University of Ottawa - Urology - 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. Matthew Roberts
Surgery, Division of Urology 
The Ottawa Hospital, Box 222, Civic Campus 
1053 Carling Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario, K1Y 4E9
uOttawa Urology
University of Ottawa, Department of Surgery, Division of Urology

Program Contacts

Dr. Matthew Roberts
Residency Program Director, Division of Urology
613-798-5555 x12799

Isabel Menard
Program Administrator
613-798-5555 x10601

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.

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

All candidates must meet the Ontario criteria of eligibility.

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
• 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

Reference letters from physicians of any discipline are acceptable. Reference letters from residents or fellows are not acceptable. Late references will not be considered.

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

Candidates may wish to describe important achievements, extracurricular activities, personal goals during residency, etc.

Custom Résumé / CV 

Medical School Transcript 

Order from your Registrar.


Medical Student Performance Record 

(Dean’s letter) Order from the Undergraduate Office.

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



Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
For this year, CaRMS 2022, all interviews will be conducted "virtually" through an online platform.  The interviews will occur during the National Interview Period, with specific dates TBD.  

The Resident Selection Committee, a sub-committee of the Urology Residency Training Committee, reviews all on-line applications. A short list is generated based on the review and these individuals are offered an interview.  Candidates who are successful at securing an interview will be notified by the program.  Decisions of the selection committee as to who is interviewed are final. Interviews will be between 20-30 minutes in length (exact duration TBD once virtual format finalized)  and the interview team from Ottawa includes: Residency Program Director, Civic Campus, General Campus and CHEO representative(s), Undergraduate Urology Coordinator and a resident representative.  The interview will be a single session where the candidate is present virtually with all members of the selection committee.  Each interview is scored independantly by each member of the committee using several objective metrics, and then a final interview score is determined through committee deliberation.

All applications to the program are reviewed by the residency selection committe, which is a sub-committee of the residency program committee.  Each component of the application package submitted by a candidate  is reviewed and scored individually, and then a composite score is generated to reflect the entire application.   Specific elements assessed in the file reivew include reference letters, personal letters, CV, clinical experience in urology and/or demonstrated interest in urology through other experiences, research and teaching experience, written communication skills, academic performance based on transcripts and performance records. Based on these scores an interview list is generated and candidates are notified as described above.  Elective experience specifically in Urology at the University of Ottawa is NOT required in order for an application to be reviewed and considered for an offer of interview.  

Selection Criteria

Residents are selected based on a comprehensive assessment of the CaRMS application (file review) and an interview.  The processes followed for each of these are described in the appropriate section of this Program Description.  The file review and interview score are combined in order to generate the final CaRMS rank list.

Program goals

Upon completion of training, a resident is expected to be a competent specialist in Urology capable of assuming a consultant’s role in the specialty. Residents must acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes relating to gender, culture and ethnicity pertinent to Urology. In addition, all residents must demonstrate an ability to incorporate gender, cultural and ethnic perspectives in research methodology, data presentation and analysis.

During the course of the residency, the resident must acquire a working knowledge of the theoretical basis of the specialty, including its foundations in the basic medical sciences and research. This may be done concurrently with the resident attending special courses in basic science or spending specific periods of full-time training in basic science related activity.

A Urology resident must understand the normal function and the pathological processes and diseases that affect the adrenal gland, the kidney, ureters, bladder urethra in the male and female, and the prostate and external genitalia of the male. This includes an understanding, appropriate to the practice of Urology, of normal development and embryology, biochemistry and pharmacology, physiology, anatomy and gross and microscopic pathology of genitourinary tract.

Residents must acquire the requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes for effective patient-centered care and service of a diverse population. In all aspects of a specialist’s practice, the graduate must be able to address issues of gender, age culture and ethnicity. All this must be performed in an ethical and professional manner. Because patient care is a shared responsibility in the Canadian health care system, a close, integrated and collaborative relationship with primary care physicians is essential. There also needs to be a collaborative relationship with specialists in all fields of surgery, medicine, laboratory medicine, radiology, rehabilitation medicine and social services.

Selection process goals

- Excellent academic record

- Proven interest in Urology 

- High level of professionalism and ethical practice

- Collegial personality

- Demonstration of initiative, self-direction and ability to perform within a team setting

- Demonstration of engagment in life-long learning/self-directed learning

- Honesty and integrity

- Ability to participate in academic endeavours such as research and teaching for the puroposes of both learning and contribution to the urologic community as a whole

File review process

Review team composition : Residency Program Director; Civic Campus, General Campus and CHEO representative(s); Undergraduate Urology Coordinator; Resident representative.

