Western University - Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation - London

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

Last approved on September 22, 2022

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria

Dr. Steven Macaluso
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 
Parkwood Hospital  
550 Wellington Road
London , Ontario , Ontario, N6C 0A7
(519) 685-4292 X 45062
(519) 685-4017
Western PM&R

Program Contacts

Deborah McLaughlin
Program Administrator
519-685-4292x 61152

Important Information


  • Western University is on a 4 week block system (instead of months). This creates 13 blocks each year, instead of 12, 1-month long rotations.
  • Special Note: As of July 2020 all new PM&R residents will be enrolled in Competence By Design.  Please see the curriculum description for more details.

General Instructions

Program application language: English

Thank you for your interest in the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry (Western University) Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency program.  Our program welcomes all interested applicants to read through the application information carefully, and contact us ( if you have additional questions.  Please ensure your applications are completed by the due date specified by the CaRMS website, so that we can review and send out interview requests in a timely fashion.   

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 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 letters of reference are required. 

Additional documents
Custom Résumé / CV 

Current CV

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 : 600

A personal letter is required. This should outline the candidate's interest in physical medicine and rehabilitation and answer the following questions: "What has attracted you to Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation? What attracts you to Western University program specifically? What are your eventual career goals? Describe your personal strengths, weaknesses, experiences and career goals."

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 6, 2023
  • February 8, 2023
Interviews will be offered Monday, February 6, 2023 and Wednesday February 8, 2023. These will be conducted virtually with details to follow.  

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
There will be 4-6 interviewers meeting virtually with the prospective resident for three (3) mini-interviews of approximately 1/2 hour each.  The interview day typically lasts a total of a few hours (includes time spent virtually with the residents for a Q and A session about the program)  

Selection Criteria

  • Candidate displays a commitment to the discipline of PMR via their personal letter.
  • Has the skill and competency to meet the demands of a five-year residency in PMR, displayed via their academic record with specific consideration of their performance on rotations and courses related to the core skills required of a physiatrist (ex. Neurology, orthopedics, internal medicine).
  • Has completed all the requirements of their undergraduate medical training and are eligible to begin post-graduate training.

Program goals

The goal of the Western PM&R Residency program is to train well qualfied physatrists who will be able to:

  • Function effectively as consultants, integrating all of the CanMEDS Roles to provide optimal, ethical and patient-centred medical rehabilitative care.
  • Establish and maintain clinical knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to their practices.
  • Perform a complete and appropriate assessment of a patient.
  • Use preventive and therapeutic interventions effectively.
  • Demonstrate proficient and appropriate use of procedural skills, both diagnostic and therapeutic.
  • Seek appropriate consultation from other health professionals, recognizing the limits of their expertise.

Selection process goals

The goal of our selection process is to select an applicant who:

  • Has a good educational foundation rooted in CanMEDS competencies.
  • Demonstrates ethical and professional provision of patient-centred care.
  • Has a proven ability to gain clinical knowledge and skills.
  • Interacts well with our team and is an eager and willing learner.
  • Is a well rounded indiviudal who has insight into their current strengths and limitations.

File review process

Review team composition : Interview committee:
- Chaired by the Program Director (PD) with general members including a number of PMR faculty as appointed by the PD
- The committee will include at least one (1) PMR resident
- The make up of the committee will be re-evaluated annually at the discretion of the PD.

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

Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 76 - 100 %

Evaluation criteria :
File component Criteria
CV Demonstration of a well rounded applicant with relevant PMR-related experiences
Electives We do not consider elective choice as a screening measure for interviews
Examinations We do not evaluate this file component.
Extra-curricular Engagement in activities outside of medicine (work-life balance).
Leadership skills Highlighting areas in which the applicant demonstrated leadership qualities
MSPRs Completion of all requirements
Personal letters Applicants knowledge of PMR and insight into whether PMR is a good fit for their skills
Reference documents Support for career choice from a number of physicians with knowledge of PMR
Research/Publications The quality and quantity of research experience
Transcripts Highlighting any areas of strength or weakness in applicants prior studies

