The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
is a national, private, nonprofit organization
established in 1929 by a special Act of Parliament
to oversee the medical education of specialists in Canada
. Its mission is as an organization of medical
specialists dedicated to ensuring the highest standards and quality of health care.
The RCPSC acts as the voice of specialty care in Canada. The College is not a licensing or disciplinary body but an association of doctors that is concerned with medical education and setting standards. It ensures that the training and evaluation of medical and surgical specialists, in 60 specialties and two special programs, attain the highest standards. The College, through review and continuing education programs, requires its 38,000 members worldwide to maintain their competence throughout their careers. It acts and speaks out in support of the most appropriate context for the practice of specialty care and the best patient care.
Since its founding, the College has been granted the patronage of the Canadian Monarch, currently Elizabeth II.
The work of the College centres around its prime objective — to ensure the highest possible standards of specialist training and specialist care for the people of Canada.
The Royal College:
- Prescribes the requirements for specialty education in 60 areas of medical, surgical and laboratory medicine plus 2 special programs.
- Accredits specialty residency programs
- Assesses the acceptability of residents' education
- Conducts certifying examinations (except in Quebec where it shares this responsibility with the Collège des médecins du Québec)
- Assures a high standard of specialist care through its Maintenance of Certification Program
- Promotes high standards of professional and ethical conduct among its members
A physician may be certified by the RCPSC without becoming a Fellow of the College. However, about 90% of certified physicians
decide to become Fellows within 2 years of their certification.
Each year, close to 1,500 Fellows from across the country serve the College as members of the standing, advisory and specialty committees, examination boards, and accreditation survey teams. Many more contribute as teachers in specialty residency programs accredited by the College, as contributors to the scientific and social portions of the annual meeting and other continuing education programs, or by involvement in peer review processes.
The resident membership category was established in 1997 to encourage affiliation with the College at an early stage in a resident's career. Those who choose to join the College receive complementary membership during the time they are registered in an RCPSC accredited residency program.
Currently, the College has over 38,000 members worldwide — comprising Fellows, residents, and Honorary, retired, and emeritus members.
Fellows use the designation FRCPC (Fellow of The Royal College of Physicians
of Canada) or FRCSC (Fellow of The Royal College of Surgeons
of Canada) depending on their qualifications.
Participation with other medical organizations
The College maintains close working relations with the 16 Canadian university medical schools, numerous national professional associations, voluntary health organizations and governmental agencies where it has a respected and influential voice in discussions affecting medical education, medical research and the delivery of high-quality health care to Canadians.
For the international medical graduates of these particular jurisdictions, the College will assess their training to determine the extent to which they have successfully met and completed the Royal College training requirements. When the training is deemed comparable and acceptable, the International Medical Graduates
are ruled eligible to take the Royal College certification examination. Success at the certification examination will lead to Royal College certification.
There are ONLY international jurisdictions from these countries/regions below that the RCPSC has assessed and deemed as having met RCPSC criteria. By the final decision of the Medical Council of Canada
, the RCPSC has discontinued the process of assessing Postgraduate Medical Education systems (PGME) for International Medical Graduate (IMG) applicants seeking RCPSC Certification. The Royal College will not process any application for credit for training anymore in International PGME systems not listed below. Note that medical graduates trained in the United States
considered "International" by the RCPSC, because M.D.-granting schools in both Canada and the U.S. are accredited by the same body, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education
|| Medical Councils/Registration bodies
|| Colleges/Academies |
| Australian Medical Council (AMC)
|| Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (1992 to present) |
Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (1993 to present)
Australasian College of Dermatologists (2000 to present)
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (1975 to present)
Royal Australasian College of Physicians (1990 to present)
Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (2000 to present)
Australasian Faculty of Occupational Medicine (2000 to present)
Australian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (2000 to present)
Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (1995 to present)
Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (1996 to present)
Royal College of Pathologists of Australia (2000 to present)
Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (2000 to present)
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (2000 to present)
|| The Medical Council of Hong Kong (MCHK)
|| Hong Kong Academy of Medicine (HKMA) (1994 to present): |
The Hong Kong College of Anesthesiologists
The Hong Kong College of Radiologists
Hong Kong College of Community Medicine
Hong Kong College of Emergency Medicine
Hong Kong College of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists
College of Ophthalmologists of Hong Kong
Hong Kong College of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Hong Kong College of Otorhinolaryngologists
Hong Kong College of Paediatricians
Hong Kong College of Pathologists
Hong Kong College of Physicians
Hong Kong College of Psychiatrists
College of Surgeons of Hong Kong
|| The Ireland Medical Council (IMC)
|| The College of Anaesthetists R.C.S.I. (1996 to present) |
The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (1994 to present)
The Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland (1976 to present)
|| Singapore Medical Council (SMC)
|| The Academy of Medicine, Singapore (2000 to present): |
The Division of Graduate Medical Studies, The National University of Singapore
|| The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA)
|| The Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA) (1974 to present) |
|| Swiss Medical Association (Foederatio Medicorum Helveticorum - FMH)
|| Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (Schweizerische Akademie der Medizinischen Wissenschaften) (2000 to present) |
|| General Medical Council (GMC)
|| The Royal College of Anaesthetists (1990 to present) |
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (1984 to present)
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (1988 to present)
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (1972 to present)
The Royal College of Pathologists (1996 to present)
The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (1972 to present)
The Royal College of Physicians of London (1972 to present)
The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow (1972 to present)
The Royal College of Psychiatrists (1975 to present)
The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (1976 to present)
The Royal College of Surgeons of England (1976 to present)
The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow (1976 to present)
The Royal College of Radiologists (1975 to present)
Minimum years of training in RCPSC accredited programs