McGill University - Cardiac Surgery - Montreal

2022 R-1 Main Residency Match - first iteration
Regular Stream for All

Last approved on January 26, 2022

Summary of changes

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria

Dr. Emmanuel Moss
Cardiac Surgery 
Glen Campus- Royal Victoria Hospital 
1001 Decarie Blvd, C05.3766
Montreal , Quebec, H4A 3J1
(514) 934-1934 ext 37063
McGill Cardiac Surgery

Program Contacts

Kathy Roussis
Program Administrator
514-934-1934 x 37063

Important Information

Applying competency-based practices to residency education

Residents entering the Cardiac Surgery Residency Program in July 2019 and beyond will experience competency based training.

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 uses 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.

The Royal College anticipates that all specialty and subspecialty programs in Canada will adopt CBD in gradual phases. All disciplines have been divided into seven cohort groups, each of which will adopt CBD at different times. It is anticipated that national implementation of CBD within certain, individual programs could begin as early as July 2017 – with more disciplines to following in subsequent years.

The Cardiac Surgery program 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

General Instructions

Program application language: Either English or French

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
• Canadian Permanent Resident Card (both sides of card)

PROOF OF CITIZENSHIP must be submitted with each application.

  • A copy of Canadian Birth Certificate or a copy of Certificate of Canadian Citizenship


  • A copy of Permanent Resident Card (copy of both sides of the card) OR a copy of an IMM 5292, IMM 1000, IMM 5688;
    NB: the Permanent Resident card can be expired.


  • A copy of Citizenship Card (copy of both sides of the card)

P.S: the passport is not an acceptable proof of citizenship.

Each year, all candidates applying in a CaRMS match must provide proof of valid current citizenship or permanent resident status. As of the 2021 R-1 match cycle, CaRMS is partnering with third-party organizations to automate the citizenship/legal status verification, which is usually completed by Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) offices.

if an applicant has had their citizenship/legal status documentation verified by any of the following organizations for the current R-1 match, the applicant will not be required to assign a proof of citizenship/PR document (as pictured in the screenshot below).

  • Medical Council of Canada (MCC)
  • British Columbia's Clinical Assessment Program (BC-CAP)
  • Bureau de coopération interuniversitaire (BCI)
  • Alberta International Medical Graduate Program (AIMG)

For further information, please check the following link on CaRMS:

Reference documents
Number requested: 3

Three letters of reference are required in which the relationship between the referee and the candidate should be stated. 

Additional documents
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 candidate should submit a short personal letter outlining any personal history that may be appropriate and relevant to the application, state reasons for choosing cardiac surgery as a career and future goals.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination status/Declaration of medical exemption 

By the DEADLINE of March 7, 2022, at 12:00 (noon) ET, applicants must upload and assign within their CaRMS Online application, one of the following two documents.

  • Proof of adequate protection against COVID-19 (e.g. QR code from a vaccination passport issued by a government authority, or equivalent proof). Acceptable proof is identified within the Directive PDF located on the official Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services website.


  • A completed COVID-19 Declaration of Medical Exemption. By completing this declaration, uploading it, and assigning it to a Québec program, the applicant agrees to provide a copy of their official COVID-19 medical contraindication certificate and/or medical reason to the applicable faculty no later than seven days after match day. This medical contraindication certificate and/or medical reason must be approved by a licenced health professional who is authorized to make a diagnosis as described in the Directive PDF located on the official Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services website and registered in the vaccination register maintained by the Minister of Health and Social Services of Quebec.

Optional - will be reviewed
[Note: Photograph is used as memory aid only]

Additional required IMG documents
Lettre de reconnaissance de l'équivalence du diplôme MD 

For IMGs: In addition to a copy of your Medical Degree, it isnecessary to provide the equivalence letter from the CMQ (Collège des médecins du Québec). Please provide the results of the exams that permitted you to have your medical degree recognized and approved by the CMQ.

MCCQE I (Medical Council of Canada Qualifiying Examination Part 1 and one of the following:

  • MCCQE Part II (Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part 2)
  • NAC-OSCE - National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).

Review Process

Applications submitted after file review has opened on January 31, 2022

Supporting documents (excluding letters of reference) that arrive after file review has opened  on  January 31, 2022

Letters of reference that arrive after the unmasking date on January 31, 2022

An independent evaluation of your application will be done by the members of the Residency Committee for selection  of candidates for interview. Following the interview, all candidates are ranked according to an objective scoring grid with an overall rank from collated scores of each reviewer.



  • March 16, 2022
Interviews will take place on March 16th.  When possibe, the dates are coordinated between the program administrators throughout Canada.

