McGill University - Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery - Montreal

2022 R-1 Main Residency Match - first iteration
Regular Stream for All

Last approved on January 26, 2022

Summary of changes

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria

Dr. Alex Mlynarek
Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery 
McGill University Health Centre (RVH) 
1001 Decarie Blvd., Rm D05.5711
Montreal , Quebec, H4A 3J1
(514) 843-2820
(514) 843-1403
McGill Post Graduate Medical Education.

Program Contacts

Dr. Keith Richardson
Program Director

Program Contact
Denise Antginas
Program Administrator
514-934-1934, Ext. 32820

Important Information

Applying competency-based practices to residency education


Residents entering Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery program in July 2016 and beyond will experience competency-based training. 

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 Competency 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.

OTL Head and Neck program 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









General Instructions

Program application language: Either English or French

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
• Canadian Permanent Resident Card (both sides of card)

PROOF OF CITIZENSHIP must be submitted with each application.

  • A copy of Canadian Birth Certificate or a copy of Certificate of Canadian Citizenship


  • A copy of Permanent Resident Card (copy of both sides of the card) OR a copy of an IMM 5292, IMM 1000, IMM 5688;
    NB: the Permanent Resident card can be expired.


  • A copy of Citizenship Card (copy of both sides of the card)

P.S: the passport is not an acceptable proof of citizenship.

Each year, all candidates applying in a CaRMS match must provide proof of valid current citizenship or permanent resident status. As of the 2021 R-1 match cycle, CaRMS is partnering with third-party organizations to automate the citizenship/legal status verification, which is usually completed by Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) offices.

if an applicant has had their citizenship/legal status documentation verified by any of the following organizations for the current R-1 match, the applicant will not be required to assign a proof of citizenship/PR document (as pictured in the screenshot below).

  • Medical Council of Canada (MCC)
  • British Columbia's Clinical Assessment Program (BC-CAP)
  • Bureau de coopération interuniversitaire (BCI)
  • Alberta International Medical Graduate Program (AIMG)

For further information, please check the following link on CaRMS:

Reference documents
Number requested: 3

Three letters of reference are required. Reference letters from residents will not be accepted. If the applicant has completed an elective rotation in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, they would ideally submit a letter of reference from a specialist in our field. However, given the circumstances limiting elective rotations, letters from non-otolaryngology will be accepted.


Additional documents
[Note: Photograph is used as memory aid only]

Required - used for memory aid

Medical School Transcript 

Order from your Registrar

Medical Student Performance Record 

Order from your Dean's office

Personal Letter 
Word count
Minimum : None
Maximum : None

A personal letter should accompany all application forms outlining the candidate's reason for selecting otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery as his/her specialty as well as future plans upon completion of training.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination status/Declaration of medical exemption 

By the DEADLINE of March 7, 2022, at 12:00 (noon) ET, applicants must upload and assign within their CaRMS Online application, one of the following two documents.

  • Proof of adequate protection against COVID-19 (e.g. QR code from a vaccination passport issued by a government authority, or equivalent proof). Acceptable proof is identified within the Directive PDF located on the official Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services website.


  • A completed COVID-19 Declaration of Medical Exemption. By completing this declaration, uploading it, and assigning it to a Québec program, the applicant agrees to provide a copy of their official COVID-19 medical contraindication certificate and/or medical reason to the applicable faculty no later than seven days after match day. This medical contraindication certificate and/or medical reason must be approved by a licenced health professional who is authorized to make a diagnosis as described in the Directive PDF located on the official Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services website and registered in the vaccination register maintained by the Minister of Health and Social Services of Quebec.

Additional required IMG documents
Lettre de reconnaissance de l'équivalence du diplôme MD 

For IMGs: In addition to a copy of your Medical Degree, it isnecessary to provide the equivalence letter from the CMQ (Collège des médecins du Québec). Please provide the results of the exams that permitted you to have your medical degree recognized and approved by the CMQ.

MCCQE I (Medical Council of Canada Qualifiying Examination Part 1 and one of the following:

  • MCCQE Part II (Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part 2)
  • NAC-OSCE - National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).

USMLE part I and part II (if available).



  • March 4, 2022

Interview date: Friday, March 4, 2022

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
All applicants are thoroughly reviewed by both staff and residents. The interview consists of 4-6 short stations of approximately 15 minutes each, led by various members of our team, including the Chairman and Program Director. Candidates should expect questions pertaining to interest in Otolaryngology, previous academic performance and achievements and personal interests and activities. 



