University of Manitoba - General Surgery - Winnipeg

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

Last approved on November 10, 2021

Summary of changes

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria

Dr. Andrew McKay
General Surgery Residency Program 
Room AE107 
820 Sherbrook Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3A 1M5
General Surgery Postgraduate Program

Program Contacts

Dr. Andrew McKay
Program Director

Dr. David Reimer
Assistant Program Director

Melissa Stamm
Program Administrator

Important Information

The General Surgery Residency Program at the University of Manitoba is currently fully accredited.

 The Postgraduate Medical Education Orientation for all residents, which is MANDATORY, will be held on Wednesday, June 29, 2022.

 Competency Based  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. As our new PGY1s enter training in July, the class of 2024 will be entering into the Foundations phase.

All CBD programs 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

Return of Service

The following applicants will be required to sign a Return of Service “ROS” contract with the Province of Manitoba. The ROS commitment is commensurate with the length of the training program

  • All IMGs entering all training programs

IMGs already holding a return of service obligation must disclose these obligations at the time of application. IMGs who have undischarged return of service obligations may not be eligible to begin training in a position funded by Manitoba Health.

Such individuals may wish to contact Shared Health at for more information.


General Instructions

Program application language: English

The General Surgery Residency Program at the University of Manitoba is a program oriented at developing both community and academic surgeons. Graduates of our program are successful at attaining the clinical skills in order to go comfortably into community based practice or to move forward into competitive fellowships and academic careers. The primary strengths of the program are:

  • Large and diverse clinical case load

  • Large operative volume due to smaller program and fewer fellowship trainees

  • Small program with friendly atmosphere. Staff to Resident Ratio is 1:1

  • Well-equipped skills labs with well-organized courses offered throughout the training in both open and laparoscopic clinical skills

  • Excellent endoscopy exposure with new endoscopy curriculum in development

  • Excellent resuscitation and operative trauma exposure

  • Extensive/broad Acute Care Surgery experience

  • Rural/Urban/Northern community surgery options provide excellent experience for residents interested in community surgery

  • Significant research opportunities within the Section and University in clinical epidemiology/ clinical research/ surgical education/ basic science

  • Option of 1 year of further research training leading to Master's degree (M. Sc),  or 2 years of further research training in the Clinician Investigator Program (CIP)


You are required to fulfill ALL of the most current Provincial Criteria for Canadian Medical Graduates for Manitoba

The criteria can be found at:

Supporting Documentation

Applicants are advised to only provide the documents requested by the program. No other documents submitted will be reviewed.
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)


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

Language Proficiency
English is the language of study at the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba. All applicants whose first language is not English must submit proof of English language proficiency to CaRMS by the file review opening date.


  • If you graduated from an English medical school in Canada or the US, you are exempt from providing proof of language proficiency.

Candidates who attended medical school in Quebec or the University of Ottawa where the language of instruction or the primary language of patient care was not English, must fulfill the English Language Proficiency requirements.



  • IMG applicants must fulfill the English Language Proficiency requirements.

 Candidates are exempted from English language proficiency testing under the following circumstances:

  1. the language of instruction and patient care throughout the entire undergraduate medical education curriculum was in English. A letter of attestation obtained directly from the Dean of the candidate’s medical school confirming that the majority of the language of instruction and patient care was conducted in English is required.
  2. their undergraduate medical education was taken in English in one of the countries that have English as a first and native language (see list below)

All other candidates must have taken one of the following:

  • the Academic Version of International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum score of 7 in each component with an overall band score of no less than 7 in the same sitting.  IELTS scores will be considered valid for 2 years from the date taken
  • Occupational English Test – Medicine (OET-Medicine), with a minimum grade of B in each of the four subsets in the same sitting; or
  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program – General (CELPIP-General) Test, with a minimum score of 9 in each of the four skills in the same sitting

List of countries that have English as a first and native language - Countries: Australia, Bahamas, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States of America, US Virgin Islands - Caribbean Islands: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Grenadines, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago

Please note the following:

  • Photocopies are acceptable.
  • Language Proficiency Attestations will not be accepted from the candidate or a third party.
  • Language Proficiency results will not be accepted by fax or e-mail.


