During Residency

This is an exciting time in your medical career. With first year and its inherent challenges behind you, you are free and clear to concentrate on maximizing the opportunities that residency provides.

As you move into more senior years, you’ll get a chance to hone your people and communication skills in a variety of ways. One such opportunity is by teaching and supervising junior residents. Since this may be new to you, we’ve compiled a list of top tips to help you make the most of it.

Teaching During Residency

From the first day of residency you take on an exciting new responsibility – one that involves a bit of role reversal, as student becomes teacher. You may feel a bit intimidated by it all, but keep your eye on the bigger picture because this task offers a great opportunity to learn and develop your teaching, people and leadership skills.

Above all, it can be a very rewarding experience given that you are in the unique position of bridging the gap between learner and teacher. You are able to offer junior colleagues diverse and current teachings while working with them on the wards, in clinics, and on call. Bottom line? It’s a key component of your career, one that requires a significant investment of time and energy. To help you flourish in this new role, we’ve put together PARO’s best teaching strategies. These will help you maximize your time and abilities so that, in turn, you can pass on important information to junior colleagues, thus ensuring them a successful future in medicine.

But first things first: If you remember nothing else, memorize this: A positive learning climate positively impacts team performance and it starts with you! Be enthusiastic, approachable, and make learning and working together fun.

PARO’s Top 10 Teaching Tips

1. Create a friendly environment

Good teachers are inclusive and aware of the diversity amongst learners. To maximize learning, be friendly, flexible and approachable, giving students the space they need to arrive at the right answers on their own, rather than grilling them or focusing questions on just one person.

2. Identify goals and audiences

You’ll need to teach at different levels – medical students, off-service, and on-service juniors all have their own objectives – so ask them what’s important for them to get out of a rotation or teaching session. If you are gearing your teaching toward medical students, leaving out some details will help them retain “big picture” info. Add details as needed to cater to the learning needs and interests of off-service and on-service junior and more senior residents.

3. Diversify your teaching methods

Everyone learns in their own way. You’ll be a more effective teacher by alternating teaching strategies. Try using a whiteboard, showing images or presentations, setting up hands-on bedside teaching, or asking students to initiate discussion. Offering a mix of sessions will be more memorable and keep students engrossed in learning.

4. Engage the student

You can keep things relevant for all students by allowing them to be in control, letting them direct the flow of discussion and ask questions. This helps give students perspective, allowing them to relate to patient care in real-world scenarios.

5. Have topics to teach on the fly

The best teachers are always prepared. Sometimes, teaching does NOT happen on schedule, because everyone is busy. To deal with this, have a list of topics at the ready, and, when you have down time, maybe over lunch, use it to share something new and interesting with your students.

6. Keep it short and sweet

Students learn best when topics are small and digestible. So, have one good topic, link to previous knowledge, and keep things simple.

7. Repeat key points and summarize

Repetition is key to learning. Therefore, when you’re planning your teaching sessions, focus on just a few key points at a time, and reiterate them in different ways before summarizing. We repeat – repetition and summarization are the most effective ways to help students cemet knowledge.

8. Provide resources and readings

Referring students to additional resources will complete their learning experience. You can share a URL, provide a handout, textbook resource or article. Additionally, you can email them your presentation so they can review it on their own time.

9. Give (and get) feedback

You’ll become a better teacher by learning what your students think of your style. Ask questions informally, during or after sessions, to find out how students think you did and what you could do differently. Give back, too. Provide constructive feedback to learners on their areas of strengths and areas for improvement.

10. Be enthusiastic

Smile, be enthusiastic, aim to have a good time. If you are keen and having fun, your students will feel that energy and respond in kind.

PARO’s Teaching to Teaching Program

PARO has developed a half-day workshop that is available to residents from all universities and programs. The program equips residents with a minimum standard of teaching skills so that they can carry out their role as a teacher successfully. The session is facilitated by fellow residents who have a passion for teaching and an interest in enhancing their teaching skills.

The curriculum consists of a combination of training on instructional techniques, as well as a focus on attitudes where participants are encouraged to foster a love of medicine through teaching, and become empathetic and reflective educators. The content is delivered through interactive practical activities, such as small group discussions and case studies in order to ensure that participants can learn relevant practical teaching skills and be able to apply them immediately to their training environment.

