University of Ottawa - Dermatology - Ottawa

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

Last approved on October 06, 2021

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria

Dr. Carly Kirshen
Division of Dermatology 
Parkdale Clinic - 737 Parkdale Avenue 
4th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, K1Y 1J8
613-761-4774 ext 1
Ottawa Dermatology
DoM Website - Dermatology

Program Contacts

Dr. Carly Kirshen
Program Director
613 761-4774

Anne Grose
Program Coordinator
613 761 4774 ext 1

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 directive 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.  

All candidates must meet the Ontario Criteria of Eligibility found here.

MCCQE (Medical Council of Canada qualifying examination) Part 1 results:

Trainees will be required to disclose their MCCQE Part 1 examination results if taken, upon entry into any of the University of Ottawa's training programs. Please note that the MCCQE Part 1 is not a requirement to begin residency. The purpose of this disclosure is to allow for resources to be provided to the few residents who would benefit from extra support early in their residency in an effort to maximize their success.

Please ensure your medical school grades, personal letter, letters of reference with contact information, elective details, research, publication and teaching experience are all complete and included on time for the first stage of the review process.

Failure to meet or provide proof of any of the stated requirements may result in an applicant’s file not being reviewed or removed from the Rank Order List.



General Instructions

Program application language: English

At the University of Ottawa, we believe the best residents are those who have been able to explore the breadth of the medical profession through suitable electives while enrolled in medical school. We do not preferentially rank applicants who have only pursued electives in one discipline or sub-discipline.

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)
• Proof of pending Canadian citizenship / pending permanent residency
• Record of Landing, clearly showing the date of landing in Canada

Proof of legal status must be submitted to CaRMS by the File Review opening deadline. (Photocopies acceptable). No other forms of verification are acceptable.

The following must be accompanied by photo ID; e.g. driver's license, health card, or other government-issued photo I.D.

  • Canadian Birth Certificate or Act of Birth
  • Confirmation of Permanent Residence in Canada
  • Proof of pending Canadian citizenship/pending permanent residency
Language proficiency
Submit one of the following documents to verify your language proficiency:
• Letter of language proficiency

LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY APPLIES TO CMG's (Canadian Medical Graduates) only if the Medical Degree language of instruction is in FRENCH.

Proof of language proficiency will also be accepted as follows:

Written attestation from the applicant confirming the ability to work in English, both written and spoken.

Important:  It is at the discretion of the program, who may require further proof of a language test or letter from a school official after File Review has begun.

Reference documents
Number requested: 3
Additional documents
Personal Letter 
Word count
Minimum : None
Maximum : None

Candidates may wish to describe important achievements, extracurricular activities, personal goals, during residency and in Ottawa. Please limit to 500 words or less. 

Custom Résumé / CV 

Medical School Transcript 

Order from your Registrar. Must included in documentation provided. 


Medical Student Performance Record 

(Dean’s letter) Order from the Undergraduate Office. Must be included in documentation provided. 

CASPer exam 

Order from Casper exam site. Must be included in your documentation. 

Undergraduate Transcript (Bachelor's Degree) 

Order from registrar. Must be included in documentation provided.

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

Candidate review is a two stage process. The first stage involves review of applications by members of the Residency Selection Committee. Following this, candidates are chosen and offered the opportunity to be interviewed. Candidates will be informed whether or not they have been selected for an offer of an interview. Stage two is the interview following which the Committee's candidate rank order list will be submitted to CaRMS. The deliberations and decisions of the Residency Selection Committee are not up for discussion and are final.



  • March 10, 2022
The Ottawa Hospital - Virtual Interviews for 2021-2022 Academic Year.  Our interveiws will be held: March 10 2022

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
All candidates selected for interview will be interviewed on the same day. The interview process and contents are the same for all candidates, and the interview panel is also the same for all candidates.   Interviews will be around 30 minutes in duration, done by 1 group of 10 interviewers on the zoom platform. The final rank order list will be compiled by the Residency Selection Committee at the conclusion of all the interviews.  The final selection process will not be discussed with interviewees after the CaRMS match.

