McGill University - Neurology - 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. Stuart Lubarsky
Ludmer Research Bldg 
1033 Avenue des Pins, Room 310
Montreal , Quebec, H3A 1A1
(514) 398-2167
CANN PREP McGill Neurology
McGill Post Graduate Medical Education.
McGill Neurology website - new site to be uploaded soon

Program Contacts

Nadia D'Amore
Coordinator, Neurology Program
(514) 398-2167

Important Information

Adult Neurology programs transitioned to CBD in July 2020. See below for further information.


Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada: Applying competency-based practices to residency education

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 a 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 are broken down into stages, and each stage have a series of milestones based on required competencies. These 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.

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.

  • Please visit the Proposed CBD Rollout Schedule to find out when residents entering into the Adult Neurology Program could potentially experience CBD.

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 (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

Applicants can apply in English or in 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. Although most applicants to our program submit three letters from staff neurologists we accept letters from non-neurologists and from residents. References from people who know the candidate well and can clearly explain their strengths can be very valuable. Late references will not be accepted.

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

Medical Student Performance Record 

-Order from your Dean's office

Medical School Transcript 

Medical School Transcript -Order from your Registrar

Personal Letter 
Word count
Minimum : None
Maximum : None

Require autobiographical letter describing the applicant and specific interests in the program. Other topics to cover include: reasons for their interest in the McGill Neurology program; the strengths they would bring to the program; an explanation of their academic and personal background and how it may be particularly suited for neurology; and their future career goals.

Custom Résumé / CV 

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.

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).

USMLE part I and part II (if available).

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



  • March 16, 2022
  • March 17, 2022
March 16+March 17, 2022

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
There will be 5-7 separate interviews. Each interview will be with 1-2 members of the residency training program committee and will last 12-15 minutes.

Selection Criteria

Applications are reviewed and ranked by the program director and the resident members of the Residency Training Program Committee.

We select, on average, 30-35 candidates for interviews.

Interviews are conducted by a team composed of the program director as well as both staff and resident members of the Residency Training Program Committee. 

Final selection and ranking of candidates is done immediately following the final interview, and is based on both file review and the interview. All members of the interview team are involved in this process.



Program goals

 The overall goal of the McGill Adult Neurology residency training program is to produce neurologists with the competence to effectively diagnose and manage the care of patients with neurological diseases.

 Residents who graduate from our program will have the ability to pursue the career that they choose, whether it is to enter directly into general Neurology practice or to pursue further training in a subspecialty.

 We expect our residents to have strong interpersonal skills, to have a strong interest in Neurology, to be enthusiastic about learning more about all aspects of Neurology, and to be willing to teach others.

 By the time they graduate they should excel at taking a neurological history, localizing problems, and developing strategies to improve the lives of their patients.


Selection process goals

The single most important factor that we consider is how an applicant will fit into our program; will the applicant get along with the other residents and will we as the staff enjoy working with them? Strong interpersonal skills are vital and so we place more emphasis on reference letters and interviews compared to the rest of the application. 

 Successful applicants will also have a strong interest in Neurology. This can be demonstrated in many ways including electives, research, reading, personal letters, or interviews. We do not require a minimum number of electives or a minimum amount of research experience provided that candidates can demonstrate their passion for the nervous system.

Finally, we are looking for candidates who are motivated to learn about Neurology and improve their abilities and skills. They should excel at independent study, taking initiative in both their own learning and patient care, and at teaching others. 

File review process

Review team composition : Applications are reviewed and ranked by the program director and resident members of the Training Committee. Interviews are conducted by the program director and staff and resident members of the Training Committee. Final selection/ranking of candidates is done as a group.

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

Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 26 - 50 %
We interview applicants from McGill, those who have completed electives at McGill, and those with the strongest applications. We consider the entire application file with particular weight placed on letters of reference, the candidate's interest in Neurology and their interest in our program.