Program will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview only.
The applications will be prescreened and then contacted for interview. Arrangements will be made with shortlisted candidates to meet with the members of the Residency Program Committee for interviews. In addition, the candidates will be given the opportunity to meet other members of the faculty, residents, and to tour the clinical and research facilities.

The interview process this year will be virtual.

Selection Criteria

All applications are considered by the Residency Program Committee, which is composed of the program director, faculty representatives from each teaching site, and resident representatives elected by their peers. The candidates are selected by this committee for personal interviews.

Followng the interviews, the Residency Program Committee will convene to rank the candidates. The selection is based on the overall assessment of the resident's application and interview, including his/her demonstrated or potential ability, commitment and attitude to pursue a career in cardiac surgery.

Program goals

The overall goal of the McGill Cardiac Surgery residency training program is to produce autonomous academic cardiac surgeons and provide them with the tools needed to excel in the career that they desire. This is accomplished by providing residents with both a rich and diverse clinical environment with “hands-on” training, as well as providing opportunities for scholarly advancement throughout the duration of the residency.

Selection process goals

A successful applicant will have shown a strong commitment to an academic career in cardiac surgery and a proven ability to work well within a team. The applicant will have demonstrated that they possess the necessary skills to succeed in a career in cardiac surgery, including strong leadership abilities, excellent communication skills, a commitment to self-learning, as well as the ability to remain calm in stressful situations.

File review process

Review team composition : The application review team is composed of the residency program committee. This includes the Program Director, at least 1 faculty representative from each primary teaching site, and 2 elected resident representatives.

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

Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 51 - 75 %

Evaluation criteria :
File component Criteria
CV Will be considered
Electives Will be considered
Examinations We do not evaluate this file component.
Extra-curricular Will be considered
Leadership skills Will be considered
MSPRs Will be considered
Personal letters Will be considered
Reference documents Will be considered
Research/Publications Will be considered
Transcripts Will be considered

Elective criteria

We encourage applicants to have completed at least one elective in our discipline.
We prefer, but do not require, 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 Will be considered
Collegiality Will be considered
Communication skills Will be considered
Health advocacy Will be considered
Interest in the discipline Will be considered
Interest in the program Will be considered
Leadership skills Will be considered
Professionalism Will be considered
Scholarly activities Will be considered

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


Six year training program

One staff to two resident teaching ratio

Academic Enrichment Year

Two Visiting Professorships (Fraser Gurd and Stikeman Days)

Track record of graduating residents obtaining fellowships at major North American centres (Stanford, Mayo Clinic, Arizona Heart, Northwestern, Toronto)

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.


The residency program is designed to fulfill the new competency based medical education requirements for cardiac surgery of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and the College des medecins du Quebec. The program extends over a six year period and includes a greater overall cardiac surgery exposure than in the past:

The first two years are core surgical training to obtain basic surgical knowledge and skills rotating through various disciplines. The two year program is designed to prepare the residents for Part II of the MCCQE exams and for the Principles of Surgery exam which is taken early in the PGY-2 or PGY-3 year. The rotations in core surgery are designed to prepare the resident to pursue cardiac surgical training. They will include rotations through intensive care, emergency medicine, related medical and surgical subspecialties as determined by the Surgical Foundations Residency Program Committee and the Cardiac Surgery Residency Program Committee of McGill University. Following core surgery, the rotations will include senior resident level rotations in thoracic and vascular surgery, exposure to Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), paediatric cardiac surgery, and cardiac surgery rotations at both the Royal victoria Hospital and Jewish General Hospital. There is also opportunity for in-province and out of province electives. 


One year is set aside for academic enrichment, which is usually in the PGY-2 year, and usually involves basic or clinical research in cardiac surgery. The resident has the opportunity to register for a Master of Science degree in the Division of Surgical Research by taking the required courses and submitting a thesis. Special arrangements may be made to proceed to a Ph.D. degree for those committed to an academic career.


Teaching sessions and conferences are held throughout the training period which include teaching conferences for core surgery; weekly surgical grand rounds; McGill University cardiac and thoracic surgical conferences; residents' tutorial sessions; joint cardiology, respirology and oncology conferences; research seminars; and teaching sessions associated with several visiting professorships. There will be opportunities for residents to attend national and international meetings. Residents are encouraged to present and publish professional and scientific papers.

Training Sites


There are two adult and one pediatric cardiac surgery units at McGill University as follows:

-The Royal Victoria Hospital (Glen campus)

- The Jewish General Hospital

-The Montreal Children's Hospital (Glen campus)

The residents may be exposed to affiliated disciplines during their rotations at the Montreal General Hospital, St. Mary's Hospital and the Montreal Chest Hospital, in addition to the three teaching hospitals listed above.

Summary of changes

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