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University of Alberta - Plastic Surgery - Edmonton

2022 R-1 Main Residency Match - first iteration
CMG Stream for CMG

Last approved on September 20, 2021

Approximate Quota:

 2 

Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria


Dr. Jay Zhu
Surgery 
2D2.02 Walter Mackenzie Health Sciences Centre 
University of Alberta
8440-112 Street , Alberta
University of Alberta - Department of Surgery
UofA Surgical Residency Google Site

Program Contacts

Dr. Jay Zhu
Program Director

Jen Granfield
Program Administrator
psurgpg@ualberta.ca

Dr. Curtis Budden
Assistant Program Director


Important Information

English Language Requirements

Applicants completing Medical School in either Quebec or New Brunswick, where French is the primary language of instruction,  must complete an IELTS English Language Assessment.  This language assessment is required for licensing in the Province of Alberta. Applicants should ensure that this has been completed prior to the date of their interview. 

 

Competence by Design (CBD)

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.

CBD uses time as a resource rather than the basis for progression.  It is not anticipated that the duration of training will change for the majority of trainees. Residency programs are broken down into stages, and each stage compasses a series of entrustable professional activities (EPAs) and milestones based on required competencies. These EPAs and milestones 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.

Our program has successfully transitioned to CBD in accordance with the nationally coordinated schedule. Our program 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 specialty specific EPAs and milestones throughout their training. Within a CBD program, all EPAs (documented within an electronic portfolio), stage promotions and the Royal College examination must be successfully completed to achieve certification.

For more information, please contact cbd@royalcollege.ca


Return of Service

There are no return of service requirements at the University of Alberta.


General Instructions

Program application language: English


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.
Required
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)
• Record of Landing, clearly showing the date of landing in Canada

Canadian Permanent Resident card must be accompanied by Record of Landing, clearly showing the date of landing in Canada.

Language proficiency
Optional - will be reviewed
Submit one of the following documents to verify your language proficiency:
• IELTS

IMG and graduates of Canadian medical schools where instruction is not English (as identified by CPSA)  must meet English language requirements required by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta for licensure.  English Language Proficiency . 

Effective January 1, 2018, IELTS will be the only English language proficiency test accepted by CPSA.

Reference documents
Required
Number requested: 3

Three (3) reference letters are required.

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

Personal Letter 
Word count
Minimum : None
Maximum : None

Medical School Transcript 

Medical Student Performance Record 

Custom Résumé / CV 

CASPer exam 

CASPer exam 

All applicants to the Plastic Surgery at the University of Alberta are required to successfully complete an online assessment (CASPer), to assist with our selection process and maintain admission eligibility.

CASPer is an online test which assesses for non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics and will complement the other tools that we use for applicant screening. In implementing CASPer, we are trying to further enhance fairness and objectivity and reduce bias in our selection process. 

The CASPer test is comprised of 12 sections of video and written scenarios. The test typically takes between 75-90 minutes to complete. No studying is required, although you may want to familiarize yourself with the test structure at takeCASPer.com, and ensure you have a quiet environment to take the test. 

Please go to www.takeCASPer.com to sign up for the Canadian Postgraduate Medical Education test (CSP20201) and reserve a test using a piece of government-issued photo ID. You will be provided with testing dates and times.  Please use an email address that you check regularly; there may be updates to the test schedule. In order to take CASPer, you will be responsible for securing access to a computer with audio capabilities, a webcam, and a reliable internet connection on your selected test date.

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. Please direct any inquiries on the test to support@takecasper.com.

Optional - will be reviewed
Abstract/Publications 

Please provide abstracts only. Full publications will not be reviewed. 


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



Interviews

Dates:

  • March 7, 2022
Interviews will be held virtually on Monday, March 7th, 2022. Details will be circulated closer to the interview date. 

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
Short listed candidates will be required to attend an interview.

Each candidate attends four 20-minute interviews with four teams of interviewers, comprised of attending staff, residents, and nurses. Interviews cover a broad range of topics, including a review of qualifications, career objectives, interests, and past professional experiences. Hypothetical clinical scenarios are often discussed.


