Should I discuss transferring to another program with my program director?
Honesty and transparency is generally the best approach. There is no harm in letting people know of your interest in transferring.
All things are possible, but as a rule of thumb, it is easier to transfer if you have a legitimate reason (spouse relocation, etc.) than you are simply unhappy or upwardly mobile. Spots do come available so letting program directors know of your interest can’t hurt. The only caveat here is that if you home program director does not know you are looking and word gets back to her that you have ‘your resume on the street’, it could lead to an uncomfortable conversation.
In addition, programs are more comfortable accepting you as a transfer when the current program director supports the decision and contacts the program director of the “receiving” program.