Please contact the PARO office for more information on how to bring the Teaching to Teach workshop to your university and program.

If you want to learn even more about the art of teaching, then we have identified courses that you can take as well as some of the resources available to you. You’ll find this information here.

Other areas you may want information on as you move through PGY2 and beyond include:

Academic Days

Academic Days make a unique contribution to residency training through opportunities for dedicated teaching time and different approaches compared to teaching in a clinical setting. PARO is committed to helping programs, residents, and clinical teachers optimize dedicated academic time. We’ve designed a Guide to Optimal Academic Days to help Chief Residents, Program Directors, Program Coordinators, and others plan and deliver excellent Academic Days. We’ve collected numerous tips, ideas, and suggestions for how to optimize academic time from residents across the province. All the ideas included in this guide represent the best of the best – all of the most effective, creative, and useful ideas and practices that are currently being used by programs in Ontario to deliver excellent academic days. We encourage you to draw inspiration from these examples in order to customize an approach for your own program. Read our Guide here. 

Virtual Care

PARO is here to help you be your best, whether you’re providing care virtually, or in person. PARO has heard from many of our members about how the pivot to virtual care has impacted their training – both in terms of new opportunities as well as the challenges faced in this new online environment. That’s why we’ve created PARO’s Top Tips for Working and Training in Virtual Care.

This document was created based on the feedback and input of residents providing virtual care, and we intend for it to evolve to reflect new best practices and experiences over time. 

We are committed to continuous quality improvement and welcome your feedback at any time. We invite you to share any ideas you may have for additional content, your key lessons learned, and best practices.

For those of you involved in your Program’s RPC/RTC, or those of you interested in medical education, we have also developed PARO’s Perspective on Optimizing The Virtual Care Curriculum

Dealing with Academic Appeals

Whether it’s offering strategic advice or acting as an intermediary, PARO can play a key role if you should find yourself in the midst of an academic appeal.

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.


  1. Identify the hierarchy of people to appeal to; e.g. clinical supervisor, program director, director of postgraduate education, associate dean of postgraduate education, chairman of the university faculty of medicine appeals committee, governing council of the university, and so on.
  2. Advise you 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. Provide informal advice or act as an intermediary in answering certain questions or obtaining information on your behalf –e.g. PARO may phone the Royal College or CPSO for advice to ensure your anonymity.
  4. Keep records of conversations, advice and correspondence and maintain 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 (i.e. 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.

PGME Accreditation 

PARO plays an active role in the national Accreditation process. All PGME training programs and Universities are required to meet national standards established by the RCPSC, the CFPC, and the College des medicins du Quebec. Accreditation is the process used to ensure adherence to these standards, as well as to share best practices between programs, identify areas for development, and make continuous quality improvements.  Accreditation also ensures that programs have the resources they need to deliver excellent training to their residents.

Read more about what accreditation means for you and your program here. 

Thinking of Transferring Programs?

Have you been contemplating a program transfer? Well, you’ve come to the right place to initiate your journey. Our comprehensive handbook will help you manage the transition with confidence and ease. The first thing you need to know? It’s not as overwhelming as you may have imagined – especially when you use our step-by-step guide, developed with input from doctors who have already negotiated this very path. Click to read the guide on-line or Download Guide.

Hey Doc, need a Doc? We can help

Finding a family physician can be a challenge given that so few doctors are currently accepting new patients.

We want to help our members with this task, so we are compiling a referral list of family physicians willing to accept medical residents as patients, despite the fact that their practice is already full.

Please contact our PARO office and we will try to put you in touch with the name of a doctor in your general area.

Understanding Long-Term Disability

It’s not something anyone wants to think about, but long-term disability (LTD) insurance is something everyone needs to plan for — especially if you choose to work as a self-employed physician after residency. Income protection is a key part of a successful financial plan.

LTD as a resident

As a resident, your income protection is provided in two parts. Should you become totally disabled and unable to perform the duties of your regular occupation, your salary will be continued until the earlier of:

  1. The end of your contract year in most cases, (the contract year runs from July 1 to June 30 of the following year); or,
  2. 26 weeks.

