Note, the application requirements for Canadian Medical Graduates (CMGs) and International Medical Graduates (IMGs) differ. Carefully read the section relevant to your situation prior to submitting your application.
Review all instructions carefully. Applications with INCOMPLETE and/or EXTRANEOUS documents WILL NOT BE REVIEWED.
Applying competency-based practices to General Surgery Residency Education
The General Surgery Residency Program began Competence by Design (CBD) in July 2020 in alignment with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada’s initiative to introduce competency based medical education (CBME) in Canadian postgraduate specialty training.
Residents entering the General Surgery program in July 2021 will be in the CBD program, including Surgical Foundations.
Residents entering residency in July 2021 should understand that CBD will use time as a framework and competency as the basis for progression. It is not anticipated that the duration of training will change for trainees. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Return of Service
The Ministry requests all ROS agreements before June 1 of the year they were matched. All agreements should be returned to the Ministry prior to the start of residency training. It is the responsibility of the applicant to confirm eligibility with respect to ROS requirements of other provinces.
More information for IMG ROS can be found here: Return of Service Program
Information about the Ministry’s ROS programs is available at Return of Service Program
Program application language: English
Please note that the language of instruction for this residency program is English. To ensure file reviewers can properly evaluate your application, please ensure all documents submitted are either in English or include an English translation.
Proof of valid current citizenship or permanent resident status must be provided by submitting one of the following verifications to CaRMS by the File Review Opening deadline. Failure to provide valid proof will result in your application being removed. No other forms of verification are acceptable:
CaRMS is partnering with third-party organizations to automate the verification of citizenship/legal status required by postgraduate offices for entry into residency. Third-party verification simplifies the process for applicants and programs. All applicants who do not receive third-party citizenship verification will be required to upload and assign an acceptable proof of citizenship document. Please see additional information here.
Language assessment document accepted: TOEFL-iBT
Language assessment document accepted: IELTS Academic
Language assessment document accepted: Letter of language proficiency*
*Alternatively, candidates can submit a printout from the World Directory of Medical Schools which clearly states that the language of instruction is English or French.
Applicants must be able to communicate in the language of instruction and patient care of the matching school. Please review specific program descriptions for more information.
Please note, for the 2022 R-1 Match cycle, the IELTS Indicator will be accepted as a substitute for the Academic Version of the IELTS.
Please note, for the 2022 R-1 Match cycle, the TOEFL iBT Home Edition will be accepted as a substitute for the TOEFL iBT.
Three letters of reference must be submitted. These must be from staff physicians. If possible one or more letters from a faculty member in General Surgery is helpful but not required. The letter may be formatted as the referees sees fit.
Our Selection Committee is interested in learning the following from your referee:
Order from your Registrar.Medical Student Performance Record
The Medical Student Performance Record (MSPR) is ordered from, and compiled by, your Dean's Office. The purpose of the MSPR (also known as medical student performance evaluation) is to provide an evaluation of the medical student's performance throughout all years of medical school.
You may use the following suggested outline:
Please answer the following 5 questions in a single document. All answers should be preceded by the associated question, including the question number. Answer all questions in order. Limit your document to no more than 1000 words (excluding questions). A word count must be included at the end of the document. Personal letters that do not adhere to these standards will not be accepted.
Please upload as a separate document a table of all completed and upcoming General Surgery or general surgical subspecialty (e.g. Pediatric Surgery, Thoracic Surgery, Trauma Surgery, Transplant, Surgical Critical Care, etc.) rotations in chronological order. If you have already graduated medical school, please include all health care experience completed or ongoing since graduation. Please use this template, which includes the following column headers:
At the end of the document, please also provide a brief description (<75 words) of the elective requirements/restrictions at your medical school (e.g. our institution requires medical students to complete electives in at least 3 different CaRMS match specialties; please advise if your institution has different requirements).
We understand that your electives may have been impacted due to COVID-19. If so, please describe it here. Please keep this section to <150 words.NAC examination - Statement of results
* MCCQE part II can be used to apply instead of the NAC
For more information on the NAC OSCE click on the following link National Assessment Collaboration | Medical Council of CanadaMCCQE Part I - Statement of Results
For more information on the MCCQE Part 1 click on the following link https://www.mcc.ca/examinations/mccqe-part-i/
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
Information regarding the review process:
The General Surgery Program uses a structured and standardized process to review applications in a manner that ensures an equitable evaluation for all applicants. It is therefore essential that your application fully complies with the requirements as described.