Selection Criteria

Academic performance; academic and personal commitment to program; awards plus extraordinary educational qualifications; references (either letters or verbal); Casper score; past research activities and/or publications; previous teaching experience; extra-curricular activities; evidence of successful team work.


Program goals

The Ottawa Dermatology program aims to train competent, safe and compassionate consultant medical dermatologists with excellent morphology and clinical skills. The program also incorporates surgical and cosmetic training and provides broad-based and balanced exposure to all aspects of dermatology. Our graduates will possess the skills necessary to excel in their careers, whether it be in hospital, academia, research, education or community practice. The ability to work well with peers, staff and patients is most important as residents move through the program and into the staff dermatologist role. The provision of safe and high-quality dermatologic care to patients of all ages in ensured by iterative exposure to, and feedback for, activities that develop competencies in the seven CanMEDS roles: medical expert, communicator, collaborator, leader, health advocate, scholar and professional.

Selection process goals

Successful applicants to the Ottawa Dermatology residency program will be hardworking, likeable, collegial, open to feedback and visual learners. They will be able to assume the dermatology clinical and on-call roles as well as be self-motivated to read and learn on evenings and weekends. Applicants should have demonstrated an interest in the specialty of dermatology and shown academic merit with medical school accomplishments, extracurricular undertakings, and research endeavours. The ability to get along well with peers, staff and patients is an essential skill.

File review process

Review team composition : The Residency Selection Committee is comprised of 8 faculty members (academic and community members) and 2 resident members.

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 Past education, work experience, volunteer experience, elective experience, research
Electives A variety of elective experiences as well as a demonstrated interest in dermatology
Examinations Casper scores.
Extra-curricular Varied interests and committment
Leadership skills Demonstrates leadership skills
MSPRs Considered
Personal letters Important achievements, extra curricular activities, personal goals and motivations
Reference documents Heavily weighted and references may be contacted directly
Research/Publications Interest in dermatology preferred. All research projects evaluated positively
Transcripts Evaluated for academic excellence

Elective criteria

** Note: Due to COVID-19 - electives will not be taken into consideration.
** Note: Due to COVID-19 - electives will not be taken into consideration.

(Details of the dermatology electives including the candidate's performance should be included.  Although on-site electives are preferred it is acknowledged that this is not always possible due to capacity.  Interest shown in Dermatology is highly regarded.)

*** Note:   Due to COVID-19 - Electives will not be taken into consideration for 2021-2022 academic year.

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 Ability to work well with others on a common goal. Ability to demonstrate both leadership and compromise in group settings.
Collegiality Extremely important to be mutually respectful of all colleagues and patients
Communication skills Ability to clearly communicate in English, both with written and verbal communication.
Health advocacy Demonstrated desire to advocate for the medical community and patients
Interest in the discipline Demonstrated desire to become a dermatologist; can be with electives, research interests and extracurricular activities
Interest in the program Has basic knowledge of the Ottawa Program
Leadership skills Ability to both lead and follow when appropriate
Professionalism Must be professional at all times to colleagues, other staff and patients; including but not limited to being on time for all responsibilities, following through and completing projects, treating others with respect.
Scholarly activities Research, particularly in Dermatology, is an asset.

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

Strong clinical focus; close working relationship with faculty; dynamic faculty comprising both experienced practitioners and new graduates; diverse patient group; exposure to general dermatology and subspecialties; tightly knit resident group; camaraderie; inclusive philosophy regarding community dermatologists; opportunity for clinical research; superb dermatopathology training; noted contact dermatitis instruction; expert dermoscopy and pigmented lesion teaching; excellent track record in providing well-rounded consultant dermatologists to the community and the academic health centres.

