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There are occasions when a resident or a residency program concludes that a transfer to another residency training program is in their best interests.  Flexibility in postgraduate medical training is desirable and represents the cornerstone to a resident transfer policy. 
It creates a positive learning atmosphere and dynamic educational system. It also reduces the anxiety that for some, is associated with making a specialty choice early in their career.

This document outlines principles and process for transfers, balancing flexibility for residents and sustainability for programs.


Programs should be flexible and be open to changes that facilitate resident’s future careers.

Overall, transfers should not significantly alter the current distribution of residency positions among programs.

Scope of this Policy

This policy applies only to residents in positions matched through Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS). However, the principles are applicable to residents in other (externally funded) positions. Such residents should consult directly with the Associate Dean, Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME).

This transfer policy applies only to transfer within training programs in Saskatchewan.


Whenever possible, transfers should not subvert the CaRMS match. Transfers should not represent another ‘unofficial’ round of the CaRMS match.

It is recognized that informal discussion regarding career changes will occur. These discussions are not considered official until the resident initiates a formal transfer request as described in the procedures. Although all requests for transfers will be considered, it must be recognized that not all requests will be granted.

Residents must be acceptable to the program to which they are seeking transfer and must complete all components of the application process established by the program. Programs that do not have sufficient resources to appropriately train additional residents should not be forced to accept transfer candidates. If additional funding is required to support the transfer, funding must be secured before the transfer can be approved. Negative impacts on programs resulting from transfers should be minimized.

Both faculty and residents involved in a resident transfer are expected to behave in a mature, professional and confidential manner. Residents involved in transfers should be treated with respect and dignity.

Requests for transfers from Family Medicine or Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) programs’ residents in their PGY1 year will be considered after six months of training have been completed in the resident’s home program. Residents should have sufficient exposure to the receiving program to which they are requesting transfer either in the last year of medical school or during their residency. An elective period in the receiving program may be required.

Program transfers must follow the current Collective Agreement regarding resignation.

Final decisions regarding transfer are made by the Associate Dean, PGME.

Residents may request credit for training done prior to the transfer.  The decision regarding credit of training should be made within the first six months of transfer into a new program.  Residents should be given appropriate credit for training done in their original training with the following considerations:

  1. Residents in RCPSC programs must apply to the RCPSC for review of their training and a ruling on how much of that training would be recognized by the RCPSC. Residents are responsible to initiate this assessment directly with the RCPSC.
  2. The RCPSC ruling would set the upper limit on how much of the prior training could be applied to the new training program.
  3. In either RCPSC or CFPC programs, the final decision as to how much credit will be applied will rest with the receiving Program Director in consultation with the Residency Program Committee. This decision must be based on:
    1. i) Applicability of prior training to meeting the objectives of training of the new program.
    2. ii) A standard of performance by the resident that indicates the resident will have no difficulty in meeting the objectives of training within the training period.
  4. It may not be possible to determine a priori what amount of credit should be applied to the resident’s new program. In such cases, unless there are extenuating circumstances, this should be determined within 1 year of entry into the program.
  5. For RCPSC residents transferring into a CFPC training program, credit will be given based on demonstrated competencies and determination by the Program Director in consultation with the Promotions Committee of the Family Medicine residency program. Credit for training must be approved by CFPC.  A maximum of 6-months credit may be applied.
  6. For CFPC residents transferring Nationally into another CFPC training program, credit will be given based on demonstrated competencies and determination by the Program Director in consultation with the Promotions Committee of the Family Medicine residency program. Credit for training does not need to be approved by CFPC.  The overall amount will be determined at the program level.


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