Reference documents
Number requested: 3

Maximum of three letters of reference are required. Referees must have knowledge of your clinical and patient care skills as well as your communication skills, interests and strengths.

References will not be accepted after the CaRMS due date.

Additional documents
Custom Résumé / CV 

Personal Letter 

A personal letter is required. Indicate current surgical interests and long-term goals e.g. research, teaching, rural clinical practice etc.

[Note: Photograph is used as memory aid only]

CASPer exam 

“CASPer™ Test 

All applicants must complete a CASPer™ (Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics) test. CASPer is an online test which assesses for non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics.

Please note that all applicants to the University of Manitoba residency programs are required to complete an online assessment (CASPer) to assist with the selection process. Successful completion of CASPer is mandatory in order to maintain admission eligibility. The scores are discussed during the ranking process.

Test dates for 1st Iteration:  A limited number of test dates and times will be available. Please note these are the only testing dates available and no additional tests will be scheduled.

The confirmed dates are:

  • Thursday December 10, 8pm EST
  • Tuesday January 5, 8pm EST
  • Sunday January 10, 2pm EST

To see an example of the test structure and schedule a test, please visit take

Please direct any inquiries on the test to<



Medical School Transcript 

Order from your Registrar

Medical Student Performance Record 

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

IMG applicants will not be considered for the 2022- 2023 academic year. They may be considered in the event we go to second iteration.



  • March 14, 2022
University of Manitoba will be holding interviews on Monday March 14, 2022 via a virtual format.

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
The interview process includes a standardized interview with several interview teams that include General Surgery Faculty and General Surgery Residents.

Selection Criteria

Our program is looking for motivated learners who work professionally with others and are a positive influence within a team environment. A strong academic background with strong clinical problem solving skills is desired.

When selecting applicants, the Interview Team looks for candidates who have a strong academic standing as a medical student, reference letters that can attest to the applicant's knowledge, clinical judgment and moral character, and a personal letter that clearly outlines why the applicant wishes to pursue a career in general surgery in Winnipeg. There is no preference given to school of graduation.

The Department of Surgery at the University of Manitoba is committed to a fair, equitable, and transparent application process. We maintain the right to choose the applicants we feel are the best people for our residency training programs. The above criteria will be used as a baseline to determine who will be considered for an interview. However, not all applicants whose files meet our minimum criteria will be offered interviews; only the top candidates will be offered an interview.

Only candidates whose completed applications have been received by the CaRMS deadline will be considered for an interview along with demonstrated ability to be organized as evidenced by a complete application that is in accordance with our stated expectations. Extraneous documents are not needed and may lower your file assessment score.

Program goals

Our Mission is to have a strong and vibrant resident body; to develop and sustain gifted and committed faculty to teach our trainees; and to ensure that our training program assists learners to achieve their career goals.

We strive to train highly motivated residents in General Surgery through a rigorous didactic curriculum and high volume of clinical cases. We have a collegial group of residents and faculty and prioritize a team approach to practicing medicine. We offer a well-rounded educational experience that encourages a balanced lifestyle.

By the end of training, we expect to graduate General Surgeons who are autonomous, safe and ethical surgeons who can work in the community or further their training with a fellowship. We value our residents and work closely with them beyond didactic teaching including career counseling at every stage of training. We form life-long relationships and remain invested in our trainees beyond graduation.

Selection process goals

We identify applicants who have demonstrated the following:

  • Interest in General Surgery: We prioritize applicants who have spent time acquiring a broad range of General Surgery exposure and electives.

  • Aptitude and excellence in CanMed roles: As demonstrated through medical school evaluations particularly from non-General Surgery core rotations.

  • Leadership skills: We appreciate experience in both medical and non-medical activities that demonstrate leadership skills.

  • Research interest and experience: Applicants are recommended to acquire some experience in research (e.g. Conference presentations or publications)

  • Balanced lifestyle: We appreciate the vast array of interests outside of medicine and celebrate applicants who can follow their passions while concurrently pursuing academic excellence.

