How to get a Family Physician job in Canada

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Sarah Peddie

A Family Physician or General Practitioner is the primary healthcare provider in Canada. This means that a patient will make an appointment with them if they have a new or non-emergency health concern. GPs/family doctors are doctors who have completed medical training in general practice. They have a broad range of knowledge and skills to help treat all health issues a patient might have throughout their lifetime.

In Canada, patients can pick their family physician but it is ultimately the physician’s decision as to whether they want to take on any more patients. 

There are around 86,000 physicians in Canada - 52 percent of those are family physicians. The number of family doctors varies between the different provinces in the country. Ontario and Quebec have the highest number compared to the more rural communities which have the least. 

Here at Odyssey Recruitment, we take a look at how you can get a family physician job in Canada and what steps you need to take to get there. 

What do you need?

To practise as a physician in Canada you must have a medical degree from a school which is identified by a Canada Sponsor Note in the World Directory of Medical Schools.

Alternatively, you must have a medical degree from a Canadian or American medical school accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education or the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools.

You can also have completed a discipline-appropriate postgraduate training programme in allopathic medicine and be evaluated by a recognised authority.

Anyone who wants to practise as a physician must hold a license from the Medical Council of Canada. They also must be certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, or the Collège des médecins du Québec.

Apply for a job

It is well advised that you try to find a job and be prepared before you head to Canada for your dream job. 

You may be in the country but you might have to wait a while for applications to go through and contracts to start so it will be beneficial to you to get a job in the bag beforehand. Once it has been confirmed and contracts have been signed, then you should get your paperwork sorted.

Family physicians are currently in demand in provinces around the country and  many people do not have a GP in rural areas. It is estimated that around 12 percent of citizens throughout Canada do not have a family physician.

Registering 

As an international medical graduate, there are a few steps you need to take before you can practise as a physician in Canada. 

First of all, you need to confirm that your degree is recognised in Canada and you can do this by searching the World Directory of Medical Schools. A Canada Note for your school must be identified for it to be recognised. 

Once it is confirmed, you must apply to physiciansapply.ca and create an account. You can create a portfolio of all your medical credentials which will be verified. Before your credentials can be shared you must send a copy of your final medical diploma to the MCC for source verification.

The final step is to take the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination. You apply for the MCCQE Part I through your physiciansapply.ca account. 

After passing the MCCQE Part I, you must submit acceptable proof of postgraduate clinical medical training before applying to Part II. After you pass the MCCQE Part II and meet all other MCC requirements, you will be awarded the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada. The MCCQE Part II is only administered in Canada.

If you are looking for a job in Canada then register with Odyssey Recruitment today and we could help you get your dream job.