OMSA and CFMS Joint Message: Reduction of CMG PGY-1 Positions in Ontario

As medical student representative organizations, both the Ontario Medical Students Association (OMSA) and the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) believe it is important to inform our members of an impending reduction in the number of residency positions that will be available in the province of Ontario for the 2016 and 2017 R1 Main Residency Matches. This reduction will impact the 2016 and 2017 graduating classes.

The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will discontinue funding for 25 Canadian Medical Graduate (CMG) PGY-1 residency positions across Ontario in 2016. A further 25 residency positions will be cut in 2017, for a total reduction of 50 positions in the 2017 Match compared to the number of positions available in the 2015 Match. We recognize that the match is already a competitive process, and we feel that our members deserve to be made aware of this significant change should they wish to incorporate this information into their career planning decisions. While the distribution of the reductions across specialties and programs is currently unknown, we will promptly communicate further details as they become available. We have not learned of any changes to the number of residency positions in other provinces.

Both OMSA and the CFMS have a history of advocating for evidence-based health human resource planning by federal, provincial, and territorial governments. We believe that residency positions should be allocated according to the current and future needs of the Canadian population in close consultation with the medical students and residents who will devote their careers to meeting those needs. We strongly believe in maintaining adequate opportunities for CMGs to enter the postgraduate medical education system. It is a costly and ineffective error when Canadian Medical School Graduates are unable to serve patients as they are trained to do.

Our organizations will continue to advocate on behalf of our members, patients, and the health care system in order to ensure any changes to postgraduate positions are made in a consultative and evidence-based manner. The Professional Association of Residents of Ontario (PARO) and Resident Doctors of Canada (RDoC) are providing their support for this shared vision. We welcome your questions, concerns, and feedback throughout this ongoing discussion using the contact information listed below. Together, we can create an efficient and socially accountable postgraduate medical education system.

Yours sincerely,

Ontario Medical Students Association                       Canadian Federation of Medical Students
representation@omsa.ca                                            vpgovtaffairs@cfms.org