Western University - Neurology - London

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

Last approved on October 22, 2021

Summary of changes

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria

Dr. Anita Florendo-Cumbermack
Clinical Neurological Sciences 
London Health Sciences Centre  
339 Windermere Rd, Room B7-005
London, , Ontario, N6A 5A5
CNS Website

Program Contacts

Lisa Baker-Spiller
Medical Education Coordinator

General Instructions

Program application language: English

All applications will be acknowledged via email.

Please direct questions about the application/interview process to Lisa Baker-Spiller:

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 current citizenship or permanent resident status must be provided by submitting one of the following verifications to CaRMS by File Review Opening Date (January 31, 2022). (Photocopies acceptable). No other forms of verification are acceptable:

  1. Notarized photocopy of Birth Certificate issued by an authority in Canada with any photo ID, or
  2. Notarized photocopy of Canadian Passport, or
  3. Notarized photocopy of Canadian citizenship certificate, Record of Landing; or
  4. Notarized photocopy of Permanent Resident Card/Canadian Citizen Card – copies of both sides of card must be provided and legible.
Reference documents
Number requested: 3

3 letters of reference are required. These should be from academic clinicians or scientists who know the candidate well and are able to comment on interest in neurology, clinical proficiency, knowledge, motivation, and interpersonal skills. 

Additional documents
Medical School Transcript 

Request from your registrar's office.

Medical Student Performance Record 

Request from your Dean's office.

Personal Letter 
Word count
Minimum : None
Maximum : None

We require a personal letter which describes the student's background and interest, their reason for choosing to enter a Neurology residency program and what their goals are for the future.  The letter should describe why they are choosing to apply to the program at Western and why they feel they would be a good fit for the program.  The letter should be no more than 1000 words.

Optional - will be reviewed
Custom Résumé / CV 

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 10, 2022
Interviews will be held virtually on Thursday, March 10th. 

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
Candidates chosen for interview will meet with two panels; one comprised of the Program Director and faculty members and the other of residents in the program. 


Selection Criteria

The Neurology Program at Western seeks candidates who display the following:

  • Demonstrated interest in neurology
  • Aptitude and commitment to learning
  • Outstanding professionalism and work ethic
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Evidence of strong interpersonal skills and ability to work well in a team setting
  • Strong academic record


Program goals

The Neurology Residency Program at Western aims to provide an exceptional learning environment and mentorship to each trainee.  The Program is designed to ensure that every resident will gain the appropriate educational experiences to allow them to successfully complete program objectives and the Royal College examination, and to be confidently prepared for independent practice.  

The program goals and objectives are written specifically for the Neurology Residency Training Program at Western University and are based on the CanMEDS 2015 roles and reflect the Objectives of Training and the Specialty requirements of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.  


Selection process goals

Successful applicants will have demonstrated interest, aptitude and commitment to neurology through their application and via the interview process.  Professionalism and strong interpersonal and communication skills are considered to be essential attributes.

The Neurology Program at Western is a highly collaborative and collegial program, and as such, successful candidates will demonstrate a cooperative and collegial nature.

File review process

Review team composition : The review team is a subcommittee of the RPC and is comprised of the Program Director, faculty members and residents.

Average number of applications received by our program in the last five years : 51 - 200
The program usually receives between 40-60 applications per year.

Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 76 - 100 %

Evaluation criteria :
File component Criteria
CV Review of background including academics, work, volunteer, and research experience
Electives We do not consider elective choice when screening applications.
Examinations We do not evaluate this file component.
Extra-curricular Participation in volunteer work or other extra-curricular activities
Leadership skills Demonstrated leadership skills
MSPRs Evidence of professionalism and a successful academic career
Personal letters Interest in neurology at Western and strong written communication skills
Reference documents Strong reference letters
Research/Publications Evidence of scholarly activities, which may include teaching, quality improvement initiatives, education innovations, and research
Transcripts Evidence of strong academic performance

Elective criteria

We do not consider elective choices when screening applications.
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 Evidence of effective collaboration in team interactions
Collegiality Demonstrated collegiality during interactions with all team members
Communication skills Able to communicate in an effective and clear manner
Health advocacy Awareness of the importance of health advocacy in the role of a physician
Interest in the discipline Demonstrated strong interest in neurology
Interest in the program Knowledge of the neurology program at Western
Leadership skills Evidence of effective leadership skills
Professionalism Demonstrated professionalism and respect towards review team and fellow applicants
Scholarly activities Evidence of interest and aptitude for scholarly activity

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

  • Collegial learning environment with outstanding clinical teachers strongly supportive of residents
  • Wide-ranging and extensive outpatient experiences incorporating all the neurology subspecialties
  • Longitudinal clinics to gain experience in long-term follow-up of patients with neurological disease
  • Excellent exposure to general neurology through the Urgent Neurology Clinic as well as community electives
  • Extensive involvement in acute stroke management, including tPA and interventional thrombectomy
  • Very highly qualified faculty research mentors keen to supervise resident research projects
  • Great opportunities for electives locally, nationally and internationally 
  • Highly livable, affordable city with excellent cultural and recreational opportunities

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.

