Canadian pediatrician moving to USA
July 28, 2016 10:13 AM   Subscribe

I am Canadian in academia and am considering moving to the US in the next year. My partner is a pediatrician (MD, LMCC) who is board-certified in Canada in pediatrics, ie she has her FRCPC designation. If we move to the US, she would like to work, which could be additional fellowship training or working in private practice as a pediatrician. Questions about the legal/certification requirements inside...

Somewhat embarrassingly, I am finding it awfully difficult to find answers to the following questions:

1. If we move to the USA, will she need to write the american board exam (e.g. the American Board of Pediatrics exam?) Or will the FRCPC designation be considered equivalent?

I believe that for many states, Canadians are not required to write the USMLE, but I can't find any info about board certification for specialist training.

2. Does the need for american board certification vary depending on state?

We don't know which state we would move to but the contenders are California, Massachusetts, Virginia, Illinois, Washington, and New York. Many thanks! Any other insights about canadian physicians moving to the USA is welcome! (especially specialists, since it seems easier to find info about family doctors)
posted by asparagrass to Work & Money (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Is this not something you could call the American Board of Pediatrics and ask? Their FAQ seems to imply that American and Canadian licenses are inter-operable. See: Licensure > Is a license from a country outside the US or Canada acceptable?
posted by DarlingBri at 12:34 PM on July 28, 2016

Best answer: Medical licensing in the US is done on a state-by-state basis, and that will be the most important thing for practicing. California and Massachusetts allow Canadian physicians to become licensed without repeating the exam; I don't know about the others.

The need for board certification is going to be a requirement of the individual employer, not the state or country. You may get some nitpicky employers who require ABP certification but I would expect in most cases the Canadian equivalent would be considered acceptable for hiring purposes, possibly with the requirement to sit the US boards in some reasonable period of time. It's very typical for graduating residents to start jobs prior to taking their board exams with the requirement that they become board-certified at some point in the next year or two.

Pediatricians in the US are considered primary care doctors rather than specialists, so you can likely extrapolate from the information about GPs.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 5:03 PM on July 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

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