Centre d’évaluation des diplômés internationaux en santé

Pour faciliter l'intégration professionnelle au Québec


Welcome | About CÉDIS | Assessment/orientation process | Fees and financial support | To contact us


The Centre d’évaluation des diplômés internationaux en santé (CÉDIS) website serves as an important information source for its clientele, helping them to understand our services and providing information on how to enroll in our programs. It is also intended for our partners and all persons or organizations interested in the integration into the workforce of persons with official degrees in health-related fields from recognized institutions outside Canada and the United States.

CÉDIS is an independent incorporated non-profit organization under Part III of the Companies Act (RSQ, c. C-38). Currently it offers advice and administers a program and services that are provided for free to medical graduates who received degrees outside Canada and the United States (international medical graduates, i.e., IMGs). To be eligible, physicians must reside in Québec, must have been granted a recognition of equivalence of their medical degree by Collège des médecins du Québec (CMQ), and have been denied entry into a residency program at a Québec medical faculty after applying at least once.
The program helps better assess participants’ clinical skills and guide them towards solutions best suited for them. Some are directed into a four-month clinical bridging course and are supported until $5,000 CÉDIS scholarship. This internship prepares them to obtain and succeed in postgraduate training. Others are guided, on a voluntary basis, into preparing for a career transition. We guarantee confidentiality throughout the process, unless applicants decide to use their results themselves or grant CÉDIS permission to release them, particularly for use in educational settings.

Note that this program is offered only in French.

About CÉDIS  

CÉDIS is an organization funded by Québec’s Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux that also receives a contribution from Health Canada as part of a contribution agreement for the Québec government’s initiative to integrate internationally educated health professionals into the province’s healthcare system.

At this time, in addition to providing advice, CÉDIS administers a program and services for medical graduates who have obtained their degrees outside Canada and the United States (IMGs), have been granted a recognition of equivalence of their medical degree by Collège des médecins du Québec (CMQ) and who have not been admitted into a family medicine postdoctoral training or a specialty program through CaRMS (the Canadian resident matching service) after applying at least once. The program is available only in French.

Through this program IMGs’ clinical skills can be better assessed and they can be oriented towards solutions that best suit them. Some enter a four-month clinical bridging course, which prepares them to obtain and succeed in postgraduate training. Others are guided, on a voluntary basis, into preparing for a career transition with assistance from an agency reporting to the Montréal office of Emploi‑Québec.
This is an optional program designed to provide IMGs with additional opportunities for strengthening their applications and improving their professional opportunities. Participation in this program is confidential at every step of the way. IMG physicians who participate are free to use CÉDIS’s advice or recommendations as they see fit.

Be aware that universities recognize this process and CÉDIS, with the applicant’s consent, forwards the complete file to them, following the assessments and clinical bridging courses. Although the file will help strengthen their application, applicants are not guaranteed admission to a residency program since that remains the universities’ exclusive prerogative.

How CÉDIS came into being

The working group to promote the integration of medical graduates who received degrees outside Canada and the United States (international medical graduates, i.e., IMGs) into the workforce submitted a report to Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux. The ministry announced in January 2010 that it would act on all the recommendations, in particular the establishment of a non-profit organization (NPO) specifically tasked with administering the assessment/orientation process and bridging activities for eligible IMGs.

Problems in the work environment

To obtain a license to practice medicine in Québec, IMGs must first obtain degree equivalence recognition by CMQ by passing the required exams and then obtain a residency at a medical faculty. IMGs, like Québec graduates, must therefore complete postdoctoral training (residency) in family medicine or a specialty at a Québec medical faculty. Although degree equivalence recognition by CMQ is mandatory, this does not guarantee admission to a postdoctoral training program. Admission requirements and rules remain the exclusive prerogative of the universities and facilities of medicine.

Despite this recognition of degree equivalence, we note that difficulties persist in accurately assessing the ability of these doctors to succeed in their postdoctoral training according to Québec standards. There is evidence that many IMGs admitted to a residency program encounter significant difficulties during their training period. If nothing is done, this situation will worsen over the next few years. A significant number of foreign doctors settle in Québec each year and swell the ranks of medical graduates in Québec who have not yet been admitted to residency positions but persist in trying.

The CÉDIS mandate

The CÉDIS Board of Directors

Mandate and members of the CÉDIS Scientific Committee

The Scientific Committee’s mandate is as follows: 

The CÉDIS Scientific Committee is composed of the following academic experts:

Assessment/orientation process

How to enroll

CÉDIS organizes an annual assessment/orientation session that usually takes place between May and July. Each year about 48 eligible applicants are able to attend free of charge.

A few months prior to the session a general notice is sent to each doctor who may be eligible to attend. The list of eligible persons is drawn up from a list of doctors holding an equivalence degree provided by Collège des médecins du Québec (CMQ). CÉDIS starts a file on doctors who register at various times throughout the year once their eligibility is verified.

