Postgraduate Medical Education offices across Canada are supportive of transfers from institution to institution. These guidelines are intended to provide a transparent process that is clear to both the resident and universities involved. Prior to engaging in a discussion regarding a transfer, it is the responsibility of the resident to review the national guidelines as well as his or her home school’s transfer guideline/policy. Please see National Transfer Guidelines on the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) website for more information.
Guidelines for Trainees Wishing to Change Programs
Programs should be flexible and be open to changes that facilitate residents’ future careers.
Programs should not be forced to take candidates who do not fulfill the program’s admission standards or when the program’s resources are insufficient to handle additional residents.
The Postgraduate Medical Education Office will facilitate internal transfers wherever possible, while maintaining student confidentiality.
Current MOH funding quotas and resource allocation for individual programs shouldbe respected.
Transfers will be monitored to ensure maintenance of the 40/60 ratios of family medicine to specialty.
Transfers should not be perceived as an alternative to the CaRMS match.
Residents with Ontario Ministry of Health (MOH) funding can be permitted to transfer to another Ontario institution with no guaranteed funding. Residents cannot transfer out of province with Ontario MOH funding.
IMG residents may only readily transfer to an institution within the province of Ontario on account of their Return of Service agreement.
Internal transfers at the University of Ottawa can be considered at any time, but are subject to PGM: COFM policy with respect to restrictions in the PGY1 year.
A transfer process can be initiated by a resident discussing a proposal with the Vice-Dean, PGME or Assistant Vice-Dean, PGME. While all discussions are confidential, the sending and receiving program director should be involved as early as possible. If a transfer seems possible, the resident will be informed by the Postgraduate Medical Education Office and given the option to approach the program director of his/her preferred program. If a transfer does not seem possible, the request can be brought to the Ontario-wide meeting by the postgraduate medical education manager, with the resident's permission.
The selection process is managed by the individual program directors. The selection process and selection criteria for entry into the transfer program are the same as those for selection at the PGY1 level for new graduates of faculties of medicine. If the "transferring" resident is deemed acceptable by the program director, a written offer should then be sent to the Postgraduate Medical Education Office, providing the expected date of transfer and level of training. The resident and the Postgraduate Medical Education Office should jointly request a release from the current program.
Transfer to a new program should occur at the end of the academic year. If, however, the program to which the candidate is transferring has specific content to fulfill Royal College or CFPC requirements, adjustments may be made in the current training year with written agreement by both program directors.
In principle and wherever possible, programs losing a PGY1 position will gain a PGY1 position the following year, thus maintaining their total resident complement. Programs gaining a position will reduce their PGY1 quota the following year. The Resident Placement Subcommittee will review the final distribution of PGY1 quotas prior to the CaRMS match.
All transfers must have the approval of the Vice-Dean, Postgraduate Medical Education. Transfers will only be approved if the sending program submits a written release, including all conditions of release, to the Vice-Dean, Postgraduate Medical Education, with a copy to the receiving program director, and the resident signs a written agreement from the receiving program, indicating the transfer date and any conditions of transfer.
January 19, 2000
Revised and approved - PGEC
December 20, 2000
September 18, 2003
Revised and approved - PGEC
28 May, 2003
Principles for Transfers in Ontario Residency Programs