McGill University - Anatomical Pathology - 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. Chelsea Maedler-Kron
1001 Boulevard Décarie 
Montréal, Quebec, H4A 3J1
5149341934 ext. 22353
Web Site
Residency Training Program

Program Contacts

Dr. Chelsea Maedler-Kron
Program Director
514-934-1934 x 22353

Dr. Pierre Fiset
Assistant Program Director
514-934-1934 ext. 38770

Program Contact
Anna Ballarano
Program Administrator
(514) 934-1934 x 44543

Important Information

We require direct exposure to pathology in the form of an observership or an elective to consider applicants for an interview.

General Instructions

Program application language: Either English or French

In general, our program will consider all CaRMS-eligible physicians (both CMGs and IMGs), who have demonstrated a sincere interest in the speciality of anatomic pathology.

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
Additional documents
Personal Letter 
Word count
Minimum : None
Maximum : None

The candidate should submit a short personal letter (approximately 500 words), outlining any personal history that may be appropriate and relevant to the application, state reasons for choosing Pathology as a career and future goals.

Medical School Transcript 

Order from your Registrar.

Custom Résumé / CV 

[Note: Photograph is used as memory aid only]

Medical Student Performance Record 

Order from your Dean's office.

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 is necessary to provide an 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 (Collège des médecins du Québec).

MCCQE1 (Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part I  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

All applications dossiers are reviewed by both program directors. All applicants are given a numeric score based on academic achievements (including research contributions), academic performance, demonstrated a commitment to pathology, as well as the personal statements and letters of recommendation. Highly ranked applicants are invited for an remote (zoom-based, multiple mini aka MMI) interview.


Interviews will be held on one of two dates during the national interview period (TBD): Thursday, March 25th, 2021 and Friday, March 26th, 2021.  

 Please note that for the 2021 CaRMS match ALL interviews will be held remotely using the online ZOOM platform.

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
We will contact applicants about interview scheduling.

The McGill Pathology Department employs a component of the multiple mini interviews (MMI) (used by some medical schools in admissions).  This tool is one of only a few validated tools for medical interviews in the current literature. The MMI format will allow several faculty members to assess several different candidates.

The standardized questions are generated by our selection committee (with the help of human resources personnel). Applicants circulate between several stations. All applicants will meet with one of the two co-program directors. Applicants are scored based on their performance at the station, as well as their professionalism and conduct.

Selection Criteria

Selection is based on the applicant’s academic record, evidence of enthusiasm for the field of pathology, and the in-person interview.  Previous experience pertinent to pathology or an elective in laboratory medicine is mandatory.

Program goals

The McGill anatomic pathology program aims to train residents for successful completion of the Royal College examination, but also for successful clinical practice as an attending pathologist. We include career-planning as an integral part of our program, and we work with the residents to transition to the practice of fellowship of her/his choice. We have recent examples of success for transitioning residents to community practice, academic practice, and sub-speciality fellowships both within Canada and abroad. 

Selection process goals

We are looking to recruit enthusiastic future pathologists who are looking to serve as leaders in pathology in both academic as well as community settings.

Successful applicants to our program have a demonstrated commitment to Anatomic Pathology. 

Successful applicants have strong academic dossiers.

Successful applicants have a track record of completed achievements (including, but not limited to academic scholarship).

File review process

Review team composition : All dossiers are reviewed entirely by both program directors. This generates a ranked score. Based on a cutoff, the strongest applicants are invited for an interview. The residency program committee is invited to review 'borderline' applications based on lower dossier scores.

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

Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 0 - 25 %

Evaluation criteria :
File component Criteria
CV Well-organized and easy to understand
Electives Electives or observership in pathology is required.
Examinations We do not evaluate this file component.
Extra-curricular Extra-curricular activities are considered positively.
Leadership skills Our program is composed of many rising leaders in pathology.
MSPRs MSPRs are considered when reviewing an applicant's dossier.
Personal letters The personal statement are considered when reviewing an applicant's dossier.
Reference documents All reference documents are considered when reviewing an applicant's dossier.
Research/Publications Successful completion of research projects are considered positively.
Transcripts All transcripts are considered when reviewing an applicant's dossier.

Elective criteria

We are looking for and rewarding applicants who have completed a broad range of electives including in our discipline.
We do not require applicants to have done onsite electives.

An elective or observership in Anatomic Pathology is a requirement to be considered for review.

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 We assess an applicants strength as a collaborator during the interview.
Collegiality Demonstration of collegiality is essential to a successful application.
Communication skills Communication is explicitly evaluated during the MMI.
Health advocacy An understanding of the pathologist's role as a patient advocate is considered very positively.
Interest in the discipline Interest in pathology is one of the factors our CaRMS committee values the most.
Interest in the program We do attempt to get a sense of the interest in our program, but does not impact the CaRMS ranking.
Leadership skills Demonstration of leadership skills is considered very positively.
Professionalism Demonstration of professionalism is essential to a successful application.
Scholarly activities Demonstration of scholarship is considered very positively.
Other interview component(s)  

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

Academic Highlights: 

  • McGill has one of the most innovative AP curricula in the country; a true reflection of the philosophy underlying 'Competency by Design' based post-graduate medical education.
  • Every resident is provided with a four-year map through residency. This map is re-visited every 6 months, and the curriculum tailored to a resident's career needs and interests. The goal of our program is not simply to ensure a resident's success at the Royal College examination, but also to ensure impeccable clinical competency as well and recruitment into the resident's career of her/his choice.
  • Formal training in QA/QC as well as lab management.
  • Early frozen section exposure from PGY-2.
  • Excellent and strong Cytology program, with an open invitation to attend the internationally recognized annual McGill Cytology course.
  • Exposure to both pediatric and adult autopsy cases. More than 500 cases per year.
  • Structured Royal College Preparation from PGY-1 including annual ‘mock’ oral exams as well as RISE exam.
  • Strong emphasis on digital pathology.

