In order to prepare for your fellowship, you will need to register with the following:
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO)
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) will send out an information pack with all the application material for the certificate of registration which lists all the requirements and documentation required for a successful application. You must strictly comply with all of their requirements.
To register with the CPSO:
- you must have received the letter confirming your offer of employment before applying, as a copy of this is required.
- your medical school must certify your graduation certificate and send an original medical school transcript sealed and sent directly to the CPSO.
- your relevant local medical board in your state/country of origin is required to certify your registration. Depending on your country of origin, these documents may require formal translation.
- submit the $156 application, and $260 membership fees by credit card, money order, or certified cheque.
Do not send certifying documents directly to the CPSO as they will not be accepted.
Before you commence your Fellowship, you will be required to complete a Pre-entry Assessment Program (PEAP) at the University of Toronto.
- The CPSO will issue a certificate of registration authorizing enrolment in PEAP.
- After successful completion of the PEAP period (typically 4 weeks), you will obtain the approval of your Research Supervisor and Fellowship Program Director.
- Once approved, the CPSO will issue a Clinical Fellowship certificate to cover the remainder of your term.
- You will then need to renew the PGME registration and renew your computer access by taking a copy of your new registration confirmation to the Toronto General Hospital Post Graduate office (for PMH Fellows).
Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA)
You can apply for registration with the CMPA by:
- downloading the application form online and entering work code 13.
- submitting payment by cheque in Canadian funds for the full annual amount or by direct debit on a monthly basis. To set up direct debit, you will need to submit a void cheque from the Canadian account to be debited.
- sending all forms to the CMPA using as much information as possible – outstanding details including CPSO number and contact information, as well as payment can be completed once in Canada.
Membership of the CMPA is expensive and the fees are published on their website (currently almost $2,500 CAD for 2010).
Postgraduate Medical Education Office (PGME) & University of Toronto
Before registering, you’ll need your CMPA and CPSO registration numbers. You can obtain these numbers online by using a PIN number and password, instructions for which will be sent to you together with the letter of acceptance from PGME.
To register with U of T’s Postgraduate Medical Education Office:
- sign and return the letter of acceptance (Letter of Appointment) within 30 days of issue to the PGME Office.
- complete and return an immunization record completed by a clinic or health centre.
- submit payment of $325 by credit, cash or cheque.
- print a copy of your Confirmation of Registration to the Postgraduate Office at the Toronto General Hospital (if working at PMH) to receive your ID card and computer access login. You will also need this form to obtain your U of T library card (T-card).
Filing a reimbursement claim
The fees for registration with CPSO, CMPA and University of Toronto need to be paid by the fellow. Retain the receipts as this is claimable for tax purposes. The Ministry of Health through their Malpractice Reimbursement Program will reimburse approximately 85% of the CMPA membership.
for an application form for the reimbursement.
Setting up your finances
All fellows accepted into the Program will be sent information regarding banking services in Toronto. There is a doctor’s program administered by the TD Canada Trust Bank, although please note this specific information is not available on their website.
The local TD Canada Trust branch has established a process for handling applications for bank accounts and credit cards for foreign medical graduates taking up positions with the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. Obtaining credit in Canada as a foreign worker can otherwise be difficult due to lack of credit history.
The doctor’s program is dealt with at the University/Dundas branch:
465 University Avenue, 7th Floor
Tel. (416) 982-8710 x23
Contact: Regina Tavares
We suggest that you set up both a chequing account as well as a VISA account. The Gold Travel Visa card typically entitles you to a $5000 credit limit.
Social Insurance Number (SIN)
You will need to obtain a SIN in order to be salaried.
To apply for a SIN, you will need to:
- download the application form online
- take the application, your work permit, and confirmation of registration with the University of Toronto to a Service Canada office
If you obtain a letter from the Fellowship Program Director via the Program Administrator, the process can be expedited to approximately 48 hours from several weeks.
You may elect not to lodge a tax return here in Canada during your Fellowship period, but rather lodge it instead in your home country provided that there is an existing reciprocal agreement between your home country and Canada (true for most countries including the UK, Australia and New Zealand). Check details for the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA).
