CaRMS - IMG Stream

University of Toronto - Ophthalmology - Toronto
2024 R-1 Main Residency Match - First Iteration 

IMG Stream for IMG

Program Director: Dr. Amandeep Rai
Address:  Ophthalmology
                 340 College St,
                 Suite 400, Toronto, Ontario, M5T 3A9
Work:       416-978-6294
Website of Interest: Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences
                                   PGME at U of T

Program Contact
Name: Sandra Gauci
Title: Education Coordinator
Phone: 416-978-6294

Important Information

Please be aware that most, if not all, hospitals and Universities in Ontario have mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies in place that require, in the absence of a valid medical or human rights exemption, proof of vaccination. Acceptable vaccination must be in accordance with Health Canada. You will be required to provide documentation of COVID-19 vaccination to the appropriate institution if matched. Failure to comply and provide the appropriate documentation may result in the termination of the contract. These guidelines could change at any time in accordance with future direction from the Ministry of Health or the Universities based on information from Public Health.  

The University of Toronto has deferred the use of the CaRMS Self-Identification Questionnaire (CSIQ) responses at this time. PGME is seeking to learn from the experience of other schools in the 2023 & 2024 CaRMS matches.

For the 2024 R-1 Match - If you assign the CSIQ to any University of Toronto program the programs will NOT be able to view the content of your CSIQ response. There are programs which provide applicants other opportunities to self-identify as a member of an equity seeking group. Please see individual program descriptions for details.

Return of Service

The Ministry requests all ROS agreements before June 1 of the year they were matched. All agreements should be returned to the Ministry prior to the start of residency training. It is the responsibility of the applicant to confirm eligibility with respect to THE ROS requirements of other provinces.

Information about the Ministry’s ROS programs is available at the Return of Service Program

A letter of release from existing return of service agreements must be submitted as part of the application.

General Instructions

Program application language: English

Supporting Documentation / Information

Applicants are advised to only provide the documents requested by the program. No other documents submitted will be reviewed.

Canadian citizenship

CaRMS partners with third-party organizations to verify your citizenship or permanent resident status. If your status is verified by one of these organizations, you will not need to provide citizenship documents in your application. If your citizenship status is not verified, you must provide one of the documents listed below.

Document must be notarized/certified


Submit one of the following documents to verify your Canadian citizenship:
• Canadian Birth Certificate or Act of Birth
• Certificate of Canadian Citizenship
• Confirmation of Permanent Residence in Canada
• Passport page showing Canadian Citizenship
• Canadian Permanent Resident Card (both sides of card)
• Canadian Citizenship Card (both sides of card)

Legal Status

Proof of valid current citizenship or permanent resident status must be provided by submitting one of the following verifications to CaRMS by the File Review Opening deadline. Failure to provide valid proof will result in your application being removed. No other forms of verification are acceptable:

  1. Notarized/certified photocopy of Birth Certificate/Act of Birth issued by an authority in Canada accompanied by photo ID (must be Canadian government-issued photo ID).
  2. Failure to provide proof of citizenship will result in the removal of your application. No other forms of verification are acceptable.
  3. Documents must be notarized/certified photocopies. Notarized/certified copies must be dated and not older than two years from the date of application submission deadline; otherwise, a new notarized/certified copy is required.
  4. Confirmation of permanent residence must be accompanied by a photo ID (must be a Canadian government-issued photo ID).

CaRMS is partnering with third-party organizations to automate the verification of citizenship/legal status required by postgraduate offices for entry into residency. Third-party verification simplifies the process for applicants and programs. All applicants who do not receive third-party citizenship verification will be required to upload and assign an acceptable proof of citizenship document. Please see additional information here.

