Transfers from One Program to Another (Policy for)


  1. Residents must first meet with the Associate Dean of Postgraduate Medicine before beginning the process of requesting a transfer.
  2. Resident must have a valid and substantive reason for switching programs. Normally, such a process would take place after an appropriate exposure to the discipline.
  3. The training programs are given allocations determined by physician resource needs. No program should train residents beyond these needs. Physician resource needs will be considered before allowing any transfer.
  4. Confidentiality should be maintained as far as possible.
  5. No program will be required to accept a postgraduate trainee who does not meet the programs' admission criteria or for whom adequate training resources are not available. 
  6. Funds for postgraduate training will follow the resident.
  7. Negative impacts on programs resulting from transfers should be minimized. This may require compensatory transfers of entry positions in subsequent years.
  8. The donor program should be given 3 months' notice of a trainee leaving its program 

Mechanism of Transfer

  1. All residents will be notified of the availability of this policy at orientation as well as the proper procedures for carrying it out. 

  2. Residents initially must first apply in confidentiality to the Postgraduate Office with a request to switch to a specific program within this university. 

  3. The appropriate Program Director is then notified regarding any requests of a resident to transfer into that program.

  4. A formal application process will then be undertaken. The potential recipient Residency Program Committee(s) shall proceed with an appropriate process to determine the resident's acceptability, which will normally be completed within 30 days of the notification of the program director(s) of the transfer request by the resident.

  5. Evaluations from the program in which the resident currently has a position, should be made available to the program to which the resident is applying. Consideration should be given to the possibility of references being supplied. All possible mechanisms should be entertained to maintain confidentiality. However, this must be balanced against the need of the accepting program to have good recent information on the candidate. 

  6. Applicants through this procedure will have to meet all of the criteria that the program normally sets out. There is no obligation to accept the resident.

  7. If the resident is fully acceptable and meets all of the criteria laid out by the accepting program, it is then up to the Program Directors of each discipline concerned as to whether a position will be offered. If no vacancy exists in the program to which the resident is transferring, adequate funding from the donating program to cover the rest of the resident's training must transfer to the receiving program.

  8. If additional negotiations are required between the program directors of the donating and recipient programs regarding possible compensation or exchange of entry positions, these must be completed and agreed too before the transfer is completed. The program directors may utilize the Associate Dean, PGME to facilitate such discussion and resolution.

  9. The Postgraduate Office will then be notified of the program decision. Sufficient time should be allocated to allow for future planning of CaRMS positions and will not interfere with the CaRMS interview process.

  10. The donor program should be given three months notice of a resident's departure to join a new program. 

Listed below is the required documentation for a resident transfer:

  1. A resident seeking a transfer must provide to his/her current program a letter requesting release from the program and the date of release.
  2. In addition, the resident will need to provide to his/her current program a copy of the letter of offer to his/her new training program, with the official start date noted. 
  3. The current program must provide a written letter release for their trainee with the finalized end date that has been agreed to by all parties.
  4. The Dalhousie Postgraduate Medical Education office requires 3 weeks to process a transfer from the final date that copies of all required documentation regarding the transfer has been received.