Special authorization

Find out more about the special authorization that allows a legally authorized person practicing outside Quebec, to practice the profession in Quebec.

Should a physician from another jurisdiction want to provide care on a regular basis to patients in Quebec, they must hold a permit to practice from the Collège des médecins du Québec (CMQ), a specialist’s certificate, and be registered as an active member on the Roll of the Order.

However, the CMQ may issue a special authorization granting a person legally authorized to practice the profession outside Quebec the right to use a title reserved for members of the Order or to engage in professional activities in Quebec that are reserved for such members.

The special authorization is an exceptional and temporary measure used to enable physicians outside of Quebec to carry out medical activities with patients in Quebec, in person, for the purpose of learning or teaching medical activities, or also to practice on an ad hoc basis with a specific person or group of people. A special authorization is also issued to allow telemedicine services to be offered.

Please refer to the section "Application for special authorization – Regular and accelerated application" for the required documents in view of obtaining a special authorization. (Note for holders of a regular permit in Canada: see documents required for an accelerated application.)

Please note

A special authorization should not be a substitute for licensure, restrictive permits issued to selected professors, or training cards issued as part of postgraduate training (residents or fellows).

When a physician is invited to come to provide care or other services to the population in Quebec, the preferred route is the permit. For those who have already had a permit to practice in Quebec, reinstatement on the Roll of the Order must be preferred.

Rights related to a special authorization:

A person holding a special authorization is not a member of the CMQ. Medical practice is therefore limited to the terms and conditions set out in the special authorization:

  • This person must practice the medical activities set out in the special authorization at the site or with the people mentioned on the dates specified and in accordance with the standards applicable to physicians, specifically those for ethics and professional secrecy;
  • This person must write medical prescriptions to be filled in the health care institution where the activities are authorized.
Also, a special authorization does not give the right to:
  • practice medicine at other sites or with people other than those mentioned in the special authorization;
  • write medical prescriptions that must be filled outside the health care institution;
  • bill the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ);
  • sign certain medical documents, such as death certificates, reports that conclude that confinement (secure inpatient treatment) is required, insurance forms, forms for the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST), forms for the RAMQ or for any other agency acting as a third-party payer;
  • have hospital-based practice recognized as a training period in view of obtaining a permit to practice medicine and a specialist’s certificate in Quebec.

To submit an application:

  • Physicians who already have a file at the CMQ
    You must submit your application by email to demandepermis@cmq.org.
    If you are eligible, you will be given access to the Application for special authorization form to be completed through the CMQ’s secure Online services.
  • Physicians who are submitting their first application to the CMQ
    You must submit your application by email to demandepermis@cmq.org and include your curriculum vitae and date of birth (so that a file can be created).
    If you are eligible, you will be sent a user code and password by email so that you can complete the Application for special authorization form through the CMQ’s secure Online services.

Application for renewal

A special authorization can be renewed, but it is not automatic. The physician must provide a letter explaining the reasons for the renewal. To make an informed decision, the CMQ may request any other relevant documents.

Professional Liability Insurance

You must have professional liability insurance in Québec covering authorized medical activities for the duration of the special authorization.