Western University - Anesthesiology - London

2023 R-1 Main Residency Match - first iteration
CMG Stream for CMG

Last approved on September 27, 2022

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria

Dr. Melissa Chin
Anesthesia & Perioperative Medicine 
University Hospital  
339 Windermere Road, B3-402
London ON N6A 5A5 , Ontario, N6A 5A5
(519) 663-3283
(519) 663-3079
Anesthesia Competence By Design Program

Program Contacts

Jon Borger
Program Co-Director

Melissa Chin
Program Co-Director

Lori Dengler
Postgraduate Education Coordinator
(519) 685-8500 (Ext 34247)
Ext 33283

Linda Szabo
Postgraduate Education Coordinator

Important Information

RESIDENCY PROGRAM START DATE:  All programs at Western will commence on July 1, 2023 with a one-day virtual orientation to be held online prior to this date.


CBD:  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 (RCPSC) has embarked  upon an initiative to introduce competency-based medical education (CBME) in Canadian post-graduate 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.


Residency programs are broken down into stages and each stage has a series of milestones based on required competencies.  These milestones 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.


CBD programs undergo the same rigorous accreditation processes as traditional programs.  Certification for trainees still includes the completion of a Royal College examination; however, residents are also assessed against program milestones throughout their training.  In 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:


General Instructions

Program application language: English

Ours is the ideally sized residency with a large enough patient base to provide ample experience in all areas of Anesthesia and research but small enough so the 42 residents and 100 staff all know each other as individuals - no one gets lost in the crowd. We take pride in being a flexible program that works hard to meet each individual trainee's educational goals.

We currently have two Program Co-Directors - Dr. Melissa Chin and Dr. Jon Borger - who are dedicated to upholding the high standard of excellence achieved by the program, balanced with a personal and friendly atmosphere.

RESIDENCY TRAINING PROGRAM START DATE - All programs at Western commence on July 1, 2023, with a mandatory one-day Anesthesia orientation in London, Ontario.

a. Any reasonable proposal for elective will be considered. Our residents commonly pursue interprovincial electives

b. Anesthesia trainees work in a one-to-one relationship with faculty anesthesiologists on a daily basis.

c. Residents work in a one-on-one setting with patients for whom they are providing anesthesia.

d. The department offers highly structured, educationally rich experiences in the South-Western Ontario Region with Postgraduate Distributed Education. This network of facilities is a joint project of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University and the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care of Ontario.  Many residents pursue rotations in Windsor, Stratford, and St. Thomas, generally after their first year. The site of the rotation is selected by the trainee. Financial support for these rotations is fully supported by the Distributed Education program (i.e. meals, travel, and accommodation).

Supporting Documentation / Information

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 current citizenship or permanent resident status must be provided by submitting one of the following verifications to CaRMS by File Review Opening Date (January 10, 2023). (Photocopies acceptable). No other forms of verification are acceptable:

  1. Notarized photocopy of Birth Certificate issued by an authority in Canada with any photo ID, or
  2. Notarized photocopy of Canadian Passport, or
  3. Notarized photocopy of Canadian citizenship certificate, Record of Landing; or
  4. Notarized photocopy of Permanent Resident Card/Canadian Citizen Card – copies of both sides of card must be provided and legible.
Reference documents
Number requested: 3

Three reference letters are required and will be reviewed by the selection committee. No additional letters will be accepted. No undated references will be reviewed. Only references dated from September 1, 2022 will be considered. Any references dated prior to this date will not be reviewed. References should be from practicing teaching staff physicians, preferably members of undergrad or postgrad education committees, who have worked directly with the applicant.

Additional documents
Medical School Transcript 

Your medical school transcript can be submitted through one of the methods below:

  1. Obtain your medical transcript from your school and upload it directly to your CaRMS Online account. Follow your school’s policy regarding accessing or requesting your transcript;
  2. Ask your medical school to upload your medical transcript through their CaRMS Undergraduate Portal account; or
  3. International (IMGs) and United States (USMGs) medical graduates can transfer their transcript from their account.

Medical Student Performance Record 

For current year Canadian medical graduates (CMGs), there is no action required from you. Your medical school will automatically submit your MSPR to CaRMS on your behalf for you to assign.
If your MSPR is in a language other than the program language of English or French, you are required to have the document translated.

