Succeeding in Residency: Resources

Getting through residency


Succeeding in Residency: Resources

Getting through residency


Useful smart phone apps and online resources by subject

SmartPhone Applications

  • ACLS Advisor 2017 (free)

  • WikEM – Emergency Medicine (free)

  • ERes – Emergency Medicine ($9.99) - Apple only

  • Pepid (free or $299.99)

  • AFP By Topic (free)

  • Medscape (free)

  • Eye Chart Pro (free) - Apple only

  • CANImmunize (free)

  • Lab Values Pro (free)

  • Lexicomp (subscription)

  • MD on Call ($13.99)

  • MDCalc Medical Calculator (free)

  • Calculate by QxMD (free)

  • UpToDate (subscription)

  • 5-Minute Clinical Consult (subscription)

  • ACC Pocket Guidelines (free)

  • Harrison’s Manual of Medicine (subscription)

  • Perfect OB Wheel ($2.79) - Apple only

  • OB Wheel (free)

  • Eye handbook (free)

  • Palliative Care Symptom Guide (free)

  • Pedi Safe Medications ($1.79)

  • Pedi STAT ($6.99)

  • Epocrates (free)

  • Lexi-comp (subscription)

  • RxTx Mobile (free)

  • PHQ-9 Depression Module (free)

Helpful Reference Books

Online Resources

Ways to Get Involved

Ways to Get Involved

Ways to Get Involved

Ways to Get Involved

Mandatory Memberships   

  • CPSO The College of Physicians and Surgeons and Canadian Medical Protection Association (see section “Paperwork BEFORE You Start…”)

  • College of Family Physicians of Canada: Required to write the certification exams in PGY-2. Includes subscription to Canadian Family Physician Journal, free access to Self Learning (a study guide/CME resource) and up-to-date information on issues in family medicine. Membership must be maintained after graduation to maintain certification.

Committee Involvement

There are many opportunities for involvement within each family medicine program. Listed below are a few provincial and national committees to consider. Expect an email early in the year soliciting applications for these positions.

OCFP: One representative per year per Ontario program, two meetings per year in Toronto and two teleconferences

PARO: Three to four representatives per Ontario program, four meetings per year in Toronto

RDOC: Volunteer committee and liaison positions, elected positions for the board of directors

OMA: Section of Residents Eight elected positions plus alternates, two OMA general council meetings per year

CFPC: One representative per year per Canadian program, two meetings per year in Mississauga and two teleconferences

Special Courses

  • Mandatory

    • NRP (Neonatal Resuscitation Program) – offered at most schools

    • ACES (Acute Critical Events Simulation) – only at some schools

  • Recommended

    • Emergency

      • ATLS (Advanced Trauma Life Support)

      • ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support)

      • PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life support)

    • Obstetrics

      • ALARM (by the SOGC), also course (by the AAFP)

    • Orthopedics

      • CASTED, AMLS (Acute Musculoskeletal Limb Support)

  • Check the requirements for your program early on, most universities offer their own ACLS, ATLS, NRP and PALS courses.

Resident Wellbeing

Resident Wellbeing

Resident Wellbeing

Resident Wellbeing

Residency training can be exciting, challenging and full of great opportunities for learning and growth. It can also have moments that are exhausting, stressful and emotional. It is important to try to maintain a healthy balance between work and other aspects of your life in order to maintain your personal wellbeing and to provide better patient care. Maintaining your pre-residency interests can help you to stay balanced.

If you find yourself struggling at any point during residency, know you are not alone and that there are lots of resources available for help! The PARO website has a great section on Thriving During Residency that outlines some helpful resources available to residents here.

Some highlights include:

  • PARO 24-Hour Helpline: 1-866-HELP-DOC (1-866-435-7362) / Provided in partnership with Distress Centres of Toronto, this helpline is available to residents, their partners and family members, as well as medical students. The toll-free number is accessible anywhere in Ontario, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    • A confidential service to support residents, medical students, their partners and families

  • Ontario Medical Association Physician Health Program (PHP): or call the

  • Confidential Toll-Free Line: 1-800-851-6606 (Monday to Friday 8:45am to 5:00pm) with services for students and residents.

  • ePhysicianHealth:

    • “Online health and wellness resource designed to help physicians and physicians in training to be resilient in their professional and personal lives.”

  • Family Doctor Roster: If you are looking for a family doctor for yourself, contact PARO and they will find one for you in your area.

  • Your peers, supervisors and program directors can be great support along the way. The PGME or resident wellness website of each school is another great resource:

  • And lastly, don’t forget to take advantage of the Group Benefit Health Care Plan.

PARO: Call, Stipends, and your Contract

PARO: Call, Stipends and your contract

PARO: Call, Stipends, and your Contract

PARO: Call, Stipends and your contract

The Professional Association of Residents of Ontario (PARO) is the official representative voice for Ontario’s doctors in training.

PARO’s priority is to advocate on behalf of its members, addressing professional and educational concerns in order to optimize the training and working experience of Ontario’s newest doctors thus ensuring that patients receive the best possible medical care.

The PARO website is your go-to resource for information on your contract, call stipends, vacation information, sick leave, benefits, and much more.

If you have any questions, please refer to the PARO website at:





No one plans for remediation to be a part of his or her career path. When it does happen, it can be extremely stressful. Fortunately, Ontario PGME programs are well equipped to deal with the process, as should you. Below is a list of school-specific links to remediation policies outlining the process, who is involved and requirements..

School-Specific Remediation Policy and Support Links

  1. McMaster

  2. NOSM

  3. Queen’s University

  4. University of Ottawa:

  5. University of Toronto

  6. Western University:

Professional Association of Residents of Ontario

PARO is another great resource for residents undergoing remediation

Whether it’s offering strategic advice or acting as an intermediary, PARO can play a key role in an appeal process if necessary. While PARO won’t take sides in an academic dispute on its clinical or academic merits, we will take a position on procedural matters, helping you through the process of appealing a clinical assessment that you believe is incorrect or unfair, as well as providing some related advice.

