IMG Secrets

How Much Money Do Doctors Make in Canada During Fellowship?

The typical middle salary for clinical fellows in Canada sits at around $86,000. To be super accurate, it’s exactly $85,932. But, the pay playground stretches from about $58,000 to a max of $110,000. So theoretically, your pocket should be jingling with $7,166 each month. But, hold on tight, we’re not wrapping up just yet. There’s more to the story. 

Benefits are in the mix, and the taxman wants his share too. Stick around till the finale, so you can master these ideas and truly grasp what you’re diving into.

What does the salary of a fellow in Canada depend on?

The amount you earn really hinges on the type of specialty you’re in and where you’re stationed. Trust me, I’ve seen it firsthand – your field of expertise can be a game-changer. And here’s the scoop: Canada rocks a government-funded healthcare system. That means the money comes straight from the bigwigs in Ottawa. Now, if the hospital or department’s rolling in the green, that translates to bigger paychecks for you, the fellows. This is how Canada shapes its salary structure.

Alright, let’s switch lanes and talk about the perks. Oh, and by the way, if you’re curious about your potential paycheck based on your training and specialty, you can snag an appointment with me by clicking here and we’ll break it down for you.

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What benefits do Fellow Doctors get in Canada?

Alright, let’s dive into the perks you’re in for as a clinical fellow, step by step.

1. Academic Expenses

The very first thing that really matters is the extra bit fellows receive, known as professional expenses or academic funds. Think of it as a bonus on top of your regular pay. The amount can vary – could be anywhere between two to ten thousand dollars per year, all depending on your specialization and the money the department has to spare.

Hold on, though – this won’t be handed over as part of your salary. Instead, it’s set aside for academic expenses. Let me break it down with a few examples: Say you grab a textbook or reading materials crucial for your fellowship. Or you jet off to a conference and even present a paper – all of this gets covered from that academic funds pot. Cool, right?

Here’s a real-life tale: During my time as a clinical fellow in Toronto, Ontario, I put my professional funds to use for my USMLE exams. Yep, I basically aced those exams without spending a dime. And guess what? You can do the same. If you’re gearing up for MCCQE1 or any other tests, ask your department if they’re up for supporting you using these academic funds. You could even snag study materials like a USMLE World subscription or the Toronto notes you need to conquer your exams.

2. Health Insurance

Canada, has a system where everyone who’s legally residing there – whether you’re a citizen, a permanent resident, or even on a work permit – gets health insurance. 

Let’s take the example of Ontario, a place I know like the back of my hand. They offer this card called OHIP, which stands for Ontario Health Insurance Plan.

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So, once you’ve landed in Canada as a clinical fellow and settled in, you can apply for this OHIP card. This card is like a ticket saying, “Hey, I’ve got my health insurance sorted!” And the cool part? If you’ve got your family with you – spouse, kids, the whole crew – they’re covered too. They’re part of the health insurance gang.

Now, on paper, it might sound like you’re getting healthcare for free. But, hold on a sec – it’s not exactly free, because the money comes from your tax dollars. But let’s just say it’s like getting a free pass.

Now, here’s the catch. While this so-called free health insurance sounds grand, it’s got its limits. It won’t foot the bill for prescription medications, for instance.

3. Prescription Medications

So, this free health insurance isn’t like a magic wand. It doesn’t cover everything, like prescription meds.

But here’s the cool part: the hospital might have a plan that helps with prescription meds. Say you need antibiotics – Well, those can cost a bunch in Canada. But if your hospital has this special benefit, you can use it to pay for those meds. When I was a clinical fellow in Toronto, I had this perk. It’s very helpful to have this benefit! 

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4. Dental Insurance

Dental stuff in Canada can cost a lot. Dentists charge big money. So, having dental coverage is super smart. If something goes wonky with your teeth, fixing it might cost thousands of dollars. That’s why it’s a must to see if your hospital gives dental benefits. Lots of hospitals I’ve seen do offer this special dental insurance. It’s like a safety net for your teeth and your wallet. You can’t predict when you’ll need it, so it’s a good thing to have just in case.

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5. Eye Care

Oh, and guess what? Some hospitals throw in extra perks, like eye insurance. It’s pretty cool – you get a free eye check-up, and maybe even a prescription for glasses or contact lenses. They might let you do this once a year, or once every two years, depending on how they set up the plan. So, it’s like a little bonus for your eyes!

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So, here’s the deal – they bundle up all these extra goodies for us clinical fellows. Now, if you were an consultant or attending physician, you’d pay more to get these benefits. But, since you’re a clinical fellow and kind of like a short-term player in Canada until you become a permanent resident or a citizen, you’re in a different lane. You following? It’s all about the different systems and how they work.

How much income tax will i pay as a clinical fellow in Canada?

Now, let’s chat about the income tax, my dear IMGs. It’s like paying Uncle Sam his share. And trust me, it’s not pocket change. Tax time’s a big deal.

For example, I’ll talk about Ontario – it’s where I know the best. But hey, if you’re eyeing another province in Canada, the rules still apply. You’d want to know how much you’ll earn and how much you’ll fork over in taxes. Check out www.imgsecrets.com and book an appointment by clicking here, and we can have a sit-down to dig into all these details. It’s like a tax roadmap!

Let’s do some math using Ontario as our guide. Say you’re pocketing 86,000 as a clinical fellow right here in Ontario. That chunk of money is what we call the total pay or the whole package. But wait, taxes want a slice too. 

There are many online tools available for you to check your taxes. In this case, here’s how it breaks down based on catalent.com:

Let’s break it down even more. Here’s how your tax situation shapes up:

  • Federal Tax (or the central government taxes): 14,000 dollars.
  • Ontario Provincial Tax: ~ 6,600 dollars.
  • Canada Pension Plan (CPP): ~ 3,500 dollars.
  • Employment Insurance Deduction: $1,000
  • TOTAL Taxes: ~$25,000
  • TAX Bracket: 30% 

Now, something interesting – as a clinical fellow, you’re kind of like a temporary worker. Even if you do a one- or two-year fellowship and then decide to head to the US or back to your home turf, you’ll still have to pay those Canada Pension Plan taxes. No exceptions there.

When you add it all up, your total tax bill comes to about 25,000 dollars. So, roughly speaking, you’re handing over around 30 percent as income tax. That means, after all is said and done, your annual income – what you take home – lands at around 61,000 dollars. And remember, this is before any other deductions you might choose to go for.

This article was first published at www.IMGSecrets.com. If you find this elsewhere this is a stolen content. 


So, after all’s said and done, you’re left with around 5,000 dollars in your pocket. It’s a pretty decent amount to live on, especially if you have a small family. And depending on how many people you’re supporting and how clever you are with taxes, you might even manage to save a couple of thousand dollars here and there.

Are you following along with how this tax stuff works?

Just to give you a heads-up, out of all the provinces, Nova Scotia has the highest tax rate. They take about 34.4 percent. But at your salary level, you might see a difference of around a thousand or two thousand dollars between places with the lowest and highest tax rates. It’s kind of like a tax tug-of-war across Canada.

Dr. Rajeev Iyer; MBBS, MD, FASA
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology
University of Pennsylvania, USA

The opinions expressed in this article are author’s own and does not represent the opinion of the University of Pennsylvania or any other organization. 

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