NOSM University - Orthopedic Surgery - Thunder Bay

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

Last approved on February 01, 2021

Summary of changes

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria

Dr. Travis Marion
c/o Program Coordinator 
NOSM Postgraduate Education - Ortho Surgery 
ATAC 6035A 955 Oliver Road
Thunder Bay, Ontario, P7B 5E1
705 662-7017
NOSM Orthopedic Surgery

Program Contacts

Hailey Masiero
Program Coordinator
705 662-7017

Important Information

Pre-residency orientation programs

All IMG candidates accepted to all residency programs will be required to complete either the Pre-Residency Program (PRP) or the Pre-Residency Program for Family Medicine (PRPFM) prior to entering into a residency program. Matched IMGs will be expected to attend these programs in Toronto, several weeks in advance of the start of their residency program. In some cases, this may result in a delay of the start date of the residency. Additional information on the PRP and PRP FM programs can be found at the following link:  Touchstone Institute.

Assessment verification period

All IMG candidates accepted to residency training programs will be required to undergo an Assessment Verification Period (AVP). This assessment period is normally 12 weeks in length and is required by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario to obtain an educational license to enter a residency program. Postgraduate Education Certificate of Registration

IMGs that have failed an AVP and are reapplying through CaRMS are ineligible to apply for training in the same specialty in Ontario, but may apply to a different specialty in the first and/or second iteration. IMGs who have withdrawn from a program prior to completion of an AVP must declare so upon application.

Health Workforce Education Strategy Unit.
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Tel: (416) 327-8339

Return of Service

Return of Service

All IMGs will be required to sign an IMG Training Agreement with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care that requires the IMG to return service for a period of five years upon completion of their training in their area of specialty (including Family Medicine). This ROS commitment can be fulfilled anywhere in Ontario with the exception of the following communities: The City of Ottawa, The Greater Toronto Area including the City of Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Vaughan, Markham and Pickering.

IMGs with pre-existing ROS obligations must disclose these obligations at time of application. IMGs that have active ROS obligations may not be eligible for Ontario-funded training positions. Such individuals should contact the ministry for further information.

The ROS commitment to Ontario must commence within the timeframe set out in the individual’s IMG Training Agreement with Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The location where the IMG returns service must be approved by the ministry as per the terms of their IMG Training Agreement.

For further information concerning return of service, contact:

Health Workforce Education Strategy Unit.
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Tel: (416) 327-8339


General Instructions

Program application language: English

Applications will be accepted through the CaRMS R-1 Main Residency Match application process.

Supporting Documentation / Information

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
• Confirmation of Permanent Residence in Canada
• Passport page showing Canadian Citizenship
• Canadian Permanent Resident Card (both sides of card)

IMPORTANT NOTICE: As per the Ontario Provincial Eligibility Criteria, if you are submitting a Canadian Birth Certificate or Act of Birth, or Confirmation of Permanent Residence in Canada document, you MUST submit a government issued photo I.D. to accompany your citizenship documentation.

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

Must provide proof of English or French language proficiency through ONE of the following:

  1. a) International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum score of 7 in each component, OR
  2. b) TOEFL-Ibt – passing score of 93 including a minimum score of 24 on the speaking section, OR
  3. c) A pass result in the French proficiency test administered by the Collège des Médecins du Québec,


  1. d) Candidates for whom their primary and secondary, or medical school education was conducted in English or French, the Ontario medical schools will accept Language Proficiency Attestations as follows:

– Primary and secondary education:

Mailed directly from the Senior Academic Administrators of both schools to the program confirming that all of the candidate’s primary and secondary education was conducted completely in English or French

– Medical school:

Mailed directly from the Dean of the candidate’s medical school confirming that the language of instruction and patient care was conducted completely in English or French


  1. e) International Medical Education Directory (IMED) Language Option – If the instruction and the language of patient care at the undergraduate medical school was conducted completely in English or French, then a candidate can submit to the Program a copy or printout of the IMED – FAIMER International Medical Education Directory website listing the medical school which clearly states that the language of instruction is English or French.
Reference documents
Number requested: 3

Letters of Reference must be written by clinical teachers and/or faculty who have a reasonable knowledge of you, either through close association in clinical training situations or as your faculty advisor. References should provide an assessment of your: medical knowledge, clinical performance, professionalism, interpersonal skills, ability to communicate effectively and your attitudes toward learning and commitment to Orthopedics.