Evaluation criteria :
File component Criteria
CV We evaluate all of the content. We are interested in the range of experiences that a candidate has had. This could include outside interests, travel, work experience, or volunteer experience and is not limited to more academic content such as research and awards.
Electives We do not require a minimum number of electives in Neurology. We do look at this section as one way to judge interest in Neurology. Most applicants to our program have done multiple electives in Neurology. If you have not, but you are still passionate about Neurology, then you should still apply! You simply need to explain how you made your decision to apply to Neurology (in your personal letter and/or interviews).
Examinations We usually do not evaluate this file component because it is too inconsistent between candidates.
Extra-curricular We evaluate all of the content. We are very interested in everything that a candidate has done and what it can tell us about them as a person.
Leadership skills We are very interested in evidence of leadership experience. By the time our residents reach their PGY-2 year we expect them to act as mentors for PGY-1 residents. By the PGY-3 year they are expected to lead a Neurology consultation team, teach junior residents and students, and may join the Residency Program Committee. In PGY-4 residents may serve as the Chief Neurology Resident. In short, strong leadership skills are an asset.
MSPRs We look for evidence of strong interpersonal skills and clinical ability. MSPRs from Canadian medical schools continue to be very heterogeneous in their reporting of grades and evaluations. This makes it difficult to compare candidates from different schools and we place far less emphasis on grades.
Personal letters Tell us about yourself! What is special about you that sets you apart from other candidates? Why do you love Neurology? Why would you work well with our residents and staff? Why would our program be a good fit for you? Be thoughtful and original.
Reference documents Reference letters are the most important part of a candidate's file because they tell us the most about interpersonal skills, motivation, critical thinking, and ability to work independently. Most candidates submit reference letters from neurologists but this is not required. A letter from someone who knows you well and can clearly describe your strengths can be very valuable.
Research/Publications We evaluate all of the content provided here but we do not require research experience. The amount of research experience and number of publications can often be more a result of a candidate's age and educational background rather than their ability. If you love Neurology then you should apply to our program regardless of what you enter in this section.
Transcripts We do evaluate this section but, as with the MSPR, the quality and quantity of information varies widely between candidates and so we do not put strong emphasis on it.
Other file component(s) Other file component (s)

Elective criteria

We have no requirements regarding the completion of electives. We will consider applicants who have not completed any electives in Adult Neurology. We recognize that a candidate may only become interested in Neurology after all their electives are completed. We are also very aware of how difficult the elective process has been for 2021 CaRMS candidates.
For 2021 no candidates were able to complete visiting onsite electives. We understand that this has been extremely stressful for candidates. It is important to know that even in prior years we have never required onsite electives. We always understood that elective time was limited and candidates could not do electives at every program. We have ranked individual candidates highly even if they did not do electives at McGill. From 2017 to 2020 only 50% of candidates whom we ranked in the top 10 had completed an Adult Neurology elective at McGill. So please apply, show us why you would be a great resident, and tell us why you love Neurology!


Interview process

Interview format :

We routinely accommodate requests to re-schedule interviews for applicants.

Interview evaluation criteria :
Interview components Criteria
Collaboration skills Ability to work with others to seek solutions to problems.
Collegiality Attitude and ability to work and learn with others
Communication skills Ability to express themselves clearly and succinctly
Health advocacy Motivation to improve the health of patients.
Interest in the discipline Fascination with the nervous system, love of localization/problem-solving, desire to help others
Interest in the program Would the candidate be happy in our program?
Leadership skills Ability to lead by example, to be a mentor, and motivation to improve
Professionalism Quality of interaction; takes the interview seriously, respects others, demonstrates their abilities
Scholarly activities May be evaluated depending on the applicant’s experience
Other interview component(s) We are looking for candidates who are honest, thoughtful, original, and enthusiastic during the interview. On average we receive more than 60 applications and we interview 30-35 candidates. If you are chosen for an interview it is because we already think that you would be a good Neurology resident. To be ranked highly you need to be able to show us what is special about you. Try to be yourself. Try to be original. Show us why you should become a McGill Adult Neurology resident!

