International medical graduate (IMG) family physicians who are initially screened by Health Match BC, based on established criteria, may qualify for selection in the province’s Practice Ready Assessment – British Columbia (PRA-BC) program. Selected individuals may become eligible for registration in the new assessment class during the program’s 12-week clinical field assessment period prior to being considered eligible for provisional registration with the College.
The PRA-BC program is only available to internationally trained family physicians at this time. A similar program to assess specialists is not available in BC.
Note: The assessment class of registration was established in sections 2-9, 2-40 to 2-43 and Schedule A of the Bylaws under the Health Professions Act, RSBC 1996, c.183, in March 2015.
The PRA-BC program offers qualified and selected family physician candidates who subsequently pass the clinical field assessment with an alternative pathway to obtain registration in British Columbia.
Interested IMG family physicians should contact the PRA-BC program to discuss whether or not they are eligible to apply for entry into the PRA-BC program, and to learn more about the program’s screening and selection processes.
The province’s first PRA program for family physicians launched as a pilot in April 2015. The program curriculum includes an initial two-and-a-half day orientation focused on acculturation to Canada and examination preparation, followed by two days of examinations. Successful candidates then attend a focused orientation to prepare them for a comprehensive 12-week clinical field assessment in a designated BC community.
The program is designed to be highly interactive. The clinical field assessment is a competency-based assessment that determines if a PRA-BC candidate is ready to enter into independent medical practice in BC as a family physician.
Candidates who successfully complete the PRA-BC program may be eligible to apply for provisional registration and work under the sponsorship of a health authority and a supervising physician in a designated return-of-service community practice in BC. The program requires a three-year return-of-service commitment in rural BC from successful candidates.
The PRA-BC program is a collaborative effort between the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia, the Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues comprised of representatives from the Government of British Columbia and the Doctors of BC, and the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine’s Division of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in partnership with British Columbia’s health authorities and Health Match BC.