McMaster University - Pediatrics - Hamilton

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

Last approved on January 24, 2022

Summary of changes

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria

Dr. Mohammad Zubairi
McMaster Univeristy 
1280 Main Street West, HSC Room 3N48
Hamilton, Ontario , Ontario, L8S 4K1
905 525-9140 ext 28023
Department Website
McMaster PGME - PGY1 entry programs
McMaster PGME
MacPeds CBME website

Program Contacts

Jessica Dragusica
Program Coordinator

Dr. Dr. Mohammad Zubairi
Program Director

Dr. Bojana Babic
Associate Program Director

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:

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
• 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
Number requested: 3

Three letters of reference are required. (No more than three please). Please note the references should be able to speak about your character and qualities which would make you a good pediatric resident. They do not have to be from a pediatrician. Our preference is that they are from qualified specialists/physicians rather than residents, perhaps incorporating resident input.

Additional documents
Medical School Transcript 

Order from your Registrar.

Medical Student Performance Record 

Provided by your Dean's Office

Personal Letter 
Word count
Minimum : None
Maximum : None

An autobiographical letter is required (maximum 750 words) describing:

  • Why you are considering a career in pediatrics and what experiences have led you to this choice?  
  • What personal qualities do you feel are critical to the practice of pediatrics and how do these compare to your own qualities?
  • How does McMaster's program fit with your learning and professional goals?
  • Are there important things that we should know about you in order that we can fairly consider your application?

The McMaster Pediatrics residency program recognizes the profound social biases and systemic barriers which have contributed to the historic and current underrepresentation of Indigenous and Black individuals within medicine. If you identify as Indigenous or Black, you have the option of answering the following question in 300 additional words. 

  • Describe how your personal identity will shape your future career goals. 

Responses to this question, will be reviewed by the Program Director and a faculty member with lived experience and can be used to positively augment your application. 

[Note: Photograph is used as memory aid only]

Photographs are used as a memory aid only, after the interview process has occurred. 

Conditionally required
Medical School Diploma 

Please note: Required if Medical school has been completed.

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

Reference letters from the institution/ discipline will not be required for consideration of interview.



  • March 1, 2022
  • March 2, 2022
  • March 4, 2022
Interviews will be offered to those applicants considered most suitable for the residency program based on the submitted package.  See Selection Criteria section for more detail. Program will notify all applicants of their status as: selected to interview, on waitlist for an interview, not selected for an interview. Applicants on the waitlist will be notified if and when interview spaces become available.

An email notification of interview status will be sent on February 18, 2022, and CaRMS online updated shortly thereafter.  

Interviews dates for Canadian Medical Graduates are March 1, 2, and 4, 2022

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
Interviews will involve a group session with orientation to this program, a small group question and answer session and opportunity to interact with residents in the program, and individual interviews in the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) format. The process may take up to four hours of a candidate's time. Interview panel generally consists of faculty members, current pediatric residents and members of the hospital family advisory committee. 

Selection Criteria

Residents should have an interest in pediatrics with commitment to consultative, academic or subspecialty practice, rather than primary care.  As a mid-sized residency program there is significant opportunity for independence in the program, as well as flexibility and elective experiences. There is an emphasis on team experience on the pediatric medicine ward as well as community pediatrics exposure within the program. Residents have opportunity for progressive responsibility as they progress through competency-based stages (Transition to Discipline, Foundations, Core, and Transition to Practice).  

Successful candidates should demonstrate clinical competence, academic aptitude, excellent communication and collaboration skills, have a keen interest in child health and commitment to the care of children. They should be starting to develop competencies as outlined by the CanMEDS 2015 framework.

Program goals

Mission: To foster expert and clinically excellent pediatiricians who care for the children of Southern Ontario.

Goals: To train expert clinicians in the care of children. To produce clinical leaders with skills in education, advocacy and research in the field of Pediatrics. To foster a supportive environment in which resident wellness is cultivated.

Our program is committed to providing the best education possible for our residents, teaching skills in the areas of clinical medicine, research and education.

Selection process goals

Identify applicants who have a demonstrated interest in pediatrics and those who will develop into excellent pediatricians.

Identify applicants who are active and engaged learners, and who work well in multi-disciplinary environments.

