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McMaster University - Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery - Hamilton

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

Last approved on January 19, 2022

Summary of changes

Approximate Quota:

 2 

Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria


Dr. Han Zhang
Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery 
St. Joseph's Healthcare Hospital 
50 Charlton Ave E, Room G826
Hamilton ON L8N 4A6, Ontario
(905) 522-1155
McMaster University - Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery
Competency-Based Medical Education (CBME)

Program Contacts

Carol Dow
Senior Education Program Associate
cdow@mcmaster.ca
905-521-2100 ext. 36719

Dr. Han Zhang
Program Director
hanzhang@stjosham.on.ca


Important Information

Please refer to the CaRMS website for provincial eligibility information CaRMS Ontario Provincial Criteria.  It is important to review the requirements carefully.

To learn more about the program, upcoming informational events and the McMaster PGME community please visit: https://pgme.mcmaster.ca/carms_r1_match_program_information/

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


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
Required
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)

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 valid 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 valid Canadian government-issued photo ID).
Reference documents
Required
Number requested: 3

The maximum number of reference documents that can be requested by a program is three (3). We recommend references from academic physicians.  Every reference letter is read. We do not accept references from senior residents. Please see Selections Criteria. Late references will not be accepted until the interview date for those candidates short-listed for interview.

Additional documents
Required
Medical Student Performance Record 

Order from your Dean's office

Medical School Transcript 

Order from your Registrar.

Photo 
[Note: Photograph is used as memory aid only]

Ophthalmological Report 

It is highly recommended the applicant provides a written report from an Ophthalmologist or Optometrist stating the applicant's visual status, including stereopsis and colour vision.

Abstract/Publications 

Custom Résumé / CV 

Conditionally required
Medical School Diploma 

Please note: Required if Medical school has been completed.


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


3 reference letters from physicians are requested from each applicant.

 

Due to the challenges brought about by the COVID 19 Pandemic, reference letters from the institution/discipline WILL NOT BE required for consideration of interview. 


Interviews

Dates:

  • March 9, 2022
February 18, 2022.  Applicants will be contacted.

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
Formal interviews will be granted to candidates short listed after review of complete applications by the Residency Program Committee. The Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview. The virtual interview consists of three teams with up to 30 minute interviews with the Residency Program Committee and the Program Director. A virtual tour/video of the facilities is available with residents closer to the time of the interview. If the candidates are interested in further information, they may contact our residents or residency program coordinator. 


Selection 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

-An acceptable academic record

-A convincing demonstration in the sincere interest in Otolaryngology -Head & Neck Surgery as a career choice.

-References from academic physicians attesting to enthusiasm, learning ability, proficiency and exemplary interpersonal skills.

-Publication on any topic as an indication of industry and perseverance (any scientific paper).

-Candidates with a demonstrated interest in clinical or basic science research are encouraged.

-Demonstrated or presumed sufficient bimanual dexterity and hand eye coordination to perform delicate surgery.

-Empathy, sensitivity, maturity and excellent communication ability.

-References attesting to exemplary moral attitude, breadth of outlook and character, achievements in extracurricular activities, and community contribution.

Program goals

The residency training program is a 5-year program with two Ontario Ministry of Health funded residents each year. During the first 2 years, trainees receive Surgical Foundations (SF) training. During SF training, residents do 2 weeks of boot camp with SF, 6 weeks on-service for the Transition to Discipline stage, 3 blocks on-service and 8 blocks off-service the first year for the Foundations of Discipline stage. The second year of training, the residents are on-service the entire year completing Foundations of Discipline and starting the Core stage of the CBD. The remaining 48 months are spent on-service with 2 months of elective time. The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons is transitioning to a new competency-based approach called Competence by Design (CBD). Our program welcomed the first cohort of CBD residents in July 2017 and as the first group of programs to transition into CBD, our program has comfortably adapted to the new Royal College standard of Postgraduate medical learning.

Current faculty consists of 11 full-time Otolaryngologists and 12 adjunctive faculties from the surrounding community sites that also provide teaching. The sub-specialty interests of the faculty include otology, neuro-otology, pediatric otolaryngology, head and neck surgical oncology, facial plastic and microvascular reconstructive surgery, facial cosmetic surgery, and rhinology. Adjunctive appointees to the Department have expertise in head and neck surgical oncology, rhinology, facial plastics, and maxillofacial trauma, vestibular medicine and communicative disorders.

The Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery resident training program at McMaster University provides complete and thorough surgical training. The strength of the program is our exceptional faculty core supported by adjunctive teachers who combine to not only prepare our residents for the full breath of community Otolaryngology practice but also the foundation to pursue further sub-specialty academic training.

Selection process goals

We are looking for eager and bright individuals with exceptional interpersonal skills and good clinic judgement. We value individuals who represent good ethical and high professional standards. Candidates should have demonstrated a real interest in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. A successful candidate will also have exhibited sufficient bimanual dexterity and the ability to judge depth perception on bi-ocular vision. 

No preference will be given to any candidates from a particular medical school. Our program thrives on looking for the best candidates that will make the brightest future Otolaryngologists. Our selection process is based on the submission package, curriculum vitae, reference letters, interview process as well as personal performance during electives. Interviews are mandatory and will be a traditional format with faculty members as well as current residents. 

File review process

Review team composition : The review team is comprised of the Program Director, chief resident and other faculty members on the Residency Program Committee (RPC). We also have residents from our RPC assist with the review of the candidate's applications.

Average number of applications received by our program in the last five years : 51 - 200
We had 200 applicants in the last 5 years.

Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 51 - 75 %

Evaluation criteria :
File component Criteria
CV evaluated
Electives We recognize difficulties in obtaining electives during COVID 19, as a result a lack of electives in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery will not negatively impact the file review.
Examinations We do not evaluate this file component.
Extra-curricular evaluated
Leadership skills evaluated
MSPRs evaluated
Personal letters We evaluate personal letters. Please frame your personal letter to discuss your rationale for pursuing Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery as a profession. Please specifically discuss your strongest personal qualities and how they would make you a good fit within our program here at McMaster.
Reference documents Reference letters will be evaluated. Reference letters from the institution/discipline WILL NOT BE required for consideration of interview.
Research/Publications evaluated
Transcripts evaluated
Other file component(s) A report from either an ophthalmologist or optometrist stating the candidate’s visual status, including stereopsis and color vision is highly recommended.

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.

"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"

Interview process

Interview format :



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

Interview evaluation criteria :
Interview components Criteria
Collaboration skills Evaluated
Collegiality Evaluated
Communication skills Evaluated
Health advocacy Evaluated
Interest in the discipline Evaluated
Interest in the program Evaluated
Leadership skills Evaluated
Professionalism Evaluated
Scholarly activities Evaluated
Other interview component(s)  

Information gathered outside of CaRMS application

We do not consider any information gathered outside of the CaRMS application and local interview processes.

Ranking process

The behavior(s) exhibited below during the interview process may prevent an applicant from being ranked by our program :
   
   
   


Program Highlights

Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph's Healthcare serves approximately 2.3 million people in Hamilton, central-south and central-west Ontario. Residents therefore acquire exposure to a variable spectrum of common and less common diseases related to our specialty.

The strengths of the McMaster Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery program are the enthusiastic teaching by the faculty, the family atmosphere that prevails among the staff and the residents, and the early hands on experience in a surgical suite. Research acumen and experience is also a rapidly expanding focus of the training program. Junior residents are matched to a short term and long-term project upon admission into 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.

Applying Competency-Based Practices to Residency Education

Residents entering Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery 

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. 

Competence by Design (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. Each stage will have a series EPA(s) (Entrustrable Professional Activity) with 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. 

All programs implementing CBD will continue to undergo the same rigorous accreditation processes. All CBD programs will continue to lead to Royal College approved certification. Certification for trainees in CBD 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 cbd@royalcollege.ca

Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery at McMaster University is a five-year program. During the first two years, trainees receive Surgical Foundations (SF) training to provide a solid background in the principles of surgery related to Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery. During Surgical Foundations training, residents do two weeks of boot camp with SF, six weeks on-service for the Transition to Discipline stage, three blocks on-service and eight blocks off-service the first year for the Foundations of Discipline stage. The second year of training, the residents are on-service the entire year completing Foundations of Discipline and starting the Core stage of the CBD. Residents are expected to pass the Surgical Foundations examination of the Royal College of Surgeons after they have completed the first two years of the program.  Surgical Foundations started CBD July 1, 2018 and have their own EPAs to complete.

