Medicine Subspecialty Match
Updated May 2017
The Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) is a national, not-for-profit, fee-for-service organization established in 1969 at the request of medical students seeking an independent entity to provide a fair and transparent application and matching service (matching program) for entry into postgraduate medical training throughout Canada.
Postgraduate medical residency programs (residency programs) operated by Canadian medical schools (Institutions) may be offered to graduating students and physician graduates (applicants) who are registered with CaRMS and meet the eligibility requirements established by the participating Institutions and provincial medical regulatory authorities.
CaRMS transmits residency applications and supporting documentation to residency programs using the Internet, and provides a system for the confidential ranking of programs and applicants for the purpose of operating the matching program.
This contract describes the respective rights and obligations of the applicants and CaRMS with respect to the matching program.
In consideration of the undertaking and conditions contained in this contract, the applicant and CaRMS agree as follows:
B. Rights and Obligations of Applicants
1. Applicant Eligibility
Applicants are eligible to participate in the Medicine Subspecialty Match (MSM) if they are Canadian Citizens or permanent residents of Canada, and:
a. Are graduates of or currently enrolled in a Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) or an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited Internal Medicine program; OR
b. Have successfully completed the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE), if the applicants received their undergraduate medical training at an international medical school and have RCPSC/ACGME accredited training; OR
c. Are in an acceptable training program in an RCPSC or an ACGME accredited program other than Internal Medicine, and are only applying to eligible disciplines (e.g. Critical Care Medicine, Pain Medicine).
Fulfilling the applicant eligibility requirements allows for participation in the match, but does not guarantee eligibility to all residency training positions participating in the match.
2. Registration of Couples
Two applicants may wish to identify each other as partners and submit a couple’s rank order list (ROL). For more details on couples ranking, please consult the couples ranking information.
Applicants to the Medicine Subspecialty Match (MSM) shall pay a registration fee of $202.00 plus applicable taxes.
Applicants shall pay a fee of $30.50 plus applicable taxes for each residency program selected in the first iteration of the match. There are no program fees charged in the second iteration of the match.
Fees shall be paid in accordance with applicant registration procedures established by CaRMS.
Payment of fees is by credit card through the CaRMS online payment server. If any fees remain, match results will be withheld until fees are remitted.
All fees paid to CaRMS are NON-REFUNDABLE.
4. Application in Canada and the United States
Applicants shall inform CaRMS within the CaRMS Online application if they apply to CaRMS and the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) Medical Specialties Matching Program (MSMP).
CaRMS must receive notification by the ROL deadline posted within the MSM applicant timeline, or the applicant risks forfeiting participation in the CaRMS match.
If applicants apply to any other United States matches, or to any other program outside of the CaRMS matching program in the same year, even if the programs to which they are applying commence in different years, they must ensure that they do not match to more than one program, or it will be considered a match breach, thus voiding the CaRMS match.
5. CaRMS Application
Once file review begins, no program applications can be unsubmitted for the purpose of making changes or withdrawn.
6. Schedules and Deadlines
Applicants shall submit all required information to CaRMS in accordance with the MSM Applicant Timeline established by CaRMS.
Applicants are responsible to ensure the timely receipt by CaRMS of all documents to be included in their application.
7. Sharing information through physiciansapply.ca
Applicants may use their physiciansapply.ca account to share designated documents and examination results with CaRMS. Documents and examination results are only shared with CaRMS, through physiciansapply.ca, if the Applicant has provided consent to share the designated documents and examination results and has not withdrawn consent. Once applicant results have been transferred to CaRMS, they cannot be removed, regardless of the sharing status listed on physiciansapply.ca. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that the relevant documents and examination results have been shared with CaRMS in accordance with the MSM applicant timeline established by CaRMS. CaRMS will not be held liable for the accuracy or timeliness of the sharing of documents and examination results from physiciansapply.ca.
8. Completeness and Accuracy of Information
Applicants are responsible for the completeness and accuracy of the information provided to CaRMS and residency programs. All information about previous medical education, postgraduate medical training or practice must be declared to allow a residency program full assessment of their application.
