Queen’s University - Pediatrics - Kingston

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

Last approved on December 06, 2022

Summary of changes

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria

Dr. Kirk Leifso
Queen's University 
Kingston General Hospital 
76 Stuart St, Watkins 3-220
Kingston, Ontario, K7L 2V7
PGME Office
Pediatrics at Queen's
Queen's University
City of Kingston
Kingston General Hospital

Program Contacts

Dr. Kirk Leifso
Program Director

Elizabeth King
Program Coordinator

Important Information

Institution-wide CBME Implementation within PGME at Queen’s University

Queen’s University received approval to adopt a Competency-based Medical Education model in all specialty programs, effective July 1, 2017. 

Residents attending Queen’s in July 2017 and beyond 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 entrustable professional activities (EPAs) based on required competencies. These EPAs 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 changes at Queen’s University are intended to align with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons’ broader, national Competence by Design initiative to introduce CBME in all faculties and all disciplines.  This program at Queen’s University simply adopts CBME on an advanced timeline.  However, as each specialty and subspecialty adopts CBD nationally, Queen’s will make any necessary adjustments in order to fully align and comply with CBD. 

Further information on CBD can be found on the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada website at: CBD implementation 


Important information

Altus Suite - admissions assessments of non-cognitive skills

All applicants applying to the Pediatrics program, at Queen's University are required to complete the Casper Test (Altus Suite), to assist with our selection process for the 2022-2023 Application Cycle.

 Altus Suite is a standardized, two -part online assessment of non-cognitive skills, interpersonal characteristics, and personal values and priorities that we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program. Altus Suite will complement the other tools that we use for applicant review and evaluation. In implementing Altus Suite, we are trying to further enhance fairness and objectivity in our selection process.

 Altus Suite consists of:

  • Casper: a 60-90 minute online situational judgment test (SJT)

 You will register for Altus Suite for Canadian Postgraduate Medical Education (CSP-20201 – Canadian Postgraduate Medical Education),

Access to create an account and for more information on important dates and requirements, and the Altus Suite assessments.



We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted candidates’ opportunities to arrange and complete electives and would like to reassure you that a lack of elective activity this year will not negatively impact your application to our program. 

COVID-19 vaccination requirements:

Please refer to the 'Restrictions' section of the Ontario eligibility criteria for messaging regarding COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

EDIIA Institutional Statement:

The goal of resident selection is to identify trainees likely to succeed both in training and, once out in practice, in meeting the health care needs of patients and Canadian society.  We know that having a physician workforce that reflects the demographics of the patients that they serve improves health care outcomes.  There are many populations within Canada under-represented in medicine (UIM) with a paucity of health care practitioners who are Black, Indigenous, Persons of Colour, 2SLGBTQ+, from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and/or with disabilities. Diversity within training programs has also been shown to improve training environments.  Queen’s University PGME is strongly committed to diversity and inclusion within its community for these reasons as well as being part of the solution to address historic and contemporary inequities.

General Instructions

Program application language: English

There are  between 16-20 residents to approximately 23 full time faculty in our training program. For an overview of the training program by year, go to: Queen's Pediatrics Program Overview.


Supporting Documentation / Information

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

Proof of valid current citizenship or permanent resident status must be provided by submitting one of the following verifications to CaRMS by the File Review Opening deadline. Failure to provide valid proof will result in your application being removed. No other forms of verification are acceptable:

  1. Notarized/certified photocopy of Birth Certificate/Act of Birth issued by an authority in Canada accompanied by photo ID (must be Canadian government-issued photo ID).
  2. Failure to provide proof of citizenship will result in the removal of your application. No other forms of verification are acceptable.
  3. Documents must be notarized/certified photocopies. Notarized/certified copies must be dated and not older than two years from the date of application submission deadline; otherwise, a new notarized/certified copy is required.
  4. Confirmation of permanent residence must be accompanied by a photo ID (must be a Canadian government-issued photo ID).

CaRMS is partnering with third-party organizations to automate the verification of citizenship/legal status required by postgraduate offices for entry into residency. Third-party verification simplifies the process for applicants and programs. All applicants who do not receive third-party citizenship verification will be required to upload and assign an acceptable proof of citizenship document. Please see additional information here.

