Transitions in medical education are moments of intense learning, bringing significant challenges for the trainees, the medical programs and healthcare provision. Frequently, transitional periods are not prepared or mentored; this process of transformation in the trainee is left to occur by chance and opportunity. Promotion of medical education continuity requires formal support in the continuous process of learning and professionalization. This is a review of the formal transitional periods in medical education considering the most significant points of transition. The challenges of each period of transition are analyzed and strategies for improvement are discussed. Educational strategies should not be directly translated to other settings; however, they need to be adapted to the cultural context of medical training to be effective. Research on transitions, considering the socialization process and the cultural environment, should be performed to better support the medical professional pathway.