Personal Letter 
Word count
Minimum : None
Maximum : 650

This letter must be in English for all applicants. The applicant should submit a 650 word personal letter. This letter should state the reasons for choosing anesthesia as a specialty, why he/she is well suited to the practice of anesthesia and what makes them a good candidate for our program.

Conditionally required
Medical School Diploma 

A copy of medical school marks/transcripts and medical degree/diploma must be submitted.  Documents that are not in English must be accompanied by a notarized/certified translation.  Students applying in the last year of medical school will need to submit their most recent marks/transcripts, and will need to provide proof of their MD to CPSO prior to the start of residency training.

All IMGs need to have their documents verified through  This process can take several months to complete.  Individuals are advised to visit at the point of application.

Review Process

Applications submitted after file review has opened on January 10, 2023

Supporting documents (excluding letters of reference) that arrive after file review has opened  on  January 10, 2023

Letters of reference that arrive after the unmasking date on January 10, 2023

All applications will be reviewed by consultant staff in the Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine. It will be indicated on the CaRMS application those applicants selected for an interview and a follow-up email with further details will be sent to those applicants.   Candidates placed on a wait list will be contacted via email if an interview slot becomes available.  Virtual zoom interviews will be held on Friday, February 24th, 2023.  No alternate interview dates will be offered.  



  • February 24, 2023
Virtual (Zoom) interviews will be held with Anesthesia consultant panels on Friday, February 24th.  We regret that no alternate dates will be possible.

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
This day will serve to showcase the program, the university and the City of London, and we are currently in the process of designing a vitual showcase that will allow you to become familiar with Anesthesia at Schulich during the morning session. Interviews will be held following the morning presentations and you will be availed the opportunity to attend small group sessions to meet some of our residents.

Candidates will have a half hour interview with two faculty members.

More information on the specific scheduling will be provided to those applicants selected for interview.

Selection Criteria

The Anesthesiology Program at Western University is fully accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and has implemented Competence By Design, a hybrid, outcomes-based approach to training and assessment that is more flexible and adaptable to societal change.



Program goals

First and foremost our mission is to train residents to become highly skilled and knowledgeable anesthesiologists. The program will adhere to the CanMEDS competencies which are expanded upon below. In addition to outstanding clinical competency, the training will focus on giving the trainee the skills and opportunities to excel in research, quality assurance, teaching, and leadership.

Through innovative curriculum design, we offer targeted training experiences and educational planning that encourages and recognizes learner interests and aspirations, while providing a solid foundational understanding of all aspects of anesthesia and perioperative medicine in a complex, team-based clinical environment.

Our residents also complete required rotations in Community Hospitals in order to gain exposure to the practical and clinically different needs of smaller communities. These experiences complement learning by providing opportunities to manage complex patients in settings with relatively fewer resources.

High fidelty simulation is quickly becoming a training modality of choice for high acuity specialties such as anesthesia, critical care, and surgery. Throughout residency our learners are provided a broad variety of simulation exposure led by highly-trained clinicians who are dedicated to excellence in simulation delivery and debriefing.

Selection process goals

Our selection process fully supports our program goals by seeking and reviewing evidence of achievement of the knowledge, skills, and abilities highlighted by the RCPSC CanMeds Roles.

-Medical Expert: produce high functioning clinical experts competent to face current and emergent challenges.

-Communicator: emphasis on effective communication skills adapted to diverse, clinical and academic environments. 

-Collaborator: key aspects of multidiscipinary collaboration are developed and modeled in clinical practice, resident teaching and simulation.

-Leader: leadership potential and capabilities are developed throughout residency to prepare graduates to be effective clinical Leaders in times of greatest need. 

-Healthcare Advocate: we recognize the responsibility anesthesiologists have in being health care stewards while never compromising high quality patient-centered care. Our graduates are trained to hold this responsibilty deeply and fulfil our role as Healthcare Advocate with integrity and honour.

-Scholar: Western is world renowned for medical advancement and clinical innovation. Our goal is to equip and inspire our residents to be leading academic clinicians of the future. 