Only those applications that adhere to the above requirements will undergo review. APPLICATIONS THAT DO NOT MEET THESE REQUIREMENTS WILL NOT BE REVIEWED. This includes:
Please follow the application guidelines very closely.
Decisions made by the CaRMS Selection Committee are final and are not open to appeal. The General Surgery Program at the University of Toronto does not have a mechanism in place to provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants.
Residents who graduate from the General Surgery Training Program at the University of Toronto, will be confident and capable clinicians able to excel in the practice of General Surgery in a variety of practice settings. Clinical excellence is emphasized in training around the delivery of care to patients and this is achieved through a continuous focus on providing high quality of care in a safe and learner-focused framework. This learning environment supports the development of highly capable surgeons, able to engage in ethical and team-based practice.
For the Program's goals and objectives, click here.
IMGs must consult and be fully in compliance with the Ontario IMG requirements prior to applying. Also, note that applications submitted through CaRMS are for PGY-1 level positions. Therefore, our selection criteria are geared towards suitability for training at this level.
IMGs applying for a PGY-1 position are considered in the First Iteration of the CaRMS match in a separate stream from CMGs. In general, selection criteria are similar to those for CMGs. Applicants are advised that Canadian experience in General Surgery at Canadian medical schools in the form of observerships or electives will substantially enhance the application and will be favourably considered by the Selection Committee. The Committee is aware of restrictions on visiting electives this cycle, and will take this limitation into consideration.
Successful applicants are typically those that demonstrate strong leadership potential, a commitment to general surgery, a capacity to learn and succeed in a surgical training environment, as well as an ability to work well in a team.
Candidates are assigned a composite score comprised of the file and interview scores. The CaRMS Selection Committee will generate a preliminary rank list on the basis of these scores.
The University of Toronto General Surgery Residency Program believes that diversity within our program is a strength, one that benefits both our trainees and patients. We are as well cognizant of the negative effects that individuals' implicit bias can have during review of applicants. In order to limit the effect of these biases and foster diversity, we aim to conduct an equitable and fair applicant review process. We therefore require that all file reviewers participate in implicit bias training before file review. Moreover, we anonymize all applicant files prior to file review.
Review team composition : Applicants with complete applications (i.e. in compliance with the outlined requirements) will be reviewed by teams comprised of both faculty and residents.
Average number of applications received by our program in the last five years : 51 - 200
Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 0 - 25 %
|CV||Although we do not review custom CVs, we do review typed entries in the web-based CaRMS application.|
|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.|
|Examinations||MCCQEI and NAC scores will be reviewed.|
|Extra-curricular||All aspects of the applicant’s extra-curricular activities will be considered, including advocacy and activism work.|
|Leadership skills||All aspects, including leadership in academic, clinical, and extra-curricular settings.|
|MSPRs||All aspects of the MSPR will be considered, including all clinical evaluations.|
|Personal letters||All aspects, including adherence to the application instructions.|
|Reference documents||All aspects, including adherence to the reference letter requirements.|
|Research/Publications||All aspects of the applicant’s research/publication history will be considered.|
|Transcripts||All aspects of the applicant’s transcript will be considered.|
|Other file component(s)||Adherence to the application instructions will be strongly considered.|
Other information regarding elective requirement:
The Selections Committee is aware of restrictions on visiting electives this cycle. As such, we will work to organize online information sessions to ensure all students have an opportunity to learn more about our program as well as ask questions to residents and faculty.
Interview format :
We routinely accommodate requests to re-schedule interviews for applicants.
|Collaboration skills||Collaboration will be evaluated as part of the interview process.|
|Collegiality||Collegiality will be evaluated as part of the interview process.|
|Communication skills||Communication skills will be evaluated as part of the interview process.|
|Health advocacy||Health advocacy skills will be evaluated as part of the interview process.|
|Interest in the discipline||Interest in General Surgery will be evaluated as part of the interview process.|
|Interest in the program||Interest in the Toronto General Surgery program will be evaluated as part of the interview process.|
|Leadership skills||Leadership skills will be evaluated as part of the interview process.|
|Professionalism||Professionalism will be evaluated as part of the interview process.|
|Scholarly activities||Scholarship will be evaluated as part of the interview process.|
|Other interview component(s)||We do not offer other interview formats for applicants unable to participate in the MMI on the scheduled interview day. All interviews this year will be done on a virtual platform rather than in-person.|
For more details, click here
“I truly could not have asked for a better training experience than at the University of Toronto. I have recently started independent practice as a Colorectal Surgeon, and have had the opportunity to reflect on my residency. Learning from national and international leaders has taught me to think outside of the box, seek and understand the evidence to improve patient care, and recognize the importance and power of multidisciplinary collaboration for our patients. I learned this in a program where the culture is progressive, supportive, diverse, challenging and extremely rewarding. It has given me the skills and knowledge to manage complex surgical patients, as well as a large group of friends and co-residents that I see as a second family, and an expansive professional network to lean on and learn from. I feel fortunate and honored to be a U of T General Surgery graduate, a program that afforded me the opportunities and mentorship that set me up for success.”
