Immigration

How to Immigrate to Canada as a Doctor

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Medical professionals are in high demand around the world. Now more than ever, experienced and qualified physicians are needed, especially in Canada.

There are currently hundreds of openings for physicians in Canada. Whether you are a general practitioner or a specialist, Canada needs your expertise.

As an experienced doctor, you can earn up to $312,000 per year, and even more as an experienced specialist, not to mention the wonderful benefits provided to all Canadian citizens and permanent residents, such as free healthcare and primary and secondary schools for you and your family members, not to mention excellent work benefits. Canada is also one of the safest, most multicultural and friendly countries in the world, making it easy for you and your loved ones to settle into your new home in Canada.

There are several ways to immigrate to Canada, but we have highlighted the best Canadian immigration options for doctors that most international doctors choose and are very successful in applying for a visa.

Jobs in Canada: Is There a Demand for Doctors in Canada?

Physicians are and will be in high demand in almost all Canadian provinces in the coming years. The Job Bank’s most recent Employment Opportunities in Canada report predicts a physician workforce shortage nationally over the next 9 years, meaning there will be a need for physicians in Canada by 2028! This is due to growth in the medical sector as well as earlier retirements and promotions.

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Over the next few years, an estimated 50,900 new jobs will be created due to expansion, creating thousands of employment opportunities for foreign physicians looking to work in Canada in the near future. Below are some of the top occupations and average salaries (according to Payscale) for physicians that are currently in demand across the country:

Average Annual Salaries for Doctors in Canada
Occupation Average Salary (CAD)
General Practitioner (GP) $123,884
Emergency Physician (ER) $179,437
Dermatologist $224,889
Paediatrician $137,344
Psychiatrist $169,114
Anesthesiologist $202,963
Pharmacist $89,703
Cardiologist $162,471
General Pathologist $284,649
General surgeon $194,240
Cardiac surgeon $302,754
Neurosurgeon $312,301
Orthopedic surgeon $253,195
Obstetrician Gynecologist $200,000
Oncologist $250,000
Occupational Therapist $63,777
Radiation oncologist $300,000
Rheumatologists $194,872
Urologist $200,000
Immunologists $202,062

What Benefits Do Doctors Get in Canada?

Once you’ve found your dream job in Canada, you can look forward to some fantastic benefits for you and your family when you immigrate to Canada as a doctor, including

  • Extended health care such as prescription drugs, vision care, dental;
  • Full family benefits including health and dental plan;
  • Semi-private hospitalization;
  • Life insurance;
  • Accidental death and dismemberment insurance;
  • Short and long term disability benefits;
  • Pension plan;
  • Health and wellness programs;
  • Counselling services;
  • Paid vacation and holidays (4 weeks annual leave + sick days & other leave).
  • Work-life balance.

It is important to note that these benefits may vary from province to province depending on whether you are employed full-time or part-time and how many years of work experience you have.

How Can Foreign Doctors Apply for Canadian Immigration?

The answer is a resounding yes! However, applying for a job as a doctor in Canada and applying for a visa can be an overwhelming task, but we have highlighted 4 simple steps that are essential to begin the application process.

Step 1: Choose your Destination

Deciding where you want to live and work in Canada is important, as it may limit your choice of visas or immigration programs. You may also find that there are job opportunities in a particular province or territory, but the cost of living is too high or the lifestyle does not suit your preferences or needs. So before you apply for a job in Canada, do some research on the province of your choice and make sure it is suitable for you and your family.

Step 2: Take Care of the Paperwork

In order to live and work as a doctor in Canada, you will need to complete a bit more paperwork than in other professions. If you have a foreign degree, you must first check to see if your degree is recognized in Canada. You can check this through the World Directory of Medical Schools. If your degree is recognized, you may need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA). An ECA verifies that your degree, diploma or certificate is valid and meets Canadian standards. Below is a list of organizations that are approved to assess your degree:

  • Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies;
  • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada;
  • World Education Services;
  • International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS); and
  • International Credential Evaluation Service.

You will also be required to take two exams before the Medical Council of Canada called the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examinations (MCCQEs) – Part I and Part II. Part I assesses your medical knowledge and clinical decision-making skills, while Part II tests your ability to apply that knowledge and demonstrate your clinical skills and professional demeanor. You must pass Part I before you can take Part II.

If you pass both exams and can demonstrate that you have completed at least 12 months of postgraduate clinical medical training, you will receive a Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC), which is required to apply for a medical license in Canada. You will receive a certificate of approval with your LMCC as well as a certificate to display in your new medical offices in Canada. Once you arrive in Canada, you will be required to complete further medical training in the province or territory of your choice under the relevant medical regulatory body. It is important that you confirm this in advance with the medical authority in your chosen province or territory so that you know exactly what is expected of you when you move to Canada. Below is a list of the medical authorities in each province and territory.

Medical Regulatory Authorities in Canada
Province/Territory Medical Regulatory Authority
Alberta College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta
British Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia
Manitoba College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba
New Brunswick College of Physicians and Surgeons of New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland & Labrador
Northwest Territory Government of the Northwest Territories
Nova Scotia College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia
Nunavut Nunavut Department of Health and Social Services Medical Registration Committee
Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
Prince Edward Island College of Physicians and Surgeons of Prince Edward Island
Québec Collège des médecins du Québec
Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan
Yukon Yukon Medical Council

Step 3: Apply for a job in Canada

Although it is not required for all immigration programs, e.g. it is not a requirement for Express Entry, we strongly recommend that you try to find a job before immigrating to Canada. Not only will this increase your chances of being invited to apply for permanent residency in Canada, but it will also give you peace of mind that you will not have to go through the stress of finding a job on top of all the other arrangements you will have to make when you arrive in Canada, such as finding a place to live, opening a bank account, finding a cell phone and internet provider, and so on.

 

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