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Regular permit to practice – By recognition of the equivalence of an M.D. degree

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6 min 52-minute video

In Quebec, under section 33 of the Medical Act, the issue of a permit to practice gives the applicant the right to practice medicine in the discipline concerned. The Regulation respecting the terms and conditions for the issuance of the permit and specialist’s certificates by the Collège des médecins du Québec sets out the requirements for the issue of permits and the rules governing access to the medical profession.

If you have a regular permit to practice in Canada without any restrictions or limitations, please see the page Holder of a regular permit to practice in Canada – Accelerated application.

If you are a clinician in active practice, please see the alternative route to practice too:
Restrictive permit – Quebec-France MRA, Clinician, Professor – Practice ready (PRA).
 

Regular permit to practice – By recognition of the equivalence of an M.D. degree

If you are an international medical graduate (IMG) and would like to apply for a regular permit to practice or complete a training program in Quebec, you must obtain recognition of the equivalence of your Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from the Collège – See Step 1.

You have obtained recognition of the equivalence of your M.D. degree from the Collège: you may go on to Step 2 to continue.

Section 35 of the Charter of the French language stipulates that the professional orders shall not issue permits except to persons whose knowledge of the official language is appropriate to the practice of their profession.

Note that under section 37 of the Charter, a “temporary” permit may be issued.
See Step 4.

To familiarize yourself with the Canadian requirements (CanMEDS roles), we encourage you to consult the Communication and Cultural Competence program under the ORIENTATION tab on the physiciansapply.ca site. Case studies give examples of everyday medical practice in Canada.

With respect to your immigration, you can visit the specialized sites:
www.immigrantquebec.com and Salon de l’immigration et de l’intégration au Québec.

Since every applicant completes the process at their own pace, the length of time it takes can vary.

Steps
  1. Obtain recognition of the equivalence of your M.D. degree
  2. Complete a postgraduate training program
  3. Pass the certification examinations
  4. Satisfy the other requirements – LMCC, ALDO-Quebec, French language proficiency
  5. Complete an application for medical registration
  6. Register on the Roll of the Order: First registration

The steps are described in detail below.

Step 1 – Obtain recognition of the equivalence of your M.D. degree

You can use the checklist to mark off the steps you have completed

You hold a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree from a university listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools and which has an “Approved” status in your physiciansapply.ca account.

You have passed the two examinations required (MCCQE Part I and NAC OSCE). To apply to take an examination, go to the “Examinations” section of your personal account on the Medical Council of Canada’s physiciansapply.ca site.

OR

You have the status as a Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC).

To submit an application, from your personal account on the MCC’s physiciansapply.ca site, please select:

  1. Application for medical registration
  2. QC Collège des médecins du Québec
  3. Regular permit – Recognition of equivalence of the Medical Degree  (M.D.)

You will also have to provide the required documents. Some must be sent to the Collège, while others must be submitted to physiciansapply.ca. Please see the List of fees.

Through the physiciansapply.ca portal, the Medical Council of Canada will source verify your credentials. Make sure you have authorized the Collège to access all your documents.

Once 

  • you have provided proof that you have passed the two examinations or have your Licentiate number (LMCC) 

and

  • your Doctor of Medicine degree submitted to physiciansapply.ca  has the verification status “Passed”, 

the Collège will recognize the equivalence of your Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree.

Recognition of the equivalence of your M.D. degree does not authorize you to practice medicine in Quebec; you must complete all the steps listed above in order to be entitled to practice, including being issued a permit to practice and a specialist’s certificate by the Collège.

Note

For the Collège, the French language proficiency requirement is included in Step 4.

However, the universities may have particular requirements. We suggest that you contact them for information about their requirements.

A State Doctor of Medicine degree from a faculty of medicine that is located and provides training in France is recognized by the Collège under the Quebec-France Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA). You may go on to Step 2 to continue. Before doing so, make sure you contact the faculties of medicine to find out their admission requirements.

Alternative route

You may submit an application for admission to the undergraduate medical program at one of Quebec’s four faculties of medicine. Please contact the faculties directly to find out their respective admission requirements.

The number of places available is limited and you cannot be guaranteed a position in an undergraduate program. The faculties of medicine are responsible for selecting applicants.

For further information:

For information, write to: dhceu@cmq.org

FIN DES SECTIONS

Step 2 – Complete a postgraduate training program

To complete a postgraduate training program in Quebec:

As an international medical graduate, you must have completed the step to obtain recognition of your Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree – Step 1.
 
If you have obtained recognition of the equivalence of your Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from the Collège, we will send your contact information to the Bureau de coopération interuniversitaire (BCI).

The BCI is responsible for the application of the postgraduate training programs admissions policy in Quebec. Applications for admission to these programs under the regular quota must be submitted to the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS). Applications for admission under the special quota must be submitted directly to the faculties.

The BCI will contact you by email in October to tell you what you have to do to submit an application for admission to a postgraduate training program in Quebec in family medicine (24 months) or in one of the 59 other specialties (48 to 96 months) recognized by the Collège and to determine which quota you will be eligible to apply under (regular or special). Therefore, it is important to notify the BCI of any change of address: dhceu@bci-qc.ca.

See the Specialties recognized in Quebec page.

Note from the BCI

To be eligible under the regular quota, the Government of Québec requires applicants to show that they meet the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur’s definition of "resident in Québec”.