Language proficiency


Submit one of the following documents to verify your language proficiency:
• Letter of language proficiency
• Occupational English Test (OET) - Medicine
• Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) - General

Language assessment document accepted: TOEFL-iBT

  • Document validity (not expired) by: Must be valid up to the assignment of applications and documents deadline
  • Minimum score: 93 with a minimum score of 24 on the speaking section

Language assessment document accepted: IELTS Academic

  • Document validity (not expired) by: Must be valid up to the assignment of applications and documents deadline
  • Minimum score: 7 in each component

Language assessment document accepted: Occupational English Test (OET) -Medicine

  • Document validity (not expired) by: Must be valid up to July 1, 2024
  • Minimum score: Minimum grade of B in each component

Language assessment document accepted: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) – General

  • Document validity (not expired) by: Must be valid up to July 1, 2024
  • Minimum score: Minimum score of 9 in each component

Language assessment document accepted: Letter of language proficiency*

*Alternatively, candidates can submit a printout from the World Directory of Medical Schools which clearly states that the language of instruction is English or French.

The IELTS Indicator will be accepted as a substitute for the Academic Version of the IELTS.

The TOEFL iBT Home Edition will be accepted as a substitute for the TOEFL iBT.

Applicants must be able to communicate proficiently in the language of instruction and patient care of the matching school and training site. Please review specific program descriptions for more information.




  • Score and document(s)
  • NAC examination - Statement of results
  • Date/milestone assessment submission required: File review opening
  • Requirement: Mandatory with exceptions*

* MCCQE part II can be used to apply instead of the NAC

For more information on the NAC OSCE click on the following link National Assessment Collaboration | Medical Council of Canada


  • Score and document(s)
  • MCCQE Part I - Statement of Results
  • Date/milestone assessment submission required: File review opening
  • Requirement: Mandatory

For more information on the MCCQE Part 1 click on the following link

Reference documents


Number requested: 3

If possible one or more letters from a faculty member in Ophthalmology is helpful but not required.

Suggest elective preceptors who have adequate knowledge of the candidates' abilities are the preferred choice to provide reference letters.

Additional documents


[Note: Photograph is used as memory aid only]

Medical School Transcript 

Your medical school transcript can be submitted through one of the methods below:

  1. Obtain your medical transcript from your school and upload it directly to your CaRMS Online account. Follow your school’s policy regarding accessing or requesting your transcript;
  2. Ask your medical school to upload your medical transcript through their CaRMS Undergraduate Portal account; or
  3. International (IMGs) and United States (USMGs) medical graduates can transfer their transcript from their account.

Medical Student Performance Record 

For International (IMGs) and United States (USMGs) medical graduates, you can submit your MSPR through either of the methods below:

  1. Upload your MSPR directly into your CaRMS Online account; or
  2. Ask your medical school to upload your MSPR through their CaRMS Undergraduate Portal account.

If your MSPR is in a language other than the program language of English or French, you are required to have the document translated.

Custom Résumé / CV 

Personal Letter 
Word count
Minimum : None
Maximum : 500

We request that the candidates provide a letter discussing themselves as a person (beyond their CV), their reasons for developing an interest in Ophthalmology and their career goals and future plans. The letter could include any unique qualities or accomplishments which they think might be of interest to our program or relevant to their future career as an Ophthalmologist. The letter should be no longer than one page, single-spaced or 500 words maximum.

Ophthalmological Report 

The eye examination report should include visual acuity (corrected and uncorrected), refractive error, stereo vision, colour vision, ocular muscle balance/motility, and health status of the eyes. The report can be provided by an optometrist or ophthalmologist and must be signed.

Conditionally required

Undergraduate Transcript (Bachelor's Degree) 

Please provide a copy of undergraduate transcript, if applicable. 

Optional - will be reviewed

Graduate Transcript (Master/PhD Degree) 

Review Process

Applications submitted after file review has opened on December 2, 2023


Supporting documents (excluding letters of reference) that arrive after file review has opened  on  December 2, 2023


Letters of reference that arrive after the unmasking date on December 2, 2023




  • January 19, 2024

The Interview date is Friday January 19, 2024.

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.

The Resident Selection Committee reviews all applications based on the above selection criteria. Approximately 15 candidates are invited to the University of Toronto for a personal interview. For those invited, a full day of interviews will be conducted. Interviewees only notified via email. 

Each applicant is reviewed by three interview teams comprised of four individuals per team. Each interview is 20 minutes duration. Each interview team has one resident member.

