Canada Doctor Shortages – Immigration Opportunity For Foreign-Trained Doctors

Canada is experiencing a doctor shortage. To address this shortage, the federal government has created a program to provide easy access to Canadian immigration for foreign-trained doctors.

This program allows foreign-trained doctors to immigrate and practice medicine in Canada.

This article will emphasize Canada doctor shortages and immigration opportunities for foreign-trained doctors.

Overview of Canada Doctor Shortages

A doctor shortage has affected Canada’s healthcare system for several years, worsening the problem. The federal government has acknowledged this issue and created a new immigration process to attract foreign-trained doctors to work in Canada.

The program, known as Express Entry, will streamline the Entry of skilled workers into Canada through an online application process.

If you’re a foreign-trained doctor who wants to work in Canada or if you want to become a permanent resident of Canada but don’t yet have any experience working in your field, then continue reading. 

Who Is In A Doctor Shortage In Canada?

The Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) has reported that over the last ten years, there hasn’t been any decrease in the number of refugee claimants.

The CCR stated that this increase in refugees had impacted the waiting list for health care, housing, and child protection services. This means more people need help than ever before.

What are the reasons for the doctor shortage in Canada?

There are several causes of this problem:

1. Aging Population 

Healthcare needs increase as we age, and many seniors require more medical attention than younger people. However, some doctors leave medicine because they feel overwhelmed by these demands on their time and expertise.

Therefore it becomes difficult to keep up with demand even though most doctors prefer working with older patients rather than children or young adults.

2. Immigration 

Doctors who immigrate from other countries take positions that would otherwise go unfilled because locals tend not to consider them “real jobs” due to low pay/status etc.

Read Also: Ontario Occupation In Demand List 2022

Immigration Opportunity For Foreign-Trained Doctors

There are immigration opportunities for foreign-trainee doctors. Some of these opportunities include:

1. Express Entry System

Express Entry is a Canadian immigration program that allows employers to nominate individuals for permanent residence. If you are a foreign-trained doctor, you should seize an opportunity. You can now participate in the Express Entry system and become a medical doctor in Canada.

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has introduced a new category under its Federal Skilled Worker program called “Health Care Professionals,” which allows foreign-trained doctors to apply for permanent residence (PR).

Successful applicants will be eligible for Canadian PR under a four-year work permit.

How Do You Get Nominated?

An employer can nominate an individual if they can prove the following:

  • The job offer must meet certain requirements (e.g., the position needs at least one year’s experience, higher education level, etc.)
  • The employee has the skills and experience required for the position. Employers must also show that there are no Canadians available who can fill this role.

How Do You Apply? 

Once an employer has applied and been approved, they will send you a letter of intent, and you must then apply for permanent residence. This process can take up to 24 months from the time your application is received by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

2. Recognition Of Foreign-Trained Doctor’s Credentials

The Recognition of Foreign Qualifications (RFBQ) Program helps internationally trained healthcare professionals gain Entry into regulated professions by assessing their education credentials against Canadian standards. The process includes the following:

  • An online assessment test;
  • A review of your credentials;
  • A review of your language proficiency level;
  • An interview with an IRCC officer or assessor;
  • If required, you may need further assessment tests

The only exam accepted by the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) for assessing the clinical competence of international medical graduates is the MCCEE. This multiple-choice examination is offered in over 80 testing centers around the world.

If you are an IMG and wish to practice medicine in Canada, you must complete this exam. The MCCEE is typically the first step in getting a license to practice in Canada.

However, depending on your country, it may be possible for you to bypass this requirement by obtaining a visa as an “experienced” or “supervised” physician under one of these categories:

  • Supervised Practitioner Visa – This program allows IMGs who already have experience practicing medicine abroad (usually at least three years). They can apply for an open work permit without completing exams or assessments with their provincial regulator(s).
  • Practitioner Visa – This visa is for IMGs who have completed their medical education and are licensed to practice medicine in their home country. Applicants must have completed a minimum of two years of clinical practice and be able to prove that they are fluent in English or French. 
  • Experienced Physician Visa – This visa is for IMGs licensed to practice medicine in their home country but does not qualify for the supervisory or practitioner visas outlined above.