Reference documents
Number requested: 3

Please provide 3 reference letters (note if more than 3 are submitted only the first 3 will be read). One letter must be from a non-medical person who knows you well and can comment on your attributes that would make you a good fit for a career in pediatrics. 

Please advise your non-medical referee that they do not need to follow the categories outlined in the standardized CaRMs referee form, as they are likely not applicable. If possible, one or more reference letters from a faculty member from Pediatrics is helpful, but not required. We discourage letters written by residents or fellows.

Additional documents
Personal Letter 
Word count
Minimum : None
Maximum : 750

Personal letter should be no longer than 750 words. 

We are looking for an honest, original and thoughtfully written letter. Do not be afraid to write in a frank manner about your past experience. Your personal letter should discuss the following topic: Tell us about something, outside of medicine, that you have taught yourself in the last 4 years. How did you go about teaching yourself this new skill or idea, and what was the result?

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.

[Note: Photograph is used as memory aid only]

CASPer exam 

Your CASPer assessment result is sent directly to CaRMS from Altus approximately one week prior to the application deadline. Please ensure that you give Altus permission to share your results with CaRMS.
The CASPer assessment is only valid for one admissions cycle. If you have taken the assessment in a previous year, you are expected to re-take it. To register for the CASPer assessment visit

Conditionally required
Medical School Diploma 

Documents that are not in English must be accompanied by a notarized 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.

Optional - will be reviewed
Custom Résumé / CV 


Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) 

Note - completion of ACLS is required for registration in postgraduate program at Queen's - so would be required to be completed prior to starting residency.

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 are reviewed by Faculty members under the direction of the Residency Program Committee. Only complete applications that include a non-medical reference letter will be considered. 

All applicant files submitted before the deadline will be reviewed by the selection committee. Each file is evaluated on a number of merits, including but not limited to academic potential, interest in scholarly activities, leadership in extracurricular activities, the strength of reference letters, and the candidate's personal statement.  Our program values a broad range of electives, both in and outside of pediatrics. The program may contact any elective supervisor listed on your CaRMs application.  

After a review of documents, selected applicants will be offered a virtual interview. Not all applicants meeting the minimum requirements will be offered an interview.  The final ranking process is determined by a combination of file review and interview scores.




  • February 7, 2023
  • February 10, 2023
  • February 14, 2023
  • February 17, 2023
The time commitment for the interview day will be approximately 1-2 hours, which includes a virtual interivew through Zoom and a Q&A session with current residents and the Program Director. 2023 Interview dates are:Feb 7 morning, Feb 10 afternoon, Feb 14 morning, Feb 17 afternoon. Times EST

There will be 3 1-hour interview groups on each date.

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
Interviews will be offered to those applicants considered most suitable to our residency program based on the submitted package. The program will notify all applicants of their status as: selected to interview, on waitlist for an interview, not selected for an interview. Applicants on the waitlist will be notified if interview spaces become available.

An email notification will be sent to CMG applicants.

Interviews will be held in a multiple mini interview (MMI) format. All applicants will go through a series of stations with faculty and chief residents, some of which may require role play. These stations will evaluate the candidates' thought processes, attributes, and communication skills. All candidates will have 10 minutes to meet (virtually) in a less structured interview with the program director. The process for CMG and IMG applicants is the same. 

Selection Criteria

Selection criteria for interviews will include a review of the complete file looking for academic performance, 3 letters of reference (which must include 1 from a non-physician), recent & relevant clinical experience, and a personal letter.

The non-medical reference letter must be from someone who has known you for more than 1 year, outside of medicine and clinical context, and who can comment on your attributes that would make you a good pediatrician.  Non-medical means non-physician.

The personal letter should be no longer than 750 words. 

We are looking for an honest, original, and thoughtfully written letter. Do not be afraid to write in a frank manner about your past experience. Your personal letter should discuss the following topic: Tell us about something, outside of medicine, that you have taught yourself in the last 4 years. How did you go about teaching yourself this new skill or idea, and what was the result?

