That’s a question you would likely ask in light of recent news about hundreds of Canadian doctors rejecting pay rises, especially for someone who is eyeing a career in medicine.
According to Statistics Canada, a Canadian Physician salary will be anywhere from C$58,015 to $310,054 p.a. for a family doctor while specialist physicians make more, C$117,00 to $375,000 p.a. That’s easily three times the average wage of other Canadian employees. Together with senior managers, federal judges and dentists, physicians are some of the highest paid employees in Canada.
This graph shows the average Canadian Physician salary by province:
It is important to note that Canada has a public health system which provides universal coverage for medically necessary health care services provided on the basis of need, rather than the ability to pay. As such the question of Canadian Physician salaries also has important public policy implications. Doctors in Canada are primarily on the public payroll. Taxpayers, via provincial health insurance plans, pay for their salaries.
If a career in Canadian Medicine is something that interests you as a foreigner, and you have already completed your medical studies, the next obvious question is how difficult it is to immigrate to Canada. Immigrating is actually the easy part. Understanding what it takes to actually qualify to work as a doctor is something a little more complicated. A common approach is to apply for a residency program. You must pass the national standardized exams organized by the Medical Council of Canada:
Only after you have surmounted these three exams are you able to apply for residency via the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS).
Another option is to emigrate to Canada as a specialist or after some experience as a GP. This means you will have a higher chance of sitting for the following exams: The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Practice Readiness Assessment, or PRA and the Medical Council of Canada’s Therapeutics Decision Making, or TDM. The Royal College exams are for all specialties other than Family Medicine, whereas TDM is only for Family Medicine. The PRA program varies per province so you will need to contact the PRA program in the province where you wish to practice medicine.