Selection Criteria 

Program goals

  • To provide the finest possible educational experience for our trainees.
  • To provide "Best Practice" patient care, emphasizing timeliness and safety.
  • The care that we provide will be supported by the latest advances and our own original research. 
  • We will provide a setting that is supportive and welcoming for patients, staff and trainees.
  • We will continue to be dynamic leaders in teaching, mentoring and coaching. 

Selection process goals

We are looking for applicants with a keen interest in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery who have demonstrated clinical excellence, strong ethical and professional standards and exceptional interpersonal skill throughout their medical education. Intellectual curiosity as demonstrated through research endevours and intiative in their own learning, patient care and teaching of others are highly viewed upon. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we are looking for individuals who have demonstrated strong leadership abilities, while collaborating and integrating well within a team in both clinical and non-clnical settings.

Reference letters obtained from clinical preceptors should ideally comment on interest and proficiency in the speciality and include an assessment of clinical and technical skills. Additional comments on interpersonal and interprofessional skills and sense of responsibility are also appreciated. 

candidates applying to our program must provide proof in writing from a certified optometrist, preferably an
ophthalmologist, that he/she has successfully passed a depth perception test.

File review process

Review team composition : Our review is composed of the program director, resident leaders, program administrator and designated faculty members.

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

Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 26 - 50 %
Varies per year.

Evaluation criteria :
File component Criteria
CV All components of the CV are thoroughly reviewed.
Electives Electives
Examinations We do not evaluate this file component.
Extra-curricular Volunteering (medical and non medical) and mentoring.
Leadership skills Holding office in a student government, club or organization.
MSPRs Demonstrated interpersonal skills.
Personal letters General sense of self.
Reference documents Positive interaction with colleagues and patients by well-respected leaders.
Research/Publications Interest in participating in future research projects and proof of ability to multitask.
Transcripts Academic performance.

Elective criteria

We encourage applicants to have completed at least one elective in our discipline.

Interview process

Interview format :

We do not re-schedule interviews for applicants after we have completed the scheduling process.

Interview evaluation criteria :
Interview components Criteria
Collaboration skills Working in a team environment.
Collegiality Behaviour, attitude, ability to work well with others.
Communication skills Ability to speak and write in English.
Health advocacy Demonstrate ability to advocate for patients.
Interest in the discipline Demonstrated ability to be a compassionate Otolaryngologist.
Interest in the program Demonstrated interest in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
Leadership skills Involvement in the continuous development and improvement of patient care.
Professionalism Correspondence with staff and resident leaders.
Scholarly activities We do not evaluate this interview component.
Other interview component(s) Three letters of reference are required. Reference letters from residents will not be accepted.

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

Choosing a program and city to call “home” for the next 5 years is an exciting, yet challenging task. We have collated below a few program highlights. We have built a small community of tight-knit residents and faculty, all of which are easily approachable and would be happy to talk with upcoming applicants should they have any additional questions as they navigate the CaRMS application process.

  1. Teaching curriculum and academic excellence

McGill Otolaryngology is a leader in medical education, with multiple simulation courses devised to improve our residents’ comfort level with various surgical procedures. Among others, a temporal bone drilling course is offered to residents every winter, and we host the annual Endoscopic Sinus Surgery masterclass led by Dr. Marc Tewfik. Residents have weekly protected half days on Friday mornings, covering a broad range of otolaryngology topics. Additionally, we hold weekly Grand Rounds, featuring visiting professors, subspecialty panels and journal club discussions on groundbreaking research. Our program follows the CBME (competency based medical education) approach. An additional strength of our program is the rich informal teaching we benefit from throughout our clinical rotations, working alongside dynamic and highly knowledgeable staff who love to teach and are actively involved in our learning.

  1. Surgical volume and exposure

McGill Otolaryngology is a well-balanced surgical program, with great exposure across all Otolaryngology subspecialties. We serve a broad patient population with complex and challenging pathologies, allowing ample hands-on experience to train highly skilled surgeons comfortable with a wide range of surgical procedures, ranging from simple “bread-and-butter” procedures to intricate subspecialty otolaryngology surgeries.

