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Announcing changes to the exam timing for Internal Medicine

Internal Medicine (IM) residents, who started their postgraduate year one (PGY1) education in July 2016, will now complete their Royal College examinations (oral and written) at the end of the third year of their residency training (2019) rather than the traditional fourth year (2020).

This change will allow IM residents more time to effectively prepare for their Royal College examination.

Am I impacted by this decision?

IM residents who started PGY1 training in July 2016 – and all future years:

  • Yes – you are impacted by this decision
  • You will complete your Royal College examinations at the end of your third year of your residency training in 2019

IM residents who started your PGY1 training in July 2015 – and all previous years:

  • No – you are NOT impacted by this decision
  • You will complete your Royal College examinations at the end of your fourth year of your residency training in 2019

Residents from other specialties

  • No – you are NOT impacted by this decision

Is the change in timing of the IM exam driven by the Competence by Design initiative?

The proposal to move the Internal Medicine exam from the fourth year to the third year has been under consideration for many years; but, the high number of residents in this specialty presents some unique logistical challenges. With Competence by Design (CBD) on the horizon, we saw this as a mutually-beneficial opportunity to revisit this request.

As you may know, scheduling the Royal College exams earlier in a residency training program (rather than the last year) is a key component of our CBD initiative. By shifting the Internal Medicine exam now, it will help prepare the specialty to implement CBD and accommodate Internal Medicine-specific logistical challenges before other specialties and subspecialties embark on their own CBD journeys.

The Internal Medicine decision does not impact current residents in other specialties. As more specialties migrate to a new competency-based model of training, we will review the appropriateness of shifting the timing of other Royal College exams. Any changes to exam timing due to CBD will only impact future PGY1 residents and will be communicated before they start their residency training program.

Get ready for double the number of IM exam candidates in 2019

The Royal College will continue to work with our committees and medical school partners to ensure a smooth process for all IM 2019 exam candidates:

  • IM candidates who started their training in 2015 and will be completing their Royal College exams in the fourth year of their residency training, and
  • IM candidates who started their training in 2016 and will be completing their Royal College exams in the third year of their residency training.

IM residents who started training in July 2016 – Your IM program directors are already working to revamp the training programs to optimize learning to ensure you are adequately prepared for the Royal College examination in 2019.

How do I find out when my exam is scheduled in 2019?

Internal Medicine – Written March 2019
Internal Medicine – OSCE May or June 2019

More specific dates are typically communicated approximately 12 months in advance of your exam.

Who can I follow up with if I have more questions?

Please email your questions to credentials@royalcollege.ca