University of Toronto - Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation - Toronto

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

Last approved on October 13, 2021

Summary of changes

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria

Dr. Lisa Becker
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation  
University Health Network-Toronto Rehab 
550 University Ave. Room 5-131
Toronto, Ontario, M5G 2A2
(416) 597-3422 Ext. 3834
U of T, Division of Physiatry
PGME at U of T
Toronto: The World at Your Doorstep

Program Contacts

Tracia Young
Program Admin
(416) 597-3422, ext. 3834

Important Information


Please be aware the Ministry of Health has mandated all hospital and health care employers establish, implement and ensure compliance with a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.  The Ministry directives can be reviewed here. Residents matched to any Ontario residency program must ensure they are able to comply with the Ministry directive in order to start training July 1, 2022.  

It is important to understand this is an evolving issue. You are required to review Provincial, Hospital, University and Program information to ensure you are in continued compliance with directives.  

Competence by Design (CBD)

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. 

Programs will transition to CBD according to a nationally coordinated schedule. 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. 

Residents entering the PM&R program at the University of Toronto from July 2020 are part of the new CBD curriculum. 

For more information, please contact 



General Instructions

Program application language: English

Supporting Documentation

Applicants are advised to only provide the documents requested by the program. No other documents submitted will be reviewed.
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
• Confirmation of Permanent Residence in Canada
• Passport page showing Canadian Citizenship
• Canadian Permanent Resident Card (both sides of card)
• Canadian Citizenship Card (both sides of card)

Legal Status

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:

  1. Notarized/certified photocopy of Birth Certificate/Act of Birth issued by an authority in Canada accompanied by photo ID (must be Canadian government-issued photo ID).
  2. Documents must be notarized/certified photocopies. Notarized/certified copies must not be older than two years from the application submission deadline; otherwise, a new notarized/certified copy is required.
  3. Confirmation of permanent residence must be accompanied by a photo ID (must be a Canadian government-issued photo ID).

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.

Reference documents
Number requested: 3

Three (3) reference letters should be obtained from clinicians who have worked directly with the applicant and who can attest to the applicant's knowledge, skills and attitude. Additional reference letters will not be reviewed.

If possible one or more letters from a faculty member in PMR is helpful but not required.

Additional documents
Personal Letter 

A personal letter must be submitted (maximum word count = 1000). Your autobiographical letter should answer the following questions:

Why have you chosen PMR as your professional career?

What experiences in your past have led you to choose this specialty?

What personal attributes do you possess that would be an asset to this career?

What are your specific reasons for applying to the program at the University of Toronto?

What aspects of our program are important to you?

Where and in what type of community you would prefer to practice upon completion of your training?

Custom Résumé / CV 

[Note: Photograph is used as memory aid only]

Medical Student Performance Record 

Order from your Dean's office. Documents not in English must be accompanied by a notarized translation.

Medical School Transcript 

Order from your registrar. Documents not in English must be accompanied by notarized translation. 

Optional - will be reviewed
Medical School Diploma 

Order from your Dean's Office. Documents not in English must be accompanied by a notarized translation. Students applying in the last year of medical school will need to submit their most recent marks/transcripts, and will need to provide proof of their MD to CPSO prior to the start of residency training. 

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

Please Note:  In the interest of fairness the Program Director will not meet with individual candidates once CaRMS file review is open.  The Chief and Assistant Chief residents are available to answer any questions candidates may have pertaining to the residency program. 



  • March 8, 2022


Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
After review of all applications, the program director's office will contact selected candidates to arrange a virtual interview.  INTERVIEW DATE: Tuesday, March 8, 2022 . Candidates are required to prepare and present a 5-minute presentation on a topic of their choice to one of the interview panel. 



Selection Criteria

After thorough review of all applications; applicants providing evidence outlined below will be prioritized for further consideration:

- a proven interest in PM&R, either by completion of observerships, electives or previous experience in a related field

- a solid academic standing

- an interest in medical education and clinical medicine 

- excellent communication skills

- demonstrates leadership skills 

- research activities 

- personal and reference letters 

Candidates who fail to meet these criterias will not be considered further. 

Selected candidates will be ranked based on a score of their application and interview, demonstrated ability to maintain positive relationships with students, residents and faculty.  Input from program admin and residents is solicited.  Final rank will be determined by aggregate score as outlined above. 



