The information below has been developed to assist Program Directors with their role, especially those who are new to the position. It will be updated regularly and we welcome your comments for improvement. Much of the content has been adapted from The Rookie Book - A Guide for New Program Directors, developed and compiled by Dr. S. Moffatt, MD, FRCP, in 1998.
Every Program Director has a wealth of information with which to become familiar. It can be a daunting task, so here's a quick guide to the various sources and their contents.
PGME Website: https://meds.queensu.ca/academics/postgraduate
This should be your number one source for up-to-date information and guidance. There's a special site for Program Directors, in addition to sections for policies, committees, information for residents, admission information, and an event calendar.
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
College of Family Physicians of Canada
*see CanERA-Excellence in Residency Accreditation
You're not alone! A program is a partnership and there are lots of people who can provide assistance when it's needed, including:
- PGME Dean and Office
- To keep you informed about current provincial and university regulations and policies
- To be the contact with the RCPSC for accreditation and documentation
- To advocate for issues of residency education with Department Heads and hospitals
- To have a reliable process for internal reviews, evaluations, promotions, and appeals
- To give advice on special circumstances, residents in difficulty, and a host of other issues
- Director, Resident Wellness
- To provide support, counseling and referrals to residents in difficulty, and to facilitate the transition from undergraduate medical student to postgraduate resident.
The RCPSC informs Program Directors on what needs to be accomplished, but each PD will carry this responsibility within the limits of other rules and regulations outside of the jurisdiction of the College. This includes provincial/university limitations on funding and positions, the PARO contract, hospital rules, and changing service configurations. It's recommended that you find a good mentor in an experienced Program Director, and to maintain a close and positive relationship with the PG Dean.
For a complete listing of all postgraduate policies, please visit:
CanERA-Excellence in Residency Accreditation
Information to be posted soon
Once the goals and objectives of the program and rotations have been established, it is important to construct a training sequence that is rational. It is the Program Director’s responsibility, along with the RPC, to advocate for residency assignments that are based on educational needs, not simply service.
The service-to-education ratio is the critical balance and reflects the 'real' educational philosophy of a program and a department. It can be a challenge for the Program Director to defend a balance that supports education; criteria need to be established for resident assignment and justified. In this, Program Directors need the support of the department and Head. It may help to take a fresh look at traditional assignments and ask:
What is dictating this resident assignment – service needs or educational needs?
Is the sequence of rotations rational for each resident? Is the sequence responsive to each resident’s training needs and career goals?
It is also essential that every program, by design, permit the resident to have increasing responsibility for patient care. This should be reflected in the objectives.
For each rotation, the Program Director needs to designate a supervisor with whom you can liaise about scheduling and discuss resident progress and evaluation.
Other structural concerns:
In planning rotations, the Program Director needs to consider whether the program permits:
- Electives (these must be possible and appropriate)
- Community-based rotations (is the supervision adequate and are the objectives clear?)
- An appropriate inpatient/outpatient mix
- Access to academic activities and research
Finally, the Program Director needs to review the training template, both from the department's perspective (have the service issues been addressed?) and from each resident’s perspective (how does his/her chronological training map look?).
