Virtual delivery of the MCCQE Part II | Medical Council of Canada
Close this search box.
NewsVirtual delivery of the MCCQE Part II

Virtual delivery of the MCCQE Part II

February 18, 2021

We are pleased to confirm that, beginning May 18, 2021, the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) will offer a virtual delivery of the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part II. The MCC plans to offer the exam over 20 days in May and June. The virtual delivery of the MCCQE Part II will enable candidates to resume their path to full licensure and offer them more flexibility.

Candidates will complete the exam in a single day from a remote location (such as their home or office) using a secure virtual examination delivery platform provided through a partnership with Education Management Solutions (EMS). Priority will be given to those who were not able to write their exam due to the postponed May and October 2020 sessions and February 2021 session, since many now have a provisional, temporary or restricted license.

The MCC will be releasing more details on the exam experience for candidates, as well as scheduling, in the coming weeks. We look forward to offering a safe, efficient and reliable exam experience to candidates resuming their route to licensure.

About the MCCQE Part II

The MCCQE Part II is an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) that assesses competence, knowledge, skills and behaviours essential for entry into independent clinical practice, regardless of specialty. It encompasses two broad categories: dimensions of care across the medical continuum and physician activities, including assessment and diagnosis, management, communication and professional behaviours.

Indeed, our Canadian medical schools and residency training programs extensively prepare students. However, there is no one way to teach, and it’s critical that every physician be able to demonstrate what they have learned at a level expected of the profession and by patients. As is the case with any professional exam, there is a common standard that must be achieved before a license is granted. The MCCQE Part II is the only independent, objective assessment in Canada that evaluates foundational skills.

Approximately 5,000 candidates challenge the MCCQE Part II annually.

In May 2019, 1,447 first-time Canadian-trained candidates challenged the exam achieving an overall pass rate of 88% (165 unsuccessful candidates).

In October 2019, 1,371 first-time Canadian-trained candidates challenged the exam achieving an overall pass rate of 91% (123 unsuccessful candidates).

What is critical about this information is that the MCCQE Part II standard for “Pass” is the minimally competent physician demonstrating core clinical performance, communication skills and professional behaviours required of all physicians. It does not examine for excellence.


Relevant research articles:

Cadieux, G., Abrahamowicz, M., Dauphinee, D., & Tamblyn, R. (2011). Are Physicians With Better Clinical Skills on Licensing Examinations Less Likely to Prescribe Antibiotics for Viral Respiratory Infections in Ambulatory Care Settings? Medical Care, 49 (2): 156-165.

De Champlain, A. F., Ashworth, N., Kain, N.,  Qin, S.,  Wiebe, D., & Tian, Fang. (2020). Does Pass/Fail on Medical Licensing Exams Predict Future Physician Performance in Practice? A Longitudinal Cohort Study of Alberta Physicians. Journal of Medical Regulation, 106 (4): 17–26.

Ecker, D.J., Milan, F.B., Cassese, T., Farnan, J.M., Madigosky, W.S., Massie, F.S. Jr., Mendez, P., Obadia, S., Ovitsh, R.K., Silvestri, R., Uchida, T., & Daniel, M. (2018). Step Up—Not On—The Step 2 Clinical Skills Exam: Directors of Clinical Skills Courses (DOCS) Oppose Ending Step 2 CS. Academic Medicine, 93 (5): 693-698.

Holmboe, E.S. (2004). Faculty and the Observation of Trainees’ Clinical Skills: Problems and Opportunities. Academic Medicine, 79 (1): 16-22.

Meguerditchian, AN., Dauphinee, D., Girard, N. Tewodros, E., Riedel, K., Jacques, A., Meterissian, S., Buckeridge, D.L., Abrahamowicz, M., & Tamblyn, R. (2012). Do physician communication skills influence screening mammography utilization? BMC Health Services Research, 12 (219).

Pugh, D., Desjardins, I., & Eva, K. (2018). How do formative objective structured clinical examinations drive learning? Analysis of residents’ perceptions. Medical Teacher, 40 (1): 45-52.

Tamblyn, R., Abrahamowicz, M., Dauphinee, D., et al. (2007). Physician Scores on a National Clinical Skills Examination as Predictors of Complaints to Medical Regulatory Authorities. JAMA, 298 (9): 993-1001.