University of Ottawa - Emergency Medicine - Ottawa

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

Last approved on October 05, 2021

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria

Dr. Lisa Thurgur
Ottawa Hospital - Civic Campus 
1053 Carling Ave., F-Main, Room EM-206
Ottawa, ON K1Y 4E9 , Ontario, K1Y 4E9
(613)798-5555 ext. 18649
Department of Emergency Medicine, Univ. of Ottawa

Program Contacts

Dr Lisa Thurgur
RCPSC EM Program Director

Dr. Michael Ho
RCPSC EM Associate Program Director

Dr. Jeffrey Landreville
RCPSC EM Assistant Program Director

Lise Levesque
Postgraduate Administrator
798-5555 ext. 18649

Important Information

Please be aware the Ministry of Health has mandated all hospital and health care employers establish, implement and ensure compliance with a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.  The Ministry directive can be reviewed here. Residents matched to any Ontario residency program must ensure they are able to comply with the Ministry directive in order to start training July 1, 2022.  

It is important to understand this is an evolving issue. You are required to review Provincial, Hospital, University and Program information to ensure you are in continued compliance with directives. 

All candidates must meet the Ontario Criteria of Eligibility found here

MCCQE (Medical Council of Canada qualifying examination) Part 1 results

Trainees will be required to disclose their MCCQE Part 1 examination results upon entry into any of the University of Ottawa's training programs. The purpose of this disclosure is to allow for resources to be provided to the few residents who would benefit from extra support early in their residency in an effort to maximize their success.

Licensing/Registration:  Must have documents verified through

Failure to meet or provide proof of any of the stated requirements may result in an applicant’s file not being reviewed or removed from the Rank Order List.

General Instructions

Program application language: English

All candidates must meet the Ontario criteria of eligibility.

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)
• Proof of pending Canadian citizenship / pending permanent residency
• Record of Landing, clearly showing the date of landing in Canada

Proof of legal status must be submitted to CaRMS by the File Review opening deadline. (Photocopies acceptable). No other forms of verification are acceptable.

The following must be accompanied by photo ID; e.g. driver's license, health card, or other government-issued photo I.D.

  • Canadian Birth Certificate or Act of Birth
  • Confirmation of Permanent Residence in Canada
  • Proof of pending Canadian citizenship/pending permanent residency
Language proficiency
Submit one of the following documents to verify your language proficiency:
• Letter of language proficiency

LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY APPLIES TO CMG's (Canadian Medical Graduates) only if the Medical Degree language of instruction is in FRENCH.

Proof of language proficiency will also be accepted as follows:

Written attestation from the applicant confirming the ability to work in English, both written and spoken.

Important:  It is at the discretion of the program, who may require further proof of a language test or letter from a school official after File Review has begun.

Reference documents
Number requested: 3

Up to three structured reference forms are required. These can be completed by faculty members within the field of emergency medicine, or other related specialties. Letters from senior residents will not be reviewed.

Applicants must copy and paste these links directly into their reference requests. 

Both PDF and fillable PDF forms are available for referees to choose from:

English PDF and fillable PDF:


French PDF and fillable PDF:

Additional documents
Personal Letter 

A personal letter is mandatory. The letter should address the applicant's strengths, suitability to Emergency medicine, and career goals. Specific attention to identifying interest and experience in academic activities will be expected, as will reasons why you think you'd be a good emergency resident.  Maximum 500 words. 

Custom Résumé / CV 

[Note: Photograph is used as memory aid only]

Used for memory aid

Medical School Transcript 

Order from your Registrar.


Medical Student Performance Record 

(Dean’s letter) Order from the Undergraduate 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

File Review:

The entire CaRMS file will be reviewed by at least 5 individuals who will each score the file. Those with the highest average scores among the selection team will be invited for an interview. We invite approximately 50 CMG  students for an interview this year.



  • March 12, 2022
  • March 13, 2022
Interview Days: Saturday, March 12th & Sunday, March 13th, 2022. There will be a virtual social on the evening of March 12th, 2022.

Applicants will be informed by the Postgraduate Administrator by e-mail as to whether they have received an invitation for an interview.

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
There will be four interviews for each candidate. The interview teams will consist of Emergency Medicine Faculty and Senior Residents. 

As described above, there will be a virtual social on the evening of March 12th, 2022.

Selection Criteria

Our final ranking process incorporates both the file review and interview (see previous sections). Please note that we are not able to provide feedback to those candidates who are not selected for an interview.  

