Visiting physician

Visiting physician

The College grants short-term registration for up to six months to physicians from other jurisdictions, which allows them to provide limited medical care in a specific circumstance.

Scope and conditions

A physician from another jurisdiction may apply for a visiting physician licence for a variety of reasons:

  • familiarize themselves with aspects of the Canadian medical system
  • demonstrate or teach a procedure in which they have expertise
  • acquire expertise in a particular procedure

In all cases, a formal letter of request to the College from a supervising physician is required.

While a registrant with a visiting physician licence is allowed to provide limited medical care in a specific circumstance, they are subject to the following:

  • they cannot practice independently or bill
  • they are subject to supervision at all times
  • immediately prior to applying for registration, specialist physicians must hold certification from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) for the scope of their intended clinical activity in BC, or from the relevant certifying body in their jurisdiction of practice
  • family physicians applying for this licence must have certification from the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) or satisfactory postgraduate training in family medicine consistent with the applicant’s defined responsibilities and acceptable to the College

Requirements

To be eligible for registration and licensure in the visitor class, applicants must:

  • have a medical degree, from a medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools which includes a Canadian sponsor note
  • have certification acceptable to the Registration Committee
    • family physicians must hold certification from the CFPC or satisfactory postgraduate training in family medicine consistent with the applicant’s defined responsibilities, unless exempted by the Registration Committee
    • specialists must hold certification from the RCPSC or recognition as a medical or surgical specialist in their jurisdiction of practice immediately prior to applying for registration, unless exempted by the Registration Committee
  • be legally able to visit or reside in British Columbia for the purpose of their educational experience
  • submit a request to grant the registration from a College registrant in one of the full classes of registration or an organization acceptable to the registrar
  • specify the dates and locations where they will be carrying out their educational experience, and
  • provide the name of a College registrant, acceptable to the Registration Committee, who where appropriate, will be responsible for supervising the applicant

How to apply

The College must receive a written letter of request from a supervising physician along with a copy of the visiting physician’s CV. These documents must arrive together, either by mail or by email to registration@cpsbc.ca.

The written request must come from a College registrant in the full class who is in good standing.

In the request, the College registrant must:

  • agree to supervise and be responsible for all clinical contact the visiting physician may have with patients
  • agree to ensure the visiting physician’s compliance with the College’s professional standards and guidelines
  • detail the duration, parameters, responsibilities, benefits and goals
  • explain the nature and extent of the intended supervision

Once the written request and the visiting physician’s CV have been reviewed by the College, an application package will be emailed to the visiting physician.

The application documents should be completed by the visiting physician and sent back to the College.

The application documents will be reviewed to ensure that no additional follow-up is required.

If no additional follow-up is required, the applicant file will be submitted for a final review and approval. The review process can take up to one week.

Once the application is reviewed and approved, a licence will be issued within three business days.

Upon arrival, the supervising physician must review the visiting physician’s passport to verify identification. The supervising physician must then forward a signed photocopy of the visiting physician’s passport along with a signed confirmation of identity form within the first two days of licensure.

Maintaining the licence

Registration and licensure are granted for the duration of the visiting physician’s visit, as indicated in the initial supervising physician’s request letter.

The visiting physician’s licence will automatically lapse once the indicated duration has passed.

For more information about the requirements for registration and licensure, refer to:

Learn more about the policies that the Registration Committee uses to consider applications