Migration has been a dominant global trend in recent decades. People have been moving from their countries of origin to other countries in search of better opportunities. This is particularly true for doctors, who have been moving from low and middle-income countries to high-income countries in droves. This post focuses on how to relocate to Canada as a doctor.
Considering the helpless situation that the Nigerian healthcare System and the entire country as a whole finds itself in, this is the best time for you to leave Nigeria. The future of healthcare in Nigeria is looking exceptionally bleak. With the 2023 general elections coming up, there is really much to expect. In the meantime, leave the country and pray for Her from abroad.
In this blog post, we discuss the challenges they face during the migration process and provide tips on how to relocate to Canada as a doctor.
You have to find out if your school is listed in the world medical directory. There is a simple way to do this: go to the World Directory of Medical Schools website and enter information such as your country of origin and the name of your university, as shown below.
You will have to become familiar with the Medical Council of Canada or MCC. You will need a qualification called the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada.
What is the Licentiate Of The Medical Council Of Canada (LMCC)
The LMCC is a part of the requirements for the award of a full unrestricted license to practice. Upon receiving their LMCC, candidates are also enrolled in the Canadian Medical Register. The LMCC is not a license to practice medicine; the responsibility to issue such belongs to the Medical Regulatory Authorities.
How to get a Qualification from the Licentiate Of The Medical Council Of Canada
- Pass the Medical Council Of Canada Qualifying examinations: MCCQE 1 and MCCQE 2
- Complete at least 12 months of post-graduate training
This exam can be written before you enter Canada. The MCCQE 1 is an exam that is conducted and overseen by Prometric, an internationally respected organization with more than 20 years of experience in exam production and administration for professional sectors, is providing the MCCQE Part I in Canada and over 80 countries. The exam is offered four times a year in four different sessions.
On a first-come, first-served basis, candidates can take their exam in a nearby Prometric test center or through remote proctoring (Remote proctoring allows students to take an assessment at a remote location while ensuring the integrity of the exam. These systems require students to confirm their identity, and, during the exam, the system monitors students through video, looking for behavior that could indicate cheating.)
To receive the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada, you must take and pass the MCCQE Part I and meet the LMCC qualifying criteria (LMCC). If you seek a medical license in Canada, you may be required to obtain the LMCC.
The MCCQE Part I is a summative exam that evaluates a candidate’s critical medical knowledge and clinical decision-making abilities.
Part I of the MCCQE is a one-day computer-based exam. In the morning session, you have up to four hours to complete 210 multiple-choice questions.
- Internal Medicine
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Population Health
To apply to the MCCQE Part I, you must be a graduate or a student who is expected to complete all requirements to graduate from:
- Your medical school is listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools and identified by a Canada Sponsor Note indicating it is an acceptable medical school in Canada.
Applying for the MCCQE Part I
If you meet the eligibility requirements indicated above, you can apply for the MCCQE Part I at any time through your physiciansapply.ca account. If you do not already have one, you will need to create an account.
To register for a physiciansapply.ca account:
- Go to the physiciansapply.ca page and click the Login button
- On the next page, click on Create an account
- Follow the steps on the screen to complete your account registration
If you are an International Medical Graduate (IMG), the first step, if you have not already done so, is to create a Source Verification Request (SVR) for your medical degree through your physiciansapply.ca account.
What Is A Source of Verification (SVR)
Before you can share your international medical credentials with Canadian Medical Regulatory Authorities and other organizations, you must first submit them to the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) for source verification to confirm they are genuine. Any medical credentials you submit for source verification are added to your MCC Physician Credentials Repository portfolio automatically.
Documents to Submit
The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) accepts the following international (i.e., non-Canadian) medical credentials:
- Medical degree or diploma
- Medical degree transcript
- Postgraduate training
- Specialty certificate
- Medical licence or registration
Source Verification costs
|Document fee||$190 per medical credential|
|Translation fee||$140 per page|
|Document cancellation fee||$65|
|File Transfer Service Fee||$60|
|MCCQE Part I Examination withdrawal fee*||$688|
|Eligibility window extension – Administrative fee**||$110|
|MCCQE Part I Result recheck fee||$265|
All above-listed prices are in Canadian dollars
Exam dates for MCCQE Part 1 2022/2023
Jan 26 to Feb 23
April 13 to May 25
August 17 to Sep 21
Oct 19 to Nov 9
Jan 25 to Feb 22
April 12 to May 24
August 23 to Sep 20
Oct 18 to Nov 8
Comprehensive List of MCCQE Part 1 Exam Centers in Nigeria
Dragnet Prometric Test Center
NCWS House, 14b Ahmed Onibodu, Victoria Island
American International School of Lagos
Federal Estates, Victoria Island
Prometric Test Center
3rd Floor,24 Aminu Kano Crescent
Plot 3645, IBB Way Maitama
Please note that this list is subject to change, so it is always best to check with the MCCQE website for the most up-to-date information.
