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International Residents

Elective Requirements for Residents Enrolled in Residency Training outside of Canada or the USA

Eligibility for Licensure

Medical Educational Licensure in Ontario

In order to take up an elective residency at Queen’s University, international applicants must be eligible for licensure by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), the body that regulates the practice of medicine in the province of Ontario.

Basic Eligibility Requirements for Licensure as an International Elective Resident

In order to be eligible for the CPSO certificate of registration authorizing postgraduate education, international trainees must:

  1. Be currently enrolled in a residency program outside Canada or the United States
  2. Have completed at least two years of residency training in the discipline in which they are seeking an elective (one year for Family Medicine electives)
  3. Be using English or French as the language of patient care in their current residency program
  4. Have an appointment to an elective at an Ontario medical school

Medical Degree

The applicant must hold an MD or equivalent basic degree in medicine from a medical school that was, at the time of graduation, listed in:


  • The International Medical Education Directory (IMED) published by the Foundation for the Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER), accessible online at

CPSO Processing Time

The CPSO advises trainees with a confirmed international elective resident appointment to apply for CPSO licensure and begin arranging for all supporting documents at least four months in advance of the elective appointment start date.  This processing time is necessary for the completion of the CPSO’s many detailed requirements for the licensure of international medical residents, including, for example:

  • Official sealed transcript verifying undergraduate medical education and conferral of degree in medicine, which the CPSO must receive directly from the applicant’s medical school
  • Source verification of the applicant’s medical degree by the Physician Credentials Registry of Canada (PCRC)

Evidence of good standing from the medical licensing authority in every jurisdiction where the applicant has practiced medicine or has taken postgraduate training

Pre-Entry Assessment Program (PEAP)

Before beginning elective training, all international residents must successfully complete a two-week Pre-Entry Assessment Program (PEAP).  The CPSO issues separate certificates of registration for the PEAP and the elective.

Maximum Duration of Elective Residency Training

It is a condition of CPSO licensure as an international elective trainee that the duration of the elective (including the mandatory two-week PEAP) cannot exceed 6 months. 
Please note that CPSO requirements are subject to change. It is recommended that applicants contact the CPSO directly to confirm details.


International trainees who wish to take an elective under the supervision of a Queen’s University postgraduate program director/training program must be fully funded for the duration of the proposed elective by an acceptable sponsoring agency. Foreign governments and foreign government funded agencies, for example, are considered acceptable sources of funding for non-Canadian residency trainees. Charitable foundations, private corporations or self-funding are not considered acceptable sources of funding. 

Elective residency trainees must have funding for their elective training in accordance with the scale of remuneration of the PARO-CAHO Agreement.

 Required Documents:

International trainees who wish to take an elective under the supervision of a Queen’s University postgraduate program director/training program must submit the following documentation to the Queen’s University PGME Office:

Written permission from the Queen’s University program director agreeing to the elective.

Written permission from current program director at the applicant’s home university

Letter from the international trainee’s sponsoring agency, confirming its approval

If the international trainee’s sponsoring agency has not signed a postgraduate training agreement with Queen’s University, then the letter must confirm full financial support for the duration of the elective training and verify that this funding is in accordance with the scale of remuneration for Ontario residency trainees.

Up-to-date curriculum vitae that includes the applicant’s date of birth, citizenship status and e-mail address

Copy of medical degree (with English translation, where applicable)

The Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA)

After submitting the above documentation for your elective and applying to the CPSO, trainees must apply for coverage under the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA). CMPA coverage is mandatory for all Queen’s University trainees and is required before beginning the elective.

Contact the CMPA at 1-800-267-6522 or to apply for membership.

Work Permit

In addition to licensure by the CPSO, trainees who are not Canadian citizens/permanent residents must have a work permit that is valid for the duration of their elective residency. The Queen’s University PGME Office will provide the elective appointee with work permit application information and a Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) approved “Letter of Employment” that will enable the appointee to apply for the appropriate work permit.

NB: CIC requires the “Letter of Employment” to confirm that the foreign national receiving is being remunerated at a rate commensurate with that of a Canadian performing the same duties in the same location of work. Elective residents must have funding for their elective rotation that meets the requirements of the scale of remuneration of the PAIRO-CAHO Agreement.

 Registration Process

Once the PGME Office receives the required documents a Letter of Appointment (LOA) will be issued to the resident. This letter must be signed by the resident and returned to the PGME Office. A copy will be forwarded to the CPSO.

Please note that the following Elective Registration Form must be submitted to the Postgraduate Medical Education Office 6 months before the scheduled elective.

Registration Fee

Effective January 1, 2015, there will be a $750 registration fee.  This includes a $500 non-refundable deposit. Upon confirmation that the elective has been approved, please proceed with payment.

Proceed with Payment
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Upon approval of your elective request by the Program Director, please complete this form. Final approval of the elective will be confirmed by the Postgraduate Medical Education Office, Queen's University.

Visiting Electives Application Form