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Procedures and Guidelines

National PostGraduate Medical Education Transfer Guidelines for Neurosurgery

Categories: Surgery Neurosurgery

Postgraduate Medical Education National Transfer Guidelines

Postgraduate Medical Education National Transfer Guidelines Preamble

The Postgraduate Medical Education Offices across Canada are supportive of transfers from institution to institution. These 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 his or her home school’s transfer guideline/policy.


These guidelines apply to Residents currently enrolled in a postgraduate training program in Canada (subject to the criteria of the RECEIVING provincial licensing jurisdiction(s) and the RECEIVING University). These guidelines apply to all transfers that take place outside of the second iteration of CaRMS.


The following are basic principles to which all PGME offices adhere regarding resident transfers:

  1. Transfers should not subvert the CaRMS match, and consideration will not be given until at least 6 months and adequate exposure to the resident’s home discipline, as determined by the Associate Dean-PGME at the HOME University.
  2. Discussions regarding transfer will remain confidential until such time as the resident consents to disclosure of his/her intent to transfer.
  3. Provincial government funding is not transferrable between institutions. Special cases that require the transfer of government funding are to be resolved between concerned PGME offices.
  4. The local Faculty of Medicine guideline/policy takes precedent over the national guidelines.
  5. The Resident should be in academic good standing with his/her University to be considered for transfer. To this end, PRIOR TO CONSIDERATION FOR TRANSFER, the resident must agree to full disclosure of his/her PGME office residency file, including but not limited to all in training assessments and any additional relevant information. The file will be sent from the home PGME office to the receiving program. Disclosure of the file will respect the conf identiality outlined in Principle #2.
  6. Residents have the ability to access positions in the second iteration of CaRMS, with the exception of Quebec. It is the Resident’s responsibility to clear any return of service commitments with the provincial Ministry of Health. Quebec programs will not consider any residents with return of service obligations to other jurisdictions.


Initial enquiry:

  1. A resident who is interested in pursuing a transfer to another Canadian University should contact the Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) Office of his / her HOME university to register their interest in 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 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 BOTH the resident and the HOME PGME Office if the RECEIVING program can or cannot receive a transfer application.

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 process 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:

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).

Should the resident decide to accept, s/he is expected to follow any additional internal steps required by their HOME PGME office.

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.

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.

Approved April 26, 2015