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Steps to Become a Medical Doctor in Canada

In Canada, there are plenty of reasons to pursue a career in medicine, as the nation is home to some of the top hospitals in the world, and doctors there make good money and have fulfilling careers. Canada also provides exceptional job security and flexible work schedules.

Although specific regulations exist to become a doctor in Canada, the procedure is worthwhile! This blog post will cover all aspects of becoming a doctor in Canada, from picking the best program to securing employment after graduation.

We will also cover how much it costs to obtain a medical degree in Canada and which schools offer the best programs. So if you’re interested in becoming a medical doctor, keep reading! has everything you need to know about this exciting career.

Benefits of Becoming a medical doctor in Canada

  • There are many benefits to becoming a medical doctor in Canada, including high salaries, job satisfaction, good job security, and reasonable hours.
  • The average salary for medical doctors in Canada is $202,000 per year (according to This is much higher than the average salary for other professions in Canada.
  • Medical doctors in Canada also enjoy high job satisfaction, as a survey by Medscape found that 82% of Canadian medical doctors were either satisfied or very satisfied with their careers.
  • Job security is another strong point for medical doctors in Canada. The unemployment rate for physicians and surgeons was only 0.80% in 2016 (according to Statistics Canada).
  • Medical doctors in Canada work reasonable hours; the average workweek for physicians and surgeons is 41.0 hours (according to Statistics Canada).

Requirements to Become a Medical Doctor in Canada

  • To become a medical doctor in Canada, you must complete an undergraduate science degree.
  • After that, you will need to complete a medical professional degree; there are options to undergo a premed degree here in Canada if you have a deficient bachelor’s.
  • Many medical schools in Canada offer a professional degree in medicine, including the University of Toronto, McGill, and Dalhousie.
  • Also, admission to these schools is highly competitive, with acceptance rates below 50%.

Time Commitment

It takes many years of rigorous study and research to become a doctor. A medical degree typically takes four years after earning your Bachelor’s degree, while some university programs may only take three. After that, you will select either family practice (2 years at the very least) or another medical specialty (at least four years), and you will then spend your time as a resident physician receiving payment to treat patients while pursuing certification.

Five Steps to Becoming a Medical Doctor in Canada

Becoming a Medical Doctor in Canada is not as simple as some think, as there are specific steps you must follow and several important factors to consider.

Let’s examine the five steps in becoming a Medical Doctor in Canada;

Step 1: Complete a Bachelor’s Degree;

The first step to becoming a Medical Doctor in Canada is to complete a Bachelor’s degree, a necessary prerequisite, as it will provide you with the education and training needed to pursue a medical career.

Step 2: Take a Medical School Entrance Exam;

This exam will determine your eligibility for admission into a Canadian medical school.

Step 3: Get Accepted to the School of Medicine;

This can be a competitive process, as only a few spots are available in medical schools across Canada.

Step 4: Complete a Medical Degree;

This will provide you with the necessary training and education to pursue a career in medicine. Steps three and four can be completed simultaneously, as many medical schools offer combined Bachelor’s/Medical programs.

Step 5: Become Licensed as a Physician;

The last step is to become licensed as a physician by your provincial College of Physicians and Surgeons, and this step is vital to ensure that you are meeting the standards set for physicians in Canada.

The Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE) is Canada’s recommended licensing exam for medical practices. MCCEE is a four-hour, computer-based examination offered in English and French at over 500 centers in 80 countries worldwide.

Is MCCEE Tough?

The MCCEE exam is the most challenging exam most students will ever take; therefore, you should begin preparing and studying early. Also, for the best possible retention, utilize several study methods such as group study, quiet reading, note-taking, and flashcards, and visit the online question banks, which can provide a well-rounded study experience.

Once you have completed all steps, congratulations follow. You are now a Medical Doctor in Canada! Remember to keep up with your professional development and stay informed about changes to the medical landscape in Canada.

The following are organizations that issue medical licenses in Canada:

How much does it cost to become a medical Doctor in Canada?

It typically costs around $200,000 to obtain a professional medical degree in Canada. However, the cost of medical school can vary depending on the program and school you choose to attend.

Several affordable medical schools in Canada offer quality education. For example, the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine is one of the country’s most prestigious and affordable medical schools. The average tuition for international students at the University of Toronto is CAD 27,000 annually.

The admission acceptance rate for medical doctors in Canada is highly competitive. To be accepted into a Canadian medical school, you must have excellent grades and pass an entrance examination.

Medical School Scholarships in Canada

Canada has a range of scholarships and financial aid programs available to help students (domestic and international) pay for medical school. For example, the University of Toronto offers international students various scholarships.

Recommended: Scholarships for local and international students in Canada.

What is the job industry like for medical doctors in Canada?

The job industry for medical doctors in Canada is highly competitive. As a result, limited positions are available, and many medical doctors choose to work as specialists.

However, there are several opportunities for medical doctors in Canada. According to Medscape’s report on physician compensation, the average salary for a medical doctor in Canada is $211,000.

Medical doctors have many opportunities in Canada’s rural and urban areas. Medical doctors can work in several settings, including hospitals, clinics, and private practices.

