Chapter 3:
Fulfilling Your Registration Requirements

3-minute read

You cannot legally practice medicine and start billing without being properly certified and registered with certain organizations. Download the full version of our New Physician Guide for instructions on how to complete the necessary steps to check your registration requirements:

  1. Registering for your Independent Practice Licence
  2. Joining the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CPMA)
  3. Applying for a Billing Number
  4. Obtaining Hospital Privileges
  5. Registering With Workers’ Compensation
  6. Joining Your Province’s Medical Association

3.1 Register for your Independent Practice Licence

Applying for your medical licence is done through the College of Physicians and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of your province.

Generally, it’s best to apply at least 3 months before you start working to make sure you receive your licence in time. 

This indispensable chapter in our New Physcian Guide will walk you through the process for most provinces and let you know which documents you will likely need to prepare to complete your application.

3.2 Join the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CPMA)

Once you get your practice licence and have a job and work address, you must update your CMPA coverage to reflect your new status. If you are transitioning from postgraduate training to practice, you can defer payment of CMPA membership fees for up to 6 months.

3.3 Apply for a Billing Number

Typically, your billing number and practitioner number are two different things. Your billing number is required for fee-for-service billing and your practitioner number identifies you as a doctor. You need to have both numbers in order to submit claims.

Get the links for your province by downloading the full version of our New Physician Guide.

Getting your billing number takes anywhere from 7 business days to up to 6 weeks (depending on where you live).

3.4 Obtain Hospital Privileges

Find out how to apply for hospital privileges and which documents and credentials you’ll need, including your medical licence, immunization records, Certificate of Good Standing and more.

If you’re going to be working in a hospital either full-time or occasionally, you need to apply for privileges in accordance with the bylaws of the individual hospital. Having privileges also means you have legal rights to use the hospital’s resources and its facility.

3.5 Register With Workers’ Compensation

In some provinces, you need to register with the provincial Workers’ Compensation Board in order to submit claims for patients who have been hurt at work. 

Depending on your province, you may need to bill the provincial Ministry of Health for services performed and bill your WCB for any forms and reports completed in addition. Learn more in the full guide.

3.6 Join Your Province’s Medical Association

Although joining your province’s medical association is optional in most provinces (mandatory in Ontario), you might benefit from what it offers. Your provincial medical association can help with compensation programs, reimbursement for a portion of your CMPA dues, CME and retention benefits and offer financial services such as insurance and investing.

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Chapter 4: Choosing a Billing Solution