How to Obtain Your Independent Practice License in Ontario

If you’re new to Ontario, or you’ve just completed your residency, you must apply for your independent practice license before you can start to practise. The license is a 5-digit number that registers you with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO). Having this license is what officially authorizes you to practice unsupervised medicine in Ontario.  

General Requirements

In order to legally practice medicine in Ontario there are certain requirements that every physician must meet:

  • A medical degree from an accredited Canadian or US medical school (or from an acceptable international medical school).

  • Successful completion of Parts 1 and 2 of the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) or an acceptable alternative examination.

  • Certification by examination by either the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) or the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC).

  • Completion of one year of postgraduate training or active medical practice in Canada, or completion of a full clinical clerkship at an accredited Canadian medical school.

  • Canadian Citizenship or permanent resident status.

How to Apply in 3 Easy Steps

1. Physicians Apply  

Create an account with physiciansapply and make sure you add your personal contact information.

2. Request Access

Once you have an account, email to request access to the application. In the email you’ll need to attach a ‘review of qualifications’ form along with your CV.  

Your information will be reviewed by the CPSO staff (generally within 3 business days) in order to determine if you’re eligible to apply. If you are eligible, you’ll receive an email from the College granting you access to the online application (the application will show up in your physiciansapply account). The email will include more details about timelines, fees and supporting documents.

Important Reminder: In order to receive an invitation you need to have a physiciansapply account and you need to have at least 1 document uploaded (so that the CPSO can view your account information and add the application).

3. Apply

Once you receive your acceptance email, go ahead and complete the online application in physiciansapply. Your application will then be sent electronically to the CPSO.


It’s best to apply at least 3 months before you start working in order to make sure you receive your license in time. For example, apply by the end of April if you plan to begin practising on July 1st.

Next Steps:

Register for an OHIP Number

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