Can International Students Study Medicine in Canada?

International students can apply to become medical doctors in a Canadian institution. However, admission requirements vary from school to school. Therefore, it is essential to research the specific needs of the schools you are interested in.

International students studying Medicine in Canada must also obtain a student visa from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Recommended: How to apply for a Canadian student permit.

Where to work as a Medical Doctor in Canada?

There are several different places where a medical doctor can work in Canada. The most common locations include hospitals, clinics, and private practices. However, medical doctors also have opportunities in research positions and academia.

There are also many administrative roles available for medical doctors, and some prefer to teach at a university or college.

Best province to work as a Medical Doctor in Canada

There is no definitive answer regarding Canada’s best province to work as a medical doctor. Each province offers different opportunities and settings for medical doctors. Therefore, it is essential to research the specific options available in each province before deciding.

Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia are the most popular provinces for medical doctors. Provinces such as Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba also offer several opportunities for medical doctors.

Alternative Paths to Becoming a Medical Doctor in Canada

In Canada, the traditional path to becoming a doctor is to complete an undergraduate degree, four years of medical school, and a residency program in a particular specialty. However, there are alternative paths to becoming a doctor in Canada. Here are some of them:

  1. Accelerated programs: Some universities offer accelerated medical programs designed for students who have completed an undergraduate degree and meet the academic requirements for admission to medical school. These programs typically last three years and are offered in partnership with a medical school.
  2. International Medical Graduates (IMGs): IMGs are physicians who have completed their medical education in a country other than Canada. To become licensed to practice in Canada, IMGs must complete a series of exams and assessments to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. Some provinces also offer bridging programs to help IMGs adapt to the Canadian healthcare system.
  3. Military: The Canadian Armed Forces offers medical training programs for military personnel who wish to become doctors. These programs provide total funding for medical school and offer the opportunity to serve as an army physician.
  4. Indigenous Health Careers Program: This program is designed to increase the number of Indigenous healthcare professionals in Canada. It offers financial support, mentorship, and other resources to Indigenous students pursuing a healthcare career.
  5. Rural and remote programs: Some medical schools in Canada offer programs that focus on training doctors for practice in rural and remote communities. These programs may offer additional training in skills such as emergency medicine and obstetrics.
  6. Physician Assistant: Physician assistants are healthcare professionals who work under the supervision of a physician. They can perform many of the same tasks as a physician, including diagnosing and treating patients. To become a physician assistant in Canada, you must complete a recognized training program and pass a certification exam.

While the traditional path to becoming a doctor is the most common, alternative paths are available for those wishing to pursue a medical career in Canada.


How can I become a Family Doctor in Canada?

To become a Family Doctor in Canada, you must complete a five-year undergraduate medical program at an accredited university. After graduating from medical school, you must meet one year of residency training. You can find more information on the College of Family Physicians of Canada website.

How long does it take to become a doctor in Canada?

It takes a total of eleven years to become a doctor in Canada. You must complete an undergraduate medical program, one year of residency training, and two years of post-residency fellowship training.

How much does it cost to become a doctor in Canada?

The average cost of tuition for an undergraduate medical program in Canada is $22,000 per year. However, the cost of tuition can vary significantly from school to school.

Can I become a doctor in Canada if I am not a Canadian citizen?

Yes, you can become a doctor in Canada if you are not a Canadian citizen. However, you must complete an undergraduate medical program and one year of residency training at an accredited university.

How to become a military doctor in Canada?

The process of becoming a military doctor in Canada is very similar to the process of becoming any other type of doctor in Canada. The first step is to obtain a medical degree from an accredited Canadian medical school.

After completing your medical degree, you must complete a residency in family medicine or another specialty area. Once you have completed your residency, you will be eligible to work as a military doctor in Canada.

The cost of becoming a military doctor in Canada can vary depending on your medical school. Generally, medical school costs in Canada range from $15,000 to $40,000 per year. If you want to become a military doctor in Canada, research the different medical schools in Canada and compare their tuition rates.

What other branches of medical doctor can I apply for in Canada?

There are many different branches and specializations of medical doctor careers that you can apply for in Canada. However, some of the most common branches include family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, and surgery.

If you are unsure which branch of the medical doctor is right for you, consult with a career counselor or other healthcare professionals.

Which Canadian Province Pays Medical Doctors More?

There is no one Canadian province that pays medical doctors more than the other provinces. However, some provinces have higher average medical doctor salaries than others.

For example, medical doctors in Alberta earn an average salary of $269,000 per year, while medical doctors in Nova Scotia earn an average salary of $211,000 annually.


If you want a challenging and rewarding career, becoming a medical doctor in Canada may be a perfect choice. The benefits of being a doctor in Canada are plentiful, from earning an excellent salary to having access to some of the best healthcare facilities in the world.

And if you are an international student, studying medicine in Canada can provide you with many opportunities to live and work in this beautiful country. So what are you waiting for?

Start your journey toward becoming a medical doctor today! Do check out Work Study Visa blog for more information about studying in Canada, or contact us directly if you have any questions. We would be happy to help!

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