McMaster University - Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation - Hamilton

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

Last approved on October 03, 2022

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria

Dr. Simran Basi
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 
McMaster University  
1280 Main St. West, HSC 3V46
Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4K1
905-521-2100, Ext. 73219
McMaster Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Program Contacts

Katie Cheliak
Chief Resident

Kim Pusung
Program Coordinator
905-521-2100, Ext. 73219
905-521-4971 - Fax

Important Information

Please refer to the CaRMS website for provincial eligibility information CaRMS Ontario Provincial Criteria.  It is important to review the requirements carefully.

 To learn more about the program, upcoming informational events and the McMaster PGME community please visit:

General Instructions

Program application language: English

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 valid 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 valid 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

Three letters of reference are required. Reference letters from McMaster University will not be required for consideration of interview.


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 : 500

A personal letter is required. Please consider describing your reasons for choosing physiatry as a career, and why you wish to continue your training at McMaster University in Hamilton.  The personal letter should be 500 words or less.

Custom Résumé / CV 

Conditionally required
Medical School Diploma 

Please note: Required if Medical school has been completed.

Optional - will be reviewed
MCCQE Part I - Statement of Results 

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



  • February 7, 2023
Interviews will be held virtually on February 7, 2023. 

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
The interview committee consists of the Program Director, Assistant Program Director, multiple other faculty members, and senior residents. The interview is structured in a consistent, established format with an opportunity for candidates to ask questions.


Selection Criteria

After a thorough review of the CaRMS application, interviews will be arranged for those who are being considered for the position(s). 

Program goals

The goal of the McMaster Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation program is to train qualified students to become exemplary specialists in all the disciplines of PM&R.  The residency program includes core rotations as outlined under the program curriculum.

Upon completion of the program, graduates are well positioned to pursue careers in either academic or community based practices.  Some graduates consider further subspecialisation through post-program fellowships. 

The PM&R program provides strong supports through faculty instruction and mentorship in all of the core disciplines and selectives.  The large diverse resident group is also a source of mentorship and support.  The majority of our training takes place at the Regional Rehabilitation Centre.  Although this is a free standing structure, it is adjacent to Hamilton Health Sciences’ largest General Hospital.  This facilitates optimal training experiences, not only in the domains of PM&R but also through interaction with the more acute care programs.

Selection process goals

All successful applicants must have a Medical Degree from an accredited university.  Elective experience in PM&R is strongly recommended.  Our program seeks residents who are self-directed learners, are skilled at self-assessment, and have strong interpersonal skills.  Qualifying exam scores are considered in the application process.  The personal interview and CV are instrumental in assessing the candidate’s commitment and industry.  Other important determinates include comfort with the McMaster philosophy and the expectation for seamless integration within the resident group.

File review process

Review team composition : Review team composition : Initial review of applications is performed by the program director, associate program director and physiatry faculty. The applications are independently reviewed and ranked to determine which candidates to interview.

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

Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 26 - 50 %

Evaluation criteria :
File component Criteria
CV Provides an overview of the applicant’s personal achievements
Electives Evaluated as expressed below
Examinations Academic achievement
Extra-curricular Assessed for community participation and work-life balance
Leadership skills Both academic and community based
MSPRs Meets all institutional requirements
Personal letters Interest in the discipline and specifically the McMaster program
Reference documents As outlined in Program Description
Research/Publications Interest/achievement in research, especially pertaining to PM&R
Transcripts Academic achievement

Elective criteria

We are looking for and rewarding applicants who have completed a broad range of electives including in our discipline.
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.

Interview process

Interview format :

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

Interview evaluation criteria :
Interview components Criteria
Collaboration skills Works effectively with others
Collegiality Professional and respectful
Communication skills Clear and effective verbal and non-verbal
Health advocacy Awareness of PM&R in the societal landscape
Interest in the discipline Appreciation of the content and breadth of PM&R
Interest in the program Awareness and enthusiasm for PM&R at McMaster
Leadership skills Both academic and community based
Professionalism Accountable and respectful
Scholarly activities Academic achievement record which supports the ability to complete the program

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

The McMaster Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency program is pleased to offer the full complement of physical medicine and rehabilitation disciplines. In addition to the fundamental physiatry areas of clinical expertise, we are fortunate to have both oncology and pediatric rehabilitation clinical rotations. The program has also kept pace with recent advancements in image-guided interventional therapy and many staff have incorporated these principles into their practice. Graduates from our program are well equipped to work in either academic or community practices. We are privileged to have several of our past graduates return to our program and further enrich our training experience. Our residents are encouraged to pursue their research interests as well as fellowship training. Residents are actively engaged in our program planning committees as well as their own social event planning. 

