Memorial University of Newfoundland - Orthopedic Surgery - St. John's

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

Last approved on January 20, 2022

Summary of changes

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria

Dr. Keegan Au
Discipline of Surgery 
H 1378, Faculty of Medicine 
Health Sciences Centre, 300 Prince Philip Drive
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, A1B 3V6
(709) 864-6499
(709) 864-6653
Division of Orthopedic Surgery

Program Contacts

Dr. Keegan Au
Program Director
(709) 864-6675

Carol Hedd
Program Assistant
(709) 864-6499
(709) 864-6653 (F)

Important Information

Please review Memorial University's Provincial Criteria and admission requirements for postgraduate medical education. 



As of September 2021, Memorial University requires COVID-19 vaccines for all students, faculty and staff, and masks are required on all Memorial campuses in indoor spaces. Please refer to the University's COVID-19 website for up-to-date information.

Return of Service


No return of service (RoS) is required for CMG seats.


General Instructions

Program application language: English

Supporting Documentation

Canadian citizenship
CaRMS partners with third-party organizations to verify your citizenship or permanent resident status. If your status is verified by one of these organizations, you will not need to provide citizenship documents in your application. If your citizenship status is not verified, you must provide one of the documents listed below.
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
• Passport page showing Canadian Citizenship
• Canadian Permanent Resident Card (both sides of card)
• Canadian Citizenship Card (both sides of card)
Language proficiency
Submit one of the following documents to verify your language proficiency:
• Occupational English Test (OET) - Medicine
• Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) - General

Exemption to English language proficiency testing

IMGs that are currently practicing in Canada as a family physician or Royal College specialist (must have CCFP, FRCPC or FRCSC designation), and are providing the majority of their patient care in English, may be exempt from providing up-to-date language proficiency testing. Any applicant in this situation should write to in advance of the application deadline, to determine if you meet this criteria for exemption. Applicants currently in a clinical fellowship program are not exempted.

If you graduated from a medical school in Canada or the United States, where English is the language of instruction, you are exempt from providing proof of language proficiency.

Who is required to provide English Language Proficiency?

If you graduated from a medical school in Canada or the United States, where the language of instruction is not in English (e.g. French), PGME requires proof of proficiency in the English language. It is important to note that this requirement extends to all such applicants, regardless of whether other secondary/post-secondary education took place in English and regardless of citizenship.

If you graduated from a medical school in Canada or the United States, which provides training in multiple language streams, please self-identify which stream you graduated from (e.g. English-Stream, French-Stream, Spanish-Stream, etc.) by indicating your stream in the 'Degree Obtained' box in your CaRMS Online application under Medical Education (e.g. MD, University of Ottawa – French Stream).

Canadians who complete undergraduate medical education outside of Canada and the United States are considered IMGs; therefore, if you complete undergraduate medical education (in part or in full) in a country not recognized as having English as the first language, you must provide proof of proficiency in the English language. Note that elective rotations/experiences – regardless of length or location (including Canada) – will not satisfy the language proficiency requirements.

Requirements for educational registration with the CPSNL differ slightly in that PGME will only exempt IMGs from language proficiency testing if both their basic medical education and patient care experience was in one of the countries that is recognized as having English as a first language: 

  • Anguilla

  • Antigua and Barbuda

  • Australia

  • Bahamas

  • Barbados

  • Bermuda

  • Canada

  • Dominica

  • Grenada

  • Ireland

  • Jamaica

  • New Zealand

  • St. Kitts and Nevis

  • St. Lucia

  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines

  • Singapore

  • South Africa

  • Trinidad and Tobago

  • United Kingdom

  • United States of America

  • Virgin Islands (United Kingdom)

  • Virgin Islands (United States) 

All other applicants, including those who have completed any other non-medical schooling in English, must have taken one of the following:

  • International English Language Testing System - Academic (IELTS-Academic), within 24 months of the residency start date (July 1), with a minimum score of 7 in each of the components in the same sitting;
  • Occupational English Test - Medicine (OET-Medicine), with a minimum grade of B in each of the four subsets in the same sitting;
  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program Test - General (CELPIP-General), with a minimum score of 9 in each of the four skills in the same sitting.

Results must be available by the CaRMS document review deadline.

Reference documents
Number requested: 3

Three letters of reference required.  Additional reference letters will not be considered.

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

In 500 words or less describe your rationale for your interest in orthopedic surgery, how your prior experiences have prepared you for a career in orthopedics and why you feel our program and location are well suited for you to complete your training.

Custom Résumé / CV 

Memorial Declaration for Interruptions 

ALL applicants must submit the Declaration of Interruptions form with their application.

Consent for disclosure 

ALL applicants must submit the Consent to Disclose form with their application.

Medical Student Performance Record 

(If available)

Medical School Transcript 

(If available order from the Registrar's Office.)

[Note: Photograph is used as memory aid only]

Undergraduate Transcript (Bachelor's Degree) 

(If applicable, order from the Registrar's Office.)

Conditionally required
Medical School Diploma 

(If available order from the Registrar's Office.)

