The goal of this unique learning opportunity is to successfully integrate highly qualified, skilled, and experienced internationally trained medical doctors (ITMDs) into non-licensed healthcare employment. The program provides additional skills needed for participants to gain employment in health research, health informatics, data analysis, and health management positions in Canada as an alternative to medical doctor licensing.

Who Teaches the Courses?

Experienced and in-touch, our instructors bring up-to-date knowledge to every course. Visit the Instructor Profile Directory to read their bios.

Tuition and Financial Aid


The total tuition fee for the ITMD Bridging Program is expected to be $2,880. This fee is subject to change.

Financial Aid

Learners in the ITMD Bridging Program are eligible to apply for merit-based awards and/or need-based financial aid available for Chang School learners.

Qualified applicants may be eligible for the Ontario Bridging Participant Assistant Program (OBPAP).

How to Apply

Step One

Complete and print an application form. (If you do not yet have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer, you must first download it.)

Step Two

Along with your completed application form, you must also submit all of the following to the ITMD Bridging Program at

  • one-page letter of intent (LOI)
  • current resumé or curriculum vitae
  • scanned copy of medical degree
  • proof of English language proficiency test score
  • proof of Ontario residency
  • proof of eligibility to work in Canada

Only selected candidates will be contacted for pre-screening and successful candidates will be invited to attend an in-person interview for final selection.

Application Deadlines

Fall Term: May 1–July 31
Spring/Summer Term: October 1–December 31

Course Series Requirements

  • Successful completion of 5 required courses

Those who successfully complete this course series are eligible to earn a Professional Development Award from The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education. Once you have successfully completed the courses, email the ITMD Bridging Program at with your name, student number, and the course series you have completed. Upon verification, you will receive your professional development award.

Admission Criteria

All applicants to the Internationally Trained Medical Doctors (ITMD) Bridging Program must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident of Ontario, or have refugee status at the time of application
  • Be an internationally trained medical professional (medical doctor/dental surgeon/clinical public health specialist)
  • Have a medical doctor degree equivalent to an Ontario university degree
  • Have at least two years of previous work experience in public health education and research
  • Demonstrate English language proficiency at the minimum required level:
    • TOEFL 92; or Academic IELTS of 6.5; or CLB 8 (all band); or equivalent English language proficiency test

Students seeking admission to this program are also required to complete an application form. Refer to How to Apply above.

After consideration of all applications and pre-screening process, selected candidates will be invited, via email, to attend an in-person interview with members of the ITMD application review committee. The interview allows the review committee to learn more about your academic and professional experience and background.

Only successful applicants will receive an offer of admission with follow-up documentation on student registration and orientation procedures.


"Learning about the ITMD bridging program occurred amidst such uncertainty about my career in Canada – what a difference it made! I was introduced to a world of skills and opportunities that I would have otherwise needed years to acquire, and also was able to learn from the experience of other doctors from around the world. It made me feel that I was not alone in my quest. Most importantly, I had the honour of knowing and benefitting from Dr. Shafi Bhuiyan, the program manager and a leader in global health, and his great team. His expertise, enthusiasm, and dedication rekindled my long-time interest in global health and helped me meet the challenge of joining the Canadian healthcare system in the future with confidence."
- Ornela Ademovi (Albania) 

"It is a great honour to get the opportunity to be a part of this valuable educational program. The ITMD bridging program not only refreshes my previous knowledge of research methodology, health informatics, and data management, but it also gives me new insight into project management and soft skills. Furthermore, I gained significant hands-on experience in operating data-analyzing software such as RevMan 5 and SPSS, as well as conducting systematic literature reviews and performing meta-analysis research. Before entering this meaningful program, I was confused and anxious about my future in Canada. Now, I think I have a much clearer path in the field I am passionate about. I sincerely appreciate all the effort and work done by my mentor, Dr. Shafi Bhuiyan."
- Jiawei Hu (China)

"The ITMD program has paved the way into the Canadian healthcare system for multiple international doctors. It offers an interdisciplinary approach and opens up different avenues in public health, data analytics, research, and health informatics. It has also supported many doctors in their pursuit of further education. The well-designed curriculum meets the needs of potential employers in the healthcare industry. It provides hands-on training for standard software like SPSS, NVivo, and RevMan and favours building desired technical skills. It provides robust training in project management and health communications, which are essential transferable skills demanded by the Canadian workplace. Dr. Shafi Bhuiyan, co-founder of the program, is the key influencer and motivator for the participants, and he helps us access multiple networking opportunities with renowned public health professionals. The ITMD bridging program has been an excellent experience and has offered a promising future."
- Abha Sharma (India)

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the program start?

