Pediatrics in Canada

Informative Guide on Training, Practice Settings, and Salary Expectations

What is a Pediatrician?

Pediatricians, also spelled Paediatricians, are specialist physicians who focus on the physical, emotional and social health of children from birth through adolescence. Health promotion and prevention, detection and management are key contributors to pediatric care. They make sure that children are reaching their milestones, growing and developing as they should.

Pediatricians play an important role in the health and wellbeing of children in any community. Pediatric physicians are often involved in research projects to advance treatment options for children, provide guidelines for preventative health education, advocate for children and youth to improve health services.

Delivery of Care Settings

Pediatricians have a fair amount of flexibility to deliver care in different settings. Practice types can include primary care paediatrics, community hospitals, pediatrics departments of large hospitals, and consulting general pediatric practices where patients are referred by other physicians such as family physicians, emergency physicians or obstetricians. Subspecialisation can also lead to work in university affiliated hospitals.

Many pediatricians have both an office practice and work in hospitals on a part-time or consultation basis. Part of their care is working closely with a network of physicians, health care providers, and other professionals including child protection workers, teachers and psychologists in their community.

Canadian Training General Requirements

Upon completion of medical school, to become certified in pediatrics requires an additional 4 years of Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) approved residency training.

Physicians wanting to specialise in a specific area of pediatrics such as pediatric cardiology, neonatology, or pediatric emergency medicine must first become certified in general pediatrics before applying for further sub-specialization training.

Applying to Canadian Medical Schools

Canada has 17 accredited faculties of medicine, distributed geographically across the country. Canadian medical schools are accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).

According to The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC), the number of places available is determined by provincial governments based on educational and financial resources, as well as Canada’s future physician workforce requirements. Medical schools have an increasing number of applicants every year, while the number of positions available for entry does not increase significantly.

Can International Students Apply to Canadian Medical Schools?

Since the universities are under provincial jurisdiction, the majority of places in a faculty of medicine are allocated to permanent residents of the province in which the university is located. So, although 14 out of the 17 medical schools accept international students, the number of actual positions is limited.

What International Medical Schools are Recognized in Canada?

Anyone with a Medical Degree (MD) from outside of the accredited Canadian and American programs who wants to undertake residency training or practice medicine in Canada is considered an International Medical Graduate (IMG). This includes Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) has a helpful guide to the acceptable medical schools as defined in the Model Standards for Medical Registration in Canada.

How are Pediatricians Paid?

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) which provides essential information on Canada's health systems and the health of Canadians and has the following data:

  • Most physicians receive compensation through multiple models, including both fee-for-service and alternative payments.
  • Alternative methods of paying physicians include salaries, sessional and hourly rates, capitation models and contract-based payments.
  • The largest payment program as a proportion of total gross clinical payments to physicians in Canada is fee-for-service, at about 73% of total payments in 2018–2019.
  • Fee-for-service services provided by physicians can be split into 2 broad types: consultations/visits and procedures.

What are Pediatricians Paid in Canada?

The gross range of potential annual earnings can vary based on factors including hours, experience, province, rural or urban location, clinic setup, as well as incentives and bonuses offered. A range we see for pediatricians across Canada is $200,000 - $450,000.

Demand for Pediatricians in Canada

The field of pediatrics continues to be a top specialty choice for graduates of Canadian medical schools. Based on demands in the Canadian marketplace, job prospects for pediatricians are expected to stay steady for the foreseeable future. As with all specialty physicians, pediatricians will have different job prospects and opportunities depending on where they work in Canada.

According to Canadian Occupational Projection System, the specialty physician occupational group is expected to face labour shortage conditions over the period of 2019-2028 at the national level.


This page is a general guideline only and is not intended as financial or other professional advice. Remuneration ranges are from both source information and our job board. All content is subject to change.

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