University of Calgary - Plastic Surgery - Calgary

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

Last approved on January 29, 2022

Summary of changes

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria

Dr. Duncan Nickerson
Foothills Hospital  
Rm 382, 1403 - 29 Street N.W.
Calgary AB T2N 2T9 , Alberta
(403) 944-4317
(403) 944-2840
Section of Plastic Surgery

Program Contacts

Dr. Duncan Nickerson
Program Director

Jessica McIntosh
Program Administrator

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

IELTS, OET or CELPIP is required by CPSA for candidates from medical schools in Quebec except for candidates from McGill and for IMG candidates.  Please check CPSA for ELP updates.

Reference documents
Number requested: 3

We require a minimum of 3 letters of reference.

Additional documents
Custom Résumé / CV 

All applicants are required to submit a CV.

Personal Letter 
Word count
Minimum : None
Maximum : None

We require a personal introduction letter of all applicants no longer than 750 words.

[Note: Photograph is used as memory aid only]

This is required and is used as a memory aid.

Medical School Transcript 

Please order from your registrar

Medical Student Performance Record 

Please order from your Dean’s 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

The Program Administrator will contact selected candidates via e-mail in January/February to arrange for interviews. Applicants must confirm interviews as early as possible and before the indicated deadline on the invitation. This also applies to applicants who wish to decline the invitation.



  • March 8, 2022

Interview Date: March 8, 2022

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
Interviews are by invitation only. The interviews are by committee. The Program will only notify applicants selected for interview by e-mail.

Interviews will be held virtually on Tuesday, March 8, 2022. Details will be circulated closer to the interview date. 

Selection Criteria

Superior academic record.

Demonstrated interest in and involvement with the specialty of Plastic Surgery.

Personal attributes desired of medical professionals. References and documentation supporting above criteria.

Program goals


The goal of the Plastic Surgery Residency Training Program of the University of Calgary is to train competent and thical plastic surgeons. To this end, we offer a minimum five year residency program which integrates CanMEDS competencies into the teaching of plastic surgery.

The Program is looking for academically driven candidates who are eager to take advantage of all opportunities our program has to offer.

Highlights of Calgary's Plastic Surgery Residency Program include enthusiastic teaching faculty, dedicated residency program leadership, tightknit group of resident peers, robust quarterly oral examinations in preparation for the Royal College exam, five state-of-the-art teaching facilities, substantial financial support for travel to applicable conferences and research projects, and strong track record for graduate residents accepted in prestigious fellowships and obtaining desirable jobs after.


Selection process goals

Applicants providing evidence of academic potential in the CaRMS application file will be considered first. This includes achievement in the form of academic standing or awards, scholarship (e.g. research, publication, innovation, etc.), evidence of leadership capacity and experience (e.g. committee memberships), and/or teaching experience.

 Due to COVID and the cancellation of electives, we do not require applicants to have done on-site electives.


File review process

Review team composition : Files are reviewed by the Plastic Surgery Residency Training Committee.

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

Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 0 - 25 %

Evaluation criteria :
File component Criteria
CV a well-rounded CV with an established record of superlative academic performance is essential
Electives Due to COVID and the cancellation of electives, we do not require applicants to have done on-site electives.
Examinations We do not evaluate this file component.
Extra-curricular This is moderately strongly weighted, with an emphasis on how the candidate has acquired leadership
Leadership skills As above
MSPRs We have not found these to be useful in the past as they tend to be bland, generic, and not helpful
Personal letters A well-crafted, non-clichéd personal letter is an asset
Reference documents Strong reference letters from clinical supervisors, and particularly surgeons, are extremely impor
Research/Publications While not by any means required, a track record of meaningful scholarly activity, particularly in jo
Transcripts These are only useful if they are transcripts containing actual marks. Transcripts in the pass/fail

Elective criteria

Due to COVID and the cancellation of electives, we do not require applicants to have done on-site electives.

Interview process

Interview format :

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

Interview evaluation criteria :
Interview components Criteria
Collaboration skills The candidate's experience working in a multidisciplinary team setting will be probed
Collegiality This facet would mostly be drawn from comments in reference letters regarding social skills
Communication skills The ability to respond to diverse questions in a unscripted way will be one of the main criteria assessed
Health advocacy Not specifically evaluated
Interest in the discipline Candidates without an interest in the discipline should not apply
Interest in the program Implied based on having applied to the program.
Leadership skills An impression on this facet is more likely to be formed from file review rather than the interview
Professionalism An impression on this facet is more likely to be formed from file review rather than the interview
Scholarly activities An impression on this facet is more likely to be formed from file review rather than the interview

Information gathered outside of CaRMS application

We do not consider any information gathered outside of the CaRMS application and local interview processes.

Ranking process

The behavior(s) exhibited below during the interview process may prevent an applicant from being ranked by our program :

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 Calgary Plastic Surgery Residency Training Program is a small, preceptor-based program with abundant and varied clinical material. Currently there are eleven residents in the program.



PGY-1 and 2


Rotations are designed to prepare the resident for the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part II and to establish the foundations for managing the surgical patient. Seminars and courses in biostatistics, bioethics, research protocol and critical thinking will be mandatory. The Royal College requires rotations in general surgery, orthopaedic surgery, trauma, ICU and plastic surgery. Rotations in surgical oncology, and ENT are required by the program. Rotations are objective specific to optimize resident experience. Plastic surgery residents are expected to attend all plastic surgery academic rounds and will be excused from their clinical duties when off service to do so.



PGY-3, 4 and 5


Adult and paediatric plastic surgery for three years in preparation for the Royal College certification exams. Residents are exposed to all facets of plastics including maxillofacial, craniofacial, microvascular, hand, peripheral nerve, burn, breast, facial aesthetic and body contouring surgery. Time is spent in consultant offices as well as scheduled clinics which include hand, reconstructive (oncologic) cleft lip and palate, burn, peripheral nerve and vascular birthmark clinics.





Research methodology and related topics provided in the form of courses and seminars. Presentation at the annual Resident Research Day is compulsory.



Substantial research project (on annual or continuing basis) and presentation at the annual Resident Research Day is compulsory. The elective blocks are optional for research in addition to weekly protected academic time. Presentation of research material at national meetings is strongly encouraged. Financial support for attendance at meetings is available when papers are given.



Seminars, Courses & Training Examinations


Biostatistics, bioethics, critical thinking, research methodology, ATLS Course/ACLS Course, CanMeds seminar series, surgical skills lab, departmental rounds, general plastic surgery rounds, burn rounds, hand rounds, morbidity and mortality rounds, city-wide rounds, American and Canadian review courses, CAGS Exams, Surgical Skills exam/POS, MCC Part II, American Plastic Surgery In-Service exam, biannual divisional exams, American Hand In-Service exam. There is a protected academic/research half-day on a weekly basis



Training Sites

Foothills Medical Centre


Tom Baker Cancer Centre


Alberta Children’s Hospital


Rockyview  General Hospital


Peter Lougheed Centre


South Health Campus

Additional Information

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada: Applying competency-based practices to residency education

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 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.

The Royal College anticipates that all specialty and subspecialty programs in Canada will adopt CBD in gradual phases. All disciplines have been divided into seven cohort groups, each of which will adopt CBD at different times. It is anticipated that national implementation of CBD within certain, individual programs could begin as early as July 2017 - with more disciplines to following in subsequent years.

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.

For more information, please contact




2022 CaRMS Information Session TBD

Summary of changes

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