You will be paid in gross income from the hospital so you will have to be prepared to potentially pay tax at the end of the Canadian fiscal year (Jan 1st-Dec31st) in a lump sum. The deadline for lodgement is April 30th, and is submitted in hard copy format for the first year but can subsequently completed online for any subsequent Fellowship year(s). Setting up a Canadian ING account can be a helpful mechanism for putting these funds aside and earning better interest rates compared to a TD chequing account.
Arranging health care coverage
Ontario Health Insurance & University Health Insurance Plans (OHIP & UHIP)
Upon your arrival in Canada, you will need to apply for health insurance through OHIP and UHIP. OHIP is activated three months post-arrival in Canada and you will, therefore, need UHIP to insure your first three months.
In order to apply for OHIP, you will need:
- your work permit
- confirmation of registration with the University of Toronto
- proof of address (tenancy agreement or utility bill)
- to provide the above documents in person to your nearest Service Ontario office.
To apply for UHIP:
- visit the PGME office and pay the approximately $150 fee by VISA only.
Family and dependents accompanying you to Canada are not eligible for OHIP and will need to purchase private health cover for the duration of their stay. They will be able to purchase UHIP to provide for their private health cover. It is advised that before you leave home, you purchase health insurance to cover for your trip to Canada as well as your first initial 1-2 weeks after arrival.
Extended health coverage will be provided by the university for those registered for graduate studies (ie completing a Masters/PhD and 2-yr research fellowship). Other individuals must arrange their own extended health coverage if they would like medications, physiotherapy, massage and other services covered.
Occupational Health & Safety
Registration with your hospital’s OH&S department is required. You will receive the necessary forms in an orientation package on your first day.
Finding a place to stay
Most fellows stay in condos located downtown near the University and several hospitals, however, there are other housing types located nearby. If you want to live farther from the core, it’s best to live near a subway station.
Rental accommodation can be found through:
- Toronto Star Classifieds
- Sabbatical Homes
- 89 Chestnut Residence
- U of T Student Housing Service
Fellows who are completing their fellowship and leaving PMH are also good contacts, as they are often leaving furnished apartments.
It is a good idea to start looking even before leaving for Toronto to have some sense of preferred locations and prices. Landlords or rental agencies will require two months rental to cover the first and last month of the term +/- an additional deposit at the time of signing the contract. You will thus need to have sufficient funds in Canadian dollars. They will then take post-dated cheques for each intervening month. Occasionally some landlords may accept rental payments by credit card.
Unfurnished vs. furnished housing
Unfurnished accommodation is much more readily available than furnished accommodation, with the latter option being both more limited and expensive. By contacting existing fellows, it is often possible to arrange to take over their rental accommodation. Rental agencies often have offices within condominium blocks or check their notice boards as vacating tenants are always trying to sell off furniture.
You preferably want to stay (see map) west of Yonge, east of Bathurst and close to a subway. South of Dundas becomes more commercial with fewer apartment and condominium blocks. The exception to this is the waterfront on the lake, south of Lake Shore Boulevard.
The downtown area of the city is compact and can be easily traveled on foot.
Public Transit (TTC)
The main subway line within the downtown area runs in a north-south direction along two limbs of a ‘U’ along University Avenue and Yonge Street.
Streetcars (trams) run in an east-west direction along most major roads.
- single ticket: $3.00
- multiple tickets/tokens – five for $12.55 or ten for $25
- monthly metro passes: $121 or $107 through the U of T Student Union
A shuttle bus service is available between Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital during office hours although the walk takes 15-20 minutes. Shuttle service is also available between Sunnybrook’s Bayview Campus and Women’s College Hospital. For a shuttle pass, contact the Fellowship Program Administrator.
Cars can be rented relatively cheaply and most fellows choose to rent rather than buy. Parking in the downtown area usually requires renting a parking space in condominium car parks, currently costing around $150 per month. Insurance is expensive and can run into several thousand dollars so check insurance costs before buying. There are many rental car companies within the downtown area. The basic car rental cost usually includes third party insurance cover but does not include loss or collision damage insurance, which starts from around $20 a day. Check the facilities on your credit card as they often include this cover when the rental is charged to the card.
Taxis from Toronto Pearson airport are metered by zones and typical fares range from $45-50 to commute to the downtown area. Shuttle bus services are also available at around $20 one way, but it may take you over one hour to commute from the airport to downtown.