Once salary continuation has ended, you will complete an application for the LTD plan that pays 70% of your basic salary, subject to certain reductions, up to age 65 so long as you remain totally disabled. It is part of the Collective Agreement that all residents be covered under this plan and no medical evidence is ever required to obtain the coverage. Benefits are tax-free and there is also a Cost of Living Benefit, which will increase your monthly benefits by the lesser of 4% or the change in the Consumer Price Index on an annual basis in the event you are disabled for more than a year. If you also carry Ontario Medical Association (OMA) Disability Insurance coverage, PARO has arranged that it will be payable in addition to any benefits received under your group plan.

During the salary continuation period and the first 12 months of disability, you will be considered to be totally disabled if you are unable to perform all of the duties of your regular occupation. Thereafter, you will be considered to be totally disabled if you cannot perform the duties of any occupation for which you may become suitably fitted by training, education or experience.

LTD beyond residency

Upon completion of your residency, you may choose to work as a self-employed physician. It’s important to think about what type of benefits are important to you because you will be relying on yourself to provide the package many employed individuals take for granted.

Disability insurance is one of the most important benefits anyone can have and PARO, in conjunction with the Ontario Medical Association, has developed the Essentials Insurance Program to help you make the transition from your residents’ group plan to your own Association Group Life and Disability Insurance program.

For those who commenced their Residency Program before September 1, 2021:

The Essentials program allows you to purchase Life, Disability Income and Professional Overhead Expense coverage, without any medical or financial underwriting within 120 days of completing your residency program. In addition, the Step Rate premiums for Professional Overhead Insurance will be reduced by 50% for the first two years under Essentials.

Here’s what the Essentials program allows you to purchase:

  • Up to $5,000 per month of Disability Income Insurance. Benefits are subject to a 90-day elimination period. You can also request:
  • Own Occupation Rider;
  • Retirement Protection Rider (RPR);
  • Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) Rider, and;
  • Guaranteed Insurability Benefit (GIB) Rider.

In addition, you may also apply to exercise the GIB option at the time of application and increase your monthly disability benefit, without medical evidence or financial documentation, to:

  • $7,000 (from all sources) for Family Physicians
  • $10,000 (from all sources) for Specialists
  • Up to $5,000 per month of Professional Overhead Expense Insurance, subject to a 30-day elimination period.
  • $100,000 Group Term Life Insurance

For those who commenced their Residency Program on or after September 1, 2021

The Essentials program will allow you to purchase Life, Disability Income and Professional Overhead Expense coverage, (Disability and POE coverage will be issued based on your answers to a simplified medical questionnaire) within 120 days of completing your residency program. In addition, the Step Rate premiums for Professional Overhead Insurance will be reduced by 50% for the first two years under Essentials.

Here’s what the Essentials program allows you to purchase:

  • Up to $5,000 per month of Disability Income Insurance. Benefits are subject to a 90-day elimination period. You can also request:
  • Own Occupation Rider;
  • Retirement Protection Rider (RPR)
  • Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) Rider, and;
  • Guaranteed Insurability Benefit (GIB) Rider.

In addition, you may also apply to exercise the GIB option at the time of application and increase your monthly disability benefit, without medical evidence or financial documentation to:

  • $8,5,000 (from all sources) for Family Physicians
  • $11,000 (from all sources) for Specialists
  • Up to $5,000 per month of Professional Overhead Expense Insurance, subject to a 30-day elimination period.
  • $200,000 Group Term Life Insurance

Please click here for full details on the OMA Essentials offer.

Scheduling Call as a Chief or Senior Resident

So you have taken on the role of the Chief or Senior Resident and are quickly learning that to be successful you need to be:

  • enthusiastic about your work
  • confident and trustworthy
  • able to treat others the way you want to be treated
  • committed to excellence in your program and in other residents
  • not a silent bystander but willing to step in for others in times of need
  • aware that others look to you during times of uncertainty and unfamiliarity for reassurance and security

Chief and Senior Residents have a huge impact on the culture within a program. Being a Chief or Senior Resident represents a big responsibility as well as a huge opportunity to foster a positive environment for you and all of your colleagues.

