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General Information on Training Programmes

Residency Training Programmes


The residency programmes are nationally standardised, structured formative training programmes.

The components of the residency include -

  • AN INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURE with priority for training and education.

  • LEARNING EXPERIENCES that are planned to see the range and volume of cases needed to accrue necessary competencies.

  • TEACHING FACULTY WITH PROTECTED TIME to plan the curriculum, and to guide and supervise trainees and perform formative assessments.

  • REGULAR FORMATIVE ASSESSMENTS to ensure trainees achieve the core competencies at each stage of learning.

Programme Duration

Please refer to the links below for the local residency training requirements.

Internal Medicine
Emergency Medicine
General Surgery
Preventive Medicine
Paediatric Medicine
Family Medicine
Diagnostic Radiology
Obsteytrics & Gynaecology
Orthopaedic Surgery
Cardiothoracic Surgery
Hand Surgery
Plastic Surgery

Senior Residency *Advanced Internal Medicine (IM) and IM-related specialties
(Residents must have completed 3 years basic IM training)

Advanced Internal Medicine
Nuclear Medicine
Geriatric Medicine
Infectious Disease
Medical Oncology
Rehabilitation Medicine
Renal Medicine
Respiratory Medicine

Advanced Specialist Training (AST) / Seamless Programmes


Advanced Specialist Training (AST) and Seamless training programmes are administered by the Joint Committee on Specialist Training (JCST). The objective of the programme is to provide trainees with the necessary training, experience and postings to enable them to qualify for exit as a specialist.

Advanced Specialist Trainees/Seamless Trainees in the programme have protected time for training. Protected time for training may be for formal lectures and case discussions, journal discussions and time committed to research on topics assigned by supervisor, sessions with HMDP experts and in the national training programmes.


Programme Duration

Please refer to the links below for the local residency training requirements.

 Direct-Entry Programmes Training Duration (Years) 
 Paediatric Surgery
- Chemical Pathology
- Forensic Pathology
- Microbiology

Radiation Oncology 6
 Aviation Medicine 2.5
 Intensive Care Medicine 1 to 2
 (1 year for entry from Respiratory Medicine or Anaesthesiology, up to 2 years for entry from AIM)
 Palliative Medicine  2 to 3
(2 years for specialist track [from GRM, Med Oncology, Paediatric Medicine or AIM], 3 years for direct track [from FM]) 
 Sports Medicine
 Paediatric Nephrology
 Paediatric Cardiology
 Paediatric Intensive Care
 Paediatric Gastroenterology
 Paediatric Haematology & Oncology

Enrolment into Training Programmes

Eligibility Criteria for Specialist Training Programmes

General criteria for specialist training programmes include the following:

  1. Graduates of Singapore medical schools and those with primary medical qualifications registrable under the Medical Registration Act (First Schedule) are eligible to apply. Graduates from overseas must secure an offer of employment as a doctor from MOHH or a local healthcare institution before they are eligible to apply.
  2. Completed Post-Graduate Year 1 (PGY1) by the commencement date
  3. Candidates should already be on Conditional or Full Registration with the Singapore Medical Council at the start date of residency.
  4. In general, a resident who wishes to switch programme has to resign from his or her programme and wait one year before applying for another programme again. In circumstances where a resident wishes to transfer to a less popular programme, the penalty will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  5. Candidates should be employed by MOHH at the point of acceptance into a specialist training programme.

The entry criteria for the sub-specialties can be found here.

Application Process and Matching Exercise

Applicants can choose to apply for a maximum of two specialties. Applicants would need to submit their portfolio, which includes their personal statements for each of the chosen specialties, as well as their letters of reference. Where applicable, House Officers and Medical Officers would also need to submit their academic records, transcripts, documentation of their work experience, supervisor reports, posting grades, postgraduate examinations, awards, and other accomplishments.
Interviews are conducted through a four-station Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) or a national panel. The panel would generally comprise:

  1. Representative(s) from the Residency Advisory Committee (RAC)/ Specialist Training Committee (STC) for that specialty;
  2. The PDs (or their appointed representatives) for each SI (if applicable).

Applications are generally evaluated based on candidates’ academic scores, Student Internship Programme performance, letters of reference, interview performance and, where applicable, work performance. This ensures that acceptance into a specialist training programme is on the basis of merit.

Candidates would submit their rankings of programmes in order of preference to MOHH, while PDs/STCs would also submit their rankings of candidates to MOHH. Following this, matching of candidates to programmes would be done by MOHH based on the number of positions available for each specialty. 


