Transfering programs

MariaG

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    Questions for anyone that can help

    1. How easy/hard is it to transfer out of a program after PGY1 year assuming there is a spot somewhere else you would like to go?

    2. Does transfering "burn bridges" with the old program? i.e would it really piss someone off.

    3. What does transfering involve?
     

    beyond all hope

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      Transferring is not an easy process but it's definately possible. It depends a lot on your relationship with your PD.

      If the PD is okay with it, and you have a good reason, it will be a lot smoother and you are unlikely to burn bridges. If the PD is not okay with it, if you do it just to get into a better program, or if transferring means you will leave the program short on manpower, then you may end up making enemies no matter how nice you try to be.

      Transferring simply involves finishing a year (or getting your current program director to release you from the contract) and getting another PD to hire you. Most PDs who accept transfers want the former PD to write a letter saying it's okay for you to go before they'll even look at your application. So, you have to tell your old PD first. This prevents people from looking for new residencies behind the old PD's back - protecting the old boy's network.

      Some PDs are known to be quite vicious if you try to leave, and either try to prevent you from leaving or fire you. They do this to scare others into staying. It's very unethical but commonly practiced.

      If I were you and you were considering transferring, I'd ask through the grapevine what happened to the last person that transferred out. (and only ask people you really trust, otherwise the rumor will get out you're trying to bail). Unless you have a really good relationship with your PD, don't tell them you're leaving until you absolutely have to. Try to get a spot before you tell your PD, but give them enough warning so they can find someone to fill your shoes and not be short a resident.
       
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      beyond all hope

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        You can, technically, not sign the contract for the next year. That contract is usually offered in April or May, so if you don't sign it then, the PD will assume you're leaving. They offer you a year contract for a reason: you or the PD can decide not to renew at the end of the year.

        It's assumed that if you leave or change residency you have a very good reason, and you should articulate that to your PD. Leaving a residency without any warning to anybody is very poor form and will probably not go over well the next residency spot you try to apply for. That tells your next potential employer that you're ready to leave at the drop of a hat.
         
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