In order to help support you in your role as a Chief or Senior Resident, PARO has developed a guide with helpful tips and practical advice on scheduling call – one of your likely many new duties.

Download PARO’s Chief and Senior Guide

Taking Advantage of Special Offers

Your PARO membership offers you access to discounted offers from some businesses including Skyscape for point-of-care medical resources for your mobile device.

Please note these opportunities are simply to provide a service of better pricing on items that are useful to residents. PARO does not profit from any sales or service. We encourage you to explore all marketplace options.

Thriving During Residency

Keys to Success

Your love of medicine needs to be your focus throughout your career. Yes, there will be times when stress overwhelms you, but you must remember that the stress is worthwhile because of the goals you’ve set for yourself and the good that you will do.

If you find yourself struggling, remember that you’re not alone. Make the most of your contacts by reaching out to those around you — a trusted colleague or mentor, your program director, or a health-care professional.

And make friends with the folks at the Resident Wellness Division located in your university’s postgraduate medical education (PGME) office. This office has resources that can put you in touch with the right people who will help you manage conflicts. Whether you’re feeling burnt out, are having a relationship issue, or are struggling in your residency program, your PGME office is always available to assist you.

Three Top Tips

The best advice, whether you’re at Day One or Day 1000 of residency, is to take care of yourself today for a healthier tomorrow. Here’s how:

1. Create a strong support network of friends and family
2. Manage your wellness via sleep, diet and exercise
3. Book vacation time

1. Create a strong support network of friends and family

As soon as possible, connect with a senior resident in your program and learn the inside scoop about residency. Every program is a little different, so this will help you prepare for the days ahead.

Look for opportunities to get involved in your new community. Organize outings with your program as well as with other programs. Attend PARO social events. Consider starting or joining a study club to maximize your academic and social support.

If you want to better understand the resources available to you, click here:

OMA resources
CMPA resources
PARO Helpline – 1-866-HELP-DOC – a confidential support service for residents, medical students, their partners and families

2. Manage your wellness

If ever there was a time to create a personal wellness plan, the start of your residency is it. Habits you form today will carry you through the next few years.

  • Practice safe sleep. Learning how to get a good “day’s” sleep post call is key to managing your exhaustion levels. Here are a few tips: Curb your caffeine intake before your shift ends and get a good blind or blackout curtains for your bedroom window. Investing in earplugs and a sleep mask may also help you shut out the world and get some shut-eye.
  • Make time for exercise. A good rule is to aim for a daily sweat session — even if it’s only 10 minutes at a time. Studies show, short bursts of intensive exercise are as beneficial as longer-term workouts.
  • Don’t skimp on nutrition. Start each day with a balanced breakfast to fuel your body. It’s hard to eat well when you’re on the go, but it’s not impossible. Plan ahead. Carry bottled water, granola bars and whole fruits in your backpack, so you’re not scouring the vending machine for a quick hit of candy or chips. If you’re on call when the cafeteria will be closed, buy a salad and stick it in the fridge before your shift starts.

3. Book vacation time

In order to stay on your A Game, you need away time. Vacations aren’t just for fun (although they most definitely are that!), they’re healthy too, helping prevent burnout thus improving your productivity.

In order to take advantage of your vacation time, we recommend that within the first three months of your residency you should decide when you would like to schedule your vacation time.

TOP TIP: We recommend that you don’t save vacations for late in the academic year. Adapting to your role as a doctor will be an exciting learning experience and taking the time to recharge with a vacation will make it more enjoyable.

Salary and Benefits

It feels good to know you’re going to be paid for doing what you love, doesn’t it?

But with the pay cheque comes the need for planning. After all, there’s no time like the present to start saving for the future. Jumpstart your learning with our Resident Financial Primer — a comprehensive guide to understanding your fiscal options. For more general information about your income, read on.

