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International Medical Graduates

Newfoundland and Labrador welcomes applications from International Medical Graduates who are interested in practicing in this province.  In fact, it is not unusual for more than 40% of our practicing physicians to have originally studied outside the country. Such a mixture of knowledge and cultural diversity works well for the province, the citizens, the communities and the physicians.  It means that our medical services are provided by a diverse group of physicians and the rewards for everyone are exceptional.

As an International Medical Graduate you may be eligible to practice in Newfoundland and Labrador.  The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador provides an outline of the eligibility criteria for this provisional license.  As part of the process, you will also need to secure an employment offer from a sponsor acceptable to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador (CPSNL).  Our Regional Health Authorities often employ International Medical Graduates and act as the sponsor for licensure.  A potential employer can be identified immediately after the eligibility for licensure is secured or an employment offer may be made “pending eligibility for licensure”.  In Newfoundland and Labrador, the CPSNL offers a preliminary review of your Curriculum Vitae (CV) in order to advise you of your potential for licensure in this province.  The recommended format helps identify the minimal information required for the preliminary review of your eligibility for licensing. 

Guide for IMGs

This "guide" has been developed for your convenience. 

Licensure and Immigration

As a physician immigrating to Newfoundland and Labrador you have choices.  You can apply for permanent residency, postponing licensure, or you can enter directly into practice on a work permit, postponing immigration.  Regardless of your initial priorities, you will need to establish your eligibility to practice.  In Canada, licensure is specific to the province.  You may find that your credentials will meet the licensure requirement of one province, but not another.  It is very wise to determine where you can practice in the country before deciding on your preferred location.  Newfoundland and Labrador welcomes diversity, as previously stated up to 40% of our practicing physicians are international graduates.

Provisional Licensure

As a general practitioner you must complete the Medical Council of Canada Evaluation Examination (MCCEE), but some candidates can postpone the Canadian Qualifying Exams.  Our College of Physicians and Surgeons requires specific language and MCCEE scores, internship rotations and practice experience.  Some physicians are offered the Clinical Skills Assessment and Training Program (CSAT) if 6 months of training is deemed sufficient to establish licensure.  Similarly, specialists must meet specific post-graduate and certification requirements.  The CPSNL licensing criteria and the MCC evaluating examination information are clearly outlined.

Temporary Work Permits

As an International Medical Graduate you can be sponsored on a temporary work permit for one to three years.  As the work permit is based on an actual employment offer, it is essential that you provide all the documentation required for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador (CPSNL) to grant a provisional license as this ensures the hiring health authority of your eligibility to practice in this province.  Our four health authorities are very familiar with the entire process and their recruitment staff will request the labour market opinion and employment authorization required for your work permit to be approved.  You will be advised to contact the Canadian Embassy closest to your home in order to initiate the process, and arrange the required medicals, once the employment authorization has been submitted by your employer in Canada.

Credential Verification

The CPSNL may request that you have your credentials reviewed by the Physician Credentials Registry of Canada (PCRC).  The PCRC is the division of the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) that source-verifies core medical credentials.  A one-time registration fee initiates your physician repository account.  The College requires physicians to submit their medical school diploma, medical school transcript, specialty certificate, medical licensure/registration certificates in other jurisdictions and postgraduate training certificates.  They will diligently seek related references and letters of conduct and good standing.

Clinical Skills Assessment and Training Program (CSAT) - Temporary Suspension of Consideration of New Applications for the CSAT Program

The CSAT Program has accepted applicants for most if not all available CSAT placements for 2013.  There is already a waiting list of eligible applicants for any CSAT placements that may become available later in 2013 and into 2014.

Following consultation with the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University of Newfoundland, the medical directors of the four regional health authorities in the province, and the Department of Health and Community Services,  the College has suspended consideration of any new applications for the CSAT Program for 2013 and 2014, effective January 21, 2013.

  • This suspension does not apply to physicians who have already completed the College Pre-Application Assessment process, who have been notified of acceptance to CSAT, and who are on the waiting list for 2013 or 2014. 
  • The College will complete the assessment of any Pre-Application Assessment forms and application forms received prior to January 21, 2013.
  • The College will immediately suspend consideration of CSAT Pre-Application Assessment forms received after January 21, 2013 and will refund fees to the applicants in full. 
  • Until further notice, the College will not accept any new CSAT Pre-Application Assessment forms effective immediately.

Individuals who wish to apply for CSAT in the future will have to file new Pre-Application Assessment forms with the College when  further CSAT placements are available.

The College will be reviewing some of its eligibility rules for the CSAT Program during the coming months. Prospective applicants are encouraged to check the College’s website periodically for updates on the status of CSAT eligibility rules and on the availability of CSAT placements in 2014 and later.

Prospective applicants should note that this review does not affect the requirement regarding minimum time away from active clinical practice.  The College will continue the requirement that CSAT applicants must not have been out of active clinical practice for more than three (3) years at the time of the completion of their application process to the College.

While it is not a requirement for CSAT eligibility, future applicants should consider obtaining Part I of the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) and the National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). Obtaining scores in Part I of the MCCQE and the NAC OSCE that are acceptable to the College will improve eligibility for assessment and licensure.

Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP)

The Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP) is an immigration program that operates under an agreement with the federal department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.  Physicians practicing in the province under a work permit can be nominated by the province to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Association for New Canadians (ANC)

The Association for New Canadians is particularly interested in helping new families with settlement and employment support.  An e-counseling service has been established to reach International Medical Graduates and their families throughout the province.

Key Contacts

Lisa Andrews
Regional Physician Recruitment
Medical Services
Eastern Health
300 Prince Philip Drive
St. John’s, NL A1B 3V6
Office: 709-777-4223
E-Mail: Lisa.Andrews@easternhealth.ca

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador
Suite 603, 139 Water Street
St. John's, NL  A1C 1B2
Tel: (709) 726-8546
Fax (709) 726-4725
E-mail: cpsnl@cpsnl.ca
Clinical Skills Assessment & Training
Western Memorial Regional Hospital
P.O. Box 2005 Corner Brook, NL  A2H 6J7
Telephone: (709) 639-2728
Fax: (709) 634-9175
E-mail: csat@swgc.mun.ca
Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism
Viking Building
136 Crosbie Road, P.O. Box 8700
St. John's, NL, A1B 4J6
Telephone: (709) 729-5847
Fax: (709) 729-7381
Email: pnp@gov.nl.ca
Association for New Canadians
Eileen Kelly-Freake, Physician Support
Tel: (709) 579-1780
Email: ekf@nfld.net