Practitioners who are not eligible for full or provisional licensure in BC may be eligible to apply for restricted licensure as associate physicians under the direction and supervision of attending physicians in acute care settings. Eligible practitioners must be put forward to the College by Health Match BC for potential employment by a health authority in an accredited associate physician program to initiate the application for registration process.

Scope and conditions

Associate physicians are not licensed for independent practice and must not act in the capacity as the most responsible physician. Associate physicians must limit their practice of medicine to the provision of services in connection with fulfilling the terms set out in their sponsorship letter from a health authority.


Health authorities are required to obtain program accreditation from the College, and associate physician registration is cancelled if the health authority does not maintain program accreditation, or if the health authority withdraws employment provided under section 2-24(2) of the Health Professions Act.

To be eligible for registration and licensure in the associate physician class, an applicant must:

  • have a medical degree, from a medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools which includes a Canadian sponsor note
  • submit with the application a sponsorship letter from a health authority, satisfactory to the Registration Committee, that:
    • identifies the applicant’s sponsor
    • describes how the applicant will engage in the practise of medicine
    • notes that the applicant will be working under the direction and supervision of an attending physician
  • have completed a minimum of two years’ accredited training as a medical or surgical specialist prior to applying for registration
  • have successfully completed Part 1 of the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination
  • meet the College’s English language proficiency requirements
  • have Canadian citizenship, be a permanent resident or be legally able to live and work in British Columbia
Clinical currency

Associate physicians must be current for practice at the time of the application to the relevant health authority.

Clinical currency is defined as working at least 24 weeks in the preceding three years to the satisfaction of the College. There is no avenue to regain clinical currency in British Columbia prior to applying for an associate physician employment opportunity with a health authority.

How to apply

Application process

Physicians seeking additional information on associate physician employment opportunities should email Health Match BC at

  • Outline your interest in employment opportunities
  • Include a recent CV

Health Match BC will work with eligible candidates to:

  • apply for open positions as they are made available
  • assist successful applicants with submission of a registration package to the College.

Email Health Match BC

For health authorities

Health authorities seeking additional information on eligible clinical programs and associate physician program accreditation should email the College at

College approval and accreditation are required prior to the commencement of practice for associate physicians. The College will provide approval for eligible clinical programs and work with health authorities to obtain associate physician program accreditation.

Email the College

Registration and licensure

Registration and licensure in the associate physician class is contingent on the following:

  • submission of a complete application for registration package
  • submission of written documentation confirming that the employment position offered to the associate physician applicant is in a health authority associate physician program that has been accredited by the College
  • sponsorship letter from the health authority that confirms employment for the applicant in the accredited associate physician program
  • compliance with the requirements for registration and licensure under the Health Professions Act and related Bylaws
  • the health authority obtains/maintains program accreditation
Learn more about the policies that the Registration Committee uses to consider applications