General Practitioner & Family Physician
Self-Assessment: CPSA Family Medicine Flow Chart
CPSA Eligibility Review Not eligible for application
(Pre-screening process fee $210)
(Registration fee $600)
Verification of credentials and training
P PRCC Credential Verification ($250)
P LMCC Examinations (Cost varies between
$1,500 and $4,280 depending on type of licence)
Practice Readiness Assessment
(Parts A & B)
CPSA Decision Applicant not accepted
Registration Other Occupations in
Unrestricted or Conditional Licence Health Care Industry
(Annual licence renewal fee $1,600) Visit www.alis.alberta.ca/occinfo
General Practitioner & Family Physician
Description of Occupation
General Practitioners and Family Physicians diagnose and treat patients’ diseases,
physiological disorders, injuries and other health-related problems. Their job can include
taking patient’s medical histories and examining them, ordering, performing and interpreting
medical tests to diagnose health problems, determining treatment options for patients and
coordinating with other health professionals. Family physicians provide health care services
to people of all ages and genders, and with all spectrums of diseases.
In Alberta, General Practitioners and Family Physicians may work in hospitals, clinics, offices
and community settings.
Obtaining Licensing in Alberta
To practice medicine in Alberta, General Practitioners and Family Physicians must be
licensed members of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA).
There are many steps involved for International Medical Graduates to become licensed to
practice in Alberta. International applicants should expect the application process to take a
minimum of 180 days.
This profile outlines the general steps for International Medical Graduates with post-graduate
training to become licensed for independent practice in family medicine.
a) Start the licensing process by reviewing the CPSA’s Family Medicine Practice
self-assessment flow chart available on the CPSA website to see if you meet the
b) If you believe you meet the requirements, you may complete the Eligibility
Review form on the CPSA website. The Eligibility Review is not an application—it
is a pre-screening process for the CPSA to determine if individuals are eligible to
apply for a medical licence in Alberta.
c) Once your Eligibility Review form is completed, you will receive confirmation that
the completed form and payment have been successfully submitted.
d) The Eligibility Review form will then be reviewed by the CPSA and if you meet all
the requirements, the CPSA will send you the Application form and a detailed
instruction letter for licensure. At that time, you can apply for an Unrestricted
Licence (General Register) or Conditional Licence (Provisional Register).
Contact information, links to Eligibility forms and other resources are at the end of this document.
If you do not meet the requirements to apply for a conditional licence, you may qualify
to apply as a Limited Practice Registrant. This would allow you to work as a Clinical
Assistant under the supervision of a licensed physician. The selection process is
competitive as there are few positions available for Clinical Assistants. For more
information on Limited Practice Registration, visit the CPSA website.
Education in the following countries has been deemed to be equal to Canadian
educational standards: United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and
Ireland. International Medical Graduates from these countries require a shorter
General Practitioner and Family Physician Licensing Process, June 2011 1
International Medical Graduates with post-graduate experience who want an independent
practice must meet the following requirements:
Hold an acceptable medical or osteopathic degree
For an Unrestricted License the applicant must have completed a postgraduate
training program of at least 24 months, obtained the Licentiate of the Medical Council
of Canada (LMCC) and Certification by the College of Family Physicians of Canada
For a Conditional License, the applicant will have the following:
Postgraduate medical training of at least 24 months including:
Four (4) months of community-based primary care
A minimum of eight (8) weeks each of three (3) of the four (4) following
core rotations: Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Surgery, Internal
Have completed the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Exam (MCCEE).
Have a sponsor. A sponsor can be an individual physician, a clinic or an
organization providing health care services to the public (e.g. Alberta Health
Services) that has a position that is being recruited to.
Have a letter of support from Alberta Health Services (if Alberta Health Services is
not the sponsor).
An acceptable medical degree is one issued by:
A medical school in the United States accredited by the Liaison Committee on
Medical Education (LMCE)
An osteopathic school accredited by the American Osteopathic Association
A school of medicine or osteopathy listed in the International Medical Education
Directory (IMED) that has carried on a medical education program for more than ten
(10) years and offers a medical training program of at least forty-eight (48) months in
Physicians who have been out of formal postgraduate training and independent practice for
three (3) or more years must provide evidence of currency in practice or training before being
considered eligible to apply for a licence.
Eligible international graduate applicants must provide credential verification through the
Physician Credential Registry of Canada (PCRC). Applicants should start the credential
verification process immediately after receiving written confirmation of their eligibility for a
licence. Start the verification process by:
Obtaining a certified copy of your original medical diploma.
If translation is needed, have the certified copy translated by an independent
certified translation service approved by the PCRC.
General Practitioner and Family Physician Licensing Process, June 2011 2
If you have completed all the requirements for graduation including postgraduate training but
have not yet received your final medical diploma, you will need to provide the following
certified and translated documents:
A graduation certificate
A transcript (that must confirm the completion of the degree requirements)
A letter from your university stating the date that you will receive your medical
Once you have the appropriate credential verification documents, all applicants must register
and log in to the PCRC online to complete the Source Verification Request (SVR)
submission process. Once that process is complete, submit your mail-in package with all the
necessary credential documentation enclosed.
To find out the status of your SVR, you will need to log in to your PCRC account regularly.
