Registration Requirements

The medical profession in Ontario has been granted a great degree of authority by provincial law, and that authority is exercised through the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. The role of the College and its authority and powers are set out in the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA), the Health Professions Procedural Code (Schedule 2 to the RHPA), and the Medicine Act.

One of the regulatory responsibilities of the College is to issue certificates of registration to physicians, allowing  to practise medicine or engage in postgraduate medical training in Ontario as set out in the Ontario Regulation 865/93: Registration.

Medical Degree

The first qualification for any class of certificate issued by the College is that the applicant has a degree in medicine from an accredited medical school or an acceptable unaccredited medical school.

A graduate of an accredited medical school means a person holding an M.D. or equivalent degree in medicine that,

  1. is from a medical school that is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools or by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education of the United States of America, and
  2. is based upon successful completion of an undergraduate program of medical education that included a clerkship that complies with the regulation made under the Medicine Act, 1991.

A graduate from an acceptable unaccredited medical school means a person holding an M.D. or equivalent basic degree in medicine, based upon successful completion of a conventional undergraduate program of education in allopathic medicine that:

  1. teaches medical principles, knowledge and skills similar to those taught in undergraduate programs of medical education at accredited medical schools in Canada or the United States of America,
  2. includes at least 130 weeks of instruction over a minimum of thirty-six months, and was, at the time of graduation, listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools published by the World Health Organization (WHO).1

Non-Exemptible Requirement

In addition to requirements specific to each class of registration every applicant for registration must satisfy the following non-exemptible requirement:

The applicant's conduct, including the applicant's past conduct, affords reasonable grounds for belief that the applicant:

  1. is mentally competent to practise medicine;
  2. will practise medicine with decency, integrity and honesty and in accordance with the law;
  3. has sufficient knowledge, skill and judgment to engage in the medical practice authorized by the Certificate, and
  4. can communicate effectively and will display an appropriately professional attitude.

If any issues are presented that call into question an applicant's compliance with this requirement, the application must be reviewed by the Registration Committee.

1. As of 2000, the World Directory of Medical Schools is no longer being published by the WHO. Graduates of universities not listed in the WHO’s World Directory of Medical Schools publication (and subsequent WHO updates through to 2003) may be eligible to apply for a certificate of registration under the College’s Alternative to Degrees in Medicine from Schools Listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools Published by the World Health Organization policy.