Program goals

Our Emergency Medicine Program at the University of Ottawa is designed to graduate clinicians with exceptional skills, while providing our trainees the opportunity to foster their own interests within emergency medicine.   In doing so, we produce the leaders of tomorrow in our great specialty.

Our goal is to help foster a community of wellness, mentorship and camaraderie that will set residents up for success both during and after residency. 

Selection process goals

In order to become an emergency medicine physician with excellent clinical skills and who is a leader in our specialty, we seek applicants that want to be the best they can be.  We look for residents who are coachable, hard working and have a positive attitude.

Serious consideration will be given to candidates who fulfill the following selection criteria:


-Demonstrated excellent academic achievement

-Experience and/or formal training in Emergency Medicine

-Recent graduate from Medical School or an advanced training program

-Demonstrated proficiency in English

-Demonstrated interest in and knowledge of the Canadian Health Care System

File review process

Review team composition : Our Review Team is made up of the Program Director, Associate Program Director, Assistant Program Director, Competence Committee members, involved faculty and dedicated residents.

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 Reviewed.
Electives Some EM electives if possible, however this year we recognize that not all applicants will have had the opportunity for an EM elective.
Examinations We do not evaluate this file component.
Extra-curricular Reviewed.
Leadership skills Reviewed.
MSPRs Reviewed.
Personal letters Reviewed.
Reference documents Comments on whether the applicant will be an excellent EM resident and EM physician.
Research/Publications Reviewed.
Transcripts Reviewed; shows professionalism.

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.

We recognize that due to COVID-19, applicants may have had limited ability to obtain electives, particularly visiting electives. Rest assured that we will consider this in all applications.

Competitive candidates will have demonstrated a strong interest in emergency medicine by way of elective training and rotations done in their own medical schools (this however does not necessarily mean that all your electives must be in emergency medicine).  Having participated in scholarly work in the field of Emergency Medicine is encouraged but is not a mandatory requirement.

Interview process

Interview format :

We may accommodate requests to re-schedule interviews for applicants due to weather, technology failure, or unforeseen circumstances.

Interview evaluation criteria :
Interview components Criteria
Collaboration skills This component is evaluated in the interview
Collegiality This component is evaluated in the interview
Communication skills This component is evaluated in the interview
Health advocacy This component is evaluated in the interview
Interest in the discipline This component is evaluated in the interview
Interest in the program This component is evaluated in the interview
Leadership skills This component is evaluated in the interview
Professionalism This component is evaluated in the interview
Scholarly activities This component is evaluated in 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 Highlights

Welcome from the Program Directors!

Welcome to the University of Ottawa’s RCPSC Emergency Medicine Residency! Our exemplary residency program in emergency medicine at the University of Ottawa is designed to graduate clinicians with excellent clinical skills, while providing our trainees the opportunity to foster their own interests within emergency medicine and in doing so, produce the leaders of tomorrow of our great specialty. 

One of our huge strengths is the dedication of our 90 plus emergency staff physicians to the residency training program.  Our physician group includes national and international experts in many fields - all who have a love for emergency medicine and for training residents.  The support that is received from this group is evident by way of continuous teaching, coaching, academic support, resources, social events and mentorship for the residents.  It is clearly an environment where staff and residents work well together to train and succeed.

The residents are the backbone of our program. Our goal is to support our residents not only academically, but also personally and professionally. The program is one that embraces the core tenants of equity, diversity and inclusion to ensure that we meet the needs of our residents.

We have four full years of Competency by Design (CBD) under our belt and are embracing its new educational opportunities.  Our first CBD cohort thrived in this new environment and are now experts and ambassadors for this new curriculum. We are fully dedicated to the CBD curriculum and we have a Competence Committee consisting of 8 members, including our director of assessment and medical education guru, Dr. Warren Cheung. We are also fortunate to have Dr. Jason Frank, the mastermind behind CBD, as one of our own faculty. This has helped our program make a smooth transition into CBD. 

Our core training sites include the Ottawa Hospital General Campus, The Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO).

Recent fellowships that our residents have pursued include: Critical Care, EMS, International Health, Geriatrics, Toxicology, Paediatric Emergency Medicine, Emergency Ultrasound, Masters of Science in Clinical Epidemiology, Masters of Medical Education, Masters of Health Administration, Masters of Business Administration, Masters of Quality Improvement and Patient Safety.