Your documents have been accepted by PCRC when they show a review status of
The source verification process is complete when all of your medical credential
documents show a source verification status of “Verification Returned—Pass.”
Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination
To become licensed on the Provisional Register – Conditional Practice with the CPSA,
candidates need to take the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE).
This is a four (4) hour, one hundred and eighty (180) multiple-choice examination offered in
English and French in over 70 countries around the world. This examination is offered
throughout the year and is an assessment of your basic medical knowledge in the main
disciplines of medicine. This is a computer-based examination covering different medical
areas including Child Health, Maternal Health, Adult Health, Mental Health, and Population
Health and Ethics.
To be eligible to take this examination you must meet the following requirements:
Be a graduate or a student from a medical school listed by one or more of the
directories of medical schools approved by the MCC:
The Foundation for the Advancement of International Medical Education
and Research (FAIMER) International Medical Education Directory
The World Health Organization (WHO) World Directory of Medical
Have your credentials verified through the Physician Credential Registry of
Canada (PCRC) and Medical Council of Canada (MCC).
The results of the examination will be sent by mail.
Practice Readiness Assessment
Candidates for the Provisional Register – Conditional Practice will also need to undergo an
approved assessment before being granted a licence to practice medicine. This assessment
is arranged by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta and determines whether
the candidate is ready to enter into independent practice in Alberta. The assessment is not
training. Failure of any part of the assessment will mean denial of licensure.
General Practitioner and Family Physician Licensing Process, June 2011 3
All candidates who require an assessment must have a sponsor. The responsibilities of the
Having an open position it is recruiting to fill
Covering all costs of the Practice Readiness Assessment
Covering any costs associated with recruitment such as cost of living.
Typically the assessment involves two elements:
Part A: A preliminary clinical practice assessment by an independent
assessor. Medical Graduates from United States are exempt from Part A
of the assessment. The preliminary clinical practice assessment takes two
(2) weeks for those International Medical Graduates applying for a
conditional licence who come from one of the countries whose
educational standards have been deemed to be equal to Canadian
educational standards (United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New
Zealand). The assessment time for International Medical Graduates
coming from all other countries will be three (3) months.
Part B: A period of supervised practice assessment in the location to which
the candidate has been recruited. This takes an average of three (3) months
for all applicants.
Good Character and Reputation
International Medical Graduates will also have their character and reputation assessed as
part of the application process. As part of the application form, the CPSA will require:
Letters of reference from previous employers
A certificate of good standing from any regulatory authority where you have
English Language Proficiency
English is the working language in Canada. While there are no English language
examinations for International Medical Graduates, they will be assessed on their ability to
use the English language through interviews, the references they provide and during the
Practice Readiness Assessment.
There is no immigration status requirement to register with the CPSA.
General Practitioner and Family Physician Licensing Process, June 2011 4
The following fees must be submitted during the licensing process once the applicant has
been approved. Fees are in Canadian dollars.
CPSA Eligibility Review Fee $210
CPSA Registration Fee $600
CPSA Annual Licence Renewal Fee $1,600
PCRC Account (Credential Verification) Fee $250
MCCEE Application Fee $250
MCCEE Examination Fee $1,300
*Fees are subject to change. See association for most up-to-date fees.
For applicants who complete the eligibility review and proceed to registration, $200 of the
eligibility fee is credited towards the registration fee.
The PCRC also charges a Medical Document Fee. This fee is $100 for the first four (4)
documents submitted. The fee for additional documents is $60 per document. This is in
addition to the Account (Credential Verification) Fee.
The MCCEE application fee only needs to be paid once. Re-writes will only include the
All amounts are in Canadian dollars.
The overall average earnings before expenses and taxes for General Practitioners and
Family Physicians, according to the Alberta Health and Wellness 2010 statistical supplement,
Average Annual Gross Billings $264,000
40 per cent of gross billings cover overhead costs.
Many Family Physicians work part-time hours.
For more information about other health-related occupations, go to the following website:
Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) Occupational Profiles
(for more information on all occupations visit www.alis.alberta.ca/occinfo).
General Practitioner and Family Physician Licensing Process, June 2011 5
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta
2700, 10020-100 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 0N3
Telephone: (780) 423-4764
Fax: (780) 420-0651
This information is an overview of the licensing process. For the most current information on
General Practitioners and Family Physicians licensing visit the College of Physicians and
Surgeons of Alberta website at www.cpsa.ab.ca.
Application Forms and Information
CPSA General Eligibility Requirements
Family Medicine Practice Self Assessment Flow Chart
CPSA Independent Practice Requirements
CPSA Assessment Process Information
dent_practice.aspx (Click to expand Requirements section)
Limited Practice Registration Information
American Osteopathic Association
International Medical Education Directory (IMED)
The World Health Organization (WHO) World Directory of Medical Schools
General Practitioner and Family Physician Licensing Process, June 2011 6
PCRC International Medical Graduate General Information
PCRC Source Verification Request (SVR) submission process
PCRC Translation Sample
PCRC User Guides and Forms
PCRC Frequently Asked Questions
Medical Council of Canada (MCC)
MCCEE Examination Information and Dates
MCCEE Application Eligibility Information and Application Forms
MCCEE Scoring Information
Practice Readiness Assessment Information
dent_practice.aspx (Click to expand Requirements section)
General Practitioner and Family Physician Licensing Process, June 2011 7