University of Calgary - Anesthesiology - Calgary

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

Last approved on September 19, 2023

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria

Dr. Edward Choi
Dr. Debbie McAllister
Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine 
Foothills Medical Center 
Room C229 C, 1403 29 Street NW
Calgary, Alberta, T2N 2T9
(403) 944-1991
(403) 944-2425
University of Calgary Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine

Program Contacts

Dr. Debbie McAllister
Program Director

Dr. Graeme Bishop
Associate Program Director, CBD

Ms. Anca Petri
Program Administrator

Camille Baguio
Program Administrator (2)

Important Information

Any information included on all documents submitted to CaRMS, as well as all interactions throughout the CaRMS process, may be taken into account during a candidate's review and assessment.

General Instructions

Program application language: English

All sections of the application must be completed.

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.
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)
Language proficiency
Optional - will be reviewed
Submit one of the following documents to verify your language proficiency:
• Occupational English Test (OET) - Medicine
• Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) - General

IELTS, OET or CELPIP is required by CPSA for candidates from medical schools in Quebec except for candidates from McGill and for IMG candidates.  Please check CPSA for ELP updates.

Reference documents
Number requested: 3

Reference letters should be written by physicians who are well acquainted with your knowledge, communication skills, clinical performance, and professionalism. 

No more than three reference letters will be included in your file; any extra letters submitted will be discarded randomly.

Additional documents
Personal Letter 
Word count
Minimum : None
Maximum : 500

 There are 3 parts to the personal letter. Please answer all 3 parts (500 word limit will be strictly enforced, and points will be deducted if exceeded).


  1. How do you demonstrate the qualities of an excellent anesthesiologist?
  2. What has surprised you the most about your medical training so far?
  3. What interests you about doing your anesthesiology residency in our program?


Word Limit will be strictly enforced. Points will be deducted for letters over 500 words.


Questions that must be answered if relevant (not part of word limit):

  1. Please provide an explanation for any unsatisfactory performances during medical school.
  2. If this is not your first time applying to our program, please explain what has changed since your previous application, and what you have learned from that experience.
  3. If you failed to match to a residency training program in a previous iteration of CaRMS, please explain why you believe that occurred, what has changed since your previous application, and what you have learned from that experience.
  4. Please provide an explanation for any leaves of absences that may have occurred during your medical school training.




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.

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.

Custom Résumé / CV 

This should be submitted electronically through CaRMS, and it must be a distinct document from your CaRMS application.


Please submit copies of all abstracts and publications listed in your application and/or CV.  This should be submitted as a single scanned document, and the first page of this document should list the title of each abstract/publication in the order that it appears in the scanned document; please also clearly state which projects were done during medical school, and which projects were done prior to medical school.

If you are unable to provide a copy, please do not list the abstract or publication in your application and/or CV.


Please provide copies of any certifications listed in your application and/or CV.  This should be submitted as a single scanned document, and the first page of this document should list the title of each certificate in the order that it appears in the scanned document; please also clearly state which certificates were awarded during medical school, and which certificates were awarded prior to medical school.

If you are unable to provide a copy, please do not list the certification in your application and/or CV.

[Note: Photograph is used as memory aid only]

Please submit a photo taken since January 2020.  Note that this photo will be used as a reference/reminder during our selection process.

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

All files are reviewed by multiple individuals.  Files are ranked and scored by a group of reviewers using a predetermined scoring rubric.

All applications that are complete and submitted by the published deadline will be reviewed.

Once all files have been reviewed, the Selection Committee will choose the applicants to be invited for interviews.  All applicants will be notified of their status via e-mail as early as possible.  Our program maintains an interview waitlist, and candidates will be notified if an opening for an interview becomes available.



  • January 31, 2024
The date for the Calgary interview is determined through discussion with other Anesthesiology Program Directors. There are no alternative dates for an interview.  Please note that interviews will be conducted virtually.

In the event that an interview position becomes available after the initial interview invitations have been distributed, we will invite applicants for an interview in accordance with their ranking order based on the file review (i.e. from our waitlist).  Note that the interview is weighted sufficiently such that significant movement up the rank order is possible with a strong interview.

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.

Selection Criteria

Final ranking is done by committee. All aspects of a candidate's application, interactions with the program, and interview are taken into consideration.

Program goals

A successful applicant to our program will have documented interest in (and aptitude for) Anesthesiology.  They will be enthusiastic about joining our program and will help maintain the excellent learning atmosphere here.  They will be intelligent, hardworking, collegial, highly professional, self-motived, and open to feedback.  They will have a solid foundation of medical knowledge as well as great written, verbal and nonverbal communication skills.  They will be responsible, reliable, and professional, and will be the type of person we will want to hire on staff upon completion of training. 