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 Educational background, elective experience, research experience, extracurriculars, work experience
Electives Breadth of electives in a variety of disciplines AND some urology-specific electives and/or similar clinical experiences (selectives, observerships, etc.)
Examinations We do not evaluate this file component.
Extra-curricular Evidence of interests outside of medicine that contribute to personal fulfillment and wellness
Leadership skills Evidence of previous experience in leadership positions, leadership philosophy
MSPRs Evidence of strong academic performance
Personal letters Clear explanation and justification for interest in Urology as a career
Reference documents Attestation from supervisors concerning suitability of candidate for a career in urology
Research/Publications Participation in academic research (not necessarily urology-specific)
Transcripts Overall academic performance and successful completion of all pre-requisites
Other file component(s) All files reviewed by committee, all components listed above discussed for each applicant, standard data collection form utilized to tabulate and score all components listed above individually and then in aggregate. Based on the entire file review and final score a decision is made whether or not to offer an interview to candidate.

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.

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. We support the concept that students should do a minimum of at least 2 week electives in 3 different specialties.  It is however essential that applicants have at least some prior experience in urology through elective experience(s) or other clinical experiences in urology such as selectives/observerships to allow for the candidate and program to make an informed decision about suitability for a career/training in urology.  

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 Approach to teamwork assessed with use of pre-determined scenario question
Collegiality Generally assessed throughout interview, Assessed through use of pre-determined scenario question
Communication skills Generally assessed throughout interview based on overall clarity of answers to all questions
Health advocacy Demonstrates knowledge of situations where advocacy is appropriate; assessed through review of CV
Interest in the discipline Assessed using standard interview question re: motivation to pursue urology, CV/file/PL review
Interest in the program Assessed through specific question re: candidates interest in and fit with U or O urology
Leadership skills Prior leadership experience and leadership philosophy discussed
Professionalism Evidence of professional behaviour based on discussion of LORs, pre-determined scenario question
Scholarly activities Assessed through specific question concerning previous experience in research and/or education
Other interview component(s) The interview is conducted by the committee. We utilize a semi-structured interview format with a variety of pre-determined questions (which may involve scenarios for discussion). The questions are designed to address each of the components listed above. Responses to each question are individually graded by each member of the committee using a Likert scale, and then a final grade for each response is determined through committee discussion following the interview. There is also an "open format" or unstructured component to the interview to allow the committee and applicant to address any additional areas not covered previously, to allow for clarification of points previously raised, and to allow for candidates to ask questions of the committee. Following the interview all components are graded and a final composite score is generated. The interview score is utilized along with the results of the file review to determine final position of the CaRMS rank order list.

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

The Urology Training Program in Ottawa is a very strong clinical program with heavy emphasis on solid clinical and surgical training and a family atmosphere between residents and staff physicians.  First time success at the Royal College Surgical Foundations and Final Speciality Certification Examinations is above the national average.  Excellent working relationships with interventional radiologists, oncologists and uro-pathologists augment the teaching and clinical environment.  Residents selected to the Ottawa training program must have strong interpersonal and communication skills, empathy and integrity and must fit into the collegial mold of the program.

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.

Beginning in July 2018 the Ottawa Urology Program (and all other Urology programs in Canada) adopted the Competence By Design (CBD) Framework from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.  Within CBD there is a Competence Continuum that organizes residency into 4 Stages of Training:  Transition to Discipline, Foundations of Discipline, Core of Discipline, and Transition to Practice.  The existing curriculum from prior years has been reviewed and adapted to the new CBD framework to ensure that residents achieve competence in all of the Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) required of a practicing urologist.  All teaching and assessment has been reviewed and modified as needed to achieve this goal.

For practical purposes of scheduling and rotation planning, residency is still divided into 5 PGY years, although the CBD Stages of training do not necessarily correspond exactly to the PGY levels.  Although under the CBD model length of training is not necessarily fixed to a specific duration for all residents, it is anticipated that the length of training for Urology Residency at the University of Ottawa will be 5 years. Training may be extended if residents do not achieve all EPAs and competencies by the end of 5 years.  Shorter length of training is in theory possible under CBD, although would likely only be feasible in exceptional circumstances.

Stages of Training

  1. Transition to Discipline (TTD)

This stage of training occurs primarily during the first 2 months of residency during the PGY-1 year.  Residents rotate on Adult Urology for Blocks 1-2.  There is a Urology Bootcamp during this stage that includes both didactic teaching sessions and skills labs in addition to a general orientation to the concepts of CBD and the assessment platform used at the University of Ottawa (Elentra). 

