Who can be a referee?

A referee can be a physician, professor or non-clinical individual recommending an applicant for further medical training.

What kinds of reference documents can be requested?

  • Letter of reference: This type of reference document is a detailed letter that describes a referee’s experiences with the applicant and recommending them for further medical training. More information about what a reference letter should include can be found below.
  • Letter of reference from a program director: This type of reference document is a detailed letter that describes a program director’s experiences with the applicant and recommending them for further medical training. More information about what a reference letter should include can be found below.
  • Applicant support form: This type of reference document can be requested by an applicant who is applying to a program that requires it as part of their application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide you with a copy of the form, as it is not provided by CaRMS.

Are references confidential?

All references received at CaRMS are treated as confidential and are not shared with applicants.

How do I submit a reference?

You can submit your reference documents electronically through your CaRMS Online referee account, or send a hardcopy by mail to the address below:

CaRMS Document Centre
171 Nepean Street, Suite 101
Ottawa, ON
K2P 0B4

What should a reference letter include?

In order to ensure programs receive the information they need to evaluate applicants, reference letters should include:

  • A confidentiality statement indicating that the applicant has not seen the letter
  • The date the letter was written
  • The time and duration of your contact with the applicant
  • Assessment of the applicant’s
    • Cognitive skills and knowledge
    • Problem solving and patient management skills
    • Behaviour and attitudinal skills
    • Communication skills and working relationships
    • Motivation and punctuality
    • Sense of responsibility
    • Procedural skills specific to the discipline
    • Special qualities and unique contributions

If you are unable to comment on an applicant’s performance in any of these categories, you should indicate in your letter that you have not observed or do not have knowledge of that specific component.

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