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.

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 Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency Program at McMaster University consists of five years of CBD (competence by design) postgraduate training with an integrated first year of basic clinical training followed by four years of core specialty rotations and electives. The program is fully accredited and meets the Objectives of Training and Specialty Training Requirements in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation set out by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada The program offers varied and comprehensive exposure to all aspects of the specialty. It is a highly flexible and responsive program which encourages and supports personal initiative and self-directed learning. Selective/elective time is available, allowing residents to focus on a specific area of interest, or to gain further experience in a variety of chosen areas.

The core physiatry rotations emphasize education over service requirements. There is a strong emphasis on evidence-based medicine and the development of critical appraisal skills.

Since its inception, the Undergraduate Medical School at McMaster University has successfully emphasized the application of innovative methods of education These methods are being increasingly applied to postgraduate training, including that in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Program Design 

The residency program is designed to provide flexible postgraduate training to meet the needs of each resident, recognizing the varying patterns of practice in different physiatry practice settings. It is structured around a core of educational objectives meeting all Royal College requirements with the emphasis placed firmly on organized self-directed learning with appropriate faculty supervision and guidance. The program emphasizes self-evaluation and the development of skills to meet life-long-learning needs throughout the physician's career.


At McMaster, the Postgraduate Education Office oversees the scheduling of the first postgraduate year of training. This is done in order to optimize the available resources in the Hamilton teaching hospitals. The resident's personal selections regarding site and order of rotations are taken into account prior to assigning placement. This first year provides the resident with broad experience in disease and disability and serves the resident well in preparing for the MCCQE II Examination. The resident has the opportunity to develop skills in coordinating patient care around a wide variety of medical and surgical problems. 

PGY1 (13 Blocks):

    • PM&R Intro Rotation (1)
    • MSK Rehab (1)
    • CTU (3)
    • Sports Medicine (1)
    • Chronic Pain (1)
    • Medicine Selective (1)
      • Emergency Med
      • Pediatrics
      • Anaesthesia
      • Psychiatry
      • Radiology
      • Cardiology
      • Critical Care
      • Family medicine
    • Surgical Selective (1)
      • Urology
      • Neurosurgery
      • Plastics
      • Vascular Surgery
    • Orthopedic Surgery (2)
    • Rheumatology (2)


PGY2 (13 Blocks):

    • Geriatrics (1)
    • Neurology (2)
  • CORE (10):
    • Elective (1)
    • 9/12 of:
      • Stroke Rehab(2)
      • ABI Rehab (2)
      • P&O (2)
      • Stroke (2)
      • EMG (2)
      • MSK Rehab (2)


PGY3 (13 Blocks):

  • CORE:
    • Remaining 3/12 of:
      • Stroke Rehab (2)
      • ABI Rehab(2)
      • P&O (2)
      • SCI Rehab (2)
      • EMG (2)
      • MSK Rehab (2)
    • Cardiac Rehab (1)
    • Oncology Rehab (1)
    • Senior Rotation (4):
      • ABI Rehab (1)
      • P&O (1)
      • Stroke Rehab (1)
      • SCI Rehab (1)
    • Pediatric Rehab (3)
    • Elective (1)

PGY4 (13 Blocks):

  • CORE:
    • Junior Attending (Inpts):
      • ABI Rehab (1)
      • P&O (1)
      • SCI Rehab (1)
      • MSK Rehab (1)
      • Stroke Rehab (1)
    • Elective (7)
    • Neuromuscular (1)

PGY5 (13 Blocks):

    • EMG (1)
    • Elective (6 - 12)
      • Community rotation
      • Junior attending block
      • EMG exam related electives
      • Fellowship related electives (Interventional skills training related electives (anaesthesias, radiology, etc.)

