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walden

Transfer residency programs in Ontario

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Hello,

I am a PGY2+ resident in a competitive surgical specialty in an Ontario school. After a lot of consideration I've decided to try to switch programs because the demands of the program are becoming untenable, my mental health has been affected, and even if I finish residency I am not confident about getting a job in Canada.

I would like to try to switch into Radiology. I've spoken to the PGME office at my school. 

Does anyone have any first-hand experience with transfers? How successful are they typically? Is there much chance of succeeding without doing an elective? Any insight into the process would be appreciated. 

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I've seen transfers happen. It's difficult to say what the rate of success might be, since it depends entirely on whether the program has space to accept you, and whether they agree to take you. A transfer within the same school would be easiest logistically.

Based on what you've written about your reasons for transfer and the fact that you haven't done an elective, I would just want to make sure that you can articulate why radiology is a good fit for you. This is more for your sake, since burnout is becoming more and more of an issue in this field. My colleagues who transferred into radiology from other fields are happy with their choice, but did state that the lifestyle was not what they anticipated heading in. Residents on call work straight through the night making decision after decision significantly affecting patient management, under conditions of high time pressure and demand for accuracy. Staff may work fewer night hours but it is the same during the daytime; there is zero downtime in the hospital setting. It's a great career for those who enjoy the work, but just ensure that you have a realistic idea of what you are getting into.

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