(Note that we usually do not accommodate candidates who are unable to attend in-person interviews. This year is different!!!)

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 program's strengths are:

1. A smaller number of residents. On average we have 4-5 residents per year, which allows residents to have the support of their peers while not feeling overwhelmed as part of a larger program.

2. The interaction between clinical neurology and neuroscience. All residents complete 6 months of research. This can be in diverse areas including but not limited to basic neuroscience, clinical Neurology, neuroimaging, electrophysiology, or epidemiology. At McGill we are fortunate to have a large number of researchers in diverse fields who can become supervisors and mentors to residents.

3. The opportunity to learn at multiple different training sites. This is described in greater detail in another section. It allows residents to work in different practice settings and learn from Neurologists with different experiences.

4. A diverse faculty with expertise in general neurology and many sub-specialties.

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.



Neurology consists of five years of postgraduate training. A strong emphasis is placed on the scientific basis of contemporary neurology.

There are no mandatory rural rotations at this time.

Residents matched to our program in 2020 will begin the new Competency-by-design curriculum beginning in July 2020. A preliminary template is given below.

Residents rotate at the Montreal Neurological Hospital (MNH), Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH), Montreal General Hospital (MGH), Jewish General Hospital (JGH), and Montreal Children's Hospital (MCH).

Preliminary Template for post-CBD Adult Neurology

5-year program

Transition to Discipline 3 periods in R1

Neurology CTU 1 period (MNH)

Neurology consultation service 1 period (RVH,JGH,MGH)

Medicine CTU 1 period

Foundations of Discipline 23 periods in R1-R2

Neurology CTU  2 periods (MNH)

Neurology consultation service 3 periods (RVH,JGH,MGH)

Stroke Unit 2 periods (MNH)

Neurology out-patient clinics 2 periods

Medical ICU 1 period

Medicine CTU 1 period

Emergency Medicine 1 period

Psychiatry 1 period

Neuro-ICU 1 period

Internal Medicine consult service 1 period

Cardiology consults/Coronary Care Unit 1 period

Endocrinology 1 period

Rheumatology 1 period

EEG 1 period

Neuroradiology 1 period

EMG 1 period (MNH,JGH)

Electives 2 periods

Core of Discipline 31 periods in R3-R5

Neurology CTU  3 periods (MNH)

Neurology consultation service 5 periods (RVH,JGH,MGH)

Stroke Unit 2 periods (MNH)

Neurology out-patient clinics 2 periods

Epilepsy monitoring unit 2 periods (MNH)

Neuroscience research 6 periods

EMG 2 periods (MNH,JGH)

Pediatric Neurology 3 periods (MCH)

Palliative Care 1 period

Internal Medicine sub-specialty selective 1 period

Neuro-ophthalmology 1 period

Physiatry 1 period

Electives 2 periods

Transition to Practice 8 periods in R5

Neurology CTU  1 period (MNH)

Neurology consultation service 1 period (RVH,JGH,MGH)

Stroke Unit 1 period (MNH)

Neurology out-patient clinics 1 period

Electives 4 periods


  • Longitudinal, community Neurology clinics are scheduled a minimum of 4 times per year at the Montreal Neuro clinic (located near the RVH) during Foundations, Core, and Transition to Practice


Summary Template for Adult Neurology

5-year program




# periods

Neurology CTU


Neurology Consults


Stroke Unit


Neurology Clinics


Pediatric Neurology








Neuroscience research












Training Sites


Neurology at McGill is a university-wide program, with five participating hospitals: the Montreal Neurological Hospital (MNH); the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) - Montreal General Hospital site (MGH); the MUHC - Royal Victoria Hospital/Glen site (RVH); the Jewish General Hospital (JGH); and the Montreal Children's Hospital (MCH). We aim to produce excellent clinical neurologists with a good grounding in the basic neurosciences. Trainees come from diverse backgrounds, educationally and culturally, including English and French Canada, and elsewhere in the world. 