Optional - will be reviewed
MCCQE Part I - Statement of Results 

If applicable.

MCCQE Part I - Supplemental Information Report 

If applicable.

Review Process

Applications submitted after file review has opened on January 31, 2022

Supporting documents (excluding letters of reference) that arrive after file review has opened  on  January 31, 2022

Letters of reference that arrive after the unmasking date on January 31, 2022



  • March 14, 2022
All interviews will be held virtually on Monday, March 14, 2022.

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
The orthopedics discipline will be hosting virtual interviews.

Applicants who are selected for interviews will be interviewed by 2 panels, with each interview lasting approximatley 15 minutes. Interview panels will consist of orthopaedic faculty with resident representation. Candidates will be notified by email with interview details and times. All interviews will be held virtually.

Selection Criteria


The following are considered priorities in ranking applicants.

  • Demonstrates academic achievement at university and medical school level
  • References and CV reflects ability to get along and work well with others
  • Demonstrates an interest in scholarly activity and research
  • Extra curricular interests are suggestive of skills that are valuable to the field
  • The interview resonates personality and character that will be compatible wih the existing resident group

Program goals

The overall goal of the Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program is to train orthopedic surgeons to provide compassionate, contemporary musculoskeletal surgical care to the community with standards in keeping with those defined by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. This pursuit encompasses a primary goal to train competent orthopedic surgeons who are ready to either proceed directly to practice general orthopedic surgery in a community setting or to progress to a clinical fellowship of their choice in an orthopedic surgery subspeciality. Our goal is to not only train towards surgical competence, but also for success in non-medical expert roles and balance in life in general, in an effort to encourage our residents to become well-rounded practitioners who are capable of collaboration and cooperation in the workplace and the community.

Selection process goals

The successful applicant to our program will demonstrate a number of key features. First, there should be academic aptitude to meet the educational standards of our specialty through a demonstration of prior academic achievement. Second, there should be a demonstation of technical capability to grasp surgical priniciples, often shown through a variety of extra-curricular activities and verified through reference letters. Third, there should be demonstrated capacity in the ability to communicate and cooperate with others in a professional manner, as demonstrated through positive feedback during previous clinical rotations and reference letters. Finally, as our program is smaller size than others, it is imperative for the functioning of our resident group that the personality of the applicant is expected to be compatible with the other residents; this will be assessed during the interview process.

File review process

Review team composition : Our review team consists of the program director and a committee reviewing and selecting applicants for interviews. Panel interviews are typically arranged with 2 attending and 1 senior resident. They all have access to applicant's CaRMS application package and CaRMS interview guidelines.

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

Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 76 - 100 %

Evaluation criteria :
File component Criteria
CV Education, employment, extra-curricular activity, academic ability and work ethic
Electives Can be indicative of the quantity and quality of candidates' interest in our specialty
Examinations We do not evaluate this file component
Extra-curricular Physical strength, proficiency in manual dexterity and technical proficiency
Leadership skills Ability to function as leader in a team amongst other physicians and allied health
MSPRs General performance over a broad range of clinical rotations and contain valuable feedback
Personal letters Establish the basis of interest in our program and serves as ways to distinguished them from peers
Reference documents Referees who provide strong recommendation in pursuit for their career choice
Research/Publications Demonstrates an interest in completion of scholarly activity and ability to complete projects
Transcripts General indication of academic prowess and test-taking abilities

Elective criteria

We recognize that the global coronavirus pandemic has influenced the ability of applicants to engage broadly in visiting electives in orthopedic surgery. A demonstrated effort by the applicants to complete orthopedic experiences at their home institutions will be looked on favorably by the selection committee.
We do not require applicants to have done onsite electives.

Interview process

Interview format :

We routinely accommodate requests to re-schedule interviews for applicants.

Interview evaluation criteria :
Interview components Criteria
Collaboration skills We estimate the applicants' abilities to collaborate with colleagues and allied health
Collegiality We predict the applicants' senses of professionalism in their interactions with colleagues
Communication skills We foresee the applicants' abilities to communicate verbally with our patients and other providers
Health advocacy We work with communities to determine and improve health needs.
Interest in the discipline Establish if the applicants' career choice seems appropriate based on experience with learners
Interest in the program Estimated to help our program select candidates who have genuine interest in what our program offers
Leadership skills Effort to staff our program with individuals that lead with education, practice and accountability
Professionalism Abilities that demonstrates an image appropriate for an orthopedic surgeon
Scholarly activities Interest and ability of candidates to complete the required scholarly portion of their training
Other interview component(s) All interviews will be conducted virtually for the 2022 CaRMS cycle.

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

Memorial University is located in beautiful Newfoundland & Labrador, where the scenery and landscape is truly as beautiful as the tourism advertisements suggest, and the people are a welcoming as rumored to be. Our program encourages healthy work-life balance and is one where the professional and social lives of our residents are often intertwined. This has always been a welcome aspect of our tightly-knit resident group, who have enjoyed the culture that St. John's has to offer and explored the beauty of our rugged island together.