  1. Foundations of Discipline

This stage of training occurs roughly during the PGY 1-2 years.  During the PGY-1 year residents complete 3 blocks of Adult Urology (in addition to the 2 Adult urology Blocks during TTD) and 2 Blocks of Pediatric Urology.  The remaining blocks are spent on general surgery, ICU, ER, and Nephrology.

The PGY-2 year consists of 6 blocks of adult urology, 1 block of community urology (elective), 2 blocks of Vascular Surgery,2 blocks of ICU and 2 blocks of general surgery.

The rotations during PGY 1-2 have been designed to provide overall comprehensive surgical training, to allow residents to achieve competence in all applicable Urology EPAs, and to allow for completion of all EPAs required for Surgical Foundations.  Currently the rotation plan does allow our residents to be American Board Eligible.

  1. Core of Discipline

This stage of training occurs roughly during the PGY 3-4 years and first half of PGY-5.

PGY-3 consists of 3 blocks of pediatric urology and the remainder in adult urology.  Residents rotate through all teaching sites and services to obtain a comprehensive exposure to all facets of urology.

PGY-4 consists of adult urology rotations.  Up to 3 blocks can be used as electives.  Electives can be arranged at a variety of locations either within Canada or abroad.  1 of the 3 elective blocks can be utilized as a research elective for motivated residents with a defined research agenda. 

PGY-5 consists of adult urology rotations including time spent as a Chief administrative resident.

  1. Transition to Practice

This stage of training occurs roughly during the final 3-6 months of PGY-5. Residents will continue to rotate on adult urology, although will focus their learning on acquiring additional skills required of a practicing urologist.


The division of urology has a Director of Resident Research who oversees all resident research activity and projects.  Residents are expected to have at least one ongoing research project at all times. At the beginning of each academic year there is a Resident Research Brainstorming session where new research ideas are discussed.  Residents will typically select a project in their area of interest and will work with a faculty mentor.  Projects are sometimes proposed by the faculty, but residents may certainly generate their own research ideas. 

The Division of Urology holds an Annual Resident Research Day in the Spring.  At this all day event residents present their research projects, and a visiting professor provides mentorship and adjudication or research projects.  Three projects are selected for presentation at the annual Department of Surgery Research Day (Collins Day).

The Division of Urology has several faculty members who have dedicated research time and publish extensively.  Several faculty members have specific training in clinical epidemiology.  In addition, the academic teaching session includes several sessions on research methodology and epidemiology.

Residents are encouraged to present their research projects and national and international academic meetings and submit their work for publication.  Financial support is provided for conference registration and travel.

Academic Schedule

Every Monday afternoon during the academic year is reserved for resident teaching from 1:00 - 5:00 pm. The Monday afternoon academic sessions are the cornerstone of the urology training program in Ottawa. These sessions are based on a two year cycle and every 2 years cover the most current edition of Campbell's Urology in its entirety.  All residents, including the PGY-1 and -2 residents, are required to attend the sessions and the time required to do so has been deemed protected time by the Program Director. The current academic year beginning July 2021 will cover the 11th edition of Campbell's Urology. The sessions are based on CanMEDS 2015 criteria and each session is presented in the context of the 7 Roles within CanMEDS.

In addition to the Monday afternoon education sessions the urology program has a comprehensive surgical simulation curriculum.  Throughout the academic year a variety of labs are offered, targeted to PGY- level, with the objectives of introducing new skills to residents in a safe, low pressure environment.  Low-ratio mentorship with faculty during these labs allows for residents to ask questions and receive feedback.

For the fifth year residents, formalized exam preparation sessions are offered.

Urology service rounds occur every Wednesday morning during the academic year.  A rotating schedule of topics includes M&M rounds, Interesting Case rounds, presentation of current clinical practice guidelines, and topic-based presentations.  The majority of these topics are presented by residents to the entire resident and faculty group.

There are 10 Journal Clubs per year that cover current urological publications from a broad spectrum of journals, including the Journal of Urology. Attending these sessions are staff and residents, with discussion of both research methodology/critical appraisal as well as content/clinical relevance. 

A Surgical Skills curriculum has been developed and implemented by the urology program. This includes 12 labs, each focused on a particular skillset and geared towards a specific PGY level. Examples include basic endoscopic skills/TUR,  porcine labs to teach laparoscopic nephrectomy/partial nephrectomy, and PCNL simulation labs. The main objectives of these labs are to introduce new skills to residents in a safe, low pressure environment.  Low-ratio mentorship with faculty during these labs allows for residents to ask questions and receive feedback.