PGY 3 to 5 

The Core stage will continue through your 3rd, 4th and first half of your 5th year.

The emphasis during the PGY3 year is on General Otolaryngology, Pediatric Otolaryngology, Laryngology, Rhinology, Facial Cosmetic and Trauma and in basic Head and Neck/Endocrine Surgery. Also the resident does elective/community rotations for 2 months, one month of the elective rotation must be spent in the community.

The emphasis in the PGY4 year is on Otology, Neurotology, advanced Pediatric Otolaryngology, Rhinology, Facial Plastic and Reconstruction Surgery; as well as, Head and Neck/Endocrine Oncology.  A one-month optional elective rotation can be done upon the approval of the Program Director.

The emphasis in the senior PGY5 year is on Head and Neck/Oncology and Endocrine , Otology, Neurotology and a consolidation in advanced Endoscopic Sinus/Skull base Surgery, Facial Plastic and Reconstruction Surgery and advanced Pediatric Otolaryngology.  

Lectures, journal clubs, rounds are attended by all residents. Temporal bone dissection is attended by our senior residents bi-weekly in our new lab facility. An endoscopic sinus course is attended in the beginning of year three of training. All residents are required to participate in either clinical or basic science research during their training.

Electives: 

Residents are afforded a total of two blocks of elective time. One block in PGY 3 and one in PGY 4. 

 

Subspecialties

The full spectrum of adult and pediatric Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery is represented by our program. General Otolaryngology exposure is available in all teaching hospitals and rotations as well as community based rotations. 

Subspecialty training can be afforded at the following centers:

St. Joseph's Healthcare: Head and Neck Surgical Oncology/Microvascular reconstruction, Otology/Neurotology

Juravinski Cancer Center: Head and Neck Surgical Oncology

McMaster Hospital: Pediatric Otolaryngology, Otology, Rhinology, Skull base surgery

Hamilton General Hospital: Otology, Rhinology, Skull base surgery 

 

Research

Residents will present their research at the Annual Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery Research Day held in the Fall.  Also, residents have opportunities to present their research at national and international conferences.

Seminars

Academic Half Days:
Wednesday mornings city-wide Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Rounds from 7:30-8:30 for all residents, followed by the Surgical Foundations Program for junior residents from 9:00-12 noon (pending change). 

The PGY 3-5 year residents attend Comprehensive Otolaryngologic Curriculum Learning through Interactive Approach (COCLIA) sessions from 14:00-16:00.  COCLIA is a novel teaching tool designed to help residents systematically acquire Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery knowledge.  Based on adult learning principles, the program provides a discussion platform for basic anatomy, physiology, diagnosis, management and decision-making of over 100 major Otolaryngology topics.  This is a resident-driven teaching session.  Following COCLIA is a Teaching Session led by staff from 16:00-18:00 for all residents.

Examination

- In-House oral and written exams every six months for PGY 2-5 residents and yearly for first year residents.

- National In-Training (NITE) exam annually (written) is for PGY 2-5 residents in December.

- Royal College exam for PGY5 is in the Fall.

- Surgical Foundations exam of Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in PGY2 is in the Fall.


Training Sites

Resources 

Electronic resources are available through the Department of Surgery and the Teaching Hospital's Libraries.

Affiliated Sites of Training:

  • St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton
  • Juravinsinki Cancer Center
  • Hamilton General Hospital
  • McMaster Hospital 
  • Cambridge Hospital*
  • Guelph Hospital*

*Community affiliated practice site

 

Description

The Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery service functions out of both the Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare with different areas of emphasis at each centre.  Current faculty consists of 11 full-time Otolaryngologists and 12 adjunctive faculties from the surrounding community sites that also provide teaching. The sub-specialty interests of the faculty include otology, neuro-otology, pediatric otolaryngology, head and neck surgical oncology, facial plastic and microvascular reconstructive surgery, facial cosmetic surgery, and rhinology. Adjunctive appointees to the Department have expertise in head and neck surgical oncology, rhinology, facial plastics, and maxillofacial trauma, vestibular medicine and communicative disorders.


Summary of changes

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