Selection Criteria

- A strong academic record

- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills

- Candidates should have a proven interest in ophthalmology as demonstrated by having undertaken electives in ophthalmology or related fields. 

  • We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted candidates’ opportunities to arrange and complete electives and would like to reassure you that a lack of elective activity this year will not negatively impact your application to our program.

- It is recommended that references be obtained from academic specialists who have first hand knowledge of the applicant's performance.

- Candidates with an interest and /or experience in basic science or clinical research, are encouraged to apply.

Program goals

We train the next generation of ophthalmologists to be excellent clinicians and surgeons. Our residents have extensive exposure to all areas of general and subspecialty ophthalmology. Residents have large surgical case volumes, and latitude to tailor their PGY5 surgical exposure to their career interests. Lots of research opportunities are available across our large department. Our trainees are well prepared to pursue careers in either academic or community practice. 

Selection process goals

We are looking for candidates with a strong academic record and broad evidence of success across all their fields of medical training. They should have demonstrated interest in Ophthalmology by pursuing elective experiences, but we encourage candidates to demonstrate some breadth in electives with exposure to other disciplines. Candidates generally should have demonstrated some success in research, whether in Ophthalmology or another field. Accomplishments in other areas of candidates' personal and professional lives are valued also. 

File review process

Review team composition : Our CARMS selection committee consists of the Residency Program Director, the Chair of the CARMS committee, faculty representatives from all the teaching hospitals and the community as well as residents from PGY2-4.

Average number of applications received by our program in the last five years : 51 - 200
Our program typically receives 50 - 75 applications in any given year of the CARMS cycle.

Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 26 - 50 %
We typically interview 16 CMGs and 5-6 IMGs for our available training positions.

Evaluation criteria :

CV Academic success, awards, leadership activities, accomplishments in sports, music, other fields
Electives We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted candidates’ opportunities to arrange and complete electives and would like to reassure you that a lack of elective activity this year will not negatively impact your application to our program.
Examinations We do not evaluate this file component.
Extra-curricular Sports, music, leadership, business, community service, charitable work
Leadership skills Evidence of Leadership in medical school,
MSPRs Evidence of solid performance across various disciplines, comments by supervisors
Personal letters Reasons for interest in Ophthalmology, career goals, personal achievement and growth. Maximum one page.
Reference documents Evidence of clinical skills, dexterity, teamwork, learning aptitude
Research/Publications Success in publication, quality of work. On the first page of your CV, please specifically highlight your top 4 research accomplishments with a brief description of the importance of each. This may include a publication in a major journal, a presentation at a meeting, an award, an ongoing study, etc, and is not limited to ophthalmology work. You may list all research endeavours further in the CV.
Transcripts Academic success at both pre-medical undergraduate studies and medical school
Other file component(s) Eye examination - satisfactory best corrected vision in each eye with normal stereopsis (depth perception) - this is necessary for ophthalmic microsurgery. Eye exam can be performed by Optometrist OR Ophthalmologist.

Elective criteria

We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted candidates’ opportunities to arrange and complete electives and would like to reassure you that a lack of elective activity this year will not negatively impact your application to our program.

We do not require applicants to have done onsite electives.

Interview process

Interview format :

We may accommodate requests to re-schedule interviews for applicants due to weather, technology failure, or unforeseen circumstances.

Interview evaluation criteria :

Collaboration skills Evidence of the ability to work well in a team in a medical environment
Collegiality Demeanour, interactions with admin staff, other candidates, our residents, our faculty
Communication skills Ability to listen attentively to interview questions & answer intelligently without rehearsed answer
Health advocacy Evidence of activity related to improving eye health in communities or vulnerable populations
Interest in the discipline Some knowledge of our field, ability to discuss recent topics of interest in ophthalmology
Interest in the program Demonstrate knowledge of our program, and why they might be the right fit
Leadership skills Discussion of a leadership activity of which they are proud
Professionalism Composure during interview, thoughtful answers to stressful questions
Scholarly activities Discuss research - both their own and others
Other interview component(s) Ability to answer a wide range of questions, both related to ophthalmology and knowledge / opinion in general. Preference will be given to candidates who demonstrate the ability to listen, answer questions thoughtfully and thoroughly & not lapse into rehearsed answers.

