Note, the application requirements for Canadian Medical Graduates (CMGs) and International Medical Graduates (IMGs) differ. Carefully read the section relevant to your situation prior to submitting your application.
Review all instructions carefully. Applications with INCOMPLETE and/or EXTRANEOUS documents will NOT be reviewed.
Applying competency-based practices to General Surgery Residency Education
To contribute to the success of Canadian physicians and the delivery of high-quality patient care, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada has embarked upon an initiative to introduce competency-based medical education (CBME) in Canadian postgraduate specialty training and in professional practice in Canada. This initiative, called Competence by Design (CBD), aims to enhance patient care by aligning medical education and lifelong learning with evolving patient needs and empowering learners to more fully engage in their education process. Residents entering the General Surgery program in July 2020 and beyond will experience competency-based training, including Surgical Foundations.
CBD will use time as a framework and competency as the basis for progression. It is not anticipated that the duration of training will change for trainees. Residency programs will be broken down into stages, and each stage will have a series of milestones based on required competencies. These milestones will create more targeted learning outcomes and involve more frequent, formative assessments within the clinical workplace to ensure residents are developing and receiving feedback on the skills they need.
All programs implementing CBD will continue to undergo the same rigorous accreditation processes as traditional programs. All CBD programs (and traditional programs) will continue to lead to Royal College approved certification. Certification for trainees in both CBD and traditional programs will include the completion of a Royal College examination; however, residents in CBD programs will also be assessed against program milestones throughout their training. Within a CBD program, all milestones (documented within an electronic portfolio) and the Royal College examination must be successfully completed to achieve certification.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Program application language: English
Please note that the language of instruction for this residency program is English. To ensure file reviewers can properly evaluate your application, please ensure all documents submitted are either in English or include an English translation.
Must be a Canadian Citizen/Permanent Resident. Proof of valid current citizenship or permanent resident status must be provided by submitting one of the following verifications to CaRMS by the Rank Order List deadline. Failure to provide valid proof will result in your application being removed. No other forms of verification are acceptable.
Four letters of reference must be submitted. Three letters must be from staff physicians, including at least one letter from a General Surgeon. The 4th letter must be from a senior resident (PGY 3-5) in General Surgery or a fellow in a General Surgical sub-specialty.
Please answer the following 5 questions in a single document. All answers should be preceded by the associated question, including the question number. Answer all questions in order. Limit your document to no more than 1000 words (excluding questions). A word count must be included at the end of the document; personal letters exceeding the word limit will NOT be reviewed. Personal letters that do not adhere to these standards will not be accepted.
Please upload as a separate document a table of all completed and upcoming General Surgery or general surgical subspecialty (e.g. Pediatric Surgery, Thoracic Surgery, Trauma Surgery, Transplant, Surgical Critical Care, etc.) rotations in chronological order. Please use this template, which includes the following column headers:
At the end of the document, please also provide a brief description (<75 words) of the elective requirements/restrictions at your medical school.
Applications submitted after file review has opened on November 20, 2019
Supporting documents (excluding letters of reference) that arrive after file review has opened on November 20, 2019
Letters of reference that arrive after the unmasking date on November 27, 2019
Information regarding the review process:
The General Surgery Program uses a structured and standardized process to review applications in a manner that ensures an equitable evaluation for all applicants. It is therefore essential that your application fully complies with the requirements as described.
Only those applications that adhere to the above requirements will undergo review. Additional supporting documentation that have not been requested will NOT be reviewed; this includes:
Please follow the application guidelines very closely.
Decisions made by the CaRMS Selection Committee are final and are not open to appeal. The General Surgery Program at the University of Toronto does not have a mechanism in place to provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants.
Residents who graduate from the General Surgery Training Program at the University of Toronto, will be confident and capable clinicians able to excel in the practice of General Surgery in a variety of settings. Clinical excellence is emphasized in training around the delivery of care to patients and this is achieved through a continuous emphasis on providing high quality of care in a safe and learner focused framework. This learning environment supports the development of highly capable surgeons, able to engage in ethical and team based practice.
For the Program's goals and objectives, click here
Successful applicants are typically those that demonstrate strong leadership potential, a commitment to general surgery, a capacity to learn and succeed in a surgical training enviornment, as well as an ability to work well in a team.
Applications are reviewed independently by both faculty and residents
Candidates are assigned a composite score comprised of the file and interview scores. The CaRMS Selection Committee will generate a preliminary rank list on the basis of these scores.
Review team composition : Applicants with complete applications (i.e. in compliance with the outlined requirements) will be reviewed by teams comprised of both faculty and residents.