Ottawa is an engaging, friendly, cosmopolitan and beautful city to live in and explore, offering a wide range of outdoor activities year-round, numerous cultural events and a vibrant social scene.  Ottawa has tremendous growth potential.  The LRT (Light Rail Transit) will improve access and Phase 1 will be completed in 2019.

Dr. Mark Kirchhof is the Division Head of Dermatology and is continuing the fine legacy of his predecessor, Dr. Jim Walker.  Dr. Kirchhof has been very well received by both residents and staff, and he has exciting plans for program development and growth of the Division. 

The Charlie Logue Dermatology Centre of Excellence has opened on the 4th floor of the Parkdale Clinic at the Civic Campus and is proving popular with residents, staff and faculty.  All services are now functional at the Dermatology Centre including general dermatology, subspecialty clinics, Mohs surgery and phototherapy.  Administrative offices, the resident room and the dermatology meeting room are included in the Centre.


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.

Dermatology is a five-year-program consisting of two years of foundational training in medicine and surgery, followed by three years of full-time dermatology.

Residents undertake rotations at The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) which has three campuses, Civic, General and Riverside. Further exposure is through rotations at The Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), within dermatologists' community offices, Dynacare Laboratories and Laserderm.  Mohs surgery and Phototherapy occur at the Civic Campus.

The majority of exposure is through outpatient clinics, though residents are involved in the combined care of many inpatients, and undertake many ward and ER consultations both at TOH and at CHEO.  Most clinics are located at the Civic Campus.  There is a close working relationship between the faculty and residents fostering a spirit of camaraderie through pride in the functioning of the program and in the provision of quality dermatologic care to the community.

The academic half-day is attended by PGY-1 and PGY-2 residents, when feasible, but is obligatory for PGY-3 to -5 residents. It consists of live or virtual dermatology rounds during which interesting patients are presented and subsequently discussed.  Residents are questioned by several faculty members and learn to present oral case discussions.  Half-day continues with an academic program that incorporates basic science, morphology, therapeutics, genodermatoses, procedural and cosmetic dermatology, intrinsic CanMEDS teaching and journal and Bolognia textbook review. The faculty are active participants and provide constructive criticism as well as didactic lectures. When possible, local, national and international experts on selected topics present tutorials as well. 

There are both mandatory and optional academic symposia for PGY1-5 arranged by the PGME office at the University of Ottawa, dealing primarily with intrinsic CanMEDS roles, such as communication, collaboration, leader, advocacy, scholar and professionalism.  Dermatology-specific intrinsic CanMEDS teaching occurs at half day and during other education sessions such as the Clinical & Scientific Meeting and Dermatology Rounds.

A combined staff and resident journal club is held monthly except July and August. Furthermore, residents are involved in teaching and lecturing to non-dermatology residents and medical students. Residents play a key role in medical student tutoring in the clinics as well as assisting with undergraduate lectures and morphology sessions.

Attendance and participation at national and international meetings is strongly encouraged.  Meetings such as the Canadian Dermatology Association Annual Conference, the American Contact Dermatitis Society and American Academy of Dermatology Winter Meetings, as well as The Atlantic Dermatological Conference are considered essential learning components of the program.

The Division runs popular thematic biannual Clinical and Scientific Meetings, featuring lectures by experts, and live patient rounds. Many dermatologists from Ontario and Quebec attend these meetings, which are mandatory for our residents. Residents prepare cases for these meetings. 

Dermatopathology training is provided by Dr. Scott Bradshaw, from Dynacare.  Additional dermatopathology teaching will be done by TOH pathologists (Drs. Petkiewicz, Ayroud and Teo).  Ongoing discussions on clinicopathologic correlation are a prominent feature of dermatology rounds and the Clinical and Scientific Meetings. Monthly pathology rounds and quizzes are also presented for senoir residents.  Dr. Bradshaw is heavily invested in resident education and wellness.  Dermatopathology blocks occur in PGY 2-5.

