Health Workforce Planning Branch

Physician Return Of Service (ROS) Programs


Physician Return of Service (ROS)

Programs are part of Ontario’s strategy to help ensure a stable physician supply; improve retention; and enhance physician distribution to provide better care for Ontarians. The ROS programs help to improve access to physician services across Ontario, particularly in areas with limited physician supply. In ROS programs, physicians commit to practise in an eligible Ontario community for up to five years in exchange for training or interest relief support (eligible communities and length of ROS vary by program).

Physicians participating in the ROS programs are required to sign an ROS agreement with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (ministry) before partaking in training or interest relief. The ROS programs also require participants to submit a Practice Location Agreement (PLA). This is an agreement between the participating physician, the ministry and the practice community. The PLA specifies the location, terms, and duration of the ROS practice.

If the participating physician does not meet the ROS requirements, he or she will be considered in breach of contract. Physicians in breach of their ROS agreement will be required to pay back costs associated with the physician’s participation in the program. The ministry is unable to waive physicians of their financial obligations incurred under the ROS agreement.

The ministry recommends that physicians take into consideration the required ROS commitments before accepting an offer to participate in a ROS program.  The ministry also recommends that physicians consider whether their training will permit them to find appropriate job opportunities in eligible practice locations. The ROS is a full time commitment.

Physicians with multiple ROS agreements must adhere to the conditions of the more restrictive ROS agreement.

Physicians who have pending ROS commitments in other provinces are required to fulfill their Ontario ROS commitments first.

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ROS Programs Descriptions

ROS is a requirement for those who participate in the following programs:

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International Medical Graduates (IMGs)

About the program:  The IMG ROS program provides an entry point for physicians educated outside of Canada to apply  for residency positions through the Canadian Resident Matching Services (CaRMS).

Who is eligible: Physicians who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents, possessing a medical degree from a school that is not accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) or the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) and who obtain a designated ministry funded residency position.

Length of ROS: 5 years

Eligible communities for practice location: Anywhere in Ontario except the City of Ottawa, Toronto, Pickering, Markham, Vaughan, Brampton and Mississauga

For more information, see IMG ROS Questions and Answers and IMG ROS Guidelines

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Physician Repatriation

About the program: The ministry funds residency training positions for qualified physicians who have completed or partially completed residency training outside Canada and require up to 2 years of further training to meet Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) standards. No additional funding is provided for this program: It is at the discretion of the medical school to ensure it has the capacity and funding to cover the duration of the residency.

Who is eligible: Physicians who have graduated from a Canadian, U.S. or international medical school and require up to 2 years of further training to meet RCPSC standards.

Length of ROS: Up to 5 years based on stream of eligibility.

Eligible communities for practice location: Anywhere in Ontario except the City of Ottawa, Toronto, Pickering, Markham, Vaughan, Brampton and Mississauga

For more information, see Repatriation ROS Questions and Answers and Repatriation ROS Guidelines

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Physician Re-entry

About the program: The  purpose of the Re-entry program is to increase flexibility in the medical training system by providing opportunities for experienced physicians to re-train in a new area of interest while addressing the need for a diversity of physician services in Ontario.

Who is eligible: Qualified physicians currently practising in Canada can re-enter postgraduate medical training in a different specialty.

Length of ROS: 2 years

Eligible communities for practice location: Anywhere in Ontario

For more information, see Re-Entry ROS Questions and Answers and Re-entry ROS Guidelines.

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Resident Loan Interest Relief Program (RLIRP)

About the program: Provides eligible residents with financial assistance during postgraduate medical training.  Successful participants are not required to pay principal or interest on government student loans during their residency period.

Who is eligible: IMGs and out of province medical students are eligible to apply, as long as their loans are granted by a Canadian institution and they are participating in an Ontario residency program.

Length of ROS: 5 years

Eligible communities for practice location: Anywhere in Ontario

For more information, see RLIRP ROS Questions and Answers and RLIRP ROS Guidelines.

For more information about ROS programs, please contact the Program Officer

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For More Information

Call ServiceOntario, Infoline at :
1-866-532-3161 (Toll-free in Ontario only)
In Toronto, 416-314-5518
TTY 1-800-387-5559.
In Toronto, TTY 416-327-4282
Hours of operation : 8:30am - 5:00pm

 

Health Workforce Planning Branch
56 Wellesley Street West,
12th Floor
Toronto ON M5S 2S3

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