Medical Council of Canada

Route to Licensure

Route to licensure

The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) plays an important role in the assessment of physicians in Canada. The MCC does not, however, confer licences to physicians (this responsibility belongs to the provincial and territorial Medical Regulatory Authorities).

 

The LMCC and the Canadian Medical Register

The MCC grants a qualification in medicine known as the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) to medical graduates who have submitted evidence of at least twelve months of postgraduate clinical medical training deemed acceptable by the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the MCC and successfully completed:

    1. the Qualifying Examination prior to 1 January, 1992;
      or
    2. the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part I and the MCCQE Part II;
      or
    3. the MCCQE Part I and, during the years from 2013 to 2015, the MCC/College of Family Physicians of Canada harmonized examination.

In addition, as of June 29, 2021 (following the cancellation of the administration of the MCCQE Part II in 2021), a graduate in medicine is eligible for inclusion in the Canadian Medical Register if they:

    1. Are a graduate from:

      a) a medical school accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools;
      or
      b) a medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools which includes a sponsor note indicating it is an acceptable medical school in Canada;
      or
      c) a United States School of Osteopathic Medicine accredited by the American Osteopathic Association;
      and

    2. Have been awarded a Pass on the MCCQE Part I;
      and

    3. Have successfully completed the following, as deemed acceptable by the Executive Director and CEO of the MCC:

      a) at least 12 months of acceptable clinical postgraduate medical training;
      or
      b) at least 12 months of acceptable osteopathic post graduate clinical training in a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (“ACGME”);
      and

    4. Have the required medical credentials including verification of postgraduate training successfully source-verified through MCC or, in exceptional circumstances, have provided evidence of the required medical credentials and postgraduate training that is deemed acceptable by the Executive Director and CEO;
      and

    5. Have paid the LMCC application fee to the MCC and do not have any outstanding fees payable to the MCC.

The LMCC is NOT a licence to practise medicine, the authority to issue such is reserved to the Medical Regulatory Authorities (MRAs). The LMCC is a part of the Canadian Standard for independent practice, the set of requirements for award of a full unrestricted licence to practise. Upon receiving their LMCC, candidates are also enrolled in the Canadian Medical Register.

 

Canadian Standard

The Canadian Standard sets out the academic qualifications that make an applicant eligible for full licensure in every Canadian province and territory.

Physicians applying for the first time to become licensed to practise medicine in a Canadian jurisdiction may achieve full licensure only if they:

    1. Have a medical degree [from a medical school that, at the time the candidate completed the program, was listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools],
      and
    2. Are a Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada;
      and
    3. Have satisfactorily completed a discipline-appropriate postgraduate training program in allopathic medicine and an evaluation by a recognized authority;
      and
    4. Have achieved certification from the College of Family Physicians of Canada or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada or the Collège des médecins du Québec.

Source: Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada

Please note that the MCC does not accredit or sponsor medical schools, or assess the quality of education provided by any medical school. It is candidates’ responsibility to check whether their medical school is listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools and has a Sponsor Note for Canada indicating that it is an acceptable medical school in Canada. Graduates and students from an acceptable medical school are eligible for MCC services.

There are also other routes to licensure in Canada:
Check with the medical regulatory authority in the province or territory where you would like to practise to review your options.


I am internationally trained.
What should I do before coming to Canada?

If you are an international medical graduate or international medical student, there are several steps you can take to begin the process of becoming a practising physician in Canada:

1. Confirm that your medical degree is recognized in Canada

 

Search the World Directory of Medical Schools (WDMS) for your medical school. A Canada Sponsor Note for your school must be identified to be accepted in Canada.

2. Take the online Preparatory resources

 

The Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part I is one of the exams you need to pass before you are eligible to practise in Canada. You can test your readiness for the MCCQE Part I by taking the Practice tests.

These tests are designed to help you familiarize yourself with the types of questions you could encounter related to the new Blueprint, as well as the online delivery platform of the MCCQE Part I. Practice test content is created by physicians and experts who have experience with the MCC’s content development process.

3. Open a physiciansapply.ca account

 

To take the MCCQE Part I, you must first sign up for a physiciansapply.ca account. You will need to pay a one-time, non-refundable fee. Once you sign up, you will be able to log into your account to request various services, including storing and sharing your documents, applying for exams and more.

4. Submit your medical credentials for verification

 

Within your physiciansapply.ca account, you can create a portfolio of your medical credentials for easy sharing with provincial/territorial medical regulatory authorities and other organizations in the Canadian medical system. Before your credentials can be shared, however, you must first send a copy of your final medical diploma to the MCC for source verification. Note that a fee is charged for each document you submit for source verification.

5. Take the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part I

 

The MCCQE Part I is a computer-based exam that can be taken at more than 500 test centres around the world. Apply for the MCCQE Part I through your physiciansapply.ca account. If you have not done so already, the system will prompt you to submit a Source Verification Request (SVR) for your final medical degree/diploma (unless you are a student, in which case you will be asked to submit a Student Attestation form as part of your MCCQE Part I application).

What should I do after I come to Canada?

Depending on your career goals and objectives, you might consider doing the following once you have arrived in Canada:

1. Take the National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) Examination

 

To apply for a residency position, international medical graduates need to pass the National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) Examination. This exam is offered only in Canada.

2. Join a practice-ready assessment (PRA) program

 

If you are looking to get a provisional licence so you can begin independent practice, a practice-ready assessment (PRA) program may be a good option for you. Available in several provinces, this kind of program is designed for internationally trained physicians who have pursued postgraduate clinical medical training abroad. For more information, contact your provincial international medical graduate program.

3. Become a Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC)

 

The MCC has introduced a new service to be able to grant the LMCC to individuals who meet all of the criteria. Qualified candidates will also be enrolled in the Canadian Medical Register in accordance with the MCC’s existing Policy on Registration in the Canadian Medical Register.

Phase one is underway and will be completed over the summer months. The MCC will process the MCCQE Part II May 2020 and 2021 cohorts that were registered for the exam. Once the LMCC is awarded, the MRAs will be able to access the information via the physiciansapply.ca portal.

Phase two will apply to a broader group of candidates. The MCC will add an LMCC service request to physiciansapply.ca to allow all other eligible candidates who meet the new outlined criteria to request an LMCC. This phase is anticipated to be in place by January 2022.

4. Seek out liability protection

 

If you are practising or completing your medical training in Canada, you will need medical liability protection. See the Canadian Medical Protective Association for more information.