Career Scope and Salaries of Medical Graduates in Canada

International Medical Graduates in Canada: Career Opportunities and Salaries

Canada’s health care system is considered the best in the world. Therefore, medical graduates are in high demand in Canada, more so after the COVID-19 pandemic. The medical industry in Canada is highly regulated, and students who intend to practice medicine in Canada must hold a Medical Council of Canada-registered medical degree (MCC). Even international medical graduates can apply for medical jobs in Canada if they can get their degrees recognized by MCC. Although a degree in medicine is a time-and money-consuming process, the benefits and rewards make it well worth the effort.

Quick Highlights

Popular MBBS specializations in Canada Emergency physicians, neurologists, psychiatrists, anesthesiologists, surgeons, pediatricians, general physicians, obstetricians-gynecologists, dermatologists, oncologists, plastic surgeons, cardiologists Pathologists, pathologists, ophthalmologists, and orthopedics
Agency involved in MBBS degree registeration in Canada Medical Council of Canada (MCC)
Popular allied medical degrees in Canada Dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, veterinary, nutritionist, paramedic, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, and microbiologist
Highest paid doctors in Canada (USD*/year) 244,458 (Neurosurgeon), 236,985 (Cardiac surgeon), 234,829 (Radiation oncologist), 222,813 (General Pathologist), and, 200,359 (Ophthalmologist)
Highest paid other medical degrees in Canada (USD*/year) 177,513 (Dentist), 104,332 (Pharmacist), and 101,725 (Veterinarian) 

*Note: All prices mentioned in the USD are for reference only. Exchange rates may vary from time to time and from country to country.

Career Scope for Medical Graduates in Canada

The medical graduates in Canada have  a wide range of job options. According to estimates published by the Canadian government, the medical industry is predicted to face labor shortages at the national level from 2019 through 2028. This means that medical graduates, including international medical graduates, have a lot of scopes to work and study in Canada. 

After getting their MBBS degree or medicine degree in Canada, students can either go for specializations or start practicing medicine after obtaining a license. The license requires completing a residency. Plus, the licensing method differs for Canadian medical graduates and international medical graduates who graduated from a medical school outside of Canada or the USA. Canadian doctors can take the National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) Examination to apply for a residency program or join a practice-ready assessment (PRA) program to get a provisional license to begin independent practice. 

The licensing process for international medical graduates is extensive and consists of several complex procedures. Provinces and territories have different registration systems, which demand significant financial and personal investment. Simply meeting the standards does not guarantee that the applicant will be granted a license to practice in Canada. Following are several steps international medical graduates can take to get started on the path to licensure:

  • Confirm that the medical degree earned is recognized in Canada via the World Directory of Medical Schools (WDMS)
  • Verify with the medical regulatory authorities in the province or territory where the student seeks to obtain a license the requirements for medical registration, such as proof of English language proficiency
  • Submit medical credentials for verification
  • Take the qualifying examination of the Medical Council of Canada (MCCQE) Part I to apply for residency position
  • Receive licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) offered by Medical Council of Canada (MCC)

International medical graduates must complete a residency program in Canada that lasts three years for family medicine and five years for specializations before receiving their license to practice medicine. 

Despite the fact that every specialty in medicine pays well and doctors are virtually universally respected in Canada, there are a few specialties that are particularly popular in the country, including

  • Emergency Physicians or ERs
  • Neurologists 
  • Psychiatrists
  • Ophthalmologists 
  • Neurosurgeons
  • Cardiac Surgeons
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Paediatricians
  • Cardiologists
  • Pathologists
  • Dermatologists
  • Obstetricians-Gynecologists
  • Urologists
  • Oncologists
  • General Physicians
  • Otolaryngologists
  • Orthopaedic surgeons
  • Plastic surgeons

It’s important to remember that a medical career in Canada, regardless of specialty, is a terrific choice for the financial future of a medical student. In addition to MBBS, students can go for dentistry studies in Canada. Pharmacy, nursing, and veterinary medicine are also good career options in the medical field. Some other allied health courses in Canada that are popular among overseas students are:

  • Occupational therapy
  • Physiotherapy 
  • Public healthcare
  • Nutrition and dietetics
  • Paramedic
  • Microbiology

Benefits received by Candian Doctors

Medical graduates in Canada are exposed to outstanding medical education, teaching, and hands-on experience due to the country’s high academic standards. Furthermore, once they start practicing in Canada, the doctors in Canada are entitled to additional benefits such as

  • Extended health care facilities like dental, vision, and prescription drugs
  • Excellent work-life balance, with most employees working 35 to 40 hours per week, depending on their region and specialization.
  • Benefits for the entire family, including a health and dental plan
  • Semi-private hospitalization
  • Paid vacation and holidays
  • Life insurance
  • Pension plan
  • Benefits for both short and long-term disability
  • Insurance against accidental death and dismemberment

Anyone considering a career as a doctor in Canada should be aware that benefits differ by province, as well as by employment status (full-time or part-time) and years of experience. Plus, these benefits are given to Canadian citizens and to those who are in the process of becoming permanent citizens of Canada. 

Salaries of Medical Graduates in Canada

Although a medical degree is highly rewarding in Canada, the salaries for medical graduates are determined based on several factors such as the type of specialty, the level of experience, type of employment, etc. The following table contains a comprehensive list of average salaries for doctors in Canada as per the Canadianvisa.org:

Type of Doctor  Annual Salary in USD*
General Practitioner (GP) or Family Doctor 96,972
Emergency Physician (ER) 140,457
Dermatologist 107,508
Psychiatrist 132,376
Anesthesiologist 158,872
Paediatrician 107,508
Cardiologist 127,176
General Pathologist 222,813
General Surgeon 152,044
Cardiac Surgeon 236,985
Neurosurgeon 244,458
Orthopedic Surgeon 198,192
Obstetrician-Gynecologist 156,553
Oncologist 195,691
Radiation Oncologist 234,829
Rheumatologists 152,538
Urologist 156,553
Immunologists 158,167
Ophthalmologist  200,359

*Note: All prices mentioned in the USD are for reference only. Exchange rates may vary from time to time and from country to country.

The average salaries are likely to vary depending on the location. For instance, doctors in popular provinces like British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec are likely to earn more money. However, newly graduated doctors should consider working in remote places and underserved populations, where the Canadian government provides loan reductions and bursaries to encourage doctors to work.

Because a large percentage of physicians practice under a fee-for-service model, which permits them to bill the government for each patient they see, the number of patients they see is also significant. Specializations, in fact, pay more than general practitioners. Working at a hospital or for a larger medical institution can result in a lower average annual salary for doctors, while doctors who run their own practice earn higher. They also are happier and have a better work-life balance than those who work in hospitals.

There are a few other options for Canadian doctors to increase their pay. They can work for a university or a research institute and earn an additional academic income as a researcher, or they can teach at a university or a research institute on a part-time or contract basis lecturer. 

Average Salaries for Other Medical Degrees in Canada

Not only doctors but even other medical graduates are paid well in Canada. They can find employment in the public sector, in private organizations, or even for charities. The table below shows the average salaries for various other medical specialties in Canada.

Type of Program Annual Salary in USD*
Dentist 177,513 (Indeed)
Pharmacist 104,332 (Indeed)
Nurse 90,461 (Indeed)
Physiotherapist 68,359 (Indeed)
Veterinarian 101,725 (Indeed)
Nutritionist 60,974 (Indeed)
Paramedic 48,465 (Indeed)
Microbiologist 71,374 (Indeed)

*Note: All prices mentioned in the USD are for reference only. Exchange rates may vary from time to time and from country to country.

Frequently Asked Questions

As per the statistics given by Canadianvisa.org, neurosurgeons are paid the highest in Canada with an average salary of 244,458 USD/year. 

Dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, veterinary, nutrition, etc, are some of the allied medical degrees to study in Canada.

After completing their MBBS or medicine degree in Canada, students can either practice medicine after obtaining a license or go for specializations such as emergency care, neurology, psychiatry, ophthalmology, and general medicine.