Montreal Neurological Hospital and Institute (MNH)

The MNH in-patient Neurology services consist of the CTU of 10-15 General Neurology beds, a 15-25 bed Stroke CTU, and the Epilepsy Monitoring unit (6 beds, 2-3 designated for monitoring). Residents are assigned to these three units. The MNH is a tertiary stroke centre and acts as the referral site for patients requiring interventional radiology/thrombectomy. There is a neuro ICU in which residents do a required 1 month rotation. There are many specialty clinics, e.g. movement disorders, MS, ALS , neuropathy, neuromuscular, post-polio. Residents have opportunities to rotate through these. A full range of investigative facilities is available at the MNH including MRI , CT, PET, EEG, EMG. Residents spend time in neuroradiology, EMG, and EEG. Exposure to the many neuroscientists of the MNH is an important part of the training experience in this institution.


McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) Montreal General Hospital Site (MGH)

The MGH has a neurology consultation service. There are approximately six hundred emergency and in-patient consultations per year. Specialty out-patient clinics include stroke, movement disorders, neuropathy, and myasthenia gravis. There is a large and active neuroscience research unit.


McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) Royal Victoria Hospital/Glen Site (RVH)

The new RVH at the Glen site opened in the spring of 2015 and replaced the old Royal Victoria Hospital. There is an active neurology ER and in-patient consultation service. The RVH has large Oncology and transplantation services that provide Neurology residents exposure to patients with unusual disorders such as paraneoplastic syndromes and complications from immune checkpoint inhibitors.


Jewish General Hospital (JGH)

The JGH has an extremely active neurology consultation service. There are approximately 2000 emergency and in-patient neurology consultations per year.  A new emergency room opened in 2014 and a new combined stroke and neurosurgery in-patient floor (along with new ICU, OR's, and medical floors) opened in January, 2016. Residents spend the majority of their time on the consultation service and may spend a maximum of one week per period on the Stroke service. Specialty out-patient clinics include stroke, movements disorders, MS, autonomic nervous system, dementia/cognitive neurology, and neurology/internal medicine. There is a busy EMG lab that sees 70 patients per week, as well as EEG and autonomic labs. There is also an active Neuroscience Research Unit.


Montreal Children's Hospital (MCH)

The MCH is located at the same site as the Glen. The hospital has two in-patient video EEG monitoring beds and two portable video EEG monitoring units for the ICU's. The MCH has an active in-patient consultation service and sees 5000 out-patient visits in neurology per year. This hospital offers a broad spectrum of clinical pediatric neurology.


Montreal Neuro Clinic at the Brunswick Medical Building

This is a new and spacious out-patient Neurology facility located close to the RVH. Beginning in the PGY-2 year residents spend one half day per month here when on a service rotation and one full day per month when on an off-service rotation. The site hosts General Neurology clinics, specialty Neurology clinics, and EMG. Residents are strongly encouraged to follow patients longitudinally. 



Residents have full access to McGill Health Sciences Library and Services. In addition, at each site there is a dedicated residents' computer with access to internet, hospital laboratory data, and medical imaging, plus a variety of software resources.

Additional Information

1. There are opportunities for rural, interprovincial and international electives with the approval of the residency training committee (RTC).

2. The ratio of residents to faculty is 20 residents to 60 staff.

3. There is an academic half day held every Wednesday morning from 08:30-12:30. The AHD consists of three parts:

The first hour is McGill Neurology Grand Rounds with local or invited speakers. Topics range from clinical Neurology to basic neurosciences. The Neurology residency program arranges one session per month. 

The second and third hours consist of lectures given by faculty. There is a two year repeating curriculum that emphasizes topics seen less frequently on the clinical services.

