Objectives overview

The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) Objectives for the Qualifying Examination identify attributes expected of medical graduates entering supervised and independent practice in Canada. In December 2004, the MCC launched the third edition of the Objectives for the Qualifying Examination. This document continues to serve as the basis for the MCC Evaluating Examination, the Qualifying Examination Part I and the Qualifying Examination Part II.

The Objectives have been defined in behavioural terms and reflect the MCC’s expectations of competent physicians. The Objectives are intended for medical experts who create examination questions, for candidates preparing for the MCC examinations, for educators, and for medical assessment organizations throughout the world.

The Objectives are updated on an ongoing basis. In 2009, the MCC reclassified the Objectives based on physicians’ roles as defined by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons’ CanMEDS (Canadian Medical Education Directives for Specialists) roles framework. This classification includes the roles of communicator, collaborator, health advocate, manager, scholar, professional and expert. This framework is now used extensively in Canada and recognized worldwide.

The Objectives are available free of charge on this website:

How to use the Objectives as a study guide

The Objectives for the Qualifying Examination are a useful study guide for candidates attempting any MCC examination. The Objectives have been developed in terms of clinical presentations. Under each presentation is a set of learning objectives that lay out exactly what a candidate would need to know to pass the MCC examinations.

When studying for an examination, candidates should systematically go through each clinical presentation and carefully read the related objectives. If you, as a candidate, feel that your knowledge or skills related to a given objective are weak, make a note to follow up and study that objective further with a medical reference guide or textbook.

Objectives Web Service

View the Objectives Web Service

An online web service is available to allow external programs to retrieve and search objectives content. This would be of particular interest to universities and other institutions or services that incorporate references to the Objectives for the Qualifying Examination in their automated systems. For more information consult the technical documentation for the Objectives Online Web Service (English only).