Selection Criteria

Selection criteria in this program areas follows:

- Academic and clinical performance

- Letters of recommendation
- Interview performance
- Research experience (in any medical field)

 

 

CASPer exam 

All applicants to the Plastic Surgery Residency Program at the University of Alberta are required to successfully complete an online assessment (CASPer), to assist with our selection process and maintain admission eligibility.

CASPer is an online test which assesses for non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics and will complement the other tools that we use for applicant screening. In implementing CASPer, we are trying to further enhance fairness and objectivity and reduce bias in our selection process. 

The CASPer test is comprised of 12 sections of video and written scenarios. The test typically takes between 75-90 minutes to complete. No studying is required, although you may want to familiarize yourself with the test structure at takeCASPer.com, and ensure you have a quiet environment to take the test. 

Please go to www.takeCASPer.com to sign up for the Canadian Postgraduate Medical Education test (CSP20201) and reserve a test using a piece of government-issued photo ID. You will be provided with testing dates and times.  Please use an email address that you check regularly; there may be updates to the test schedule. In order to take CASPer, you will be responsible for securing access to a computer with audio capabilities, a webcam, and a reliable internet connection on your selected test date.

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. Please direct any inquiries on the test to support@takecasper.com.

Program goals

The primary objective of the Plastic Surgery Residency Program at the University of Alberta is to develop graduates of excellent moral and ethical character who possess the factual knowledge, surgical technical skills and motivation required to successfully practice plastic surgery. They are academically sound, technically sound, and have a drive towards life-long learning. Upon completion, our residents can handle any common plastic surgical problem with confidence.

Selection process goals

The Plastic Surgery Residency Program at the University of Alberta will take into account a wide variety of criteria when selecting applicants. The successful applicant will demonstrate a strong work ethic and a true commitment to plastic surgery, and have a good academic record. Our residents are hard-working, self-motivated, compassionate, and empathetic. The successful applicant will add to the collegiate nature of the resident team. 

File review process

Review team composition : The review team is composed of the program director, the assistant program director and chief residents.

Average number of applications received by our program in the last five years : 51 - 200

Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 76 - 100 %

Evaluation criteria :
File component Criteria
CV Previous work experience
Electives Electives will not be considered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on elective rotation scheduling.
Examinations We will evaluate for any concerns.
Extra-curricular Has interest outside of medicine
Leadership skills Has demonstrated the ability to act in a leadership role
MSPRs We do not evaluate this component
Personal letters We wish to understand why the applicant is choosing plastic surgery and why he/she believes that he/she will succeed in the field.
Reference documents We will review for any concerns.
Research/Publications We wish to see that the candidate has previous research experience in medicine. The studies do not have to be related to plastic surgery.
Transcripts Required

Elective criteria

Electives will not be considered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on elective rotation scheduling.
We do not require applicants to have done onsite electives.

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 We do not evaluate this interview component
Collegiality Relationships with others is vital for success in residency
Communication skills Ability to connect with the interviewers, and provide clear, concise answers
Health advocacy We do not evaluate this interview component
Interest in the discipline Candidates should be able to answer the question "Why Plastic Surgery?"
Interest in the program Have some knowledge of Edmonton, and demonstrate why they would like to train here
Leadership skills We do not evaluate this interview component
Professionalism Unprofessional behaviour during the interview is not acceptable
Scholarly activities We may ask about research experience to learn more about the candidates research interest

Information gathered outside of CaRMS application

We do not consider any information gathered outside of the CaRMS application and local interview processes.

Ranking process

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


Program Highlights

  • We provide an unmatched amount of surgical exposure, and it starts it PGY-1.
  • We have a high faculty to resident ratio (2:1).
  • All major areas of plastic surgery are covered in our program by fellowship trained surgeons.
  • We have a diligent and effective Residency Program Committee that constantly improves the program based on resident feedback.
  • We have an amazing group of residents who enjoy working with each other.


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 Plastic Surgery Residency Program at the University of Alberta is five years in length. The program consists of one year of Surgical Foundations training followed by four years of Plastic Surgery residency. In the first two years, half the blocks are spent on plastic surgery with the rest spent off service.

