If you are thinking about adding a third year of residency to enhance your skills, there are a wide variety of programs to choose from across Canada.

Why do residents choose to pursue extra training through a PGY-3 program?

  • They have an area of special interest
  • They plan to devote a portion of their practice to a specific area
  • They would like more experience in a specific area
  • They plan to work in a community with a specific health-care need
  • They want to pursue a Master’s Degree or do extra research in a specific area (e.g., academic family medicine)


PGY-3 Quick Facts

  • Most PGY-3 years begin July 1 (some programs will make accommodations).
  • Applications usually open near the end of the summer of PGY-2.
  • Requirements typically include a cover letter, references, an up-to-date CV, an application form and a letter of support from your program director.
  • Deadlines for application are usually the end of September of PGY-2.
  • Emergency Medicine is currently the only program that requires a Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) application.
  • Programs generally range from three months to one year.
  • Many programs allow you to design your own PGY-3 program tailored to your learning needs.
  • Some programs require a Return of Service Agreement (ROSA), which requires, in most cases, a year of service to an underserviced area for a year of funded training.


Tips for a Successful PGY-3 Application

  • Each university and program has different timelines and requirements, so start researching them early.
  • Try to arrange an elective in the specialty and/or location of your choice.
  • Talk to current residents in your program of choice. As them if they are happy with the structure of the program.
  • Contact the program director by email or in person to ask questions and let them know you are interested in their program. Putting a face to the application can really distinguish you from other applicants.


Emergency Medicine

For program-specific information and exact time-lines please visit www.carms.ca.

  • Online CaRMS registration usually begins in the August prior to commencement of the program, with final submission of applications at the end of September.
  • The interview period usually spans a month, in late Fall, with the final match day sometime in mid-December.
  • Each program requires a personal letter plus three reference letters and a letter of good standing from your program director; some programs also require a CV.
  • The number of positions at each university can vary each year

Certification Programs

Certifications at the end of PGY-3 year (12 months) are offered for the following specialities:

  • GP Anaesthesia
  • Palliative Care
  •  Emergency Medicine
  • Care of the Elderly

Ontario University PGY-3 Program Descriptions

Please see program websites for complete descriptions, number of positions and application timelines.