We are looking for candidates who show evidence of being dedicated team players with a desire for a career in pediatrics. Candidates who are successful in moving forward to the interview will be considered to be well rounded and have demonstrated a genuine interest in pediatrics through an articulate and insightful personal letter. Elective experience at Queen's is not necessary. After the interviews, a composite score from the MMI and file review will help determine the rank list. The chief residents and the Residency Program Committee contribute to this process.

Program goals

The Queen’s University Pediatric Training Program endeavors to produce highly skilled and knowledgeable pediatric physicians capable of providing excellent care for children in any setting. The program recognizes the need for both general pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists and is designed to provide a solid training for both these major career paths. The program aims to achieve this objective through abundant practical clinical experiences, formal educational sessions, graded responsibility in the acquisition of leadership skills, and curricular flexibility, particularly in the final year of training.

By the end of their training, the residents have had the opportunity to develop the confidence and skills needed to practice general pediatrics expertly in any sized community. Those who successfully complete the pediatric residency program at Queen’s will not only have the medical expertise needed, but also the skills required to function as a consultant pediatrician in a variety of settings, including community hospitals where they must balance a busy outpatient clinical load, consultations in emergency departments, attendance at deliveries and neonatal resuscitations, and care of admitted inpatients, including neonates in special care nurseries.

Selection process goals

We are looking for candidates who show evidence of being dedicated team players with a desire for a career in pediatrics. We strive to identify candidates who are well-rounded, have a growth mindset, are curious and take ownership of their learning. Candidates will have demonstrated a genuine interest in pediatrics through an articulate and insightful personal letter. Elective experience at Queen's is not necessary. After the interviews, a composite score from the MMI and file review will help determine the rank list. The chief residents and the Residency Program Committee contribute to this process.

File review process

Review team composition : Files are reviewed by members of the Department of Pediatrics.

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 Used to provide supporting evidence for other file components during the file review
Electives We are looking for applicants who have completed a broad range of electives in Pediatrics
Examinations We do not evaluate this file component
Extra-curricular Used to provide supporting evidence for other components of the file review, ie leadership
Leadership skills Demonstrated skills with evidence of research, advocacy, quality improvement, etc
MSPRs Reviewed for unexplained gaps in training or other concerns with the applicant’s academic training
Personal letters We are looking for honest and thoughtfully written letters
Reference documents We are looking for reference letters that demonstrate specific evidence of personal attributes
Research/Publications Demonstrates interest and experience with participation in a research project
Transcripts Reviewed for unexplained gaps in training or other concerns with the applicant’s academic ability

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 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 understand that some applicants choose to pursue a career in Pediatrics late in clerkship; thus, interest in Pediatrics should be demonstrated by your choice of referees and the content of your Personal Letter irrespective of electives completed.

** We understand that electives may have been difficult to arrange this year due to Covid-19.

Interview process

Interview format :

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

Interview evaluation criteria :
Interview components Criteria
Collaboration skills Works well with others in a constructive manner
Collegiality Not specifically evaluated but interactions with faculty, residents and staff may be used
Communication skills Thoughtfully and clearly expresses ideas. Minimal use of jargon. Easily adjusts style & tone.
Health advocacy May be evaluated to support candidates skills or experience
Interest in the discipline We do not evaluate this interview component
Interest in the program Demonstrates specific knowledge of our program
Leadership skills May be discussed within specific stations
Professionalism Professional behavior is expected throughout the interview
Scholarly activities May be evaluated to support candidates collaborative and leadership skills

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 are a smaller center with no subspecialty training programs, so residents are first in line for learning experiences, working directly with the faculty. There are no fellows, with the exception of clinical fellows in the NICU.

 ** The program is rewarding for mature learners who are proactive in identifying their own learning goals, excel in seeking out feedback and learning opportunities, and are great team players. Residents always note the excellent hands-on experiences with early, supported, responsibility in the NICU and Hematology-Oncology rotations.

 ** Queen's has moved all post-graduate residency programs to competency-based. We have developed innovative tools for assessing CanMEDS competencies and facilitate competency-based assessment and training. See the Important Information section for details on Queen’s and competency-based medical education. 

Program Curriculum

This residency program is for 4 years.

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

The pediatric residency training progresses over 4 years. The program length of training does not exceed the Royal College or College of Family Physicians of Canada standard.

