MCCQE 2 Exams Cancelled by Medical Council of Canada

Medical Council of Canada cancels MCCQE II Exam from June 2021

Fraser Clarke

MCCQE II Cancelled and LMCC to be awared to holders of MCCQE I

The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) has scrapped a controversial medical licensing exam after repeated cancellations and technical difficulties during the pandemic.


The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) has confirmed that it is ceasing the delivery of the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part II going forward.due to the unprecedented challenges posed by the conduct of this examination during, and in the aftermath of, the covid19 pandemic. 

On May 31, the MCC suspended the virtual delivery of the MCCQE II in the middle of spring sittings after technical difficulties prevented at least half of the candidates on one day from completing the test. Last year, the MCC cancelled in-person sittings in the spring and autumn on short notice due to pandemic concerns.

The MCC says it will refund exam fees to candidates registered for the latest session within the next 30 days, but it may take up to two months to award them certification under the new rules. For other eligible candidates, the process will require coordination with third parties and may take longer.

Many resident doctors have prepared for the exam multiple times over the past year and have lost time and money due to the last-minute cancellations. Meanwhile, their careers have hung in limbo. Several residents described spending hours preparing and travelling to write the test, taking unpaid leave, and missing clinical experiences and career opportunities – only to have their exams terminated with little warning or explanation, in some cases during their sittings.

Resident doctors have questioned the relevance of the MCCQE II in recent years, especially as some have been practising under provisional licenses since the spring without completing the exam.

The MCC has maintained the importance of standardized testing of generalist competencies like assessment, diagnosis, and professional behaviour. It also appears the organization is leaving the door open to reintroduce the exam or something like it down the road. According to the MCC, “criteria for the award of the LMCC may be reviewed at a future date as standardized assessment requirements for physicians evolve.”

However, critics have pointed out that the same competencies are now evaluated continuously throughout medical training, rendering the exam obsolete.


New Criteria for Award of LMCC

The MCC Council, at a meeting on June 9, affirmed updated criteria informing policy on the granting of the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) to candidates meeting all the following requirements:

1: Are a graduate from:

a) a medical school accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools or the Liaison Committee on Medical Education; or

b) a medical school listed in one or more directories of medical schools approved from time to time by resolution and be a medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools which includes a sponsor note indicating it is an acceptable medical school in Canada; or

c) a United States School of Osteopathic Medicine accredited by the American Osteopathic Association.


2: Have successfully completed the MCCQE Part I (PASS)


3: Have successfully completed:

a) at least 12 months of acceptable clinical post graduate medical training as determined by the Executive Director; or

b) at least 12 months of acceptable osteopathic post graduate clinical training in a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) as determined by the Executive Director; and


4: Have the required medical credentials including verification of postgraduate training successfully source verified through MCC or, in exceptional circumstances, have provided evidence of the required medical credentials acceptable to the Executive Director.


Where an individual otherwise meets all of the above criteria but is subject to a prohibition order barring him or her from writing the MCCQE Part II examination, the Executive Director may award that individual the LMCC only after the expiration of the barring order.


LMCC Is Not a Licence to Practise Medicine

The LMCC is not a licence to practise medicine. The authority to issue licences is reserved to the provincial and territorial Medical Regulatory Authorities (MRAs). However most of the provincial and territorial Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons do require the LMCC as a prerequisite for a licence to practise medicine.

The purpose of the LMCC exams, MCCQE I and II was to conduct independent, standardized assessments of key competencies. The MCC intends to continue to work with the Assessment Innovation Task Force (AITF), the medical community and partner organizations, to reflect on how clinical skills and emerging competencies required of physicians will be assessed in the future. Criteria for the award of the LMCC may be reviewed at a future date as standardised assessment requirements for physicians evolve.


Apply for LMCC

Doctors who have passed MCCQE I can now apply to the MCC for the LMCC certificate provided the above critieria are met. 

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