The Practice Readiness Assessment (PRA) is an assessment program for international medical graduates and physicians who have completed their residencies in medical schools outside Canada. This program is to equip physicians with quality patient care and clinical skills. Candidates are to work under supervision and are assessed over a period of 12 weeks with the aim of obtaining an independent, unsupervised license to practice as a doctor in Canada.
Currently, the program has two parts: the first is a direct observation of the medical practice under the guidance of a CSPA-approved assessor, and the second is a three-month supervised practice assessment where the candidate works independently in the rural community while providing services to indigenes.
However, some jurisdictions do not need to apply via the PRA-BC. These jurisdictions include:
- United States of America: must be a member of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and be graduates of family medicine residency training programs who are Diplomates of the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM).
- Ireland: must be a graduate of general practice vocational training courses who holds membership in the Irish College of General Practitioners (MICGP) and has been validated by the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP).
- Australia: Must be a graduate of Australian general practice vocational training programs who meet the standards of the Australian Medical Council (AMC), are members of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, and have been accredited by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP)
- United Kingdom: must be a graduate of general practice vocational training programs who meet the standards of the General Medical Council (GMC), have been accredited by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), and are also members of the Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP).
- Canada: Graduates of general practice vocational training programs who meet the standards of the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
What are the prescreening- requirements for eligibility?
These criteria are created by the PRA-BC and the College of surgeons and physicians of British Columbia. Some of these requirements include the following:
- Two years of postgraduate course in an international jurisdiction and registration as a general physician in that jurisdiction
- Successful completion of medical school education issued by a school recognized by the World Directory of Medical Schools
- Demonstration of 7 rotations, including:
- Four weeks of postgraduate training in each: general surgery, internal/general medicine, psychiatry, & emergency medicine and pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology.
- A minimum of 8 weeks in a postgraduate course in family medicine.
- Evidence of having completed two years in discipline-specific time as a general physician or family physician
- Academic credentials of a medical degree, medical license, passport, and postgraduate training letters.
- Curriculum vitae showing all activities, professional or otherwise.
- English proficiency
- Successful pass score on MCCQE1 and MCCQE2
- A minimum of 75% pass score in NAC-OSCE
How do I apply?
If you are registered with Health Match BC, you can log into the Health Match BC account, update your CV and send a message about your interest. Your application will be reviewed, and if you meet the requirements for the program, the PRA-BC will be made available to you in the “Account” section.
If, on the other hand, you are not registered with the Health Match BC and are interested in the PRA-BC, you can go on the website and register. Click on Family Practitioner/ General Practitioner when choosing your specialty, and click on the box which reads, “I would like to be considered for the Practice Ready Assessment-BC.” Not that this box only pops up if you’ve chosen Family Practitioner/ General Practitioner as your specialty. You’ll then need to upload your CV and submit it. Your CV will be reviewed, and you’ll be notified of your eligibility in the following process.
What are the next steps?
Candidates who meet the provisional requirements must apply for sponsorship from Alberta health services (AHS). This is important to ensure that new physicians can go to communities that have the highest needs for physicians. Following that, the process of finding an assessor now begins. This might take some time as they need to find out if the assessors are available, qualified, and not biased.
Generally, the PRA consists of two parts: a Preliminary Clinical Assessment (PCA) and a Supervised Practice Assessment. During the PCA, candidates work under the observation of a CSPA- assessor who assesses them in their patient contact, both direct and indirect, as well as their professionalism. To complete the PCA, candidates must meet the same standards as physicians who are already working independently in Canada.
During the SPA, a CSPA- supervisor observes candidates in supervised practice. They are now recognized physicians, albeit under supervision, and can now bill AHS for their medical services. Upon completion of the SPA, they continue to work in a rural setting and remain on CSPA- provisional register until they complete their follow-up assessment or obtain their Canadian licensure. Then, they move to CSPA’s general register.
Return of service commitment
PRA- BC must also be able to commit to a 3-year return of service in a rural community identified by health authorities. The ROS commitment is a legal undertaking that allows for legal advice and a detailed understanding of the contractual requirements. It is not subject to breach or termination as this carries significant financial consequences. The list of ROS communities and opportunities is under the purview of the BC, and participants may be eligible for certain advantages through these opportunities.
While physician requirements can be challenging, it’s rapidly evolving and, as such, a critical focus in Canada’s healthcare— and to its patients. Through innovation and collaboration, the PRA dynamic strengthens as it meets healthcare needs. The CSPA has continued to work hard to recruit more assessors and candidates on a continuous basis. Candidates can now take their assessments outside Canada, and assessors can now submit their credentials online. This program is more committed to ensuring that Canadians get all the care they need from qualified physicians.