Before I explain The Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) process, I will discuss the peripheral issues you need to know in addition. My last post was about Extracurricular Interests, Activities, and Achievements for Canadian IMGs.

If you intend applying for a residency program in Canada, please read this first: IMGs applying for post-graduate medical training/residency position in Canada: An Overview.

It is important to note that in some provinces, international medical graduates (IMGs) who match to residency programs are required to sign agreements which mandate them to work in a rural community for a certain period after the completion of their residency. These are referred to as Return of Service (ROS) Obligations. The duration varies from 2 – 5 years depending on the province. Additionally, you must disclose if you have a pre-existing ROS obligation with another province at the time of your CARMS application. IMGs that have active ROS obligations may not be eligible for residency in some provinces and should contact the provincial ministry of health for further information.

These obligations should not be taken lightly because if a candidate does not fulfill their return of service commitment to their respective provinces, they will be required to repay their bursary (resident salary and associated training costs) plus accumulated interest.

Provincial Information

1. Newfoundland and Labrador – The length of return of service equals the number of years the physician spent in his/her residency training program.

2. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island – Each resident is sponsored by a health agency and the length of service is determined by the specific sponsoring agency. Read THIS.

3. Ontario – An IMG Training Agreement is signed with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for a period of five years upon completion of their training in their area of specialty (including Family Medicine). This ROS commitment can be fulfilled anywhere in Ontario with the exception of the following communities: The City of Ottawa, The Greater Toronto Area including the City of Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Vaughan, Markham, and Pickering.

4. Manitoba – All IMGs are required to sign a return of service contract with Manitoba Health, in the specialty in which they have completed their residency training (including Family Medicine). The number of years not stated.

5. Saskatchewan – Upon completion of residency, IMGs are expected to work in areas outside Saskatoon and Regina. Saskatoon is the largest city in Saskatchewan while Regina is its capital city. All IMGs matched to IMG Stream positions in the first iteration will be required to sign a Return of Service contract with the Province of Saskatchewan, and all IMG applicants matched to Family Medicine positions in the second iteration will be required to sign a Return of Service contract with the Province of Saskatchewan. The number of years not stated. For more info, please read THIS.

6. British Columbia – Applicants who are accepted into residency programs are required to sign a Return of Service (ROS) contract with the Ministry of Health. For Family Medicine, the ROS obligation is 2 years, and for all other specialties, it is 3 years. The area you are expected to work will be outside of Vancouver (the capital city of British Columbia), and it is determined by the location of your residency training. To review a pdf copy of the contract draft, please click HERE.

7. Alberta – No Return of Service Obligations, but application to Alberta residency programs are only open to Alberta residents. Please read more about applying to residency in Alberta HERE.

To view all the provincial criteria on the CaRMS website, please click HERE.

If you have more questions, please leave a comment or send me an email at internationalphysiciantraining (@)

’til my next post……