To officially enroll, simply email us at info@cedis.ca noting your interest in the program, describing your academic and professional situation since you arrived in Canada, and enclosing your up-to-date curriculum vitae. We will then get in touch to verify your eligibility. You can also contact us at 514-419-9220.

Clientele: current program eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must

Criteria for prioritizing applicant eligibility for the assessment/orientation process

Besides the basic criteria, CÉDIS refers to the information below to prioritize applicants when the number of interested applicants exceeds capacity:

 Acceptance of the terms and conditions

All applicants admitted to the program must sign a form indicating their acceptance of the terms and conditions before starting the process.

Types of assessment tools used

The assessment tools consist of five or six clinical cases that vary in length from 30 to 60 minutes. They can be summarized as follows:

The main aspects assessed are as follows:

Preparing for an assessment session

A few weeks prior to the assessment session, we organize a preparatory workshop for all those registered and selected to attend the session. We take this opportunity to explain how the day will unfold, give instructions, and answer questions. Participants find this preparatory workshop very helpful. Although optional, it is highly recommended!

The clinical bridging activities

The medical skills and knowledge refresher internships last four months and are open to applicants recommended by CÉDIS after an assessment/orientation session. All recommended applicants are guaranteed participation in the internship at some point in time.

The 20 places available each year are held in two partner institutions, Centre de santé et de services sociaux du Sud-Ouest-Verdun (10 slots) and St. Mary’s Hospital Center (10 slots). Normally we plan on three teams of interns per year starting in early January, May, and September.

As a general rule, priority is given to applicants receiving the highest scores in the annual assessment/orientation session. CÉDIS also tries to take into account applicant preferences for the three available periods available and the two sites, but there are no guarantees. The allocation of slots may also involve other considerations to avoid placing applicants with a whole group of interns below their level.

Although the program is available only in French, applicants training at St. Mary’s Hospital Center must also have sufficient knowledge of English because a large part of the patient population speaks English.
At the conclusion of the four-month internship, applicants must be able to demonstrate their ability to operate within the Québec healthcare system at the same level as resident at the start of training.

Internship goals, teaching methods, and assessments are defined by a committee composed of members from academia and the two partner institutions.

Applicants are assessed during the internship and at its conclusion. It’s possible an applicant may not pass the internship. CÉDIS is responsible for relaying official internship results to applicants (see the section below on the announcement of results).

To be accepted into an internship, applicants referred by CÉDIS must meet the requirements of the internship sites with respect to vaccination coverage, i.e., applicants must demonstrate that vaccination coverage has adequately progressed prior to the start of the internship. This means that applicants must schedule an appointment with their family doctor or CLSC, if possible, several months before the start of the internship to allow for time for vaccines given in series. Applicants whose coverage is considered inadequate may be denied admission to the internship site.

Note that CÉDIS does not allow internships to be repeated under any circumstances.

CÉDIS’s announcement of results  

CÉDIS confidentially transmits the official results obtained at each step of the assessment/orientation process. If results are satisfactory, applicants are issued certificates attesting to their aptitude to undertake a medical residency program.

Subsequently, the complete file is transmitted to medical faculty admissions officials with the applicants’ consent. Of course applicants can access their files when applying for admission to a medical faculty through the Canadian matching service or for selection interviews with universities.

Starting in 2015 a new section of the CaRMS website (www.carms.ca) will promote participation in the CÉDIS program. However, applicants alone are responsible for submitting documents at the right time and to the right place through the CaRMS platform.

The CÉDIS program is recognized by universities and the complete file is transmitted to them to strengthen applicants’ applications. However, CÉDIS does not guarantee that applicants will be admitted to a medical faculty since that remains the universities’ exclusive prerogative.

If results prove unsatisfactory at different steps along the way, CÉDIS confidentially informs applicants and provides them with the option of being referred to another organization so they can transition to another career with the help of support and counseling services.

Regardless of the process results, applicants are free to use them as they see fit. CÉDIS will reveal results to its partners only with the applicants’ consent.

Fees and financial support

Currently CÉDIS offers applicants the assessment/orientation process and clinical bridging course for free.

Besides this free program, candidates directed towards a bridging internship receive up to $5,000 scholarship, usually in one lump sum at the start of the internship. CÉDIS issues statements for annual income tax returns.

To receive this support, applicants must sign a financial aid agreement at a CÉDIS office prior to starting their internship. The agreement specifies the terms and conditions for awarding the scholarship and collection steps in the event the applicant does not comply with agreement provisions.

To contact us

By phone: 514-419-9220

By mail: 2021, Union, room 860, Montréal, Québec, H3A 2S9
On site: Please make an appointment in advance.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM - noon, 1:00 PM - 4:30 PM