Fellowships outside Quebec
The MSSS does not fund fellowships outside Quebec. Candidates for that type of fellowship must obtain funding through their own devices (establishment where they will be training, hospital department where they intend to return to practise, foundations, etc.). Nevertheless, to ensure that you have a position on your return, you must obtain a compliance notice prior to your departure confirming your integration in an establishment in Quebec.
Note also that the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) does not cover medical acts performed outside Canada. You need to look at this issue in detail with the host establishment.
Below is an incomplete list of funding sources for fellowships performed outside Quebec:
- Training or research grants or awards
- Grants from the department you will return to after your fellowship
- Bank loans
-Specialist physician associations in Quebec and Canada as a whole
-Canadian Medical Association
-Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC)
-Medical product and equipment companies
-Specialist physician association foundations
-Private medical foundations (especially in connection with research)
-Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ)
-Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Fellowship elsewhere in Canada
Those planning to pursue further training in another province enjoy certain benefits. In some cases, their fellowship will be recognized by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Also, most such training is paid, either through non-taxable bursaries from the establishment or from funds awarded by the fellowship director. It is also much easier to obtain a permit to practise, owing to the recognition of the specialist certification. And it is possible to practise in other establishments with a regular permit in the basic specialty, and that provides an additional source of funding. Health insurance coverage is much simpler to confirm, and the school system is easily accessible for the children.
Fellowships in the United States
To perform a fellowship in the United States, you must find out from the medical board (college of physicians) of the state concerned what the requirements are for doctors from outside the United States. If you have to perform medical acts, you will also have to make sure you have the permit appropriate to this practice, and to obtain the malpractice insurance coverage that will enable you to practise without any concern.
United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)
The basic exam you must pass to obtain a permit to practise medicine in the United States, the USMLE can be required of doctors performing further training in the U.S., but this is not an automatic requirement in all states. For further information on the requirements concerning the exam, consult the USMLE site at www.usmle.org.
To find out the requirements associated with practising in the U.S. state where you will be performing your fellowship, get in touch with the state medical board concerned, or get hold of a copy of the book published by the AMA, State Medical Licensure Requirements and Statistics at www.ama-assn.org/ama, under AMA Store.
Fellowships in France
The procedure for performing a fellowship in France involves steps specific to that country. Indeed, since the adoption of the Mutual Recognition Arrangement whereby physicians trained in France can come to Quebec and those trained in Quebec can obtain a permit to practise in France, the terms and conditions for obtaining a permit for Quebec physicians performing a fellowship in France have changed. An exemption clause specific to Quebec “students” has been adopted, enabling candidates to obtain a permit that allows them to perform diagnostic and therapeutic medical acts and obtain malpractice insurance. The duration of this fellowship is one year. Interested doctors must forward their file to the Training and Medical Competency section of the National Council of France’s Order of Physicians (Conseil national de l’Ordre des médecins de France, section Formation et Compétence médicale). When submitting the file, it is important to mention the exemption clause and attach the acceptance letters from the host and home universities. For further information, consult the site of the Conseil national de l’Ordre des médecins de France, under Training and Medical Competency (Formation et Compétence médicale) at www.conseil-national.medecin.fr/l-exercice-en-france-1232.
Fellowships in other countries
As with the United States, we suggest you initiate matters quite far in advance if you want to perform a fellowship abroad. Each site has different rules. Ideally, we suggest you visit, to meet with the fellowship director and the team with whom you will have to work in the context of your further training.
Health insurance coverage
Find out from the Quebec health insurance board (RAMQ) whether you will be covered during your stay abroad. Although RAMQ‘s coverage is inadequate, it is still necessary. To cover any additional costs, you can take out health insurance coverage on-site, through the department or establishment where you will be pursuing your fellowship. They can usually include you in the insurance programs in effect for medical residents or staff physicians on-site, as applicable.
You must obtain a visa in order to be able to study/practise temporarily outside Canada. This process is normally included when the PREM application is made. Otherwise, for further information, consult the consulate, embassy or high commission of the country where you wish to perform your fellowship. The host establishment outside Quebec can sometimes assist you in this process.
If your spouse is to accompany you on your fellowship, make sure he or she has a visa allowing him or her to stay there with you beyond the period allowed for a tourist. You will also have to find out about the rules concerning the possibility of you or your spouse working during this visit. Some countries, such as the U.S., are very strict about this, and a job that does not comply with the rules could lead to your expulsion from the program—and the country.
Home and auto insurance
You will also have to insure your property in the host country. Check with your insurance company whether there are comparable firms in the host country, or get in touch with SOGEMEC Assurances, who offer special services in such cases. They can be reached at 514‑350-7070 or 1‑800‑361-5303.
You will also have to obtain a driver’s licence from the jurisdiction where you are pursuing your further training. Some countries might require you to take the driving test again.For internatiomal driver's licence consult the CAA.
You will need a bank account in Quebec to perform transactions toward your host country, especially if your remuneration comes from Quebec and is paid directly into your account. You are also advised to identify someone to whom you will give power of attorney to manage some of your affairs in Quebec.