Elective criteria

We do not consider elective choice as a screening measure for interviews

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 Demonstrated skill in collaborative activities in the past
Collegiality General ease of communication and interaction
Communication skills Ability to articulate and describe simple and complex concepts
Health advocacy Knowledge of areas of advocacy for our patient populations typically seen in PMR
Interest in the discipline Demonstrates knowledge of Physiatry
Interest in the program Awareness of London, Western and PMR
Leadership skills Discussion of prior leadership roles
Professionalism Consistent history of professional behaviour
Scholarly activities Discussion of areas of exceptional academic achievement
Other interview component(s) INTERVIEW PROCESS
• Virtual Mini-interviews (ex. 20-30 min each x 3) involving a number of PMR faculty and/or residents.
• Candidates will also meet with the residents virtually for a Q and A session about the program.

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

  • Western has a well respected residency program with a consistent history of graduating residents who are well prepared for the Royal College and EMG exams, and who are desirable candidates for competitive fellowships and academic positions.
  • Excellent resident to faculty ratio with an engaged, education focused faculty
  • Interdisciplinary collaborative care between Physiatry and other specialties (Orthopedics, Plastics, Neurology, etc) providing unique educational experiences for our residents.
  • Large, academic, medical community with a full complement of medical services to allow for a comprehensive residency education without need for travel to other centres.
  • The city of London provides an excellent setting for resident education, with a combination of beautiful parks and bike trails, excellent cost of living, and a vibrant community with world class concerts, festivals, and dining.

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.

Residency Training Program Start Date - All programs at Western commence on July 1, 2023

Transition to Discipline

  • Initial rotation on Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation to ensure candidates are provided an orientation to Western, London and the specialty of PM&R. 
  • Rotation will include inpatient and outpatient duties at Parkwood Institute and St. Joseph's Health Care (Mount Hope and Main building)
  • Goals will include completion of first 4 EPA's, gaining familiarity with patient care at our centre, exposure to the patient population we serve, and meeting and interacting with our faculty, admin, residents and allied health members.


  • Performing a Physiatry-focused history
  • Performing a Physiatry-focused physical examination
  • Generating a problem list based on the International Classification of Functioning (ICF) Framework
  • Demonstrating safe and effective patient transfer of care


Foundations of Discipline

  • This portion of residency will provide you the relevant background in general medicine, orthopedics, rheumatology, neurology, psychiatry and other relevant areas to form the knowledge foundation to provide medical care to our patient populations.
  • You will be exposed to patients with with a wide range of impairments, disabilities and participation restrictions.
  • You will be expected to become competent at identifying and managing common emergencies our patients face, while gaining the medical knowledge to provide care pertaining to the wide range of medical co-morbidities that our patients experience.



  • Assessing and Managing non-emergent, commonly encountered issues.
  • Assessing and Providing initial management of emergent and urgent patient issues, and recognizing when to ask for assistance.
  • Performing procedures.

Core of Discipline

  • During this part of residency you will gain on-service exposure to all core physiatry areas including Brain Injury, Stroke, Amputee, P+O, Musculoskeletal, Neuromuscular, Cardiac, SCI, Pediatrics, EMG and others.
  • You will spend the time required to acquire competency for all core skills required to provide comprehensive management for our patient population.
  • This will account for the largest portion of your residency and will prepare you for the Royal College exam.


  • Performing new physiatric consultations, and develop comprehensive management plans for complex rehabilitation patient groups.
  • Performing focused physiatric assessments and developing physiatric follow-up management plans.
  • Identifying and managing emergent and urgent rehabilitation issues. (key issues listed in EPA)
  • Performing physiatric consultations, and developing management plans for common pediatric rehabilitation populations
  • Performing common physiatric procedures. (Key items listed in EPA)
  • Interpreting physiatry-relevant procedures. (key items listed in EPA)
  • Leading inter-professional meetings.
  • Facilitating the learning of others.

Special Assessment

  • Conducting a scholarly project from inception to completion.

Transition of Practice

  • The final stage of your residency training is focused on consolidating your knowledge, and preparing for your transition to functioning as an independent physiatrist.
  • The curriculum will be tailored to each resident's particular career path and goals, and will serve as a way to ensure residents are provided experiences which will make the transition to independent practice as smooth as possible.
  • Residents will also be asked to consider their future role as a health advocate for their patients, as well as a self-advocate to ensure they have a plan in place in order to minimize physician burnout.


