Reference materials

Reference materials include letters or evaluation forms provided by physicians, professors or non-clinical individuals (also known as referees) recommending you for further medical training.

Click here for more information on letters of reference, including recommendations on what they should include.

Please note that rotation evaluations or in-training evaluation reports are not considered reference materials and should be entered in their specified section.

All reference materials received at CaRMS will be treated as confidential and will not be shared with or returned to applicants or referees. You are not entitled to review reference materials provided by a referee, nor can you request information regarding the content or tone of a reference. Guidelines for the submission of reference materials specify that referees state whether the references will be seen by the applicant.

You must create a coversheet for each reference to act as a placeholder until the document is received and scanned/uploaded by CaRMS. For letters, be sure to indicate whether you are requesting a generic, discipline-specific or program-specific letter. If you have multiple references from the same referee, you must create a separate coversheet for each one.

If you are an applicant from an international medical school, you may have reference materials from your country of origin that you have brought with you to Canada. These documents should be notarized/certified if submitted by applicants. If you already have a reference in your possession, you must create a coversheet and send the reference and coversheet to CaRMS. Please note that the reference will not be returned, so we recommend sending a notarized/certified copy of the original.

Ideally, references should be written by people who have worked with you in a clinical setting in North America; however, we will accept any reference you can provide that is written by a physician and/or professor.

If the reference is in a language other than English or French, you must provide an official translation. Please do not submit the original foreign language document to CaRMS.

Important note for applicants to the Family Medicine/Emergency Medicine Match:

In this match, two types of references can be requested.

  1. A referee assessment form
  2. A program/site director assessment form

When CaRMS Online opens for the match, you can log in to your account to create reference requests for these materials.

Once your referees receive your request, they will be able to complete these forms directly in the CaRMS Online system. If your referees have any questions, please direct them to contact CaRMS at or 1.877.227.6742.

Early letters of reference

You can contact referees and request reference letters before CaRMS Online opens for the match by printing the early letter of reference form and giving it to your referee. The form must be attached to the letter when it is received by CaRMS.

Once we receive your early letter of reference, we will email you to let you know that your letter has been received. Please note that we will only contact you to inform you of the receipt of early letters of reference when CaRMS Online is closed .

When CaRMS Online opens, you must create coversheets for any early letter of reference. Please notify the CaRMS Document Centre at when a coversheet has been created so that your early letter of reference can be scanned to your profile. When CaRMS Online opens and letters are received, the documents team will look in your file for a coversheet and scan the document. It is your responsibility to track which documents have been scanned. If no coversheet has been created, we will contact you via email.

Please note that we cannot scan an early letter of reference to your profile unless you inform us that you have created a coversheet.