Canadian citizen, IMG, currently in PGY2 IM in USA. Planning to return to Canada.

Suture15

2+ Year Member
Sep 6, 2014
56
14
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Hello,

I haven't posted in a while, but with the new removal of fellowship restrictions from Health Canada has made me introspect more about what I want to do with my career eventually.

I am currently a PGY2 Internal Medicine resident in the States. I am a Canadian citizen, who went to the Caribbean for medical school. I would like to eventually return to Canada to practice as an internist/specialist.

I have heard conflicting information from various sources, and would like to hear this forum's opinion/advice regarding the pathway to return to Canada and practice (preferably Ontario, as I am from there).

My current understanding is this

- I do need a 4th year of training in either USA or Canada to be equivalent to IM training in Canada (as it is 4 years)
- I need to write the Royal College IM licensing exam to be officially licensed
- I can do only 3 years of training in IM here (essentially be board certified in IM) and then work under a restricted license in Ontario? (Bit confused about this one).
- I can obviously apply for fellowship in Canada (General internal medicine or others, granted, quite difficult to get into).

Would love any guidance on this. I am also thinking about doing a fellowship in USA (perhaps infectious disease, but not sure), and this should technically make me equivalent, training wise atleast I would imagine?

Thank you very much!
 

ZoeSoulstar

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 10, 2009
8
3
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
Hello,

I haven't posted in a while, but with the new removal of fellowship restrictions from Health Canada has made me introspect more about what I want to do with my career eventually.

I am currently a PGY2 Internal Medicine resident in the States. I am a Canadian citizen, who went to the Caribbean for medical school. I would like to eventually return to Canada to practice as an internist/specialist.

I have heard conflicting information from various sources, and would like to hear this forum's opinion/advice regarding the pathway to return to Canada and practice (preferably Ontario, as I am from there).

My current understanding is this

- I do need a 4th year of training in either USA or Canada to be equivalent to IM training in Canada (as it is 4 years)
- I need to write the Royal College IM licensing exam to be officially licensed
- I can do only 3 years of training in IM here (essentially be board certified in IM) and then work under a restricted license in Ontario? (Bit confused about this one).
- I can obviously apply for fellowship in Canada (General internal medicine or others, granted, quite difficult to get into).

Would love any guidance on this. I am also thinking about doing a fellowship in USA (perhaps infectious disease, but not sure), and this should technically make me equivalent, training wise at least I would imagine?

Thank you very much!
Hi Suture15,

I'm essentially in the same boat as you but have gone through many of these hoops already. What I mean by that is I'm a Canadian Citizen (from BC), completed med school in the Caribbean, completed an IM residency in the US and just completed my ID fellowship in the US. I can answer a few (but not all) of your questions and will do so to the best of my ability given my experience thus far.

I do need a 4th year of training in either USA or Canada to be equivalent to IM training in Canada (as it is 4 years)
-
Correct. You do need to complete a 4th year in order to be eligible to practice IM in Canada (after completing the Royal College exam of course). From my understanding this 4th year can be satisfied by completing a Chief Resident year or by doing a fellowship (obviously of at least 1 year duration).

I need to write the Royal College IM licensing exam to be officially licensed

- Correct. This is actually where I am in my process. Needing to sit for the Royal College Exam (which is ridiculously expensive, it's disgusting really). I'm tempted to say that you'll have to sit for your US boards in IM as well because the Royal College will want evidence that you are certified in the USA but don't quote me on this. I sat for my US boards and then 're-started' the Canadian certification process in a hasty way almost at the end of my ID training - it's a long story.

I can do only 3 years of training in IM here (essentially be board certified in IM) and then work under a restricted license in Ontario? (Bit confused about this one).

- not sure about this one. I would advise you to contact your provincial college of physicians and surgeons to clarify this information. Find a good contact person there who has your back and can help guide you through what is a grueling, expensive, convoluted process.

I can obviously apply for fellowship in Canada (General internal medicine or others, granted, quite difficult to get into).