Progression in the Training Programme

A resident/trainee’s performance is monitored by the PD/ core faculty or HOD/Training Director. Progression in the specialist training programme is based upon the resident/trainee meeting the education standards and clinical competencies defined by the RAC/STC required to advance to the next level of training. The method of evaluation would consist of direct observations of the resident/trainees well as by indirect observation through rotations, evaluations and the In-Training Examinations (ITEs).

If an evaluation indicates unsatisfactory performance, the resident/trainee would be provided with a remedial plan for correcting any deficiencies. However, should the remediation be unsatisfactory, this may be cause for probation or termination from the training programme.
For doctors in training, the term “Senior Resident” or “Advanced Trainee” would be used during the advanced phase of training. The earliest point during training that a resident/trainee can be progressed to the position of Senior Resident/Advanced Trainee in any specialty is:

  1. Upon certification by the PD/HOD/Training Director that the resident/trainee has completed R3/R4 and acquired all the necessary competencies specified for an R3/R4 resident/trainee; and
  2. When the resident/trainee has fulfilled the criteria laid down by the RAC/STC for progression to Senior Resident/Advanced Trainee.

Other Information

Residency year to attempt the Speciality Certificate Examination (SCE) for specialties requiring residents to pass the SCEs

Specialties   Residency Year to attempt SCE
(i.e. SR 1/SR 2/ SR 3 onwards)
 Advanced Internal Medicine (Acute Medicine)  SR1 onwards
 Medical Oncology   SR3 onwards
 Dermatology   SR2 onwards 
 Endocrinology   End SR2 onwards
(at least 21 months of local Endocrinology Senior Residency training)
 Gastroenterology1  SR2 onwards
 Geriatric Medicine  SR1 onwards 
 Neurology  SR1 onwards
 Renal Medicine2  SR3 onwards
(at least 30 months of local Renal Medicine Residency Training)
 Respiratory Medicine  SR1 onwards

From January 2018 the Specialty Certificate Examination (SCE) in Gastroenterology and the European Section and Board of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Examination (ESBGHE), was replaced by the European Specialty Examination in Gastroenterology and Hepatology (ESEGH)
From February 2020, the Specialty Certificate Examination (SCE) in Nephrology and the European Certificate in Nephrology that was originally developed between the UEMS Renal Section and Boards and the European Renal Association (ERA) became a single examination called European Specialty Examination in Nephrology (ESENeph)

Important note: Residents and prospective residents should not attempt the SCE before the stipulated Residency Year. 

Exit Certification

At the end of specialist training, trainees are assessed before being certified competent to exit as specialists. 

The SAB has made recommendations for all specialty exit assessments to consist of both a written assessment and a clinical assessment. The written assessment can take the form of multiple choice questions, essays or short answer questions, while the clinical assessment can include clinical case assessments or discussions, and Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) stations (which can include an oral viva).

  • Written Assessment
    The written assessment should be done in the final or penultimate year of senior residency training.
  • Clinical / OSCE / Oral
    There should be stations for proper assessment of relevant core competencies. Station scenarios should be developed by the appointed examination committees.
  • Other Components
    For specialties with a very small number of residents/trainees, a workplace-based assessment e.g. conducting ward rounds, could be an alternative to clinical stations.

Compulsory Courses for All Trainees/Residents

The course on medical ethics, professionalism and health law conducted by the SMA is a mandatory requirement for exit certification for all trainees/residents. To apply for the course and for more information on the course schedule, please enquire with SMA at 6223 1264 or visit their website at

Co-Payment of Training Fee

Residents/Trainees in PGY2 and beyond in the following specialties: Dermatology, Paediatric Medicine, Ophthalmology, Otorhinolaryngology, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Orthopaedic Surgery and Plastic Surgery, will co-pay a monthly training fee for the entire duration of their training. The training fee is subject to revision.

Clinician Scientist (CS) Programme

The SAB Research Committee (SRC) oversees research training in the Clinician Scientist (CS) programmes. For CS residents/trainees, an additional year of research training is required to exit from the training programme. The additional year will enable the training to equip CS residents/trainees with research skills and experience to pursue research.

Please refer to the section on Clinician Scientist Programme for more detailed information.

International Medical Graduates (IMG) and Residency Training

International Medical Graduates (IMGs) who are existing residents or specialist trainees in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK and Hong Kong, or in other centres/countries where training may be recognised by the SAB but with additional criteria on accreditation imposed, can apply to enter residency programmes in Singapore with their years of training taken into account if they are assessed to be equivalent to the local training by the committees of the Specialists Accreditation Board. They must be first matched to a residency programme to be accepted and have their years of training assessed.