  1. Research

Our program is highly supportive of residents wishing to lead or be involved in impactful research endeavors. We benefit from both formal and informal mentorship from well-respected academic leaders in our field, 3 months of dedicated research rotations and funding for presentations at national and international conferences. Additionally, a newly founded basic science and research methodology course has been implemented in our junior year to further strengthen our foundational knowledge. Residents are encouraged to present their research projects at our Annual Resident Research Day.

  1. Our team

Perhaps the greatest strength of our program is the supportive and welcoming learning environment our team has created. We are a diverse, yet tight-knit community of trainees and faculty, who share a strong culture of mentorship both inside and outside of the hospital. We host frequent departmental events, including an annual outdoor gathering to welcome our junior residents and a weekend retreat in Mont-Tremblant featuring enriching talks on the latest updates in our field, afternoon ski on some of Quebec’s finest slopes, and gourmet banquet dinners.

  1. Our city

Our program is located in beautiful and vibrant Montreal, Quebec. The city is home to a diverse art scene, charming alleyways, outdoor markets, independent coffee shops, microbreweries and rooftop terraces. Cost of living is surprisingly affordable compared to other large Canadian cities. What we spare in rent, we get to spend exploring Montreal’s world-renowned food scene, from flavourful food trucks to high-end tables. Our downtown core is centered next to beautiful Mount Royal, an urban oasis of lush greens, tortuous running and biking baths and a mountain-top Belvedere with breathtaking views of our city landscape. Montrealers are a friendly, welcoming and diverse community, with a shared love of food, art and outdoor activities. Indeed, Montreal also caters to the adventurous soul and outdoor enthusiast, being only a short drive away from many of Quebec’s stunningly serene mountains and lakes, for peaceful weekend escapes from the city’s hustle and bustle!

  1. Our training sites

We are fortunate to train in brand new, state-of-the-art facilities in and around downtown Montreal. Most of our rotations are completed at the new McGill University Health Centre (merger of the former Royal Victoria Hospital and Montreal Children’s Hospital), and the Jewish General Hospital. We additionally have 3-months of community rotations at peripheral sites, and we are given the opportunity to participate in community outreach in our Northern Territories.


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.

Curriculum Overview


Our PGY1 year (Surgical Foundations) consists mainly of rotations in otolaryngology-related fields, including: anesthesiology, critical care medicine, general surgery, plastic surgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery and neurosurgery. We also benefit from 3 months of early otolaryngology exposure, allowing us to integrate the resident group and develop a strong knowledge base in commonly encountered otolaryngology topics.


Whereas most of our PGY1 is invested familiarizing ourselves with the hospitals and getting the lay of the land, as of PGY2, we are on ENT full-time. Our PGY2 year is perhaps the busiest, but we rapidly acquire practical knowledge allowing us to manage a variety of common otolaryngology problems. We are entrusted with a lot of responsibility, yet have full support from our staff and senior residents who are always only a phone call, text, or door knock away for any questions, concerns or help with procedures. Plus, our call system has a senior second-on-call to add an extra level of support!


PGY3 is when we graduate “juniorship”, and now focus mainly on quality operative and learning exposure. While rotating on pediatric otolaryngology, we are the most senior resident on service and get to assume the lead role in the OR across a broad range of specialties (from bread-and-butter septoplasties and middle ear surgeries all the way up to complex airway reconstructions). On the adult side, our year is tailored toward building core surgical skills, gaining exposure to interesting and complex pathologies, and getting involved in teaching junior residents and medical students. The year features a 5-week block in cosmetic facial plastic surgery, a series of valuable in-house and external courses (temporal bone, sinus, and advanced airway surgery), as well as 3 months of dedicated research time, where we are offered the resources and connections needed to carry out impactful and rewarding projects.

PGY4 and PGY5

Our PGY4 and PGY5 years consist of furthering independent learning, improving surgical skills and developing leadership responsibilities. Residents now considered fully-fledged seniors rotate between various subspecialties, focusing further on otology, rhinology and laryngology subspecialty clinics and ORs. We also increase our exposure to community practice, with up to 4 elective rotations during the PGY4 year. These may be chosen at the resident’s area of interest with approval from the Program Director in sites throughout the province or at other Canadian university centers.

As experienced by residents.


Training Sites


-McGill University Health Center (RVH-Glen Site)

-Montreal Neurologic Institute

-Jewish General Hospital

-Montreal Children's Hospital (Glen site)

-McGill affiliated laboratories

-community-based rotations (Lakeshore General/Verdun Hospital) and Northern Quebec

Summary of changes

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