How to Become a Doctor in Alberta

How to Become a Doctor in Alberta:5 Best Steps

Are you aspiring to become a part of the future of care by becoming a Doctor in Alberta? Let’s help you chase that dream career today to become a Doctor in Alberta.

On How to Become a Doctor in Alberta, we will discuss : 

  • How Long It Takes To Become A Doctor in Alberta
  • Requirements and Licensing processes specific to Alberta 
  • Medical Schools in Alberta
  • Explore valuable skills in this profession

Becoming a doctor in Alberta, Canada, is a rigorous and rewarding journey that requires dedication, hard work, and a passion for healthcare. 

Alberta has a robust healthcare system with excellent educational institutions and opportunities for aspiring medical professionals.

Medical schools in Alberta offer a variety of divisions, programs, or research projects to support health sciences learning and discoveries.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in medicine in Alberta, it’s essential to understand the steps involved and the skills required to embark on this noble profession. 

You may be curious about the duration of your journey through medical school, and every other requirement.

The length of time required to become a doctor in Alberta generally relies on the specialization you choose and the duration of your residency program following the completion of medical school. 

Before embarking on this career path, it is crucial to understand all these and more so that you can navigate the field of medicine successfully in Alberta. Read on to find out more.

What are the Admission Requirements to Study Medicine in Alberta?

Admission requirements for medical schools in Alberta vary according to school and choice of program. Some of these requirements include: 

  • You must be a Canadian citizen or a Permanent Resident of Canada
  • Complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Major Sciences
  • To be eligible to apply, a minimum GPA of 3.30 is required for Alberta residents and 3.50 for Non-Alberta residents
  • Applicants are required to write the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

How long does it take to become a doctor in Alberta?

Becoming a doctor in Alberta entails completing multiple higher education programs in the province you select, typically spanning a minimum of seven years, although the duration may vary depending on your chosen specialization.

Below are the Requirements, Licenses, and Duration it Takes To Become A Doctor in Alberta 

How to Become a Doctor in Alberta: The Steps

Becoming a doctor in Alberta, Canada involves several steps and a significant amount of education and training. Here is a detailed overview of the process:

Complete a Bachelor’s Degree:

Before applying to medical school, you must obtain a bachelor’s degree with a major in sciences. Some medical schools may have a list of prerequisite courses that you must undergo such as biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics.

Take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT):

The MCAT is a standardized exam that assesses your knowledge of the natural, social, and behavioral sciences. It is a requirement for most medical schools in Canada, including those in Alberta. Prepare for the MCAT by studying the recommended topics and taking practice exams.

Medical School:

  • Apply to medical school: In Alberta, there are two medical schools: the University of Alberta in Edmonton and the University of Calgary in Calgary. 

Submit your application through the Ontario Medical School Application Service (OMSAS)) or the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) Online Application Services. Ensure you meet the application deadlines and provide all necessary documents, including your academic transcripts, MCAT scores, and letters of recommendation.

  • Complete a medical degree (MD): The medical school program in Alberta typically lasts four years. It combines classroom learning with clinical rotations in various medical specialties. The first two years focus on foundational science courses, while the final two years involve clinical rotations in hospitals and other healthcare settings.

Medical Licensure:

Complete the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE): After completing a 4-year training at a medical school you must get an MCCQE qualification. 

The MCCQE was formerly a two-part examination, aimed at assessing the knowledge and clinical skills of patients. 

Part I was usually taken after the second year of medical school, while Part II was completed after graduation. Part II was removed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Now students can be accessed based on the part 1 test. 

For you to obtain a license after taking the exam, you must meet the Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada requirements.

  • Complete the Alberta Licensing Process: In Alberta, all physicians and medical students must be registered with CPSA.   

After graduating from medical school, you must apply for licensure with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA), and also obtain a successful health evaluation by a provincial health authority.

This process includes submitting various documents, such as proof of education, references, and criminal record checks. You may also need to complete an interview and undergo a practice readiness assessment.

  • Residency Training: After passing your exams and obtaining a doctor’s license, you must complete a residency program. This is aimed at specializing in a specific area of medicine.

Residencies typically last two to seven years, depending on the chosen specialty. 

During this time, you will receive hands-on training under the supervision of experienced physicians. To apply for residency, you must go through the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS).

Certification and Continuing Education:

Obtain Certification: After completing your residency, you can pursue certification from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada or the College of Family Physicians of Canada, depending on your chosen specialty.