Research is strongly encouraged. Residents must prepare a paper for presentation and/or publication to be eligible for the Royal College Fellowship examination. Completion of a patient safety and quality project is also encouraged. The opportunity for further research is available for those who express an interest, are progressing well in their clinical studies, and are prepared to make the commitment.

A highlight of the program is the opportunity for 1-2 senior residents to accompany the dermatologist, Dr. Jacqueline Shukle, to Iqaluit for a week in January and May each year.  These senior clinics offer residents a wonderful opportunity to experience the practice of dermatology in the remote Canadian north.  The entire visit is sponsored by the Nunavut government.  This valuable activity is however only confirmed by Dr. Shukle on a year to year basis.

Electives are available for PGY-2 (1 block), PGY-3 (1 block), PGY-4 (2 blocks) and PGY-5 (3 blocks), and can be arranged both in-house and at out-of-town programs or venues. These electives have to be in accordance with RCPSC guidelines. The decision regarding an elective, however, rests with the Program Director and is dependent on the nature of the elective as well as the resident's performance within the program.  Electives can be used for research.

Practice examinations, 2 OSCEs, 2 writtens, and 1 basic science written, are held yearly for senior residents.  PGY-3 residents can also sit the American Board of Dermatology (ABD) BASIC practice exam and the PGY4-5s can sit the ABD Online Practice Exam in preparation for the final ABD Exam if they choose to take it.  The ABD practice exams are voluntary but are paid for by the Division.

Vacation time is per PARO and consists of 20 days, 1 floater day, 1 lieu day for a Stat Holiday worked per year.  

Residents are allowed 7 working days for Professional Leave per year, including travel. Residents can choose how they wish to use their Professional Leave days (i.e. a resident can attend any conference they would like or not attend any conferences at all).

PGY5 residents are also permitted 7 additional days leave prior to the Royal College Written and/or OSCE.


The aim of the program is to train competent, safe and compassionate consultant dermatologists by providing broad-based and balanced exposure to all aspects of dermatology.


The academic year is from July 1st to June 30th and consists of 13 four-week blocks. 

Dermatology clinics consist of general adult and pediatric clinics, as well as the following subspecialty clinics:  skin cancer, skin cancer surgery, Mohs surgery, contact dermatitis, phototherapy, pigmented lesions, rheumatology-dermatology, systemic therapy, and vulvar disorders.  The following specialty pediatric clinics are also offered:  rheumatology, plastic surgery, vascular anomalies.

During dermatology blocks, PGY-1 to PGY-5 residents follow schedule A, B or C, which facilitates equal exposure to general and specialty clinics.  They also perform 1 week on-call during some rotations.  When on-call, the resident only attends the on-call clinic so as to maximize time spent on the wards and in emerg doing consults.


  • 3 blocks of internal medicine
  • 2 blocks of pediatrics
  • 2 blocks of dermatology
  • 1 block of adult emerg
  • 1 block of pediatric emerg
  • 1 block of vascular
  • 1 block of plastics
  • 1 block of rheumatology
  • 1 block of infectious disease


  • 6 blocks of dermatology
  • 1 block of rheumatology
  • 1 of Mohs
  • 1 block of allergy/immunology
  • 1 block of ambulatory pediatrics
  • 1 block of ambulatory medicine
  • 1 block of dermatopathology
  • 1 elective block


  • 11 blocks of dermatology
  • 1 block of dermatopathology
  • 1 elective block


  • 9 blocks of dermatology
  • 1 block of laser / cosmetic dermatology
  • 1 block of dermatopathology
  • 2 elective blocks


  • 7 blocks of dermatology
  • 1 block of transitions to practice
  • 1 block of laser / cosmetic dermatology
  • 1 block of dermatopathology
  • 3 elective blocks

As residents gain seniority there is the expectation of increased responsibility in decision-making on managing patients in the clinics and on the consultation service. Greater participation in teaching, supervising and supporting junior residents as well as off-service residents and medical students also occurs.

