CaRMS tools : A glance at CaRMS matching

The medical curriculum is divided into two main stages. The pre-doctoral program includes the theoretical portion of the curriculum (2 to 3 years) and the externship, or practical internships (1.5 years to 2 years). At the end of the latter, the student obtains his doctorate in medicine. On the other hand, in order to obtain a license to practice, the student must complete a post-doctoral program (residency), at his home university or at another university, in a given specialty (including family medicine). A new admission process is then necessary.

CaRMS (Canadian Residency Matching Service) is a nonprofit organization that works closely with Canadian postgraduate medical education programs and medical students to provide the best possible residency match, taking into account both candidate choices and training program preferences. Although introduced in English-language medical schools in Canada for over 40 years, CaRMS has been used in Quebec for only six years. CaRMS therefore allows medical students to apply for residency on a pan-Canadian basis.

CaRMS is a completely computerized system that allows medical students to complete most of their application online. After the residency program directors review the files, the successful student will be offered an interview with the postdoctoral admissions committee of the program in question. At the end of the interview period, the student draws up a selection list of programs and places of residence according to his preferences.

The student can also refuse to rate a program, even if they have taken the interview. The system then performs an algorithmic match, taking into account the candidate’s ranking list and residency programs. It should be noted that CaRMS has a contractual scope and that a student who is offered a position in a program that he has classified must accept the offer and work as a resident physician in that program for a less than one year.If at the end of the process a candidate is not matched in any residency program, he can participate in the second round. He will be obliged to start the process again, but may apply among the positions that remain vacant.

Building your CaRMS file
A candidate’s CaRMS file is built according to the requirements of residency programs (refer to the CaRMS website – www.carms.ca). It particularly includes:

  • Letter from the Dean
    1. This document varies from university to university, but generally outlines the details of your academic background.
  • Student’s academic record
    • This is provided directly to CaRMS by the applicant’s home medical school
  • Candidate photo
    • We must aim for professionalism
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Cover letter
    • The criteria differ from program to program and from university to university
  • Letters of recommendation (usually two or three)
    • Letters of recommendation can come from an externship boss or other significant person. The question to ask yourself is, “Who is the best person and who will have the most influence to promote my candidacy for this specific residency program or this university?”.
    • The same person can write more than one letter of recommendation, for different universities or different residency programs.
  • Letters of support
    • They are requested in some study program
    • They are less personal in character than letters of recommendation.
    • The Supporter must complete a document that confirms the candidate is suitable.
    • The person writing the letter of support may be the same person who wrote the letter of recommendation.

Note that the candidate should not see the letters of recommendation and support. Therefore, it is recommended that the student provide the letter writers with a postage-paid envelope to CaRMS. Tracked mail is also very anxiety-relieving for students, as it allows students to know precisely whether the letter has reached CaRMS.

The translation of documents, if necessary, is done at the expense of the candidate. For letters of recommendation, a postage-paid envelope can be provided to the editor at the translator’s address, and a postage-paid envelope to the translator for CaRMS.

The beliefs

  • You must have done an internship in the field in which I am applying: FALSE.
    • A good CaRMS record, cover letter, and interview explaining the student’s interest in the program may be sufficient.
  • You must have done an internship at the university I’m applying to: FALSE.
    • It is not necessary to be known about the residency program in which you are applying. We only have to look at the residents around us to confirm this.
  • There is only one interview for the family medicine application for French-speaking universities: TRUE.
    • Applicants pass a single interview, with examiners from two out of three universities chosen at random. Evaluator scores are independent and interview reports are sent to the Family Medicine Units (UMF) selected by applicants.
  • It is possible to apply as a couple to CaRMS: TRUE.
    • A specific algorithm which prioritizes the site of residence is then used for the match.

The role of the FMEQ

  • CaRMS Complaints Office:
    • Consult the FMEQ website (www.fmeq.ca) or write directly to the pedagogical affairs delegate (pedagogique@fmeq.ca).
  • CaRMS ’Board Headquarters:
    • Since 2012, students from French-speaking universities have been represented on the CaRMS board of directors. The FMEQ is present to present your concerns.

For more information

CaRMS tools : No Match-Recruitment of Mentor

For a second year, the FMEQ wants to support its students who have not been matched in the first round of the 2023 match. This program is intended to help students with their application to the 2023 match round and the 2024 match. The goal is to offer support and advice to students for their application strategies and ideas for improving their curriculum and experiences. We are therefore looking for escorts including residents or doctors in practice who have had atypical paths with regard to their match.

all details are in the document attached to this publication. In this document is also the link to the Google Registration Form: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kc-qmb-y-lbvALNOhmfh411VaSsn9PNu/view?usp=sharingNo match – Google Docs

Attendant Registration Link: https://forms.gle/Hb8AAnRE2rC2R5258

If you have any questions, contact us at pedagogique@fmeq.ca

Thank you for your involvement


Emergency support program for “No match 2023”

More information in this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yE0DFsFYQYKPFq4I0qvod8TRVBsu_FOG/view?usp=share_link 


Translator services for CaRMS

The FMEQ doesn’t presently offer any official translators list, for operational and logistics reason. Solutions are currently being considered to help the students in their application process.