Family Med certifications as equivalent. The Royal College is more complicated as amw said, as it covers all the other specialties, many of which are not equal in training length to Canadian training, or covering the same types of material. As an example internal med is a pure specialty and consultant service in Canada and is 4 years in length for general internal medicine, whereas in the US it is more of a primary care field and so the focus of training is slightly different, and is only 3 years in length. The royal college exam is notoriously difficult and the failure rate for American IM residents is supposd to be a lot higher than their Canadian counterparts, probably for reasons mentioned above. I don't know how it works exactly, but I think the royal college will sometimes let you practice without having to do extra training or licensing if you are board certified in the US and you are under supervision for the first year or two...it's so variable and changing all the time, so it's something you really can't look at until you're done training. Ultimately if you plan to return to Canada, the best route is to just cross your fingers and hope you get a residency in Canada. As it stands with the CaRMS survey showing something like 3500 Canadian students now studying at international schools, most of whom are probably competing for about 300 IMG spots, it's going to be pretty difficult to match.

07-15-2011, 06:55 PM
Just to clear things up. Step 2CK and MCCEE are almost identical exams except (obviously) some of the public/community health issues, legal and demographics. MCCEE is not a simpler exam. It tests all the things you have to know in Step 2.CK. I suggest for the Canadian exam the Toronto notes are a great resource and also for Step2 CK (apart from the things I mentioned)
You are correct re provincial licensing being a mess at present,varying from one province to the other, however legislation is going through that will make a licensing in any province portable to another province.
However... You must have either your Family practice certification ( completed FP residency) or Royal College certification (or in two provinces at present US Speciality boards, all others at present demand that you get your training assessed by the Royal College and you write their exams. You may be able in some provinces to work under supervision for a year, but then have to take those very tough exams). You can not do a a couple of years residency and hang up a shingle in any province. There is no such thing as
"Board eligible" in Canada. You've either got your speciality training and can get a licence or not.
I'm not a student, I'm faculty-not at Saba-and spent the last few years helping Canadian students understand this mess and have correspondence with every licensing board in Canada and the Royal College. So none of this info is "I think" or "someone says". It's really factual.at the time placed on VMD.and as you know it's shifting and changing all the time.

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