Best Canadian medical licensing exam for foreign doctors| Become a trained Medical Doctor in Canada

If you are an internationally trained medical doctor who wishes to work in Canada or continue your career in Canada, there are a lot to consider and some examinations which you have to take.

First of all, you have to be sure that Canada recognizes your medical degree. You can do this by checking the World Directory of Medical Schools.

Here are some of the steps which you have to take in achieving this as well as the Canadian medical licensing exam for foreign doctors which you will likely take.

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Licensing examinations to look out for

  • MCCQE Part 1 test
  • MCCQE Part 2 test
  • National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) exam
  • Practice-Ready Assessment (PRA) 

MCCQE Part 1 test-the Canadian medical licensing exam for foreign doctors

MCCQE Part 1 test is a Canadian medical licensing exam for foreign doctors and Canadian doctors that you are expected to take.

The Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) is the Canadian medical licensing exam for foreign doctors or for anyone who wants to practice in Canada.

The first part of this test is the MCCQE Part I.

The MCCQE Part I is a summative examination that assesses the critical medical knowledge and clinical decision-making ability of a candidate at a level expected of a medical student who is completing their medical degree in Canada.

This test is on the MCC objectives which are organized under the CanMEDS roles.

Candidates who are graduating and the MCCQE Part 1 typically enter supervised practice.

Aside from formal accreditation processes of the undergraduate and postgraduate education programs, the MCCQE Part I is the only national standard for medical schools across Canada and, therefore, is administered at the end of medical school.

The MCCQE Part I is a one-day, computer-based test. 

You are allowed up to four hours to complete 210 Multiple-Choice Questions in the morning session.

You are allowed up to three and a half hours in the afternoon session for the Clinical Decision-Making component, which consists of 38 cases with short-menu and short-answer write-in questions.

The exam is based on a Blueprint that assesses your performance across two broad categories:

  • Dimensions of care, covering the spectrum of medical care;
  • Physician activities, reflecting a physician’s scope of practice and behaviours.

Each category has four domains, and each is assigned a specific content weighting on the exam.

How to apply for MCCQE Part 1

Do you plan to apply for the MCCQE part 1? Visit physiciansapply.ca  to create your account and follow the steps therein to apply for the test.

Once you have paid your application fee, your MCCQE Part I application will be reviewed. Once approved, you will receive a message through your physiciansapply.ca account.

Examination and application fee

You can be able to apply for the MCCQE Part 1 up to 15 months prior to your graduation date.

MCCQE Part I application fee: $1,330

See the test dates .

Eligibility requirements

You can apply to the MCCQE Part I as a medical student or graduate.

Your medical school must be:

A) Accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) or the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) (in the U.S.); or

B) Identified by a Canada Sponsor Note in the World Directory of Medical Schools; or

c) Accredited as a U.S. School of Osteopathic Medicine.

Read more to discover other eligibility criteria.

MCCQE Part 2 test

MCCQE Part 2 test is another Canadian medical licensing exam for foreign doctors and Canadian doctors.

This test is required to obtain the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) whether you are an international or Canadian medical graduate.

Depending on provincial regulatory bodies, you will need an LMCC to practice.

Applicants must have passed the MCCQE Part 1 before they can take this test.

National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) exam

There is another Canadian medical licensing exam for foreign doctors which is required from international medical graduates who wish to apply for a Canadian residency program.

They will take the National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) exam. Visit Medical Council of Canada’s website  to find out more.

International medical graduates who wish to apply for a Canadian residency program will need to take the National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) exam.

This is a one-day examination that will assess your readiness for a residency program.

Practice-Ready Assessment (PRA) 

Those who are seeking a provincial license in order to practice independently should consider joining a Practice-Ready Assessment (PRA) program.

In this practical assessment, candidates work under supervision and evaluation over 12 weeks.

Above all, the focus of a PRA program is to provide rural and remote locations with qualified professionals. The program is available in seven provinces including Alberta and Saskatchewan.

What is PRA?

PRA is an assessment test that ensures that International Medical Graduates(IMGs) and international physicians possess the appropriate clinical skills and knowledge to provide quality patient care in Canada.

Each participating province offers a practical assessment program where candidates work under supervision and are evaluated over a period of 12 weeks with an aim of obtaining an independent license to practice in Canada.

The focus is on meeting rural and remote needs in Canada with the return of service commitments ensuring employment for successful PRA candidates. Find out more.

Other options

Are the steps to the Canadian medical licensing exam for foreign doctors rigorous?

Internationally trained Medical Doctors have other ways to licensure in Canada.

Check with your local medical regulatory body to review your options.

7 Steps for Internationally Trained Medical Doctors to Work in Canada

A) Determine if Canada will recognize your medical degree.

B) Create your Physicians Apply account.

This account is needed to submit documents and apply for official testing.

C) submit your medical credentials for verification

D) Take the MCCQE Part 1 test( one of the Canadian medical licensing exam for foreign doctors).

E) Take the National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) exam.

F) Take the MCCQE Part 2 to obtain the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC).

G) You can decide to take the Practice-Ready Assessment (PRA) program if you plan to practice independently.

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