Do you want to go to study medicine in Canada? The route explained step by step.

Studying abroad is your dream, and medicine is your passion. Among the many international destinations you have evaluated to leave after your diploma, have you decided to study in Canada? Great idea: studying medicine in Canada is one of the dreams of many guys like you, as Canadian university cities are extremely safe and full of career opportunities.

Now that you’ve decided where to study medicine abroad, it’s time to figure out how to do it. The Canadian university system is different from ours, as is the path to becoming a doctor. For this reason, today, we have decided to satisfy all your doubts and to explain, step by step, how to best face this path.

Are you ready? Then let’s get started right away.

All the necessary steps to study medicine in Canada

In this paragraph, we will make a shortlist of all the steps you need to follow to study medicine at a university in Canada. In contrast, in the following paragraphs, we will discuss these points in detail:

  1. Obtain a Bachelor Degree, i.e. the first-level degree. We at LAE will help you in this first step. 
  2. Apply for and obtain permanent residency in Canada.
  3. Enrol in a medical school in Canada after gaining permanent residency and taking the Medical School Admission Test (MCAT).
  4. Take the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE) and pass it successfully.
  5. Complete the specialization.
  6. Get licensed as a doctor.

Like all medical journeys in the world, it is long (it lasts over 10 years!) And it may not take you straight to your goal, but by following our advice, you have a good chance of succeeding.

Now let’s see, point by point, how to become a doctor in Canada from graduation to qualification.

At the end of the article you will also find the indicative costs of this path, excluding the cost of room and board. We anticipate that studying medicine in Canada (but also studying in Australia , studying in the USA or in another foreign country to become a doctor) has a cost, but if you can afford it, we absolutely recommend that you do it. Canada is a country full of job opportunities and an excellent quality of life!

1st step to study medicine in Canada: obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree.

There is no Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery in Canada, but there are Medical Schools that offer postgraduate programs called  Doctor of Medicine (MD). These schools only accept applicants with at least a Bachelor’s Degree and who, in the case of international students, have permanent residence in Canada.

We suggest that you earn your Bachelor’s degree from university in Canada in order to have a better chance of obtaining permanent residency, which is a prerequisite for your admission to a medical school!

Specifically, Med Schools are looking for students with a broad background, a solid foundation in science subjects and experience in the health sector. You can therefore earn a Bachelor’s degree and gain health care experience during college by volunteering in hospitals, clinics or other healthcare settings.

Although a specific degree is not required, if you want to apply to the School of Medicine, you must complete a degree program with exams in biology, physics, chemistry and mathematics. In this regard, we recommend two excellent four-year Bachelors from one of the best universities in Canada, our partner, Simon Fraser University (based in Vancouver). Here are what degrees we are talking about:

  • Bachelor in Health Sciences, for which you can choose from one of the following macro-areas of study:
    • Focus on life sciences
    • Sciences with a focus on population health and statistics
  • Bachelor of Sciences, for which you can choose from the following study areas:
    • Mathematics, Statistics, Applied Mathematics, Predicted Actuarial Sciences and Data Sciences
    • Chemistry, Physics and Earth Sciences
    • Biomedical Physiology, Kinesiology, Molecular and Biochemical Biology and Biological Sciences

You can also choose from numerous majors, i.e. specialized subjects, to plan the degree path in line with your future goals (i.e. study medicine). Be that as it may, both Bachelors are a good starting point to then enrol in the Med School after graduation and to study medicine in Vancouver, one of the most important cities in Canada.

2nd step to study medicine in Canada: obtain Canadian permanent residency.

To get permanent residency, you must first work in Canada after your graduation.

Good news! All international students who earn a 4-year Bachelor’s degree in Canada have the opportunity to apply for a 3-year postgraduate work permit (we talked about it on the Canada Visa page in the paragraph ” Post-Graduation Work Permit: who can apply for it? ” ). And the Bachelors we have proposed to you are both four-year.

If you get a post-study work visa, you can stay to work in Canada for 3 years. After finishing university, you will be able to apply for Canadian residency after using at least the first year of your Post-Graduation Work Permit.

Permanent residency in Canada is a permit administered by the Immigration Section of the Canadian Government. Authorization isn’t granted to everyone, so we can’t tell you what changes you would have to get. However, we can refer you to the specific page of the Government website:  so that you can inform yourself in everything and for everything about it.

We can also tell you that if you get your degree in Canada and then embark on a career path in Canadian territory, you are on the right path to obtain this permit (considering, however, that these are not the only requirements for a permanent resident card ).

3rd step to study medicine in Canada: enrol in a Medical School in Canada.+

Once you have a Canadian permanent residency, you can enrol in a medical school’s MD (Doctor of Medicine) program. There are 17 medical schools in Canada to choose from, but most of them require you to be residents of the same province where the school itself is located.

We recommend that you contact the school of your choice or visit its website carefully to request specific admission requirements.

However, we can say with certainty that many medical schools in Canada will ask you to take the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) successfully. That very few student who applies for admission can enter the school: it is certainly essential to have an average of excellent grades and extensive work experience in healthcare.

The Doctor of Medicine program lasts four years: the first two take place more in the classroom and the laboratory, while during the last two, you will also work with patients at the clinics (of course, you will be under the supervision of a doctor).


4th step: take and pass the qualifying exam as a doctor in Canada.

After completing your four-year training at a Medical School, you must pass a qualifying exam to prove your skills before working as a doctor in Canada. This exam is the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE): it is tough, it will put you under a lot of pressure, but you will see that your willpower and your preparation will prevail.

We recommend that you prepare to take it well in advance, study hard and use different study methods to make yourself extremely flexible to any question. Online you will surely find adequate information about it; you will also be able to discuss with your colleagues to organize intensive preparation sessions and question each other.

Step 5: Complete a Medical Residency Program.

Once you pass the MCCEE exam and then become a licensed physician, Canadian law requires you to complete a graduate program before you can work independently. The goal is to allow newly licensed doctors to learn from more experienced professionals in a kind of mentoring system and to allow them to make new career choices.

For family doctors, specialization lasts two years, while other specialization courses (e.g. internal medicine, paediatrics, emergency medicine, psychiatry and anesthesiology) can last up to six years. In addition to this path, you can choose a sub-specialization path of another two or three years.

Postgraduate programs offer aspiring physicians the opportunity to work directly with patients in a specialist area of ​​medicine. During this journey, you will practice various patient care activities, including completing the medical history and health care and conducting tests.

6th step: obtain a license to work as a doctor in Canada.

All Canadian provinces require physicians to be licensed before working in clinics and hospitals at the end of the full path (Bachelor + MD + MCEE + specialization). You should be aware that a license as a doctor in Canada is not permanent – you will be required to renew it periodically.

We recommend that you read the following page to find out more:

How much does it cost to study medicine in Canada?

We can provide you with approximate costs as they usually vary from year to year. Furthermore, each Medical School has different prices, and we do not know which of the 17 you will want to enrol in! Here, however, is an indicative mirror of the costs to be incurred for visas and the Bachelor at Simon Fraser :

  • Student Permit Canada: $ 150 Canadian.
  • Bachelor’s degree from Simon Fraser University: between 29,000 and 33,000 Canadian dollars per year for 4 years. Of course, we can also offer you universities that cost less.
  • Postgraduate Work Visa: Approximately $ 255 Canadian.

The total price of your medical course in Canada may be medium to high, but also consider that you will work as a resident. And doctors, even resident doctors, in Canada have an excellent salary. This choice could be the best investment in your life!