skip to main content
Canadian Federation of
Medical Students
Main page content
About the CFMS
The CFMS is an organization representing over 8,000 medical students from 15 Canadian medical student societies from coast to coast. We represent medical students to the public, to the federal government, and to national and international medical organizations.
PRESS RELEASE: The CFMS calls for an increase in physician residency positions for Canadian medical graduates
May 01, 2020



April 21, 2020 - The Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) remains concerned that many competent Canadian medical graduates (CMGs) continue to be unmatched.

According to the Canadian Residency Matching Service (CaRMS), up to 98 CMGs, including 67 current year graduates, are unmatched after both iterations of the 2020 R-1 Main Residency Match, the same total numbers as the 2019 match year: 98 unmatched CMGs including 67 current year graduates. The breakdown of the 2020 match results are as follows: 25 current year CMGs and 31 previous year graduates are unmatched after the second iteration, while 42 students did not participate in the second iteration.

Without residency positions, unmatched CMGs are unable to complete their medical training and provide care to Canadians. Therefore, the CFMS will continue to advocate for a pan-Canadian approach to health human resource (HHR) planning and the addition of residency positions to reach and maintain a 1:1.2 ratio of CMGs to available residency positions. This requires the support of the funders of residency positions to commit to increasing positions in alignment with health human resource needs across the country. The current COVID-19 pandemic further highlights the shortage of healthcare providers. 

Over the past few years, key CFMS-supported recommendations have been adopted. Many of these recommendations were included in the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) report, Reducing the Number of Unmatched Canadian Medical Graduates: A Way Forward.

Outcomes of key recommendations include:

  1. Separation of CMG and international medical graduate (IMG) residency seats in the second iteration at select medical schools in Manitoba, Ontario, and Alberta.
  2. The addition of residency positions, such as in Nova Scotia in 2019, a one-time increase in Ontario in 2018, and second iteration positions from the Medical Officer Training Program (MOTP) Surge through the Canadian Armed Forces.
  3. Implementation of Best Practices in Application & Selection (BPAS) which increases transparency regarding the application process for students.

A comprehensive outlook on the CFMS recommendations regarding unmatched CMGs can be found in our position paper: Support for Unmatched Medical Students

“There are still far too many competent Canadian medical graduates who are left without a residency training position. In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we must address the systemic flaws that prevent so many well-trained future physicians from taking the next step to providing Canadians with the healthcare they deserve. Working together to ensure the right mix and distribution of training positions in family medicine and specialties will ensure Canadians have the healthcare they deserve.”

“Our goal is to see all competent Canadian medical graduates enter a residency training position and contribute to improving healthcare for Canadians. We will continue in our advocacy to ensure that long-term solutions are implemented, which include a pan-Canadian health human resource strategy and increasing residency positions to achieve a 1:1.2 ratio. Finally, we will continue to support students during the residency match process to ensure students have the resources they need to succeed!”

For more information on CFMS’ advocacy work, please visit

ABOUT THE CANADIAN FEDERATION OF MEDICAL STUDENTS: The Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) is the national organization representing over 8,000 Canadian medical students from 15 medical schools across Canada. We represent medical students to the public, to the federal government, and to national and international medical organizations. We are tomorrow’s physicians leading for health today.

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram: @CFMSFEMC

For further information or to request an interview, please contact: Adel Arezki, CFMS Vice President Communications, 

Email: [email protected] 

Other News

Oct 29
  • Oct 29
  • Oct 24
  • Oct 11
  • Sep 20