1. Sign the Letter of Appointment (LOA) and send to your postgraduate medical education office (usually within 30 days).
  2. Become a member of the CPSO
    • Mandatory membership for residency
    • Application
    • It takes approximately 12 weeks to process the application so send it in early
    • Most schools will send in a photocopy of your medical degree automatically
    • Police and vulnerable screen check can take 8 to 10 weeks
  3. Become a member of the CMPA
    • Apply Online
    • Type of work code: 12 (without moonlighting)
    • The MOHLTC normally reimburses 80% of the dues. Go to the MOHLTC website and download and submit Application Form #3889 and Direct Deposit Authorization Form #7698.
  4. Become a member of the CFPC
    • Membership is automatic and handled by your Program Director and CFPC staff in August. PGY-1 membership is free.
    • PGY-2 membership is automatically renewed. You will be required to pay a $58 membership fee when you apply to write the certification examination in family medicine.
  5. Become a member of the OMA/CMA (optional)
    • OMA
    • CMA
      Note that you must be a member of OMA to join
    • Join SGFP (section of General and Family Practitioners) as secondary OMA group
  6. Complete all hospital/program-specific requirements
    • Online registration
    • Payroll/benefits form
    • Setting up/activating new email accounts
    • ACLS certification
    • Online training for electronic medical records (EMR) and other learning modules
  7. Immunization status: Schools will generally require evidence of tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis B, MMR and TB testing, and N95 Mask Fitting
  8. Update your address on your driver’s license and vehicle registration
    • This can be done online at no cost
    • Visit a Service Ontario counter or kiosk, or click here
    • Contact your vehicle insurance company to update your address

Debt Consolidation, Budgeting and Debt Management

Debt Consolidation, Budgeting and Debt Management

Debt Consolidation

Plan for Debt Repayment

Many family medicine residents missed out on over $30,000 because they were uninformed. Make sure this year you are not one of them! Do not pay off or transfer your government student debt until you have become fully informed about debt repayment plans in Ontario.

  • Resident Loan Interest Relief Program (RLIRP)If you sign up for a return of service in Ontario for five years after residency, then the government will pay all of your interest on government loans during residency. Be careful though, if you cancel the agreement there is a substantial financial penalty plus back interest. Click here.

  • Canadian Student Loan Relief gives you $8,000 per year for five years, off of your Canadian Student Loan debt. This can be claimed during residency and independent practice. You must spend time in an under-serviced rural or remote community. Click here

You should know that if you sign up for the RLIRP, or if you convert your Canadian Student Loan (OSAP in Ontario) to a private line of credit, you are not eligible for Canadian Student Loan Relief.


Budgeting and Debt Management

Staying within Budget, Tracking Finances and Managing Debt inResidency

A 2012 CMA physician study revealed that one in five residents expect their debt load to surpass $160,000 by the time their training is completed. Now is the time to get your financial plan in order, set up a debt repayment plan and clearly track where you spend your money. The sooner you start, the better.

Loan consolidation is a process in which multiple loans are combined and reestablished as one loan. Consolidating your student loans can lower your monthly payments, simplify your finances and free up cash flow. Consolidation also often means that you can extend the time it takes to repay your loans. You may also be able to refinance loans at lower interest rates and reduce your monthly payments. Consolidating your debt can make your financial planning and day-to-day finances more convenient. Before deciding to consolidate, review the government interest relief and loan forgiveness programs that may be available to you. Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for thousands of dollars in relief through various programs. Talk to your financial advisor to discuss your individual circumstances.

Residents’ salaries are usually high enough to allow you to live within your means, especially if you’ve set up a realistic budget. If you have money left over at the end of the month, you have the option to invest it or to pay down debt. Typically, paying down high-interest debt, such as credit card balances, is a top priority.

Once you’ve dealt with higher-interest debts, making a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) contribution might make sense. RRSP contributions can trigger tax refunds, which can then be used to pay down debt.


Financial advisors across Ontario specialize in providing residents and new in practice physicians with practical money solutions and advice. They can help you manage your cash flow, develop a budget and create a debt repayment plan.


MD Physician Services

Disability and Life Insurance

Disability and Life Insurance

Disability Insurance

Disability insurance is essential for any medical student or resident. It protects your income-earning potential, which at this point is your greatest financial asset. It is also cheaper if you sign up when you are healthy, and you can purchase more insurance in the future with no further medical evidence.

Insurance companies qualify people as disabled in three main categories of disability insurance: any occupation, regular occupation and own occupation. It is generally recommended that family physicians obtain regular occupation disability insurance or the more expensive own occupation. Each type of insurance can have riders, including but not limited to future insurance options (FIO) and cost-of-living-adjustments (COLA).

There are generally three different sources for disability insurance as a resident: OMA insurance, PARO insurance and private insurance. PARO insurance is group insurance and mandatory for all residents. OMA insurance, which is sold by a salaried consultant from OMA insurance, is very cheap when you are young, but increases in price later on. OMA insurance can complement PARO insurance. Private insurance is more expensive now but the rate stays the same over time. It is sold by insurance brokers who are paid a commission based on the initial sale and ongoing payments. We recommend that you educate yourself in the basics before considering whether to buy private insurance, OMA insurance or both.