Program goals

Upon completion of the Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Residency Program at the University of Toronto, the resident is expected to be a competent specialist in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (Physiatrist) capable of assuming a consultant's role in the specialty.  Residents must demonstrate the requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes for effective patient-centred care to a diverse population and be able to address issues of gender, sexual orientation, age, culture, ethnicity and ethics in a professional manner. 

Selection process goals

The successful applicant to our program would demonstrate excellent communication and leadership skills. This individual would have a solid academic standing and an proven interest in research.  We seek candidates who demonstrate a collegial attitude and an interest in working with diverse population.  An interest in medical education is also a desirable attribute for a successful applicant to our program. 



File review process

Review team composition : Review team consists of the program director, faculty (both community and academic staff) and residents of the PM&R 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 Extracurricular activities, scholarship, research, publications, honors and awards
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 We do not evaluate this file component.
Extra-curricular Degree of involvement in extracurricular activities before and during medical school.
Leadership skills Leadership demonstrated
MSPRs Consistent performance throughout medical school
Personal letters Communication skills, career goals, insight into the field.
Reference documents Three reference letters from clinicians who have worked directly with applicant
Research/Publications Involvement in research activities
Transcripts Consistent pass

Elective criteria

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.
We do not require applicants to have done onsite electives.

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 collaboration, insight/problem solving
Collegiality Demonstrates collegiality and teamwork
Communication skills Demonstrates good communication skills
Health advocacy We do not evaluate this interview component
Interest in the discipline Demonstrates passion & excitement for PMR
Interest in the program Demonstrates an interest for the UofT PMR program
Leadership skills Demonstrates leadership
Professionalism Demonstrates professionalism
Scholarly activities Discussion of scholarly achievements
Other interview component(s) Power Point presentation on topic of candidates choice.

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 Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Program at the University of Toronto is one of the largest programs in Canada.   Our faculty has a strong commitment to resident education.  Our program provides diverse opportunities for training, research and broad clinical exposure within the University of Toronto community.  Residents receive financial support for conferences, research, books, technology and social programming.  Our program alternates with Edmonton in hosting the Canadian Comprehensive Review Course in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.  We have a collegial group of residents with a broad informal support network. 

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 Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) Residency Program at the University of Toronto is a 5 year postgraduate training program.  This program is fully accredited and meets the Objectives of Training and Specialty Training Requirements set out by the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada.  

The PM&R residency program transitioned to Competence by Design (CBD) in July 2020.  Resident performance is reviewed at regular intervals by our Competence Committee.  This committee reviews the Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) and In-Training Assessment Records (ITARs) to make decisions regarding the resident's successful completion of each CBD stage and progression to the next. 


PGY1-2  -  Transition to Discipline (TTD) and Foundations of Discipline (FOD)

Transition to Discipline (TTD) - This stage spans the first two blocks of residency. Residents complete 1 block of MSK and 1 block of Neuro (choose from acquired brain injury, spinal cord injury or stroke rehab). 

Foundations of Discipline (FOD) - This stage spans the remainder of PGY1 and half of PGY2.   

Rotations completed in PGY1 during FOD are:

General Internal Medicine - 3 blocks

Rheumatology (outpatient clinics) - 1 block 

Plastic Surgery - 1 block 

Urology or Vascular surgery - 1 block 

Geri-Rehab - 2 blocks

Medicine/ Subspecialty Selectives: Three 1 block rotations (choose from eg. ICU, Cardiology Endocrinology, Radiology, Psychiatry, Emergency Medicine, Palliative Care, Occupational Medicine and Sports Medicine). 

Rotations completed in PGY2 during FOD are:

Neurology - 3 blocks 

Orthopedics - 3 blocks 

PGY2-PGY4 - Core of Discipline (COD)

COD spans about 30-35 blocks during which residents will develop the necessary clinical skills and knowledge in a variety of physiatric related conditions for the competent practice of the specialty of PM&R. Rotations included in core are:

Spinal Cord Rehabilitation - 3 blocks 

Acquired Brain Injury Rehabilitation - 3 blocks 

Pediatric Rehabilitation - 2 blocks 

Prosthetics & Orthotics - 3 blocks 

Stroke Rehabilitation - 3 blocks 

Cancer Rehabilitation - 1 block 

Cardiac Rehabilitation - 1 block 

Chronic Pain - 1 block 

Consult Service - 1 block 

Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation - 4 blocks (2 outpatient, 2 inpatient senior rotation)

Spasticity - 1 block 

Diseases of Nerve and Muscle (incl. EMG) - 4 blocks 

CRISP Longitudinal Clinics (PGY4/5, senior clinics from January-December)

Research- 1 block 

Other subspecialty rotations are available such as sports medicine, ambulatory care and community based rotations - at the discretion of the Program to ensure balanced training is achieved.

