Canadian Physician Resources ─ 2019 basic facts
- Number of active physicians (excluding residents) as of January, 2019 = 86,0921.
- There are 2.41 physicians per 1,000 population2.
1CMA Masterfile, January 2019, Canadian Medical Association
2Supply, Distribution and Migration of Canadian Physicians, 2018, Canadian Institute for Health Information
- 52% are family physicians; 48% are specialists of other disciplines.
- 39% (33,913) are aged 55 or older.
- 43% are female; 57% are male. Two thirds (64%) of family physicians under age 35 are female.
- 75% graduated from a Canadian medical school, 22% graduated from a foreign medical school, 3% not stated.
Source: CMA Masterfile, January 2019, Canadian Medical Association
- About than 8%3 of physicians practise in rural areas whereas about 19%4 of Canadians live in rural areas. The figure for family physicians is 14% compared to 2% of specialists3.
- There is a higher concentration of foreign medical graduates in Saskatchewan (52% of all physicians) and Newfoundland (37%) than in provinces such as Quebec where only 10% graduated outside Canada5.
- 74% of Canadian graduates practise in the province where they graduated. Graduate retention figures range from 38% in Nova Scotia to 86% in Quebec5.
3CMA Postal Code file, January 2017, Canadian Medical Association
42016 Census of Population, Statistics Canada
5CMA Masterfile, January 2019, Canadian Medical Association
Physicians in training
- First year enrolment in undergraduate medical schools in 2017/18 was 2,916. This is an 85% increase since 1997/986.
- 56% of first year medical students in 2017/18 were female; 44% were male.
- Total enrolment in 2017/18 was 11,737; number of graduates in 2018 was estimated at 2,8606.
- Number of residents in postgraduate programs in 2018/19 was 16,508. Of these, 12,906 were Ministry-funded positions (3,439 at PGY-1); 1,732 were International Medical Graduates (IMGs) and 11,174 were Graduates of Canadian Medical Schools (GCMSs)7.
- The practice entry cohort in 2018 was 3,543. This excludes visa trainees and re-entry trainees7.
6Canadian Medical Education Statistics 2018, Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada
72018-2019 CAPER Annual Census of Post-MD Trainees, Canadian Post-M.D. Education Registry
- In 2019 there were 2,760 GCMS matched to residency positions.
- 79.2% of GCMS participating in the match got one of their top three choices in the first iteration.
- 33.2% of Canadian grads made family medicine their first choice.
- There were 1,725 IMGs (excluding IMGs from the USA) participating in the match (mostly in a parallel process). By the end of second round, 391 had Ministry funded residency positions.
Source: CaRMS Match Results 2019, Canadian Resident Matching Service
- 181 physicians moved abroad in 2018. In the same year, 143 returned from abroad for a net loss of 38.
- 1,856 physicians moved to another province/territory in 2018 (excl. residents). Net gains occurred in ON (200), BC (189), NS (13), NL (6), NU (6), NT (3) and YT(1).
Source: Supply, Distribution and Migration of Canadian Physicians, 2018, Canadian Institute for Health Information
- Canada has 2.7 physicians per 1,000 population (including residents) compared to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average of 3.5 (2017 or nearest year).
- Canada’s phys/pop ratio ranks 29 out of 36 nations ahead of the US, Chile, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Korea, and Turkey.
Source: Health Statistics 2017, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development