Neurology residency programs across Canada transitioned to Competency Based Medical Education (CBME) on July 1, 2020. The Neurology program at Western University adapted its curriculum to ensure achievement of the competencies and specialty requirements set out by the requirements of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and thus successfully transitioned to CBME.

A general outline of the 5-year program is below:


The PGY-1 year begins with 2-3 introductory blocks on the neurology home service for achievement of the Transition to Discipline stage requirements and to familiarize residents with the structure and function of the program, the neurology ward, and the hospital environment.   These first blocks also provide ample opportunity to become familiar with Clinical Neurosciences faculty, allied health, and fellow trainees.  In their first year, trainees gain appropriate exposure to disciplines relevant to the practice of neurology, including, but not limited to, internal medicine and its subspecialties, neurosurgery, emergency medicine, and psychiatry.  


The Foundational year consists of further training in medicine subspecialties as well as an opportunity to experience rotations in physical medicine and rehabilitation, palliative care, and sleep medicine.  Second-year residents will participate in the Urgent Neurology Clinic rotation at Victoria Hospital--which offers an introduction to general neurology with the support of and under the direction of a more senior neurology resident--as well as subspecialty outpatient clinics.  


The Core training years will include experience on the inpatient ward, the emergency department and the Urgent Neurology Clinic as well as subspecialty outpatient clinics. Western offers clinics in all the neurology subspecialties, and trainees will learn the approach to diagnosis and management of a broad spectrum of neurological conditions.  On the inpatient wards, trainees will learn the management of neurological emergencies, including stroke, and to develop investigative and treatment plans for patients with acute and chronic neurological disease.  During PGY-3 year, residents begin the Resident Longitudinal Clinic, where they will learn management of patients in a longitudinal fashion.  During the core training years, residents will also gain the required experience in pediatric neurology and neuropathology. Trainees may also be exposed to electroencephalography and electromyography and may develop or enhance interests in basic and clinical research.  Residents oversee monthly Quality Improvement Rounds, selecting cases that focus on system improvements, and analyzing cases with less than ideal outcomes.


The Transition to Practice year is structured such that the trainee assumes the role of junior attending in both the Urgent Neurology Clinic and the inpatient service.  Administrative, teaching and leadership skills are further developed through management of these services.  In their final year of training, residents customize outpatient experiences that meet their educational needs and interests.  Communication skills and counseling techniques continue to develop during this time and the resident prepares to transition to independent practice.




Residents can opt for a Research block or blocks at any time during residency.  Early in training, residents meet with a faculty research coordinator and are encouraged to identify a research project in which they can participate during their PGY-2, 3, and 4 years, with the goal of presenting an abstract at a meeting and publishing a paper.  The annual CNS Research Day offers residents an opportunity to present their research in a collegial, encouraging environment.  Resident research is encouraged and supported through the expertise, supervision, and mentoring by faculty in Clinical Neurological Sciences at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University.

Academic Curriculum

Tuesday mornings offer residents a time-protected academic half-day that begins with CNS Grand Rounds and is followed by seminars that are carefully designed to cover the essential range of basic and clinical science required for neurological practice.  Seminars and workshops cover all the CanMEDS roles. The Medical Expert role is well-represented, with sessions in the diagnosis, investigation, and management of all major neurological diseases.  Residents participate in regular, interactive workshops designed to enhance their communication skills.  Evidence-based neurology sessions are held bi-monthly to enhance residents' critical appraisal skills, an essential element of the CanMEDS communicator role. Neuroanatomy sessions, incorporating case-based, team-based learning, are held on a monthly basis.  Sessions on bioethics, practice management, interdisciplinary teamwork, and preventive medicine in the neurosciences round out the academic curriculum.  An approach of continuous quality improvement is taken with the curriculum, which evolves in response to changes in practice standards and based on resident experience/feedback.

The academic curriculum also includes regular subspecialty noon or morning rounds in epilepsy, movement disorders, stroke, neuromuscular disease, and neuroradiology.   Physical diagnosis rounds focusing on developing solid physical examination skills occur on a monthly basis.  Every effort is made to accommodate resident attendance at these rounds.




Our robust system of assessment includes:

  • biannual OSCEs
  • biannual practice written examinations
  • regular observed history and physicals
  • formal in-training evaluations
  • Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs)

In addition, Neurology at Western has a culture of frequent, in-the-moment feedback to residents from staff.


Training Sites

London Health Sciences Centre, University Hospital: Neurology clinical teaching unit, neurology consult service, inpatient epilepsy monitoring unit, EEG and EMG, outpatient subspecialty clinics

London Health Sciences Centre, Victoria Hospital: Urgent Neurology Clinic, neurology consult service, pediatric neurology (inpatient and outpatient), neuro-oncology (London Regional Cancer Program)

St. Joseph's Health Care: Cognitive neurology clinics

Parkwood Hospital: Neurologic Rehabilitation

Additional Information

Web Sites:

City of London, Ontario -

London Health Science Centre -

Neurology Residency - Clinical Neurological Sciences Department - 

Summary of changes

SUMMARY ID Section Summary of changes Updated on NOTIFY APPLICANTS SECTION NAME Actions