University of Ottawa - Anatomical Pathology - Ottawa

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

Last approved on October 07, 2021

Summary of changes

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria

Dr. Bibianna Purgina
Pathology and Laboratory Medicine 
451 Smyth Road 
University of Ottawa
Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 8M5
(613) 562-5422
Anatomical Pathology Residency Program website

Program Contacts

Anatomical Pathology program
Dr. Bibianna Purgina, MD, FRCPC
Program Director, Anatomical Pathology Program
(613) 562-5422

Ms. Sheila Schnupp
Program Admin: Anatomical Pathology Program
(613) 562-5422

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

Candidates may wish to describe important achievements, extracurricular activities, personal goals, during residency, etc. Maximum 500 words.

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

Files are reviewed by the Program Director and a faculty member of the RPC with final input from the Residency Program Committee.


March 22-March 26, 2021

Only selected candidates will be contacted for an interview.

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
Interview process The interviews will start with a welcome meeting with the Program Director and the Chairman of the department. The candidates will then meet individually with the Program Director, 2-3 faculty members of the RPC, who are members of the selection committee and the Chief Resident on a Multiple Mini-Interview set up. The interview process assesses the candidates CanMEDS roles (Medical knowledge, Professionalism, Collaboration, Communication, Manager and Advocacy roles as physicians) and the candidates’ interest in the Ottawa program. The candidates are scored on a 1-5 scale (5 being excellent) on each of these CanMEDS roles by each members. Each interview will last about 30 minutes with each member of the team. At the end of the interview the candidate will be given a tour of the facilities.

Selection Criteria

After the initial selection process, the files are sent to the program director (PD) and the residency coordinator for their review. The candidates are scored on a 1-5 scale (5being excellent) individually by the PD and the program coordinator. The things that are primarily looked for in this selection process are candidates’ interest in the field, recent exposure and experience, scholarly activities and letters of references.

Program goals

Upon completion of training, a resident is expected to be a competent specialist in Anatomical Pathology capable of assuming a consultant’s role in the specialty. The resident must acquire a working knowledge of the theoretical basis of the specialty, including its foundations in the basic medical sciences and research. Residents must demonstrate the requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes for effective patient-centred care and service to a diverse population. In all aspects of specialist practice, the graduate must be able to address issues of gender, sexual orientation, age, culture, ethnicity and ethics in a professional manner. 

At the completion of training, the resident will have acquired the following competencies and will function effectively as a:

Medical Expert, Communicator, Collaborator, Leader, Health Advocate

Selection process goals

The program would like to attract applicants who have a genuine interest anatomic pathology, as evidenced by previous pathology elective rotations or observerships, past or upcoming, with strong evaluations from pathology electives, and at least one letter of reference from a pathologist.

The applicant should also have a groad and well-rounded medical knowledge (strong medical school performance +/- exam scores) along with excellent written and spoken English skills and non-verbal communication skills. Evidence of research and teaching ability will be an asset.  Personality attributes such as collegiality, teamwork skills, leadership skills, conflict management ability, and time management skills as professionalism skills (including ethics, judgement, resilience, punctuality and responsibility) are definite assets.


File review process

Review team composition : The Selection Committee is composed of the Program Director, the Chief Resident and three members of the Residency Program Committee.

Average number of applications received by our program in the last five years : 0 - 50

Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 76 - 100 %

Evaluation criteria :
File component Criteria
CV We do evaluate this file component
Electives We do evaluate this file component
Extra-curricular We do evaluate this file component
Leadership skills We do evaluate this file component
MSPRs We do evaluate this file component
Personal letters We do evaluate this file component
Reference documents We do evaluate this file component
Research/Publications We do evaluate this file component
Transcripts We do evaluate this file component

Elective criteria

We encourage applicants to have completed at least one elective in our discipline.
We do not require applicants to have done onsite electives.

Interview process

Interview format :

We may accommodate requests to re-schedule interviews for applicants due to weather, technology failure, or unforeseen circumstances.

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

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


Anatomical Pathology

Anatomical Pathology | Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine | University of Ottawa

The program is run by a dedicated Program Director  and Department Chair who are interested in maintaining excellence in resident education.  An outstanding and dedicated teaching staff some of who are nationally or internationally recognized.  On Academic Days the residents are provided with light lunch during different types of educational sessions given by staff. The program has also instituted a Pathology Retreat for residents, which is done once a year at location outside the hospital to discuss resident well beings and include leadership, communication and collaboration development activities. To promote resident well-being and professionalism, the program has developed and implemented a guideline for Professionalism. Various other social activities are organized throughout the year.  We have a full day Orientation Day for PGY1 and in-coming PGY2 and other residents to provide, among others, opportunity to know the program and its structure and to meet the members of the RPC over lunch.

