Canada medical schools

Hello! I am currently a senior at CSULA and I was just wondering about this because I am unsure about this matter. I was wondering if, hypothetically, I were to go to medical school in Canada and get my licensing in Canada, can I work in the US? I have a US citizenship so would I have to get a Canadian citizenship? I am very confused. Is the Canadian system different?So if I do become a doctor in Canada, am I only allowed to work in Canada even if I have a US citizenship? Thank you!

Only Canadian citizens and permanent residents can attend Canadian medical schools. All the med school seats are subsidized heavily by the government.

If you want to practice in Canada with US MD, that’s not too uncommon - you would have to re-license. Immigration for highly skilled workers is pretty straightforwards in Canada, and there are plenty of regions with MD shortages that would be happy to hire a licensed MD regardless of where they did their medical training. Canadian MDs can also license to practice in the US.


The US and Canada have a reciprocity agreement re: medical education. Grads from US and Canada medical schools are recognized as having equivalent educations. Admission to both US and Canadian med school require the MCAT.

And despite what the poster above states, there are some seats at Canadian medical schools that are open to non-Canadians. (UToronto and McGill, for example.) However, the number of seats for internationals is very limited and admission is extremely competitive. Probably moreso than for admission to US med schools.

First of all, you would not be eligible for medical licensing unless you get Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status in Canada because qualifying for a medical license requires completing a minimum of 1-2 years of residency training. Canada flat out does NOT permit internationals (which includes US citizens) to enter medical residency training in the Canada. You would need to return to the US for residency.

For purposes of applying fora US medical residency, Canadian educated applicants are treated identically to US educated applicants. However, any Canadian medical school grad would need to take and pass the USMLE exams (Steps 1, 2 CE, 2 CS) before applying for a US residency. Canada requires all its medical students to take the MCCQE exams.

Basically yes, unless you go through the process of having your medical training and credentials evaluated & approved by the national medical accreditation board and the national accreditation board for your specialty in the country in which you wish to practice. Medical licensing is never automatically granted when you move from one country to another. (Not even if you move from one Commonwealth country to another.) There’s always paperwork involved and the process can take up to a year. .

For a Canadian med graduate wishing to practice in the US, there would be automatic recognition of the equivalency of your education. The tricky part would getting your residency training recognized as equivalent. Residency training in Canada and the US aren’t always of the same length (FM and EM). For a US medical grad wishing to qualify for a medical license in Canada the same applies.

You do not need to become a Canadian citizen to practice medicine in Canada once you’ve received your medical license. (Unless it’s your intent to emigrate permanently.)

BTW, it possible to hold medical licenses in more than one country at the same time and to have practice privileges in both/all. One of my daughters has a colleague who hold US, Canadian and Australian medical licenses. My daughter holds medical licenses for the US and Australia.