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International Medical Graduates

The Department of Family Medicine at Queen’s University welcomes international medical graduates (IMGs) each year.

Admissions Requirements and Process

Please refer to the CaRMS website for provincial eligibility information under “CaRMS Provincial Criteria.” It is imperative to review the requirements carefully.

For the process and timelines, please refer to the Match process on the CaRMS website.


All applicants must be a graduate of an international medical school holding Canadian citizenship or Canadian permanent residency status. Applicants should be fluent in English.

It is also required that applicants 1) pass their Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Exam and 2) pass their National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) Examination offered by Touchstone Institute Competency Evaluation Experts.

Selection Criteria

Ontario’s six family medicine residency programs prefer applicants who have full-time clinical experience within the past three years. Participation in a family medicine residency training program, or in a clinical practice in family medicine or its equivalent, within the past three years will be favoured in ranking. Observership is not considered clinical experience.

In the First Iteration

To avoid unnecessary travel and time off from work, applicants only need to attend a single Ontario joint interview. All six Ontario family medicine programs will conduct a standardized interview at its location virtually (Hamilton, Kingston, London, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, and Toronto). 

Only the Ottawa location will provide interviews in both English and French.

Applicants will be asked to provide three preferred interview locations. Applications will only be assigned to Sudbury if it is the applicant’s first choice. The choice of interview location will not affect the applicant’s ranking.

Applicants will be asked to provide photographic identification at the time of the interview.

Each program director will use applicants’ joint interview score to decide on their ranking independently.

Preparation for Residency

All IMGs entering a family medicine program in Ontario are required to complete a pre-residency training program (PRP) as a transition to family medicine in Canada. The PRP helps to prepare IMGs for a successful transition into the mandatory Assessment Verification Period (AVP), a probationary 12-week period required by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) prior to obtaining a postgraduate licence to practise medicine in Canada. The PRP period is divided into two phases.

Pre-Residency Program Phase 1

Pre-Residency Program Phase 1 (PRP1) is organized centrally by Touchstone Institute for all IMGs commencing family medicine residency programs in Ontario.

Pre-Residency Program Phase 2

Pre-Residency Program Phase 2 (PRP2) is organized locally, by individual site, for IMGs commencing family medicine at Queen’s University, with the goal of addressing applicants’ identified needs prior to residency. During this period, participants attend the academic half-day at their teaching site.

Level of Responsibility

Participants in PRP are considered to be at the level of a clinical clerk of fourth-year medical student until the completion of this period, and should thus have expectations and responsibilities offered appropriate to this level.

AVP period

The CPSO requires all IMGs to successfully complete the 12-week AVP process in order to receive a postgraduate educational licence to commence residency training.