Here are some additional details about each exam center:
Dragnet Prometric Test Center is a global network of testing centers that offers a variety of professional and academic exams. The centers are all accredited and offer a secure and comfortable environment for test-takers.
American International School of Lagos is a private school that offers a variety of educational programs for students from kindergarten to grade 12. The school has a state-of-the-art testing center that is equipped with the latest technology.
British Council is a British organization that promotes international education and cultural relations. The organization has a network of testing centers around the world that offer a variety of exams, including the MCCQE.
The Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part II is a three-hour Objective-Structured Clinical Examination that evaluates candidates’ competency, focusing on the information, abilities, and attitudes required for a medical license in Canada prior to entering independent clinical practice.
A sequence of five-minute and ten-minute clinical stations make up this exam. A brief written statement introduces a clinical problem at each station and instructs the candidate to examine a standardized (simulated) patient and execute actions such as taking a focused history, performing a focused physical examination, or assessing and treating the patient’s difficulties.
Candidates may be asked to answer detailed questions about the patient, analyze X-rays or other test results, establish a diagnosis, and/or issue admission orders.
You have to write this exam when you are in Canada.
Please note that MCCQE Part 2 is currently phased out.
Please read The MCC ceases delivery of the MCCQE Part II
What is the NAC Examination?
The NAC Examination is a one-day exam that assesses your readiness to enter a Canadian residency program. It is a national, standardized examination that tests the knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential for entrance into postgraduate training in Canada.
NB: Since MCCQE part 2 has been phased out. More provinces now require NAC OSCE
OSCE Station Description
The NAC Examination is an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). For a given administration, all candidates rotate through the same series of stations. Each station is 11 minutes long with two minutes between stations.
At each station, a brief written statement introduces a clinical problem and outlines your tasks (e.g., take a history, describe a physical examination, etc.). In each station, there is at least one Standardized Participant (SP) and a Physician Examiner (PE).
An OSCE includes a series of stations where you are presented with typical clinical scenarios. It includes problems in:
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Preventive Medicine and Public Health
Why should I take the NAC Examination?
- The NAC Examination is required to apply to a Canadian residency program. The Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) accepts NAC Examination results as part of match application packages.
- The NAC Examination is not required to obtain the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada, and a pass does not guarantee a residency training position in Canada.
How do I take the NAC Examination?
- You can apply to the NAC Examination during designated application periods through your physiciansapply.ca account. Your results will be accepted by residency programs directors regardless of where you take the exam. You do not have to take the examination in the province where you will be applying for residency.
What To Do If Your School Is Not Listed In The World Medical Directory
Don’t panic. You just have to start your applications for immigration as any normal hopeful immigrant would. There are two popular ways for doctors that both fall under the express entry option.
- Federal skilled worker
- Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
The Express Entry is a system designed by the Canadian government to manage permanent residence applications submitted under economic immigration programs.
To be precise, the Express Entry system is used to grant permanent residency under four programs:
- Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
- Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC)
- Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
To migrate to Canada
Well before you start your journey to migrating to Canada, you have to verify that you have enough money in your bank to be allowed to apply. If you don’t have the necessary proof of funds, you will not be accepted. Fortunately there a lot of agencies in Nigeria that offer proof of funds for a fee.
Proof of funds – Skilled immigrants (Express Entry)
(in Canadian dollars)
|For each additional family member||$3,586|
All above-listed prices are in Canadian dollars
Language Assessment Test
You can write the IELTS. You will get a score based on your proficiency in speaking, listening, writing, and reading in those languages. You can only write general training for express entry. You must also have a score of 7 in your general testing.
Get Your Academic Credentials Evaluated.
What is an ECA
An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is used to verify that your foreign degree, diploma, or certificate (or other proof of your credential) is valid and equal to a Canadian one. There are different types of ECAs. You need to get an ECA for immigration purposes.