Information gathered outside of CaRMS application

We do not consider any information gathered outside of the CaRMS application and local interview processes.

Ranking process

The behavior(s) exhibited below during the interview process may prevent an applicant from being ranked by our program :

Program Highlights

The University of Toronto has centralized much of its teaching and surgical training at the new Kensington Eye Institute (KEI). Residents have a new dedicated space at the KEI, which includes a surgical simulator, wet lab, library, computer workstations, and small group teaching seminar room. Grand rounds occur on Friday mornings in the Departmental conference room, and there is dedicated protected time for resident teaching on Friday mornings.

The residents also rotate through all the major Toronto hospitals, including Toronto Western, Mount Sinai, Sunnybrook, Hospital for Sick Children, St. Michael's and Princess Margaret. The Ophthalmology Department has a very large faculty that includes comprehensive ophthalmologists and all sub-specialities. The University of Toronto also has a large and extremely active basic science research department.

Program Curriculum

This residency program is for 5 years.

Program length of training does not exceed the Royal College or College of Family Physicians of Canada standard.


The PGY-1 year is designed to meet the requirements of the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons and to prepare the applicant for the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examinations Part II. Upon acceptance into the Ophthalmology Residency Program, the PGY-1 resident is seconded to the department of medicine for training. During this time, PGY-1's attend our Friday morning grand rounds and resident teaching rounds. They have training opportunities in plastic surgery, ENT, and neurosurgery. They also do a mandatory rotation in pediatrics on the CTU. Prior to the conclusion of the PGY-1 year, residents start a 6 week basic science program in ophthalmology called the Toronto Ophthalmology Residency Introductory Course (TORIC). The program involves didactic lectures with slide presentations, wet labs and dissection sessions. This course is attended by ophthalmology residents from all across Canada as well as some international programs.

PGY-2 & 3 (Junior Residency)

During the junior residency, residents rotate through each of the 5 teaching hospitals in order to acquire a solid foundation in the basic science and clinical aspects of medical and surgical ophthalmology. PGY-2 residents complete 4 month rotations in general eye clinics which involve exposure to all areas of ophthalmology and allow development of core ophthalmic knowledge and skills.  Residents in PGY-3 complete 2 month blocks of "vertical" medical ophthalmology rotations, including exposure to each of the subspecialty disciplines including: cornea/external ocular diseases, retina/vitreous, glaucoma, neuro ophthalmology & oculoplastics. They also complete a 4 month rotation in pediatric ophthalmology at the Hospital for Sick Children.

PGY-4 & 5 (Senior Residency)

Senior residents rotate through each of the 5 teaching hospitals. The emphasis here is on perfecting clinical skills in the general and subspecialty areas of ophthalmology and to provide a solid foundation in all aspects of surgical ophthalmology during this period of training. Residents in PGY-4 and 5 are primarily involved in surgical rotations.

We have created a "longitudinal" eight month rotation in cataract surgery at the Kensington Eye Institute (KEI). This rotation is "paired" with 8 months of placements at the four adult "base" hospitals (2 months each at Sunnybrook HSC, Toronto Western Hospital, Mt. Sinai Hospital & St. Michael's Hospital). Residents spend 1/2 of their time at KEI and the other 1/2 at the adult base hospitals. The remaining 4 months of the year occur at the Hospital for Sick Children focusing on pediatric eye surgery. Resident will still spend some surgical time at KEI while at HSC.

PGY-5 residents have a flexible year which is designed to begin emulating the transition to practice year which will be part of the new Royal College Competence by Design framework. Highlights of this year include involvement in a resident run "cataract clinic" providing all aspects of care to cataract surgery patients including pre and post operative management, and transition to a "senior back-up" on-call schedule. This year includes a longitudinal experience in glaucoma surgery at Mt. Sinai/KEI as well as considerable elective and Royal College study time.