Note: All reference letters must be dated in 2019 or 2020. Undated reference letters will NOT be accepted.

Additional documents
[Note: Photograph is used as memory aid only]

Appreciated for memory aid.

Medical School Transcript 

Order from your registrar. 

Medical Student Performance Record 

Order from your Dean's office.

Personal Letter 
Word count
Minimum : None
Maximum : None

The personal letter (maximum 1000 words) should focus on the following:

  • Your career interests / goals
  • experiences that led to your interest in Orthopedic Surgery;
  • aspects of the NOSM Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program that interest you;
  • connections or personal qualities that make you an ideal candidate for training / practice in Northern and rural settings;
  • how you anticipate this program  will assist you in becoming an excellent Orthopedic Surgeon;
  • your greatest challenge if you are accepted into this program;
  • additional information about yourself that should be considered by the Selection Panel.

If your transcript/CV indicates academic difficulty, failure(s), repeat of a year or any gaps in your education or work history please attach a supplementary statement to the END of your Personal Letter entitled "Transcript/CV Addendum" explaining the above.

Custom Résumé / CV 

NAC examination - Statement of results 

A passing score of NAC is required to apply.

NAC examination - Supplemental Information Report 

A passing score of NAC is required to apply.

MCCEE - Statement of Results 

A passing score of MCCQE1 or MCCEE is required to apply.

MCCEE - Supplemental Information Report 

A passing score of MCCQE1 or MCCEE is required to apply.

MCCQE Part I - Statement of Results 

A passing score of MCCQE1 or MCCEE is required to apply.

MCCQE Part I - Supplemental Information Report 

A passing score of MCCQE1 or MCCEE is required to apply.

Optional - will be reviewed

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

  • Applications will be reviewed and scored independently by a combination of 2-4 program faculty members and residents.  Scores will be generated for each applicant and the program will offer interviews to approximately the top 25-30 candidates between the IMG and CMG streams.
  • All eligible applicants from medical schools in Canada and the U.S. will be considered.



  • March 27, 2021
Interviews will be held virtually on Saturday, March 27, 2021.

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
Candidates who meet the selection criteria will be invited for an interview. 

Candidates will participate in a four station MMI (multiple mini-interview) style interview.  Each station will be approximately 10 minutes, for a total duration of 40 minutes of interviewing.  Interview teams will be comprised of faculty members including the Program Director and current NOSM Orthopedic Surgery Residents ranging from PGY2 - PGY5.  Current PGY1 Orthopedic Surgery Residents (non-interviewers) will be available as program ambassadors throughout the interview day and are happy to share their experiences in the program, answer questions that our candidates may have and assist with guided tours of the hospital.  The program coordinator will also be available as a resource throughout the day.  

A program overview will be provided electronically prior to the interview, by either the Program Director or a senior resident or both.  Additional information will be included in the emailed interview offer and confirmation package.

Selection Criteria

Candidates for the Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program at NOSM are selected based on the following factors:

  • demonstrated interest in and knowledge of Orthopedic Surgery and the NOSM Orthopedic Surgery Program
  • strength of academic record (performance, medical knowledge and clinical abilities)
  • strength of references
  • strong interpersonal, communication and collaborative skills
  • evidence of self-directed learning, reflective practice, a high standard of professionalism and resiliency
  • strong desire to train in northern clinical settings as well as tertiary hospitals

 These factors are assessed through the following:

  • a personal interview
  • the review of the personal letter
  • the review of performance assessments from clinical rotations in medical school, particularly during Orthopedics rotations and/or electives
  • the review of letters of reference

Program goals

Our mission is to educate residents who have a strong surgical and procedural aptitude to become competent specialists in Orthopedic Surgery, prepared to practise in any setting, including rural and northern communities.

Our goal is to deliver a comprehensive hands-on curriculum that's designed to ensure that all of the Orthopedic Surgery CanMEDS training objectives outlined by the Royal College are met, thus allowing our residents to acquire and hone all the necessary skills/competencies to develop into highly knowledgeable, professional, skilled orthopedic surgeons. 


Selection process goals

Through our selection process, our program aims to identify candidates who have a strong academic history with demonstrated competence and interest in orthopedic surgery (e.g. surgical rotations, electives, scholarly activities, conference involvement and other related work or life experiences). We are seeking candidates who possess superior clinical communication skills and have the ability to relate to patients, their families, and caregivers with compassion, empathy, sensitivity and humility.

