Transfer of Residency Programs from program to program or school to school

The University of Toronto Postgraduate Medical Education Office tries to provide opportunities for program transfer to its trainees. At the beginning of January each year, the postgraduate dean sends an email to PGY1 and PGY2 residents informing them of this opportunity and advising them of the principles and procedures of the transfer process, as follows:

A. GENERAL PRINCIPLES:

  1. Wherever possible, transfers should not subvert the CaRMS match and/or PGM: COFM Health Human Resources policies.
  2. Residents must be accepted by their requested program.
  3. Residents must be released by their home program.
  4. Final approval of any internal transfer lies with the postgraduate dean.
  5. The postgraduate deans at the respective Ontario schools will have the final approval regarding intra-provincial transfers, including funding availability.

B. SPECIFIC PRINCIPLES:

In addition to fulfilling the requirements of the general principles above, the following specific principles will apply to all transfer requests:

  1. Residents must have at least 6 months of residency in the discipline from which they request a transfer. PGY-1 transfer requests will be considered after January 1st each year.
  2. Residents should have sufficient exposure to the discipline to which they are requesting transfer either in the last year of medical school or during their residency.
  3. Residents must be of similar quality to successful candidates through the CaRMS match by the receiving program, utilizing similar selection methods and rating systems where they are used.
  4. Transfer requests from the Family Medicine Program will only be considered from residents at the PGY1 level with the exception of those considering entry to Public Health and Preventive Medicine.
  5. Consideration of transfer requests from residents in specialty programs at the PGY2 level and above will be based on evidence of wrong career choice or demonstrated need, e.g., disability, health or family issues that prevent residents from completing their initial program, etc.
  6. Transfers at the PGY2 or higher level will be dependent on availability of funding.

C. PROCESS:

  1. Residents wishing to transfer programs will submit their names and preferred programs to the PGME Office in January of each year.
  2. Requests will be compiled and reviewed by the PGME Office. The PGME office will immediately contact residents whose transfer requests are not approved by the postgraduate dean due to capacity and therefore will not be forwarded to program directors
  3. The PGME office will send approved program transfer requests to the program director with the residents’ name and contact information as well as the number of positions the program may potentially fill. All requests are sent at the same time to the program directors.
  4. Program directors are not obligated to accept trainees who do not meet admission requirements. Also, some program directors may not be able to increase their numbers even by one, if clinical training resources do not permit this.
  5. Program directors/program assistants will contact residents individually to request documentation for review and possible interview and prepare a rank list of its acceptable applicants and discuss with the PGME Office regarding funding availability. Transfer requests are confidential and the potential "new" program director may not contact the applicant’s current program director without the applicant’s authorization.
  6. After consultation with the PGME Office, the program director will inform the transfer applicant of acceptance/refusal verbally or by email. This process should be completed by the end of February.
  7. The PGME Office will treat transfer requests as confidential and will not advise current Program Directors of the acceptance of residents to other programs — this is the responsibility of the resident. An applicant who is accepted as a transfer resident must arrange a meeting or contact his/her current program director to request a release from the program as of July 1st or a date which is mutually acceptable to both program directors. Due to rotation and call schedule requirements, both program directors must agree on the start/release date if other than July 1st.
  8. The PGME Office will issue a revised Letter of Appointment to successfully transferred residents after receipt of authorization letters from the new and former program directors.
  9. An intra-provincial (within Ontario) transfer process will take place in March, following the internal University of Toronto transfer process. Transfer requests to programs in other Ontario schools will be considered during this period to accommodate residents who are requesting a transfer of medical school, or have been unsuccessful in the internal transfer process. However, as funding years are not transferable among schools, direct and equal swaps are usually sought during this process. Residents at each school who wish to be considered for the intra-provincial transfer process must "register" their transfer request with the PGME Office. The transfer requests are compiled centrally and reviewed by the Ontario postgraduate deans after the 2nd iteration of CARMS. For UofT, please contact maureenf.morris@utoronto.ca by the end of February regarding your request to transfer to programs at other Ontario schools.
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