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Subspecialty matches – what are they?

By: Jillian Menard, Communications Officer| July 6, 2016

CaRMS works in close cooperation with the medical education community, medical schools and students/residents to match nearly 4,000 applicants each year to postgraduate medical training programs in Canada through four residency matches. The R-1 match for entry level (R-1) postgraduate positions is by far CaRMS’ largest match; however, we also conduct three subspecialty matches.

CaRMS’ three subspecialty matches are: the Family Medicine/Emergency Medicine (FM/EM match), the Medicine Subspecialty Match (MSM), and the Pediatric Subspecialty Match (PSM). The application and match process for the subspecialty matches is similar to that for the R-1 match.

The FM/EM match is for applicants who are completing or have completed postgraduate training in Family Medicine in Canada and want to pursue enhanced skills training in Emergency Medicine. The MSM is for residents currently in an internal medicine residency training program who want further training in a more narrowly-focused area within that specialty. The PSM is for residents currently in a pediatric residency training program who are looking for more specialized training within pediatric medicine.

As with the R-1 match, CaRMS centralizes the subspecialty match application process and facilitates the process for both applicants and faculty. We do not set policies around access to postgraduate training positions in Canada. Medical schools offering residency programs work in close cooperation with provincial health ministries which fund the positions. Eligibility for postgraduate medical training is ultimately determined by each Canadian medical school.

You can learn more about each of our subspecialty matches, including eligibility criteria, and on our match pages.

And as always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the help desk at or 1.877.227.6742.