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Milestones vs. deadlines

By: Ashley McKiver, Manager, Compliance and Operational Services

CaRMS prepares detailed timelines for each of our matches. Our timelines are designed to provide a schedule of important dates (called milestones) to help applicants keep their application on track. Milestones are just recommendations, not deadlines.

But what is the difference between a milestone and a deadline?

Milestones are dates we recommend applicants follow in order to ensure they have allocated enough time to complete each phase of the application process. They are guidelines designed to help keep applications on track for timely completion. They act as a recommended date by which an objective should be met.

CaRMS milestones exist to help applicants plan the various steps they need to take to complete their application. Following our milestones will help reduce the stress related to last-minute rushing to complete application requirements. If an applicant misses a deadline, they still have a time to complete that step of their application; however, their application may be marked as late or certain elements of their application may not be available in time.

Milestones are also important for CaRMS because they help us manage the number of documents we receive in the match cycle. For example, milestones help us keep the application process on track so that we have ample time to process the over 145,000 documents we receive for the R-1 Main Residency Match.

A deadline is the latest date and time by which a step can be completed. The only real deadline in the CaRMS schedule is the rank order list (ROL) deadline – the date by which applicants must submit their ranked list of programs and programs must submit their ranked list of applicants. If an applicant misses this deadline, they will be automatically withdrawn from the match.