3. Easy Permanent Residence Process

Getting your PR can be done in just 1-2 years because it is an express-line process. No need to get a job offer; no need to prove your language proficiency, no need to prove your medical knowledge and work experience, no need to prove your educational qualification, etc.

The only requirement is to pass English, Math, and Science tests. This way, you can get a PR in just 1-2 years without any experience or job offer.

Requirements To Be A Medical Doctor In Canada

You must have graduated from an accredited medical school and completed your residency training in Canada to become a doctor in Canada.

The Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Exam, also known as MCCEE, is the first step for all foreign-trained applicants to meet eligibility requirements for registration with an institute known as the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, also known as CPSO.

If you have completed your medical residency in another country, you may need to complete a transitional program before receiving full licensure. The transition length will depend on how many years your medical training was completed outside of Canada.

What Is The Duration To Become A Medical Doctor In Canada?

The duration of the program depends on your university and program. The duration can be between 4 and 12 years, with an average of 7 years for international students.

The time you spend studying in medical school depends on your university and program. Most schools offer a four-year undergraduate degree followed by a four-year medical degree, but some offer combined programs that can reduce the total time required.

The average duration of an international medical graduate (IMG) program is seven years, while Canadian citizens can expect to complete their degrees in six years.

Why Must You Complete The Medical Council Of Canada Evaluating Exam (MCCEE)?

The Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Exam, also known as MCCEE, is required to evaluate an international medical graduate’s credentials for licensing in Canada. The exam aims to assess your knowledge and clinical skills and determine whether an IMG meets the minimum standards for Entry into residency training.

To be able to apply for licensure as a physician in Canada, you must complete all three steps:

  • Step 1: The MCCEE
  • Step 2: The National Residency Match Program (NRMP) Main Residency Match
  • Step 3: The Canadian Medical Council Evaluating Examination (CMCEE).

The MCCEE is a computer-based test that evaluates your knowledge and clinical skills. The exam assesses your understanding of basic science concepts and principles and your ability to apply them in clinical situations. It takes about four and six hours to complete, depending on your previous medical education.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does Canada Hire Foreign Doctors?

Yes, they can.

2. Can Foreign-Trained Doctors Practice In Canada?

International medical graduates must pass the National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) Examination to apply for a residency position.

3. Does Canada Have A Doctor Shortage?

Canada is short of about 44,000 physicians, with over 30,000 family doctors and general practitioners, before the decade’s end. 

4. Which Doctor Has More Demand In Canada?

Family Medicine.

5. Is The PLAB Exam Accepted In Canada?

You can take the PLAB in many locations overseas and in the United Kingdom. 

6. Which Country’s Medical Degree Is Valid In Canada?

Canada has a primary focus for physicians in the following countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, the Republic of Ireland, and Israel. 

7. How Hard Is It To Move To Canada As A Doctor?

Canada’s rules for resident doctors are strict, with permanent residency or citizenship requirements that must be met before US doctors can claim a slot.

8. Can Doctors Immigrate Easily?

Fortunately, doctors usually have the work and educational experience required for foreign workers to immigrate to the US. There are several visas that a doctor can qualify for to move to the US.

9. Why Are Doctors Leaving Canada?

The study found that doctors who plan to leave tend to be older, so retirement demographic trends are a factor.

10. Why Are Doctor Wait Times So Long In Canada?

No federal healthcare system exists, so the same treatment, consultation, surgery, or test may take longer, depending on the province.


With all the information above, you should better understand Canada’s doctor shortages and immigration opportunities for foreign-trained doctors. We hope this article has been helpful to you and if you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. 

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