For information about Competency-Based Medical Education or the Triple C Curriculum, please visit:
Association of American Medical Colleges
Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
Advanced Cardiac Life Support
Association of Canadian Medical Colleges (old name)
now know as Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada
Association of Canadian Teaching Hospitals
Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada
Alternative Funding Plan
Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada
Assessment Verification Period
Basic Clinical Teaching
Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools
Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario
Canadian Association of Interns and Residents
Canadian Association of Medical Education
Canadian Post-MD Education Registry
Canadian Resident Matching Service
Clinical Academic Units
Certificate, College of Family Physicians
Confirmation of Completion of Training (RCPSC Form)
Centre for the Evaluation of Health Professionals Educated Abroad
Canadian Federation of Medical Students
College of Family Physicians of Canada
Canadian Institute of Health Research
Core In-Training Evaluation Report
Council of Ontario Faculties of Medicine
- PGE:COFM - Postgraduate Education Committee of COFM
- PGM:COFM - Postgraduate Management Committee of COFM
- UE:COFM - Undergraduate Education Committee of COFM
- NOC:COFM - Northern Ontario Committee of COFM
- GIC:COFM - Gender Issues Committee of COFM
- CME:COFM - Continuing Medical Education Committee of COFM
- DME:COFM - Distributed Medical Education Committee of COFM
- MAC:COFM - Medical Admissions Committee of COFM
- CMR:COFM - Committee on Medical Research
Canadian Medical Association
Canadian Medical Graduate
Canadian Medical Protective Association
Council of Ontario Universities
Continuing Professional Development (Queen's)
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation
Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education & Research
Final In-Training Evaluation Report (RCPSC Form)
Federal Licensing Examination (USA)
Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada
Fédération des médecins résidents du Québec
Foreign Medical Graduate
Federation of Medical Licensing Authorities of Canada (old name)
now Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada
Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada
Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada
Federation of State Medical Boards
Full Time Equivalent
Gastrointestinal Diseases Research Unit (Queen's)
Hotel Dieu Hospital
International Medical Graduate
In-Training Evaluation Report
Kingston General Hospital
KGH Regional Cancer Centre
Liaison Committee of Medical Education
Local Health Integration Network
Licentiate of Medical Council of Canada
Letter of Appointment
Medical Council of Canada
Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination
Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination - Part I
Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination - Part II
Doctor of Medicine
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities
National Board of Medical Examiners
National Resident Matching Program (USA)
Ontario Medical Association
Ontario Medical School Application Service
Ontario Physician Human Resources Data Centre
Orientation to Training and Practice in Canada (for specialty programs)
Objective Structured Clinical Examination
Office of the University Registrar (Queen's)
Professional Association of Residents of Ontario
Pre-Entry Assessment Program
Postgraduate Medical Education
Postgraduate Medical Education Committee (Queen's)
Public Health Agency of Canada
Physician Health Program
Pre-Residency Program (for Family Medicine)
Physicians Services Incorporated
Queen’s University International Centre
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
Return of Service
Residency Program Committee (see RTC)
Residency Training Committee (see RPC)
Southeastern Ontario Academic Medical Association
School of Graduate Studies and Research (Queen's)
Undergraduate Medical Education Committee (Queen's)
United States Medical Licensing Examinations
World Health Organization
Accreditation Without Certification Subspecialties
"Accreditation Without Certification" is a process whereby the RCPSC recognizes subspecialties for the purpose of accrediting programs, but does not offer examinations leading to certification in the designated subspecialty.
Assessment of Training
All applicants must have their residency training assessed by the RCPSC to ensure that the specialty specific training requirements have been met in a program that is recognized and approved by the RCPSC.
An elective is defined as a discretionary, non-mandatory component of training.
The RCPSC does not grant licenses to practice medicine. Applicants who intend to obtain a license to practice in one of the provinces or territories of Canada must hold appropriate registration with the provincial/territorial regulatory authority. Applicants should contact the provincial/territorial medical regulatory authority directly for more information.
Objectives of Training and Specialty Training Requirements
Each specialty and subspecialty recognized by the RCPSC has specific mandatory Objectives of Training and Specialty Training Requirements. Specific information about the objectives of training and specialty training requirements is available for each specialty and subspecialty.
RCPSC Certification Examinations
Applicants are ruled eligible to take the examinations leading to RCPSC certification if all of the criteria of eligibility and residency training requirements have been met. Candidates for the examinations must register with the RCPSC in order to take the examination.
The RCPSC has no reciprocal arrangements for recognizing examinations or qualifications of any other College or Board in any specialty or subspecialty. Applicants with certification from any other specialty or subspecialty examinations, College or Board, are not exempt from any of the requirements of the RCPSC.
A residency is a specialty training program that is completed after medical school. These programs offer supervised and specific training for the resident in their chosen specialty/subspecialty.
A ruling is a decision on examination eligibility only. Once the applicant's residency training has been assessed, the RCPSC will make a "ruling" (decision) on examination eligibility. The RCPSC retains the authority to review all applications for preliminary assessment of training on a case-by-case basis and to determine the ruling on examination eligibility. The RCPSC also retains the authority to withdraw acceptance of an applicant's credentials and/or require that an applicant complete additional training.
Certification in a specialty or subspecialty will be granted upon the satisfactory completion of all credentials, training, and examination requirements. The RCPSC certification confirms that specialist physicians and surgeons have met RCPSC standards and training requirements.