PGY-4 residents share Chief Resident duties for the year.  The position has additional administrative duties related to the organization of rotations and the academic program, with the help and supervision of the Program Co-ordinator and Director.  

The Chief Resident, and an elected junior and senior resident attend the Residency Program Committee (RPC) meetings, which are at least 4 times a year.

One to two residents are also chosen to sit on the Residency Selection Committee each year.



In addition to that mentioned in the curriculum residents should be aware of the RCPSC guidelines which state that at least one paper has to be prepared as if for publication or presentation to enable them to take the Canadian Fellowship Examinations.

Training Sites

Training Sites


1. The Ottawa Hospital []

    Civic Campus: 1053 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, ON, K1Y 4E9

    General Campus: 501 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, K1H 8L6

    Riverside Campus: 1967 Riverside Drive, Ottawa, ON, K1H 7W9

2. Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) []

    401 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, K1H 8L1

3. Laserderm

    1600 Carling Avenue, Suite 650, Ottawa, ON, K1Z 1G3

4. Ottawa Dermatology Clinic

    460 Hunt Club Road, Suite 105A, Ottawa, ON  K2E 0B8

5. Dynacare Laboratories (Dermatopathology)

    750 Peter Morand Crescent, Ottawa, ON  K1G 6S4

6. Community Dermatology offices.





Since August 2017, the Charlie Logue Dermatology Centre of Excellence at the Civic Parkdale Clinic houses the Division of Dermatology.  It incorporates clinics, Mohs surgery, phototherapy, administrative offices and meeting rooms.

The Ottawa Hospital (Civic, General and Riverside Campuses) provide exposure to inpatients and outpatients for the foundational years as well as for consult service.  The Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre (ORCC) at the General Campus houses the skin cancer clinics.

Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) provides exposure to both inpatient and general outpatient pediatric dermatology, as well as general pediatrics for the foundational years.

The dermatology/rheumatology clinic is at the Riverside Campus.

Elisabeth Bruyere Hospital is a site for general dermatology outpatients and a phototherapy clinic.

Laserderm provides exposure to cosmetic dermatology.

Ottawa Dermatology Clinic provides exposure to cosmetic dermatology.


Additional Information

Successful completion of a dermatology residency training program at the University of Ottawa will enable candidates to sit the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada fellowship examinations as well as the American Board of Dermatology examination (latter if desired). The University of Ottawa takes pride in its Dermatology training program. There are rigorous academic demands and a high clinical workload which is shared among the resident cohort. Overall, our residents are treated very fairly and are respected colleagues right from the outset. There will be times, however, when residents might be asked to put group interests ahead of their own. Future residents who are up to this challenge are encouraged to submit an application.




1. What is the housing situation?

-Residents have not expressed any difficulty in obtaining appropriate accommodation. 

-They tend to live near the Civic hospital site as this is where most Dermatology clinics take place in senior years. The cost of an average one-bedroom apartment is $1000-$1,600/mo plus Hydro.


2. Do I have to have a car?

-This is desirable as sites can be quite far from each other, and timelines between clinics short. It is particularly helpful to have one's own transport when on call. 

-Dermatology residents take call from home.

-The Ottawa Hospital does run a free shuttle service between the Civic, General and Riverside campuses, running half-hourly from 6am to 5:30pm.  CHEO is located close to the General Campus.

-Parking is available for a fee.


3. What sort of workload can I expect?

-The dermatology program is very demanding.

-Residents are often surprised at the volume of knowledge and expertise they have to acquire within 5 years of training.

-Preparation for Fellowship examinations is a challenge and stressful.

-Reading is expected during weeknights and on weekends.

-Work days tend to be long, with clinic time alone covering as many as 30 hours a week.

-On-call can be demanding but is shared among all residents. On-call occurs during the week, but also on weekends and evenings.