At some point in the application process, you will be asked to prove you have valid work experience. You will most likely have to supply a letter of employment from your previous employer.
The document generally includes the following
- Hours worked
- Work responsibilities
- NOC title (National Occupational Classification)
- Current Salary
- Contact Details of your Employer
- The letterhead of Your Company
This is a lesser-known path and is suitable for those who have done and completed residency training in Nigeria.
The National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) Practice Ready Assessment (PRA)
This program is offered in seven provinces across Canada as a route to licensure for international doctors who have already completed their residency and practiced independently abroad. They offer a clinical field assessment over a period of 12 weeks. After completion, successful candidates must complete a return of service in a rural area of the province of assessment. These provinces are participating IN THE NAC PRA framework
Participating in the NAC PRA framework:
- Practice-Ready Assessment – Physicians for BC (PRA-BC)
- Practice Readiness Assessment Alberta (PRA-AB)
- Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment (SIPPA)
- University of Manitoba International Medical Graduate Program (PRA MB – Family Practice & PRA MB – Specialty Practice)
- Collège des médecins du Québec
- Practice Ready Assessment – Newfoundland and Labrador (PRA-NL)
- Nova Scotia Practice Ready Assessment Program (NSPRAP)
Please note that Ontario, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories do not offer practice assessments within the NAC’s pan-Canadian framework at this time. Contact the relevant medical regulatory authority if you are interested in practicing in one of these regions.
NAC PRA Might Be Right For You If
- You have certification from an international jurisdiction and you intend to live and practice medicine in Canada
- You have gone through a residency program and/or been in practice abroad, but in a context that is not known to be comparable to medical practice in Canada
To be eligible for a NAC PRA program, a candidate must confirm:
- Language proficiency: IELTS
- Currency of practice: practicing hours
- Scope of practice: Consultant. Practicing for how many years.
- Completion of the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part I
As a senior registrar or consultant from Nigeria. Your clinical practice training and rotations are very well recognized.
You have to keep in mind that no one is promising you a bed of roses. Matching a residency program or getting into a NAC-PRA program is very competitive.
Also, you can pass all your exams and still not get a spot. So, it is advisable to have other plans of career growth or survival while you are waiting for a spot.
How Much Do Doctors In Canada Earn
- A resident doctor earns about $57,000 annually
- A general practitioner earns about $300,000 annually
- Specialists earn a lot higher.
These Are Some Of The Salaries From The Provinces
Why Choose Canada?
The Canadian exams are clinically based with no testing in the basic medical sciences. This means that you don’t have to give yourself headaches going to study, anatomy, biochemistry, etc. Unlike the USMLE where you have to prepare for all these.
You can transfer your LMCC license
One advantage of migrating to Canada as a doctor is that with the LMCC, you can apply for provisional registration with the Australian Medical Council (AMC) without having to take their exams.
Permanent Resident Status
Tips For Doctors Relocating to Canada
- Do not put all your eggs in one basket: Learn another skill. Preferably a tech skill, digital marketing, etc. This is because unless your parents are millionaires that can fund all your expenses. You need to think of how to earn while still waiting for your mccqe results to come out.
- Attend MCCQE practice classes and sessions. Some people tend to read alone and pass. But it is advisable to go for lessons to get an idea of what the exams are going to be like.
- Do not write your MCCQE 1 in Nigeria. Well some of the people I asked, all said that if they had known they would have saved money and written the exam in Canada. This is because, in Nigeria, you have internet problems, light issues, and connectivity lagging. All these can frustrate your attempts to write and pass well.
- Some doctors tend to get to Canada and finances are an issue. They now go ahead to work 2 or 3 jobs to meet up. There is no way you can work 2 jobs and still prepare for your exams. Some super humans may be able to do it, but it is not advisable. There are loan companies that provide you with financing for your exams once you are done. They have a very, very affordable repayment plan.
- Most residents apply for a line of credit just like medical students. They have the option of paying back within 2 years of qualification as a specialist. This line of credit will allow you to have funds for emergency purposes.
This article provides a detailed guide on how to migrate to Canada as a doctor. It provided a step-by-step guide for those looking to make the move. This post also provides some tips for making the transition as smooth as possible. If you are a doctor looking to migrate to Canada, be sure to read this article. Please LIKE, SHARE, COMMENT, AND FOLLOW.
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