International Medical Graduates

The practice of medicine in Canada is regulated by a medical licensing authority for each province or territory. International Medical Graduates (IMGs) seeking licensure in Canada should contact each licensing authority directly, as registration and credentialing requirements, including the cost of registration, vary from province to province. The complete listing of Canadian medical licensing authorities is available by accessing the Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada, the national association of provincial and territorial medical regulatory authorities.

In Ontario, one of the responsibilities of regulation undertaken by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is to issue certificates of registration authorizing eligible physicians, including graduates of medical schools outside Canada or the United States of America, to practise medicine or engage in postgraduate medical training, as set out in the Ontario Regulation 865/93: Registration, under the Independent Practice, Academic Practice or Postgraduate Education class.

In addition to regulatory requirements specific to each class of registration, every applicant for registration must satisfy the following non-exemptible requirement:

The applicant's conduct, including the applicant's past conduct, affords reasonable grounds for belief that the applicant:

  1. is mentally competent to practise medicine;
  2. will practise medicine with decency, integrity and honesty and in accordance with the law;
  3. has sufficient knowledge, skill and judgment to engage in the medical practice authorized by the Certificate; and
  4. can communicate effectively and will display an appropriately professional attitude.

The CPSO does not recognize alternatives to the core requirements for a certificate of registration, except for those set out in the CPSO’s various registration policies. Our registration policies reflect CPSO’s commitment to finding new and creative ways to evaluate the competence and performance of individuals who wish to practise medicine in Ontario. Each application submitted under a registration policy requires review by the College’s Registration Committee. The Registration Committee is the CPSO’s statutory body authorized to approve an application that meets the alternative to the regulatory requirements for registration set out in the registration policies endorsed by the College’s Council and impose specific terms, conditions and limitations to any such certificate of registration.  For information on CPSO’s current policies, including information on credentialing requirements, supervision, practice assessment and associated fees, please refer to our Registration Policies.

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 that enable issuance of an equivalent certificate of registration on the basis of holding a valid certificate of registration or licence in another Canadian province or territory (except Nunavut) rather than holding the standard Canadian postgraduate qualifications.

The CPSO has also endorsed the national standard for full licensure in Canada, as set out in the FMRAC Agreement on National Standards.