McMaster University - Radiation Oncology - Hamilton

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. Justin Lee
Radiation Oncology 
Juravinski Cancer Centre  
699 Concession Street
Hamilton ON L8V 5C2 , Ontario
(905) 387-9711 ext 64628
(905) 575-6350
Radiation Oncology Residency Program

Program Contacts

Dr. Justin Lee
Program Director
905-387-9711 ext 64628

Nicole Molinaro
Program Assistant
905-387-9711 ext 64628

Important Information

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

Information regarding Competency Based Medical Education (CBME) can be viewed at: McMaster CBME

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 Permanent Resident Card (both sides of card)
• Canadian Citizenship 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

Reference letters from the institution/discipline will not be required for consideration of interview. We will not accept more than three letters.




Additional documents
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 : None

A short personal letter is required, to include a description of why you would like to train in Radiation Oncology, and at McMaster. Please include what you would hope to gain from the program, and what you would bring to it. 

Especially for those with limited elective experience in Radiation Oncology, please explain how you have acquired a sufficient understanding of Radiation Oncology to feel confident in considering this specialty as a career choice."




Custom Résumé / CV 

[Note: Photograph is used as memory aid only]

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.

Conditionally required
Undergraduate Transcript (Bachelor's Degree) 

Order from your Registrar

Medical School Diploma 

Please note: Required if Medical school has been completed.

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 applications will be reviewed. Those selected for an interview will be contacted via email.  Those unsuccessful in obtaining an interview will be notified by email as well.  



  • January 17, 2024

Virtual Interview dates are coordinated with other Radiation Oncology programs across Canada to facilitate applicants with multiple Radiation Oncology interviews. McMaster's interview date will be Wednesday January 17th, 2024.

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

Each applicant’s CaRMS file is reviewed by members of the Residency Program Committee to determine the likelihood of a good fit between the applicant and the McMaster program. Those applicants to be considered further are invited to a virtual interview via zoom. Each applicant will spend 30 minutes with two Radiation Oncologists +/- a senior resident from within the Juravinski Cancer Centre. In addition, remaining current Radiation Oncology Residents will be available for informal discussion, and may host a virtual social event around the interview date.

Selection Criteria

Applicants are assessed for evidence of:

            A clear understanding of the specialty of Radiation Oncology

            Academic potential, through prior academic achievement, and experience in research and/or teaching

            Success in working in a collaborative team environment

            Developing knowledge and skill in clinical patient care.

             Excellent communications skills

            Professional attitude

            Capability for insight and self-assessment



Program goals

The training program in Radiation Oncology at McMaster University supports each resident in reaching their full potential as an excellent clinical Radiation Oncologist, and, if desired, a successful academic Radiation Oncologist. Our trainees thrive in the collegial atmosphere of our program, and contribute to the high quality of care and supportive environment of the Juravinski Cancer Centre. Our graduates are skilled in all aspects of clinical Radiation Oncology practice and prepared to move on to independent practice to provide care and leadership in a collaborative, multidisciplinary setting, or to fellowship to advance their skills or pursue academic interests.

Selection process goals

For the training program at McMaster University, the aim of the CaRMS selection process is to identify intellectually capable, conscientious, and academically motivated individuals who have discovered that the specialty of Radiation Oncology fits their interests, aptitude, and career goals. Applicants to the program will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • A clear understanding and interest in the specialty of Radiation Oncology
  • Cognitive capability
  • Academic potential as evidenced by involvement in research and/or education
  • Success in working in a team/collaborative environment
  • Excellence in communication skills
  • Professional attitude and behavior
  • Capability for insight and self-assessment.

File review process

Review team composition : All applications are reviewed by the Program Director and at least one other faculty member. Interviews are offered based on the above criteria.The number of applicants interviewed is based on the number of applications received, assessment of the applications,and resources available for interviews.

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 Evidence of academic achievement, teamwork ability, educational role, scholarly work.
Electives Given the limited elective opportunities for undergraduate students this year, this is not a requirement and will not be counted against the applicant
Examinations We do not evaluate this file component.
Extra-curricular Evidence of collaborative skills, leadership, time-management
Leadership skills Evidence of professionalism, willingness to take responsibility, management skills, collaboration.
MSPRs Evidence of professionalism, academic aptitude.
Personal letters Written communication skills, personal insight, knowledge of Radiation Oncology.
Reference documents Evidence of collaborative skills, clinical & cognitive capability, professionalism, conscientiousness.
Research/Publications Interest/aptitude for academic work helpful, not an absolute requirement
Transcripts Consistently solid achievement.

