International Medical Graduates

To practise medicine in Ontario, whether as family physicians or specialists, International Medical Graduates (IMGs) must hold an Independent Practice certificate of registration issued by the College.

To qualify for an Independent Practice certificate, IMGs must have all the required Canadian postgraduate qualifications.

The following are the core requirements for an Independent Practice certificate:

  1. Degree in medicine from an acceptable medical school. An acceptable medical school is one that offers an M.D. or equivalent basic degree in medicine, based upon successful completion of a conventional undergraduate program of education in allopathic medicine, that:
    1. teaches medical principles, knowledge and skills similar to those taught in the undergraduate programs of medical education at accredited medical schools in Canada or the USA;
    2. includes at least 130 weeks of instructions over a minimum of thirty - six months; and
    3. was, at the time of graduation, listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools published by the World Health Organization (WHO).
  2. Part 1 and Part 2 of the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE)
  3. Certification, by examination, by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) or the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC)
  4. Completion in Canada of one year of postgraduate training or active medical practice with pertinent clinical experience
  5. Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status

The CPSO does not recognize alternatives to the core requirements for an Independent Practice certificate, except for those set out in the CPSO’s various registration policies. Our registration policies reflect the CPSO's commitment to finding new and creative ways to evaluate the competence and performance of individuals who wish to practise medicine in Ontario.

In addition, the CPSO's registration process accommodates licensed physicians applying from other Canadian provinces under the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT). In considering applications submitted under AIT, the CPSO follows the relevant provisions in the Ontario Regulated Health Professions Act. The CPSO has also endorsed the national standard for full licensure in Canada, as set out in the FMRAC Agreement on National Standards.