Your annual salary rate is outlined in the PARO-CAHO Collective Agreement Article 22.1 and is based on your PGY level. Here are the current salary scales:

Position/ClassificationEffective Sept 14, 2023

Call Stipends

Type of StipendEffective September 14, 2023
Weekday In-hospital$161.86
Weekend In-hospital$198.49
Weekday Home Call/Qualifying Stipend$80.93
Weekend Home Call/Qualifying Stipend$99.24

*Qualifying shifts are only those shifts where one full hour worked on the shift occurs between midnight and 0600h

Shorter Periods of Call

The Home Call Stipend rate will be paid in the following scenarios where the call does not extend beyond 11 pm:

a) a resident works a shorter in-hospital call on either a weekday, or a weekend; or
b) where a family medicine resident works a shift on either a weekday or a weekend. For clarity, (b) applies where a family medicine resident works a shift on a weekday or weekend, after working a normal five-day week of clinical duties.

Where a resident works 12 hours or more of in-hospital call on a weekend day, in which case the resident is, unless covered by Attachment 23 point 8 (split 24 hour call), entitled to receive the In-Hospital Call Stipend.

The In-Hospital Call Stipend rate will be paid in the following scenarios where the call extends beyond 11 pm:

a) a resident works a shorter in hospital call on either a weekday or a weekend; or
b) where a family medicine resident works a shift on either a weekday or a weekend.

For clarity, (b) applies where a family medicine resident works a shift on a weekday or weekend, after working a normal five-day week of clinical duties.

Shift Work & Clinics

Where a resident is required to work a half-day of clinic or other formally scheduled duties, followed by working a regularly scheduled shift, they will receive the Home Call Stipend if the shift does not go beyond 11 pm; however they will receive the In-Hospital Call Stipend if the shift does go beyond 11 pm.

Rounding on Weekends

Where residents who are not otherwise on-call are scheduled or required to round on weekends, and actually attend in-hospital for such rounding, they will be paid the Home Call Stipend.

If you have further questions about call stipend submissions, contact the PARO Office or your local paymaster.

Don’t Miss the Deadline

Call stipend claims must be submitted to the person(s) designated by the hospitals to receive such claims within 30 days following the end of the month in which the call was worked.

Make a Copy

When submitting your call stipends keep a printed record as proof.

If submitting via fax, print a fax receipt
If submitting via email, print a copy of the sent email
If submitting through an online system, grab screen captures as you go

Your Benefits

As a member of PARO, you are entitled to a variety of health and wellness benefits. These include things like life insurance, dental coverage and paramedical treatments. While PARO negotiates your extended healthcare benefits, the plan is administered by your Payroll Office. For more information about extended healthcare benefits, you can refer to Article 19 of the PARO-CAHO Agreeement and contact your Payroll Office or Manulife directly. You can also refer to our Benefits FAQ.

Group Life Insurance

Group life insurance in the amount of two times the annual earnings adjusted to the nearest $500. Pool C residents have a fixed rate life insurance amount of $152,000.

Extended Health Care

    • Massage therapy increases to $650 yearly
    • Vision care coverage increases to $375 every 24 months per insured person.
      Extended Health Care
      • Prescription coverage for the Resident/listed dependents with a $15/25 deductible for single/family coverage per calendar year.

      The following paramedical practitioners/treatments are covered to a maximum of $500/year for each insured person:

      • Massage Therapist
      • Speech Therapist
      • Physiotherapist
      • Acupuncturist
      • Chiropractor
      • Podiatrist

      Mental health treatment is covered to a maximum of $1000 yearly. The following practitioners are covered:

      • Psychologist (or Social Worker with a Master’s degree)
      • Psychotherapist

      The following benefit changes come into effect July 1, 2022:

Vision Care

  • $300 coverage every 24 months per insured person
  • In addition to the above, vision care shall also include one eye exam per insured person every 24 months.

Dental Coverage

  • 85% of all eligible dental expenses are covered.

Claiming Benefits

How you claim you benefits, depends on the coverage provided. Here’s a quick overview:

Prescription Coverage: You will receive a drug card that can be used to obtain prescription coverage.

Vision & Dental Coverage: After paying for these services, claim forms can be downloaded from www.coverme.com (You will receive a user name and password from the insurance company, within a couple of months of your arrival.) Once you fill out the form, you can mail it along with your receipts for reimbursement.

Occupational Health Coverage

Residents are entitled to receive access to and coverage for occupational health services on the same levels as other hospital employee groups.

