Navigating Medical Career Pathways in Canada: Challenges and Opportunities for International Medical Graduates

Learn the Challenges and Opportunities that International Medical Graduates face while navigating their pathways to Medical Career in Canada.

Accreditation and Licensing,Career Success and Planning

August 16, 2023

Estimated reading time: 2.5 minutes 

In summary: 

  • As the Canadian population continues to grow, so does the necessity for health-care professionals in every region of the country.  
  • IMGs hold tremendous potential in alleviating the pressing need for physicians across the nation. 
  • There exist viable steps IMGs can take to enhance their chances of medical career success in Canada.

In the vast and diverse landscape of Canada's health-care system, the demand for skilled physicians knows no bounds. Internationally-educated doctors bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise, making them invaluable assets in addressing the needs of our growing and aging population. However, amidst the sea of opportunities, international medical graduates (IMGs) face significant challenges on their path to practicing medicine in Canada. In this blog post, we delve into the complexities that hinder their journey and shed light on actionable steps that can pave the way to Canadian medical career success. 

As the Canadian population continues to grow, so does the necessity for health-care professionals in every region of the country. IMGs hold tremendous potential in alleviating the pressing need for physicians across the nation. Their diverse backgrounds, global perspectives, and specialized skills are crucial in offering comprehensive care and ensuring quality and inclusivity in health-care services. However, the journey to becoming a licensed physician in Canada can be arduous, with obstacles ranging from the recognition of foreign credentials to limited residency spots. 

The process of attaining doctor licensure in Canada is multifaceted and intricate. IMGs often find themselves grappling with the complexities of credential recognition, as their previous qualifications and experience may not be readily acknowledged in their new country. Additionally, the scarcity of available residency spots further compounds the challenge, leaving many aspiring physicians in search of alternative routes to practice medicine. To make ends meet, some may find themselves working in lower-skilled jobs, temporarily veering away from their medical aspirations. 

Want to learn more about the steps you need to complete to get licensed or certified in your profession in Canada? Visit Windmill Microlending’s Educational Pathways.  

Amidst these barriers, there exist viable steps IMGs can take to enhance their chances of medical career success in Canada. By understanding the intricacies of the licensure process, seeking out mentorship and professional networks, and actively engaging in skill development opportunities, aspiring physicians can fortify their prospects in the Canadian health care landscape.  

Windmill Microlending and partner, IMG Career Counselling, led by Toronto-based consultant, Ranika Singh, aim to empower these determined individuals with valuable insights, guidance, and encouragement, as they navigate the transformative journey from IMG to esteemed Canadian medical professionals.  


IMG Career Counselling Founder Ranika Singh shares tips to empower international medical graduates (IMGs) as they pursue career success in Canada.

The Windmill Microlending blog connected with Ranika, who brings more than 10-years of experience, helping both local and international medical graduates navigate their pathway to success in Ontario. She advises IMGs on understanding the Canadian licensure and medical application process, and their applications and interviews with medical schools in Canada and the U.S.  

She offers the following tips to support IMGs as they advance through the Canadian doctor licensing process. 

1. Remain up-to-date on Canadian licensing expectations

Keep yourself informed of updates and changes in the medical licensure process in Canada. This will save you time and ensure you don’t miss out on any major requirements or potential pathways for you. The Medical Council of Canada offers helpful resources when it comes to the steps required.

2. Reflect on your professional strengths and weaknesses 
Recognize your strengths, specializations but also understand any of the gaps in your resume as well as your professional/personal weaknesses. This will enable you to work towards strengthening your skillset, seeking professional development opportunities, and being better prepared for the Canadian physician licensing processes. When you are able to take stock of this personal inventory, you become better positioned to highlight what makes you a valuable medical professional with contributions to offer in Canada.

3. Stay positive and engage in self-care 
Take care of yourself and keep yourself motivated. The physician licensure process in Canada will bring ups and downs, successes and challenges. Try to engage in self-care in the form of exercise as well as recreational or extracurricular activities. Spend time with your family and friends and seek advice/support when you need it. Understand that the process takes time and is not a reflection of your personal or professional self-worth. 

4. Remind yourself, your professional goals are achievable in CanadaRemember, you came to Canada with the goal of working as a physician. This goal is achievable. It’s been done by thousands of others and can be done by you, too. A low-interest loan from Windmill Microlending can help you pay for the costs of licensure, from credential assessment to qualifying exams, while also offering client success coaching, mentorship and financial literacy training. Meanwhile, IMG Career Counselling can offer you customized support on your path to licensure and to reaching your Canadian career goals. I’ve seen my IMG clients go on to see their Canadian dreams become reality. They can do it and so can you.


Are you an internationally-educated health-care professional, living in Canada, who needs funds to pay for your Canadian credential assessment, licensure, training, qualifying exams or professional development courses? Over 95% of eligible newcomers are approved for a Windmill Microlending loan of up to $15,000. No Canadian credit history required. Start your application today.  

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