File review process

Review team composition : Applications are reviewed individually by both a General Surgery Faculty Member and one General Surgery Resident.

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

Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 26 - 50 %

Evaluation criteria :
File component Criteria
CV Honours and Awards
Electives General Surgery Electives
Examinations Undergraduate medical exam scores are reviewed
Extra-curricular Volunteer Experience; Activities & Interests
Leadership skills Extra-curricular activities that demonstrate the pursuit of leadership skills are valued
MSPRs Supervisor Comments
Personal letters Long Term Goals, Surgical Interests
Reference documents Clinical Judgment, Work Ethic, Enthusiasm, Team Performance; Referee's Overall Assessment
Research/Publications Publications and Presentations; Interest in Research
Transcripts Academic Performance

Elective criteria

We are looking for and rewarding applicants who have completed a broad range of electives including in our discipline.
We do not require applicants to have done onsite electives.

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 as a team player
Collegiality Respectful to all
Communication skills Communication with patients, colleagues and interdisciplinary health professionals
Health advocacy Encompasses direct service to the individual or family
Interest in the discipline Enthusiasm for surgery
Interest in the program Interest in the City of Winnipeg and Province of Manitoba
Leadership skills Initiative
Professionalism Attitude
Scholarly activities Interest in research

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 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 Manitoba Training Program in General Surgery is dedicated to training and developing fully qualified and competent general surgeons who are ethically and morally sound and who dedicate themselves to the high standards of surgical practice and who contribute to the provision of total patient care.

The scope of General Surgery is very broad and the types of practice will vary considerably. The Program is designed to provide the core training to allow a trained surgeon to pursue either further academic fellowship training or transition to a community based general surgical practice in an urban/rural/remote setting.


The General Surgery Training Program at the University of Manitoba offers a five-year general surgery residency leading to examination in the RCPSC discipline of General Surgery.

We offer an optional sixth year to attain a Master's of Science in Surgery. If desired a seventh year may be completed in the Clinician Investigator Program(CIP) offered through the Faculty of Medicine.

The Program begins with two-years of basic clinical training experience through the Surgical Foundations Program. These clinical years consist of broad-based clinical experiences that are in accordance to the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada guidelines (see the Royal College website for more information on the objectives of Core Training in Surgery). A weekly seminar series, recommended reading program, and surgical skills courses are provided to supplement the clinical experience and assist in preparation of the Surgical Foundations (SF) Examination written in a resident's second year of training.

The PGY-3 through PGY-5 years are clinical training years devoted to training in General Surgery as outlined by the RCPSC guidelines(see the Royal College website for more information on the objectives of training in General Surgery). There are opportunities for electives and training is offered in both subspecialty and community based rotations. At the end of 5 clinical years successful residents sit the qualifying examination in May(written exam) and June(oral examination) distributed by the RCPSC.

The Master's of Science in Surgery program is an option available in Year 3. This is one year of additional training designed to grant surgical residents a year to complete a research project of their own design under the mentorship of a senior investigator. Didactic courses in research methodology and statistics as per the Master's program are completed during this academic year. Residents are required to perform minimal call duties in order to retain clinical skills. The purpose of the program is to encourage the development of surgical clinical investigators, who will become the academic leaders of surgery in the future. Residents must request, in writing, their desire to complete this additional training to the Program Director. Registration in the University of Manitoba Faculty of Graduate Studies is required. This one-year training period is salary-funded.