-Professional: We take pride in graduating consummate professionals. Professionalism is the underpinning of the practice of medicine and Western residents are trained to hold themselves to the highest standards. This is expected in all aspects of clinical and academic practice as well as personal and professional conduct.

File review process

Review team composition : The review team is comprised of the program co-directors and designated members of the PGE Committee and Anesthesia 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 Effective balance between personal and professional activities.
Electives We do not use elective choice as a screening measure for an interview.
Examinations MCCQE Part 1, NAC (MCCQE Part 2 can be submitted in place of NAC)
Extra-curricular Varied activities which promote personal development.
Leadership skills Demonstrated leadership in professional and personal endeavours.
MSPRs Accepted
Personal letters Demonstrated interest in and understanding of the specialty of Anesthesia.
Reference documents Sources should reflect relationship with candidate and knowledge of candidate's abilities.
Research/Publications If applicable, include in application.
Transcripts Will be reviewed for academic standing.

Elective criteria

We do not use elective choice as a screening measure for an interview
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 Indication of personal reflection and awareness of collaborative opportunities.
Collegiality Potential to be a team player.
Communication skills Ability to communicate effectively in spoken English.
Health advocacy Understanding of the current state of health care and the challenges faced by all stakeholders
Interest in the discipline Demonstrated awareness of skills and abilities required.
Interest in the program Familiar with the Western program.
Leadership skills Provides examples of leadership roles.
Professionalism Exhibits professional attire and attitude during interview.
Scholarly activities Demonstrated interest in research opportunities.

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

With the implementation in 2017 of Competence By Design, a hybrid, outcomes-based approach to training and assessment that is more flexible and adaptable to societal change, our program continues to provide the highest level of innovative medical training nurtured by an interdependent learning environment, and we welcome numerous trainees from other services including the Physician Assistants from the Canadian Forces.

As a result of the dedicated efforts of our consultants and residents, in May 2015 we introduced one of the first Canadian Perioperative Ultrasound rotations. This is now one of the most highly rated rotations in our program. 

We continue to develop our administrative structure and evaluate its efficiency. In 2015, we started working on a state of the art electronic database to allow our program leaders to improve communication with trainees, streamline our evaluation process and modernize our time management and scheduling. VENTIS is now functioning effectively as the backbone of our clinical and academic administrative structure.

We offer exceptional leadership at Western in simulation and training in Crisis Resources by highly skilled educators who maintain an unparalleled level of excellence and who are also involved nationally in developing the Canadian Simulation program. Along with the new, state of the art, simulator, we have the structure that will allow us to maintain a meaningful presence in this field.

Our department offers a wide variety of subspecialty training opportunities in anesthesia, with a large case volume which allows us to be among the top Canadian training programs in resident clinical exposure.

In addition, our residents regularly participate in national and international electives, including medical missions, with ongoing support from faculty and departmental leadership.


Our trainees continue to pursue and work on high quality research projects which they have presented at both the national and international level. We are committed to supporting and encouraging resident research and provide administrative and financial support to all residents who are participating in research projects, including in-training Masters degrees.

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.


Program Curriculum

This residency program is for 5 year(s)

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

Along with the other Canadian anesthesiology residency programs, Western University follows the Royal College’s Policies for Certification in CBD, Training Requirements, and Anesthesiology Competencies. Our teaching sessions including academic half day lectures which run from year 1 to year 4, are based on the learning objectives of the National Curriculum.

We have introduced a new Academic Advisor role to help residents navigate the new requirements for CBD and each resident is paired with an Academic Advisor. We have three hospital sites that residents rotate through: University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, and St. Joseph’s Health Care London.


