Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination MCCQE
The MCCQE, Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination, are two examinations which are required for practice in Canada through the Medical Council of Canada. It is a mandatory requirement to becoming a Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC), which is similar to a medical governing body that is required for an independent license within Canada. Passing MCCQE Part 1 and MCCQE Part 2 qualifies you for LMCC.
There are exceptions if you have completed the USMLE, United States Medical Licensing Examinations, steps, but this is mainly if you are completing your residency within Canada, from my understanding. Please contact the LMCC for more information though on this as I am not completely sure.
MCCQE Part 1
The MCCQE Part 1 is a computer-based examination which is offered in the Spring (early May) and Fall (November). The examination is offered over a 2 week period so, any one day over that period may be your assigned day. The MCCQE Part 1 is a computer-based, computer-adaptive test (more on this later). It consists of both multiple choice questions (straightforward) and clinical decision making questions on clinical scenarios.The examination has two parts separated by a lunch, noon, break of approximately 45 minutes to an hour. The examination costs around $700 and is offered in both English and French. The first part of the MCCQE Part 1 consists of multiple choice questions in numerous blocks (around 6-8), each with approximately 50 questions, consisting of questions from Internal Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Gynecology and Obstetrics, and Community Medicine and the Medical System in Canada and Statistics, in not specified order. The differeint medical discpline questions are intermixed within each block. You can alter and revise your questions within a block, but must submit that block once done. Thereafter, you cannot go back to any of those questions from that block. Moreover, the block you have just finished is immediately marked and the new block you receive of questions will reflect how well you did in your past block. Therefore, if you did very well, the new block will be more difficult. If you did poorly, the next block will be easier. Everyone does not write the same questions, however, the same pool of questions have been assessed previsouly and carry a specific weight with them. In addition, there are trial questions, to be used for future examinations, which carry no weight for your examination and only used for trial purposes. There are a total of 196 multiple choise questions.
The first part of the examination is fairly easy and straightforward, testing medical information and knowledge. The most difficult questions for foreign graduates are the Community Medicine and Medical Health System Questions. Pediatrics, Gynecology and Psychiatry are also difficult and are worth studying extensively and knowing well, as you will receive as many questions from one of these sections, as you will from a more broader sections, such as Internal Medicine. Therefore, you will receive as many questions on Psychiatry as you will in Internal Medicine, and there weight will be the same on your overall performance, even though, Internal Medicine questions will cover almost anything, from Hematology, Cardiology, Infectious Diseases, etc… Strategically studying for this part of the MCCQE Part 1 is essential in doing well. Many students do not even study Internal Medicine or Surgery, and focus mainly on the other sections which are very short in comparison to the broad nature of these two portions of Medicine. However, if you have no restrictions in time, studying all sections would be wise.
The second part of the MCCQE Part 1 examination consists of clinical case scenarios followed by questions on differential diagnosis, tests, investigations and treatment plans. There are around 60 of these scenarios. The questions are very straight forward but the great difficulty in this part of the examination, is the specificity of your answers. Questions will consist of “Please select up to 10 investigations that you would order for this patient.” The difficult in this question, is that 0 is also an answer. The question basically asks you to provide the ‘best’ and ‘most essential’ answers in this case, and many times, investigations and orders that you would have ordered routinely are not always right! Overall, the most difficult section of the MCCQE Part 1, and deemed by many to be the most difficult part of all the MCCQE sections, Part 1 and Part 2.
Length of MCCQE Part 1?
The examination is a total of 7.5 hours, 3.5 hours in the morning and 4 hours in the afternoon.
If I fail, how many times can I write the MCCQE Part 1?
You can write the MCCQE Part 1 as many times as you like. Once passed, the examination results never expire. This is similar to MCCQE Part 2.
Can I write the MCCQE Part 1?
Those who can write the MCCQE Part 1 must come from a medical school listed in the World Health Organization or FAIMER International Medical Education Directory.
MCCQE Part 1 Official Site:
MCCQE Part 2
The MCCQE Part 2 is an OSCE format medical examination. OSCE, denotes an Objective Structured Clinical Exam Format which uses standardized patients. The examination assesses a medical graduates clinical knowledge, skill and ethical principles in the face of interacting with patients with diagnoses from internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology and psychiatry. There is a large focus on the examination on assessing ones ethical, professional, communication and interpersonal skills.
When can I write the MCCQE Part 2?
The MCCQE is offered twice a year, on the weekend, both Saturday and Sunday and numerous locations across Canada. These occur in the Fall, late October and early Spring, May. The MCCQE Part 2 is about 3.5 to 4 hours in total.
How much does the MCCQE Part 2 cost?
The examination costs $1500 CAN, and more if you apply late, up to $1600 if one week late and more than $2000 thereafter. The examination is offered in both English and French.
What happens if I fail the MCCQE Part 2 Examination?
The MCCQE Part 2 can be taken as many times as you like. Once you pass the MCCQE Part 2, your examination results never expire.
Who can write the MCCQE Part 2?
One year of postgraduate medical training, in a clinicl environment (e.g. not radiology or pathology) must be done.
MCCQE Part 2 Tips!
It is well known that the MCCQE Part 2 repeats the questions and clinical scenarios that they ask. It is therefore crucial to go over old examinations and practice situations. The clinical scenarios are also repeated. This is not that the exact questions reappear on the MCCQE Part 2, however the same themes and principles are common, such as febrile seizures and neonatal jaundice for pediatrics, MI and pneumonia for internal medicine, and vaginal infections, abortions and eclampsia for obstetrics and gynecology. Simple put, the examination tests essential knowledge to general practice. This is crucial to understand as the examination can test anything in medicine, but instead they focus on the most crucial aspects of general practice. This examination tests knowledge that someone with a MD degree MUST have, whatever there future specialty.
However, the main issue to pass this examination is to have proper interpersonal communication skills, professional abilities and sound ethical principles. For example, in the majority of the stations, a large portion of the marks are on 1) washing your hands; 2) introducing yourself and the examination to the patient; 3) appropriately draping and positioning the patient; 4) and understanding to the patient (e.g. listening to the patient and not cutting them off).
Moreover, time is of crucial importance! You will not have much time to think of what to do. This scenarios are essential scenarios that someone should be able to shoot off in minutes. For example, there are stations where a full neurological examination must be completed in 5 minutes. This would include cranial nerves, motor, sensory, co-ordination and gait, with side-to-side comparisons.