Hospital Stay Accommodation

There is no provision for hospital accommodation charges for stays within Ontario beyond what is normally provided through the Ontario Health Insurance Plan.

There are two exceptions for this:

The hospitals will amend the hospital accommodation coverage to provide private coverage for addiction and eating disorders.

Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)

Residents will be provided free of charge with an Advanced Cardiac Life Support course or equivalent. The exact details of how ACLS is provided will vary from university to university, please refer any questions to your Post Graduate Medical Education Office.


Resident Enhancement Fund

Do you have an idea for a project that will enhance the well being of the residents at your site? If so, then the Resident Enhancement Fund might just be what you are looking for.In 2000, PARO’s General Council approved the establishment of a fund that could be used to support projects that provide a long-term benefit to both existing and future residents. Projects that are approved demonstrate that they are able to augment the well-being of residents at a particular teaching site or throughout the province.Any member of PARO can make an application, but we encourage you to work with your local Site Chair and General Council members in the development and submission of your project proposal. There are two deadlines for the submission of applications: March 1st and November 1st each year.Examples of previous projects include:


  • Resident lounge refurbishment to include sofa, chairs, coffee table, table and chairs, lamps
  • Replacement of resident lounge appliances such as refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, tea kettle.
  • Resident lounge accessories: plates, bowls, mugs, glasses and cutlery, soft furnishings such as pictures, pillows
  • Resident lounge replacement upgrades: Television, television wall mount, DVD player, sound bar
  • The Selection Committee, comprised of one representative from each of the six university sites, in addition to a member of the PARO Board and a PARO staff member, assess all submitted applications and make final recommendations regarding funding.

In evaluating a project proposal, the Selection Committee will consider the amount of any previously funded projects at the same hospital and/or site and endeavor to distribute funds in a fair manner across the province. The following criteria are used by the Selection Committee in assessing proposals:

  • The principle beneficiaries of the project must be members of PARO, i.e. resident physicians working in Ontario.
  • The project must provide a long-term benefit to both existing and future residents.
  • Cost sharing with the hospital must be explored. The result of these discussions with the relevant hospital(s) must be documented in the project proposal. In this situation, the Committee shall seek to give stronger consideration to project proposals that include definite cost-sharing agreements.
  • Where a project will require regular upkeep or maintenance, the proposal must document who will perform said maintenance and/or how funds to pay for this maintenance will be obtained in the future.
  • No funds will be provided for ongoing supplies, upkeep or maintenance of previously funded projects.
  • PARO must be publicly recognized for any projects it funds.
  • The project must not place PARO at any significantly increased legal liability and the proposal will be approved only if, after due consideration, the Selection Committee feels any potential liability implications are insignificant

If you have an idea for a project, contact your local Site Chair and ask them for their assistance in applying. Email contact information for Site Chairs can be found by selecting your University General Council profile page:

Career Counselling

“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

That old adage is rich with promise – and pressure. Let’s face it, deciding on a career path and then finding the perfect job comes with its own set of challenges, and many of us delay the task for several reasons. For those of us in our junior years, it seems too far away, and for those in our senior years, heavy work schedules and studying for licensing exams can sometimes take priority.

But, the truth is, it’s never too early to start thinking about how to land your dream job. That’s why we’ve produced this handbook:  brimming with tips, tools and tidbits, it’ll help make finding a job and establishing a career easier and more enjoyable.

Here’s what we cover:

  • TOP 10 TIPS for Landing your Dream Job
  • Tips for Transitions out of Specialty and/or Out of Medicine
  • PARO’s Favourite Web Resources
  • How Your PGME Office Can Help
  • Specialty Society Resources

TIPS FOR TRANSITIONS (including out of specialty and out of medicine altogether)

Throughout your residency there will be moments – some fleeting, some lasting – that make you rethink your choice of specialty or career. That’s OK, even natural. You need to know you’re not alone. Many doctors question their career path, but stay silent because of old cultural biases, namely: If you have doubts, you’re not one of us.

Well, it’s time to put that thinking to rest. Illness, new family commitments, a cross-province move or just a lack of desire to practice medicine can impact how you think about your career, including the idea that you may want to leave it all behind. Truth is, even the best-laid plans require tweaks – that is not failure, that is human. 

