Indian Student's Guide to Becoming a Doctor in Canada


Samarpita Goswami
Updated on Mar 29, 2023 04:35 PM IST

Being a doctor is a prestigious profession in Canada. Here's everything you need to know about how to become a doctor in Canada, the skills that you need, the average salary for different job roles and more. 


Indian Student's Guide to Becoming a Doctor in Canada

If you want a career that is financially rewarding and provides contentment, then being a doctor is the most obvious choice. The chance to get trained by the best attracts many international students to get a medical degree and become a doctor in Canada.

You must know that medicine is an extremely competitive subject and to get into a medical college in Canada will require you to be the best among the rest. A fantastic application and excellent grades can have you scuttle through the high competition.

That said,getting a medical degree is not enough to become a doctor. There are other steps you must take before you finally wear the white coat. Here, we will dig deep into the quintessential question of how to become a doctor in Canada and also discuss the job roles and paychecks that you can expect.

Why Become a Doctor in Canada?

Becoming a doctor in Canada is one of the most lucrative professions in the country. The number of practising doctors are increasing in recent years. In 2020, Statista found out that in Canada, there were 92,000 active physicians. After the major health crisis faced by the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for doctors has galloped. Here are some of the reasons to become a doctor in Canada:

  • High Demand: With an increase in population, the demand for doctors is on the rise to provide medical facilities. There are still less of qualified doctors in rural regions of Canada. Besides, the unemployment rate is low.

  • Good Quality of Life: The standards of living in Canada is high. Most of the cities have a high rank on the World Happiness Index. The factors that make Canada a pleasant country for doctors are community support, commute time and career support.

  • High Salary: As a doctor in Canada, there is potential to get a good salary. Specialists such as surgeons, family doctors, cardiologists, paediatricians and anaesthetis

Wish to Study Medicine in Canada?

Skills to Become a Doctor in Canada

While academic knowledge and competencies are crucial to become a doctor in Canada, there are other soft skills that one must have to become a successful doctor. Some of the essential skills that you require are:

  • Empathy: Empathy and emotional intelligence are the top most important skills required to tackle medical emergencies. You must be able to diagnose the symptoms displayed by the patients and should be able to distinguish their body language. You should be empathetic enough to understand and make patients comfortable with you.

  • Time Management: The job of a doctor is arduous and strenuous and involves lots of daily engagements. Hence it is important to figure out how to manage time efficiently and productively. Similarly, you should be able to offer the correct treatment to patients.

  • Communication Skills: As a doctor, you will have to encounter several people in a day. This includes health workers, patients, administrative officers, etc. To deal with different personalities, it is necessary to be able to maintain good interpersonal communication skills. 

  • Problem-Solving Skills: Diagnosis of the illness is not sufficient to cure the disease, you will also have to provide effective solutions for them quickly.

Steps to Become a Doctor in Canada

The process of becoming a doctor in Canada is a long and arduous process and requires immense patience. It takes almost ten years to finally become a practising doctor in the country including the time of study and residency. Given below are the various steps that you need to complete in order to work as a doctor:

Get a Bachelors Degree

The foremost step you need to take towards becoming a doctor is to get a bachelor's degree from a popular university. You must have a major subject. While medical schools specify the subjects required to study medicine, the common ones are biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics and biochemistry.

You must note that different Canadian province has different rules and you must abide by the same. Getting a bachelor's degree is not mandatory but is a helpful step toward becoming a doctor.


The MCAT or Medical College Admission Test is an entrance examination to get entry into medical colleges in Canada. The exam assesses the knowledge of students in chemistry, biology and physics. Also, problem-solving, verbal reasoning and writing skills are tested in the MCAT exam.

The medical schools typically require MCAT scores besides your undergraduate GPA, personal statements and other documents. Only Quebec does not focus much on the MCAT examination and therefore you can choose to apply without the same in that particular province.

Get into Medical College

After you receive your offer letter, you can complete your admission process at one of the 17 accredited medical schools in Canada. The duration of the course is four years.

The first two years are dedicated to gaining theoretical knowledge on anatomy, physiology, pharmacology and other related medical subjects. During this time, you will spend mostly in the classroom and laboratory. The course also includes studying legal issues related to medical practice.

In the next two years, you will get a chance to work with patients under the guidance of doctors. Also, you will get an understanding of the type of residency you would like to choose after completion of graduation.

Give Medical Licensing Exam

In order to get a medical license, you will have to sit for a licensing exam called the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE). This test is taken to prove their competence and knowledge of medicine. It is an extremely tough examination and therefore, you must start preparations for the test early. After qualifying for this exam, you can be a practising physician in Canada.