Resident research is actively promoted. By the PGY-3 level, a major prospective or high quality retrospective research project should be chosen and started. This project must be completed by the end of training and presented at the departmental annual "Resident Research Day" in June. Residents are also expected to complete one Quality Improvement (QI) project during the PGY4 year. Residents attend periodic research rounds, presented by local, national and international research scientists and receive lectures in critical appraisal of the research literature and clinical epidemiology. Residents are supported by the department to present their research at national and international meetings. Residents have protected time for their research endeavours.


A dedicated academic half-day is committed on Friday morning for core resident lectures (8:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.) given by local faculty and visiting professors.

City-wide visiting professors rounds are held on Friday morning (7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.) attracting world class lecturers to the University of Toronto.

In addition, there are journal clubs, subspecialty rounds and small group teaching sessions. We have a fully equipped wetlab with six surgical stations and a surgical simulator. At the end of PGY3, residents participate in an extensive preparatory cataract surgery course using the full wetlab resources. 

Training Sites


The Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences at the University of Toronto provides a fully integrated, comprehensive postgraduate training program. Residents rotate through 5 fully affiliated teaching hospitals:

-The Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network

-Mount Sinai Hospital

-St. Michael's Hospital, Unity Health Network

-Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

-The Toronto Hospital for Sick Children

Much of the surgical teaching now occurs at the Kensington Eye Institute (KEI), which is also the location of the Friday morning grand rounds and academic 1/2 day. The Kensington Vision and Research Centre (KVRC) has recently opened to provide clinical care and research opportunities. PGY-5 residents run a cataract surgery clinic at the KVRC.

In addition, residents rotate through Princess Margaret Hospital, where they gain experience in the diagnosis and management of ocular oncology.  

We are currently introducing a mandatory PGY5 rural rotation in Northern Ontario that will typically require 1-2 trips per senior resident, 1 week each time, but residents have considerable elective and selective time during their senior years and are encouraged to pursue community rotations and international electives.

Additional Information

Pre-residency Orientation Programs

All IMG candidates accepted to all residency programs will be required to complete either the Pre-Residency Program (PRP) or the Pre-Residency Program for Family Medicine (PRPFM) prior to entering into a residency program. Matched IMGs will be expected to attend these programs in Toronto, several weeks in advance of the start of their residency program. In some cases, this may result in a delay of the start date of the residency. Additional information on the PRP and PRP FM programs can be found at the following link: Touchstone Institute.

Assessment Verification Period

All IMG candidates accepted to residency training programs will be required to undergo an Assessment Verification Period (AVP). This assessment period is normally 12 weeks in length and is required by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario to obtain an educational license to enter a residency program. CPSO – International Medical Graduates (IMGs).

IMGs that have failed an AVP and are reapplying through CaRMS are ineligible to apply for training in the same specialty in Ontario but may apply to a different specialty in the first and/or second iteration. IMGs who have withdrawn from a program prior to completion of an AVP must declare so upon application.

Additional Ontario Information:

  1. Permanent Residents: Successful applicants who hold Permanent Resident status in Canada will be required to disclose their Country of Citizenship to the postgraduate medical education office in order to comply with current reporting requirements of the Ontario Ministry.
  2. Matched applicants: CaRMS will provide their electronic data file to the matched university’s postgraduate education office. The postgraduate office will share the information as needed, but not limited to the Ontario Physician Human Resource Data Centre, Canadian Post-MD Education Registry, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the College of Family Physicians of Canada, the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada, the Professional Association of Residents of Ontario, teaching hospitals and other training sites, Touchstone Institute and the Ontario Ministry of Health.
  3. Changes: The Ontario Faculties of Medicine and Ontario Ministry of Health reserve the right to make changes to the information published on the CaRMS website pertaining to Ontario postgraduate training without prior notice.
  4. Failure to meet or provide proof of any of the stated requirements may result in applicant file being removed at any point during the match.

The ratio of residents to faculty is 24 to 120.

The average patient load is 20.

The library for the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences at the University of Toronto has computer facilities with access to email and electronic journals.

The Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences at the University of Toronto is the oldest and one of the largest ophthalmology training programs in Canada. Our commitment is towards excellence in patient care, resident education and world class basic science and clinical research.