Memorial University of Newfoundland - Medical Oncology - St. John's

2023 Medicine Subspecialty Match - first iteration
Competitive Stream for All

Last approved on July 28, 2022

Summary of changes

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria

Dr. Erin Powell
Discipline of Oncology 
Health Sciences Centre 
St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, A1B 3V6
(709) 777-8751
(709) 777-1072
Discipline of Medical Oncology

Program Contacts

Dr. Erin Powell
Program Director - Medical Oncology
(709) 777-8751

Ms. Amy Kelly
Secretary-Discipline of Oncology
(709) 777-8751

Important Information

The subspecialty training program in medical oncology is fully accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Training usually lasts two years, leading to a Certificate of Special Competence from the Royal College.

We are a comparatively small program but with a collegial team-based atmosphere. We have an enthusiastic, supportive faculty who love to teach.

The program accepts candidates who have completed at least three core years of training in Internal Medicine (acceptable to the Royal College). Selection will take place following review of application and interview.

To be eligible for educational registration, applicants must meet eligibility requirements of PGME and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador. As well, in accordance with the Canadian immigration requirements, applicants must either be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada.



Memorial University continues to follow the most up-to-date advice provided by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Government of Canada on COVID-19 response. Please refer to the University's COVID-19 website for up-to-date information.

Return of Service

Not applicable

General Instructions

Program application language: English

Other than the proof of citizenship/permanent residency, notarized/certified documents are not required for the application process; however, if you are accepted, you will be required to provide the original or notarized/certified documents.

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)
• Canadian Citizenship Card (both sides of card)
Language proficiency
Submit one of the following documents to verify your language proficiency:
• Occupational English Test (OET) - Medicine
• Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) - General

Exemption to English language proficiency testing

  • If you graduated from a medical school in Canada or the United States where English is the language of instruction, OR are completing an accredited core Internal Medicine residency program in Canada or the United States where English is the language of instruction, you are exempt from providing proof of language proficiency. 
    • If you graduated from a medical school in Canada or the United States which provides training in multiple language streams, please self-identify which stream you graduated from, e.g. English-Stream, French-Stream, Spanish-Stream, etc. 
  • IMGs who completed both their basic medical education AND patient care experience in one of the countries listed below (recognized as having English as the first language) are exempted by PGME from providing proof of English language proficiency. 
    • Anguilla
    • Antigua and Barbuda
    • Australia
    • Bahamas
    • Barbados
    • Bermuda
    • Canada
    • Dominica
    • Grenada
    • Ireland
    • Jamaica
    • New Zealand
    • St. Kitts and Nevis
    • St. Lucia
    • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
    • Singapore
    • South Africa
    • Trinidad and Tobago
    • United Kingdom
    • United States of America
    • Virgin Islands (United Kingdom)
    • Virgin Islands (United States)  
  • IMGs that are currently practicing in Canada as a Royal College specialist (must have FRCPC designation) and are providing the majority of their patient care in English, may be exempt from providing up-to-date language proficiency testing. Any applicant in this situation should write to in advance of the application deadline to determine if you meet this criteria for exemption. Applicants currently in a clinical fellowship program are not exempted.

Who is required to provide English Language Proficiency?

  • If you graduated from a medical school in Canada or the United States where the language of instruction is not in English (e.g. French) and are completing an accredited core Internal Medicine residency program in Canada or the United States where English is not the language of instruction, you are required to provide proof of proficiency in the English language. It is important to note that this requirement extends to all such applicants, regardless of whether other secondary/post-secondary education took place in English and regardless of citizenship. 
  • Applicants who complete undergraduate medical education outside of Canada and the United States, including Canadians, are considered IMGs; therefore, if you complete undergraduate medical education (in part or in full) in a country not recognized as having English as the first language, you must provide proof of proficiency in the English language. Note that elective rotations/experiences – regardless of length or location (including Canada) – will not satisfy the language proficiency requirements, nor will completion of any other non-medical schooling in English. 

