New Residents

A warm welcome to our new residents!

Below are answers to some common questions we're asked.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What is the difference between Postgraduate Medical Education and Postgraduate Program — Department of Family & Community Medicine (DFCM)?

The Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) Office coordinates and oversees postgraduate medical education for all programs (Specialties, Fellowships and Family Medicine included), at the University of Toronto. The PGME office is your first point of contact as a new resident to the University of Toronto with the following main activities and functions:

  1. Registration i.e., appointments, visas, CPSO, immunization, payroll, transfers, UHIP, CMPA, mask fitting
  2. Policy and Analysis i.e., quotas, POWER, performance indicators, exit surveys system, annual reports
  3. Wellness i.e., counselling, referral, work-life balance, stress buster workshops, culture of wellness
  4. Education and Research i.e., PGCorED, internal review, accreditation, board of examiners, remedial services, program director support

Medical graduates and newly matched residents register with the Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) Office as residency trainees. Any questions regarding the four organizational areas above and PGME's activities and functions should be directed to PGME for further clarification. Please see the administrative PGME staff directory for contact information

The Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFMC) supports clinical, educational and research excellence. The Postgraduate Program at the DFCM is essentially our residency training program and support, focused on core learning experience in family medicine and to prepare future family physicians in primary care. The main activities and functions of the DFCM – Postgraduate Program include:

  1. Admissions
  2. Supporting curriculum, evaluations, remediation and assessments for our hospital teaching sites in all three geographic streams
  3. Co-coordinating the Teaching Practices in PGY-2
  4. Admissions, and support for the PGY-3 Enhanced Skills Programs
  5. Additional learning initiatives & events including procedural skills, counselling skills, Advances in Labour and Risk Management (ALARM), FM-MAP Family Medicine Mandatory Assessment of Progress

2. Where can I find residency guidelines?

Please visit our Resident Guidelines page.

3. What are the Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) requirements for starting residency?

We strongly encourage you to complete ACLS certification within the first month of your training. ACLS recertification training is not a requirement during residency. First-time ACLS course costs are subsidized for PGY-1 postgraduate medical trainees. For eligibility and reimbursement information, please contact Gerard Nagalingam at or 416-978-8328. You can obtain a list of ACLS course providers at the ACLS PGME page .

4. Is the US ACLS certification valid in Canada?

Yes, it is valid.

5.  Where can I obtain a letter of employment?

A letter of employment can be obtained from the Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) Office. Please contact the PGME office at or 416-978-6976.

6. Where can I obtain an advocacy letter?

An advocacy letter can be obtained from the Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) Office. Please contact the PGME office at or 416-798-6976.

7. What is the difference between student number and trainee number?

Your student number is the same as trainee number; if you have a ROSI number (those that have completed medical school at the University of Toronto) please use your ROSI number.

8. What day does the Family Medicine residency program start? Is there an orientation session that I will need to attend?

You are required to start your residency on July 1st. Once assigned to your teaching hospital site (mid-May), you will be contacted by your assigned teaching hospital site administrator with details on your orientation date and exact start date. Please note that orientation may take place before or after the anticipated July 1 start date depending on your assigned teaching hospital site. It is not required that you attend if prior to July 1st; however, it is highly recommended.

9. When does the Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) Office Orientation for NEW RESIDENTS take place? 

The date is usually set for the first working day after July 1st.

10. Do I have access to UpToDate? 

Once your registration is complete with the Postgraduate Medical Education Office, you will have access to UpToDate. UpToDate is part of your library access here.

11. How can I obtain a University of Toronto student card (T-Card)?

In order to obtain a University of Toronto student card, the PGME office needs to register all new residents into the Postgraduate Web Evaluation and Registration system (POWER). All Canadian Medical Graduates (CMG) residents should be registered by end of April. The processes may be different for International Medical Graduates (IMGs), as a pre-residency period and Assessment Verification Period must be successfully passed prior to being registered as official students, and thus, IMGs may not be eligible for T-Cards until the successful completion of their AVP. Please visit the UTORID and library cards page for more information.

12. How do I request or book vacation time during residency? 

Vacation or time off requests need to be booked with your assigned hospital teaching site administrator. Once you have been assigned to your hospital teaching site (mid-May), you can contact your site administrator.

Please see site contact details.

13. Is CMPA coverage reimbursed?

Please contact the CMPA reimbursement program to speak to a CMPA representative for further details. 

14.  I am having difficulty uploading files to the CPSO website. 

If you are having difficulty uploading files, please contact the CPSO Applications and Credentialing at 416-967-2600, extension 221, so that they can help fix the problem

Frequently Asked Questions for International Medical Graduates (IMGs)

1. What is my status during the Pre-Residency Program Phase (PRP)?

The Pre-Residency Program helps to prepare residents to pass the mandatory Assessment Verification Period (AVP), a probationary period of 12 weeks required by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) for International Medical Graduates to obtain an educational license to begin residency training. During the PRP period, you are affirmed the same responsibilities of senior year medical students. This means that students must have their orders co-signed immediately, may see patients independently under close supervision, may perform procedures with close supervision, and have liability coverage through the university.

2. What is my status at the start of the Assessment Verification Period (AVP)?

The Assessment Verification Period is a mandatory Assessment period mandated by the CPSO to determine if candidates can function at a PGY1 level of training prior to full acceptance in the program. It is up to the supervising physician to determine whether or not AVP candidates may sign their own orders or have orders co-signed initially or for the duration of the assessment period. Time spent in AVP CAN contribute towards the trainees total time in residency if successful and thus at the start of AVP trainees are covered similar to other residents, by the PARO contract. This includes remuneration, call stipends, call requirements, and other items listed in the PARO-CAHO contract visible here

3. How do I get an immunization record if I don’t have a physician?

It is important for physicians taking care of others, to take care of their own health and well-being and thus we strongly recommend that trainees who do not have a physician seek out a family doctor prior to commencing their training. The office of Resident Wellness has a listing of physicians who are accepting new patients. Additionally, Health Care Connect is a service in Ontario to connect those without physicians to those accepting. See page 18 in the PGME orientation booklet .

4. When do I receive my CPSO number? 

You will receive your CPSO number when you begin the Assessment Verification Period (AVP).