Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Can Fam Physician. 2017 Oct;63(10):776-783.

Examination outcomes and work locations of international medical graduate family medicine residents in Canada.

Author information

Professor of Health Policy and Health Care Delivery in the Division of Community Health and Humanities in the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St John's.
Research assistant for the Canadian Post-MD Education Registry of the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada in Ottawa, Ont.
Director of Health Systems and Policy at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Ottawa.
Associate Professor of Biostatistics in the Division of Community Health and Humanities in the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University.
Manager of the Internationally Educated Health Professional Initiative of Health Canada in Ottawa.
Professor in the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa.



To describe the postgraduate medical education (PGME) examination outcomes and work locations of international medical graduates (IMGs); and to identify differences between Canadians studying abroad (CSAs) and non-CSAs.


Cohort study using data from the National IMG Database and Scott's Medical Database.




All IMGs who had first entered a family medicine residency program between 2005 and 2009, with the exclusion of US graduates, visa trainees, and fellowship trainees.


We examined 4 outcomes: passing the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part 2 (MCCQE2), obtaining Certification in Family Medicine (CCFP), working in Canada within 2 years of completing PGME training, and working in Canada in 2015.


Of the 876 residents in the study, 96.1% passed the MCCQE2, 78.1% obtained a specialty designation, 37.7% worked in Canada within 2 years after their PGME, and 91.2% worked in Canada in 2015. Older graduates were more likely (odds ratio [OR] = 3.45; 95% CI 1.52 to 7.69) than recent graduates were to pass the MCCQE2, and residents who participated in a skills assessment program before their PGME training were more likely (OR = 9.60; 95% CI 1.29 to 71.63) than those who had not were to pass the MCCQE2. Women were more likely (OR = 1.67; 95% CI 1.20 to 2.33) to obtain a specialty designation than men were. Recent graduates were more likely (OR = 1.36; 95% CI 1.03 to 1.79) than older graduates were to work in Canada following training. Residents who were eligible for a full licence were more likely (OR = 3.72; 95% CI 2.30 to 5.99) to work in Canada in 2015 than those who were not eligible for a full licence were.


While most IMGs who entered the family medicine PGME program passed the MCCQE2, 1 in 5 did not obtain Certification. Most IMG residents remain in Canada. Canadians studying abroad and non-CSA IMGs share similar examination success rates and retention rates.

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center