Specialist Recognition Criteria in Ontario


Policy Category: Registration
Under Review: No
Approved by Council: April 2005
Reviewed and Updated: November 2011
College Contact: Registration Inquiries

Downloadable Version(s): Specialist Recognition Criteria in Ontario


Purpose

In order to practice medicine in Ontario, an individual must hold a valid certificate of registration issued by the College. Specialty recognition is distinct from registration.

Ontario Regulation 114/94 provides that no member shall use a term, title or designation relating to a specialty or subspecialty of the profession in respect of his or her practice of the profession unless the member has been,

  1. certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in a specialty or subspecialty of the profession to which the term, title or designation relates;
  2. certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada in a specialty or subspecialty of the profession to which the term, title or designation relates; or
  3. formally recognized in writing by the College as specialist in the specialty or subspecialty of the profession to which the term, title or designation relates.

This policy sets out the criteria that a physician must meet in order to be recognized as a specialist by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.

Scope

This policy applies to individuals who have met the criteria for registration and have been issued a certificate of registration to practice medicine in Ontario.

Under this policy the College will recognize specialty titles only in areas for which specialties and sub-specialties is granted by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

The determination as to which specialists should be paid as specialists under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan will be made by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care of Ontario.

Policy

Specialist in Family Medicine

A physician, who meets any of the requirements below, will be recognized by the College as a specialist in family medicine:

  1. holds certification in family medicine by the College of Family Physicians of Canada or is eligible to take the certification examination of the College of Family Physicians of Canada; or
  2. holds a specialist certificate in family medicine, obtained by examination, by the Collège des médecins du Québec; or
  3. a) holds certification in family medicine by the American Board of Family Medicine that was obtained by examination, following successful completion of postgraduate specialty training in a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), and
    b) Undertakes to participate in a practice assessment organized by the College, one year after having been granted specialist recognition; or
  4. a) has successfully completed specialty training and obtained certification as a specialist in family medicine by the certifying body in the country where the individual completed his/her training, and
    b) holds a full-time academic appointment at a medical school in Ontario at the rank of assistant professor, associate professor or full professor, and
    c) holds a restricted certificate of registration authorizing academic practice in Ontario; or
  5. a) has successfully completed specialty training and obtained certification as a specialist in family medicine by the certifying body in the country where the individual completed his/her training, and
    b) has completed a minimum of one year of practice in Ontario, and
    c) has successfully completed a practice assessment that has been directed by the Registration Committee.1

Specialist in a Specialty other than Family Medicine

A physician who meets any of the requirements below will be recognized by the College as a specialist, in a specialty other than family medicine:

  1. holds certification by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada or is eligible to take the certification examination of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada;
  2. holds a specialist certificate, obtained by examination, by the Collège des médecins du Québec;
  3. a) holds certification by a specialty member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) that was obtained by examination, following successful completion of postgraduate specialty training in a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), and
    b) Undertakes to participate in a practice assessment organized by the College, one year after having been granted specialist recognition; or
  4. a) has successfully completed specialty training and obtained certification as a specialist by the certifying body in the country where the individual completed his/her training, and
    b) holds a full-time academic appointment at a medical school in Ontario at the rank of assistant professor, associate professor or full professor, and
    c) holds a restricted certificate of registration authorizing academic practice in Ontario; or
  5. a) has successfully completed specialty training and obtained certification as a specialist by the certifying body in the country where the individual completed his/her training, and
    b) has completed a minimum of one year of practice in Ontario, and
    c) has successfully completed a practice assessment that has been directed by the Registration Committee1

Endnotes

1. Physician shall be solely responsible for payment of all fees, costs, charges, expenses, etc. arising from request for specialist recognition.

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