The Department of Pediatrics at Queen's includes departmental academic general pediatricians, community consultant pediatricians and academic subspecialists. Particular departmental strengths include general pediatrics, behavioural and developmental pediatrics, neonatology and genetics. Our philosophy is geared towards providing excellent training in general pediatric medicine for those planning a career in general pediatrics, in private, mixed or academic practice, or for those planning to pursue subspecialty training where a solid foundation in general pediatrics is a must.

The relatively small size of the program allows for a close and supportive working relationship among our trainees and faculty. Each resident is assured an exposure to a wide diversity and optimal number of patients by the program's size. The department's commitment towards the residency program is reflected not only in the provision of training environments with wide ranging clinical opportunities, but also in a comprehensive seminar program. Excellent hands-on and broad ranging clinical opportunities at Queen's are enhanced by subspecialty selective and core rotations at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, in Ottawa.

Our program is committed to providing each trainee with pediatric experiences individualized to his/her personal career goals. Residents, by the end of their training, have had the opportunity to develop the confidence and skills needed to practice general pediatrics expertly in any sized community.


Transition to Residency and Foundations of Discipline (PGY-1 equivalent):

The first stage of residency training will give the trainee a solid base in general pediatrics. By the end of the Foundations of Discipline stage, the resident will be skilled in the diagnosis and initial management of less-complex presentations.

Rotation/Area Number of Weeks (scheduled in 4 week blocks

Outpatient Pediatrics (ambulatory pediatrics including

general pediatrics clinics, minor emergency, and

pediatric subspecialty clinics)

  16 weeks

Inpatient Pediatrics

  8 weeks


  8 weeks

Community Pediatrics (inpatient and outpatient

pediatrics in a smaller community hospital-based


  4 weeks


  4 weeks (2nd half of academic year)

Pediatric Anesthesia

  2 weeks

Research / Quality Improvement and Patient Safety

  2 weeks

Pediatric Emergency Medicine (CHEO-Ottawa)

  4 weeks




Core of Discipline (PGY-2 and PGY-3 equivalent):

Now that the trainee has acquired foundational knowledge of the field of general pediatrics, the Core of Discipline stage is designed to provide a deeper exposure to subspecialty areas of pediatrics and to coach the resident into a more leadership role in the care of each patient. As this stage progresses, the resident transitions into a senior supervisory role, where the trainee is regularly entrusted with the management of ward and/or ambulatory patients, including those with complex problems. The trainee also takes on the responsibility of supervising more junior trainees. In the latter half of this stage, the resident assumes supervisory roles on the in-patient pediatrics service and neonatal intensive care unit. This stage encourages the development of a sense of critical judgment and increasing self-confidence.

To help with the integration of knowledge from different areas of pediatrics, many of our subspecialty rotations combine more than one subspecialty area. The combined rotations allow for a longer experience than would be possible with one-month single subspecialty blocks. The resident works in both outpatient and inpatient settings, performing largely a consultant role.




Number of Weeks (scheduled in 4-week blocks, except subspecialty

rotations which are contiguous)


  8 weeks

Inpatient Pediatrics

  12 weeks

PICU (CHEO-Ottawa)

  8 weeks

Infectious Disease / Allergy / Public Health

  8 weeks

Cardiology / Respirology

  8 weeks 

Pediatric Surgery (General, Orthopedics,

Otolaryngology, Ophthalmology)

  8 weeks

Neurology / Genetics / Child Development

  12 weeks

General Pediatrics

  4 weeks

Subspecialty Selective: Nephrology, Rheumatology


  8 weeks
 Child Psychiatry

  4 weeks

 Endocrinology / Gastroenterology

  8 weeks


  4 weeks (first half of 3rd academic year)

 Community Pediatrics 

  4 weeks


  8 weeks in PGY2 and 4 weeks in PGY3


  2 weeks in PGY2 and 2 weeks in PGY3



Transition to Practice (PGY-4 equivalent):

The Transition to Practice stage is designed for the refinement of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes learned in the preceding stages. The primary clinical experience of the Transition to Practice stage is ambulatory pediatrics. Residents identify their own learning needs and fill in knowledge gaps with a variety of experiences including ambulatory and in-patient blocks, and a longitudinal “chiefs” consulting clinic. The residents also assume a junior attending supervisory role in our pediatric urgent care clinic, the inpatient acute medicine ward, and also rotate to cover a weekly resident-run General Pediatrics consulting clinic.


