International Medical Graduates (IMGs) who meet the postgraduate training requirements of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia (the College) may be eligible for a provisional licence to practice medicine in BC.
For most specialties, five years of postgraduate training in an accredited /approved university school of medicine is required.
- have a medical degree, and
- have completed postgraduate training and obtained certification in the specialty where such training meets the criteria of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC), and
- have passed examinations acceptable to the Medical Council of Canada (MCC).
English Proficiency Requirement
The College requires that physicians provide evidence of English proficiency. Results must be within the last two years. Physicians are considered to have met the English proficiency requirements if:
- the language of instruction at medical school was English, and
- the primary language of patient care was English, and
- the first and native language of the country where the candidate was granted their medical degree is English.
Physicians who have not met these requirements will require a Test of English as a Foreign Language — internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) with a total score of 96 and a score of 24 in each component. A TOEFL score is valid for a period of two years from the date taken and must be submitted with the application.
Physicians who have not met these requirements will require a Test of English as a Foreign Language — the College accepts the Academic IELTS English proficiency examination. Physicians should have an Academic IELTS with a minimum score of 7 in each component with an overall band score of no less than 7 and is valid for a period of two years from the date taken and must be submitted with approval.
Source Verification of Qualifications
The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) maintains a website, physiciansapply.ca, as a centralized electronic repository of a physician’s core medical credentials and offers a national standardized approach to source verification of credentials. It is designed to gather, verify, and permanently store credentials in its centralized repository called the MCC Physician Credentials Repository (formerly known as the Physicians Credential Registry of Canada or PCRC).
The College requires physicians who have completed medical education outside of Canada, and are seeking registration/licensure in BC, to submit copies of certain credentials to physiciansapply.ca for source verification. Your Medical Degree and Passport must be verified as “Passed” before licensure by the College is approved.
The Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) is the qualification given on the successful completion of the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Exam (MCCEE), Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Exam – Part 1 (MCCQE-1) and Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Exam – Part 2 (MCCQE-2).
Successful completion of the MCC examinations does not mean a physician will meet the licensing requirements of each provincial licensing body.
- MCCEE is required prior to arrival in BC in most cases.
MCCQE-1 and MCCQE-2
- MCCQE-1 and MCCQE-2 must be completed within five years of start of practice in BC.
- If RCPSC Certification is obtained first, MCCQEs may be waived.
The CPSBC recognizes the following examinations in lieu of the LMCC:
- National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME)
- Federation Licensing Examination (FLEX)
- United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLEs) – Steps 1, 2, and 3
- Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX)
Candidates who have trained outside of Canada and the United States — and have completed any of the above exams — may be eligible for a waiver to be exempted from having to write the MCC examinations.
Routes to the RCPSC Certification
Applicants may be expected to apply to the RCPSC for access to the examinations in their specialty before licensure is approved by the College.
On a Positive Ruling, they have three years in which to sit the specialty examinations with the expectations that the examinations are done at the first opportunity. Applicants will choose their preferred route to certification within the first year of practice.
Routes to RCPSC Certification:
- Sit the examination in your specialty, or
- Pursue the Practice Eligibility Route (PER)
- Two years supervised practice in BC
- Five years overall in specialty
- Summative assessment of competency satisfactory to the CPSBC Registration Committee, if PER is unavailable in the specialty.