Backgrounder: Application for Medical Registration (AMR)

  • The AMR is accessed through the physiciansapply.ca portal, which has been “live” since mid-2013 (http://physiciansapply.ca/). The physiciansapply.ca portal is hosted by the Medical Council of Canada (MCC).
  • The College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) is the first Medical Regulatory Authority (MRA) to integrate physiciansapply.ca into its application process. CPSA Assistant Registrar Dr. Kate Reed led this initiative at the College, chaired the AMRC Technical Working Group and chairs the AMR Advisory Committee.
  • Through physiciansapply.ca, candidates can:
    • request source verification of their international medical credentials
    • share medical credentials stored in the MCC Physician Credentials Repository with authorized organizations
    • apply for MCC exams and the National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) exam
    • view and share MCC and NAC exam results with authorized organizations
    • apply to the CPSA for medical registration, and eventually apply to multiple jurisdictions as more medical regulatory authorities come on board over the next 18 months
  • physiciansapply.ca replaces two accounts with one: previously, candidates needed an account with the MCC to apply for MCC examinations and view exam results (MCC-Online) and certain candidates used an additional account with the Physician Credentials Registry of Canada (PCRC-Online) to request verification of credentials issued outside Canada.
  • Fees for using physiciansapply.ca and the AMR are as follows:
    • There is a one-time account fee for physiciansapply.ca, which is $260 for 2014. Candidates who previously paid the account fee in PCRC-Online or physiciansapply.ca will not be charged this fee again. All other candidates will be asked to pay the fee when opening their physiciansapply.ca account or when using the AMRC process.
    • The CPSA charges all candidates applying for an Alberta independent practice permit a $200 fee (plus applicable taxes) to conduct a Review of Qualifications (formerly Eligibility Review). Candidates will be asked to pay this fee when applying to the CPSA using the AMRC process.
  • Candidates who wish to apply to jurisdictions other than Alberta will continue to apply directly to the MRAs pending their adoption of the AMRC during 2014-15.
  • The physiciansapply.ca application portal cannot be used for renewal of medical licences or practice permits. It is designed only for the use of candidates applying for independent registration for the first time.

History

  • The opportunity to develop a national portal for medical registration came out of the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT), an intergovernmental agreement signed by Canada’s First Ministers in 1995 which became applicable to physicians in 2009.
  • While there is no national practice permit, under the AIT a physician already registered in Canada can apply to another Canadian jurisdiction even if he/she doesn’t meet all of that jurisdiction’s registration criteria.
  • The MCC had launched in 2007 the Physician Credentials Registry of Canada, which was accepted and used as a credential repository by the Canadian MRAs.
  • Working groups of the Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada (FMRAC) have been engaged in developing national standards for full and provisional licensure and, with the MCC, creating the AMR, building on the infrastructure of the Physician Credentials Registry of Canada.
  • The AMR is custom-built to meet the specific needs and input of MRAs.

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