Continuing Medical Education (CME): As a licensed physician, you are required to participate in ongoing CME activities to maintain your medical knowledge and skills. The CPSA has specific requirements for CME credits that must be fulfilled periodically.

The List of Medical Schools in Alberta

Medical schools offer degrees that are accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools, and students receive certification from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada or the College of Family Physicians of Canada

The following are medical schools where you can study to become a doctor in Alberta

University Of Alberta

The University of Alberta offers innovative curricula in Medicine And Dentistry and programs prepare learners to become the healthcare leaders of tomorrow

They strive at graduating qualified, compassionate, and inquisitive health practitioners and researchers committed to serving patients and populations.

The Department of Medicine is organized into 14 divisions encompassing all aspects of internal medicine and its subspecialties. 

These include Cardiology, Dermatology, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Gastroenterology, General Internal Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, Hematology, Infectious Disease, Nephrology, Neurology, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Preventive Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine, and Rheumatology. 

University of Alberta – Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry is dedicated to providing learner-centered educational programs aimed at improving healthcare needs.  

Programs and Degree

  • MD Programs (4-year program – Degree of Doctor of Medicine (MD) )
  • Postgraduate Medical Education ( 61 fully accredited residency training programs, PGME medical residents can obtain certification from the CFPC and RCPSC.
  • Arts & Humanities in Health & Medicine 

University of Calgary – Cumming School of Medicine 

University of Calgary – Cumming School of Medicine offers medical programs for students through innovative discovery and research committed to creating the future of health. 

This school is committed to excellence and leadership in education research and service to society. Students are engaged in testing new medical treatments that improve patient care at home and around the world.

They provided a rich interdisciplinary environment of learning, practice, research, and public service for students. 

Programs Offered: 

  • Bachelor of Health Sciences 
  • Bachelor of Community Rehabilitation 
  • Undergraduate Medical Education 
  • Graduate Science Education 
  • Postgraduate Medical Education 
  • Continuing Medical Education & Professional Development

What Skills are Essential to Becoming a Doctor in Alberta

Doctors take care of patients who trust them to improve their health. 

To become a successful doctor in Alberta, Canada, there are several essential skills you need to possess. Here is a brief list of some of these skills:

  1. Medical Knowledge: You must have a strong foundation in medical knowledge, including an understanding of anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and various medical conditions.
  1. Critical Thinking: Doctors need excellent critical thinking skills to analyze complex medical situations, make accurate diagnoses, and develop effective treatment plans.
  1. Problem-Solving: As a doctor, you’ll encounter various medical challenges and patients with unique needs. The ability to identify problems, gather information, and develop solutions is crucial.
  1. Communication: Effective communication skills are vital for interacting with patients, their families, and other healthcare professionals. Doctors must be able to explain medical concepts, listen attentively, and provide empathetic support.
  1. Decision-making: Being able to make informed and timely decisions is important in the medical field. Doctors must weigh risks and benefits, consider ethical implications, and make decisions that prioritize patient well-being.
  1. Empathy and Compassion: Patient care involves more than just medical expertise. Showing empathy, and compassion, and treating patients with dignity and respect are essential for building trust and establishing a positive doctor-patient relationship.
  1. Collaboration: Medicine is a team-based field, and doctors often work alongside nurses, specialists, and other healthcare professionals. Collaborative skills are essential for effective teamwork, interdisciplinary care, and coordinated treatment plans.
  1. Adaptability: Medicine is constantly evolving, and doctors must be adaptable to new technologies, research findings, and treatment approaches. Flexibility in handling changing situations is crucial.
  1. Professionalism: Doctors are held to high ethical and professional standards. Demonstrating integrity, accountability, and maintaining patient confidentiality is integral to being a doctor.
  1. Time Management: The ability to manage time efficiently is important in the fast-paced medical environment. Doctors must prioritize tasks, meet deadlines, and ensure optimal patient care.


The path to becoming a doctor in Alberta is demanding, but the rewards are immense. It is also rigorous and highly competitive. It requires dedication, commitment, and a genuine passion for the field of medicine.

By following the necessary educational and licensing requirements, acquiring essential skills, and demonstrating a genuine commitment to patient care, you can navigate your way toward a successful career in medicine.

Alberta offers a supportive healthcare system and exceptional educational resources to help you achieve your goal of becoming a doctor and making a positive impact on the health and well-being of individuals and communities. 

With perseverance, dedication, and a lifelong commitment to learning, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a doctor in Alberta. See the 6 Best Medical Schools in Barbados.

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