Our program exposes our residents to a very high volume and variety of plastic surgery patients. We see a high volume of hand, wrist, and peripheral nerve patients. We have a dedicated burn unit and excel in providing burn care. We're proud and grateful to have residents from other Canadian plastic surgery programs visit our center to learn burn surgery. We provide exceptional opportunities to learn craniofacial surgeries as well, especially relating to trauma and skin cancers. Our volume of craniofacial trauma is second to none.

Our residents learn microsurgery in a "rat" lab, starting in PGY-2. The lab provides hands on learning for 10 half days a year for three years. Our residents are very comfortable performing microsurgery as a result. We have a high volume of clinical microsurgery, with specialists in breast and lower limb reconstruction.

We have three pediatric plastic surgeons who specialize in cleft surgery, congenital hand anomalies, craniofacial vault defects, facial reanimation, and Nagata ear reconstruction.

There is a well-established educational program consisting of seminars, case rounds, "dogma rounds," and journal clubs. Residents gain examination experience with the help of biannual oral examinations and frequent written short answer quizzes. Working within COVID-19 restrictions, we are likely to resume anatomy dissection labs with fresh cadaveric specimens. We plan to hold two 3-week sessions, provided that we comply with the university's COVID-19 educational guidelines.

Our program is constantly evolving to improve the educational experience for our residents. The RPC has been effective in taking feedback from residents and implementing changes to the program to improve learning.

 

 

PGY-1

The PGY 1 year, which is part of the Surgical Foundations program, is made up of 13 28-day blocks. Each surgical specialty at the University of Alberta participates in this program. In Plastic Surgery, the PGY-1 rotations consist of six blocks of plastic surgery, one block of general surgery, one block of pediatric general surgery, one block of emergency medicine, one block of internal medicine, one block of upper limb orthopedic surgery, one block of ophthalmology (mainly oculoplastic surgery), and one block of vacation. The PGY-1 year is coordinated by the Director of the Surgical Foundations Program and co-directed by the Residency Program Director in Plastic Surgery.

 

PGY-2

The PGY-2 year consists of two blocks of ICU, two blocks of Otolaryngology (with one block being facial plastic surgery), five blocks of plastic surgery, one block of dermatology (mainly MOHS micrographic surgery), one block of upper limb orthopedic surgery, and one selective rotation of the residents' choice. The residents often spend their selective rotation in oral-maxillo-facial surgery or visiting another site in Canada.

 

 

PGY 3 and PGY 4

The PGY-3 and 4 rotations are preceptor based. These rotations are currently undergoing changes due to the recent increases in attending physicians.

Rotations at the University of Alberta Hospital include burn surgery, pediatric plastic surgery, craniofacial surgery, microsurgery, and breast reconstruction.

Rotations at the Royal Alexandra Hospital include breast and body contouring surgery and head and wrist surgery. There are two blocks of cosmetic surgery.

There is additional time for two 28-day blocks of electives. During this elective time, residents visit national and international sites to learn and to prepare for fellowship applications.

 



PGY- 5

PGY-5 is considered the chief year and is a crucial step in transforming a resident into a competent staff physician. The chief resident will have rotations at both the Royal Alexandra Hospital and University of Alberta Hospital. These rotations are not preceptor based. They are given increasing amounts of responsibility with clinical and surgical management of patients.

We are confident that upon graduation from our program, our residents will be very confident and competent in all areas of plastic surgery.

 

 

Research

Research is a strength of our program. Every other year, we accept a resident into the research stream with the aim of obtaining a Masters degree.

For those who are not in the research stream, there is also a strong emphasis on research. Residents will be expected to present a poster or oral presentation at three meetings during their tenure as a resident. Residents will be expected to submit one paper to a peer-reviewed journal during their residency.

 


Training Sites

-University of Alberta Hospitals

-Royal Alexandra Hospital

-Misericordia Hospital

-Grey Nuns Community Hospital

-Meadowlark Cosmetic Suite

-University of Alberta Anatomic Laboratory