OK, so what are you going to do about it? Check out our top tips here.

Professional Memberships

This is a good time to consider joining a medical association or two. It’s not mandatory but often recommended, for a variety of reasons.

Professional memberships offer a number of perks like free journal subscriptions, financial planning advice and travel discounts. However, the biggest benefit is the chance to network with other professionals. Getting to know your colleagues early on offers you the chance to build a good base of support that can be useful as you move through residency and transition into practice.

Once you start your Ontario residency, these are the memberships open to you:

Ontario Medical Association$155
Canadian Medical Association$50
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of CanadaFree for residents
College of Family Physicians of CanadaPGY1-free; PGY2 & 3-$100
Federation of Medical Women of Canada$70

Ontario Medical Association

The Ontario Medical Association is the voice of the medical profession in Ontario, championing the interests and concerns of physicians and patients in Canada’s largest province.

The OMA provides effective representation on behalf of more than 30,000 practising physicians, residents and medical students. This includes fee negotiations and related economic interests, health policy and professional advocacy, legal services, and a broad range of exclusive products and services.

Membership Benefits:

  • OMA Insurance
  • OMA Legal
  • Physician Health Program

To join, visit the OMA website or contact them at: 1-800-268-7215 ext. 2987 or locally 416 340-2987

Canadian Medical Association (CMA)

The Canadian Medical Association is a national, voluntary association of physicians that advocates on behalf of its members and the public for access to high quality health care, and provides leadership and guidance to physicians.

As a member of the CMA, you will have access to a comprehensive range of products and services, tailored to your needs while you’re a medical resident and as you transition into practice.

Membership benefits:

  • world-class collection of online clinical resources
  • financial, professional and personal resources
  • advocacy and representation
  • programs to stay connected

To join, visit the CMA website or contact them at: 1 888 855-2555

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC)

The RCPSC is responsible for setting and maintaining the standards for postgraduate medical education, for certifying specialist physicians in Canada and for promoting their continuing education.

Membership Benefits:

  • Receiving timely information regarding ellgibility, fees and deadlines for assessment of credentials and training
  • Accessing resident-only awards and grants
  • Getting discounted rates on CanMEDS publications and learning tools.

To join, visit the RCPSC website or contact them at: 1-800 668-3740 or locally at 613-730-8177.

College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC)

Representing more than 28,000 members across the country, the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) is the professional organization responsible for establishing standards for the training, certification and lifelong education of family physicians and for advocating on behalf of the specialty of family medicine, family physicians and their patients. The CFPC accredits postgraduate family medicine training in Canada’s 17 medical schools. It’s worth noting that membership is a requirement for residents to sit the CFPC Certification in Family Medicine exam.

Membership Benefits:

  • Advocacy and policy development of behalf of members with governments, other healthcare associations and key decision makers to represent the needs and interest of family physicians
  • Member discounts on products and services

To join, visit the CFPC website or contact them locally at: 905-629-0900 or toll free at 1 800 387-6197 Ext. 423

Federation of Medical Women of Canada (FMWC)

The Federation of Medical Women of Canada (FMWC) is a national organization committed to the professional, social, and personal advancement of women physicians and to the promotion of the well-being of women both in the medical profession and in society at large.

Since its formation in 1924, FMWC has acted as a guardian for women physicians and medical students, giving loans, networking opportunities, and acting as a powerful voice dealing with issues that concern women physicians and women’s health in society.

Membership Benefits

  • Networking opportunities
  • Accessing awards and grants
  • Professional and personal resources

To join, visit the FMWC website or contact the office at 1-877-771-3777 or 613-569-5881

Specialty Based Associations

The following specialty based associations have Resident Sections and/or Resident resources:

Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians
Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada
Canadian Society of Internal Medicine
Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons
Canadian Association of General Surgeons
Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society (CAS)
Canadian Association of Radiologists
Canadian Dermatology Association
Canadian Ophthalmological Society
Canadian Society of Otolaryngology
Canadian Association of Pathologists
Canadian Cardiovascular Society
Canadian Society of Nuclear Medicine
Canadian Psychiatric Association
Canadian Pediatrics Society
Canadian Orthopedic Association
Public Health Physicians of Canada