Frequently Asked Questions for Physicians
Physicians, both internationally-trained and Canadian-trained, often have similar questions about working in Alberta. Here are the most frequent questions we are asked:
When a physician applies for a license to practice medicine in Alberta and does not meet the requirements of the general registrar, a practice readiness assessment may be required. Applicants for a practice readiness assessment must have a sponsor before an assessment will take place. A sponsor refers to an approved employer that is recruiting the applicant to a specific post and is willing to pay all costs related to the practice readiness assessment.
As per changes approved by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta, effective May 29th, 2015, Alberta Health Services is the only approved sponsor for candidates who qualify for the Provisional Registrar – Conditional Practice.
Every Canadian medical regulatory authority requires all new candidates applying for independent practice registration to have a physiciansapply.ca account. This includes Canadian medical residents, practicing physicians relocating within Canada, and candidates from outside of Canada.
Physiciansapply.ca has been developed to standardize and streamline the application process for medical registration for all Canadian provinces and territories. This portal replaces the previous MCC-Online (exam) and the PCPC-Online (repository) systems. Everything is now stored in one central location. With your consent, medical regulatory authorities and other medical organizations can view your credentials and exam results through this one portal.
The MCC is an organization that is responsible for assessing medical candidates, evaluation of physicians through examinations and granting a qualification to those who wish to practice medicine in Canada. Through excellence in physician evaluation, the Medical Council of Canada strives for the highest level of medical care for Canadians.
For International Medical Graduates - The MCCEE or the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination is an evaluating tool used by most Canadian provinces, in conjunction with review of medical training to assess practice readiness to work in Canada. In Alberta and other Canadian provinces, a successful pass is required prior to requesting a Review of Qualifications (formerly eligibility review) from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA). A successful pass is not a guarantee of an Alberta practice permit. It is only one of many tools used to assess practice readiness/in applying for a medical practice permit to practice medicine in Alberta.
For Canadian-trained Medical Graduates - To be eligible for licensure in Alberta, all Canadian-trained graduates must complete the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part 1 and Part 2. Successful completion will result in granting of Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC).
As stated on the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta website, the Agreement on Internal Trade is an agreement signed by the First Ministers of Canada that intend to eliminate barriers to trade, investment, and labor mobility within Canada. As of September 2010, physicians who have an independent practice license in a Canadian province or territory may be eligible for a license in Alberta. The candidate must still apply for a license in Alberta and CANNOT practice in Alberta using a license issued by another province.
The Health Professions Act is an Act of Legislation in Alberta that grants the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta the responsibility for the registration and regulation of physicians in Alberta. Under this legislation, there are criteria for the licensure of physicians. Candidates who are not eligible for registration in Alberta via the Agreement on Internal trade may be eligible if they meet the requirements under the HPA. This determination is done by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta.
The Canadian Resident Matching Service is a national organization that provides a match for entry into postgraduate medical training in Canada to medical students, residents and faculties through an electronic application service. Through the application and matching service, applicants can select where they would like to train in Canada and program directors can select suitable applicants. Program matching is completed through a two-iteration process.
The AMA is the professional organization for Alberta practicing physicians. The organization is an advocate for its physician members, providing leadership and support in the provision of quality health care for Albertans. It is the Alberta division of the Canadian Medical Association. Services include:
- Physician Locum Services
- Employee assistance support for members
- Overarching support to Primary Care Networks
In a Primary Care Network (PCN), a group of family doctors works with Alberta Health Services and other health professionals to coordinate the delivery of primary health care services for their patients.