University of Manitoba - Vascular Surgery - Winnipeg

2021 R-1 Main Residency Match - first iteration
CMG Stream for CMG

Last approved on January 19, 2021

Summary of changes

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria

Dr. Joshua Koulack
Vascular Surgery 
GF5 - 820 Sherbrook Street 
Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3A 1R5
Vascular Surgery

Program Contacts

Karen Soares
Program Administrator

Important Information

The Postgraduate Medical Education Orientation for all residents, which is MANDATORY, will be held on Tuesday, June 29, 2021.

Competency-Based Medical Education

As of July 2021, residents entering Vascular Surgery will participate in competency-based training through the Competence by Design (CBD) educational initiative of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

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. 

CBD will use time as a framework rather than the basis for progression. It is not anticipated that the duration of training will change for the majority of 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 and the Royal College examination must be successfully completed to achieve certification.

For more information, please contact

Return of Service

The following applicants will be required to sign a Return of Service “ROS” contract with the Province of Manitoba. The ROS commitment is commensurate with the length of the training program.

  • All applicants entering the Family Medicine – Northern Remote Stream (including transfers into the program)
  • All IMGs entering all training programs

IMGs already holding a return of service obligation must disclose these obligations at the time of application. IMGs who have undischarged return of service obligations may not be eligible to begin training in a position funded by Manitoba Health.

Such individuals may wish to contact Shared Health at for more information.


General Instructions

Program application language: English

The University of Manitoba Vascular Program provides a balance, being small enough to be flexible and personal. Our residents have input into their training choices and gain independence through their training levels with the support of our dedicated Faculty, while they work toward their personal goals and those of the program.  Our Program sees a broad spectrum of vascular cases as Winnipeg serves as a referral base for all of Manitoba, Northwestern Ontario, and Nunavut.

You are required to fulfill ALL of the most current Provincial Criteria for Canadian Medical Graduates for Manitoba

The criteria can be found at:

Supporting Documentation

Canadian citizenship
CaRMS partners with third-party organizations to verify your citizenship or permanent resident status. If your status is verified by one of these organizations, you will not need to provide citizenship documents in your application. If your citizenship status is not verified, you must provide one of the documents listed below.
Document must be notarized/certified
Submit one of the following documents to verify your Canadian citizenship:
• Canadian Birth Certificate or Act of Birth
• Certificate of Canadian Citizenship
• Confirmation of Permanent Residence in Canada
• Passport page showing Canadian Citizenship
• Canadian Permanent Resident Card (both sides of card)


Language proficiency
Submit one of the following documents to verify your language proficiency:

Language Proficiency
English is the language of study at the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba. All applicants whose first language is not English must submit proof of English language proficiency to CaRMS by the file review opening date.


  • If you graduated from an English medical school in Canada or the US, you are exempt from providing proof of language proficiency.

Candidates who attended medical school in Quebec or the University of Ottawa where the language of instruction or the primary language of patient care was not English, must fulfill the English Language Proficiency requirements.



  • IMG applicants must fulfill the English Language Proficiency requirements.

 Candidates are exempted from English language proficiency testing under the following circumstances:

  1. the language of instruction and patient care throughout the entire undergraduate medical education curriculum was in English. A letter of attestation obtained directly from the Dean of the candidate’s medical school confirming that the majority of the language of instruction and patient care was conducted in English is required.
  2. their undergraduate medical education was taken in English in one of the countries that have English as a first and native language (see list below)

All other candidates must have taken the Academic Version of International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum score of 7 in each component with an overall band score of no less than 7 in the same sitting.  IELTS scores will be considered valid for 2 years from the date taken.

List of countries that have English as a first and native language - Countries: Australia, Bahamas, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States of America, US Virgin Islands - Caribbean Islands: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Grenadines, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago

Please note the following:

  • Photocopies are acceptable.
  • Language Proficiency Attestations will not be accepted from the candidate or a third party.
  • Language Proficiency results will not be accepted by fax or e-mail.

Please note, for the 2021 R-1 Match cycle, the IELTS Indicator will be accepted as a substitute for the Academic Version of the IELTS.

Reference documents
Number requested: 3
Maximum of three letters of reference are required. Referees must have knowledge of your clinical and patient care skills as well as your communication skills, interests and strengths. References will not be reviewed if submitted after the opening of file review.
Additional documents
Personal Letter 
Word count
Minimum : None
Maximum : None

A personal Letter should be included with the application stating your reasons for wanting to become a Vascular Surgeon as well as description of your interests in and outside of medicine (example sports, reading, etc). Please outline any personal history that may be appropriate or relevant to your application.

