University of Manitoba - Cardiac 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

Cardiac Surgery 
St. Boniface Hospital 
CR3009 - 369 Tache Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba, R2H 2A6
204 787-8670
204 258-1031
University of Manitoba - Cardiac Surgery Education

Program Contacts

Karen Soares
Program Administrator
204 787-8670

Important Information

The Postgraduate Medical Education Orientation, which is mandatory, will be held on Tuesday, June 29, 2021.

Competency-Based Medical Education

As of July 2019, residents entering Cardiac 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

If you have any questions regarding application to the Cardiac Surgery Postgraduate Training Program at the University of Manitoba, please contact our Program Administrator, Karen Soares, at

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 / 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
• 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
Supporting letters from three faculty members are required. At least one of them must be from a cardiac surgeon on whose service the candidate has rotated.
Additional documents
Custom Résumé / CV 

Personal Letter 
Word count
Minimum : None
Maximum : None

A personal letter is required outlining pertinent personal and academic history, reasons for choosing the specialty of cardiac surgery and future career goals.

[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 in October. 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.

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



  • March 17, 2021
Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
Candidates are short listed and then interviewed by the members of the Residency Program Committee. This consists of faculty members and residents and will be held virtually.

Selection Criteria

  • Superior academic standing.
  • Demonstrated potential in acquiring surgical technical skills.
  • Demonstrated interest in cardiac surgery.
  • 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 Cardiac 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 Cardiac 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 Cardiac 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.

Due to COVID-19, we understand that onsite electives may not have been possible.

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 Cardiac Surgery; At least 1 formal elective in Cardiac Surgery.
Interest in the program On-site Cardiac Surgery elective is preferred; 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.

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 University of Manitoba provides residency training in cardiac surgery. A faculty of eight surgeons perform approximately 1100 adult cardiac operations per year as well as run a dedicated 15 bed Cardiac Surgical Intensive Care Unit. All surgery is performed at St. Boniface Hospital. The spectrum of adult cardiac surgery includes coronary artery bypass grafting, valve repair and replacement, repair of congenital defects, minimal access surgery, arrhythmia ablation, thoracic aortic open reconstructions and endovascular stent grafting, and mechanical circulatory support (ECMO and VAD).  There is a dedicated Thoracic Aortic Diseases Clinic. Cardiac transplantation and pediatric cardiac surgery are not performed in the province of Manitoba. Training in both of these areas is provided at the University of Alberta in Edmonton through a Royal College approved Inter-University Affiliation Agreement. The University of Manitoba has an integrated Cardiac Sciences Program including cardiac surgery, cardiology, cardiac anesthesia and critical care. Teaching and clinical exposure is done in a multi-disciplinary team approach and this offers a unique environment for learning.

Program Curriculum

This residency program is for 6 years.

Program length of training does not exceed the Royal College or College of Family Physicians of Canada standard.


This 6-year residency program is designed to fulfill the training requirements of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada for candidate examination and certification in cardiac surgery.

PGY-1 & PGY- 2

The first 2 years consist of Surgical Foundations training. Rotations are selected jointly by the Cardiac Surgery Residency Program Committee and the Surgical Foundations Program Director. These surgical and nonsurgical rotations, along with the Surgical Foundations Seminar Series, have the resident prepared to pass the Royal College Surgical Foundations Examination and serve as the basis for the future years of cardiac surgery training.


This is the academic enrichment year if it is spent in clinical or basic science research (further details in the section on Research). It can take place within the University of Manitoba or elsewhere at the request of the candidate and at the discretion of the program director and section head. If it is a year of focused clinical training, it is at the PGY6 level. 


Six months of adult cardiac surgery at a junior level and 6 months of vascular surgery at a senior level.


Six months each of pediatric cardiac surgery (at the University of Alberta) and adult cardiac surgery both at a senior level. 


One year of adult cardiac surgery at a senior level.



All trainees are strongly encouraged to develop a research interest; this is primarily accomplished during the academic enrichment year. Residents have the option of obtaining a degree (MSc or PhD) through the Department of Surgery and the Faculty of Postgraduate Studies. This involves enrollment in the Faculty of Postgraduate Studies and the requirement for an extended research experience and to successfully complete required courses, carry out a research program and submit a thesis.

Within the Manitoba Cardiac Sciences Program, the University of Manitoba and the St. Boniface Hospital Cardiovascular Research Institute, there exist many well-established research programs particularly in the basic cardiac sciences such as physiology and molecular biology.

All residents are financially supported by the program to attend, outside Winnipeg, one scientific conference per academic year. 



Weekly Cardiac Surgery Rounds consist of a variety of sessions including morbidity and mortality review, resident presentations, presentations from faculty in other programs and visiting professors. Journal Club is held in the evening approximately four to six times per year. Weekly didactic sessions with one faculty member are held for all residents to cover topics in the curriculum of cardiac surgery and the CanMEDS intrinsic roles. Faculty and residents attend weekly complex case rounds at St. Boniface Hospital.



In-training evaluation reports, reflecting the rotation-specific goals and objectives and the CanMEDS framework, follow every rotation and are read and signed by the resident. Practice oral exams are given with progressive frequency during the last year. Residents' performance and progress are monitored closely by the Program Director and the Residency Program Committee with regular feedback to the residents.

Residents are invited to provide written evaluations of the teaching performance of the individual faculty members in an anonymous manner.

Training Sites

The majority of training in the Cardiac Surgery Program takes place at St. Boniface Hospital.

Additional Information

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.


We do not accept late applications.

Summary of changes

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