I am an IMG, what can I do to prepare for the match?

We aim to make the residency match process as easy and stress-free as possible. The following tips will help you prepare for your match:

1. Familiarize yourself with program descriptions

CaRMS collects and posts the program descriptions provided by programs of Canadian medical schools participating in each of CaRMS’ matches. These descriptions are publicly accessible in the match pages.

2. Review eligibility rules

As an IMG applying for residency training in Canada, there are a number of different eligibility criteria you should consider before applying to programs. Ensure you read the eligibility criteria and provincial criteria found in the match pages to ensure you meet all the necessary requirements to practice in your chosen province(s).

3. Review return of service contracts

Most provinces have introduced return of service (ROS) contracts for IMGs who are matched to positions in the province. Most contracts require IMGs to practice in the province for a period of time, often equal to the number of years of postgraduate training, in a location of identified need. Most often ROS commitments are designed to serve rural or under-serviced communities – that is, communities which are far from major cities.

4. Schedule your electives strategically

Keep in mind that you will need to request reference letters for your CaRMS application, so it is important to line up your electives schedule to ensure you will be in a position to collect the references you need to support your career choices.

5. Consider all the options

Think about applying broadly and consider more than one discipline. CaRMS does not limit the number of programs you can apply to. Applying broadly could increase your likelihood of matching to your preferred discipline or location.

6. Get to know the match timeline

All CaRMS matches operate on approximately the same schedule every year. The timelines provide a schedule of milestone dates to help you keep your application on track throughout your match year, but these milestones are not deadlines. The only real deadline in the CaRMS timetable is the rank order list deadline – the date by which you must submit your ranked list of programs. If you miss this deadline, you will be automatically withdrawn from the match. Be sure to consult the timetable on a regular basis for up-to-date information.


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