Working as a Medical Professional in Canada

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Sarah Peddie

Here at Odyssey Recruitment, we help medical professionals around the world secure their dream job in their choice of location. We offer many different professions in a range of different countries overseas. 

In this series, we will take a look at what it is like to work as a medical professional in the countries our clients are based in to help you decide whether it suits you.

Article 3 - A guide to working as a Medical Professional in Canada

Canada is a popular destination for doctors and other medical professionals to work and live as expats in the country due to good opportunities and high standards of living. Medical professionals will still be in high demand in years to come and there are currently thousands of healthcare jobs in Canada.

Opportunities 

There are many opportunities for medical professionals in Canada as there is an ongoing shortage of trained medical staff. Statistics have shown that there are 4.5 million people who are without a family doctor. Canadain health authorities are recruiting overseas doctors to help fill in these gaps. 

Canada suffers from a shortage of GPs and family doctors - especially in remote and rural areas. Psychiatrists, anaesthetists, paediatricians and emergency medicine specialists are also in high demand and need to be filled.

Jobs are available across the major cities like Toronto and Vancouver but rural and remote areas are in high demand of medical professionals. In the province of Alberta, 18 percent of people don’t have a GP and it’s 26 percent in the French speaking province of Quebec. 

Salary and Benefits

The average annual salary for a doctor working in Canada depends on your specialisation. For family physicians the average is around $281,000, $360,000 for a medical specialist and $481,000 for a surgical specialist. Working hours will be around 35 to 40 hours a week, again, depending on speciality.

There are certain remote areas in the country where the government will incentivise doctors to work there. Some of these programmes will provide student loan relief and bursaries to doctors who are interested in working in rural areas across Canada. It is advised that doctors who are straight out of medical school should consider these programmes to increase their annual salary and get out of their debt after medical school.

Medical Registration

Doctors will need to check the World Directory of Medical School to see if their medical degree is accepted and recognised in Canada. All overseas doctors must take a Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Exam (MCCQE) part one. This is a one day exam which can be taken in test centres. 

Part two of the exam must be taken after an applicant has passed the first part. Part two needs to be passed to obtain the Licentiates of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC). Some Candian regulatory authorities might want you to have the LMCC to apply for a medical license in certain provinces. 

You will need a visa to work in Canada - many people will be guided by a recruitment agency or an immigration agency. 

If you are thinking about working in Canada then register with Odyssey Recruitment and we could help you find the perfect job.