Electives which are organized by the resident in order to meet their self identified educational goals. 

PGY5 Transition to Practice (TTP)

This final stage of residency spans 13 blocks. The resident would function as a junior attending in both inpatient and ambulatory settings to acquire the competencies for independent practice. This stage would also allow the resident to develop leadership, time-management and advocacy skills in a variety of contexts. 



Research is a required program component and residents must complete at least one research project during their residency. Each year residents participate and benefit from feedback on their projects at the Annual Division Research Day. Residents can consult with research staff at UofT affiliated and partially affiliated teaching hospitals.  In addition, UofT offers fantastic libraries at each hospital site and residents have access to UofT online journals and Robarts Library. 

Education and Exams 

Academic Half Days, planned and taught by both residents and faculty, are held on Friday morning. This is strictly protected educational time for all residents allowing comprehensive coverage of rehab topics and includes sessions on basic science, case rounds, physical examination and anatomy sessions structured over a two year cycle (MSK & Neuro).  

Division wide Grand Rounds and Journal Club are organized on the 3rd Friday of each month (September-June) to allow residents and staff to interact socially and academically. 

Residents participate in various teaching activities with the MD program (e.g. clinical skills, case-based learning, MSK skills sessions) allowing them to develop and refine their teaching skills. 

Residents participate in regular practice exams (written and OSCE component).  Junior residents act as standardized patients during PGY1 and PGY2.  There is also opportunities to participate in practice exam held by Hamilton and London PM&R programs. 

Training Sites

The University of Toronto has fully affiliated teaching hospitals including adult rehabilitation hospital UHN-Toronto Rehab and pediatric rehabilitation hospital (Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab) and several partially affiliated teaching hospitals, including four regional rehabilitation hospitals (West Park HealthCare Centre, Bridgepoint Health, St. John's Rehabilitation Hospital and Providence Healthcare).  In addition to the excellent staff, the University of Toronto offers exposure to many world experts in subspecialty areas.

Additional Information

  1. Permanent Residents: Successful applicants who hold Permanent Resident status in Canada will be required to disclose their Country of Citizenship to the postgraduate medical education office in order to comply with current reporting requirements of the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities
  2. Matched applicants: CaRMS will provide their electronic data file to the matched university’s postgraduate education office. The postgraduate office will share the information as needed, but not limited to, the Ontario Physician Human Resource Data Centre, Canadian Post-MD Education Registry, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, the College of Family Physicians of Canada, the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada, the Professional Association of Residents of Ontario, teaching hospitals and other training sites, Touchstone Institute and the Ontario Ministry of Health.
  3. Changes: The Ontario Faculties of Medicine and Ontario Ministry of Health reserve the right to make changes to the information published on the CaRMS website pertaining to Ontario postgraduate training without prior notice.
  4. Failure to meet or provide proof of any of the stated requirements may result in the applicant file not being reviewed and removed.

All University of Toronto residents entering PGY1 are required to complete the web based PGCorEd* core competency modules as part of the program certification.  The modules provide the foundation for non-clinical roles for the RCPSC and CFPC Programs.  The modules are designed for PGY1 and PGY2 trainees and must be completed before the end of PGY2 year. Failure to complete the modules constitutes professional misconduct, may result in remediation and delay processing of Final In-Training Evaluation Reports (FITERs). 



How many residents are in the program?

Currently, there are 17 residents in our program. 

What are the main training sites?

UHN-Toronto Rehab, University Centre is the home base for PGY1-5 residents and the training site for most core PMR rotations. PGY1-2 residents complete General Internal Medicine, Neurology, Orthopedics and surgical rotations at acute care sites and community hospitals. Residents also complete core rotations at Bridgepoint Hospital, West Park Healthcare, St. John's Rehab, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab and Providence Healthcare. 

Are there opportunities for community-based electives?

Yes, residents have opportunities to work with community staff in affiliated hospitals and in private offices. 

Are out-of-town electives possible?

Yes, some residents are done electives in Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver. 

What are the on-call responsibilities?

On-call responsibilities vary by service.  Call guidelines are outlined at PGY2-5 residents complete home call and cover two sites. 

What resources are available to residents?

Residents receive an annual educational allowance and additional funding is provided to support attendance at the PMR Comprehensive Review Course. 


Summary of changes

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