Current Canadian Resident looking to transfer to an American residency: NOT this year


2+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2018
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Hey everybody,
Not sure if this belongs in this thread.
I'm a current Canadian PGY1 resident interested in potentially applying for an American residency to maybe start in 2022. (Fiancee is American and would really like to head back to USA in the next 2 years or so, maybe 3 years)
(Studying for USMLE's now)
I know COVID definitely makes this tougher.
I don't know if anyone has any experience with this, but any advice or previous success stories would be helpful.
I would be applying to a different residency than the one I'm currently enrolled in.
First year for us is a clinical year (rotations in IM CTU, Medical Oncology, Pediatric Oncology, ID, Endocrinology, Heme, Surgical Oncology, Radiology), but I'm a pathology resident, and I'd be applying to switch to either IM or Peds. (Waffled on Oncology vs. Pathology in medical school, ultimately chose Path, realized on Oncology rotations that we do in PGY-1 that clinical oncology is just a better fit for me, {originally went into pathology because of the interest in cancer biology})
Did well in medical school, but we don't have grades on our transcripts, just "comments". I did go to a 3 year medical school though.
I've been told that we can apply to ERAS as current Canadian residents, unsure if that's true, but would need a letter of support from PD.
(Just to be clear, I am a CMG, not an IMG)
Any thoughts?
Options include:
1. Apply to ERAS as a pathology resident in PGY2 to start in July 2022.
2. Switch to family medicine here (only 2 years), and apply to IM/Peds in USA to start 2024. Seems like I'd be unlikely to get a residency after this because I look like I'm waffling and can't make up my mind. (switch then another residency)
3. Drop residency in Canada and gamble on getting a US residency-Does NOT seem like a good idea, practical, or smart at all!
Thanks in advance!
Not An American (YET)
Sep 9, 2020
Status (Visible)
  1. Fellow [Any Field]
I would recommend you finishing your residency before coming to the states. Either switch residencies and apply again or continue with pathology. This is my opinion on coming the US verse staying in Canada.

After residency, USA generally takes mostly everything from Canada so you can practice without any issues generally. However USA to Canada is a little complicated.

In the US, you can apply to residency and match again, your USMLE scores will be the ultimate decider of if you match but most Canadians don’t have issues. They don’t really care of grades in Med School if you completed a year of residency.

Also something to consider is you visa status when you come to the states. Residency programs offer two, J1 and H1b. Not all programs offer H1b as cost is the programs responsibility. J1 bars you from changing to a green card or other visa status until you complete either two of the following:
1. Complete a J1 waiver job (3-5 years) depending on what type of waiver
2. Return to Canada for 2 years then request it.
There is a third option of possibly living in Canada and traveling to US for work daily under a H1b visa after your J1 to complete the two year requirement it that’s a lawyer style questions.

Ultimately, you got to do what you got to do but hopefully that gives you some information.
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