Considering recent media coverage, the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) wishes to clarify its role and services offered to assist international medical graduates (IMGs) on their route to licensure in Canada and to ensure safe patient care in Canada. IMGs are increasingly interested in immigrating to Canada, and they offer one important solution to the physician shortage.
The MCC is not a licensing body. We are an examination body that assesses physicians’ and medical school graduates’ competence for entry into practice. The MCC grants a qualification in medicine known as the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC). The LMCC is a part of the Canadian Standard, the set of requirements physicians need to meet to apply for a full licence from a medical regulatory authority (MRA) and practise medicine in Canada.
The MCC is also responsible for source verification of medical credentials for physicians who have trained outside of Canada to confirm their credentials are authentic and meet specific requirements. Although the overall process is standardized, requests for source verification can differ and processing time relies on several factors, including the engagement of the candidate/physician, the responsiveness of the institution authenticating the credential and where the candidate is in meeting the licensure requirements of the provincial or territorial MRA or in other related application processes. In 2022-2023, the MCC processed over 13,300 source verification requests. In the last fiscal year, candidates electronically shared approximately 145,000 documents with our partners via physiciansappy.ca.
We acknowledge that the current processing times for reviewing documents are longer than what we aim for. We are committed to addressing these longer timelines and are actively recruiting additional staff to improve the processing times and offer our candidates the best possible service.
We are also collaborating with the MRAs and government to streamline pathways to licensure, specifically for physicians trained outside of Canada, while ensuring they can practice safely in the Canadian context.