Dalhousie University - Hematological Pathology - Halifax

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

Last approved on January 10, 2022

Summary of changes

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Notice of intent to withdraw accreditation

Provincial Criteria

Dr. David Conrad
5788 University Avenue 
Mackenzie Building, Room 206E
Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 1V8
Dalhousie University Hematological Pathology

Program Contacts

Julie Griffith
Program Administrator
(902) 473-5197

Important Information

N.B.:, The Hematological Pathology Residency Program at Dalhousie University received an accreditation status of “Intent to Withdraw” from the Royal College in 2019. An invited audit of the program in 2020 was very positive, and we look forward to our follow-up external review by the Royal College in November 2021!

- Dr. David Conrad, Program Director


The Hematological Pathology Residency Program typically has one (1) CaRMS position every other year. We are pleased to invite you to apply to our program for July 2022 academic year.

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.
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)


You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident at the time of application.

Reference documents
Number requested: 3

Three reference letters should be submitted. References should be from physicians with whom you have worked, and who are able to attest to your professional abilities.  

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

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 personal letter should state why you are specifically interested in Hematopathology. Maximum word count of 750.

Optional - will be reviewed
Custom Résumé / CV 

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 3, 2022
  • March 4, 2022
Interviews will be held Thursday, March 3 and Friday, March 4 2022.

Interviews will be done via a virtual platform.

Please direct all enquiries to the Pathology Residency Administrator.

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
Interviews for Hematopathology are conducted by members of a Selection Committee which includes the Program Director, two other staff hematapathologists, and a resident representative. 

There will be two 25-minute interviews, each with two members of the selection committee. We reserve the right to adjust the interview process to ensure fairness to all eligible applicants.  

Selection Criteria

Program goals

The goal of our residency program is to train safe and competent hematopathologists. Residents who successfully complete their hematological pathology training at Dalhousie University are well prepared for independent clinical practice, though fellowship opportunities await should further sub-specialization be desired. We strive to help the next generation of hematopathologists become leaders in the field, and advocates for excellence in diagnostic services and patient-centered care. 


Selection process goals

The following are the criteria we consider when offering interview and ranking candidates:

  • A favourable academic record
  • References from physicians in clinical or laboratory disciplines, under whose supervision you have worked and who can attest to your professional and personal qualities
  • A demonstrable interest in research is an asset
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, as evidenced by the written application documents and interview
  • An appreciation for the unique nature of Hematopathology practice, preferably with prior exposure during an elective
  • A well-written personal letter stating why you are specifically interested in Hematopathology
  • Our program and university value the importance of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in residency education, and achieving a diverse and inclusive group of residents is a goal in our selection process

File review process

Review team composition : Applications will be reviewed by the CaRMS selection committee, which is composed of four (4) members of our division:
- Program Director
- Two additional staff hematopathologists
- A resident in the program

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 Education, employment, volunteer activities, research experience, awards/accolades
Electives Exposure to the practice of hematological pathology
Examinations We do not evaluate this file component.
Extra-curricular Well-rounded; work-life balance
Leadership skills Type and extent of leadership experience
MSPRs Academic performance
Personal letters Written communication skills
Reference documents Favorable references
Research/Publications Productivity
Transcripts Academic excellence

Elective criteria

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 Demonstrates, or describes experiences that illustrate, an ability to work collaboratively
Collegiality Is collegial in an interview setting
Communication skills Has excellent verbal communication skills
Health advocacy Aptitude for advocacy work in health care
Interest in the discipline Is interested in and has knowledge of the field of hematological pathology
Interest in the program Is familiar with the program at Dalhousie University
Leadership skills Can illustrate examples of leadership from their previous endeavors
Professionalism Comports themselves in a professional manner
Scholarly activities Can discuss their academic achievements and future endeavors
Other interview component(s) Critical thinking; practical knowledge of hematological pathology is an asset, but will not be formally assessed

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

  • Relatively small program (currently 6 residents).
  • Comprehensive training in all aspects of hematological pathology, including a world class tissue typing laboratory.
  • Off-site training in pediatric hematopatohlogy and maternofetal transfusion medicine at the IWK Health Centre is within walking distance.
  • Excellent working relationship between the hematopathologists and the hematologists.
  • Clinical training in benign and malignant hematology, including stem cell transplantation, in pediatric and adult populations.
  • Provincial reference laboratory for blood transfusion services.
  • Highly engaged, collegial faculty with breadth of expertise who deliver high quality, one-on-one supervision and teaching.
  • Superb success rate for Royal College examination and employment upon completion of program.
  • Referral center for hematopathology in Atlantic Canada, with excellent volume and variety of laboratory specimens available for residency education
  • New, spacious, and well-equipped resident work areas.
  • Comprehensive academic half-day curriculum 
  • Resident issues are considered to be of great importance at the divisional and departmental levels
  • Strong support to enhance learning environment and to balance more routine clinical work
  • Excellent opportunities for research
  • Research methods course offered every two years 
  • All pathologists’ offices have dual-headed teaching microscope; several rooms have multi-head teaching microscopes including a 10-head teaching microscope.
  • Development of strong examination skills with semi-annual in-house exams and annual FISHE and TMISE exams
  • Electives may be taken at appropriate institutions 
  • A program director who cares about each resident and facilitates all of the residents reaching their full potential.

Program Curriculum

This residency program is for 4 years.