Custom Résumé / CV 

[Note: Photograph is used as memory aid only]

CASPer exam 

“CASPer™ Test

All applicants must complete a CASPer™ (Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics) test. CASPer is an online test which assesses for non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics.

Test dates for 1st Iteration:  A limited number of test dates and times will be available. Please note these are the only testing dates available and no additional tests will be scheduled.

To see an example of the test structure and schedule a test, please visit take

Please direct any inquiries on the test to<

Medical School Transcript 

Order from your Registrar

Medical Student Performance Record 

Order from your Dean's office.

Review Process

Applications submitted after file review has opened on February 8, 2021

Supporting documents (excluding letters of reference) that arrive after file review has opened  on  February 8, 2021

Letters of reference that arrive after the unmasking date on February 8, 2021

All completed application files provided by the deadline will be reviewed by the Vascular Adminissions Committee.



  • March 14, 2021
Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
The candidates will be given an opportunity to meet the residents and members of faculty within the Vascular Surgery Program. Every attempt will be made to answer any questions concerning our program. Interviews are 30-45 minutes in length held virtually, conducted by faculty members of the Vascular Surgery Program.

Selection Criteria

Selection Criteria will include:

A keen interest for Vascular Surgery as well as suitability for a career in Vascular as demonstrated by:

  • Reference letters, in particular references from Vascular Surgeons with whom the applicant has worked
  • Personal letter
  • Academic Transcript
  • Personal Interview
  • Previous degrees (awards)
  • Research interest (published)
  • All applicants must complete a CASPer™ (Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics) test. CASPer is an online test which assesses for non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics. The confirmed dates are as below:
    • Thursday December 10, 8pm EST
    • Tuesday January 5, 8pm EST
    • Sunday January 10, 2pm EST

Program goals

The Vascular Surgery Resident Training Program at the University of Manitoba seeks to provide the highest quality care to patients while supporting the educational, research, health and wellness needs of our residents. The aim of the program is to provide the best possible environment, technology, facilities and human resources in order to facilitate comprehensive education and training of residents, along with medical students and clinical fellows.

Selection process goals

A successful applicant will demonstrate a mature, dedicated and self-directed approach to acquiring the knowledge and technical skill set required for Vascular Surgery. Effective communication skills and a team-based attitude are essential to working within an interdisciplinary team of care providers. Successful applicants will have elective experience in Vascular Surgery, with an interest in ongoing research and academics.

File review process

Review team composition : The review team is comprised of the Program Director and faculty/resident members of the Residency Program Committee (RPC).

Average number of applications received by our program in the last five years : 0 - 50

Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 76 - 100 %

Evaluation criteria :
File component Criteria
CV Ability to work with teams; Leadership potential; Research experience; Extra-curricular; Interests.
Electives At least one on-site elective.
Examinations No additional assessment required
Extra-curricular Interests relating to, and also outside of, medicine.
Leadership skills Leadership potential.
MSPRs Applicant should be in good standing at their respective medical school.
Personal letters No specific format is requested here.
Reference documents At least 3 letters from faculty/mentors (see Reference Documents section, below).
Research/Publications Publications, chapters, posters, etc (to assess for interest/potential for research).
Transcripts Applicant should be in good standing at their respective medical school.

Elective criteria

We encourage applicants to have completed at least one elective in our discipline.
We prefer applicants to have done onsite electives.

Interview process

Interview format :

We may accommodate requests to re-schedule interviews for applicants due to weather, technology failure, or unforeseen circumstances.

Interview evaluation criteria :
Interview components Criteria
Collaboration skills Capacity for dedicated team-work; Participation in an interdisciplinary team.
Collegiality Reliability; Honesty; Integrity.
Communication skills Effective; Compassionate.
Health advocacy No additional assessment required
Interest in the discipline Interest in Vascular Surgery; At least 1 formal elective in Vascular Surgery.
Interest in the program On-site Vascular Surgery elective is required; Knowledge and interest specific to our program.
Leadership skills Potential for leadership.
Professionalism Ethical decision-making; Honesty; Capacity for self-directed learning.
Scholarly activities Academic performance in medical school; Interest/potential for research/scholarly pursuits.
Other interview component(s)  

Information gathered outside of CaRMS application

Specifically, we may consider:

Ranking process

The behavior(s) exhibited below during the interview process may prevent an applicant from being ranked by our program :

Program Highlights

The Vascular Surgery service is based at two sites, St. Boniface General Hospital and Health Sciences Centre. There is also a Risk Factor Clinic located at the Grace General Hospital. The clinical vascular service is a busy one, performing 900-1000 major vascular cases per year (including hemoaccess procedures).

