What is a return of service (ROS) agreement?

Some residency training positions require you to enter into a return of service (ROS) agreement with the provincial/territorial government. An ROS requires you to practice medicine in a specific area once you complete your residency training.

Most often, ROS commitments are designed to serve rural or under-serviced communities – that is, communities which are far from major cities. Applicants matched to these positions must be eligible for, and are required to sign the ROS agreement, once matched.

A failure to execute the required ROS agreement will void the CaRMS match. Applicants are responsible for contacting the applicable provincial/territorial government to confirm the existence of and the term and contents of any applicable ROS agreement. CaRMS shall not be responsible for providing ROS agreement information, or for the accuracy of information exchanged between applicants and the provincial/territorial government.

It will always be mentioned if a program has an ROS obligation attached. If specific information regarding the ROS obligation is not available prior to the rank order list (ROL) deadline and the applicant ranks a program with an ROS obligation, the match result is still binding. Careful considerations must be put into ranking an ROS program prior to knowing all the necessary information. 

Information relating to ROS agreements, including the correct point of contact for questions, can be found in specific program descriptions.

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