May 20 marked the second iteration of the Canadian Residency Matching Service (CaRMS) match for 2021—a time fraught with excitement and stress for our graduating medical doctor students. They have worked hard to get to this point, and the match is a huge step on their path to becoming practicing physicians, marking their entrance into their residency training. “Match day,” as it is known simply in medical circles, is when these students find out the program and location where they will be spending the next two to five years of their training as residents, though it is really two days as it happens over two iterations.
Beyond our learners, the match is a tremendous amount of work each year for our residency programs and our teams in the undergraduate and postgraduate offices. I do thank everyone for all the hard work again this year.
With this blog, I want to share a bit about our results as a college and province. There are two sides to every CaRMS match: the outcomes for our college’s graduating class of medical doctor students who match to programs here in Saskatchewan and elsewhere (primarily in Canada), and the outcomes for our province and its postgraduate programs in securing new first-year residents from among the Canadian and international medical graduates who apply.
I’ll start with how our Saskatchewan residency programs fared. We had 124 first-year Ministry of Health funded residency positions available in programs across the province and all of these positions are filled. Among these, 48 are in family medicine programs in locations across the province and 24 are in internal medicine in Saskatoon and Regina. The rest are spread across a number of other specialty areas, primarily in Saskatoon and Regina.
These 124 first year residents start their residency training on July 1, as both learners and care providers for our province. Among the 124 positions, 46 Saskatchewan graduates, 39 non-Saskatchewan Canadian graduates, and 39 international graduates join our programs this summer. We are thrilled to welcome all our new residents!
We typically have about half of our new residency positions filled by USask graduates and we will be looking at this and working to increase this for next and future years, as we do hope to recruit as many of our USask graduates to residency programs here as we can.
Among our Saskatchewan medical doctor graduates, 102 out of 106 who applied for the CaRMS match, matched to a program in either the first or second iteration, with 96 matching in the first iteration and six in the second. This is a reasonable result, comparable to other years. For those learners who are unmatched, this is a very difficult time, and our team provides support and assists with their next steps. These may involve reapplying to the 2022 CaRMS match if eligible, and for those completing their fourth year of the MD program, our college offers a fifth year of study that further prepares these learners for the following year’s match.
I do hope that all our learners take advantage of the support offered by our college for all involved in this year’s match. Our undergraduate and postgraduate offices, including their student affairs and wellness teams, not to mention our residency programs, provide significant support for this big transition from undergraduate to postgraduate medical training.
Congratulations to our programs, our UGME and PGME teams, and especially to our medicine graduates and all new residents joining the College of Medicine!