The Institutions and the postgraduate dean’s offices are responsible for the accuracy and timeliness of information available to applicants within the Program Descriptions located in the Program Directory on the CaRMS website. The inclusion or exclusion of residency training programs participating in the match is at the discretion of the Institutions. Applicants are encouraged to verify such information directly with the Institutions.
Some residency training positions require applicants to enter into a return of service (ROS) agreement with the provincial/territorial government. Applicants matched to these positions must be eligible for, and are required to sign the ROS agreement, once matched. A failure to execute the required ROS agreement will void the CaRMS match. Applicants are responsible for contacting the applicable provincial/territorial government to confirm the existence of and the term and contents of any applicable ROS agreement. CaRMS shall not be responsible for providing ROS agreement information, or for the accuracy of information exchanged between applicants and the provincial/territorial government.
CaRMS shall not be responsible for ensuring the accuracy of information exchanged between applicants and residency programs.
Applicants further agree that CaRMS may obtain reference letters from individuals designated by the applicants and that any personal information about the applicants within these letters may be disclosed to the assigned residency programs the applicants have applied to and used as determined by these residency programs. However, letters provided by the referee(s) are considered confidential and the contents cannot be disclosed to the applicants.
Applicants who (1) have graduated from a Quebec faculty of medicine, (2) have matched to a residency program in Quebec, or (3) are in the process of completing a residency program at a Quebec faculty of medicine consent to the disclosure of their personal information by CaRMS to Le Bureau de coopération interuniversitaire (BCI) formerly known as the Conference of Rectors and Principals of Quebec Universities/La Conférence des recteurs et des principaux des universités du Québec (“CREPUQ”) to permit BCI to manage residency admissions in the Province of Quebec.
Applicants who (1) have graduated from the University of British Columbia (UBC) Faculty of Medicine MD undergraduate program, (2) have matched to a residency program at UBC, or (3) are in the process of completing a residency program at UBC consent to the disclosure of their personal information by CaRMS to UBC’s Evaluation Studies Unit.
10. Withdrawal Deadlines
Applicants who wish to withdraw an application to a program must withdraw the application prior to file review. Applicants who wish to withdraw from the match must do so by the ROL deadline date provided in the CaRMS MSM applicant timeline.
11. Rank Order Lists
To participate in the matching program, applicants shall (a) register with and (b) submit an ROL electronically through CaRMS Online. If there is no submitted ROL by the deadline date provided in the CaRMS MSM Applicant Timeline the applicants are automatically removed from the match and will not receive match results.
ROLs may only be submitted through CaRMS Online.
Access to CaRMS Online is limited to registered residency programs, applicants and other authorized users. Applicants agree to follow access procedures established by CaRMS with respect to CaRMS Online. For greater certainty, ROLs may be entered in more than one session and may be modified multiple times prior to the ROL submission deadline. Applicants are encouraged to finish this process at least a week before the ROL submission deadline and prior to the peak utilization period when CaRMS Online may be less accessible.
CaRMS will not modify a submitted ROL or, if applicants miss the ROL deadline, CaRMS will not submit an ROL on the applicants’ behalf. Applicants agree that their ROL, giving their preferred list of residency programs, is to be the sole determinant of the order of their preference for matching to the residency programs to which they have applied.
CaRMS will treat the ROLs as confidential information. CaRMS will not release or disclose such information in any manner that permits individual identification of either a residency program or an applicant.
12. Qualifications for Licensure
A matched applicant must meet all of the criteria to obtain the appropriate licensure, certificate, permit, or registration from the medical regulatory authority in the province or territory to which they have been matched by July 1 of the year in which the residency commences. Failure to meet the criteria by the commencement of the residency program will result in the automatic release from the residency program and void the match contract.
13. Match Iterations
Applicants who participated in the matching program who are unmatched in the first iteration of the matching process can participate in the second iteration of the matching process at no cost.
