MEDICAL LICENSING

Important: This information is intended to provide you with some basic knowledge on the licensing process. It’s up to the individual student to contact their provincial regulatory body to make sure they are familiar with the process for returning to Canada or the US. While we review this content on an annual basis, it is subject to change at any time. Please ensure you review all information provided by the regulatory bodies for the most up-to-date information.

Taking your degree back to Canada

Graduates of Irish Medical Schools regularly secure residency programs at elite institutions in Canada and the United States. Most Canadian students apply to both Canada and the US with those that do not match in Canada usually matching in the United States via the US Match together with the US graduates.

Through years of collaboration, Irish universities have developed close ties with US and Canadian Universities to develop an impressive network of clinical programs where our students undertake elective rotations during their medical degrees. This is a significant help in developing contacts and exposure to North American residency programs and a key reason why Ireland is the most popular choice for North Americans seeking a medical degree abroad.

With Ireland only 6 hours flight time from the East Coast of North America, navigating these valuable clinical opportunities is very manageable.

Another option is to pursue an additional year of training in Ireland, the Internship Year. This is a paid position where the new graduate undertakes a year of training at a teaching hospital in Ireland. Unlike applying for residency in North America the internship year allows new physicians to experience a range of specialties in a hospital setting before choosing the specialty they would like to pursue.  In recent years the Irish Health Service has significantly increased the number of Internship places available to non EU graduates with all non-EU applicants being accommodated in 2020 & 2021.

The transition to medical training in Ireland from North America is very straightforward as the systems of education are very similar. With almost 1,600 North Americans studying medicine in Ireland there is plenty of support amongst your peers (see below, NIMSA and CIMSA)

  • Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Exam 1 (MCCQE1). This exam is written in May or October.
  • National Assessment Collaboration Objective Structured Clinical Examination (NAC OSCE). The NAC OSCE must be completed in Canada and is only run twice per year—in March and September.
  • Apply for CaRMS (Canadian Residency Matching Program)

The dental degrees awarded are recognized by the dental licensing authorities in the United States, Canada and the European Union. However, you should check with your national and state/provincial licensing authorities for specific details on applicable licensing procedures and additional training that may be required of foreign-trained dentists.

Canada

The Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) between the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC) and the Dental Council of Ireland was signed on December 5th, 2012.  Under this agreement, the CDAC and the Dental Council of Ireland agree that each party recognizes the accreditation standards and policies of the other party as being equivalent to its own.  There are twelve dental programs covered under this agreement, ten in Canada and two in Ireland (University College Cork and Trinity College Dublin).

Students who graduate from University College Cork (UCC) or Trinity College Dublin (TCD) after December 5th, 2012 will be accepted for licensing in Canada as graduates of an accredited dental educational program and do not need to meet other educational requirements typically required of graduates of non-Canadian Dental schools.

Note: Any student who is enrolled in an accredited program at the time of the MRA being terminated, and proceeds to successfully complete said program, shall be considered to have graduated from an accredited program and shall subsequently benefit from the provisions of the MRA. 

 

Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada
National Dental Examining Board of Canada
Canadian Dental Regulatory Authorities Federation
Dental Council of Ireland

Graduates from Canada must pass their national examinations in order to be eligible to apply for licensure and to practice in their state or province of choice.

In Canada, the profession of physiotherapist is regulated in all Canadian provinces and territories (except the Northwest Territories and Nunavut). The provincial / territorial regulators set the standards for licensure. However, first the graduate must take and pass the  Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE), which is administered by the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR). Having passed the PCE the graduate then applies for a license to the Province or Territory where they wish to practice.

Candidates are encouraged to contact the provincial or territorial Physiotherapy regulatory body in the province/territory in which they wish to practice for information on licensing.

  1. Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators

The pharmacy degrees awarded in Ireland are recognized by the pharmacy licensing authorities in Canada, the United States and the European Union. However, you should check with your national and state/provincial licensing authorities for specific details on applicable licensing procedures and any additional training that may be required of foreign-trained pharmacists.

If you wish to practice as a pharmacist in Canada you must meet the requirements set by the individual provincial and territorial licensing bodies across Canada known as Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (PRAs).

While Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (PRAs) have many similar requirements, each jurisdiction may have variations or unique conditions for licensure. To learn more about each of the provincial and territorial requirements for licensure, please visit the Pharmacists’ Gateway Canada website.

Pharmacists Gateway Canada
Canadian Pharmacists Association
The Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada

Taking your degree back to the US

Graduates of Irish Medical Schools regularly secure residency programs at elite institutions in the United States and Canada. Most Canadian students apply to both the US and Canada with those that do not match in Canada usually matching in the United States via the US Match together with the US graduates.