Evaluation of Trainees

With the CBD evaluation paradigm, resident are evaluated on a consistent basis as they work toward EPA completion.  For more detail regarding CBD, please refer to  In addition to this, resident have biweekly 360 evaluations as well as end of rotation evaluations (ITARs).  Residents also take part in yearly written and OSCE examinations.  Residents are also encouraged to attend a comprehensive review course at some point during their final two years of training.


Completion of a research project is a mandatory requirement of Royal College certification. Three blocks of residency are available for research, and additional elective time may be utilized. Residents are encouraged to participate in research projects throughout their training. Residents are given the opportunity to present their projects and findings at an annual McMaster Physiatry Resident Research Day, and are encouraged to do so at a variety of meetings and conferences such as the annual conference of the Canadian Association of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 

Concurrent study in McMaster's world renowned HRM Masters Program (Health Research Methodology) is strongly supported.


Residents are excused from their clinical duties to attend weekly Academic Half-days devoted to education. These are held Wednesday afternoons. They are designed to cover all the relevant topics in physical medicine and rehabilitation over a two-year repeating schedule. Formats include combinations of OSCE's, critical appraisal, didactic teaching (both faculty and resident led), bedside teaching, x-ray rounds, and problem-based learning. 

Residents are also excused from clinical duties to attend weekly Case Rounds which take place on Thursday mornings 8-9 am. These rounds provide exposure to physiatry topics through clinical case presentations. 

Residents also attend monthly Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Grand Rounds, and are encouraged to attend other chosen discipline's rounds on a weekly basis (i.e., sports medicine, neurology/neurosurgery, orthopaedic, EMG, etc.)

Training Sites


McMaster University 's postgraduate programs are integrated in cooperation with the affiliated teaching hospitals  The primary rehabilitation base hospital is the  Regional Rehabilitation Centre of Hamilton Health Sciences. Facilities used for mandatory, selective, and elective rotations include the Hamilton Health Sciences (Regional Rehabilitation Center, McMaster University Medical Centre, Hamilton General Hospital, Juravinski Hospital, and St. Joseph's Healthcare (St. Joseph's Hospital, St. Joseph's Mountain Site). Computers and internet access are widely available across all sites, and specifically in the Physiatry Resident's Room at the Regional Rehabilitation Centre.  Residents also have access to a departmental laptop computer for specific needs such as presentations. Hamilton Health Sciences currently has an integrated computer patient data system (MEDITECH) that links its affiliated hospitals and physician offices.

Additional Information

We look forward to meeting you during our virtual meet and greets where you will have the opportunity to speak to our current residents! Stay tuned for updates on dates/times.  Please register for a meet and greet by emailing us at You can also check out our Instagram page @mac.pmr

Quick Facts

-We have one of largest physiatry residency programs in the country.

-We have approximately 25 full-and part-time physiatry faculty.

-In general, supervision within the core physiatry rotations is on a 1:1 resident to faculty basis.

-Patient load is dependent on the specific rotation, but core in-patient based rotations typically include 6-18 patients.

-There are no mandatory rural rotations.

-There is a process of approval for residents wanting to arrange out-of-province or international elective rotations.

-Educational funding is provided on a yearly basis for each resident to attend courses and conferences. 

Hamilton is a diverse, vibrant community of close to 500 000 people with much to see and do in Hamilton. Located in the middle of the Golden Horseshoe, Hamilton is within a 1 hour drive of both Toronto and Niagara Falls. There is an International Airport in Hamilton and Toronto International Airport is within a 45 minute drive. There is a vibrant arts community in the city, with Hamilton Place being a world-class venue for musical productions. First Ontario Centre and Ivor Wynne Stadium provide top-class facilities for sport and concert events. Many summer festivals are held in Hamilton involving local music, crafts, and arts talent.

For those interested in nature, the Dundas Regional Conservation Area is literally in the backyard of the McMaster University Medical Centre. This provides hundreds of miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails and is attached to the world famous Bruce Trail and Royal Botanical Gardens.

Hamilton has one of the lowest costs of living for a large metropolitan area in Canada, with excellent vacancy rates for accommodation. Public transportation is readily accessible, and travel within the city, including access to all hospitals, is very easy.