Average number of applications received by our program in the last five years : 51 - 200
Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 26 - 50 %
|CV||We do not evaluate this file component|
|Electives||All aspects (e.g. clinical evaluations, evidence of interest, and the relevant experience document)|
|Extra-curricular||All aspects of the applicant’s extra-curricular activities will be considered|
|Leadership skills||All aspects, including leadership in academic, clinical, and extra-curricular settings|
|MSPRs||All aspects of the MSPR will be considered, including all clinical evaluations|
|Personal letters||All aspects, including adherence to the application instructions|
|Reference documents||All aspects, including adherence to the reference letter requirements|
|Research/Publications||All aspects of the applicant’s research/publication history will be considered|
|Transcripts||All aspects of the applicant’s transcript will be considered|
|Other file component(s)||
Although we do not review custom CVs, we do review typed entries in the web-based CaRMS application.
Adherence to the application instructions will be strongly considered.
Other information regarding elective requirement:
The CaRMS Selection Committee places significant value on personal contact with the applicant. For this reason, applicants are strongly encouraged to pursue an elective (research or clinical) or complete a core rotation in the Division of General Surgery at the University of Toronto. However, we emphasize that this is not mandatory, and recognize that not all applicants are able to arrange an elective within their schedule. The Program Director's Office is unable to assist in arranging electives.
If a University of Toronto elective can be arranged, electives students are encouraged to attend weekly general surgery resident teaching and to consider meeting with a member of the selection committee during the elective.
Interview format :
We do not re-schedule interviews for applicants after we have completed the scheduling process.
|Collaboration skills||Collaboration will be evaluated as part of the interview process|
|Collegiality||Collegiality will be evaluated as part of the interview process|
|Communication skills||Communication skills will be evaluated as part of the interview process|
|Interest in the discipline||Interest in General Surgery will be evaluated as part of the interview process|
|Interest in the program||Interest in the Toronto General Surgery program will be evaluated as part of the interview process|
|Leadership skills||Leadership skills will be evaluated as part of the interview process|
|Professionalism||Professionalism skills will be evaluated as part of the interview process|
|Scholarly activities||Scholarship will be evaluated as part of the interview process|
|Other interview component(s)||All components above are considered during the interview.|
" It is only after I transitioned to becoming a staff surgeon that I realized everything that the University of Toronto residency program did for me. The Surgeon Scientist Training Program allowed me the time and resources to learn about research and to complete my PhD, an opportunity almost unheard of across North America. My outstanding teachers patiently guided me as my clinical and operative skills developed, starting as a nervous PGY1 doing my first appendectomy to a chief resident tackling a complicated trauma case. Most importantly, throughout my residency, I worked in an environment surrounded by creative, energetic, innovative people from all sorts of backgrounds and specialties. This environment was a key motivator during a long residency, and essential to my success."
- Barbara Haas (2013 Graduate), Staff surgeon in Trauma, Acute Care Surgery & Critical Care at Sunnybrook Hospital
" As you will all learn very soon - residency is about more than just the work - it is about the experience. That is what you will remember for life. We pride ourselves on this experience, and the resident body is truly the heart and soul of our program. An emphasis on teamwork, communication and balanced life are exemplified by weekly teaching sessions with residents from all 5 years, and numerous gatherings, both organized and impromptu, throughout the year. The value of bringing this balanced approach to our patients cannot be over-emphasized, and is a key factor in determining the next class of residents."
- Steven MacLellan (2012 Graduate), Staff surgeon in Minimally Invasive Surgery at Humber River Hospital
This residency program is for 5 years.
Program length of training does not exceed the Royal College or College of Family Physicians of Canada standard.
PGY 1 and 2
Rotations in the PGY 1 and 2 years are designed to meet the objectives of core general surgery training as articulated by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The broad experience prepares trainees for the MCCQE II and Surgical Foundations Examinations as well as develops trainees' cognitive and technical skills in General Surgery.
Specific Rotations Completed in the PGY-1 year include:
Specific Rotations Completed in the PGY-2 year include:
This year comprises:
PGY 4 and 5
During PGY 4 and 5, residents on a General Surgery rotation function at the senior resident level with appropriate autonomy and responsibility.
Rotations at the PGY 4 and 5 level include:
Surgeon Scientist Training Program
Residents accepted into the program have the opportunity to apply for the Surgeon Scientist Training Program (SSTP) following their PGY-2 or PGY-3 year. Acceptance to the SSTP is contingent on at least above average standing in the PGY 1 and 2 year and competition year-to-year varies. Residents who enter the SSTP must enroll in at least a two-year thesis based graduate program. Residents have a wide choice of graduate programs to consider including Basic Science, Clinical Epidemiology, Health Services Research, and Research in Surgical Education.
Residents return to senior clinical training after completing their Master's or PhD degree. The Surgeon Scientist Training Program satisfies the requirements of the Royal College Clinician Investigator Program. Further details on the Surgeon Scientist Training Program can be found at the SSTP website.
Resident research experience is mandatory. All trainees are expected to complete and present at least one research project. Elective blocks may be used for research experience.
Program Wide Teaching
In addition to a rich offering of site-specific teaching there are a large number of centrally organized lectures and seminars.
Core Training Sites
Exposure to both community and academic surgery is built into program structure and tailored to meet residents' aspirations and career objectives.
Non-core Training Sites