Identify applicants who show skill and empathy in the care of children and their families, as well as their social contexts.

Identify applicants who show potential in becoming innovators in research, advocacy and education.

File review process

Review team composition : Our file review team is composed of Program Director, Associate Program Director, Program Administrators, Chief residents, members of the Residency Program Committee as well as selected residents and faculty.

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

Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 51 - 75 %

Evaluation criteria :
File component Criteria
CV We evaluate content including scholarly work, advocacy, medical education, leadership, community involvement, and electives (recognizing the limitations for external electives due to pandemic restrictions) as well as other methods of demonstrating interest/commitment to pediatrics.
Electives Clinical rotations, in particular in pediatrics or related disciplines recognizing the limitations for external electives due to pandemic restrictions.
Examinations We do not evaluate this file component.
Extra-curricular Community involvement, advocacy, leadership and personal interests
Leadership skills Optional. Holds leadership position in student or community organizations
MSPRs Professionalism, interpersonal skills and academic aptitude
Personal letters Interest in specialty, program and location
Reference documents Professionalism, interpersonal skills, demonstrated interest in pediatrics
Research/Publications Shows potential and interest in research and other scholarly pursuits, dedication to longitudinal projects
Transcripts Academic performance

Elective criteria

We recognize the restrictions that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on many candidates in terms of limited opportunities to travel or engage in external electives and certainly account for this during our selection process.
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 Proven ability to work and provide patient care in a multi-disciplinary environment
Collegiality Demonstrates ability to navigate inter professional conflict and interactions respectfully
Communication skills Oral and written abilities in English
Health advocacy Understanding of advocacy principles and their application to clinical environment and broader community
Interest in the discipline Demonstrated interest in the care of children and their families
Interest in the program Interest in living in Southern Ontario, and knowledge/interest in the program
Leadership skills Demonstrates skills in organization, team management and/or conflict resolution
Professionalism Correspondence and interactions with faculty, residents and administrative staff
Scholarly activities We do not evaluate this interview component
Other interview component(s) Learner self assessment, specially demonstrates the ability to reflect on past experiences and learn from them.

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

Welcome to the McMaster University Pediatric Residency Program! The program is committed to providing exceptional, flexible training in clinical pediatrics, advocacy, scholarly work and education. Residents benefit from our faculty's collegial approach and broad expertise, enabling trainees to thrive as they prepare for a career in pediatric medicine or its subspecialties. The Pediatric Residency Program accepts 9-12 residents per year from various entry streams.

Residents play a pivotal role, alongside the faculty, to continue to improve and vitalize the program. Their opinions are highly valued and we depend on resident involvement as part of continuous program quality improvement, and to maintain high morale and pride amongst the residents.

Supporting residents is a priority for our faculty who are always available for clinical, research and educational mentorship.  The residents recognize the collegiality of the faculty and close resident-faculty interaction as a major strength of the program. 

McMaster Children’s Hospital serves a population of over 2.3 million people, the second largest catchment area in Ontario. All pediatric subspecialties are represented within our Department of Pediatrics, with a wide variety of expertise amongst faculty.  Residents obtain exposure to a diverse spectrum of diseases from common problems encountered in general pediatrics, to all subspecialties and referrals from surrounding communities.

A unique undergraduate program at McMaster allows extensive involvement by pediatric residents. Many of our residents teach formal clinical skills to the undergraduate class and are acknowledged by students as outstanding teachers.  Residents receive training and coaching in developing their skills as a teacher, and have the opportunity to participate in a rotation in their senior years focused on teaching skills and medical education principles.

McMaster University is the home of many of the world experts in evidence-based medicine. Residents in the training program can expect to receive outstanding formal training and critical appraisal skills through CTU rounds, Academic Half Day, Journal Clubs, subspecialty teaching rounds, morning resident teaching sessions and our unique longitudinal CanMEDS curriculum. Through their clinical rotations, residents learn to use literature in daily management of patients, providing them life long learning skills that will make them better physicians.

Social accountability is emphasized within the program.  McMaster was one of the first pediatric residency programs to initiate a unique Social Pediatrics rotation, with well established connections with community partners and advocacy programs.

