The medical profession in Ontario has been granted a great degree of authority by provincial law, and that authority is exercised through the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. The role of the College and its authority and powers are set out in the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA), the Health Professions Procedural Code, which is Schedule 2 to the RHPA, and the Medicine Act.
One of the responsibilities of regulation undertaken by the College is to issue certificates of registration to physicians, allowing them to practise medicine or engage in postgraduate medical training in Ontario, as set out in the Ontario Regulation 865/93: Registration.
The first qualification for any class of certificate issued by the College is that the applicant have a degree in medicine from an “accredited” medical school or an “acceptable unaccredited” medical school.
A graduate of an accredited medical school means a person holding an M.D. or equivalent degree in medicine that,
- is from a medical school that is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools or by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education of the United States of America, and
- is based upon successful completion of an undergraduate program of medical education that included a clerkship that complies with the regulation made under the Medicine Act, 1991.
A graduate from an acceptable unaccredited medical school means a person holding an M.D. or equivalent basic degree in medicine, based upon successful completion of a conventional undergraduate program of education in allopathic medicine that:
- teaches medical principles, knowledge and skills similar to those taught in undergraduate programs of medical education at accredited medical schools in Canada or the United States of America,
- includes at least 130 weeks of instruction over a minimum of thirty-six months, and was, at the time of graduation, listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools published by the World Health Organization.
In addition to 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:
- is mentally competent to practise medicine;
- will practise medicine with decency, integrity and honesty and in accordance with the law;
- has sufficient knowledge, skill and judgment to engage in the medical practice authorized by the Certificate, and
- can communicate effectively and will display an appropriately professional attitude.
If any issues are presented that call into question an applicant's compliance with this requirement, the application must be reviewed by the Registration Committee.