Assessment and Evaluation

Under the new CBD framework assessment is carried out on an ongoing basis utilizing the concept of work-based assessments.  Assessment and feedback is focused on the EPAs and Milestones for each stage of training.  The University of Ottawa has adopted an electronic platform called Elentra that contains all of the assessment forms required for each stage of training, EPA, and Milestone.  Essentially, this is a mobile platform that residents use to distribute assessment forms to faculty (and more senior residents) after completion of a particular task (OR case, clinical encounter, etc.).  Ideally, these assessment forms are completed "in the moment" by the supervisor in order to provide timely feedback to the resident to enhance learning and to provide the most accurate reflection of current performance.  

There are examinations twice per year for all PGY-3, 4, & 5 residents, which consist of short answer questions and OSCE stations. The OSCE examinations are CanMEDS based, with the stations evaluating specific CanMEDS Roles, including Medical Expert. In November each year, all urology residents write the AUA in-service MCQ exam, which is funded by the Division of Urology. Senior residents attend the annual Canadian review course and Quest exam in February.

Once per academic year residents will participate in the PULSE 360 multi-source feedback program.  All residents at the University of Ottawa, regardless of specialty, participate in this program.  PULSE 360 is an anonymous, web-based survey that allows residents to receive feedback from their supervisors, resident colleagues, and allied health co-workers in order to promote self-awareness, encouragement, early identification of areas in need of attention, and improvement.  The Program Director has one-on-one meetings with each resident to review their report, provide feedback, and establish excellence goals.

An in-training assessment report (ITAR) will be completed after each rotation in addition to the ongoing assessment through Elentra.  This is a summary type evaluation form that will allow the preceptor to provide an overall summary of performance on a given rotation.  In addition, each resident will have an end-of-rotation meeting with the main rotation supervisor in order to discuss the rotation as a whole.

All assessments will be reviewed by the Competency Committee.  This committee, currently chaired by Dr. James Watterson, has the task of reviewing all assessments received by a resident and determining when progression to the next stage of training will occur.  Each resident will have a faculty academic advisor or mentor who sits on this committee to act as a liaison with regards to the outcome of each meeting.

Residents will each have semi-annual meetings with the Residency Program Committee and Program Director in order to review general progress, address questions or concerns, discuss career planning, rotation planning, elective planning, and research. 

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. Urology programs in Canada have all implemented CBD for incoming PGY-1 residents as of July 1, 2018.  Residents enrolled in the Urology Program prior to this date are not taking part in CBD.

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

Training Sites

1. The Ottawa Hospital - Civic Campus: Busy general urological service also providing subspecialty expertise in andrology/andropause, male factor infertility, reconstructive urology, neuro-urology and urodynamics, incontinence, open radical prostatectomy and stone disease.

2. The Ottawa Hospital - Riverside Campus: The extra corporeal shockwave lithotripter is located at the Riverside Campus. Residents will have the opportunity to train in ESWL.  In addition, there is an outpatient OR most days of the week where residents will participate in minor and endoscopic urologic procedures including TURBT, Ureteroscopy, scrotal surgery, and Bipolar/Green Light Laser TURP

3. The Ottawa Hospital - General Campus: Busy general urological service also providing urologic oncology, robotic surgery, living-related and cadaveric renal transplantation, endourology and stone disease including PCNL, laparoscopic surgery and clinical epidemiology.

4. The Ottawa Hospital - Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario: There are two full-time pediatric urologists on staff making this an excellent experience for residents. All pediatric urological diagnostic and surgical procedures for Eastern Ontario are performed here.

5. Regional Sites - there are several smaller hospitals in the periphery of Ottawa (Hawkesbury, Renfrew, Almonte) where University of Ottawa Urologists provide service to the local community via clinics and minor surgical/OR procedures.  Residents attend these sites as part of their regular rotations in order to gain some exposure to this unique environment.

Additional Information

Career Counselling


The uOttawa Urology Program is committed to career counselling and support for all of our residents throughout their training.  

The process of career planning and counselling is longitudinal in nature and evolves as the resident passes from PGY-1 to program completion. The objective of the career planning/counselling process is to support each resident in achieving their short and long-term career goals.  To facilitate this, the uOttawa Urology Program has developed a career-planning guide that includes timelines, opportunities for career exploration through electives, mentorship, and support for fellowship and job application.  Career counselling is reviewed formally twice per year during resident interviews with the RPC, but is also an ongoing process throughout the academic year.  The ITAR, which is completed after each rotation, includes a specific section concerning career counselling that facilities regular review and discussion of the topic with faculty.