There are strong research faculty and supports at McMaster committed to promoting resident scholarly activities. The residency research committee helps to facilitate resident research and scholarly projects and the annual McMaster Child Health research day. There is competitive funding available for resident projects through the Pediatric Residency Program and the Postgraduate Office. There is available protected time for research during the residency program. Funding for annual conferences and learning opportunities is available through the program.

The program is also known for its innovation and leadership in educational scholarship.  Our Social Pediatrics rotation, unique Transition to Senior Resident curriculum, wellness supports and mentorship initiatives are all a result of resident-driven educational scholarship.  Residents benefit from career counselling and transition to practice curriculum throughout all years of training, twice annual resident retreats including an annual overnight retreat, and multiple social and wellness activities throughout the year. We have a robust wellness curriculum with regular 'treats & talks sessions' facilitated by a Resident Affairs counsellor, a unique Resident Support Network and Resident council.  Residents have multiple opportunities in the program to participate in teaching activities, scholarly projects, advocacy, committee work, leadership roles, curriculum development and resident selection.

Along with all pediatric residency programs in Canada, our program transitioned to Competency Based Medical Education in July 2021 with a few years of transitioning experiences for a few years prior.  This curriculum ensures that all residents completing the program receive an excellent foundation in pediatrics that will prepare them for any career they may eventually choose.  The structure of the 4-year program is designed to facilitate graduated responsibility and flexibility in training.   Our program allows for ample elective and selective time throughout the program, allowing residents to address individual learning objectives and prepare themselves for their selected career choice. All residents have elective time in Core and Transition to Practice stages (2nd to 4th year). Many of our residents participate in global health experiences during these electives, with global health training opportunities and mentorship within the department and the university for all residents.  There is also significant flexibility through Integrated Pediatrics (IP) blocks throughout all stages of training, allowing residents to return to clinical areas for more experience and to explore unique supplementary clinical opportunities.

We feel it is essential for residents to be exposed to general consulting pediatric practice in the community setting, thus there are mandatory community rotations in the program. Hamilton has many smaller communities within an hour of the city (including Brampton, Niagara, Kitchener-Waterloo and Brantford), with strong educational links to these communities allowing for valuable learning experiences. 

Program Curriculum

This residency program is for 4 years.

Program length of training does not exceed the Royal College or College of Family Physicians of Canada standard.

Pediatric Training Program: Curriculum

The Pediatric Residency Program is a fully accredited program focusing on providing excellent training in all aspects of pediatrics so that trainees may pursue either community consulting pediatrics or a pediatric subspecialty. The program provides broad-based clinical and academic training in pediatrics with the goal of creating the foundation required for practice of general and subspecialty pediatrics. The program objectives are developed around the 7 CanMEDS roles. 

The work environment is friendly and supportive. The program has a well-established Academic Coach system, along with Competence committee and a variety of mentorship programs to support residents throughout their training. 


Transition to Discipline ~3 blocks

Multiweek orientation 'bootcamp' will provide residents with multiple learning opportunities and a supported transition to residency including:

  • Orientation to program, clinical environment, and McMaster University
  • Clinical orientation and opportunity to practice pediatric history-taking & physical examination skills
  • Recognition and management of common pediatric problems, newborn examination and key foundational clinical skills
  • Opportunities to network and get to know peers, other residents and faculty in relaxed, colleagial setting
  • Introduction to Competency Based Medical Education (CBME) including growth mindset and competence committee, and unique aspects of the program
  • Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP)
  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support Program (PALS)

 Clinical rotations during this stage of training include:

  • Clinical Teaching Unit (CTU) at McMaster Children's Hospital
  • Community pediatrics in local community hospital OR Pediatric Emergency Medicine 
  • An introduction to a pediatric subspecialty - clinics and some inpatient
  • Weekend daytime call shifts on CTU


Foundations of Training ~10-11 blocks

This stage of training will include clinical rotations in the following areas:

  • Clinical Teaching Unit (CTU) at McMaster Children's Hospital
  • Level II Nursery at St Joseph's Healthcare, Hamilton
  • Community Pediatrics, in local community hospital, with focus on Level II nursery care
  • Pediatric Emergency Medicine at McMaster Children's Hospital
  • Pediatric Subspecialties including outpatient clinics and inpatients
    • Pediatric Neurology (4 weeks)
    • Pediatric Rheumatology (2 weeks)
    • Pediatric Infectious Diseases (4 weeks)
    • Pediatric Hematology/Oncology (4 weeks)
  • Pediatric General Surgery (2 weeks)
  • Social Pediatrics with focus on structural/social determinants of health and advocacy skill development
  • Junior Night float blocks (6-8 weeks total)

Curriculum and educational opportunities include:

  • Research/Scholarly Project bootcamp – research methodology and development of a proposal for a scholarly project
  • Teaching skills workshop
  • Neonatal procedural skills workshop
  • Communication skills workshop
  • Critical appraisal, Quality Improvement and Patient Safety curriculum 
  • Simulation training focused on procedural and clinical skills

Core of Discipline ~30 blocks

This is a senior resident stage, with increasing patient care and teaching responsibility as senior resident on the general pediatric ward and providing consultation to the Emergency Room, as well as integration of critical care exposure. This is a time to consolidate the trainee's general pediatric experience with opportunity for more subspecialty rotations as well as generous elective and 'Integrated Pediatric' time, planned in collaboration with the resident's academic coach to meet individual learning goals.

Clinical rotations during this stage of training include:

  • Pediatric Critical Care Medicine (2 blocks total)
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (Level III Nursery) (2 blocks total)
  • Pediatric Emergency Medicine (1 block)
  • Clinical Teaching Unit (CTU) in Senior Resident role (1 block)
  • Community pediatrics in local community hospital including rural/remote opportunities
  • Anaesthesia (2 weeks)
  • Pediatric mental health (2-4 weeks)
  • Pediatric Subspecialties
    • Adolescent medicine (4 weeks)
    • Clinical allergy/immunology (2 weeks)
    • Pediatric Cardiology (4 weeks)
    • Developmental Pediatrics (4 weeks)
    • Pediatric Endocrinology (4 weeks)
    • Pediatric Gastroenterology (4 weeks)
    • Genetics/metabolics (2-4 weeks)
    • Child Maltreatment (4 weeks)
    • Pediatric Nephrology (4 weeks)
    • Pediatric Respirology (4 weeks)
  • Senior Night float in 2 week blocks in both CTU and Subspecialty/Critical Care
  • Electives (2-3 blocks)
  • Integrated Pediatrics - selective opportunities planned in collaboration with resident's Academic Coach to meet individual learning goals

Learning and other clinical activities throughout this stage of training:

  • Support for completion of scholarly project
  • Resident Continuity clinic in academic pediatric medicine or community pediatrics setting
  • Teaching skills and multiple opportunities to engage in teaching junior learners and peers


Transition to Practice (TTP) stage ~7 blocks

Clinical rotations include:

  • Clinical Teaching Unit (CTU) at McMaster Children's Hospital - in role of Junior Attending
  • Quality of Life and Advanced Care team (Pediatric Palliative Care)
  • Pediatric Complex Care
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (Level III Nursery) and Level II Nursery
  • Community pediatrics in local community hospital
  • Senior Night Float in 2 week blocks in both CTU and Subspecialty/Critical Care
  • Electives
  • Integrated Pediatrics - selective opportunities planned in collaboration with resident's Academic Coach to meet individual learning goals

Learning and other clinical activities throughout this stage of training:

  • Resident Continuity clinic in academic pediatric medicine or community pediatrics setting
  • Teaching skills and multiple opportunities to engage in teaching junior learners and peers
  • Patient Safety / Quality Improvement curriculum
  • Formal curriculum to support transition to practice including: practice management, financial aspects and billing, mentorship

Research and Scholarly work

The Residency Program Committee believes research and scholarly work to be an essential part of the residency-training program. It is expected that all pediatric trainees will complete at least one scholarly project during their Foundations and Core stages of training.  Research 'Bootcamp' held throughout Foundations stage will address foundational principles of research as well as a Critical Appraisal curriculum and monthly Research Roundtables support residents in their scholarly work.  Residents may choose to do a short or long-term project on advocacy, quality improvement, medical education, clinical or basic science research. Supervision and mentorship are offered by faculty members and by the Residency Research Committee. Residents may schedule protected research time into their rotations longitudinally or use their Integrated Pediatric selective or elective time to work on their scholarly project. 

