Career Planning Advice

Reciprocity of Training

For many specialties, US residency training is a year or more, less in length than it is in Canada.

Example: General Internal Medicine is 3 years in the US and 4 years in Canada (5 years in QC), so one cannot complete three years of training in the US and come back to Canada to practice right away as a general internist.

In most cases where the US residency training comprises fewer years than its Canadian equivalent, candidates need to seek additional training before being licensable within their specialty in Canada. Depending on the specialty, you might be able to get a J-1 visa extension to pursue subspecialty fellowship training in the US that would provide equivalent training (in years) as you would have received in Canada. In this case, having the Royal College and provincial colleges recognize your training tends to be less of a problem. Candidates may also choose to come back to Canada to pursue subspecialty training or additional residency years to “make up” Canadian equivalence – each province/school has its mechanism for evaluating/admitting residents who are trying to come back to Canada from the US to complete their training (see “Contingent Particulier” at McGill).

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