Transfer Information

Transfers within Queen's Transfers to other Universities in Ontario National Transfer Guidelines


The Ontario medical schools and Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) support a system of improved flexibility in postgraduate medical education.  As of November 2016, all transfer requests are handled in accordance with the principles outlined in this document, and under local transfer policies in force at each Ontario medical school. 

Transfers will be accommodated provided there is funding capacity in the Transfer Payment Agreement (TPA). Transfer Payment Agreements are contracts that govern the transfer of public funds to institutions and provide greater oversight and accountability for these public funds.

General Principles

The following general principles apply to all resident transfer requests:

  • Wherever possible, transfers should not subvert the CaRMs Match. Consideration will not be given until at least six (6) months of PGY 1 training and adequate exposure to the Resident's home discipline, as determined by the Postgraduate Dean, at the HOME University.
  • Discussions regarding transfers will remain confidential until such time as the resident consents to disclosure.
  • Overall, transfers should not significantly alter the distribution of residency position allocation across schools and within disciplines.
  • Residents must meet the selection and admission criteria of the program to which they are seeking a transfer.
  • It is strongly encouraged that residents utilize the second iteration of CaRMS as an alternate route to the regular transfer process.
  • Transfers within the last six (6) months of a program will not normally be accepted, except in cases in which the programs significantly overlap i.e., Family Medicine to Public Health and Preventive Medicine.
  • Funding for transfers rests with the TPA (not with the program or trainee).
  • MOHLTC funding is not transferrable between institutions.
  • Capacity, funding, and other constraints may limit the availability of program transfers; it is therefore not possible to accommodate all requests.

Specific Principles

In addition to fulfilling the requirements of the general principles, the following specific principles apply:

  • Transfers should balance the need for flexibility verses paying attention to the mix and distribution of physicians in Ontario.
  • Each transfer request is unique and will be considered on its own merit.
  • PGY 1 Internal transfer requests will be considered by each school after January 1st of each year. 
  • Intra-provincial transfers will be considered after the school’s internal transfer process is complete.  Intra-provincial PGY1 transfer requests can be made to the PGME Office of the resident’s home school after January 1st each year. Decisions are typically made six weeks following the 2nd iteration of the CaRMS match with a transfer date of July 1.
  • PGY2 or higher internal transfer requests can be made at any time and will be forwarded to the programs at the discretion and internal procedure/schedule of each school. 
  • Final approval of any transfer lies with the Postgraduate Dean. 


Initial Inquiry:

  1. A resident who is interested in pursuing a transfer to another Canadian University should contact the PGME Office of his/her HOME University to register their interest in a transfer.
  2. The PGME Office of the HOME University will notify the PGME Office(s) of the desired University(s) of the resident's interest in a transfer.
  3. The RECEIVING PGME Office will review the request and determine whether clinical training capacity and funding capacity is available.
  4. The RECEIVING PGME Office will inform the HOME PGME Office if the RECEIVING program can or cannot receive a transfer application. If they are able to review the request the RECEIVING PGME Office would request the documentation identified below.
  5. The resident must provide his/her consent for their HOME PGME Office to release the following documents/information to the RECEIVING PGME Office:
    • All in-training assessments
    • Summary of Training Record from the HOME University (including leaves from the program)
    • Brief summary from the PGME Office regarding any remediation and outcomes. If there are ongoing investigations/appeals in progress, the other school will be notified.
    • The resident will also provide a brief letter outlining his/her request and the reason for the transfer.
  6. The file will be sent from the HOME PGME Office to the RECEIVING PGME Office.

If consideration is possible:
If there is agreement by the RECEIVING program to consider the candidate, then the resident must contact the program for their program-specific selection prcess used by the RECEIVING program.

If consideration is not possible:
If the RECEIVING PGME Office or program determines they cannot accommodate a transfer request, then the second iteration of CaRMS may be an alternate route where funding and resources have already been determined. It is up to the resident to apply through this route if desired. In such a case, the policies and guidelines of the second iteration of CaRMS would apply.

After acceptance into a transfer (RECEIVING) program:

  1. If the resident is accepted into the RECEIVING program, the RECEIVING PGME Office, in consultation with the RECEIVING program, will issue a conditional offer contingent on the release from their HOME program. A copy of the letter of offer will be provided to the HOME program (so confidentiality will not be possible after this point).
  2. Should the resident decided to accept, s/he is expected to follow any additional internal steps required by their HOME PGME Office.
  3. The resident must write to their HOME Program Director (copied to the HOME PGME Office) to request a release from his/her HOME program and arrive at a mutually acceptable departure date.
  4. The HOME program will provide a written release, copied to the HOME PGME Office, including the agreed transfer date. All documentation, including verification of training dates, will be provided via the HOME PGME Office to the RECEIVING PGME Office.
  5. If successful the transferring resident is responsible for contacting the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) or the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) to ahve their prior postgraduate training assessed for credit towards the new program. Until notification has been received from the appropriate College, the resident will be registered at the lowest applicable PGY level to ensure adequate funds are available for a complete training path. The resident will be advanced, as appropriate, once the assessment notices have been received, accepted by the program and approved by the Postgraduate Dean.
IMGs are required to sign a return of service contract with the MOHLTC of the Province of Ontario in accordance with the conditions of the Ministry's return of service (ROS) programs. IMGs who transfer out of province when in a base specialty are in breach of contract with the Ministry.


Inter-provincial and U.S. Transfer Requests

Ontario Ministry of Health funded residents are free to seek transfer of residency programs outside Ontario schools, but funding is not transferrable/portable outside the province.  Please refer to the national transfer guidelines for more information.

Residents from other Canadian or U.S. medical schools who are interested in a transfer to an Ontario medical school must follow the national transfer guidelines and hold Canadian citizenship or permanent residency.


For further information:
Transfers within Queen's Transfers to other Universities in Ontario National Transfer Guidelines