Getting into Residency


In both Canada and the US, residency positions are allocated via an electronic matching process. After the application and interviewing processes have been completed, applicants submit a list of their preferred residency programs to the relevant match agency(ies), and the residency programs also submit a list of their preferred applicants. These lists are called “rank order lists”. Once submitted, the applicant and program rank order lists are subjected to a mathematical algorithm such that applicants are matched to their most highly preferred residency program that also ranked them high enough to match. A match is considered legally binding, and applicants are obligated to carry out at least one year of training at the program to which they have matched.

Residency positions in North America tend to begin on July 1 of each match year.

The general process, for Canada and the US, is as follows:

  1. Plan your Senior Clerkship (SCP) electives

  2. Decide on the specific programs to which you will apply

  3. Register with the match agency(ies)

  4. Complete your electronic residency applications

  5. Submit supporting documentation to the match agency(ies)

  6. Wait for interview offers

  7. Go through the interview process

  8. Create and submit a rank order list to the match agency(ies)

  9. Wait for release of match results

Details on each of the above are explored in the subsections at left.


Next: Elective Selection and Strategy