How to Become a Surgeon in Canada

Surgeons are critical in the healthcare industry. They are medical doctors specializing in conducting surgical operations to diagnose, manage, and treat various medical diseases and conditions. They also play a vital role with their skills when there are emergencies and planned surgical procedures, ranging from benign interventions to serious and life-saving situations.

However, surgeons do not only work in the operating room. They also work with other health professionals to produce treatment plans and provide care and support for patients before and after a surgical procedure until they recover. They also contribute to medical research, innovation, and development, improving the healthcare system. That’s why in this article, we’ll focus on how to become a Surgeon in Canada.

Let’s get to it!

Surgery in Canada

In recent years, the demand for skilled surgeons in Canada has steadily increased. With population growth and an increase in older people, surgical interventions are greatly needed to meet the many diseases and medical conditions that have increased significantly. The advancement in medical technology and services has opened many windows and doors, expanding the scope of surgical procedures. This has dramatically increased the demand for skilled surgeons in Canada and internationally.

Certain areas in Canada have a significant shortage of surgeons, accentuating the need for health professionals in the industry. The areas faced with these shortages are primarily rural. This presents an excellent opportunity for anyone passionate about practicing outside major urban areas.

Becoming a surgeon is a very prestigious achievement in many ways. Having the ability to save lives can be very rewarding.

However, do not be deceived, as the path to becoming a surgeon in Canada is an arduous and extensive educational journey spanning over a decade. Below are guides to the academic criteria for becoming a surgeon in Canada.

1.  Highschool

The journey starts in high school. Students with a passion for healthcare are usually in science classes. They focus on science courses, including chemistry, physics, and biology.

Students have to have excellent math and English grades, as these are the basis for academic success in the future. You should note that engaging in extracurricular activities, especially those related to the medical field and volunteering, would be good.

2.  Undergraduate Degree

After graduating high school, students who still wish to become surgeons must have an undergraduate degree. However, there are no particular requirements for the type of degree. Most medical schools require a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) degree or equivalent.

You should know that maintaining high academic performance and participation in extracurricular activities, including research and volunteer work, is an excellent track record for students who want to be surgeons.

3.  Taking the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT):

The next phase of becoming a surgeon involves taking the Medical College Admission Test. The test is a standardized examination. It assesses the candidates’ science knowledge, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking. Note that high scorers in the examination have higher chances of acceptance.

Of course, you should know that CanadaQBank has access to thousands of questions and answers that can help you pass your medical exams.

4.  Medical School Admission:

After getting a Bachelor of Science degree (B.Sc) or any related field and passing the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) with high scores, students can apply to medical schools in Canada. Students are evaluated on their Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores, outstanding letters of recommendation, personal interviews, and extracurricular activities.

5.  Medical School Timetable

It typically takes four years to go through medical school, from the pre-clinical to the clinical rotations to finally becoming a full-fledged graduate.

Pre-clinical years consist of learning the fundamentals of medical sciences to gain solid theoretical knowledge such as biochemistry, physiology, and anatomy. Clinical rotations involve hands-on experience. It is immersive and exposes future surgeons to various medical specialties, including surgery. Remember to make use of QBanks such as CanadaQBank to help you pass your exams with ease.

6.  Surgical Residency

After completing medical school, aspiring surgeons begin a surgical residency program. This lasts for several years, depending on the surgical specialty. Specialties such as family and internal medicine usually last for about three years, while neurological surgical residencies last for about 6 to 7 years.

No matter the residency you do, during this stage, surgeons receive comprehensive training and work closely with experienced surgeons to get practical surgical experience during residency.

7.  Getting Licensed and Certified

After completion of surgical residency, the next phase is to get a medical license to practice as a surgeon in Canada.

You can get certified through the Royal College Of Physicians and Surgeons Of Canada (RCPSC). Surgeons seeking certifications have to pass specialty-specific exams.

8. Fellowship (optional)

This part is optional but also another building block to enhancing surgical skills. By completing a fellowship program, surgeons further specialize in a particular field area.

Aspiring surgeons must demonstrate dedication, a passion for Medicine, perseverance, and hard work throughout their educational journey to becoming surgeons. Becoming a surgeon requires a lot of hard work, a genuine desire to impact patients’ lives positively, and a commitment to learning and improving surgical skills.

Path to Becoming a Surgeon in Canada

Canada has seventeen accredited medical schools. But even with this many medical schools, getting admission to the school can be a very stressful process. These schools have very tough and high criteria for admissions. They are approximately admitting more than 10,000 students and graduating more than 2,000 yearly.

The criteria demand exceptional academic achievement, a passion for Medicine, and perfect extracurricular activities experience. The spots are minimal, creating competition amongst the candidates. Only the best of the best gets this holy grail slot.

International medical students can also become surgeons in Canada. Several schools outside of Canada provide the necessary training and foundation needed to work as a surgeon in Canada, like the American University of Antigua College of Medicine (AUAMED).

MBBS stands for Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. Having an MBBS degree from a university in Canada is a significant achievement. Below are ten prestigious universities in Canada with huge reputations.

  1. McGill University
  2. Laval University
  3. University Of Montreal
  4. Dalhousie University
  5. Memorial University
  6. McMaster University
  7. University Of Ottawa
  8. University Of Sherbrooke
  9. University Of Toronto
  10. Queen’s University at Kingston

These universities believe in experience and provide their medical graduates with internships and placements after graduation.


Becoming a surgeon in Canada is a stressful but satisfying journey. It requires diligence, hard work, and a passion for Medicine and serving others. Aspiring surgeons will need perseverance.

Moreover, Canada has very significant universities that will train and even aid graduates with getting placements. To make your journey easier, always fall back to QBanks such as CanadaQBank to make your journey easier.