Rotation/Area Number of Weeks (scheduled in 4 week blocks)

Ambulatory Pediatrics (combination of ambulatory

general pediatrics, subspecialty pediatrics, minor

emergency, senior resident consulting clinic)

  32 weeks

Junior Attending / Teaching Fellow

  8 weeks

Community Pediatrics 


  4 weeks


  8 weeks

Education and Assessments:

The Academic Half-Day rotates through a 2-year core curriculum that includes teaching in general and subspecialty pediatrics. Mock oral examinations (observed History/Physical Examination) are held twice per year for all residents. In addition, formative OSCE examinations are held twice a year, as preparation/practice for the Royal College exam in pediatrics; these are part of national OSCE collaboration between all other pediatric programs. This program takes advantage of the Clinical Education Centre and the Standardized Patient Program at Queen's University. Residents write the American Board of Pediatrics in-training examination every July, as well as biannual MCQ/SAQ Canadian In-Training practice exams.

Scholarly Work:

Each resident is expected to complete a scholarly project. A mentor is available to each resident to assist in this process. Training in research methodology is provided in first year. All residents are expected to present at the annual Department of Pediatrics Research Day, held as a forum for the presentation and discussion of resident research projects and other basic science or clinical projects affiliated with the Department of Pediatrics. Presentation are made to resident and faculty colleagues, plus an expert panel consisting of a moderator, prominent in research and a statistician or epidemiologist to critique the project methodology, statistical analysis, tabulation of results and appropriateness of the conclusions. Annual participation is mandatory. Ongoing work such as literature reviews or interim results can be presented by residents who have not completed their projects. A prize is awarded to the resident with the best presentation.

Training Sites


  • Kingston Health Sciences Centre including Kingston General Hospital (KGH) and Hotel Dieu Hospital (HDH) Sites
  • Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)
  • Quinte Healthcare & community office - Belleville
  • Lakeridge Health - Oshawa

Additional Information

Benefits: Accommodation for out-of-city clinics @ CHEO, Community Pediatric sites (Toronto/Belleville/Oshawa), Moose Factory

PALS & NRP courses provided in PGY1 year

Conference leave funding 

Annual resident retreat

Canadian Pediatric Society, and American Academy of Pediatrics memberships/registration provided

Average patient load on in-patient pediatrics unit is 10-15; varies seasonally.

Computer with internet access, access to electronic journals, electronic textbooks, Medline, through Queen's Health Sciences Library.

Residents are matched with an Academic Advisor and meet at least 4 times per year. The Academic Advisor reviews the residents' performance, advocates for the resident in all ways and offers career counseling.  

Elective blocks are available, three in the Core stage (2 in the second year of training and one in the third year of training). Electives may be undertaken at interprovincial and international sites.

There are four community-based rotations, 4 weeks in the Foundations stage, 4 weeks in the Core stage and 4 weeks in the Transition to Practice stage.


RE: Non-medical reference letter.

Q: Who can write it? 

A: This must be written by a non-physician from a non-clinical setting. The better someone knows you, the better the letter they will write for you. In the past, candidates have used prior work colleagues, prior teachers, religious leaders, and camp directors.  We highly discourage letters from family members.

Q: Why are you requesting this? 

A: in an effort to get more information about that candidates and a better sense of candidate outside of medicine. 

Q: I don't have a non-medical letter. Will you still consider my file?

A: No. Only complete files will be considered for interview. If you do not have a non-medical reference letter, your file is not complete. 


RE: Interviews

Q:  How many candidates do you interview?

A: Typically 12-15 canidates for each position

Q: Can I change my interview date? 

A: There is an increasing interest in Pediatrics and we turn down qualified applicants for interviews each year. We will do our best to accommodate changes; however, as there are only certain number of slots per day to facilitate the interview process, changes can be quite difficult and are generally unlikely. 


Summary of changes

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