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Foundations

Key Resources for Transition to Independent Practice 

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) is responsible for the administration and provision of public healthcare in Ontario.

The ministry’s must-read Online Resource Manual for Physicians contains important information, including the following:

  • How to register to receive an OHIP billing number.
  • An overview of the Schedule of Benefits, monitoring of physician claims and the claims submission process.
  • Details on registering for Ontario health coverage.
  • Lists of applicable acts and regulations.
  • Description of interrelated programs.

“TiPS” Toolkit

Health Force Ontario (HFO) Marketing and Recruitment Agency is now part of Ontario Health. HFO has developed a comprehensive Transition into Practice Service (TiPS) toolkit.  The chart below lists select modules from the TiPs toolkit you may find especially helpful as you start your independent practice in Ontario:

Countdown to Practice: Guidance for the paperwork and steps necessary to begin to practise independently

Finding Your Ideal Practice: Details on how and where to search for practice opportunities, resources to help you evaluate practice opportunities, tips for developing your CV and interview advice.

Compensation, Incentives and Benefits: For both new graduates and established physicians, an overview of the types of compensation, incentives and benefits available to Ontario physicians

The Business Side of Medicine: An overview of personal and professional planning, legal services, electronic medical records, building your practice and improving service quality for Ontario physicians

Providing Locum Coverage in Ontario: An overview of the locum experience, how to find locum opportunities in Ontario and a summary of different provincial locum programs

Teaching as Part of Your Practice: How physicians can become involved in educating medical learners as faculty for medical schools in Ontario or in a distributed medical education program

Physician Well-Being: Resources for Ontario physicians to support various aspects of health, including physical, mental and spiritual wellness

Physician Resources: A compilation of vital physician resources covering a wide variety of topics relevant to practising medicine in Ontario

Taking Over a Family Practice: Joining a Group Patient Enrollment Model: A step-by-step guide to ensure a smooth transition when taking over an established family practice

Additional Practice Management Resources

Joule is a Canadian Medical Association (CMA) subsidiary focused on assisting physicians in the pursuit of clinical excellence by accelerating physician-led innovation and adoption of advances that deliver quality health and patient care. Joule is a Canada-wide company and focuses on all medical specialties. It offers general practice management resources (accessed via your CMA account) and checklists, such as these:

The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) offers several resources to help you get started. It has prepared a guide that provides advice on starting and managing a practice, general principles of OHIP billing, professional obligations, how to avoid common mistakes, handy practice checklists, guidelines on the timing of necessary steps and more. The guide is not specific to family medicine, but it does focus on establishing a community practice. 

OMA early career seminars expand on these topics and are hosted throughout the year. Interactive eLearning modules are also available on a variety of topics relevant to physicians’ everyday practice. Several practice-based discounts are also available through the OMA’s exclusive affinity program:

Professional Memberships

You need to know about the professional membership associations, regulatory and legal protection/insurance organizations that serve family physicians in Ontario. Many of these memberships are mandatory to practise in Ontario.

Provincial and National Medical Associations 

Ontario Medical Association is a membership organization that represents physician interests at the provincial level and provides members with physician-centred resources, opportunities and supports. 

What You Get: Access to various resources, including exclusive discounts and offers, billing resources, legal incorporation support, advocacy tools, health policy guidance, insurance, legal affairs support and a retirement savings program. Opportunities to network, build relationships and engage in leadership roles through member-run committees and elected positions.

Membership Requirement: Mandatory to practice in Ontario

Of Note: Since this membership is mandatory, the membership fee will be collected from OHIP billings or direct payment to the OMA.

More information: 

•  Sign up through the OMA’s website.
•  Fees website

Canadian Medical Association is a national voluntary association of physicians. It represents and advocates for physicians and healthcare across Canada.

 What You Get: Access to various clinical resources, medical journals, textbooks, exclusive discounts for clinical tools and services, physician wellness resources and advocacy opportunities.

Membership Requirement: Optional

Of Note: The CMA is the national organization; the OMA is the provincial branch.

More information: 

Exams Prior to Practice

You must pass examinations before completing your residency to be eligible to receive an independent practice licence in Ontario through the CPSO, as follows:

Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examinations (MCCQE)

You can apply for both MCCQE Part I and Part II through your ca account. Find more information about the exams here.

  • Part I is a written summative examination typically completed at the end of medical school (or during residency if necessary) that assesses both medical knowledge and clinical decision-making.
  • Part II is a two-day clinical examination completed during PGY1 or PGY2 that assesses your ability to apply medical knowledge, therapeutic plans and professional behaviour. You must have passed Part I before you attempt Part II.

College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) Certification Examination in Family Medicine

This two-part examination is completed over two days, with opportunities to undertake the exam every spring and fall.

  • The written component is a four-hour computer-based exam composed of short-answer management problems (SAMPs).
  • The oral component is composed of five 15-minute simulated office oral exams (SOOs).

You can apply for the spring or fall sitting through the CFPC platform. Find more information about the exam here.

 Sources: CFPC: Certification Examination in Family MedicineHealth Force Ontario

Exam Preparation

The OCFP offers a preparatory workshop for the CFPC Certification Exam. The workshop allows practice-eligible candidates an opportunity to train for and participate in mock exams, learn about the test components of the CFPC Exam and become familiar with the marking criteria before they sit for the actual exam through CFPC.