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Questions from a Canadian FM resident about US practice - help please!


New Member
Feb 27, 2018

    I am finishing a family medicine residency in Canada, but moving to the US for practice (family reasons). I have already checked with the American Board of FM and this is not a problem from a credentialing point - everything transfers over. I just have 2 questions:

    1. In real life practice does Canadian training suffice for practice in the US - i.e., is it similar enough? (Despite it being a 2 year residency in Canada vs 3 years in the US)

    2. I am very interested in mental health work. In Canada, some GPs focus specifically on mental health - i.e., GP psychotherapy. Does this or anything similar happen in the US? In other words, are there opportunities for me to focus my practice heavily in mental health work as a family doctor? And if available, would I be more likely to find them in large scale practices or smaller ones...and rural areas or big cities?



    New Member
    Mar 1, 2018
    1. Resident [Any Field]
      Hi @ML821, I just matched to FM in Canada (I'm a CMG and Canadian citizen) and was wondering how this works?

      In Canada, FM is two years. I was under the impression if you wanted to work in the US you had to complete an extra supervised year (one year)? How were you able to bypass this requirement?

      Last edited:


      Full Member
      10+ Year Member
      Jul 25, 2008
      1. Attending Physician
        Since no one has responded, I will chime in although I don't know much about residency training.

        1. I think one of the largest learning curves will learn how to work with insurance companies/billing. It's something that I'm slowly learning during residency and I'm sure I'll have to face another learning curve once I'm an attending.

        2. If you want to specifically practice psychotherapy, then no, you can't do that as a GP unless you go back to get a specific degree such as LPC, LCSW, PhD, PsyD. For billing purposes and just for general good practice. I'm not sure how you could practice actual psychotherapy without training in it. If you do want to focus more on the medical management side of things then yes, I'm sure that's possible. You can take CME courses and some people do find ways to tailor their practice to their interests. This is something to ask about when you're interviewing.


        10+ Year Member
        Nov 10, 2010
        Call Room
        1. Attending Physician
          Im a Canadian, practicing in the US.

          Things are quite different, can't really comment to how you can go about learning, but we usually train for this during residency.

          Perhaps you can find a US based CME program on Biling/Coding?

          Additional question: Have you already joined a practice or network?
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