Elective criteria

Due to limited elective opportunities this year, there are no specific elective requirements. We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic may have 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 Evidence of success in team environments, clinical or otherwise
Collegiality Ability to collaborate under various circumstances, clinical or otherwise
Communication skills Clear, organized oral communication during interview, effective communication in other settings
Health advocacy Advocate for patients
Interest in the discipline Clear understanding of components of Radiation Oncology practice
Interest in the program Interest in learning of the unique characteristics of the program
Leadership skills Prior experience and insight into reasons for success/failure in leadership positions
Professionalism Appropriate behaviour/language at interview
Scholarly activities Participation/completion of research, teaching, quality, patient safety, in Radiation Oncology or other areas of study.

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 Division of Radiation Oncology at the Juravinski Cancer Centre serves Ontario’s LHIN4, which includes the Greater Hamilton Region, Brantford, Burlington, Norfolk Region, and the Niagara Peninsula. Approximately 5,000 new cancer patients are seen annually by the Radiation Oncology service. The program is designed to ensure that the trainee acquires a broad understanding of human malignant disease, gains competence in general medical management of patients, and special competence in radiation oncology, including knowledge and application of the basic sciences underpinning cancer and its management. In addition, the program allows trainees to develop the skills and experience in scholarship, as a foundation for an academic career.


TTD is 8 weeks of training based in the Division of Radiation Oncology at the Juravinski Cancer Centre. The goal is to gain clinical Radiation Oncology experience and to become familiar with

  • The training program and environment
  • The fundamental aspects of radiation oncology practice
  • The role of Radiation Oncologists in multidisciplinary cancer care
  • The basic principles of radiation therapy.
  • The trainee works with several clinical supervisors managing various types of cancer, in the outpatient setting, sees inpatient consultations, does radiation oncology “on call” under the close supervision and guidance of senior trainees, and attends multiple teaching sessions on basic clinical medicine and other fundamental aspects of the responsibilities of a resident.



Residents spend the remainder of the PGY1 year (eleven 4-week blocks) in the Foundations phase of training, working in various clinical settings related directly to Radiation Oncology, including

  • Internal Medicine (CTU)                      2 blocks
  • Thoracic Oncology Surgery                  1 block
  • Gynecologic Oncology                         1 block
  • Inpatient Oncology                             2 blocks
  • Emergency Medicine                           1 block
  • Diagnostic Imaging                             1 block
  • Palliative Care (Inpatient/outpatient)    2 blocks
  • Neuro-Oncology                                  1 block



The Core phase of training runs from July of PGY2 to the fall of PGY5, and includes clinical rotations in all aspects of Radiation Oncology practice, including Paediatrics and Sarcoma, as Hamilton is home to services in both of these highly specialized areas.

Clinical Care: Clinical rotations are person-based, with residents working directly with individual Radiation Oncologists in their areas of expertise. The level of responsibility for clinical care and radiation treatment planning increases as residents progress through the program. There are blocks dedicated to radiation treatment planning, and Medical Oncology, and there is a one-block prostate brachytherapy experience based at the Odette Cancer Centre in Toronto. Residents do one block of radiation oncology at a community cancer centre, within driving distance of Hamilton, or elsewhere in Ontario or Canada. There is ample time for electives outside Hamilton; previous trainees have completed electives nearby, farther afield across Canada, in the US, and beyond. Residents take first call from home (approximately 1 in 5), with staff back-up, within the PARO agreement. Each resident takes on the role of Chief Resident in the PGY3 year.

Research: Residents are required to complete a scholarly project during training. The program has a research advisor, who is a successful academic Radiation Oncologist, to aid in identifying a research interest and supervisor from among a faculty with diverse academic experience. Research skills are taught in a dedicated longitudinal course in the PGY2 year, where residents work a clinical problem into a research question and develop a feasible project proposal. In PGY3 there is a hybrid clinical/research block for working on a scholarly project, with the potential to dedicate further elective time to research in the senior years. Residents are financially supported to attend the CARO and ASTRO meetings once during training, and any time they present their scholarly work at these or other North American meetings. The McMaster Department of Oncology has an annual Research Day at which Radiation Oncology residents present their work along with colleagues in Medical Physics, Medical and Surgical Oncology, and Basic Sciences.