The provincial licensing organisations are the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta, College of Physicians and Surgeons Manitoba, Yukon Medical Council and others.

Complete Residency Training

It is necessary to complete a residency program under experienced physicians before practising independently as a doctor in Canada. The application for residency has to be done through Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS). You can choose your specialization and healthcare facility.

It generally takes two to six years to complete a residency program. Additionally, a fellowship or sub-speciality can be completed in two to three years more.

Top 10 Medical Schools in Canada

The medical schools in Canada are of great repute and provide comprehensive and integrated medical education. The US News and World Report 2022 lists down the best colleges for clinical medicine:

Medical School

US News and World Rank 2022

University of Toronto


University of British Columbia


McMaster University


McGill University


University of Montreal


University of Alberta


University of Calgary


University of Ottawa


Western University


Laval University


Tips to Get into Medical School in Canada

Though it is difficult to get into medical school, still you can do so with hard work and perseverance. To get into a medical school in Canada, the following tips may prove helpful:

  • Study a Relevant Undergraduate Course: If you have in mind becoming a doctor, then you should study a course that will benefit you to accomplish your dreams. Having good grades in bachelors can help you in realising your dreams.

  • Prepare Well for Entrance Examinations: It is important that you study well and prepare for the MCAT exam or other entrance examinations required to enter medical college in Canada.

  • Make your Application Standout: There are many students who aspire to become doctors in Canada. Therefore, if you want to leave a mark in the minds of admission officers, your application has to justify why you should be given a seat in medical school.

Doctor Job Roles in Canada

When choosing doctors job roles and specialisations, it is important to know which ones are in high demand. Know some of the doctor job descriptions in Canada.

  • Family Physicians: Family physicians or general practitioners diagnose and treat the diseases and illnesses of patients. They usually work in private spaces individually or as a group in hospitals and clinics. There is always a need for such doctors for general treatment and where there is no need for special treatment.

  • Psychiatrists: These specialists treat psychiatric disorders and work in collaboration with other doctors. They help patients to recover from mental, emotional and behavioural disorders.

  • Paediatricians: The treatment of children requires paediatricians who give care to them. It does not require any special training and has a huge base of patients as children occasionally require medical care.

  • Surgeons: They assist to perform surgical procedures to repair injuries, and correct physical abnormalities and diseases. There are different job titles for surgeons among which thoracic surgeon, vascular surgeon, neurosurgeon and plastic surgeon are the most common profession.

  • Dermatologist: The dermatologists handle diseases and disorders related to skin, hair and nails. They may need to carry out clinical processes along with surgery in some cases. The work-life balance is great in this specialisation.

Salary of a Doctor in Canada

The medical industry in Canada is flourishing with endless opportunities. The different job roles and the salaries of different specialised doctors are given below:

Job Roles

Average Annual Salary (in CAD)

Family Physicians










Allergy Specialist










The quality of education and job security in Canada are the two driving factors that make students this profession in Canada. We hope that this article has cleared all the doubts regarding how to become a doctor in Canada.

You must feel motivated and be proactive when you decide to become a doctor as it is a job that earns the most blessings from people.

If you have any doubts regarding becoming a doctor in Canada or any other degrees, you can write to us at

Apply to Medical Schools in Canada!


What are the requirements to become a doctor in Canada?

The general requirements to become a doctor in Canada are:

  • MCAT Score is an essential requirement.

  • Science including biology, physics, and chemistry in high school or in bachelor's degree.

  • English language proficiency test scores

  • Essays.

  • Academic Transcripts.

  • Personal Interviews through video conference or skype.

How many years does it take to become a doctor in Canada?

It takes around ten to eleven years to become a doctor in Canada. First, you need to complete a three or four years bachelors degree and then four years of a medical degree. After that, you have to complete residency and specialist training to be able to finally practice as a doctor.

Can Indian students become a doctor in Canada?

Yes, Indian students can become doctors in Canada by qualifying for the MCAT exam and applying to medical colleges in the country. The admission requirements may vary from one school to another. Additionally, one must have a valid student permit to study medicine in Canada.

How much does it cost to become a doctor in Canada?

The cost to become a doctor in Canada is approximately CAD 200,000 for four years. However, you must note that the fee structure depends upon the university you are attending. Also, there are other pre-arrival and post-arrival costs that students have to pay in order to complete their degrees.

Where can I work after becoming a doctor in Canada?

After becoming a doctor in Canada, you can work in hospitals, nursing homes, and private clinics or practice independently. There is also scope in academia. One can study further to become a professor or can conduct research related to diseases and medicines. There are other administrative roles for doctors to practice.

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