In some cases, where PARO believes that the underlying issues raise matters of general importance to our membership, we may independently intervene on your behalf.

Five Ways PARO Can Help

  1. Identify the hierarchy of people to appeal to, such as the clinical supervisor, program director, director of postgraduate education, associate dean of postgraduate education, chairman of the university, faculty of medicine appeals committee, and the governing council of the university.

  2. Advising you about who to approach, and in consultation with our law firm, provide preliminary and, in some cases, ongoing tactical and strategic advice, including assisting you with the preparation of written materials.

  3. Providing informal advice or acting as an intermediary in answering certain questions or obtaining information on your behalf. For example, PARO may phone the Royal College or CPSO for advice to ensure your anonymity.

  4. Keeping records of conversations, advice and correspondence and maintaining confidentiality.

  5. Generally, a preliminary consultation and related follow-up with our lawyers is paid for by PARO. However, save in those few cases where PARO determines the matter is one of general importance, PARO will advise you that you are responsible for any additional legal fees incurred once any formal appeal process is initiated. In other words, if PARO or its counsel have not been able to assist the resident to resolve the matter informally, without the need to formally appeal and request a hearing, further costs are the responsibility of the resident.

Certification Examinations in Family Medicine

Certification Examinations

in Family Medicine

Certification Examinations in Family Medicine

Certification Examinations

in Family Medicine

In Spring 2014, residents began taking a Harmonized Exam, which combined both the LMCC Part II and the CCFP exam. However, as of 2016, the harmonized format was discontinued. Candidates now register separately for the CFPC’s certification exam and the MCCQE Part II.


Please refer to the MCCQE part II webpage for further details. The exam comprises 12 OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Exam) stations - 8 on day 1 and 4 on day 2.  The examination fee is $2,570

CCFP Examination

Please refer to the CFPC exam webpage for further details. The exam comprises:

SAMPS (Short Answer Management Problems): Test recall of factual knowledge and problem solving abilities in the areas of definition and management of health problems and critical appraisal.

SOOs (Simulated Office Orals): 5 SOOs designed to simulate a real clinical encounter. Each lasts 15 minutes and includes a patient (the examiner) who will present with a primary and secondary complaint, which the examinee must uncover.  The examination will assess both the definition and management of each health problem. The scoring system focuses on the candidate’s approach to dealing with patients—including their ability to understand the patient's unique experience and to establish a positive doctor-patient relationship, using a patient-centered clinical method.  Getting the "right diagnosis" plays only a minor role in the scoring.

The CCFP examination fee is $3,110

Continuing Medical Education

Continuing Medical Education

Continuing Medical Education

Continuing Medical Education

Online CME

  • Online CMEs are a great alternative to attending courses and conferences, which can be quite expensive

Major Conferences

OCFP Annual Scientific Assembly - Fall

Rural and Remote Medicine - Spring

American Academy of Family Physicians: Family Medicine Experience (FMX) - Fall

CFPC Family Medicine Forum (FMF) - Fall

PriMed Canada - Spring


The CFPC program for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) allows physicians to document and maintain their continuing education and provides methods for evaluating CPD programs.

Please visit for up-to-date details.

How MAINPRO+ Works

  • When you join CFPC as a member, you start your first five-year MAINPRO+ cycle

  • In each cycle, you must accrue a minimum of 250 credits. Minimum of 25 credits per year

  • Reporting MAINPRO+ credits is done online through your CFPC login

  • You must retain proof of participation in all types of MAINPRO+ credits for at least six years because members are randomly selected for credit validation.

MAINPRO+ and Residents

  • Residents are not required to participate in MAINPRO+; however, many residents participate in MAINPRO+ eligible activities, such as conferences and ACLS.

  • CFPC encourages residents to track their MAINPRO+ activities as UP TO 40 CERTIFIED MAINPRO+ CREDITS EARNED AND REPORTED DURING THE RESIDENCY CYCLE WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY CARRIED FORWARD TO YOUR FIRST ACTIVE MAINPRO+ CYCLE (i.e. into your first cycle as a practicing physician). To learn more about reporting these credits visit:

  • Note that only activities outside of your residency program can be claimed, for example mandatory teaching at your site does not count.

The CFPC Self Learning program is free to residents, allows you to certified MAINPRO+ credits, and has practice SAMPs available for exam preparation. Visit

Enhancing Skills: PGY-3 Opportunities

Enhancing Skills: PGY-3 Opportunities

Enhancing Skills: PGY-3 Opportunities

Enhancing Skills: PGY-3 Opportunities

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.

Certification Programs

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

  • FP Anesthesia

  • 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.

Emergency Medicine

For program-specific information and exact time-lines please visit

  • 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

CFPC Exam Resources

CFPC Exam Resources

CFPC Exam Resources

CFPC Exam Resources

Free Online

SOO Success Infographic - Free for those who signup for the Review Course Study Tips e-mail

Select Guidelines/Helpful Links - Compiled by the Review Course

99 Topics for the CCFP Study Notes - Free and updated pdf for the exam

Calgary Overview of SAMPs - Last updated in 2016

McGill Family Medicine Orientation to the Exam - Last updated in 2015

CCFP Prep - Blog by UBC resident on the 99 topics (last update 2015)

UBC Wiki-Notes on the 99 topics - Initially compiled by class of UBC 2012

U of Manitoba CCFP Exam Study Tips

Free Audio

Dr Mike Kirlew - Audio Podcasts

Dr Brady Bouchard- Audio Podcasts