Practicing in BC Overview

Working in British Columbia (BC) as a general practitioner can be a very rewarding experience. Whether you are an undergraduate student, a medical student, a family medicine resident, or an experienced general practitioner who has trained and worked within or outside Canada, a wealth of resources are in place to help you make decisions about your journey, including whether practicing in BC is the right fit for you and your family. The following key tips come from general practitioners and medical residents who have completed or are in the process of completing their journey to practice in BC.

Be prepared

  • Gather the right information from the right resource, well-in advance, about what is needed for you to be eligible to practice in BC.
    • Connect with reliable organizations for guidance.
    • Talk with others who have already taken the journey to practice in BC (also remember that your journey may not be the same as others).
    • Add up all of the costs to obtain and submit your credentials, write exams, register for licensing, relocate from another country or province.
    • If you are relocating from another country, what will you do if your journey is delayed (i.e. due to credential verification, immigration)?

Be patient

  • The journey to practice in BC involves many stages.
    • Some stages are longer and more complex than others.
    • For International Medical Graduates (IMGs), the overall journey is generally more complex and longer than the journey for Canadian Medical Graduates.

Be realistic

  • The application process for medical school, residency, and the PRA-BC program (for IMGs who trained outside of Australia, UK, Ireland, and US) is competitive.
    • What will you do if you are not accepted?
  • Have a back-up plan – Plan B is very important.
    • Consider other options (including reapplying, exploring other locations for training and /or practice).
    • What will you do if you are not eligible to practice as a GP in BC but you would still like to stay in or move to BC? For some IMGs who have trained outside of Australia, Ireland, UK, and the US, options can include other health care careers in research, pharmacology, nursing.
  • International Medical Graduates (IMGs) who train outside of Australia, Ireland, the UK, and US, have less pathways to be eligible to practice in BC than others.
  • If you are working as a general pracititoner in another country of province, understand the full journey to practice in BC before closing your existing practice and/or relocating.