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Our Enhanced Skills (PGY3) Program offers a wide range of options if you are a resident interested in pursuing additional training after your core 2-year Family Medicine Residency.

The Enhanced Skills program is a third year residency program meant to prepare family physicians who are responsive to the needs of their community. The program is designed to provide family medicine residents with training in a specific area they feel they require additional training in or training required to help them service a specific community need.

For more information on which programs offer rural / regional experiences, please see our programs information below.

Important Message about COVID-19

Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, McMaster DFM realizes clinical rotations including electives are dramatically affected. We understand this and know that applicants are concerned about their CaRMS applications being affected. According to our Best Practice in Application and Selection (BPAS) statements, electives function to demonstrate your diversity of training and academic excellence.

Given the broad scopes of practice our programs offer, there are many clinical rotation options that are applicable to each practice (Care of the Elderly, Emergency Medicine, Family Practice Anesthesia, Palliative Care, Sports Medicine). Any rotation is an opportunity to demonstrate academic excellence, either reflected in the evaluations, reference letters or your Program Director’s letter.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you have – Emergency Medicine Program contact: Melissa Hymers hymers@mcmaster.ca, all other programs contact: fmpgy3@mcmaster.ca


Admissions Deadlines

2021-2022 Family Medicine/Enhanced Skills Match Timeline (Category 1 & 2 Programs)
3 August 2021 at 12:00 (noon) ET Application Opens
14 September 2021 at 12:00 (noon) ET Applicant document submission deadline
8 October 2021 Interview status for Category 1 applicants will be updated through CaRMS Online
15 October 2021 – 3 December 2021 National interview period (category 1 interview dates published on carmsonline, exact interview days by category 2 program TBD)
15 December 2021 at 12:00 (noon) ET


MATCH DAY – Category 1 Programs

Category 2 offer letters

For more details, please refer to https://www.carms.ca/match/family-medicine-enhanced-skills-match/applicants/timeline-fmes/



The Enhanced Skills Program will review applications from current PGY2 residents who are registered in a Canadian Family Medicine Residency Program at the time of their application.  Residents must start their PGY3 year within 12 months of completing their PGY2 year.

(Practicing physicians must apply separately through the Re-Entry Program of the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, and not directly to the university.  Applications from practicing physicians will not be accepted for the Enhanced Skills Program.  Please view information about the Re-Entry Program here. Different timelines apply to Re-Entry Applicants.)

For IMG applicants, please review information related to eligibility and ROS here

Program Options

Our Enhanced Skills Program offers a wide range of options for residents that would benefit from additional experiences in preparation for their future practice. Interested Residents in their second year will apply to either Category 1 or Self-Designed programs based on career intentions.

Category 1 programs are those designated by the CFPC as programs leading to a Certificate of Added Competence. The majority of these programs are offered in Hamilton (FPA excepted), but many offer elective opportunities in other urban settings and/or rural/regional contexts. For sample schedules, please see our program descriptions below.

Self-Designed are intended to help the resident gain additional experiences in an area of interest, or enhance learn skills designed to fill the needs of a rural / regional community. The department is committed to preserving the community-in-need focus of Enhanced Skills and to promote flexible specialized training options to allow our interested graduates to pursue practice opportunities in rural, remote and regional settings. NO Certificate of Added Competence at completion. All PGY2s are eligible to apply, independent of residency home-base.

Any Family Medicine PGY2 currently training in Canada, independent of residency location, is eligible to apply for any of our Enhanced Skills programs. For sample schedules, please see our program descriptions below.

CATEGORY 1 Care of the Elderly Yes 12 Months Hamilton Area
Palliative Care Yes 12 Months Hamilton Area
Sports and Exercise Medicine (SEM) Yes 12 Months Burlington / Hamilton
Emergency Medicine Yes Five 12-Month Positions Hamilton



Anesthesia (FPA) Yes Two 12-Month Positions Rural / Regional / Brantford / Hamilton
SELF-DESIGNED Rural/Regional Self-Designed No 3 – 6 Months
(6 to 8 positions)
Rural / Regional
Research / Scholarship No 12 months Hamilton Area

The Department is able to offer the rural / regional placements through its partnerships with ROMP and MacCARE. For further information on Rural/Regional program experiences offered, please see our rural/regional information page.


    • McMaster University Department of Family Medicine
    • David Braley Health Sciences Centre
    • 100 Main Street West, 6th Floor
    • Hamilton, ON L8P 1H6
    • Map / Directions