Selection process goals

- honesty, integrity, responsibility and compassion

- insight and the capacity to learn from past experiences

- capacity for self-directed learning

- a strong academic record across a wide range of fields

- excellence in communication and interpersonal skills, a capacity for team work, and enthusiasm for learning

- comprehension of the practical aspects of a career in anesthesiology

- demonstrated technical aptitude

- well-rounded character demonstrated by extracurricular activities and interests

File review process

Review team composition : 30 faculty members from all sites in Calgary

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 academic and professional achievement, research, employment, leadership, community engagement, innovation.
Electives Not evaluated other than information about performance available on MSPR
Examinations We do not specifically evaluate this file component outside of MSPR and transcripts
Extra-curricular Well rounded individuals with interests outside medicine.
Leadership skills Demonstrated leadership skills within or outside medicine.
MSPRs Performance in all CanMEDs domains across all areas of the curriculum.
Personal letters Written communication skills, insight, understanding of anesthesiology as a career
Reference documents Evidence of well developed skills across all CanMEDS domains and in more than one discipline.
Research/Publications Interests in academic work outside MD curriculum, ability to work in a research team and complete projects.
Transcripts Broad academic success

Elective criteria

We will not be considering electives in our file review to ensure that the process is fair and equitable for all candidates.
We do not require applicants to have done onsite electives.

Interview process

Interview format :

We do not re-schedule interviews for applicants after we have completed the scheduling process.

Interview evaluation criteria :
Interview components Criteria
Collaboration skills Skills that suggest the candidate will be successful during residency and as a practicing physician.
Collegiality Skills that suggest the candidate will be successful during residency and as a practicing physician.
Communication skills Skills that suggest the candidate will be successful during residency and as a practicing physician.
Health advocacy Willingness to advocate on behalf future patients and their communities
Interest in the discipline Sufficient interest and understanding of the discipline to be successful in residency and beyond.
Interest in the program Thorough understanding of our program
Leadership skills Skills that suggest the candidate will be successful during residency and as a practicing physician.
Professionalism Skills that suggest the candidate will be successful during residency and as a practicing physician.
Scholarly activities Potential to contribute to our speciality and profession in the future

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

Calgary is the major referral site for southern Alberta, parts of central Alberta, southwestern British Columbia and southeastern Saskatchewan.  Delivery of care and training of residents is undertaken primarily at four adult hospitals (Foothills Medical Centre, Peter Lougheed Centre, Rockyview General Hospital and South Calgary Health Campus) as well as our pediatric facility, the Alberta Children’s Hospital.  All surgical services, other than major transplant and pediatric cardiac surgery, are provided in the city.  The proximity of Calgary to the mountains makes our program particularly attractive to those looking for an outdoor lifestyle. 

Our training program continually strives to achieve an optimal balance of general and specialist focused training, clinical experience and non-operating room instruction, tertiary care and community experiences, rigorous training and resident wellness.  Our goal is to attract honest, intelligent and innovative students and guide them into becoming well-rounded physicians who possess the specialized knowledge and skills required in modern anesthetic practice.  We regularly re-evaluate our program in order to optimize the educational experiences of our residents, and to ensure that their skills will meet the future needs of the specialty and society at large.  We embrace progressive methods to accomplish these goals, and our faculty work together with our residents to accomplish the shared goal of producing excellent anesthesiologists.

Resident wellness and resilience are priorities for our program. We recognize that residents need to be healthy and well in order get the most out of learning experiences and perform at their best. Our residents are encouraged to 'think big' and 'aim high’ and appreciate that residency is a unique chapter in their lives during which they can pursue broad educational and professional endeavours. As part of our CBD model of training, each resident is assigned an academic coach who will work with the resident to ensure that they are following a trajectory to competence. During regular meetings with the Program Directors, residents are encouraged to discuss ways in which the program can assist them to meet their goals.

Our program is designed to enable residents to be able to confidently work well independently the day they graduate from our program, and to be in the best position possible to pursue the fellowship opportunities that they desire.  Our residents work closely with program leadership and faculty members to ensure that their professional goals are achieved, and that they will have reached their full potential at the completion of their residency training.


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.

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 will be 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.

The Royal College anticipates that all specialty and subspecialty programs in Canada will adopt CBD in gradual phases. Anesthesiology formally started/will implement CBD in July, 2017.

All programs implementing CBD will continue to undergo the same rigorous accreditation processes as traditional programs. All CBD and traditional programs will continue to lead to Royal College approved certification. Certification for trainees in both CBD and traditional programs will include the completion of a Royal College examination. Residents in CBD programs will also be assessed against training 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

Hospital teaching sites associated with our program include the Alberta Children’s Hospital (ACH), the Foothills Medical Centre (FMC), the Peter Lougheed Centre (PLC), the Rockyview General Hospital (RGH), and the South Hospital Campus (SHC). Residents also benefit from the unique experiences provided in a variety of non-hospital facilities, such as the Chronic Pain Clinic and Accredited Non Hospital Surgical Facilities.  Training done outside of these centers must satisfy the regulations of the RPC, PGME Office, and the RCPSC.


The hospitals in Calgary serve a population of at least 1.5 million living in the Calgary area, southern Alberta, and parts of British Columbia and Saskatchewan. FMC is a designated level 1 adult trauma and tertiary care centre, and ACH is a pediatric referral site. All major surgical sub-specialty services are provided in Calgary. Anesthesia services are also provided for non-surgical treatments such as electroconvulsive therapy, electrical cardioversion, and invasive radiological procedures. Residents participate on the Code Team and Trauma Team at FMC, and have the opportunity to work with STARS Air Ambulance and Pediatric Transport teams during elective time. In addition, multidisciplinary Pre- Admission Clinics (PAC) and Acute Pain Services (APS) operate out of the affiliated teaching hospitals.


Please refer to our Program Manual for a detailed description of our program.