MD Recruitment: Licensure in Quebec

In order to practice in Quebec a physician must be eligible for a full or restrictive license (see Restrictive License below) from the Collège des médecins du Québec (CMQ). The following is to serve as a guide in order to assist in determining eligibility for licensure. The Chair is to ensure licensability of a physician prior to proposing that the name be placed on the Dean's New Specialist Pending List. All Examination, Licensing and File Evaluation Fees are the responsibility of the recruit. A table has been drawn up by the Faculty, based on information from the CMQ, to use as a summary when screening new applications. Dr Armand Aalamian, Associate Dean of Postgraduate Medical Education, is responsible for this dossier on behalf of the Dean. His assistant for this is Ms Veronica Nahorniak. Both of them will be happy to give you information on prospective candidates upon receipt of a c.v. (fax: 514-398-4423). Please use the Eligibility Table as a guide.

Restrictive license

By definition, a Restrictive License limits the practice of medical acts in a given specialty to one or more specific hospitals, as listed on the Restrictive Permit. The permit is issued for one year only, renewable if judged to be in the public interest.

Graduates of Medical Schools located outside of Canada and who hold a recognized specialty certificate may be eligible to obtain a Restrictive License from the CMQ. They need to have been in active practice (i.e. hold a valid license and be practicing). In these instances, the Associate Dean of Postgraduate Medical Education acts on behalf of the Dean, and assists in obtaining this type of permit, once the Dean has approved the request. It is important to ensure that the Immigration procedure, including advertising, is followed concurrently with the licensure process for foreign professors requiring a work permit. Please send any c.v.'s for evaluation to the Academic Affairs Office to the attention of veronica.nahorniak [at] (Ms. Veronica Nahorniak).

The application process is as follows:

  1. Chair gets approval from the Dean for the appointment;
  2. Chair sends recruit an application for eligibility for a restrictive license. The recruit must then register on-line with the Physicians Credentials Registry of Canada (PCRC) to verify their training. PCRC will then forward the results to the CMQ. Recruit must also forward the remainder of the required documents to Ms Veronica Nahorniak at the Faculty who will forward the dossier to the CMQ. New recruit files must be submitted one month prior to the CMQ Comité de l'admission à l'exercice (CAE) meeting.
  3. Dean writes Faculty's letter of support to the President of the CMQ, with copies to the Chair and the DPS of hospitals involved;
  4. DPS also writes letter of support (done automatically once they receive copy of the Dean's letter);
  5. Official approval from the MSSS for the PEM spot should have been obtained.
  6. CMQ Comité de l'admission à l'exercice meets to review the application.
  7. The physician, the Dean and the hospital(s) are advised of the Collège's decision in writing (usually 1-2 weeks later).
  8. Information on the ALDO can be found on the CMQ website at: Document to read: Legal, Ethical and Organizational Aspects of Medical Practice in Quebec (ALDO-Québec) [.pdf]. For registration: contact the Medical Education Division, by phone at 514-933-4249, or by MCaron [at] (Email).
  9. Physicians must renew their license yearly and register and write a French exam yearly until successfully completed.

Please note that it takes approximately three months to obtain a Restrictive License.

Note: If non-Canadian, Immigration procedures take 4 to 6 months after the CMQ Board decision. This is a separate dossier, which must be submitted to the Immigration Coordinator. Please consult Immigration section.

Visiting professor (with clinical activities)

A template Invitation letter as Visiting Professor is available. The CMQ defines a Visiting Professor as follows:

  1. Non-Immigrant (neither a permanent resident of Canada nor a Canadian citizen);
  2. M.D. from a WHO listed University;
  3. Has the basic training requirements as a specialist (certificate) in the discipline concerned;
  4. Funding source must be stated;
  5. Must submit copies of the specialty, internship and residency certificates;
  6. Submits letter from home university stating the position they occupy will remain open upon their return;
  7. Comes at the Visiting Assistant, Associate or Full Professor level;
  8. Works at university affiliated hospital centres: usually with no billing privileges (a CMQ Autorisation spéciale process [.pdf] from the Collège des médecins du Québec is required);
  9. May be renewed once upon recommendation by the Dean or delegate;
  10. Must take the exam of the Office de la langue française during that year.

Please note: To have billing privileges, a PEM must be allocated to the Vsiting Professor which would require he/she have gone through the Professeur Selectionné process, the Medical Manpower process and the Restrictive permit process.

For information on the immigration process for Visiting professors, please go to:


Professeurs sélectionnés

The definition of a professeur selectionné is an international medical graduate (a graduate of a medical school outside of Canada. United States (American) medical graduates ARE ALSO considered as professeurs selectionnés and count in this special cohort. Invited professors who are international medical graduates need to occupy a médecin selectionné spot.

The Dean requests that c.v.'s of potential professeurs selectionnés be checked by Ms Veronica Nahorniak for eligibility for permis restrictifs and effectifs médicaux slots. The criteria for a physician to be considered for a professeur selectionné positions are:

  1. The physician must be an M.D. in good standing in the country where they are practicing/working in order for us to ascertain whether or not they are eligible for a restrictive license.
  2. The physician must have a specialist certificate in their chosen field of practice.
  3. The Faculty of Medicine requires proof that the physician has practiced for at least one year in the past two years and has a minimum of 3 years clinical experience (fellowships do not count).
  4. As candidates with international medical degrees (MBBS, MBCH, etc.) require a professeur selectionné position the Dean will only put forward candidates with a strong academic file.

When a physician is considered to be eligible for a restrictive permit, the Chairman of the Department must submit a formal written request to the Vice-Dean of Academic Affairs to request a professeur selectionné position.

Please do not send a letter of offer to the potential recruit at this time.

Once the Vice-Dean of Academic Affairs has approved a professeur selectionné position, a Fiche Signalétique.docx must be completed.  The fiche signaletique is sent to Ms Veronica Nahorniak to review.  The fiche is submitted to the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux for preliminary discussion.  Only once the MSSS approves the PS request may you send a formal letter of offer to the recruit.

No restrictive permit dossier will be sent on to the Collège des médecins du Québec unless the Vice-Dean of Academic Affairs has approved this recruitment to you in writing, and the Department has ensured that there is a position available according to the Medical Manpower regulations currently in place.

Converting the restrictive permit into a full license

On June 11, 2008, the Government of Quebec adopted a regulation allowing holders of a restrictive permit issued pursuant to Article 35 of the Medical Act to "convert" this practice permit into a "regular" practice permit under certain conditions.

In accordance with this regulation, a regular permit may be issued to all individuals who satisfy the following conditions:

  • Be a holder of a restrictive permit for over five years;
  • Have completed postgraduate training through a non-accredited university training program that is equivalent in length and content to the training required in Quebec for family medicine or for the specialty covered by the permit:
  • Be a holder of a restrictive permit with restrictions pertaining only to practice locations and with activities corresponding to the practice of family medicine or one of the 35 recognized specialties in Quebec;
  • Have successfully passed the French language exam of the office de la langue française;
  • Have filled out the form required by the Collège des médecins du Québec and paid the required fees.

The CMQ's web address is: