University of Saskatchewan - Orthopedic Surgery - Saskatoon

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

Last approved on October 04, 2021

Summary of changes

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria

Dr. David Sauder
Division of Orthopedics 
Room A5512, 103 Hospital Drive 
Royal University Hospital
Saskatoon , Saskatchewan, S7N 0W8
(306) 844-1114
(306) 655-0638
Division of Orthopedic Surgery
Explore the Orthopedic Surgery program at the U of S

Program Contacts

Dr. D. Sauder
Program Director

Judy Classen
Program Administrative Assistant
(306) 844-1114
(306) 655-0638

Important Information

Applicants  are responsible for reviewing the University of Saskatchewan Policies for the R1 Match to determine if they meet all requirements and eligibility criteria. Failure to meet or provide proof of any of the stated requirements or documents may result in an applicant’s file not being reviewed or ranked.

CASPer Test
All applicants must complete the Casper test (Altus Suite). More information is available under Supporting Documentation-CASPer Exam.

Matched applicants must be eligible for an educational register license with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan (CPSS) for a July 1st start date and must maintain eligibility for an educational register license throughout their entire training program. Any delays in providing all required documentation to CPSS may result in the following:

  • delay in issuance of an educational register license and a delay in start of postgraduate training beyond July 1st
  • release from CaRMS match contract

Applicants completing medical education at the University of Montreal, Sherbrooke, Laval, and the University of Ottawa (French stream) are required to submit proof of English language proficiency before the rank order deadline to demonstrate they meet CPSS requirements. More information is available under Supporting Documentation-Language Proficiency.

In order to commence and continue in Postgraduate Medical Education training programs, matched applicants must be eligible for and maintain privileges within the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) as determined by their credentialing process. The SHA requires successful applicants to submit a current criminal record check as part of their pre-resident application for appointment. Applicants with criminal records will be considered on a case by case basis by the College of Medicine in consultation with the SHA.

Resident Boot Camp
All matched applicants must attend a mandatory three-day Resident Boot Camp in late June. The purpose of the Boot Camp is to provide additional support to trainees as they transition to residency by introducing and consolidating baseline skills and knowledge needed to flourish during their residency years. The program will include interactive case-based and hands-on practice sessions. Stipends will be provided to trainees.

Advanced Cardiac Life Support
Matched applicants are required to provide proof of ACLS certification (current as of July 1, 2022) to the PGME office prior to starting their training program. The ACLS course must be endorsed by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and/or the American Heart Association. ACLS training that is not certified by these two organizations and/or is completed entirely through an online course will not be accepted. Applicants are responsible for all costs associated with obtaining ACLS certification.

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
• Passport page showing Canadian Citizenship
• Canadian Permanent Resident Card (both sides of card)
• Canadian Citizenship Card (both sides of card)

All applicants must be Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents at the time of application and must submit a notarized/certified photocopy of one of the documents listed above. Please note that a copy of both sides of the Canadian Citizenship card or Permanent Resident card is required.

No other forms of verification will be accepted. Proof of citizenship must be current when file review opens and expired documents will not be accepted.

Language proficiency
Submit one of the following documents to verify your language proficiency:
• Occupational English Test (OET) - Medicine
• Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) - General

CMG/USMG applicants who completed their medical education in an English medical school in Canada or the US are not required to submit proof of English language proficiency. 

Canadian applicants with medical education from the University of Montreal, Sherbrooke, Laval, and the University of Ottawa (French stream) are required to meet the English language proficiency requirements of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan. Applicants from French-speaking schools are required to complete one of the following language exams, or demonstrate other proof of English proficiency acceptable to CPSS. Applicants who are required to complete a language exam must submit a valid test score to CaRMS by the program rank order deadline. Please note that test scores must be valid as of July 1, 2022. Applicants who do not provide acceptable proof of language proficiency by the program rank order deadline will not be ranked. 

CPSS will accept valid test scores from one of the following language exams:

  • IELTS academic version and achieved a minimum of 7.0 in each of the components; or
  • OET-medicine version and achieved a minimum grade of B; or
  • CELPIP – General and achieved a minimum grade of 9 in all sections.

Alternative proof of language proficiency: CMG applicants attending a French speaking medical school and who completed high school in Canada with instruction entirely in English are required to submit their Canadian high school transcript as part of their CaRMS application if they would like to request an exemption from the CPSS English language requirement.

Applicants should not contact CPSS directly about their eligibility for licensure. Please direct any questions about language requirements or eligibility to

Reference documents
Number requested: 3
Additional documents
[Note: Photograph is used as memory aid only]

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 is encouraged.  Please describe your reasons for wanting to do a residency in orthopedic surgery in two paragraphs or less (approx. 300 or less).

In a separate paragraph please outline why you are applying to the University of Saskatchewan Orthopedic Surgery Residency Training Program.

