Procedures and Guidelines

Alternative Routes to Direct Entry into Residency

Categories: Appointments Residents PGME

Updated on:


It is recognized that vacant positions can have significant impact, especially in smaller Residency Programs.

This policy establishes the process for the selection of applicants into vacant residency positions in Residency Programs at the University of Saskatchewan, outside of the CaRMS match. This process is not available for all programs every year. It is expected to be rarely used and is dependent on resources and recruitment needs of Residency Programs


Alternative routes into residency must not subvert or supplant the CaRMS Match process.

Applicants using alternative routes must meet the same requirements applied to those applicants who successfully matched through CaRMS.

Alternative routes to entry into residency are managed through the PGME Office, considering the needs of the applicants and the Residency Programs. Final approval rests with the Associate Dean, PGME.


CaRMS- Canadian Residency Matching Service

PGME- Postgraduate Medical Education

Re-entry is the process where physicians who have completed a minimum of one year of medical practice in Saskatchewan and are pursuing further postgraduate medical training at the University of Saskatchewan.

Scope of this Policy

Policy applies to current residents, as well as learners who failed to match to a residency position through the CaRMS Match process, and licensed physicians who wish to pursue additional postgraduate training full time.

Current residents may pursue alternative training opportunities through transfer process, as established in Resident Transfer policy and procedure, as well as the Postgraduate Medical Education National Transfer Guidelines. 

Sponsored position for international visa applicants, and positions sponsored by The Department of National Defense are out of scope of this policy. The application and selection processes for such positions will be established in agreement with the sponsoring agencies.  


 The vacancies in the programs can be created through the following:

  1. Any vacancy remaining after the second iteration of the Main Residency (R-1) CaRMS process,
  2. Due to reasons such as transfer, dismissal, withdrawal,
  3. Newly identified capacity of the program, contingent on available funding. Funding can be provided:
    1. Through existing funding sources in the College of Medicine, as provided by the SK Ministry of Health. Requests will be prioritized based on the health human resource needs of the Province.
    2. Other special funding arrangements occasionally developed.

Applications for these positions will be considered only twice per academic year:

1)            Period I- following the second iteration of Main Residency (R1) CaRMS process, approximately mid-April to the end of June (exact dates might very yearly, depending on the calendar dates and CaRMS timelines). During this period, applications will be considered and position offers will be made.

Any vacancies available in Period I will be filled first through internal/external transfers, following the established process, and only after the requirement for the minimum time (6 months) in program has been met.

It is strongly encouraged that residents utilize the second iteration of CaRMS first, before applying through the transfer process.

Should there be vacancies available after initial consideration of transfers, positions will be made available in Period I to the following pool of applicants, which include (in no order of preference):

  • Transfer applicants, both internal and external;
  • University of Saskatchewan (UofS) medical graduates, who were not matched in R1 match (within the last three years); 
  • Medical graduates from other universities, who were not matched, but have applied in R1 match and have been ranked by a UofS Residency Program (within the last three years), and who reside in Saskatchewan or have other strong connections to the Province;
  • Re-entry applicants, who are practicing in Saskatchewan and are in good standing, or have practiced for a minimum of 12 consecutive months and have other strong ties to the Province and can provide a letter of good standing from the licensing authority in each jurisdiction where they have practiced.

2)            Period II- from approximately September 1 to November 15 (exact dates might very yearly, depending on the calendar dates and CaRMS timelines).  During this period, applications will be considered and position offers will be made. These positions will be filled only through internal/external transfers.

All applications for the vacant residency training positions in Period I and Period II will go through the PGME Office. The PGME Office will review, collate and forward the applications to the appropriate Residency Program. Once the selection decision has been reached, the PGME Office will issue a Letter of Offer to the successful applicant.

Decisions regarding the suitability of the applicant for the vacant residency position are final and not subject to appeal.


Instances or concerns of non-compliance with this policy should be brought to the attention of the Associate Dean, PGME.


Coordinator, Admissions and Resident Administration, PGME Office 

Phone: 306-966-1941