Dalhousie University - Orthopedic Surgery - Halifax

2024 R-1 Main Residency Match - first iteration
CMG Stream for CMG

Last approved on October 11, 2023

Summary of changes

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria

Dr. Andrew Glennie
Room 4554, Queen Elizabeth Health Sciences Centre  
1796 Summer Street
Halifax,Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia, B3H 3A7
(902) 473-6156

Program Contacts

Marlo Ferguson
Program Administrator

Dr. Andrew Glennie
Program Director

Important Information

To obtain a postgraduate training license after the conclusion of the match, Canadian Medical Graduates (CMG's) must have registered and challenged the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Exam Part 1 (MCCQE 1) by July 1, 2024. Those unsuccessful in the exam are subject to the decision of the regulatory authority regarding licensure.

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.
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)


You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident at the time of application.

Reference documents
Number requested: 3

Our program requires referees to complete the Orthopedic Surgery Structured Reference Letter.

Applicants must provide the below links within their reference request to referees. Both PDF and fillable PDF forms are available to choose from:

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.

[Note: Photograph is used as memory aid only]

Used for memory aid

Personal Letter 
Word count
Minimum : None
Maximum : 750

A personal statement letter should discuss the candidate's background and interests as well as outline a general interest in orthopaedics. Maximum word count of 750.

Custom Résumé / CV 

Review Process

Applications submitted after file review has opened on December 2, 2023

Supporting documents (excluding letters of reference) that arrive after file review has opened  on  December 2, 2023

Letters of reference that arrive after the unmasking date on December 2, 2023


Interviews will be held on January 16, 2024.    

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
The Residency Program Committee prescreens the application files. Selected candidates are then invited to interview. The invitation is sent through email. Each candidate will be interviewed by two interview panels composed of at least two faculty and one current resident. The program is hoping to hold a townhall (via Zoom) with faculty and residents to answser questions of applicants and highlight Dalhousie Ortho's facility and programs.

Selection Criteria

Application must include a curriculum vitae and a personal statement letter.

Program goals

The ultimate purpose of the Dalhousie Orthopaedic Training Program is to foster an environment that residents can acquire the skills to become successful orthopaedic surgeons.  This encompasses all areas of skill development specifically those outlined in the CanMeds curriculum.  The program recognizes the development of excellent surgical skills alone is not sufficient for a surgeon to practice effectively.  The goal of the program is to development an educational curriculum that supports learning in leadership, professionalism, scholar, collaborator, communicator and health advocate.  Our commitment to success in these areas will support and complement our efforts to create medical experts in orthopaedic surgery.  The Dalhousie program needs to be dynamic and evolve with the needs of society and the trainees to ensure the best environment for learning.  To this end, our program is committed to resident wellness with the support of the Post Graduate Medical Education Department at Dalhousie University.  Surgical training is demanding and can be stressful for surgical trainees.  The Dalhousie Orthopaedic Residency program encourages residents to participate in extra-curricular activities to ensure residents can maintain work life balance. 


Selection process goals

Identify applicants who have demonstrated ability to interact appropriately with patients and colleagues alike.

Identify applicants interested in Orthopaedic Surgery and will develop into exceptional surgeons.

Identify applicants who have demonstrated attributes highlighted in the CanMEDS 2015 roles.

Identify applicants who have demonstrated abiity and enthusiasm to learn and are able to adapt to the various demands of the Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Training Program.

Our program and university value the importance of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in residency education, and achieving a diverse and inclusive group of residents is a goal of our selection process.

File review process

Review team composition : Applicant files are distributed evenly among volunteer reviewers. These individual reviewers meet with the program director and program administrator as a group and an interview list is compiled.

Average number of applications received by our program in the last five years : 51 - 200

Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 26 - 50 %
There may be some exceptions

Evaluation criteria :
File component Criteria
CV Achievements, awards, research participation, special interests
Electives Clinical evaluations
Examinations We do not evaluate this file component.
Extra-curricular Volunteering, mentoring or any pursuits outside medicine
Leadership skills Demonstrates leadership roles
MSPRs Critical evaluation of medical school performance
Personal letters Writing skills, ability to express thoughts and personality with sincerity.
Reference documents Critical evaluation of the CanMeds roles demonstrated by the candidate
Research/Publications Any participation in research projects leading to peer reviewed publication or presentation
Transcripts Academic performance

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.