Through years of collaboration, Irish universities have developed close ties with US and Canadian Universities to develop an impressive network of clinical programs where our students undertake elective rotations during their medical degrees. This is a significant help in developing contacts and exposure to North American residency programs and a key reason why Ireland is the most popular choice for North Americans seeking a medical degree abroad.

With Ireland only 6 hours flight time from the East Coast of North America, navigating these valuable clinical opportunities is very manageable.

Another option is to pursue an additional year of training in Ireland, the Internship Year. This is a paid position where the new graduate undertakes a year of training at a teaching hospital in Ireland. Unlike applying for residency in North America the internship year allows new physicians to experience a range of specialties in a hospital setting before choosing the specialty they would like to pursue.  In recent years the Irish Health Service has significantly increased the number of Internship places available to non EU graduates with all non-EU applicants being accommodated in 2020 & 2021.

The transition to medical training in Ireland from North America is very straightforward as the systems of education are very similar. With almost 1,600 North Americans studying medicine in Ireland there is plenty of support amongst your peers (see below, NIMSA and CIMSA)

  • USMLE Part 1 – after pre-clinical completed
  • USMLE Part 2 CK – during final year
  • Apply for ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service)

United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)

Clinical Knowledge (CK)

  • Multiple-choice exam taken over a full day. Assesses medical knowledge, skills, clinical sciences
  • Usually completed in final year

Students will apply for Educational Commission For Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) certification, which will allow students to take the final Step 3 of the USMLE (similar to the NAC OSCE), register with the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS), and send their USMLE scores to the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP). The NRMP will then match students and programs to each other. To better understand the process, you can refer to the NRMP video.

Students intending to practice in the United States can find more information about practicing in the United States through the American Student Dental Association. To be eligible for licensing in the United States, graduates of Irish Dental Schools will likely be required to complete additional training in a School of Dentistry located in the United States.

American Dental Association
American Student Dental Association
American Dental Education Association

Graduates from the USA must pass their national examinations in order to be eligible to apply for licensure and to practice in their state or province of choice.

For Physical Therapists in the United States, candidates must take and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE), which is administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT), before they can apply for state licensure. As licensure can vary state by state, we would encourage you to contact your state licensing authority for information on their respective requirements to practice.

  1. American Physical Therapy Association
  2. American Physical Therapy Association – Licensure
  3. FSBPT State Licensing Authorities
  4. Foreign Credentialing Commission for Physical Therapy

The pharmacy degrees awarded in Ireland are recognized by the pharmacy licensing authorities in Canada, the United States and the European Union. However, you should check with your national and state/provincial licensing authorities for specific details on applicable licensing procedures and any additional training that may be required of foreign-trained pharmacists.

Graduates of non US Pharmacy schools must have completed a 5 year pharmacy curriculum.  Graduates then take the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Exams (FPGEE). FPGEE is administered twice a year in the spring and fall.

Graduates are also required to take the TOEFL iBT test (delivered via the internet) which measures your ability to use and understand English at the university level.

Having passed the FPGEE and the TOEFL iBT you can then apply for FPGEC certification. Almost all states accept Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee (FPGEC) Certification for obtaining a pharmacist license. However states may require pharmacy internship hours.

Graduates then take the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination  NAPLEX . This is the same pharmacy licensing exam taken by US graduates.

You should contact the pharmacy licensing authority in the state you wish to practice for official information on licensing procedures, examinations, and other possible requirements e.g. internship hours, state exams.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT)

Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Exams (FPGEE)

Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee  (FPGEC)

North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX)

RXeconsult

NIMSA & CIMSA

The North American Irish Medical Students Association (NIMSA), the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) and the Canadian International Medical Student Association (CIMSA) are student-run societies that support Canadian and American medical students in Ireland. Each university has its own branch of the larger society.

Their objective is to build a support network of North American students for North American students. Their remit is to share information and strategy around Board Exam prep, Clinical Elective Programs, Research Opportunities, Residency Applications etc. These societies have a close and collaborative working relationship with School Administrators and are a vital part of the conversation in organizing a smooth transition to residency programs in North America.

On entry students are encouraged to join these societies and proactively engage in a series of practical career-focused workshops, and attend hosted Canadian and US medical specialty talks and webinars. These societies have been in place for decades and provide a vital source of accurate information and support for North American students.

Application Instructions

Before submitting your online application, please fill out the Application Request Form. After we receive your submission, we will write to you within 1 – 2 business days regarding program eligibility, application instructions, admissions requirements, deadlines, and other guidelines.

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Application Advice

Follow the application instructions exactly. Take the time to read the instructions provided with your application.

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