- this sounds correct but I'm not totally sure so again I would seek out that answer via the Ontario College or the Royal College's website.

And finally...

I am also thinking about doing a fellowship in USA (perhaps infectious disease, but not sure), and this should technically make me equivalent, training wise at least I would imagine?

- Correct. Completing fellowship in the USA would make you eligible for IM (and ID - if that's what you chose to do) practice in Canada - again, after you've written the Royal College Exams (for both, though if you didn't want to practice ID in Canada, then you wouldn't need to sit for that Royal College exam).

Hopefully you find this helpful in some way. Again I'm only a few steps ahead of you in this process and I'm searching for help and advice myself going forward but because I've already been through your part of the journey, I figured I may be able to shed a little bit of light on the road you have ahead of you.
 
OP
S

Suture15

2+ Year Member
Sep 6, 2014
56
14
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Hopefully you find this helpful in some way. Again I'm only a few steps ahead of you in this process and I'm searching for help and advice myself going forward but because I've already been through your part of the journey, I figured I may be able to shed a little bit of light on the road you have ahead of you.
Thank you so much for reply. I hope Infectious Disease is going tremendously for you.

Did have a couple of queries. I imagine you are planning to go back to BC, or Ontario as well? And the route you have undertaken, i.e. Internal medicine --> ID --> Royal Canadian exam, does that essentially give you an unrestricted license or do you have to be under a supervisor for a specific amount of time?

Obviously if your career route is focused on BC, the rules I would imagine are different, seeing as everything is so province specific in Canada.

And as an aside, are you applying for ID jobs in USA whilst doing the royal exam?
 
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Successor12

2+ Year Member
Jan 13, 2016
152
31
I have a Canadian PR.Did IM residency plus 1 year fellowship in the US. Applied to sit for the RCPS IM board exam and got my eligibility letter to do this in the next 3 years to my understanding. Currently finishing another 2 year fellowship with a projected graduation next year.

The whole process of breaking into the Canadian system is super exhausting. But I chose the independent/exam license way to have more flexibility I guess!

No clue on how to prepare for the 2 parts Canadian board exam esp the OSCE part. I saw 3000$ exam fees which left me speechless!

Let us support each othet and share more tips about this process!
 

Azmahkiani

2+ Year Member
Jul 3, 2016
173
160
Status
Medical Student
I have a Canadian PR.Did IM residency plus 1 year fellowship in the US. Applied to sit for the RCPS IM board exam and got my eligibility letter to do this in the next 3 years to my understanding. Currently finishing another 2 year fellowship with a projected graduation next year.

The whole process of breaking into the Canadian system is super exhausting. But I chose the independent/exam license way to have more flexibility I guess!

No clue on how to prepare for the 2 parts Canadian board exam esp the OSCE part. I saw 3000$ exam fees which left me speechless!

Let us support each othet and share more tips about this process!
Thank you for sharing your journey. This will be super helpful to the Canadian imgs. We need to know our options. Truly grateful to op for starting this thread. I would like to know how the process works even though I am a 4th year medical student.
 
Mar 17, 2019
1
0
Hello all, great thread and first time posting. I did my traingin in US.
I am also planning to head back, I finished a 3 year IM residency in ‘15 and now doing a chief year a few years after to satisfy the requirement.

Am wondering how strict/detailed the royal college scrutinize

Are you all planning to apply before April deadline?
 
Jan 31, 2018
83
127
Status
Medical Student
I have a Canadian PR.Did IM residency plus 1 year fellowship in the US. Applied to sit for the RCPS IM board exam and got my eligibility letter to do this in the next 3 years to my understanding. Currently finishing another 2 year fellowship with a projected graduation next year.

The whole process of breaking into the Canadian system is super exhausting. But I chose the independent/exam license way to have more flexibility I guess!

No clue on how to prepare for the 2 parts Canadian board exam esp the OSCE part. I saw 3000$ exam fees which left me speechless!

Let us support each othet and share more tips about this process!
Those fees you mentioned are for MCCQE I and QE II?
 
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