For the 2024 Match we do recognize that due to COVID-19 many elective opportunities were not possible or cancelled, this will be taken into account when making decisions. If you had an elective opportunity cancelled or made unavailable please address in your personal letter.

Interview process

Interview format :

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

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 well with others
Communication skills Ability to speak and write in English
Health advocacy Incorporates a healthy work/life balance
Interest in the discipline Demonstrated ability to excel as an orthopaedic surgeon and a well-rounded physician
Interest in the program Demonstrated interest living in The Maritimes
Leadership skills Involvement in the continuous development and improvement of medical care
Professionalism Correspondence with staff, residents, and administrator
Scholarly activities Presents academic interests clearly

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 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.

The Dalhousie Orthopaedic Training Program is five years in length and provides a strong clinical exposure in all areas of orthopaedic surgery. There is a large operative experience along with a robust ambulatory care component of approximately 45,000 outpatient visits per year. This is well balanced with a strong academic program. There is monthly journal club, weekly fracture rounds, and a protected academic teaching that takes place three days a week. There is now a set curriculum covering the breadth of Orthopedics that runs on a 2 year schedule.

The evaluation process is very important. During the core orthopaedic training, formal evaluations with appropriate feedback occur with every rotation. Each resident writes the Orthopaedic In training Evaluation exam every year. There are evaluating practice orals for the PGY3 - PGY5 residents three times a year as well as a surgical OSCE each year. 


The PGY1 program is part of an integrated core program in surgery, which involves the first two years of postgraduate training. Rotations include:

  • 4 Weeks of an Introductory Orthopaedic Bootcamp (1st rotation of the academic year)
  • 8 - 12 Weeks of Paediatric Orthopaedics
  • 28 - 32 Weeks of Adult Orthopaedics


This year consists of:

  • 32 Weeks of Adult Orthopaedics
  • 4 Weeks of Research 
  • 8 Weeks of ICU
  • 8 Weeks of Vascular Surgery



These three years are spent rotating solely on Orthopaedics. There are nine services:

  • Community Orthopaedics
  • Paediatric Orthopaedics
  • Spine
  • Trauma
  • Sports
  • Arthroplasty
  • Tumor
  • Upper Extremity
  • Foot and Ankle

In PGY3 there is a three-month community Orthopaedic rotation in Saint John, New Brunswick.  

In PGY4 there is a three-month elective period in addition to the core orthopaedic rotations. There are no set electives. The resident is at liberty to arrange an elective in any subspecialty or in general Orthopedics. This elective need not be completed in Dalhousie and can be done nationally or internationally. Each elective has to be approved by the Program Director and the Residency Training Committee. A portion of the PGY4 year the resident will be chief resident for the program.


Research is considered an integral part of the program.  There is a 4 Week core research rotation in the PGY2 year that is mandatory for all residents entering the program.  Residents may apply for additional research time (up to 12 weeks) to the Residency Training Committee to be scheduled during the PGY3 to PGY5 years.   Residents are expected to present current and ongoing projects at the annual Orthopedic Research Evening.  Residents are encouraged to participate at the Departmental/University level for research.

Training Sites

The majority of training is conducted at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Science Centre (1796 Summer Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia).  This also includes the off-service rotations scheduled in the PGY1 and PGY2 years.  Residents may also be scheduled at the Hants Community Hospital (89 Payzant Dr., Windsor, Nova Scotia) or at Scotia Surgery (18 Acadia St., Dartmouth, Nova Scotia) if their rotation supervisor is assigned surgery time at either.

All Pediatric Orthopaedic rotations take place at the IWK Hospital for Children (5850 University Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia).

In the PGY3 year, residents are required to complete a community orthopaedic rotation at the Saint John Regional Hospital (400 University Ave, Saint John, New Brunswick).  Housing is arranged for this 12 week rotation.


NOTE: All residency programs are required to have 10% of their residency training outside of Halifax Regional Municipality as stipulated in the most recent Academic Funding Plan set out by the Department of Health and Wellness. Please be aware that if matched to Halifax, as part of your training you may be expected to complete rotations outside central zone but within the maritime provinces.

Summary of changes

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