Life Insurance

There are three main types of life insurance: term, whole life and universal life. You should discuss your situation with a financial consultant or insurance expert. Remember to do your own homework and don’t let for-profit brokers take advantage of your lack of knowledge. PARO Life Insurance gives two times your income for life insurance. Many of you will need more just to cover your debt and funeral expenses, let alone if you have dependents.


CMA Practice Management Curriculum (PMC) module on Personal and Professional Insurance

International Medical Graduates

International Medical Graduates

  1. Verifying Your Medical Degree:
    • Open an account here
    • Submit a source verification request (SVR) and send a copy of final medical diploma with required identification document to the MCC. If your degree is in a language other than English or French, please follow the translation requirements here.
    • Note there is an account fee ($250) and a document fee ($140 each)
    • Wait times: 75 days from North America, Australia or Europe, or 105 days from Asia, South America or Africa
  2. Return of Service Agreement: All IMGs are subject to a five-year return of service agreement in an area of need. For regions NOT eligible for Return of Service, please refer to HealthForceOntario
  3. Pre-residency Program (PRP): A mandatory program for all IMGs in an Ontario Family Medicine Residency Program.
    • Phase 1 is a 4.5 week classroom-based program in Toronto.
    • Phase 2 is at the family medicine residency site and content varies.
    • IMGs are allocated to one of two sessions based on medical school completion time and residency site. Those in the first cohort will start in July, but the second cohort will have a delayed start.
      **Remuneration: Apply for the Final Year Medical Student Bursary Program through OMA. For more information and application form, please click here. For more information regarding PRP please click here
  4. Assessment Verification Period (AVP): Evaluation period for IMGs prior to full acceptance into a post graduate training program.
    • Must have a Pre-Entry Assessment Program Certificate of Registration.
    • The current length of AVP is typically 12 weeks but can be shortened to eight weeks if not meeting the minimum standard or lengthened to 16 to 24 weeks.
    • After 12 weeks, the AVP certificate expires and a Postgraduate Certificate must be issued. To allow for seamless transition, the AVP form provided by the program should be submitted to CPSO two to three days prior to the identified end date.

Planning Ahead

Planning Ahead

  1. PGY-1 Schedule
    • Request your schedule early if there is a particular order of rotations or electives and vacation time you would like.
    • Ask upper-year residents about their experience with off-service rotations.
    • Remember to request an orientation for each rotation you do and a discussion of learning objectives.
  2. Requesting Time Off
    • See section titled Vacation and Leave for details about the time off you are entitled to.
    • Plan your holidays and request time off as early as possible.
    • Most schools and services will require at least four weeks’ notice prior to starting the rotation to create the call schedule.
    • Remember vacation time is on a first-come first-served basis.
    • Most residents will want to take some time off in the first three to four months of residency, so keep that in mind so you don’t burn out.
  3. Residency Research Project
    • This project is compulsory, so start brainstorming possible ideas!
  4. Committee Involvement
    • Add balance to your experience by taking on one or more of the many resident leadership positions available.
    • Committees are a great way to meet people in your residency program and to get to know your program director and residents from other universities. See ways to get involved.
  5. Arranging Electives in Residency
    • Think ahead - the earlier you arrange for your electives the better, particularly for competitive electives.
    • The process is similar to applying for your residency.
    • Competitive times are July to September, before R3 applications are due.
    •  Typically you book an elective with the site lead for the service you want to work for.

    • Most programs require you to apply directly to the Program Director of the service you want to work in.

    • The application may be online or written.

    • Other documents that may be required:

      • Written permission from site Program Director at location of elective

      • Written permission from home school PD

      • Curriculum Vitae (CV)

      • Copy of medical degree

      • Immunization record

      • Proof of CMPA coverage

      • N95 mask fit

      • CPSO number

  • Once you’ve confirmed your elective, perform the following, as required:
    • EMR training  – FYI: this can take hours
    • Modules on personal protective equipment (PPE), fire safety, etc. - FYI: these can take hours
    • Signed LOA  – school will send you this and you send it back signed
    • Other administration: ID badge, scrubs, parking, etc.


Important Considerations for International or Out of Province Electives

  • Typically, there are limitations to the amount of time you are allowed to work outside of the province. Check with your home program to find out how long this is.
  • Consider applying for international electives early. You often need to participate in pre-departure training from your home school prior to travel.

Resources for Finding Electives

  • Other residents and upper years, ask program and site directors about elective opportunities based on your learning goals.
  • SRPC has a database you can use to review or enter information about electives. Check it out here.
  • ROMP is a great resource for setting up electives. You can search based on discipline and location. Click here for more information.

Documents to keep handy for Electives and Community Hospital Rotations

  • Immunization record
  • Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) I/II exam results
  • CMA/OMA/CCFP membership cards and numbers
  • CPSO license
  • CMPA registration
  • Up-to-date CV
  • Photocopy of medical degree



The OCFP Residents Committee Mentorship Program is a new initiative starting in 2016 to help current residents connect with recent FM grads for career guidance and exploration.

We are currently recruiting interested Family Medicine residents for this program.

The goal of the program is to match you with a mentor that shares the same clinical interests as you, or practices in a clinical context that you are interested in. We will do our best to make this happen. Our expectation is that you will make an effort to connect with your mentor, but the commitment can be as much or as little as the two of you decide on.

Our mentorship pool continues to grow across Ontario, so if we can't meet your goals immediately - we may be able to match you in the future.

Please fill out this very brief questionnaire if you are interested in being matched to a mentor!

Please direct any questions or concerns to