Educational Activities

All incoming residents will participate in a multiweek orientation bootcamp, as outlined above to support their transition to residency.

The program provides time for resident learning using a format of seminars, lectures, workshops, interactive discussions and journal clubs. The curriculum is planned by the Residency Program Committee with resident and faculty input.

Protected teaching times include weekly Departmental Grand Rounds, Tuesday morning resident teaching and Academic Half Days on Wednesday afternoons (total of 5.5 hours per week). The curriculum for the Academic Half Day follows a three-year cycle, with spaced repetition, self-assessment opportunities and each session is led by an experienced faculty member.  There are various weekly subspecialty seminars in addition to Journal Clubs, as well as bedside and senior-directed teaching. 

A robust pediatric simulation curriculum runs alongside Academic Half Day for residents in all stages of training exploring acute care scenarios.  Annual skills workshops are also integrated into resident curriculum exploring neonatal procedures, acute care procedures, complex care procedures and management, physical examination and communication skills.   There are monthly small group discussions (LCC-Longitudinal CanMEDS Competencies) that focus on the intrinsic CanMEDS roles in a supported environment.  There is a comprehensive transition to practice curriculum for final year residents that incorporates some dedicated time for exam preparation with faculty.

Residents are encouraged and financially supported to participate in external CME activities with funding for conferences, courses and virtual learning available through the program.


All residents participate in on-call responsibilities through a night float model while at the McMaster site, allowing for better patient continuity and resident wellness.   This includes residents being on call on alternate evenings (4:30pm-8:00am) for typically 2 week blocks spread throughout the year, that minimizes time away from scheduled daytime training experiences and allows for future planning of after hours responsibilities.

Training Sites

Primary Training Sites:

McMaster Children's Hospital - for most rotations

Community sites (Brampton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Niagara, Burlington, Oakville, Brantford)

St. Joseph's Healthcare, Hamilton (Level II nursery)

Ron Joyce Children's Health Centre (developmental pediatrics and mental health)



McMaster Children's Hospital provides primary, secondary and tertiary care to the local community and the region. Most rotations are done at McMaster Children's Hospital, the chidlren's hospital with second largest population catchment in Ontario, serving 2.3 million people. There is a very busy emergency department and general pediatrics wards where common problems are seen in significant volumes.  In addition, all pediatric subspecialties exist at McMaster Children's Hospital which ensure excellent learning opportunities from patient volume and variety. 

Rotations in consultative pediatrics with community pediatricians in outlying communities are an integral part of the program. Funding has allowed us to offer greater community experiences to all residents in the program. We have strong educational alliances with multiple communities including: Kitchener-Waterloo, Brampton, Brantford, St. Catharines/Niagara, Oakville, Burlington, Orillia and Owen Sound.

A Level II nursery rotation is done at St. Joseph's Healthcare, also located in Hamilton.  This nursery is staffed by academic general pediatricians who have experience facilitating excellent learning opportunities for residents, allowing for emerging independence in senior rotations.

Developmental Pediatrics along with mental health services are located nearby at Ron Joyce Children's Health Centre, a newly built state-of-the-art building in 2015 offering the unique co-location of multiple programs and healthcare teams.

Additional Information

Quick Facts

  • Residents may undertake inter-provincial and international electives. Global health mentorship and pre-departure training as well as limited competitive funding for global health electives is available. 
  • A separate stream for one resident per year is available in Kitchener-Waterloo - further details available under Pediatrics-Waterloo CaRMS site.
  • For residents interested in research, they can apply for the Clinical Investigator Program (CIP). CIP training involves 2 years of intense research, in the form of graduate or postdoctoral research studies, that must be coordinated with specialty or subspecialty training plans to fulfill McMaster CIP and Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada training objectives. CIP training provides individualized mentorship in research and promotes the development of broad and specialized research knowledge, skills and attitudes that are important for future clinician investigators. More information is available under Pediatrics - CIP CaRMS site.


Competency-Based Medical Education: Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

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.

CBD uses competencies rather than time as the basis for progression. Residency programs are 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.  Stages of pediatric training are further outlined in the Program Curriculum section as Pediatrics programs across Canada formally launch our CBD curriculum in July 2021.

All programs 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.



Summary of changes

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