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


PGY- 1 to 4

Starting in July, 2022, all PGY1 residents in Hematological Pathology residency training programs throughout Canada will implement a Competence By Design (CBD) curriculum format. This is a competency-based medical education system instituted by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

The resident will be evaluated on Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs), which are authentic tasks related to the practice of hematological pathology. The resident will transition through the stages of training (i.e., Transition to Discipline, Foundations of Discipline, Core of Discipline, Transition to Practice) as they achieve the necessary CanMEDS milestones.


Transition to Discipline

The focus of this initial stage is the orientation of new trainees to the policies, protocols, resources, and facilities of our residency program and affiliated hospitals), including laboratory safety and issues of privacy and confidentiality. During this stage, residents will participate in basic specimen handling and microscopy and demonstrate an understanding of clinicopathologic correlation. This stage is expected to take two months to complete.


Foundations of Discipline

The focus of this stage is the development of the knowledge and skills required to integrate clinical and laboratory information in the evaluation of disease processes. This includes assessing patients and performing select clinical diagnostic procedures. It also includes assessing laboratory samples and generating reports for routine diagnostic investigations, as well as advising on routine requests for blood components. This stage is expected to take 10-15 months.


Core of Discipline

This is the longest stage at approximately 28 months, during which residents will build on the skills and knowledge of the previous stages to provide laboratory clinical consultations and manage diagnostic and ancillary testing for cases, including generating complete and diagnostically accurate reports. Trainees at this stage will take on additional responsibility for after-hours coverage, quality management, presentations at multidisciplinary conferences, and scholarly work.

The resident will sit the Written portion of the Royal College Hematological Pathology Exam during the Core of Discipline stage, in Spring of PGY3. The Applied portion of the Royal college exam will also take place during this stage, in Fall of PGY4.


Transition to Practice

The focus of this 4-month stage is the consolidation of skills required to lead daily operations of the laboratory and independently manage a full caseload across the breadth of hematological pathology practice. Residents will also be responsible for the supervision of junior learners and sharing expertise in hematological pathology at multidisciplinary meetings.


Educational Program

An academic half-day is held every Friday, during which time the residents are excused from all service responsibilities. This includes didactic and small group sessions plus teaching at the multi-head microscope. Additional relevant teaching rounds include quality assurance, journal club, interesting case and difficult case rounds.



Opportunities to pursue basic science and applied clinical research are abundant. Residents are encouraged to engage in one well-designed research project during their residency. Residents have the option of protected longitudinal research time and focused research blocks. Residents are encouraged to present their work at the annual Departmental Research Day as well as at national/international conferences. Financial support is provided for PGY2 through PGY4 residents to attend a conference annually at which they are presenting their work ($1500). Residents are required to present a poster or platform presentation at the annual Pathology Departmental research day in PGY2 through PGY4.


Teaching Opportunities

Residents are essential advocates and teachers for the medical students and residents rotating through hematological pathology. They regularly teach their peers during clinical service. Residents are also encouraged to provide teaching sessions to our medical laboratory technologists.


In-house exams

In-house exams are held each fall for all residents in the program. These exams are designed to simulate the Royal College Exam experience, and include written, practical, and applied (i.e., oral exam) components. All residents write the Fellowship In-Service Hematopathology Examination (FISHE) and Transfusion Medicine In-Service Examination each spring.

Training Sites

QEII Health Sciences Centre, Halifax, NS

  • Mackenzie Building (primary site)
  • Halifax Infirmary

IWK Health Centre, Halifax, NS

St. John Regional Hospital, St. John, NB

The Moncton Hospital, Moncton, NB


Each training site has resident work space and appropriate resources for clinical service. Residents have ready access to high quality digital cameras with dedicated computer and imaging software and a digital slide scanner.

In addition, on-site tours of the Canadian Blood Services production facility in Dartmouth complement training received in transfusion medicine. 


Specific Laboratory Medicine and Pathology Resources:

The Hematopathology Library contains printed and electronic text books and journals, which are frequently updated. Electronic conference equipment including an LCD projector with attached computer, microscope and monitors, are available onsite.  10- and 6-head microscopes with digital cameras and viewing screens are used for teaching and case rounds. 


NOTE: All residency programs are required to have 10% of their residency training outside of Halifax Regional Municipality as stipulated in the most recent Academic Funding Plan set out by the Department of Health and Wellness. Please be aware that if matched to Halifax, as part of your training you may be expected to complete rotations outside central zone but within the maritime provinces.

Additional Information

Train with an exciting team of young hematopathologists in a collaborative and collegial atmosphere. The Hematopathology Division is based in one of Canada’s largest health care institutions and is a referral centre for complex Hematopathology cases in Atlantic Canada. The Program is comprehensive, with excellent facilities and training resources. All facilities in Halifax are within walking distance of each other., including a well-established bone marrow (allogeneic and autologous) and solid organ transplant program. The QEII Health Sciences Centre also features an internationally accredited blood transfusion service. Likewise, the IWK Health Centre is the main pediatric referral centre for all Atlantic Provinces and is located down the street from the QEII Health Sciences Department of Pathology. The Halifax Regional Municipality is home to the Provincial Blood Coordinating Program, and Canadian Blood Services. Program-wise, there is ample opportunity to collaborate with faculty both in the clinical and laboratory spheres, as well as interact with fellows in the Adult Hematology and Pediatric Hematology/Oncology fellowship programs, as well as residents in General Pathology, Anatomical Pathology, and Medical Microbiology.

Halifax enjoys a relaxed atmosphere with a high quality of life. Commuting times and the cost of living and housing are relatively low compared to many large Canadian cities. Your time in residency will be rich, both in academic experience, as well as in extra-curricular endeavors.

Summary of changes

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