International Medical Graduates (IMG)
Medical Students and Residents
How long will the whole process take from the time that I apply online to the time I start working?
The preliminary assessment process by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC will take 10 to 12 weeks. You should then plan on it taking at least six months from the time you receive a job offer to your starting work in British Columbia.
Can I commence or complete my medical training in British Columbia?
Health Match BC works with physicians who are fully trained and ready to start work in their field. It is our understanding that commencing or completing training in British Columbia is very unlikely.
Health Match BC is not aware of any opportunities to complete training either in terms of a residency or individual rotations in BC.
What does CMPA membership mean?
The CMPA (Canadian Medical Protective Association) provides professional liability protection for Canadian physician members with medico-legal advice, risk management education, and legal assistance related to their clinical practice.
Can I try out a position first as a locum and/or visit the facility or community before accepting a position?
This may be possible and can be negotiated with the hiring health authority.
Is there a possibility of doing a locum or two in British Columbia?
Yes.The criteria for locum and permanent licensure for physicians are the same.
Therefore, you must complete the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Exam (MCCEE) before being able to work as a locum in BC. Please be aware that your work permit will be specific and restricted to one site or community.
What is “fee for service”?
Most physicians in BC are paid on a fee for service basis by the Ministry of Health Services. Fee for service is a specific fee paid for each service such as an office visit, test, procedure, or other health care service provided to each patient.
Are all doctors paid on a fee-for-service basis? What about locums?
Some physicians, including locums, in BC are paid a salary, alternative payments, or a combination of fee for service and one of the other types of compensation.
How can I find out if my specialty is recognized in British Columbia?
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC (CPSBC) bases its decision on licensure of specialists on whether or not they meet the criteria of the specialists’ credentialing body, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). If you meet the RCPSC’s criteria, it is likely that CPSBC will license you.
I am an IMG, what are the eligibility requirements to work as a family physician or general practitioner in British Columbia?
In assessing eligibility for provisional registration, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC will pay closest attention to the content and duration of your postgraduate training. You must demonstrate that you meet their requirements of two years accredited and approved postgraduate training that includes a minimum core rotation of 44 weeks in seven specific disciplines.
Eight weeks in each of surgery, medicine, obstetrics/gynecology and pediatrics, plus four weeks in each of psychiatry, emergency and family/general practice medicine.
If you have not completed formal postgraduate training in any of the four week rotations (psychiatry, emergency and family/general practice medicine) the College may accept a letter of reference from a senior doctor under whom you have worked.
As a condition of licensure, physicians are required to complete the Medical Council of Canada Evaluation Exam (MCCEE) prior to commencement of practice in BC (except Canadian and United States medical school graduates and postgraduate trainees).
I am an IMG, will I only be allowed to work in rural British Columbia?
Generally, this is the case. The College will restrict you to an underserved area of need in British Columbia.
Is the UK’s GMC full registration with specialty registration or Royal College of Surgeons of England Membership accepted for certification by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in my specialty? Is it compatible?
To be considered for provisional licensure in BC, all specialists who have obtained their postgraduate training in the UK or Ireland must hold the CCT/CCST (Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training) or an equivalent certificate from the Higher Specialist Training Authority (Medicine or Surgery).
Is it necessary to pass the examinations of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) even if I’m registered in the UK?
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC (CPSBC) requires completion of the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Exam (MCCEE) before you can practise in British Columbia. This does not apply to US or Canadian medical school graduates or residents. As a condition of ongoing licensure, you may be required to complete the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Exams, Parts 1 and 2 within three to five years after you start practising medicine in British Columbia.
Do Canadian medical authorities accept UK or Irish documents?
UK and Irish documents are accepted as proof of training, registration, etc.; however, there is no reciprocity for exam requirements. Registration in the UK or Ireland is not the factor that determines whether or not the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC will license you.
You must have completed your postgraduate training in the UK and if you have your CCST/CCT (Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training) or equivalent, you then may be eligible for licensure. Membership in the UK Royal College is not reciprocal.
I am a Canadian medical student completing my residency training. Is there a return-of-service agreement that would fund my residency training in exchange for a commitment to work within the region for the long term?
We are not aware of any return-of-service programs being offered in British Columbia at this time. However, this may change as the need for physicians in the province increases.
Placements for postgraduate training are administered by the medical schools in BC. Further information is available from the University of British Columbia and the University of Northern British Columbia.
More information for medical residents is available from the Canadian Resident Matching Service.