Job prospects Medical Doctor in Canada

People working as a medical doctor have different job prospects depending on where they work in Canada. Find out what the future holds for them in your province or territory. These prospects are applicable to all General practitioners and family physicians (NOC 3112).

Note that these employment prospects were published in December 2019 based on information available at that time. You can read our new special report to learn about the impact of COVID-19 on some occupations in your province or territory. You can also visit the Canadian Online Job Posting Dashboard to find the latest data on the demand and work requirements for this occupation.

Job opportunities over the next 3 years

Explore future job prospects by province and territory.

Location Job prospects
Newfoundland and Labrador Good Good
Prince Edward Island Good Good
Nova Scotia Good Good
New Brunswick Good Good
Quebec Good Good
Ontario Good Good
Manitoba Good Good
Saskatchewan Good Good
Alberta Good Good
British Columbia Good Good
Yukon Territory Good Good
Northwest Territories Fair Fair
Nunavut Undetermined Undetermined
Legend: The job opportunities can be: Undetermined Limited Fair Good

You can also look at this data on a map. Go to LMI Explore

Labour market conditions over the next 10 years

Take a closer look at the projected labour demand and supply for this occupation over the 2019-2028 period. For more information on future job trends, go to the Canadian Occupational Projections System.

Summary

SHORTAGE: This occupational group is expected to face labour shortage conditions over the period of 2019-2028 at the national level. The section below contains more detailed information regarding the outlook for this occupational group.

Employment in 2018

75,200

Median age of workers in 2018

45

Average retirement age in 2018

65.0

Detailed analysis

In order to determine the expected outlook of an occupation, the magnitude of the difference between the projected total numbers of new job seekers and job openings over the whole projection period (2019-2028) is analyzed in conjunction with an assessment of labour market conditions in recent years. The intention is to determine if recent labour market conditions (surplus, balance or shortage) are expected to persist or change over the period 2019-2028. For instance, if the analysis of key labour market indicators suggests that the number of job seekers was insufficient to fill the job openings (a shortage of workers) in an occupational group in recent years, the projections are used to assess if this situation will continue over the projection period or if the occupation will move towards balanced conditions.

Over the 2016-2018 period, employment growth in this occupational group was significantly above the average for all occupations. The unemployment remained substantially low at 0.9% in 2018, well below the national average of 5.8%. The number of unemployed workers per job vacancy was higher than the national average in 2018, but this is in line with historical patterns for this occupation due to the very low number of job vacancies. According to the OECD, Canada currently has 2.8 doctors per 1000 people and is ranked 24th out of 30 OECD countries with respect to the number of doctors per capita. As a comparison, the top three countries, Austria, Norway, and Lithuania have ratios of 5.2, 4.8, and 4.6 doctors per 1000 thousand people respectively1. Hence, analysis of key labour market indicators suggests that the number of job seekers was insufficient to fill the job openings in this occupational group.

For General practitioners and family physicians, over the period 2019-2028, new job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) are expected to total 50,900 , while 19,400 new job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) are expected to be available to fill them.

The labour shortage conditions seen in recent years are expected to persist into the 2019-2028 period, and would even become more acute as the projected number of job openings is expected to be substantially larger than the projected number of job seekers over that period. More than half of job openings will result from job creation. Indeed, as the Canadian population ages, the demand for health services is expected to grow. The number of complex health conditions as well as of those requiring additional follow-ups are expected to become more important. Consequently, the employment growth rate for general practitioners and family physicians is projected to be the second highest of all the occupational groups. Retirements are expected to account for slightly more than one third of job openings. Although workers in this occupational grouping are generally older than the average for all occupations, they also tend to retire later in their career. Therefore, pressures arising from retirements are projected to be similar to the average of all occupations. With regard to labour supply, school leavers are projected to be the main source of job seekers. Even though access is difficult for people who obtained their medical degree outside Canada, immigrants completing the examinations of the Medical Council of Canada and getting the proper authorization from the provincial/territorial regulatory body are anticipated to account for over a quarter of all job seekers. Still, there will be an insufficient number of job seekers to overcome the high demand for workers in this occupation over the projection period.

In order to eliminate the labour shortage in this occupational group, a substantial increase in the number of school leavers would be needed. However, this will not be possible in the short term because of the many years of training that a potential worker must go through before being able to work as general practitioner and/or family physician.

1 Source: OECD, March 2020, https://data.oecd.org/healthres/doctors.htm

Source Canadian Occupational Projections System – ESDC

Labour Market Information Survey
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