The fourth hour is arranged by the residents. It may include journal clubs, neurological exam sessions, or other topics of interest to the residents.

4. There are three resident representatives on the RTC. Each resident serves a two-year term.

5. PGY-4 residents have the opportunity to serve as the Chief Neurology resident(s).

6. Residents have the opportunity to serve as the McGill Neurology Wellness representative. This role involves organizing social activities, being a resource for fellow Neurology residents, and coordinating with the McGill Well office.

7. In August 2019 we held our first annual weekend resident retreat at a resort in the Laurentians. The retreat emphasized collegiality and team-building activities. Unfortunately we were unable to hold this event in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic but we are hopeful for 2021!

8. McGill has an Institute for Health Sciences Education (IHSE). Three members of our department are also IHSE members and conduct research in Health Sciences education. It is possible for residents to complete a one-month elective in Health Sciences education or to complete their six months of research in Education. There are numerous opportunities for residents to be involved with formal teaching of medical students. This can include lectures, small groups, and the anatomy lab.

9. Residents receive $1750 annually to attend conferences if they are presenting a talk or poster and $1500 if they are not. Exceptionally during the COVID-19 pandemic residents are allowed to use these funds for other purposes such as purchasing textbooks. 

10. Residents are matched to mentors. PGY-1 residents are assigned a PGY-2 residents mentor. PGY-2 residents are assigned a faculty mentor from the RPC. Residents are free to continue with this mentor in subsequent years or choose another mentor from our diverse faculty.

11. The majority of our residents pursue fellowship training after graduation. We can offer strong support for fellowship applications. Residents can do their 6 months of research in their area of interest. They have the opportunity to do electives in virtually all sub-specialty areas at McGill. When necessary we are very supportive of residents doing electives elsewhere to support their fellowship applications. We also allow residents the time to attend fellowship interviews. In recent years our graduates have been accepted for fellowships at UCSF, Stanford, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Harvard, and University College London.

12. We have a strong group of General Neurologists at McGill. We fully support residents who choose to enter practice immediately following their residency. 




We encourage applications regardless of whether the applicants are unilingual or bilingual. We have had numerous residents who have learned either French or English while completing their training.

We do not require applicants to have prior research experience. Research can be a way to demonstrate interest in Neurology/neuroscience, motivation/work ethic, critical thinking, and the ability to work in teams.  However, all of these can be demonstrated in other ways. Applicants should NOT feel reluctant to apply because they have no research experience.

We do not require a minimum number of Neurology electives. In the past the vast majority of applicants to our program have completed Neurology electives. Applicants who were invited for interviews from 2018 to 2019 had completed (or were scheduled to complete) on average 9 weeks of Neurology electives. Our program supports the new policy whereby Canadian medical students can complete a maximum of 8 weeks of electives in one discipline. We will consider applications from applicants who have not completed any electives in Neurology, provided that they can justify their interest in the specialty and in our program. We recognize that students may only become interested in a specialty late in medical school.

We do not require applicants to complete a Neurology elective at McGill. For 2021 no candidates have been able to complete visiting electives. Even in prior years we recognized that applicants were not able to complete electives at every program. We have always made every effort to grant interviews to applicants who have completed an elective at McGill, but we also interviewed candidates who have never completed an elective at McGill. In the past we have highly ranked strong applicants who have not done an elective at McGill. From 2017 to 2020 only 50% of applicants whom we ranked in the top 10 had completed Adult Neurology electives at McGill.

We give no preference to province or country of origin and strongly encourage applications from outside of Quebec. We do make every effort to grant interviews to applicants from McGill medical school, but we also interview candidates from across Canada and from other countries.  From 2017 to 2020 the candidates whom we ranked in the top 10 were from McGill (30%), other Quebec medical schools (20%), Ontario (20%), Western Canada (20%), and the Maritimes (10%).

Summary of changes

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