(Please forward to colleagues interested in practicing in Canada)
Canada's widely enjoyed August long weekend, provides a highly anticipated work break in the middle of the summer season. It takes place in most provinces on the first Monday of August and can be called by different names depending on where in Canada you are: BC Day in British Columbia, Heritage Day in Alberta, Terry Fox Day in Manitoba, Saskatchewan Day in Saskatchewan, Civic Day in Ontario, or Natal Day in Nova Scotia. On this day, many businesses close down as Canadians take advantage of three consecutive days off, often escaping to the lakes, mountains, and beaches for the weekend. The holiday is not celebrated in Quebec, Newfoundland, or Yukon.
Of course, the life you enjoy in British Columbia will depend on you and your interests. Residents of British Columbia are blessed with all things that make life great – peaceful, safe communities, good government, excellent healthcare, outstanding schools including leading universities, amazing recreational opportunities, and a very desirable work-life balance.
Practicing as a GP in British Columbia is very similar to practicing in the UK, Ireland, Australia or the USA. Standards are very high. Your income will be considerably higher than in the UK.
Holidays are a big part of life here. In most clinics you are compensated on a fee-for-service basis which essentially means your income is determined by how many patients you see. So, if you decide to make holidays a priority your income will be less. Most British Columbians put a high value their time off and enjoy life with their families.
The weather in British Columbia varies greatly by the area of the province. Vancouver Island and Greater Vancouver may be the most temperate of all areas while the northern parts of the province will be the coldest. Most of British Columbia’s population is in the Greater Vancouver area which includes the Fraser Valley.
British Columbia is a very vibrant and multi-cultural area with plenty of employment opportunities, national-day events, places of worship, and an appreciation for our different backgrounds. In summer, you may attend a Brazilian dance parade, Polish sausage making fair, ribbon-cutting for a new Halal meat shop, a First Nations long house opening, and an international fireworks competition – all in the same day!
Saskatchewan, geographically in the middle of the country, is a Canadian province that borders the United States to the south. Grassland covers its southern plains, and to the north are the rugged rocks of the Canadian Shield plateau, coniferous forests, rivers and lakes. Regina, the provincial capital, is home to the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, with exhibits on natural history and the people of Canada’s First Nations.
The population of Saskatchewan is 1.2 million residents, most of whom are located between the 49th and 53rd latitudes. The province is 251,000 square miles, approximately 2.5 times larger than the UK.
An unusual feature is an area known as Great Sand Hills, 300 square kilometres in size of pure sand. Yet, there are 100,000 lakes with 14 major drainage basins leading to three major bodies of water – Hudson Bay, Arctic and the Gulf of Mexico.
Little known fact - there are more hours of sunshine in Saskatchewan than any other province in Canada.
Saskatchewan is known as the breadbasket of Canada and for much of the rest of the world. The province is a huge producer of grains – wheat, flax, rye, oats, peas, lentils, canary seed, barley and is the world’s largest exporter of mustard seed. The Canadian government is investing in an upgraded Asia-Pacific Gateway to service demand.
CanadaMedicalCareers.ca has several outstanding openings for GP’s in Saskatchewan. Email [email protected] for more details.
The College of Family Physicians of Canada is the recognized licensing authority for family physicians in Canada. Those physicians coming from the UK, Ireland, Australia, or the USA will usually not have to write the examination required to practice as a General Practitioner in Canada. Verification of your MRCGP, MICGP, FRACGP, FACRRM, or DABFM will be required. For more information on this certification visit CFPC.ca and check out the Education and Professional Development section. Members in good standing will use the CCFP certification.
If you are serious about practicing medicine in Canada the first thing you should do is open an account with PhysiciansApply.ca. It is an online portal operated under the auspices of the Medical Council of Canada (similar to the GMC in the UK). Every doctor coming to Canada must have an account. This is where your credentials must be verified. These credentials include your passport, medical degrees and more. Every province and territory of Canada has a regulatory authority to handle physician licensing and these authorities (Colleges) will need to access your PhysiciansApply.ca account before you can be licensed in Canada.
Don’t wait! Some documents can be verified quickly, and others may take some time, especially if you attended medical school in a country that is slow to respond to inquiries from Canada.
If you are an IMG, licensing in Canada as a physician simply does not happen without a PhysiciansApply.ca account.
We like questions!
It’s likely that you will have questions along your journey to practicing in Canada. Don’t hesitate to contact John Livingstone at: [email protected]