I have outlined the steps to apply for medical residency in a previous post. You can start by reading it HERE first. I’ll go through some of the steps again quickly but this time, this is specific to Ontario residents.

1. Pass your Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE). The MCCEE was phased out in November 2018.

2. Pass your Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part I (MCCQE1) and National Assessment Collaboration OSCE (NAC OSCE).

3. Pass your IELTS. You cannot apply to a residency program if you do not have at least a score of 7 in each component (writing, reading, listening and speaking).

4. Apply to the Ontario residency program of your choice. Ontario has the highest number of residency positions in Canada offered by the following universities: University of Ottawa, Queen’s University, Northern Ontario School of Medicine, University of Toronto, McMaster University, and Western University.

5. You can also apply for residency programs in other provinces to increase your chances of getting accepted. However, you need to find out about province-specific assessments as these might be used to filter applicants, in addition to the usual NAC, MCCEE, MCCQE1, and IELTS.

9. Programs that like your application will send you an email inviting you for an interview. Depending on the program, it might be in any format: structured, semi-structured, or MMI. You will be given this information in better detail when you receive your interview invitation. Please read ‘What is an MMI?’.

10. After the interview, you will be placed on a ranking list and then you might be matched to one of the programs that interviewed you.

11. If you get matched, then this means you have been accepted to start your residency and you will proceed to the next step. Take note that IMGs who match to residency programs in Ontario will be expected to fulfill Return of Service (ROS) Obligations. Read more about ROS obligations.

12. Pre-residency evaluation. This is divided into 2 periods: An initial Pre-Residency Orientation Program which is followed by an Assessment Verification Period.

  • Pre-Residency Orientation Programs: All matched IMGs will be required to complete either the Pre-Residency Program (PRP) or the Pre-Residency Program for Family Medicine (PRPFM) before commencing their respective residency programs. These 2-week programs take place at The Touchstone Institute in Toronto. When you get matched, you have to contact the Touchstone Institute to select your preferred start date (2-week blocks running from early April to late July). Family Medicine Residents have additional family medicine modules (running for five days either in late April or late July/early August).
  • Assessment Verification Period (AVP): The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario requires all matched IMGs to obtain an educational license to enter a residency program. This is achieved by going through a 12-week assessment period after the Orientation program. If an IMG fails the AVP, he can reapply to Ontario through CaRMS in the next applications cycle. However, he/she is ineligible to apply for a position in that same specialty in Ontario but may apply to a different specialty in the first and/or second iteration.

13. If you pass the AVP, then you are ready to start residency! Yay!

You can also read about the steps to apply to residency programs in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and British Columbia.

In future posts, I will outline the steps for IMGs in other provinces.

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

’til my next post……