  • Managing a Physiatric practice.
  • Developing a professional development strategy.

Special Assessment:

  • Planning and completing personalized training experiences aligned with career plans and/or specific learning needs.
  • Contributing to the improvement of health care delivery for persons with impairments/disabilities.

Special Assessment

  • Conducting a scholarly project from inception to completion.

The residents will have to complete at least one scholarly project during their training as stipulated by the Royal College Training Requirements. They will be requested to be actively involved in projects throughout their training.  Residents are encouraged to present their research at the CAPMR Annual Scientific Meeting, apply to the Annual CAPMR Resident Research Contest, and attend and present at other conferences.


  • There are weekly half-day academic rounds on a variety of rehabilitation topics, as well as bedside rounds to enhance examination skills.
  • Bimonthly Orthopedic-Plastic Surgery-Rehab Rounds.
  • Monthly PM&R Grand Rounds.
  • Rotation-specific teaching sessions are arranged within the framework of each rotation.
  • Neuro muscular rounds monthly
  • Weekly teaching seminars during each rotation

Training Sites


  • St. Joseph 's Health Care London (SJHC) - Parkwood Site (Main Rehabilitation Inpatient Hospital)
  • SJHC - Grosvenor (Main) and Mount Hope Sites
  • London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) - Victoria and University Hospitals
  • Children's Hospital of South Western Ontario (CHWO)
  • Thames Valley Children Centre (Pediatric rehab)

The residents have dedicated space with workstations and computer access. All residents are provided with an e-mail address and have internet access.  There is an onsite medical library.

Additional Information

  • Interprovincial and international electives are possible and encouraged to gain further experience.
  • Ratio of residents to faculty is Excellent!!  We have 12 full time academic faculty for 6 residents. There are also adjunct faculty with whom a resident can gain experience.
  • Average inpatient load varies from 5-15 patients depending on the service (Approximately 80 total inpatient rehabilitation beds)
  • Computer access is readily available with internet access and email access.
  • Internationally recognized research programs led by Dr. Teasell, Dr. Doherty and Dr. Loh.
  • Significant exposure to orthopedics and plastics during jointly run clinics.
  • Strong EMG exposure (internationally recognized).
  • Interventional pain management exposure/education.
  • There are no mandatory rural rotations but these are available within Southwestern Ontario area (Windsor, Owen Sound). 
  • Rotations are individualized as per resident preference.
  • A particular strength of our program is the education, collaboration, and exposure that occurs through related disciplines (Neurology, Plastics, Orthopedics, Rheumatology) during teaching sessions and clinics.


"Is physiatry right for me?"

This is a great question that you should ask yourself prior to your interview.  If you have a strong interest in neurology, orthopedics, and musculoskeletal medicine, and very much enjoy working in collaboration with others to maximize patients' function and quality of life; this might be the right area of medicine for you.


"How many residency positions do you have this year?"

We have two (2) residency positions for the 2023 CaRMS match.  As of July 2023 we will have 7 residents across all years of training, plus the possibility of one or two fellows.


"What is it like to live in London, Ontario?"

It's awesome!  Although many factors go into whether someone feels at home in any city, the combination of the vibrant medical community, ease of travel, fantastic cultural festivals, beautiful scenery, and a very good cost of living, make London an excellent place to live and learn during residency.  Check out for more details.


"What can I expect during my interview?"

Our faculty, residents, and administration look forward to CaRMS time each year!  It's our opportunity to meet all of you and come together to highlight some of the things that make our program truly special.  Normally, you would have an opportunity to tour Parkwood Institute and meet the residents, faculty, and staff.   This year we will have "Virtual Townhall Sessions" where you can meet our team prior to the interviews.  Please contact Deb McLaughlin for details (  I know interviews can be stressful.  See the INTERVIEW section/tab for more details.


"Do you actually read my CaRMS application, personal statement and reference letters?"

Yes, we actually read your application.  Thank you in advance for all your hard work.  Please read through each section and ensure your application is complete as we will use it during our selection process.


"I have a question that isn't answered on the site.  Who do I contact?"

Feel free to contact us with any questions and inquiries our Program Admin; Deb McLaughlin ( is here to help.