1 block = 4 weeks


# of Blocks       2


  • Introductory Anesthesia - general OR assignments
  • Orientation days - with an RT, in PACU, and in Preadmission Clinic


  • Summer Introductory Program - 1 day per week
  • Simulation airway bootcamp - 1 day


STAGE :              FOUNDATIONS

# of Blocks        18

  • Residents start taking independent call (OR and OB)
  • Continued general anesthesia rotations
  • Start of subspecialty anesthesia rotations (see below)
  • Off-Service rotations: General Surgery, Internal Medicine CTU, Obstetrics Antenatal, Adult Emergency Medicine, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, and adult ICU
  • Elective blocks


STAGE :             CORE

# of Blocks       36

  • Continued general anesthesia rotations
  • Continued subspecialty anesthesia rotations:
  • Cardiac, Neuroanesthesia, Regional, Thoracics, Vascular, OB Anesthesia, Pediatrics, POCUS, Chronic Pain, Acute Pain Service
  • Support for scholarly projects



# of Blocks        9

  • Continued consolidation year of anesthesia with a focus on more independence
  • Exam preparation program
  • Continue support for scholarly projects


Please visit our CBD website for further details about what we have to offer!

Our department website is also helpful for further information.



All residents participate in a research project during their five years of postgraduate training. Didactic sessions in research methodology are presented in our academic program to prepare trainees to participate effectively in research. It is expected that these projects will be of sufficient quality that the project is either presented at a national meeting or is published in a peer-reviewed journal. Full financial support is provided for residents presenting their work at major meetings.

Project formats are chosen by the trainee and can vary widely. Clinical research, laboratory research, reviews and meta-analysis all fall within the bounds of our projects. Dedicated time is available on an individualized basis. Our residents have won numerous prizes for their research.


All residents are relieved of clinical duties to attend weekly academic teaching sessions. The schedule includes sessions on all the major topic areas in anesthesia, current topic seminars presented by residents, and a wide variety of sessions to help trainees prepare for their future careers (from research methodology to financial planning).

A good selection of visiting professors provides fresh points of view to staff and trainees alike.

Training Sites


The program at Western University is an integrated program including three teaching hospitals-Victoria Hospital, University Hospital and St. Joseph's Health Care.  Each site has a clearly defined role in the program. We are the tertiary referral centre for a catchment area of approximately 2 million people in Southwestern Ontario. UWO is renowned for its strengths in neurosciences, transplantation, cardiac care, hand and upper limb surgery, robotics, simulation and research in many fields.

Additional Information

Our departmental website can be reviewed using the following link:

Electronic resources: Computers and wireless internet access are available at all training sites for resident use. Educational sessions relating to Medline search skills are provided in our academic schedule.

Travel in the residency training program is subsidized by the Anesthesia department to a yearly maximum.

About London:

London , with a population of 511,000, is situated in the heart of southwestern Ontario. London offers many of the amenities of a larger city without the aggravations. It is approximately 30 and 40 minutes respectively from Lakes Erie and Huron which offer wonderful beaches, sailing, fishing, windsurfing, camping, et cetera. The world-renowned Stratford Festival is a leisurely 45 minute drive from London. If "big city" sports or entertainment appeal, Toronto and Detroit are just two hours away via major highways. London has a small, efficient airport with direct flights to many popular cities and frequent connectors to hubs in Toronto, Detroit and Chicago. An added bonus to using London's airport - no major customs delays!

For the sports enthusiast, London is for you!

-mountain biking - the London club hosts a Canada Cup Race annually (one of five nationally) which brings pro-riders and Olympic try-outs to our excellent trails (see

-sailing - from dingies on Fanshawe Lake (right in the city) to large boats on Lake Huron. There is an active racing series going on.

-hiking - numerous local trails and groups recreation clubs - many high quality facilities available offering all manner of sports - tennis, squash, racquetball, weight lifting, aerobics, swimming........

-roller blading - enjoy roller blading through London's park system on the paths alongside the Thames River - 20 km of connected paved paths

-cross country ski - groomed trails right in the city at Fanshawe Park

-golfing - there are many courses in the city, including The National, which has hosted a number of international tournaments

London has much more to offer:

-Westerrn University, with all its facilities 

-restaurants with most ethnic groups represented

-live theatre at The Grand and numerous other venues

-music - world class performances, including Orchestra London

-Budweiser Gardens is our newest multi million dollar entertainment complex with music groups of every description

-night life - there are many pubs and clubs throughout the city and throughout summer there are ongoing activities and festivals, including the Forest City Jazz Festival, Rib Fest, Homecounty Folk Festival, Sunfest, Art in the Park, and more. 

- St. Thomas Air Show - takes place every summer, just a pleasant half hour drive from London.