Prospective candidates are encouraged to contact our Program Director, Dr. Keegan Au ( to discuss the program as a potential fit for them. Students are also encouraged to speak directly to one of our existing residents so that an honest and unbiased reflection of what our program offers can be obtained directly from them. Please contact the Program Assistant to obtain contact information for one of the residents from our administrative year. 

Check out the MUN Orthopedic Surgery Residency program Instagram page "munortho" to learn about our program, our residents and our beautiful city of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.

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 five-year Competence by Design program is designed to produce a "general" orthopedic surgeon. 

We have one mandatory rural rotation of three months duration in PGY 3. This is done in Gander, NL; Corner Brook, NL; Saint John, NB; or at another community hospital site approved by PGME and the program director.

A three month elective is scheduled in PGY 4 and residents are encouraged to travel for this time exposing themselves to areas of interest.





 Adult Orthopedic Surgery

16 weeks



 4 weeks

 Resident's Choice


 4 weeks


 General Surgery

 4 weeks



 4 weeks


 Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery

 8 weeks



 2 weeks

 Leonard Miller Centre


 2 weeks



 4 weeks

 Residents Choice

 Vascular Surgery

 4 weeks







 2 months


 MSK Radiology

 1 month



 3 months


 Orthopedic Surgery

 6 months






Community Orthopedic Surgery

 3 months

Corner Brook/Gander/Saint John/other approved site

 Orthopedic Surgery

 6 months


 Plastic Surgery

 3 months






 Adult Orthopedic Surgery

 6 months


 Elective Orthopedic Surgery/Research

 3 months

 Resident's Choice

 Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery

 3 months



Chief Resident Year




Adult Orthopedic Surgery

 9 months


Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery

 3 months



Residents are expected to actively participate in Resident Research Day every second year with completion of research scholarly activity in accordance with the Royal College's CBD curriculum for orthopedic surgery. 

Opportunity exists for residents to be involved in independent local research or in some of the multi-centre trials that our centre becomes involved in. Resources exist to support the residents in their endeavors, including an orthopedic research director, an orthopedic research nurse and access to experts in biostatistics and clinical epidemiology within the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial. In addition, projects have been completed in association with the biomechanical lab at the Faculty of Engineering, with our local 3D printing capabilities and through our close relationship with Team Broken Earth and its educational mandate in developing countries.

A resident may also complete a Masters in Clinical Epidemiology while at Memorial. Allowances can be made to help facilitate a student in completing this program during their 5 year residency, provided it is not felt to be a detriment to their orthopedic surgery training.


There are weekly rounds as listed below:

  • Fracture Rounds - All staff, residents and clerks attend
  • Surgical Foundations - Mandatory for all PGY 1 and PGY 2 residents in general surgery, orthopedic surgery and obstetrics/gynecology
  • Grand Rounds - Mandatory for all orthopedic residents with supervision by faculty
  • Resident Case Rounds - lead by senior residents and supervised by faculty
  • Anatomy Rounds (Fall months) - Mandatory for all residents and one supervising staff person
  • Surgical Skills Course (Summer) - Mandatory for all PGY 1 and PGY 2 residents and one supervising staff person
  • Pediatric Rounds - Mandatory for all residents and pediatric orthopedic surgeons 

Training Sites


The primary teaching hospitals involved are: St. Clare's Mercy Hospital (SCMH), the Health Sciences Centre (HSC) and the Janeway Children's Health and Rehabilitation Centre (JCH).

Regional hospitals available for community orthopedic experiences include: James Paton Memorial Hospital, Gander, NL, Western Memorial Regional Hospital, Corner Brook, NL and Saint John, NB.

There is a resident room with digital access dedicated to orthopedic resident use at St. Clare's Mercy Hospital. At the combined Health Science Centre and Janeway site is the medical school library with multiple workstations. Wireless internet access is available at all city hospital sites. A number of digital references have been purchased by the program for resident use.

There is one three-month elective period in the PGY 4 which can be used for experiences at the choice of the resident with approval of the program.

There are between 13-15 residents and 16 faculty covering all subspecialties of orthopedic surgery.  Regular interaction occurs between staff and residents. Additional faculty for other disciplines (plastic surgery, radiology, neurosurgery and surgeons at rural sites) are also involved in teaching and resident supervision.

There are approximately 30 inpatient beds at each adult institution with usually three residents per site. There are usually less than 10 pediatric inpatients with 1-2 residents on site.

The residents work in all subspecialties of orthopedics. Due to its size, our program follows a more longitudinal model than that seen at other centres, with mixed subspecialty experiences occurring concurrently rather than in isolated blocks. This allows for constant exposure and prevents skills and knowledge from growing stale. Staff fellowship training includes: Trauma, Arthroplasty, Hand & Wrist, Upper Extremity, Spine, Orthopedic Oncology, Pediatrics, Foot and Ankle and Sports Medicine 

Additional Information

OSCE-type examinations are carried out twice a year: one testing medical expert capabilities and the second focused on the intrinsic CanMEDS roles. All residents write the annual Orthopedic In-Training Exam (American) and are required to complete the Royal College's Surgical Foundations Exam curriculum.


Summary of changes

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