The Clinician Investigator Program is an option typically available to residents after completing their Master's of Science in Surgery. This research training program is offered through the Faculty of Medicine and consists of further research training over the course of one year with the ability to further research projects over this time period. Similar to the Master's year, residents are free of clinical duties except for a minimal amount of call coverage to retain clinical skills. Applications are required and are granted by the CIP program based upon merit. Further information on the CIP program is available at

PGY-1 and PGY- 2 Clinical Rotations

2 Block - Gold Trauma Service, Health Sciences Centre

2 Block - Acute Care Surgical Service (ACSS), St. Boniface Hospital

2-4 Blocks - Minimally Invasive Surgery (A Service) or Colorectal General Surgery (B Service), St. Boniface Hospital

2-4 Blocks - Surgical Oncology (Green Service) or Hepatobiliary Surgery (Orange Service), Health Sciences Centre

2 Blocks - Community, Health Sciences Centre (Silver Service)

2 Block - Pediatric Surgery, Health Sciences Centre Children's Hospital

1 Block - Thoracic Surgery, Health Sciences Centre

2 Block - Surgical Selective:

  • Orthopedic Surgery, Health Sciences Centre

  • Plastic Surgery, Health Sciences Centre

  • Neurosurgery, Health Sciences Centre

  • Head & Neck Oncology Surgery, Health Sciences Centre

  • Pediatric General Surgery, Children's Hospital, Health Sciences Centre

  • Otolaryngology, Health Sciences Centre or St. Boniface Hospital

1 Block - Gastroenterology, Health Sciences Centre of St. Boniface Hospital

1 Block - Critical Care - Surgical Intensive Care (SICU), Health Sciences Centre

1 Block, Critical Care, Medical/Surgical Medical Intensive Care (ICMS) St. Boniface Hospital

1 Block - Research

2 Block - Vacation (28 days) - Can be taken in 28, 14 or 7 day blocks




PGY-3 Clinical Rotations

1 Block - Gold Trauma Service, Health Sciences Centre

1 Block - Acute Care Surgical Service (ACSS), St. Boniface Hospital

4 Blocks - General Surgery:

  • Minimally Invasive Surgery (A Service), St. Boniface Hospital

  • Colorectal General Surgery (B Service), St. Boniface Hospital

  • Surgical Oncology (Green Service), Health Sciences Centre

  • Hepatobiliary Surgery (Orange Service), Health Sciences Centre

3 Blocks - Gastrointestinal / Endoscopy, Health Sciences Centre

1 Block - Vascular Surgery, Health Sciences Centre or St. Boniface Hospital

1 Block - Elective Rotation 

1 Block - Vacation (28 days) - Can be taken in 28, 14 or 7 day blocks


PGY-4 Clinical Rotations

1 Block - Gold Trauma Service, Health Sciences Centre

1 Block - Acute Care Surgical Service (ACSS), St. Boniface Hospital

2 Blocks - Surgical Oncology (Green Service, Health Sciences Centre

3 Blocks - Chief Resident General Surgery:

  • Minimally Invasive Surgery (A Service), St. Boniface Hospital

  • Colorectal General Surgery (B Service), St. Boniface Hospital

  • Surgical Oncology (Green Service), Health Sciences Centre

  • Hepatobiliary Surgery (Orange Service), Health Sciences Centre

2 Blocks - Community General Surgery (various sites in Winnipeg and outside of Winnipeg)

3 Blocks - Electives 

1 Block - Vacation (28 days) - Can be taken in 28, 14 or 7 day blocks


PGY-5 Clinical Rotations

1 Block - Gold Trauma Service, Health Sciences Centre

1 Block - Acute Care Surgical Service (ACSS), St. Boniface Hospital

1 Block - Breast Surgery, Health Sciences Centre

1 Block - Head & Neck Oncology Surgery, Health Sciences Centre

4 Blocks - General Surgery:

  • Minimally Invasive Surgery (A Service), St. Boniface Hospital

  • Colorectal General Surgery (B Service), St. Boniface Hospital

  • Surgical Oncology (Green Service), Health Sciences Centre

  • Hepatobiliary Surgery (Orange Service), Health Sciences Centre

4 Blocks - Transition to Practice

1 Block - Vacation (28 days) - Can be taken in 28, 14 or 7 day blocks


Residents at PGY-3 and above are considered 'senior' residents. This entails a greater responsibilty for the 'running' of the service, more independence in patient management, and increased responsibilty and opportunities in the operating room, leading to clinical competence. Senior residents are expected to provide leadership to the 'junior' residents on the service and provide additional education to medical students and junior residents.