CASPer exam 

All applicants must complete the Casper test (Altus Suite) - a standardized, two-part online assessment of non-cognitive skills, interpersonal characteristics, and personal values. To complete the Casper test (Altus Suite) visit to create an account and for more information on test dates and requirements, and the Altus Suite assessments. Test dates are also listed under Saskatchewan provincial criteria. Please note these are a limited number of test dates available and no additional tests will be scheduled.

Note: Test scores are only valid for the match cycle in which the exam was taken. If applicants have taken the test in a past match cycle, they must write a new exam for the current match. Applicants who take the test in the 1st iteration of the current match are not eligible to rewrite the test in 2nd iteration.

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 3, 2022
We will formally invite selected candidates for an interview. We ask invited candidates to confirm with the program administrative assistant, as soon as possible, their intention to come to the interview.

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
All interviews will be virtual for the 2022 R1 Match. There will be two interviews conducted by one or two panelists. There will be a social activity the night before, an introductory virtual forum, and a resident chat room(s) during the interview period.

Selection Criteria

Candidates should have a proven interest in orthopedic surgery. This can be demonstrated by electives in orthopedics or related fields.

Three references should be obtained from academic specialists. References should be able to attest to interest and proficiency in the specialty as well as comment on interpersonal and manual skills.

In clerkship, cadidates should demonstrate excellent communication, interpersonal and manual skills.

Program goals

The University of Saskatchewan offers a well-organized comprehensive training program in Orthopedic Surgery as per the Royal College Objectives of Training in Orthpedic Surgery. Our residents will demonstrate exceptional interpersonal skills, clinical skills, research experience and academic excellence. They will be active members of the community, witnessed throught their volunteer efforts.  Our program believes in a positive work/life balance in extracurricular activities.

In addition, we place significant empahsis on team work.

Selection process goals

Identify applicants who have demonstrated ability to interact appropriately with patients and colleagues alike.

Identify applicants interested in Orthopedic Surgery, and those who will develop into exceptional surgeons.

Identify applicants who have demonstrated attributes highlighted in the CanMEDS 2015 roles.

Identify applicants who have demonstrated ability and enthusiasm to learn and are able to adapt to a demanding residency.

File review process

Review team composition : Our team is composed of the program director, 4 faculty and 2 residents.

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

Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 76 - 100 %

Evaluation criteria :
File component Criteria
CV This gives a good overall impression of the candidate.
Electives There should be some electives in orthopedics to demonstrate interest.
Examinations All applicants must complete a CASPer exam to be eligible for consideration.
Extra-curricular Volunteering and achievement are valued.
Leadership skills This can be demonstrated in leading organizations, sports teams or smaller groups.
MSPRs Hard work and clinical acumen.
Personal letters Interest in the specialty and our program location.
Reference documents Aptitude for the specialty, hard work, and interpersonal skills.
Research/Publications Demonstrated initiative and follow through.
Transcripts Academic performance

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.

We will consider candidates that show some interest in the specialty by doing electives in Orthopedic Surgery. Doing electives in other areas of medicine is also looked on favourably. Candidates that have done electives at our site will be given preference.

Due to COVID-19, it is expected and anticipated that elective experiences are greatly affected and appropriate consideration will be taken when reviewing applications. We wish to assure applicants this will not impact the eligibility of their application during the review and selection process.

Interview process

Interview format :

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

Interview evaluation criteria :
Interview components Criteria
Collaboration skills Promotion of high-quality patient care through working in a team environment.
Collegiality Behaviour, attitude, ability to work well with others.
Communication skills Ability to speak and write English. Ability to appropriately convey medical information in a team.
Health advocacy Ability and desire to improve the health of the community.
Interest in the discipline Articulating your desire to train in orthopedic surgery.
Interest in the program Able to express a genuine interest in our program.
Leadership skills Previous experiences demonstrating positive leadership roles.
Professionalism Appropriate interactions with staff and residents.
Scholarly activities Ability to explain previous research experiences.

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

We have a yearly Combined Research Day with the University of Manitoba.   The programs alternate visiting and hosting.  This involves a one-day event with air travel.

We have newly renovated the Orthopedic learning centre with the latest AV technology and WebEX capability.

We currently hold our simulation labs in the new Anatomy lab space.  The College of Medicine is continuing to develop  Surgical Simulation capacity.  

We have a favorable resident to staff ratio fostering a supportive learning environment.

We have many off-service rotations allowing for a broad medical and surgical experience in Surgical Foundations.

Our transition to CBD is going smoothly.

A senior call schedule allows for additional study time.

Every year we have a summer retreat to welcome the new residents held off-site at a faculty's cabin.

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.