Meeting the PDs: We’d like the opportunity to meet with you! The PDs will regularly have virtual sessions with groups of medical students who are interested in our program. Please contact Lise Levesque, our program administrator,  if you are interested in attending one of these meetings (

Finally, Ottawa is a fantastic place to live! It is a beautiful urban, multicultural city with great nightlife, fantastic restaurants and active music, arts and cultural scenes. There are more festivals in Ottawa than any city in Canada celebrating everything from poutine and beer to all musical genres. Ottawa is a city for the active as well with its extensive cycling/walking/cross-country skiing pathways, Rideau canal, beaches, Gatineau park and nearby skiing.

We look forward to meeting you!

Lisa Thurgur, Mike Ho & Jeff Landreville


Ottawa University Promotional Video


Check out our program on Social Media: 





Fun Pics!

Wellness Hike

Congrats to our 12 Grads!

Resident Testimonials

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 Royal College has implemented Competence by Design (CBD) in Emergency Medicine (EM) in Canada and the University of Ottawa EM Program has embraced this new and exciting curriculum.  CBD is perfect for Ottawa EM because it ensures competence, but teaches for excellence - that’s our style.

One of our huge strengths is the diversity of talent within our faculty that includes over 90 physicians. Our group includes national and international experts in simulation, EMS, ultrasound, medical education, forensics, toxicology, quality improvement, journal editing; our teachers have been awarded in excellence and have been rated among the best in the Faculty of Medicine. Importantly, our researchers are highly recognized internationally for their major research contributions to emergency medicine (if you are interested in doing research in emergency medicine, the University of Ottawa is definitely the place for you).  But remember - you don't have to want to be a researcher to come to Ottawa.

We are excited to announce the incorporation of several new components of our curriculum. These include patient advocacy; equity, diversity and inclusion; implicit bias; teaching specific to an EM physician; growth mindset; time management and conflict management. 

Our core training sites include the Ottawa Hospital General Campus, The Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus and the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO).


The Emergency Medicine program follows the Royal College designed Competence by Design Curriculum.

Throughout the four stages of CBD (Transition to Discipline, Foundations, Core and Transition to Practice), residents complete:


33 blocks of Adult Emergency Medicine

6 blocks of Paediatric Emergency Medicine

1 block of EMS/Prehospital

2 blocks of Internal Medecine

1 block of General Sugery

1 block of Orthopaedics

2 blocks of Anesthesia

1 block of Phychiatry

1 block of Obstetrics/Gynaecology

1 block of Neurology (Clinics/Consults)

3 blocks of Adult ICU

1 block of Paediatrics ICU

2 blocks of Cardiology / CCU

1 block of Trauma

3 blocks of Electives

We've also developed local modules to specifically address the competencies in: Neurosurgery, Plastic Surgery and Toxicology

In this new curriculum, residents are also required to complete six months in an area of clinical expertise (ACE), or previously known as an area of subspecialty.  Our residents have the opportunity to pursue any area of interest to them that relates to emergency medicine.  Historically our residents have completed fellowships in ultrasound, resuscitation, paediatric emergency  medicine, simulation, geriatrics, public health, quality improvement, critical care, and many, many others.  We are open to studying any field that supports a career in Emergency Medicine.

Academic Projects

The Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Ottawa has a world renowned program in emergency medicine research. All residents are expected to produce a research or educational project. Presentation at the Annual Academic Day regarding research/educational initiatives is required and must be submitted for publication.

Academic Full Day

There is a weekly, protected academic full day for all Emergency Medicine residents. This consists of emergency medicine grand rounds, core rounds, case presentations, practice oral examinations and other activities. A core content seminar series (based on the Rosen's textbook and more) covers the required knowledge content, over the course of the residency. During the afternoon, simulation sessions occur in our state-of-the-art Simulation Centre. We are continuously using resident feedback to ensure that all of our academic activities are as high-yield as possible.


Other Rounds

Journal Club, Medical Education Journal Club, Point-of-Care Ultrasound Journal Club and Trauma Rounds are held monthly.

Courses and Funding

The DEM covers the cost of ACLS, ATLS and PALS. Many of our residents become ACLS and ATLS instructors. Additional funding exists for books and courses and when our residents are presenting their work at national or international conferences.

Training Sites


-Department of Emergency Medicine (

-Ottawa Hospital - Civic and General Campuses (

-Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (

-Ottawa Hosptial Research Institute (

Additional Information

Restricted Registration Licenses

Residents in excellent standing in the Royal College residency in emergency medicine at the University of Ottawa are eligible for restricted licenses that permit them to "moonlight" at community hospitals during their senior years.




Meeting the PDs: We’d like the opportunity to meet with you! The PDs will regularly have virtual sessions with groups of medical students who are interested in our program. Please contact Lise Levesque, our program administrator,  if you are interested in attending one of these meetings (