Non-academic highlights:

Montréal!  When l’explorateur par-excellence Jaques Cartier first landed on the island in 1534 he was so taken with the island’s natural beauty he named its signature triple-peaks the ‘Royal Mountain’.  Founded in 1642, Montréal has more than 370 years of history and is one of the oldest cities in North America.   This long and rich history is literally built into the landscape, and its internationally-renowned architecture serves as an impressive and beautiful backdrop by which to enjoy your time here.

Montréal is a uniquely multicultural and multi-lingual urban centre.  ‘The Paris of North America’ is the third largest primarily French-speaking city in the world.  

As is the case for many Canadian cities, Montréal is no stranger to harsh winters, and, like its tree-lined streets, Montreal blooms in the summer – a season packed with unending cascades of festivals and fairs. 

This city is also known for its excellent cuisine, and proudly hosts many of the nation’s finest eateries (with comparatively lower prices than most Canadian urban centres!).

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.

Transition to Anatomic Pathology (2 rotation periods)

Roughly the first two months of residency training are devoted to a detailed walk-through of the Anatomic Pathology lab including:

  • accessioning
  • grossing
  • processing
  • embedding
  • cutting
  • staining including special stains and immunohistochemistry


Part of this month is focussed on ensuring that incoming residents are capable of reviewing patient charts to determine the key features necessary to provide an accurate summary of the clinical presentation, as well as all details relevant to the pathologic assessment.

All trainees are oriented to the technical aspects of microscopy with a practical evaluation.

Each learner will be coached about developing a professional CV and will work with staff to develop a personalized learning plan.

Foundation of the Practice of Anatomic Pathology (12 rotation periods)

This phase is focussed on laying the foundation on which a deeper fund of knowledge and sub-specialized knowledge can be organized.  This phase of training involves a rigorous introduction to histology (through the lens of pathology). Residents will be introduced to grossing of specimens, as well as autopsy techniques. There is dedicated teaching around intra-operative assessment, and acute specimen handling. This stage also introduces all trainees to the concepts required to understand the principles that underpin molecular testing in pathology, and personalized care.

Core (~2.5 years)

This stage represents the bulk of residency training. We offer sub-speciality training in all areas of surgical pathology, including paediatrics and neuropathology. While some teaching is quite structured (ex. Cytology is three rotations), other areas are extremely flexible and tailored to individual resident needs (as determined from the annual MOCK-exam and RISE exam) as well as career aspirations. 

Transition to Practice (~ 12 months)

For most residents, this stage will follow a resident having had taken the Royal College Examination. This stage involves performing at the level of a staff pathologist in surgical pathology, cytology, autopsy pathology, and lab management. When possible and in the resident's interest, this year can be modified to offer a 'mini-fellowship' to best train residents for up-coming fellowships or community practice.


Residents in our program have spent between 6 to 12 periods in research. All residents participate in a formal research project as part of his/her training, and a scholarly project resulting in a publication or presentation at the national level is one of the residency requirements. Research can also be done longitudinally throughout the training. There are numerous faculty members actively involved in basic and clinical research. A Research Committee is in place (and reports to the residency training program) to facilitate involvement in research projects.  

Structured teaching

In addition to the experiential day-to-day training with formal rounds at each teaching hospital, there is a formal teaching program consisting of weekly half-day teaching sessions throughout the academic year (covering from formal longitudinal epidemiology teaching, sub-specialty topics, QA, journal club, and wellness).

We have a scientific lecture series which features diverse scientists from around the world. When possible, these speakers present 'round the scope sessions with the residents as well.

Every year features a distinguished invited speaker to the 'Finlayson annual resident research day'. This meeting features interactive slide sessions and didactic lectures from the speaker as well as residents and graduate students.

Training Sites

Training Sites:

  • MUHC-GLEN site (Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal General Hospital and Montreal Children's Hospital)
  • Jewish General Hospital
  • St. Mary's Hospital
  • Lakeshore General Hospital
  • Montreal Neurological Hospital
  • Laboratoire de sciences judiciaires et de médicine légale (Forensic Pathology), bilingual teaching


Additional Information

Quick Facts and Strengths of Program

  • Resident electives are tailored according to a resident's needs and interests.
  • Formal mentorship in a quality assurance/quality improvement project
  • Expert sub-speciality training in all areas of pathology
  • Early frozen section exposure
  • Exposure to both pediatric, adult and coroner autopsy cases, as well as forensic pathology  
  • Structured Royal College Preparation from PGY-1 including annual ‘mock’ oral exams for all PGY-II+ residents.
  • Early and strong emphasis on digital pathology

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 will use 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.

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



Summary of changes

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