We are looking for candidates who possess the ability and willingness to work collaboratively (within and across professional domains) in a team dynamic to secure optimal patient outcomes, while exemplifying the highest standards of professional behavior -- inclusive of responsibility, respect, and self-awareness.

We are also looking to identify candidates who would be a good fit for our program. Candidates who are well suited to our program are those with a strong surgical and procedural aptitude, who can adapt and thrive in a hands-on, distributed rural residency program that requires flexibility and some travel away from their primary location of residence. 

We also believe that candidates who are resilient, can prioritize their personal well-being and work-life balance, and are also committed to self-directed learning and reflective practice, continuing professional development, and quality improvement, are well-suited to our program. Through our selection process we aim to identify and successfully match candidates who possess these attributes as well.


File review process

Review team composition : The file review team consists of program faculty and residents. Each application will be reviewed and scored independently by a combination of 2-4 program faculty members and residents.

Average number of applications received by our program in the last five years : 0 - 50
The program receives an average of around 45 applications to the Orthopedic Surgery CMG Stream.

Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 51 - 75 %
The program offers interviews to approximately the top 20-25 CMG candidates.

Evaluation criteria :
File component Criteria
CV Academic & work background/experiences, personal/professional achievements/awards, volunteerism
Electives Ortho/Surgical elective(s), diverse range relevant to the discipline, rural and/or northern an asset
Examinations Submited files
Extra-curricular An asset to demonstrate work-life balance and wellness, personal interests. Include in CV
Leadership skills Any leadership roles held throughout training should be outlined in the CV
MSPRs Patient interactions, surgical rotation competencies, academic/personal/professionalism concerns
Personal letters Practice goals, interest/knowledge in Ortho. & our program, personal and northern/rural suitability
Reference documents Commitment to surgery., performance, knowledge/clinical skills, character/attitude towards learning
Research/Publications Past achievements/successes and interest in participating in future scholarly activity
Transcripts Strength of academic record, any red flags/concerns
Other file component(s) Transcript/CV Addendum:

If any part of your application indicates academic difficulty, failure(s), repeat of a year or any gaps in your education or work history, a supplementary statement at the END of your Personal Letter is required. Please entitle your statement as "Transcript/CV Addendum", explaining the above.

Elective criteria

We are looking for and rewarding applicants who have completed a broad range of electives including in our discipline.
We do not require applicants to have done onsite electives.

We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted candidates’ opportunities to arrange and complete electives and would like to reassure you that a lack of elective activity this year will not negatively impact your application to our program.

Interview process

Interview format :

We do not re-schedule interviews for applicants after we have completed the scheduling process.

Interview evaluation criteria :
Interview components Criteria
Collaboration skills Demonstrated ability to work well in a team setting/multidisciplinary environment
Collegiality Personable, respectful towards others, values the importance of a supportive/collegial atmosphere
Communication skills Able to reflect and communicate responses clearly and concisely, can communicate well with others
Health advocacy We do not formally evaluate this component during the interview
Interest in the discipline Genuine passion for Ortho Surg., knowledgeable, competent, clear understanding of our specialty.
Interest in the program Knowledgeable about our program, training sites, northern Ontario patient populations and challenge
Leadership skills Qualities such as: proactive/takes initiative, accountable, innovative, motivated and goal-oriented
Professionalism Conducts themselves in a professional manner, self-aware, unbiased, morally/ethically responsible
Scholarly activities We do not formally evaluate this component during the interview
Other interview component(s) Problem-Solving Skills: Overcoming challenges, conflict resolution, ability to rationalize.

Knowledge/Skills: Ability to apply clinical knowledge, assess, plan, and take appropriate action.

Personal Attributes: Demeanor, personality, attitude towards learning.

Time management: Ability to make good use of time/plan accordingly.

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

  • Early surgical skill training
  • Individualized educational goals focused on anatomy and surgical procedures; 24 hour in-hospital access to full body cadavers
  • Unparalleled preceptor support from knowledgeable surgeons committed to practicing in Northern Ontario
  • Early integration as a key member of a health care team, dedicated to professionalism, high quality patient care and excellent medical education
  • Exposure to the culture and social fabric of Francophone and Indigenous communities
  • Opportunity to participate in research under expert guidance
  • Opportunity for learning experiences in a range of Northern urban and rural clinical settings
  • Funding available for research, professional development and conferences
  • Provision of financial support for resident travel to and from core clinical placements away from the home base and all mandatory educational activities at non home base locations


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.