- Marisa Louridas (2018 Graduate) Staff Colorectal Surgeon, St. Michael’s Hospital
“There are two important components to choosing a surgical residency program. First, you need to be confident that the program has the resources and dedication to transform you into a capable surgeon. The second, is that the program has a breadth of surgeons so that you can find the right mentors for you. You will find both of these things at the University of Toronto. Because of this, I was hired for a staff job in the Greater Toronto Area before I even wrote my Royal College and was very grateful for my training when I was performing my first solo trauma splenectomy several weeks after graduating!”
- Sha Ullah (2018 Graduate) Staff General Surgeon at Mackenzie Richmond Hill and Vaughn Hospital
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.
Residents entering the program will advance through the CBD curriculum and will also be enrolled in the Surgical Foundations program in PGY1. For more information on Surgical Foundations, click here.
Transition to Discipline and Foundations of Discipline
PGY1 and PGY2
Rotations in the PGY 1 and 2 years are designed to meet the objectives of Transition to Discipline (TTD) and Foundations of Discipline (FOD) stages of CBD articulated by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Progress from the TTD stage is through the Surgical Foundations Program. Progress from the FOD stage is through the Surgical Foundations Program and the General Surgery Residency Program.
The broad experience prepares trainees for the MCCQE II and Surgical Foundations Examinations as well as develops trainees' cognitive and technical skills in General Surgery.
Rotations Completed in the PGY-1 year include:
Rotations Completed in the PGY-2 year include:
Core of Discipline
Rotations in the PGY 3-5 years are designed to meet the objectives of Core of Discipline (COD) stage of CBD articulated by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Progress through the COD stage is solely through the General Surgery Program. The last half of the PGY5 year is reserved for Transition to Practice (TTP) Stage.
The PGY3 year is designed as a transition year to senior residency and Core of Discipline. Residents function as the senior resident on these services with appropriate autonomy and responsibility.
Rotations Completed in the PGY-3 year include:
PGY 4 and 5
During PGY 4 and 5, residents focus on completing their Core of Discipline with rotations assigned in consultation with the Program Director in order to ensure that training experiences are aligned with the residents educational objectives and career goals. The PGY4-5 residents will spend time at either one of the two trauma centres to ensure optimal exposure to surgical management of trauma patients.
Rotations completed in the PGY4-5 years include:
Transition to Practice
The last four blocks of PGY-5 are dedicated to TTP stage of the CBD program. Specific components include involvement in clinics, ambulatory surgery and endoscopy. During the TTP stage, the program will arrange seminars and lectures preparing residents for practice.
Surgeon Scientist Training Program
Residents accepted into the program have the opportunity to apply for the Surgeon Scientist Training Program (SSTP) following their PGY-2 or PGY-3 year. Acceptance to the SSTP is competitive and enrollment varies year to year. Acceptance to the program will be based on clinical performance and the proposed research project. Residents who enter the SSTP must enroll in at least a two-year thesis based graduate program. Taking call shifts during SSTP is NOT mandatory. However, the program recommends that residents complete 1-3 call shifts/month in order to maintain their clinical skills. Residents have a wide choice of graduate programs to consider including Basic Science, Clinical Epidemiology, Health Services Research, and Research in Surgical Education. Further details regarding these programs can be found on the School of Graduate Studies website.
Residents return to senior clinical training after completing their Master's or PhD degree. All SSTP residents will complete 5 years of clinical training (i.e. they DO NOT skip a PGY year). The Surgeon Scientist Training Program satisfies the requirements of the Royal College Clinician Investigator Program. Further details regarding the Surgeon Scientist Training Program can be found on the SSTP website.
Resident research experience is mandatory. All trainees are expected to complete and present at least one research project. Elective blocks may be used for research experience.
Program Wide Teaching
In addition to a rich offering of site-specific teaching, there are a large number of centrally organized lectures and seminars.
Core Training Sites
Exposure to both community and academic surgery is built into program structure and tailored to meet residents' aspirations and career objectives.
Non-core Training Sites
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. CPSO – International Medical Graduates (IMGs).
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.
Additional Ontario Information:
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