The accepted English language proficiency exams, and the required scores, are as follows:

  • International English Language Testing System - Academic (IELTS-Academic), within 24 months of the residency start date (July 1), with a minimum score of 7 in each of the components in the same sitting;
  • Occupational English Test - Medicine (OET-Medicine), with a minimum grade of B in each of the four subsets in the same sitting;
  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program Test - General (CELPIP-General), with a minimum score of 9 in each of the four skills in the same sitting.

Results must be available by the CaRMS document review deadline.

Reference documents
Number requested: 3

Three letters of reference are required.

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

Outlining career objectives and reasons for chosing medical oncology.

Custom Résumé / CV 

Memorial Declaration for Interruptions 

ALL applicants must submit the Declaration for Interruptions form with their application. 

Consent for disclosure 

As per our Provincial Requirements, all applicants must complete the Consent to Disclose Form

MCCQE Part I - Statement of Results 

Required, if completed. 

MCCQE Part I - Supplemental Information Report 

Required, if completed. 

Medical School Diploma 

Medical School Transcript 

Request from the Registrar's Office.


Postgraduate Medical Training Certificate 

Will also accept a letter of good standing from your current Postgraduate Medical Education office.

Letter of standing 

Optional - will be reviewed
[Note: Photograph is used as memory aid only]

Review Process

Applications submitted after file review has opened on August 24, 2022

Supporting documents that arrive after file review has opened  on  August 24, 2022

All completed applications will be reviewed by a subcommittee of the Medical Oncology training program.



  • September 12, 2022
Interviews will take place on September 12, 2022

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview
Interviews will be conducted remotely.

Each candidate will be interviewed twice, each time with two members of the Resident Selection Subcommittee.  Each interview will be approximately 20-30 minutes.

Selection Criteria

All completed applications will be reviewed by a subcommittee of the medical oncology training program.  Candidates need not have completed electives at Memorial but interest in medical oncology should be clearly demonstrated.

The medical oncology training programs across Canada understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has created scheduling issues for residents trying to complete electives and oncology rotations. We understand and sympathize with your situation. All the programs have agreed that all applications to medical oncology will be considered without a rotation in oncology or reference letter from oncology. Letters and research from other disciplines will be considered for the application. For the selected candidates, interviews will be conducted remotely by the various institutions in the fall.


Program goals

Our residents and Fellows will integrate all of the CanMeds Roles, applying medical knowledge, clinical skills and professional values to provide high-quality and safe patient-centred care. They will acquire research experience and be active members of their community. Our program supports a positive work-life balance and encourages participation in extracurricular activities and community-based activities.



Selection process goals

Identify applicants who have demonstrated  an ability to interact professionally with both patients and the healthcare team. Identify applicants with an interest in the subspecialty of medical oncology and those who will develop into exceptional medical oncologists. Identify applicants who have demonstrated active involvement in their communities through their volunteer efforts and other community-based endeavours.


File review process

Review team composition : Our review team is composed of the Program Director, Assistant Program Director, resident representative, program administrators and designated faculty members.

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 We assess content such as research and publications, professional achievements, leadership positions
Electives Medical oncology electives/rotations considered but not required
Examinations If applicable, IELTS, MCC Exams
Extra-curricular Volunteering, mentoring, community-based activities
Leadership skills Holding office in a student/resident government or organization or other leadership role
MSPRs We do not evaluate this file component
Personal letters Interest in medical oncology and Memorial University, short and long-term career goals
Reference documents We assess positive interactions with patients and healthcare team members
Research/Publications Relation to oncology, interest in future research projects. Publications are not a necessary criteria for interview selection
Transcripts Academic performance

Interview process

Interview format :

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

Interview evaluation criteria :
Interview components Criteria
Collaboration skills Promotion of high quality patient care through working in a team environment
Collegiality Behaviour, attitude, ability to work with others
Communication skills Ability to speak and write English
Health advocacy Not applicable
Interest in the discipline Demonstrated interest in medical oncology through research/clinical experiences
Interest in the program Demonstrated interest in living in Atlantic Canada
Leadership skills Involvement in the improvement of medical care/medical education or other leadership roles
Professionalism Interactions with staff and residents
Scholarly activities Demonstrated interest in scholarly work during residency
Other interview component(s) We are looking for a resident who fulfills all CanMEDS roles and who will be a successful contributing member of our medical oncology team.

