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Excerpted from the Canada Guide

There is a serious shortage of health care professionals in Canada. Canada's physician-to-population ratio is below the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) member average, and approximately 5 million Canadians do not have regular access to a family physician. Furthermore, the average age of the Canadian physician is 51, and 38 percent of physicians are 55 or older.

Areas of Job Promise

Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) President Karen Neufeld comments, “We know that a large percentage of the workforce will move into retirement over the coming few years, so we remain very concerned about how we will handle the care needs of Canadians given the looming shortages." Too few nursing students graduate to meet the needs of the current and future health system. By 2016 the expectation is for 113,000 unfilled nursing jobs in Canada. According to the CNA, if Canada does not address current structural weaknesses, by 2022 Canada will be short almost 60,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) registered nurses.

Certification and Education Requirements

To become a physician in Canada, a bachelor's degree is usually required for acceptance into medical schools, which are very competitive. Students must complete four years of medical school to obtain a medical degree. Thereafter, graduates complete a residency, which is on-the-job training. Residencies can last between two to seven years depending upon the field or specialization. Graduates must then successfully complete certification exams administered by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC), or, in Québec, the Corporation professionnelle des médecins du Québec (CPMC). Candidates must also meet provincial licensing requirements.

Organizations and Trade Associations

Canadian Nurses Association (CNA)
http://www.cna-aiic.ca/ (English, French)
The CNA is a federation of 11 provincial and territorial nurses' associations and colleges representing 139,893 registered nurses and nurse practitioners. CNA is the national professional voice of registered nurses, supporting them in their practice and advocating for healthy public policy and a quality, publicly-funded, not-for-profit health system.

Canadian Nurses Association
50 Driveway
Ottawa ON K2P 1E2
Tel: 1-613-237-2133
Toll-free: 1-800-361-8404
Fax: 1-613-237-3520
Email: info@cna-aiic.ca

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC)
http://rcpsc.medical.org/ (English, French)
The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada is the national professional association that oversees the medical education of specialists in Canada. The Royal College is dedicated to setting the highest standards in postgraduate medical education through national certification examinations and lifelong learning programs. It also promotes sound health policy. It sets the highest standards for postgraduate medical education, accredits specialty residency programs and develops and administers certification examinations. Specialists certified by the Royal College have demonstrated the competencies necessary to deliver quality specialty care to Canadians.

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
774 Echo Drive
Ottawa, ON K1S 5N8
Tel: 1-613-730-8177
Toll-free: 1-800-668-3740
Fax: 1-613-730-8830
Email: info@royalcollege.ca

Other Resources

Foreign Credentials Referral Office
http://www.credentials.gc.ca/ (English, French)
The Foreign Credentials Referral Office, part of the Service Canada agency, offers internationally-trained and educated individuals authoritative and accurate information on the Canadian labor market and Canada’s credential assessment processes. It also provides path-finding and referral services to immigrants. These services are offered overseas and in Canada to help immigrants apply their skills and credentials in the Canadian labor market.

Foreign Credentials Referral Office
Tel: 1-888-854-1805
TTY: 1-800-926-9105
Email: credentials@cic.gc.ca

This is just a short sample of what you’ll find in over 100 pages of information in the complete Canada Guide.

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