Hope your summer is going well! What’s keeping you busy? Any fun adventures? My husband and I recently did an Alberta road trip and hiked up to Sentinel Pass. It was difficult but AMAZING! I will be posting up pictures from our hike and road trip in the near future so please check back if you’re interested!
I have recently received several emails from IMGs who wanted to know what exams to take before applying for CaRMS. I thought it would be helpful to make a post on this from the information I have gathered. Please also check out the MCC website.
Please note before you read on: I am not an expert at this. I am in the same boat as you trying to match into a Canadian residency program. It is difficult finding information about how to prepare for the Canadian matching process so I hope this information helps you.
In this post I do not share or discuss examination content in any way.
Eligibility Criteria for CaRMS – https://www.carms.ca/match/r-1-main-residency-match/eligibility-criteria/
What Canadian examinations do CSAs/IMGs need before applying to CaRMS?
- MCCEE (being phased out): multiple choice examination that tests you on pediatrics, obgyn, psychiatry, internal medicine (adult medicine), surgery, population health and Canadian ethics. This information is from the MCC website.
Dates: Last session for the EE will be November 2018 (EE is being phased out and starting November 2019 the QE1 will be the score programs will consider).
Resources: I wrote this examination after I took the USMLE CK many years ago and the preparation for my USMLE Step 2 CK helped me immensely for my EE prep. I focused on using USMLE World questions, Toronto Notes and USMLE Secrets Book.
Check this page out: Preparation Resources
2. NAC-OSCE: a clinical examination with a patient actor and an examiner in the room. You will have to perform either history taking and/or physical examination on the patient and answer the examiner’s questions. Tests you on medicine, pediatrics, obgyn, psychiatry, surgery. This information is from the MCC website.
Cost: at the moment $2 470 (expensive much?? yikes!)
Dates and Locations: see here
Resources: I am retaking this examination because I was not happy with the score I received in 2014 (this was the first time I took it). At that time I took my NAC exam after my USMLE CS and thought it was enough preparation. The difference was in the Step 2 CS you either get a pass/fail, whereas in the NAC you get A SCORE. My prep? Rereading Toronto Notes. I have a study group to practice with. I am attending an online class with Medical Training Express for practice and more cases. I am also working on clinical traineeships to apply my knowledge in real practice with patients. I do not know if this will be enough for me but I am hoping for the best.
3. MCCQE1 (mandatory when applying to CaRMS November 2019): Two part examination where the morning session will be MCQ and the afternoon session will be fill in the blanks (clinical decision making component). Tested on pediatrics, obgyn, psychiatry, internal medicine (adult medicine), surgery, population health and Canadian ethics.
Cost: at the moment $1 105
Dates and locations: Initially were were only able to take this exam twice a year. As of April 2019 it will be increased to 4 times a year. Also, I believe you will be able to take the exam in various centres around the world so you don’t have to fly to Canada for the exam. I am not sure when this will begin though. More information on MCC site-> Click here
Resources: I prepared for this exam using Toronto Notes, the online Medical Training Express class, USMLE World questions. I kept my studying limited to these because otherwise I get overwhelmed easily with too many resources. Check out the MCC for advise too: click here
4. MCCQE2 (not mandatory for many programs). I do not plan on taking this before I get into residency so best if you go to the MCC page directly for this information.
5. IELTS (mandatory, TOEFL will no longer be accepted) with a minimum score of 7 in each component. You do not need to take this exam if (taken from the CaRMS website):
Candidates for whom their primary and secondary, or medical school education was conducted in English, the Ontario medical schools will accept Language Proficiency Attestations as follows:
-Primary and secondary education: Mailed directly from the Senior Academic Administrators of both schools to the program confirming that all of the candidate’s primary and secondary education was conducted completely in English
-Medical school: Mailed directly from the Dean of the candidate’s medical school confirming that the language of instruction and patient care was conducted completely in English OR
-World Directory of Medical Schools Language Option – If the instruction and the language of patient care at the undergraduate medical school was conducted completely in English or French, then a candidate can submit to the Program a copy or printout of the World Directory of Medical Schools website listing the medical school which clearly states that the language of instruction is English.
For British Columbia:
Complete details of the English Language Proficiency requirements can be found on the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC website: https://cpsbc.ca/files/pdf/REG-ELP.pdf
6. Exams that are specific to province and mandatory:
Clinical Assessment Program for UBC – open to all CSAs and IMGs in Canada, they give out 200 spots for this exam. This one day OSCE examination is mandatory if you want to apply to any of University of British Columbia’s residency programs. You can only apply to get into this exam if you have a NAC and MCCEE score completed. These two scores determine whether you get in.
For Alberta residents – they have to pass the Alberta International Medical Graduate Program
Quebec – Apart from the Montreal site, for the other hospitals you will need to prove that you are fluent in speaking French. I believe you will need to sit and pass a French examination to prove this: https://etscanada.ca/en/tfitm-test-de-francais-international
This is all the information I have for now! Should I come across more updated information as we get closer to CaRMS applications I will just update this page 🙂
Hope this was helpful! Goodluck!
Peace, Love and Happiness always