The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) was established by an act of Parliament, requiring the consent of all the medical councils in the Canadian provinces. The MCC determines whether or not a foreign national is fit to practise medicine in Canada. However, the MCC does not have the right to license physicians.
Before an individual can practise medicine in Canada, they would require a license from the medical council of the specific province that they intend to practise in. While the MCC does not license physicians, it does serve as one of the prerequisites before a province can issue a license to practise medicine.
Ensuring excellence in the assessment of physicians, the MCC works towards achieving the highest level of medical care in Canada. The MCC offers candidates and physicians a range of services that might be needed on their path to licensure and well beyond.
While the MCC provides you with the route to licensure, you can’t practise medicine in Canada unless you have a license from the relevant province.
As ‘physician’ is a regulated occupation, you will have to secure a certification from a regulatory authority before starting working as a doctor in Canada within that province/territory. These provincial authorities are also referred to as Medical Regulatory Authorities or MRAs.
Provinces and their licensing authorities
In a year, around 10,000 international and Canadian medical graduates and medical students are assessed by the MCC through examinations offered in both English and French. The MCC examinations are offered in 80 other countries besides Canada.
Providing ongoing support for research and development, the MCC ensures that it remains the leader in innovation in medical assessment.
Services offered by the MCC also include - issuing Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) reports, document translation, and source verification. An online database, the Physician Credentials Repository, provides permanent storage for international medical credentials.
The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) is among the organizations and professional bodies designated by the Federal Government of Canada to assess credentials.
If you are looking to work or study in Canada or settle in Canada as a permanent resident, you might be required to get an Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA) done by a designated organization or professional body.
Those looking to work in Canada in a regulated organization would have to get their ECA report from a specific professional body. Physicians looking to practice in Canada must get their ECA Report from the Medical Council of Canada.
Similarly, an individual intending to work as a pharmacist in Canada must get an assessment done by the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada. Others can get their ECA report from any organisation designated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to provide assessments.
IRCC-designated organizations for ECA, if not intending to work in Canada in a regulated occupation, are -
An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) confirms whether or not your medical degree or medical diploma is comparable to a Canadian one.
An ECA report might be needed when applying for Canadian immigration through the federal Express Entry system in general and for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) under Express Entry in particular.
The MCC provides ECA reports for -
Note that you can only request an ECA report from the MCC if you meet the requirements. To be eligible for an MCC ECA, you must -
 be an international medical graduate, and
 have already had your final medical degree or medical diploma source verified by the MCC.
A Source Verification Request (SVR) will have to be submitted. If applying under Canada’s Express Entry, you must get the source verification completed before you request an ECA report.
After the source verification has been done for your medical degree/diploma or transcript, you can proceed to request an ECA report through your physiciansapply.ca account.
Click on “Other service requests”, and then select “request Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report”. The fee for the ECA report will have to be paid at this point.
Your MCC ECA report will be generated and mailed to you within 14 calendar days of your request. Additional copies of the report are provided. The ECA report fee will have to be paid for each of the extra copies requested.
While an ECA by the MCC is one of the requirements, an ECA alone does not grant you the ability to practise medicine in Canada. Other requirements will have to be duly met before being granted full licensure by the Medical Regulatory Authorities (MRAs) in Canada.
Each of the MRAs has its own individual eligibility requirement. Your ECA report by the MCC will be valid for immigration purposes for five years from the date of issue.
Given below are the charges that you can expect to pay for getting an ECA report from the MCC.
Note: ECA-Educational Credential Assessment. LMCC-Licentiates of the Medical Council of Canada.
The Canadian Medical Register is maintained by the MCC. Physicians that have their names included in the Canadian Medical Register are referred to as the Licenciés du Conseil médical du Canada (LCMC) or Licentiates of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC).
The LMCC number as well as the date of registration will be provided by the MCC and can be viewed online. The official LMCC documentation will be sent - within six to eight weeks of the approval of the application - to the applicant by mail or courier if opted for.
Do keep in mind that the LMCC in itself is not a licence to practice medicine in Canada. The authority to issue a medical license is with the Medical Regulatory Authorities (MRAs).
An individual will have to satisfy the specific requirements of the relevant MRA, that is, as per the Canadian province/territory intending to practice medicine within.
The final step towards acquiring licensure to practice will be submitting an application to that MRA.
A physician that successfully meets the MCC requirements finds their name included in the Canadian Medical Register as an LMCC.
Additionally, such physicians receive a Certificate of Registration in the format of a plastic card that can be kept in a wallet. This will serve as an official proof of registration with the MCC.
A Testamur - for displaying in a frame - is also provided.
To be eligible to be included in the Canadian Medical Register, a graduate in medicine must have duly submitted evidence of a minimum of 12 months’ postgraduate clinical medical training.
To be considered, this training should be deemed acceptable by the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the MCC.
They will also have to clear the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE).
An international medical graduate or an international medical student will have to go through the MCC for their licensure.
The route to licensure with the Medical Council of Canada consists of the following steps -
Before coming to Canada
Go through the World Directory of Medical Schools (WDMS). You will also get a FAIMER school ID.
FAIMER stands for the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research.
Familiarize yourself with the MCCQE - one of the exams to be passed before becoming eligible to practise medicine in Canada - through the practice test content available on the internet.
Before you can appear for the MCCQE Part I, you must sign up and pay a one-time non-refundable fee.
You can create a portfolio of your medical credentials within your physiciansapply.com account. This allows easy sharing with medical regulatory authorities and other organizations in the medical system in Canada. Source verification of your final medical diploma will be required before sharing credentials online.
A computer-based examination, the MCCQE, can be taken at 500+ test centres worldwide.
After coming to Canada
Keeping in view your career goals and objectives, you might consider doing the following after arrival in Canada -
You will have to clear the NAC to be able to apply for a residency position. The NAC is offered only in Canada. A one-day exam, the NAC tests the readiness of an individual to enter a Canadian residency program. The NAC is an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). In October 2021, more than 1,300 candidates completed the NAC exam.
The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) plays a significant role in assessing physicians in Canada.
Serving only as of the route to licensure, the MCC, on its own, does not confer licenses to physicians.
A licence to a physician allowing them to practice medicine in Canada will be granted by the provincial and territorial Medical Regulatory Authority (MRA) concerned.