Each year there are medical residents (doctors in training) who seek to “transfer” from their current residency program to a program in another discipline and/or school, based on a desire to switch their career path or other personal/professional reasons. Despite the significant desire for transfers, no more than 1-3% of residents transfer every year. The most important barrier to transfers is the inability to have the funding allocated to a resident move with that resident during a transfer.
When faced with uncertainty of a transfer, residents are re-entering the R1 CaRMS Match to transfer into another program. Over the last five years, an average of 72 (37%), range between 66-80, previously matched residents re-entered using the second iteration of the R1 match. A pan-Canadian Resident Transfer Program would reduce the need for this option for previously matched residents and could increase the number of matched current year Canadian Medical Graduates.
AFMC is advocating to governments for a pan-Canadian Resident Transfer Program which would enable residents to receive the required funding for transferring from one residency program to another either intraprovincially or interprovincially.
The Postgraduate Medical Education Offices across Canada are supportive of transfers from institution to institution. The guidelines are intended to provide a transparent process that is clear to both the Resident and Universities involved. Prior to engaging in discussion regarding a transfer, it is the responsibility of the Resident to review the national guidelines as well as their own home school’s transfer guideline / policy.