The program includes core rotations in Orthopedic Surgery and subspecialty rotations selected to incorporate a diversity of experience and proficiency in subspecialty areas that are integral to community based practice, but less commonly emphasized in traditional Orthopedic Surgery residency programs.

Based on the resident`s personal learning plan, the content, sequence of training and the schedule of movement between teaching sites may vary. The majority of rotations will be completed in Thunder Bay, depending on preceptor and clinical resources. Residents are required to provide their own vehicle.

Sample Rotation Plan (rotations in Thunder Bay or northern hospitals unless noted otherwise; blocks are 4 weeks in length)


General Surgery - 1 blocks
Anesthesia or vascular - 1 block
Internal Medicine - 1 block CTU and 1 block Infectious Disease or Anesthesia or Plastic Surgery
Emergency Medicine / Research - 2 blocks
Orthopedic Surgery - lower limb / hip & knee - 7 blocks (one of these blocks includes the U of Toronto Surgical Prep camp)


Trauma - Junior - (competency-based) - Thunder Bay - 2 blocks
Trauma - Junior - Toronto -2 blocks
Orthopedic Surgery - 7 blocks (including upper extremity, sports, foot & ankle)
Intensive Care Unit (ICU) -  2 blocks


Orthopedic Surgery - Pediatrics, junior (Toronto) -  3 blocks
Orthopedic Surgery - Foot and Ankle - 3 blocks
Orthopedic Surgery - Upper Limb - 3 blocks
Orthopedic Surgery - Orthopedic Surgical Elective - 4 blocks


Orthopedic Surgery -  Hip and Knee - competency based - 3 blocks
Orthopedic Surgery -  Sports  - 3 blocks
Orthopedic Surgery -  Trauma (Toronto) - 3 blocks
Orthopedic Surgery  - Orthopedic Surgical Electives - 4 blocks


Orthopedic Surgery - Pediatrics (Toronto) - 3 blocks
Orthopedic Surgery - Spine -  3 blocks
Orthopedic Surgery  - Oncology (Toronto) – 3 blocks
Orthopedic Surgery  - Community Expert - 4 blocks

Academic Half Days

Academic half day sessions occur twice monthly, via Webex online classroom, from the University of Toronto, during protected time from clinical duties.  Residents will also have the opportunity to participate in educational rounds, presentations, journal clubs and rounds on site and through the Ontario Telemedicine Network.

Surgical Foundations
Residents in the first two years of training will attend the Surgical Foundations Program. In the fall of PGY2, residents will write the final exam set by the Royal College.  Teaching sessions will normally occur weekly on Tuesday afternoons from 1400 - 1700h.

Mandatory external core courses 
Residents will be supported to attend, at minimum, one mandatory orthopedic course per academic year, to supplement regular academic content, usually as follows:

PGY1 - Basic Principles and Techniques of Operative Fracture Management Course

PGY1 - Principles and Practice of Clinical Research

PGY2 - Advanced Trauma techniques Course for Residents

PGY2 - Principles and Treatment of Spinal Disorders

PGY3 - Foot and Ankle Course

PGY3 - Current Concepts in Total Joint Arthroplasty

PGY4 - COA Annual Basic Science Course

PGY4 - St. Justine Pediatric Orthopedic Review Course

PGY5 - Sub-Specialty Course: Upper Extremity or Sports

PGY5 - Calgary Review Course



Residents in their PGY1 will complete an eight week combined research/emergency medicine rotation.

Residents are expected to complete, at minimum, one research project and present their research at all stages, at the annual Resident Research Event normally in June.  Expert guidance and funding is available to provide high quality research experiences. 

In consultation with the Program Director and Research Coordinator, elective time in PGY2-5 may also be arranged for research.

Training Sites

Residents will be based out of Thunder Bay, with rotations possible at other Northern Ontario learning centres, with approval from the Program Director.

The following rotations are provided at the University of Toronto: Trauma, junior and senior ; Pediatrics, junior and senior ; Oncology, senior 

Additional Information

To learn more about northern Ontario, please visit the "Wider Campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine" webpage. 

Summary of changes

SUMMARY ID Section Summary of changes Updated on NOTIFY APPLICANTS SECTION NAME Actions