Applicants matched in the first iteration of the matching process, or matched in the U.S. or any other program not part of the matching program, are not eligible to participate in the second iteration of the matching process. If for any reason an applicant is released from a contract in the first iteration of the matching process or released from a contract in the U.S., the applicant is not eligible for participation in the second iteration of the matching process.
An applicant agrees that they cannot change or remove Medical Council of Canada examination results, including the NAC, unless they are expired.
Applicants matched to a U.S. position through the NRMP Medical Specialties Matching Program (MSMP) shall be withdrawn from the second iteration of the CaRMS matching process.
14. Match Commitment
The listing of a residency program by an applicant on the applicant’s submitted ROL establishes a binding commitment to accept an appointment if a match results, it is the applicant’s responsibility to avoid the possibility of matching in more than one match at the same time. Each such appointment is subject to the official policies of the appointing institution in effect on the date the residency program submits its ROL and is contingent upon the matching applicant meeting all eligibility requirements imposed by those policies. Failure to honour this commitment by an applicant will be a breach of this contract and may result in penalties as described in sections 22 and 23. The participating residency program and Institution, in their discretion, may release an applicant from their binding commitment if they deem it would cause an applicant serious hardship. If applicable, CaRMS must receive a letter of support from the applicant’s current program director, acknowledging and outlining the hardship. A matched applicant shall be available to begin training in the residency program to which they are matched by July 1 of the year in which the residency commences, unless:
The applicant has clearly stated on their application the earliest start date they are available to begin medical subspecialty training and it will be up to the program and/or postgraduate office of the respective Institution to determine the applicant’s eligibility.
15. Restriction on Persuasion
Applicants and a residency program may express a high degree of interest in each other but may not make statements implying a commitment.
The following activities shall be considered as breaches of this contract and subject to the penalties as described in sections 22 and 23:
a. Applicants making any verbal or written contract for appointment to a residency position prior to completion of the matching program; and
b. Applicants requesting the ranking preference of a residency program.
C. Rights and Obligations of CaRMS
16. Verification of Credentials
CaRMS reserves the right to verify the credentials of all applicants. It is acknowledged and agreed by applicants that CaRMS is authorized to communicate with medical schools and other medical institutions and organizations relevant to the verification process.
All verification processes are to be completed prior to the ROL deadline; otherwise the applicant will not be permitted to proceed with the match.
CaRMS shall notify all applicants whose credentials cannot be verified or where there are reasonable and probable grounds to believe that the credentials submitted by the applicant are not authentic or have been falsified. The applicant will be given the opportunity to substantiate their credentials. The applicant may be immediately removed from the matching program, subject to the completion of the investigation procedures and the ultimate resolution/decision of the Violations Review Committee regarding verification of the credentials.
Applicants will not be permitted to proceed with the match or enter future matches where their credentials could not be verified. The Violations Review Committee, as appointed by the CaRMS Board of Directors shall proceed in the same manner as set out in the Match Violations Policy and shall report to the CaRMS board. Applicants may appeal the ultimate resolution/decision of the Violations Review Committee to the CaRMS Board of Directors. The decision of the CaRMS board shall be final.
17. Rank Order Lists
CaRMS will treat the ROLs as confidential information. CaRMS will not release or disclose such information in any manner that permits individual identification of either a residency program or an applicant.
18. Schedule of Dates
An annual MSM Applicant Timeline is published by CaRMS and is incorporated in this contract by reference. It is the applicant’s responsibility to meet the deadline dates in the MSM applicant timeline to optimize their application. CaRMS will not be held liable for negative impacts as a result of missed applicant milestones.
19. Availability of CaRMS Online
CaRMS does not guarantee the availability of CaRMS Online at all times.