Small number of Faculty allow for close supervision of all residents. 

Large volume of peripheral interventions that allow for residents to be taught by interventional radiologists and vascular surgeons. 

Opportunities for research exist in clinical outcomes, collaborative translation, and education. 

The Vascular Surgery Service is closely linked to the Interventional Radiology Service, and interaction and discussion between members of the two services occur on a daily basis. A close relationship also exists with the Ultrasound Department. Formal exposure in both these areas is available for the residents. 

A block in Vascular Medicine is provided through the Grace General Hospital, a community hospital located in Winnipeg Manitoba. This experience includes vascular surgery assessment and cardiovascular risk factor management. 

In addition to a vascular trauma I.R. component and opportunities for renal and visceral artery reconstruction, the bulk of the clinical exposure comprises abdominal aortic aneurysms, carotid artery disease, aorto-iliac and infrainguinal disease, and hemoaccess dialysis procedures.

Program Curriculum

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.

A curriculum for all surgical residents at University of Manitoba during the PGY1 and PGY2 Surgical Foundations years includes weekly seminars, technical skills laboratory sessions, online case-based learning modules, surgical foundations examination review lectures, and a series of formative assessments. Progress through Surgical Foundations is not time-based, but residents must complete the EPAs in order to be promoted to the Core of Discipline stage of the primary specialty. The Surgical Foundations exam will be moved to the fall of the second year of residency training (i.e., approximately 12-15 months after beginning residency.) 

For the entire 5 years of the program, In addition to the weekly vascular rounds—which address basic and clinical vascular topics—audit, interdisciplinary, and vascular surgery "professor" rounds, along with journal clubs, form part of the training program. During daily rounds and weekly vascular rounds, the resident is responsible to demonstrate adequate teaching skills with junior house staff and associated staff (nursing). 

Research is a mandatory component of the residency training program.  Residents are encouraged to pursue scholarly work both longitudinally through the program and may take time to do a research rotation. 

Core rotations are based at the Health Sciences Centre and St. Boniface Hospitals.  

Elective opportunities and opportunities for rotations at other hospitals across Manitoba are possible.

Curriculum - PGY1 to PGY5


The PGY1 and PGY2 years are designed to fulfill the requirements as set out by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, as they relate to core training in the Surgical Foundations Program. This includes a maximum of 9 blocks to be undertaken in Vascular Surgery, and includes additional core rotations in Critical Care, Initial Trauma Management (ie. Emergency Medicine, General Surgery, Trauma Team, or Orthopedic Surgery), General Surgery, and Internal Medicine or one of its subspecialties.


A formal 36 months of Vascular Surgical training is incorporated in the PGY3 to PGY5 years, focusing on an incrementally-graded increase in clinical responsibility and duties. During this time, there are expectations for regular participation on ward rounds, the operating room and in clinics. These years include, 26 blocks of Vascular Surgery (16 of which must be at a senior resident level), 2 blocks of a Vascular Lab rotation completed at the University of Toronto, 13 blocks of selective rotations, a maximum of 13 blocks of training relevant to the resident's career goals, and a maximum of 7 block of additional Vascular Surgery training.

Training Sites

The Vascular Surgery service is based at two sites, St. Boniface General Hospital and Health Sciences Centre, with a Risk Factor Clinic located at the Grace General Hospital. The clinical vascular service is a busy one, performing 900-1000 major vascular cases per year (including hemoaccess procedures).

Additional Information

The strengths of our program include the small and dedicated group of Faculty and the large clinical volume encompassing all aspects of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery.  Our trainees are extremely well trained and immediately capable of practicing modern day vascular surgery in an academic or community setting upon graduation.

Interested individuals should not hesitate to contact the Program Administrator, Karen Soares at, with any further questions regarding the University of Manitoba Vascular Surgery Program. 

For a full description of our program please visit the Vascular Surgery Program website

Please note that in 2020 all applicants to the University of Manitoba residency programs are required to complete an online assessment (CASPer) to assist with the selection process. Successful completion of CASPer is mandatory in order to maintain admission eligibility.

CASPer test results are valid for one admissions cycle. Applicants who have already taken the test in previous years will therefore be expected to re-take it.

Summary of changes

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