Education & Knowledge Sharing

Laying the Foundation for Residency Success



The Pre-Residency Programs (PRP and PRP-FM) are mandatory for all international medical graduates who have been accepted into residency positions in the province. Ontario specific programming ensures that learners are provided the foundational experience, exposure, and opportunity to practice the competencies necessary to be successful in their training in Ontario.

The Canadian Medicine Primer (CMP) includes additional content curated for internationally trained visa trainees entering Ontario residency programs, and internationally sponsored fellows pursuing specialty education. In 2022-23, our Learning Programs were delivered virtually in their entirety.

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Pre-Residency Program and Canadian Medicine Primer Participants


“The course made me ready for the work in Canada.”

“All the topics in PRP were extremely helpful for residency such as dealing with difficult patients, learning about 2SLGBTQ+, On-call, Dictation, and more”

-Learning Program Participants

A student and an examiner interviewing a patient

Pre-Residency Program (PRP)

The core Pre-Residency Program (PRP) is mandatory for all international medical graduates who have been accepted into a residency program in Ontario. The PRP takes up to three weeks to complete and includes interactive classroom sessions, online modules, and simulated client encounters. PRP was one of our first programs to move to a virtual platform, and we have had positive feedback about the modality from participants and instructors.

Lectures cover key competency areas, and there are sessions that have been designed on communication, indigenous health, law and ethics, privacy, confidentiality, and challenging situations. The program was delivered this year to 210 international medical graduates.

Pre-Residency Program: Family Medicine (PRP:FM)

The PRP – Family Medicine program is comprised of two phases. Phase one is completed on site at Touchstone Institute and is a three-week session that includes the PRP core programming, and one additional week of Family Medicine specific programming. The second phase is completed at the learner’s university and coordinated by their specific Family Medicine Program. PRP:FM was also held virtually this year.

CMP: Meeting the Needs of Visa Trainees

The Canadian Medicine Primer has been developed to address the needs of visa trainees and clinical fellows who are working in Ontario. The program’s population is made up of referrals from medical schools. The program follows a similar curriculum to the PRP with several courses focused on issues only affecting visa trainees. The CMP was designed in collaboration with Ontario medical schools to support successful integration to safe practice in the Canadian context. CMP was also delivered virtually this past year to 70 trainees.

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Conferences & Presentations

Amirthalingam, L., Coetzee, K., & Strachan, A. (2023) An Investigation into Internationally Educated Nurse (IEN) Candidates’ Strengths and Weaknesses Based on Equivalency and Language Exam Performances. Metropolis Canada Conference, March 16-18, Ottawa.

Hipkin, Diane and Strachan, Andrea (May 6, 2022) Exploring Social Consequences of Test Results Expiry Dates in the Context of a Language Assessment for Internationally Educated Nurses accepted for presentation at the Canadian Association of Language Assessment.

Assessing Internationally Educated Applicants: Canadian Experience and the Changing Legislative Landscape at Canadian Network of Agencies for Regulation’s (CNAR) workshop hosted by World Education Services & Touchstone Institute on May 17, 2022.

Competency Assessments for Internationally Educated Nurses, a webinar held virtually by Touchstone Institute on January 25, 2023.

Research & Publications

Stewart, G., & Strachan, A. Sustaining an Occupation-specific Language Assessment for the Canadian Healthcare Field. TESL Canada Journal/Revue TESL du Canada, Volume 38, Issue 1, 2022

Smee, S., Coetzee, K., Bartman, I, Roy, M. & Monteiro, S. (2022) OSCE Standard Setting: Three Borderline Group Methods. Medical Science Educator. 32:1439–1445.

Sten Ardal & Sabrina Hyde (2022) Improving Access to Internationally Educated Health Professionals. Ontario360, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.

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© 2023 Touchstone Institute

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