Becoming a Doctor in Canada

To become a doctor in Canada, you need to have a Bachelor Degree from an accredited institution, medical degree, and training.

Undergraduate Studies and Pre-med Courses

Students who wish to pursue a medical degree usually enroll in an undergraduate program offering pre-med courses, including biology, chemistry, or physics. Pre-medical courses include organic and inorganic chemistry, math, introductory biochemistry, biology, and cellular and molecular biology.

Canadian Universities and Medical Schools

The list of medical schools in Canada is long and includes the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, Queen’s School of Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, and others. Students at the University of Toronto, for example, come from diverse backgrounds and hold graduate and undergraduate degrees from Canadian and non-Canadian universities and colleges. The curriculum is based on interpersonal education, elective learning, and core courses. Students learn about indigenous health, care for the elderly, pharmacology, medical imaging, and more.

Average Salaries

The average salary of doctors and family physicians in Canada is $146,596. Physicians’ salaries are in the range of about $58,000 and $308,500, depending on experience, position, location, and so on. Surgeons’ salaries range from about $62,000 to $420,000. The average salary of pediatricians in Canada is $160,945.

Cost of Tuition

Tuition fees at Canadian medical schools vary, depending on factors such as place of residence, type of program, i.e. PhD or MD, and whether the applicant is a foreign student above quota, foreign student, permanent resident, or Canadian citizen. Tuition fees also vary by university and program. Ontario has the highest tuition fees of all provinces – $22,744. The average for Canada is $12,959 per academic year. Tuition fees are different for foreign and domestic students. At the Memorial University of Newfoundland, for example, foreign students pay $30,000 a year while domestic students pay $6,250 per academic year.

Funding Your Studies

Government Loans

Many students find it difficult to pay tuition fees and resort to student loans and credit cards. The interest rate is lower compared to what finance companies and banks have on offer. There are two options – a floating or fixed rate, which are the prime + 2.5 or + 5, respectively. There are different rates for separate and integrated loans. Students who are unable to make payments after graduation have several options, one being to reduce their monthly payment. Often students apply for government-sponsored loans, and the main reason is affordability. Loan forgiveness is also an option for nurses, residents in family medicine, and physicians. Applicants who work in remote and rural communities qualify for loan forgiveness.

Funding by Private Providers

Some financial institutions also offer loans to medical students. The Royal Bank of Canada, for example, offers lines of credit, mortgages, and other financial products. Students in Medicine and Dentistry benefit from a competitive interest rate (prime +0.25) and a large limit of up to $275,000. They are also offered a grace period of 2 years after graduation. RBC’s banking package features car loan rate discounts, additional bank accounts, free checks, and no overdraft protection and monthly fee. Many Canadian banks also offer student cards to help pay day-to-day and student expenses. Ad-ons and perks include things like no annual fee, welcome points, no blackout periods, cash back, and more.

Scholarships, Bursaries, and Working while Studying

Bursaries and scholarships are also available, for example, the BC Medical Association Bursary, B. J. Twaites Prize, Amy E. Sauder Scholarship, etc. A third option is to find a job off-campus or on-campus, either full-time or part-time. There are plenty of options for medical students, including research, overnight sleeping shifts, hospital laboratory work, medical clerical work, and others.