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 medical oncology training program at Memorial University consists primarily of site-based outpatient rotations supervised by enthusiastic medical oncologists.  Training will also be provided in radiation oncology, hematology and palliative care and there are inpatient rotations where residents have the opportunity to function as junior staff. Residents also have a longitudinal clinic where they follow and treat their own patients under the supervision of a staff medical oncologist.

There are Tumor Boards for each major site, Oncology Grand Rounds, Morbidity and Mortality Rounds, Ward Rounds as well as frequent Special Rounds for visiting speakers, etc.

Residents have plenty of opportunities for research and can also enroll in a Masters of Science program in Clinical Epidemiology. They have the advantages of a small program with extensive bedside teaching, exposure to many interesting and unusual cases and great mentorship. Our program is also flexible and can be tailored to accomodate individual needs and interests.

Funding will be made available for conference leave, travel, textbooks, subscriptions, etc.

You will have the opportunity to live in a beautiful province with access to running trails, ski resorts, and lots of outdoor activities year-round.

Please take a moment to watch these short videos:

Memorial University Medical Oncology Program

Place - Postgraduate Training at Memorial University

People - Postgraduate Training at Memorial University

Program - Postgraduate Training at Memorial University

A quote from a recent "graduate" of the program, Dr. Julie Lebert:

"As someone who comes from away, the warm, welcoming and unique culture of Newfoundland made my training experience so much more than just about learning the medicine. The memories, friendships and colleagues made will stay with me forever".

Program Curriculum

This residency program is for 2 years.

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

The program is for two years, on average. Residents are primarily based at the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre in St. John’s. The Centre is closely affiliated with Memorial University's Faculty of Medicine and the Health Sciences Centre, a tertiary care hospital providing a wide range of services to the province.

The program is accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and is under the management of the program director and the Residency Training Committee.

Residents will work with staff medical oncologists and progressive responsibility will be assigned in correlation with the level of training.  Experience will be gained in the treatment of oncology patients, primarily in the outpatient setting. Staff-guided clinics allow residents to have continuity of care and see the outcomes of their decisions longitudinally through all the stages of an individual patient’s care. Residents will rotate through breast, GI, GU, lung and mixed malignancy rotations as well as palliative medicine, hematology and radiation oncology. Elective opportunities are available in various areas.  The sequence and content of training will be individualized to the needs of individual residents.

Residents do call from home, approximately one weekend per block. They provide first call, with a staff medical oncologist on second call.

Academic teaching occurs at the bedside, during weekly in-patient handover rounds, journal clubs, and in Academic Half Day which occurs weekly throughout the year and is mandatory. We also have well-established Tumor Board meetings for breast, GI, GU, lung and neuro-oncology, providing an ideal forum for multidisciplinary discussion. In addition, there are monthly Oncology Grand Rounds and monthly Morbidity and Mortality Rounds in which residents will participate. Residents are encouraged and supported in research endeavours. The Discipline of Oncology includes molecular science and clinical researchers and residents are supported to become involved in the ongoing research of the discipline. They also have the option of using elective time to expand their research experience. It is also possible for residents to pursue a Masters of Science degree in Clinical Epidemiology on a part-time basis coincident with their training, pending successful application to Memorial University’s Graduate School.


Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada: Applying competency-based practices to residency education

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 has embarked upon an initiative to introduce competency-based medical education (CBME) in Canadian postgraduate 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.

CBD uses 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 are broken down into stages, and each stage will have 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.

Medical Oncology adopted CBD in July 2018.

All programs implementing CBD continue to undergo the same rigorous accreditation processes as traditional programs. All CBD programs (and traditional programs) continue to lead to Royal College approved certification. Certification for trainees in CBD will include the completion of a Royal College examination; however, residents in CBD programs will also be assessed against program milestones throughout their training. Within a CBD program, all milestones (documented within an electronic portfolio) and the Royal College examination must be successfully completed to achieve certification.



Training Sites

Training will take place primarily at the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre and the Health Sciences Centre in St. John's.

The Palliative Care Unit is located at the Dr. Leonard A. Miller Centre, St. John's, and some training will occur there.


Additional Information





Summary of changes

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