The University of Saskatchewan has a very strong history of clinical and didatic teaching.  Daily teaching and weekly grand rounds provide ample learning opportunities for our residents.  Boot camp and surgical simulation curriculum has been implemented to keep pace with the transition to competency based education.  

Transition to Discipline

The Surgical Foundations boot camp runs concurrently with an orthopedic rotation for first two months.    It is a combination of didactic learning and surgical simulation.   Residents will also take the ATLS Course.

In addition to the Surgical Foundations boot camp, the Orthopedics boot camp takes place in the first two weeks.

Surgical Foundations

Surgical Foundations consists of 17 blocks of orthopedics:   Hip and Knee Reconstruction, Orthopedic Trauma, Spine, Pediatric Orthopedics, Sports Medicine and Research.  Off-service rotations include 1 block each of: ICU, Vascular Surgery, Trauma Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Radiology, and Rheumatology.


Residents are based at the Royal University Hospital and Saskatoon City Hospital in Saskatoon where block rotations include Sports Medicine, Upper Extremity, Foot and Ankle, Hip & Knee Reconstruction/Orthopedic Tumour Surgery, Spine Surgery, Pediatric Orthopedics and Trauma Orthopedics.   

During fourth year residents work with surgeons in community practice such as Regina, Prince Albert, Moose Jaw and Lloydminster.   They have 2 blocks of elective time for out-of-province rotations in third year. They have 1 block of knowledge consolidation before their specialty examination.

Transition to Practice

A short period of time before finishing residency focusing on knowledge gaps and developing skills to start independent practice.


Almost every day there are formal scheduled rounds and seminars which are mandatory for all residents.  The format varies from didactic sessions to small group interactive sessions, depending on the faculty member(s) involved.  Our weekly teaching sessions are comprehensive and cover the breadth of orthopedics.  Weekly rounds: Extremity, Fracture, Anatomy/Basic Science, Pediatrics, Spine and Orthopedic Grand Rounds.  In addition we have rounds in: M&M, Pathology, Radiology, Medicine, Anesthesia, and Journal Club.


It is mandatory for residents to be involved in a research project in orthopedics or a related area in their R1, R2, R3 and R4 years.    One project is expected to be a completed manuscript.   The project, at whatever stage of completion, will be presented at the Combined University of Manitoba & University of Saskatchewan Orthopedic Resident Research Day.   There is an annual resident research day for the U of S Department of Surgery where completed papers from all surgical disciplines are presented.  

For all residents there is a protected 1/2 day of research time per week.

Many papers are also presented at the Canadian Orthopaedic Association Annual Meeting and proceed to publication. 

To give the R-5s more study time in preparation for the Royal College examination there is no research requirement.

Training Sites

Saskatoon City Hospital

Royal University Hospital

St. Paul's Hospital

Jim Pattison Children's Hospital

Saskatoon Prairieview Surgical Centre

Saskatoon Surgicentre

Regina Hospitals

Prince Albert Hospital 

Lloydminster Hospital

Moose Jaw Hospital

Northern Medical Services

Offices of the community based faculty

Distributive Learning at the University of Saskatchewan

The College of Medicine, while physically located in Saskatoon, is a provincial resource in attitude and in practice. Postgraduate medical education at the University of Saskatchewan takes seriously its role in supporting quality health care to all people of the province. This means training physicians to meet the needs of, not only urban populations, but also those of rural and remote populations. In so doing, the College of Medicine has developed, and continues to develop, rotations in Regina and other communities. These rotations are designed to provide educational experiences to enhance the resident's knowledge and skills, and take maximum advantage of unique educational opportunities in a diversity of communities. All postgraduate programs are expected to develop and incorporate into their curriculum, rotations in communities other than Saskatoon. The manner in which each program does this is not strictly prescribed by the College of Medicine - but is determined by the Residency Training Committee, taking into consideration the needs of their residents, and the excellent opportunities available in other locations. These rotations continue to evolve as we seek to build stronger and better programs.

Extensive support is available for out of town rotations. The exact nature of this support varies with location and program. The communities involved, individual programs, the College of Medicine, and the Ministry of Health work collaboratively to ensure residents are not financially disadvantaged by the need to relocate.

For residents assigned to short term rotations in Regina, fully furnished private apartments are provided (laundry facilities, wi-fi, cable TV) and are located in close proximity to the Regina General Hospital. Residents who bring their children with them for the duration of their rotation will be housed in family-friendly multi-bedroom apartments.

While all residents are strongly encouraged to take advantage of educational experiences in other communities to ensure a well rounded education, the amount and format of such time is determined by the program committee.  Our program committee feels that limited rotation exposure in Regina would best fit our educational needs.

Additional Information

Additional Comments

We believe the distinguishing strength of our program is to give each resident a great deal of personal attention. This is made possible by our relatively small size and a highly dedicated group of teaching staff.

Summary of changes

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