The M.D. designation is the primary qualification for an individual to practice medicine. Becoming a physician requires skill, patience and lifelong commitment to improving the health of your patients. Physicians diagnose, advise, and care for people of all ages who have been injured or become ill. A career as a medical physician requires serious dedication and can require long work hours and some specialties may require being ‘on call’. There are many specializations a successful physician can enter such as family medicine, anesthesiology, neurology, and surgery among others.
Candidates for the MD designation are generally students through to their residency placement (see below), therefore pre-designation salaries are not comparable. The salaries for medical doctors can range depending on location and employment status. Self-employed physicians can earn wages significantly higher than $200,000 and adjust to their own hours. Others may prefer joining hospital staff at an approximate salary around $225,000 per year. The cost of education to become a medical doctor is very high with an average of $41,000 per year. Fortunately, the unemployment rate for graduated MD’s is non-existent and every successful candidate will be in high demand.
An undergraduate degree is required as part of the designation process. The undergraduate degree must encompass some science, biology or similar courses that will aid in a career as a medical doctor. Completing pre-med courses will aid in the preparation for the post-graduate admissions test.
The M.D. designation requires extensive schooling followed by professional experience gained by performing procedures in a real hospital.
1. Complete the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) obtaining at least a minimum score to attend the medical faculty of your choice. The minimum score to attend a medical program will vary and some schools may not require MCAT results.
2. Attend the medical faculty of your choice. Most programs will spend the first 2 years teaching fundamental aspects of medicine and the final 2 years as a clerkship program to practice applicable training.
3. Take the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCEE) part 1.
4. Apply for residency training through the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) Apply to the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) which provides medical students with an electronic application service to match entry into postgraduate medical training in Canada.
5. Participate in the residency training program by working in a teaching hospital or clinic affiliated with a medical school.
6. After the first year of residency write the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCEE) part 2. After passing the MCCEE part 1 and 2 you will be licensed as a Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) and qualified to practice medicine in Canada.
7. Complete residency which may last between 2-5 years.
8. After completing entire term of residency write either the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) examination to become certified to practice family medicine, or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) examination to become certified as a medical specialty. Further subspecialties can be taken through the RCPSC examinations.
9. Obtain a certificate of registration for independent practice through the College of Physicians and Surgeons in your province of practice.
All M.D.’s must participate in mandatory continuing medical education (CME) courses. CMe courses are offered through hospitals, professional associations, universities and a number of provincial and national colleges including the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Many CME programs are delivered through convenient formats to adhere to busy schedules including teleconferencing and online courses, lectures and self-directed educational options.