20. Application Documentation
CaRMS only accepts transcripts, MSPRs/deans letters and reference documents via mail from medical schools and/or referees, all other applicant documents must be uploaded as per the instructions in CaRMS Online. CaRMS reserves the right to return any document that is not compliant with CaRMS’ standards via courier or express post. A charge will be applied to the applicant’s account to recover administrative and shipping costs. Furthermore, CaRMS will not be held liable for milestones missed due to returned documents. Notification of documents submitted after the date of the opening of file review will be made available within CaRMS Online to the administrator of the residency programs to which the applicant has applied. CaRMS makes no assurance that residency programs will consider documents or additional information that is added to the application after the opening of file review.
All reference documents that are received by CaRMS for inclusion in the applicant’s application are confidential documents and, without exception, shall not be released to the applicant. CaRMS reserves the right to allow referees to refuse to supply online reference letters and therefore shall not be held responsible for milestones missed.
CaRMS will only send the applicant’s application and personal information to those residency programs designated by the applicant.
CaRMS may, in its discretion, offer to applicants certain translation services, subject to the payment of additional fees. The applicant agrees to pay any fees associated with any such translation services in accordance with this contract. The applicant acknowledges and agrees that CaRMS utilizes a third party to provide translation services and that CaRMS will have no liability to the applicant for any such translation services, whether related to any delay, inaccuracy or otherwise.
21. Match Results
CaRMS shall make available applicant match results and contact information at the time specified by CaRMS in the MSM Applicant Timeline.
Individual applicant match results shall be sent to:
a. The residency program to which applicants have been matched; and
b. The postgraduate office of the residency program to which applicants have been matched; and
c. The applicants’ current postgraduate office, if the applicants are currently training at a Canadian university; and
d. To other parties, where applicants have given explicit consent.
22. Removal from Matching Program
CaRMS may remove from the matching program any applicant who falls into one or more of the following categories:
a. Applicants whose credentials or other supporting documents cannot be verified by CaRMS or where there are reasonable and probable grounds to believe that such credentials or supporting documents are not authentic or that the applicant has submitted falsified documents;
b. Applicants who are registered in both the NRMP and CaRMS and fail to notify CaRMS by the ROL deadline and/or are first matched through the NRMP to a position;
c. Applicants who are registered in another match and fail to notify CaRMS by the ROL deadline and/or are matched to any residency position prior to the CaRMS ROL deadline;
d. Applicants with unpaid fees to CaRMS;
e. Applicants for whom CaRMS has reasonable grounds to believe that they have breached the terms of this contract.
23. Breaches of the Match Contract
CaRMS maintains the highest professional standards in the conduct of the matching program and in its interactions with all participants. CaRMS expects all participants in the matching program to conduct their affairs in an ethical and professionally responsible manner. All participants must respect the right of applicants to freely investigate program options prior to submission of a final ROL.
CaRMS shall maintain and make available to applicants and residency programs, the policies and procedures for reporting and investigating breaches of CaRMS contracts (Match Violations Policy).
The Match Violations Policy shall govern CaRMS’ handling of match breaches and is incorporated by reference in and is an integral part of this contract.
In the instance CaRMS has reasonable grounds to believe that an applicant or residency program has breached the terms of this contract, CaRMS is authorized to take appropriate action, including, but not limited to, withdrawal of the applicant or residency program from the matching program and reporting the breach by the applicant or residency program as per the procedures outlined in the Match Violations Policy.
CaRMS shall investigate alleged breaches of this contract, including, but not limited to:
a. Discrepancies in credentials or other supporting documents;
b. Attempts to subvert the matching process itself;
c. Failures to offer or accept an appointment as required by the results of a match, and;
d. Any other irregular behaviour or activities that occur in connection with registration, the submission or modification of a ROL, and/or the residency program or applicant’s commitment to honour the match outcome.
24. Governing Law
This contract will be interpreted and enforced in accordance with the laws of the Province of Ontario and the federal laws of Canada applicable therein.
25. Entire Contract
This contract, together with the other documents to be delivered pursuant to this contract, constitute the entire contract, pertaining to the applicant and the matching program, between CaRMS and the applicants.
If any provisions of this contract are found to be void, illegal or unenforceable in any jurisdiction, such a provision shall be deemed to be severed and the other provisions shall remain in full force and effect.