The program offers  travel fund to all residents with  every year to go to specialty meetings, conferences and courses with the approval of the Program Director.  They also receive a stipend for activities related to wellness.


The program rolled out the Competency by Design on July 1st, 2019.  More information can be found on our website at:



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.

Program Curriculum-Anatomical Pathology


Anatomical Pathology | Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine | University of Ottawa

The University of Ottawa provides a 5-year comprehensive training in Anatomical Pathology (AP), leading to eligibility to write the Royal College specialty examinations and to practice as a competent pathologist. According to the newly adapted Royal College Competency-By-Design (CBD) pathway, the 5-year training is divided into 4 Stages, namely, Transition to Discipline (TTD), Foundation (F), Core (C) and Transition to Practice (TTP) of the CBD pathway (please, click for details). Throughout the 5 years, there is a weekly academic day (whole day Monday) dedicated to formal lectures, seminars, and research: this is protected time for residents, i.e. no service duties. The department annually sponsors an active visiting professor program attracting world-class pathologists and scientists. A journal club is held monthly. The program emphasizes heavily on the CanMEDS roles in keeping with the newly implemented CBD-model with close monitoring of work-based practice assessments/evaluations of residents' clinical and other academic performances with annual Multi-Source Feedback mechanism for all residents using electronic platforms.

The Department offers Pathology Laboratory Medicine Rounds (PALM), held every other week for both faculty and residents. Senior residents are also expected to actively take part in these rounds. Residents attend a number of conferences throughout the year and are encouraged to make presentations at national and international meetings. Residents are required to play Champions of CanMEDS Roles and give a presentation at a Lunch and Learn session. The Curriculum Map offers dedicated research time, electives and in-depth exposure to subspecialties ensuring adequate exposure to achieve the Entrustable Professional Activities (EPA) of all the Stages of training. The program is based on a 13-block lunar calendar, the majority of the rotations being 1-3 blocks (each block is 4 weeks) in duration. The residents’ progress is closely monitored by the Clinical Competence Committee (CCC) during the various rotations with graded responsibilities and teaching sessions, and by a formal practice written & oral examination, once a year in addition to end of rotation practice tests. Residents are required to write the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Resident-In-Service-Exam (RISE) each year.


The program rolled out the Competency by Design on July 1st, 2019.  More information can be found on our website at:

The different stages in residency are:

Transition to Discipline (TTD) (2 blocks)

This "new" stage emphasizes the orientation and assessment of new trainees arriving from different medical schools and programs (including outside of Canada).

Foundation (F) (10 blocks)

This stage covers broad-based competencies that every trainee must acquire before moving on to more advanced, discipline-specific competencies.

Core (C) (44 blocks)

The core competencies that make up the majority of a discipline.

Transition to Practice (TTP) (10 blocks)

In this stage, the senior trainee should demonstrate readiness to make the transition to autonomous practice.


Training Sites

Pathology Resources

Since the Eastern Ontario Regional Laboratory Association amalgamation, the majority of the basic anatomical pathology training, although not exclusive, is at the General Campus with subspecialty training in cardiac and neuropathology at the Civic Campus.  The OttawaHospital is comprised if three campuses: General, Civic and Riverside.  The General and Civic campuses are both active treatment hospitals of 850 and 530 beds, respectively.  The workload per year at the OttawaHospital consists of approx. 40, 000-50, 000 surgicals, 200 autopsies, 600 Forensic Pathology Autopsies and 20, 000-25, 000 Cytology specimens.  The Children’s Hospital of EasternOntario opened in 1974, and is the major university facility for training in pediatrics and pediatric pathology.

All three hospitals have modern molecular diagnostics facilities, as well as, computers with access to the internet, web-based hospital health records, radiology images and Lab reports.  Dragon voice recognition software is used for dictation of reports.  Digital imaging facilities are readily available.

The department has excellent facilities for routine and special stains, electron microscopy, and a wide array of immunopathology methods and reagents.  There is extensive automation of technical procedures.  Comprehensive services are offered in medical biochemistry, medical microbiology, and hematology as befits a large tertiary care centre.  The Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre is based at the General Campus, and this provides a large base of referral material from Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec.  There is close collaboration with the department of medical genetics that is based at the Children’s Hospital.  Major institutions that have a bearing on resident education is summarized below:

  • The Ottawa Hospital-General Campus, an 850 bed general hospital
  • The Ottawa Hospital-Civic Campus, a 530 bed general hospital
  • University of Ottawa Heart Institute
  • Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, a 150 bed children’s hospital
  • Ottawa Centre of the Canadian Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service
  • Public Health Laboratory
  • Private Laboratory

Summary of changes

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