You’ve graduated from medical school and are starting residency. Learn more about being a resident, exams, certification and registration, and how to transition to practice.


As a resident, you’re working in a teaching hospital or clinic affiliated with an Ontario medical school, learning from senior doctors as well as teaching medical students who are still in school.

There are great support systems for residents. The Professional Association of Residents of Ontario (PARO) and the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) offer valuable services to residents. PARO, for example, monitors the training environment of residents and aids in resolving contractual issues for its members and provides a 24-hour Helpline for residents in distress. The OMA offers a discount on OMA Insurance, a practice advisory service and legal services.

Exams, Certification and Registration

After the first year of residency, physicians are eligible to write the MCCEE Part 2 exam. Once a doctor successfully completes the MCCEE exams (Part 1 and 2), the Medical Council of Canada awards a qualification known as Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC), a qualification to practise medicine in Canada.

Residency typically lasts between 2 and 5 years. When you have completed your residency training, you will write either the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) examination to become certified as a family medicine physician, or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) examination to become certified in a medical speciality. Specialists may pursue training in a subspecialty and then take the RCPSC examination in the subspecialty.

After successfully completing residency and the exams, you obtain a certificate of registration for independent practice from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), which authorizes you to practice medicine independently and unsupervised.

Finding a Job

Assistance with Rotation Opportunities

There are a number programs that assist residents with finding appropriate rotation opportunities and making arrangements on behalf of the resident. These include:

If you're looking for a way to help pay for your medical school training, keep the HealthForceOntario Northern and Rural Recruitment and Retention Initiative (NRRR) in mind. It will provide grants to residents who agree to practise in a northern or highly rural community or in one of the five major northern urban referral centres (Thunder Bay, Sudbury, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie and Timmins).

Once you’re ready to practise, Transition into Practice Service (TiPS) provides information about requirements that need to be met, including applying for a billing number and obtaining hospital privileges. The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has resources on starting your own practice that covers topics such as insuring your practice, choosing an office location and negotiating a lease.

Residents who want to look for a job can take advantage of Practice Ontario, where they can talk with a Regional Advisor (RA) from HealthForceOntario Marketing and Recruitment Agency, either in person or by phone. The RAs can help with resume preparation, connect you with potential permanent and locum practice opportunities, and arrange a visit to a community you are interested in practising in to learn more about it. Visit Practice Ontario for more information.

To pursue employment opportunities on your own, you can look for jobs on HFOJobs.

Canadians Studying Abroad

If you are a Canadian citizen and have chosen to attend medical school outside of Canada and are currently completing a residency outside of Canada, Canadians Studying Abroad will explain how you can come home and practise when you graduate. Contact:


Read about physician education resources.