FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1) How do I start the process to find out if I am eligible to practice as a GP (general practitioner) in BC?
Go to Practice in BC and find the appropriate category that describes you (e.g. undergraduate student, Canadian medical graduate/student or international medical graduate/student). Follow the steps in the process.
2) As an International Medical Graduate (IMG) in a country outside of Canada, can I start the process of determining eligibility for practice and licensure before coming to Canada?
Some steps in the process can be started before coming to Canada and others should be taken after arrival in Canada. These steps are outlined on the physiciansapply.ca website. Go to Practice in BC, find the appropriate IMG category to review the entire process.
3) Who do I contact to help me with the process of determining eligibility to practice in BC?
Each key resource (Physiciansapply.ca, Health Match BC, and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC) involved in the process has specific contact information including chat, email, phone, and/or fax. As you go through each step in the process, find the contact information that will meet your needs.
4) Do you have a list of mentors?
We do not have a list of mentors, however for IMGs, the Association of International Medical Graduates of BC provides mentorship events to support the licensure process. These events include exam preparation sessions (OSCE, MCEE, MCCQE) and English exam proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS) sessions. After you have confirmed your eligibility to practice in BC and have completed an agreement to work at a specific site (e.g. clinic), your local Division of Family Practice can help to connect you with family physicians who can welcome and support you with your practice journey.
5) Are there resources to help me pass the English proficiency exam?
Several organizations offer in class and/or online IELTS preparation courses. These include: the Association of International Medical Graduates of BC; Immigrant Services Society of BC and IELTS.
6) Is there funding available to support the process to become eligible to practice in BC?
All GP candidates are required to cover their own expenses related to becoming eligible to practice in BC. Some organizations may offer funding to support exam and other related costs for eligible IMG applicants: Contact the Association of International Medical Graduates of BC to learn more.
7) Do you have a list of sponsoring physicians?
An individual physician is not eligible to be a sponsor for provisionally licensed physicians. Health Authorities are responsible for sponsoring these physicians. Visit here for more details.
8) How long does it take to become eligible to practice in BC?
The journey to qualify for practice in BC varies based on several factors. Each journey is unique to the individual and can range from 6 months to 3 years or more. After eligibility is confirmed, the length of time it takes to actually start practice in BC can also vary greatly from approximately 3 months to 3 years or more.
9) How much does it cost to become eligible to practice in BC?
The cost to become eligible to practice varies based on individual circumstances. Costs can include registration for a physiciansapply.ca account, verification of credentials, examination fees, and preparation course fees. After you become eligible to practice, additional costs can include immigration fees, relocation fees (travel and accommodation fees), examination fees, and licensing fees. Total costs for the entire journey to practice in BC can be significant; therefore, it is important to plan accordingly, especially if you have limited or a reduction in income during the process.