Ross University Blog

CANADA: Alums Share 7 Tips on How to Prepare for the Canadian Resident Matching Service

June 05, 2017

 

Kirsten Yip, MD, and Christopher Navachandrabala, MD, recently matched into residency programs through the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS).

Yip is set to begin a family medicine residency program at University of British Columbia (UBC). Likewise, Navachandrabala is entering the same specialty, beginning his career at Dalhousie University.

See below for their personal views on how to get ready for CaRMS.

 

Plan Ahead

You need strong organizational skills and to know your timelines. You often need to complete administrative requirements a year in advance.
 

Use Available Resources

Students should familiarize themselves with the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) and create an account on their portal. The MCC is the leading body in Canada that evaluates physicians in the country and maintains a national registry of their credentials throughout their careers. Students should also create an account with the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada’s (AFMC) student portal, a necessary step to register for elective clerkships in the nation. 
 

Kill the Exams

The Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE) and the National Assessment Collaboration Examination (NAC) are mandatory if you would like to apply to a Canadian residency program (completing the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part I (MCCQE1) before applications are due will help if you have time to do it). 

It is over simplistic to say the USMLE® Step and Canadian exams are alike. Moreover, you ought not to try to rely on USMLE® Step study aids as reasonable preparation for the Canadian exams. They are different beasts.
 

Gain Canadian Clinical Experience

Schedule electives and get Canadian letters of recommendation. Most, if not all, residency programs look for Canadian experience in your application. Some programs have an IMG Clinical Assessment Program (CAP) that will give you an advantage over other applicants.  

“Instead of using the AFMC student portal to obtain an elective clerkship, I entered the Rural Ontario Medical Program,” says Navachandrabala. “I was fortunate enough to complete two Canadian electives and I got a letter of recommendation from each of them.”
 

Attend Canadian Conferences

It is relatively inexpensive to join the Canadian Medical Association (CMA). The Annual Meeting and General Council is typically free to attend and you learn about the most pressing medical and healthcare issues in Canada. 

“I attended the College of Family Physician of Canada’s Family Medicine Forum and there were info booths representing every Canadian family medicine residency program,” says Yip. “I was able to speak one-on-one with the program director of UBC.”
 

Write Original Personal Statements

A generic personal statement is “kryptonite” and programs know when they are reading one. Read the requirements for personal statements. For example, the personal statement requirements often have different questions or even say to whom to address. Creating individualized statements is tedious but it will pay off if you can thoroughly express your connection and commitment to the program, school and province.  
 

Apply, Apply, Apply

Apply to as many Canadian residency programs as you can, provided you are willing to practice at each particular place.

 

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Tags: Canada , CaRMS , Residency , Match

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