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International Medical Graduates

Graduate of an international medical school holding Canadian citizenship or Canadian permanent residency status.

*Please note that the IMG group includes graduates from American schools of Osteopathic Medicine.

Admissions Requirements

The six Ontario Family Medicine Residency programs jointly run the IMG admissions process via the Canadian Residency Matching Service (CaRMS)
Please review the CaRMS Program Description  for details on admissions requirements.

Admissions Process

CaRMS Match Timelines: Please review the CaRMS Match Timelines.

Cohort Assignment:  Once matched to the Family Medicine Program at McMaster University, IMGs are divided into two cohorts designated Cohort 1 and Cohort 2 commencing their pre-residency training in March/April and July/August respectively. These cohorts are assigned taking into consideration multiple factors including participant preference, date of graduation and thus ability to start residency.

Requirements: Access to a car and ability to drive may be required upon admission.

For information on how to exchange your out-of-country driver’s licence, click here.

Preparation for Residency

All IMGs entering Family Medicine Programs in Ontario are required to complete a pre-residency training program as a transition to family medicine in a Canadian context.

Pre-Residency Program: The Pre-Residency Program helps to prepare International Medical Graduates for a successful evaluation in the mandatory Assessment Verification Period (AVP), a probationary period of 12 weeks required by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario prior to obtaining a postgraduate license to practice medicine in Canada. The Pre-Residency Program is divided into two phases:

Pre-Residency Program Phase 1 (PRP1) is organized centrally by Touchstone Institute for all International Medical Graduates commencing Family Medicine Residency Programs in Ontario.

Pre-Residency Program Phase 2 (PRP2) is organized locally for IMGs commencing family medicine at McMaster University by individual teaching sites, with the goal of addressing identified needs of IMGs 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.

Assessment Verification Period

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) requires all International Medical Students to successfully complete the 12-week Assessment Verification Process (AVP) in order to receive a postgraduate educational license to commence residency training

Information for IMGs relating to application into the McMaster University Family Medicine program.


Looking for an Observership?

For the McMaster policy on observership please visit the postgraduate medical education website https://pgme.mcmaster.ca/train/observerships/

For additional tips and resources, please be sure to visit HealthForceOntario.

All parties involved in an observership should follow these guidelines/policies CPSO Controlled Acts Policy


Touchstone Institute

145 Wellington St. W., Suite 600

Toronto, ON M5J 1H8

Phone: (416) 924-8622

Fax: (416) 924-8921

Email: info@tsin.ca

Website: www.touchstoneinstitute.ca



171 Nepean Street, Suite 300

Ottawa ON K2P 0B4

Phone: (613) 237-0075

Email: help@carms.ca

Website: www.carms.ca


If you are interested in practicing in Ontario and require counselling, there are services available for IMGs at the HealthForceOntario Access Centre:

Healthforce Ontario Access Centre

163 Queen Street East

Toronto ON M5A 1S1

Phone: (416) 842-2200 Ext. 1

Toll free: 1-800-596-4046

Email: accesscentre@healthforce.ca

Website: www.healthforceontario.ca/en/M4/Internationally_Educated_Health_Professionals


If you would like information regarding Financial Planning:

MD Financial Management

1870 Alta Vista Drive

Ottawa ON K1G 6R7

Phone: (613) 731-4552

Toll free: 1 (800) 267-4022

Fax: (905) 526-1198

Website: https://mdm.ca/md-wealth-management


If you would like information on preparation for the OSCE Exam:

The Ontario IMG School

6021 Yonge Street, Suite 240

Toronto ON M2M 3W2

Phone: (416) 788-0464

Email:  administration@ontarioimgschool.com

Website: www.ontarioimgschool.com


Bridging Program

General Bridging Program

Information for Bridging Program Options for Doctors and How to Access the System

Bridging Program Offering OSCE Assistance and Observerships

Clinical Communication Skills and Ethics for Doctors

Clinical Communication Skills and Ethics for Doctors Claim up to 36 Mainpro-M2 credit



Medical Council of Canada (EE & NAC OSCE)


    • McMaster University Department of Family Medicine
    • David Braley Health Sciences Centre
    • 100 Main Street West, 6th Floor
    • Hamilton, ON L8P 1H6
    • Map / Directions