Academic and Scholarly Aspects of the Program

One day per week is devoted to educational activities.

Regular rounds are given by each teaching service consisting of relevant topic review and 'interesting cases'. Time is given for extensive discussion with residents and attending General Surgeons to allow for elaboration and learning on broad topics.

The regular rounds sessions include weekly:

  • Surgical Oncology rounds

  • Complication Rounds

  • Combined General Surgery/GI rounds

  • Combined General Surgery/Emergency Medicine Trauma Rounds

  • HPB Radiology rounds.

In addition Departmental Rounds are offered weekly through the academic year and each teaching service has weekly rounds to review all cases from the service. 

Half of the academic day consists of protected academic time. Our academic series consists of lectures, trauma simulation, as well as mock oral examinations for senior residents.

In addition, there is a surgical skills curricula which consists of both didactic and skills labs to teach general surgical skills in both open and laparoscopic surgery (sessions described below).

Journal Club is offered monthly in the academic year and is both an educational and social activity for attending General Surgeons and residents. The goal of the journal club is to promote critical appraisal of the literature and stimulate discussion on current topics. A different venue is chosen each month and dinner is served.


Surgery Skills Laboratory Courses

1. Introduction to Basic Surgical Skills

2. Endoscopy skills course

3. Gut Suture and Anastomosis

4. Introductory Minimally Invasive Surgery

5. Advanced Minimally Invasive Surgery - Hiatal Hernia, Bowel Resection

6. Course in Hernia Surgery - Open and Laparoscopic

7. Vascular Skills Course


Research Activities

All residents must participate in research activities coordinated by the Program Director and Research Coordinator. Dedicated time can be allocated in each training year to assist residents in meeting their requirements.  

The Department of Surgery hosts an annual Resident Research Day in January.

The General Surgery Program hosts an Annual Resident Research Day in April.

The program provides support for residents to present their research at major scientific national and international meetings.


Social Activities and Resident Well Being

The General Surgery Program at the University of Manitoba is committed to the well being of our residents. Annual social/resident well being activities include:

  • Welcome BBQ held in August

  • Resident Retreat - Weekend retreat funded by program and organized by residents to focus on professionalism, team building and fun held in September

  • Journal Clubs - Both learning and social activities

  • Annual Research Day Dinner - Awards night and dinner for all residents/staff

In addition, Postgraduate Medical Education, Max Rady College of Medicine holds an all day Resident Wellness Retreat in November.


Training Sites

Major Teaching Sites - Winnipeg

  • Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre (HSC)

  • St Boniface Hospital

  • Children's Hospital, Health Sciences Centre

  • CancerCare Manitoba

  • Breast Health Centre

  • Other Community Hospitals in Winnipeg (Grace General Hospital/Seven Oaks General Hospital/Concordia Hospital)

Hospitals outside of Winnipeg

  • Selkirk and District Community Hospital, Selkirk, Manitoba

  • Boundary Trails Hospital (Morden/Winkler), Winkler, Manitoba

Additional Information

Winnipeg is a city offering great arts and culture, neighbourhoods, recreational activities for all seasons and spectator sports. 

Winnipeg is located in the centre of Canada and offers great accesibility by air and car.  A less than 5 hour direct flight can take you to the beaches of Mexico!

Winnipeg offers competitive taxes, affordable housing, and low utility rates.

For more information on the City of Winnipeg, Province of Manitoba and Ontario Lake of the Woods please visit the websites provided below:

Tourism Winnipeg 

Travel Manitoba

Moving to Winnipeg

Living in Winnipeg

Moving to Manitoba

The Forks - Winnipeg's Meeting Place

Winnipeg Jets NHL Team

Winnipeg Blue Bombers CFL Team

Winnipeg Goldeyes American Association of Independent Professional Baseball Team

Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet

Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre

Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

Winnipeg Fringe Festival

Winnipeg Jazz Festival

Festival du Voyageur

Beaches of the Southeast Coast of Lake Winnipeg

Ontario Lake of the Woods  

Summary of changes

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