Academic Program: There are weekly Academic Half-Days, during which resident are protected from clinical responsibilities. Topic include general oncology topics (combined with Medical Oncology trainees), specific Radiation Oncology topics that include both clinic, technologic and basic science aspects of Radiation Oncology, and cover the range of CanMeds roles. Residents participate in regular Journal Club meetings, Morbidity and Mortality Rounds, and Clinical-Pathologic Conferences throughout the academic year. At the Juravinski, there are multiple cancer-site-specific multidisciplinary rounds and radiation treatment planning rounds, which residents are expected to attend as they relate to their clinical rotations. Residents are expected to attend the weekly JCC Regional Oncology rounds that cover diverse clinical, scientific, and psychosocial oncology topics. Residents are encouraged to participate in undergraduate/postgraduate teaching opportunities. Residents are financially supported to attend a contouring course, and the national exam prep course.

Basic Sciences: In PGY2 and PYG3, residents participate in a dedicated physics course in collaboration with the medical radiation physics program that takes place over a 2-week protected period, as well as longitudinal physics education teaching sessions. A one-week physics review course occurs annually for senior residents. Residents attend the U of T Radiobiology course in PGY2 and again in PGY3.

Evaluation: Residents complete formal exams in radiation physics and radiobiology. Throughout training, residents are assessed per the Royal College Competence-by-Design framework on the specific requirements of training in Radiation Oncology, through work-based feedback and assessment, end-of-rotation evaluations, personal reflections, and teaching evaluations. Starting in PGY2, there are in-house OSCEs twice annually, and an annual in-house written exam. Residents may take the ACR in-training exam. The Royal College Fellowship Exam takes place in two parts: the written exam is in the spring of PGY4, and the oral exam in the fall of PGY5.



The TTP phase of training occurs in the last few months of training. The goal is to focus on the skills required to enter practice successfully, through longitudinal clinics, more independence in practice, participation in administrative roles, and completion of scholarly work.






Training Sites

McMaster University postgraduate medical training programs in Hamilton are delivered in cooperation with the affiliated teaching hospitals in Hamilton.  Basic clinical training takes place at Hamilton Health Science (HHS) and St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton, and specific training in Radiation Oncology is provided at the Juravinski Cancer Centre (JCC) in Hamilton.  The JCC serves a population of 1.4 million in the Hamilton-Niagara-Haldimand-Brant region of Southern Ontario.  The JCC Division of Radiation Oncology is staffed by 25 Radiation Oncologists with cross-appointments to McMaster University and a diversity of interest and experience that includes epidemiology, translational research, molecular biology, health services research, supportive care, complementary and alternative medicine, education, paediatric oncology and imaging.  There is a busy brachytherapy service that includes gynae, upper GI and thoracic brachytherapy, and established Stereotactic Radiosurgery and Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy programs serviced by state of the art linear accelerators and a cyberknife unit.  The JCC also has comprehensive programs in Medical Oncology, Malignant Hematology, and Surgical Oncology (with programs in Gynae-Oncology, Lower GI, Hepatobiliary, Head & Neck, Thoracic, Sarcoma, Urology and Neurosurgery) which provide support to the Radiation Oncology training program through clinical rotations and expert Academic Half-Day teaching.  The Paediatric Oncology service is based at the McMaster Children’s Hospital, where Residents attend clinics and rounds, with radiotherapy delivered to paediatric patients at the JCC under the supervision of expert members of the Division of Radiation Oncology.  The technology, patient population, and clinical programs required to provide all aspects of clinical training exist within Hamilton with the exception of prostate brachytherapy.  Residents attend the Odette Cancer Centre in Toronto for hands on prostate brachyterhapy experience.   Residents in the program may travel to other centres for additional elective experiences.  Residents of this program have previously travelled within Ontario and Canada, to the United States, and to Australia, Africa, and the Middle East.


The following are further resources available to the McMaster Radiation Oncology Training Program:

Clinical Trials: The JCC is a full member of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), affiliate member of the Pediatric Oncology Group (POG), an active participant in the National Cancer Institute of Canada – Clinical Trials Group (NCIC-CTG) and the Ontario Clinical Oncology Group (OCOG), as well as intergroup trials, industry trials, and in-house studies.

Supportive Care:  JCC houses the Supportive Care Cancer Research Group

Evidence-Based Medicine: McMaster University’s Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence & Impact 

Health Economics: McMaster University’s Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis (CHEPA)

Education: The McMaster Education Research, Innovation and Theory (MERIT) Program

Research training and support: The Escarpment Cancer Research Institute