The ITMD bridging program has two intakes per year, in Fall and Spring/Summer. Fall term classes begin in September and Spring/Summer term classes begin in March.

How many students are in each cohort?

A maximum of 25 students will be selected for each cohort.

How long is the program?

This is a part-time bridging program that consists of 13 weeks of in-class training (i.e., Monday–Friday from 5:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. or from 5:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.) followed by an optional, 6-8 week practicum placement. There may be additional workshops and lectures you may need to attend. In addition to in-class hours, students will also be expected to complete readings, assignments, reports and other class work, as assigned. Consult individual course descriptions for the length of each course.

What does the program cost?

The total fee for the ITMD Bridging Program is $2,880 (subject to change). In addition to the tuition fee, you may incur other expenses such as transportation costs, books, etc.

Am I eligible for financial aid?

You are not eligible for the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP); however, ITMD Bridging Program participants are eligible to apply for Chang School awards and bursaries. Also, qualified applicants may be eligible for the Ontario Bridging Participant Assistant Program (OBPAP).

How do I apply to the program?

After carefully reviewing the admission requirements for the program, if you meet these requirements and would like to apply for the program, you must complete an application form and submit it along with a one-page letter of intent (LOI), your current resume, and supporting documentation.

All application components should be emailed to the ITMD Bridging Program at

When is the deadline for application submission?

The ITMD bridging program has two intakes per year, in Fall and Spring/Summer.

Admission for the Fall term is open from May 1–July 31 and the Spring/Summer term is open from October 1–December 31 each academic year.

What can I expect from the program?

This bridging program provides the additional skills needed for participants to pursue employment in health research and health management positions in Canada. It must be understood that this program is an alternative to medical doctor licensing. Participants will receive group mentoring support to find a professional road-map.

Participants who successfully complete this bridging program are eligible to earn a Professional Development Award from The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education.

Our Support Partners

Through the support of HealthForceOntario Marketing and Recruitment Agency, community network organizations, professional organizations, and selected partners’ organizations, approximately 25 internationally trained medical doctors (ITMDs) are recruited twice each year (in the Fall and Spring/Summer terms) to participate in the ITMD Bridging Program.

Roadmap for ITMDs: Evidence-based Study

Creating a Roadmap for Internationally Trained Medical Doctors (ITMDs) to Transition into Non-Licensed Health Sector Employment: An evidence-based study identifying alternative career pathways for ITMDs

Project Objective

This study aims to develop an understanding of the skills, competencies, barriers, and opportunities relevant to ITMDs seeking employment in the non-licensed health care sector.

Study Methods

Online surveys, one-on-one interviews, and focus groups were carried out with applicants, students, and graduates of the Internationally Trained Medical Doctors (ITMD) Bridging Program, as well as stakeholders including subject matter experts and employers in the health care sector. Content analysis was also conducted of existing evaluation documents.

Study Summary Report

A roadmap was developed highlighting alternative career pathways for ITMDs which will facilitate their transition to non-licensed health care employment.

For more information, please contact Dr. Shafi Bhuiyan, MBBS, MPH, MBA, PhD, Program Manager, Internationally Trained Medical Doctors (ITMD) Bridging Program, at 416.979.5000, ext. 6698, by fax at 416.979.5286, or by email at

This research project is funded by:

Ontario logo

Bridge Newsletter

With the Spring 2017 iteration of the Internationally Trained Medical Doctors (ITMD) Bridging Program, the number of participants grew to 106 ITMDs from 31 countries and there was increasing demand among stakeholders for a condensed bulletin of information related to the program and its participants. Hence, volume 1 of the Bridge Newsletter was launched in November 2017 to showcase the success of our graduates and to inform partner organizations, policymakers, alumni, and future participants about program milestones and upcoming related events. At present, the ITMD family has 180 participants from 44 countries around the globe and 24 partner organizations, and we successfully continue moving forward.

Volume 1 (PDF)

Volume 2 (PDF)

Volume 3 (PDF)

Volume 4 (PDF)

Contact Us

Questions? Contact Dr. Shafi Bhuiyan, Program Manager.

Phone: 416-979-5000, ext. 6698

Additional Details


The following course will give you the opportunity to further develop your learning and professional skills; however, it is not required for the Professional Development Award.