For further information:

Since the number of places available is limited, you cannot be guaranteed a position in a residency program. The faculties of medicine are responsible for selecting residency applicants.
Measures to promote professional integration

Integration period

Refresher period (CEDIS)

Observation period

If you did some or all of your postgraduate training outside Canada and you obtained a residency position in Canada or the United States in the same discipline in a recognized training program, the faculty of medicine, not the Collège, will take your prior training into consideration and confirm your completion of the training program after a minimum period of 12 months in the program.

 If you completed a postgraduate training program in Canada or the United States in a recognized training program, accredited by the Collège des médecins du Québec (Collège), the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (Royal College), the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) or the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), equivalent in duration and content to the program in Quebec, and you have a certificate of completion of training, you may go on to Step 3 to continue.

You will be granted full equivalence of training if you have passed the Royal College or CFPC certification examinations in a specialty that is recognized in Quebec. You may go on to Step 4 to continue.

For information, write to: dhceu@cmq.org

FIN DES SECTIONS

Step 3 – Pass the certification examinations: CFPC and Royal College

If you completed your postgraduate training program to the satisfaction of the faculty of medicine and the Collège, you must pass the certification examinations in family medicine of the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) or, for the other specialties, those of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (Royal College).

If you passed a Royal College subspecialty examination, you must also pass the basic specialty (primary specialty) examination to be certified by the Collège des médecins du Québec.

FIN DES SECTIONS

Step 4 – Satisfy the other requirements: LMCC, ALDO-Quebec, French language proficiency

  • LMCC – Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada
    You must provide proof of your status as a Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC).
  • ALDO-Quebec educational activity
    You must have participated in the ALDO-Quebec educational activity on the legal, ethical and organizational aspects of medical practice in Quebec.
  • French language proficiency
    You must provide proof of French language proficiency (this link provides information about the examination, French courses and exemption criteria) or pass the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) examination.

    In addition, under section 37 of the Charter of the French language a professional order may issue a temporary permit that is valid for one year to people from outside Quebec (M.D. from outside Quebec) whose knowledge of French does not meet the requirements. This type of permit is valid for one year and renewal is subject to certain conditions.

Conditions for renewal of a temporary permit:

A temporary permit (s. 37 of the Charter) may be renewed three times with the OQLF’s authorization. An applicant may not apply for renewal unless they have taken the OQLF examination before their permit expires. In addition, the OQLF will give its authorization only if it considers it warranted by the public interest (letter of support from an employer in Quebec).

Once you have passed the French examination, you may apply to have the temporary permit converted to a regular permit by completing the online form Application to convert a temporary permit through the Collège’s transactional site and paying the required fee: please see the List of fees.

For information, write to: demandepermis@cmq.org

FIN DES SECTIONS

Step 5 – Complete an application for medical registration

To submit an application for a regular permit to practice, from your personal account on the MCC’s physiciansapply.ca site, please select:

  1. Application for medical registration
  2. QC Collège des médecins du Québec
  3. Regular permit – Ready to practice

To find out the application fees, please see the physicansapply.ca services section on the List of fees.

Please submit your application at least one month before the scheduled practice start date. If you wish to receive your permit between June 1 and August 31, you must submit your application no later than May 1.  
 

For information, write to: demandepermis@cmq.org. 

FIN DES SECTIONS

Step 6 – Register on the Roll of the Order: First registration

Once you have received your permit to practice and your specialist's certificate (if applicable), you must take out professional liability insurance (in French only) and complete your first registration on the Roll of the Order. To do so, you must complete the online form First registration on the Roll of the Order on the Collège's secure site.

The Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) will be informed that you have registered on the Roll of the Order and your practice start date will be the date that you registered on the Roll.

To contact the Roll of the Order, write to: tableau@cmq.org.

For information about your RAMQ file, please call: 1 800 463-4776.

The Collège will issue a regular permit to practice and a specialist’s certificate when you have:

  • passed the Royal College or CFPC certification examinations;
  • provided proof of your status as a Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC);
  • participated in the ALDO-Quebec educational activity on the legal, ethical and organizational aspects of medical practice in Quebec;
  • provided proof of French language proficiency.
Route to medical practice in Quebec

Quebec medical graduate

International medical graduate – IMG
1. Medical degree 1. Recognition of the equivalence of an M.D. degree*

Duration: 4-5 years

2 examinations (MCCQE-I and NAC OSCE) or LMCC
M.D. degree from Québec

M.D. degree recognized by the Collège

Bureau de coopération interuniversitaire (BCI)

* Or repeat clerkship (2 years) or undergraduate medical program in QC (M.D. degree from Quebec)
2. Match – residency position 2. Match – residency position
umelage
Postgraduate training Postgraduate training (minimum 12 months)

Postgraduate training

  • Family medicine: 24 months
  • Other specialties: 48 to 96 months
  • Family medicine: variable 12 to 24 months
  • Other specialties: variable 12 to 48-96 month
Achievement of program objectives Achievement of program objectives

Certificate of completion of training

Certificate of completion of training
3. Final examination 3. Final examination
CFPC / Royal College certification

CFPC / Royal College certification

4. Other requirements 4. Other requirements
LMCC / ALDO-Quebec / OQLF LMCC / ALDO-Quebec / OQLF

FIN DES SECTIONS

Also available on this topic
In case of dissatisfaction

You can file a complaint if you are dissatisfied or have difficulty in obtaining a permit or becoming a member of the Ordre.

An independent governmental body is available to you: the Commissioner for Admission to Professions. The commissioner receives and examines all complaints concerning admission to professions: 

  • for any process or stage of admission;
  • against any person or organization involved (the College or a third party).
Last update: August 12, 2021