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CaRMS Application Requirements

This page contains information about the 2022 CaRMS selection.


 Please see below for information on applying to our program, including the application requirements, the goals and procedures of our selection process, and some frequently asked questions. 


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Standard Application Requirements

Please visit the CaRMS website for program-specific descriptions and requirements.

For your convenience, here is the CaRMS timeline.

Casper Test

All applicants to the Ophthalmology program at Queen’s are required to complete an online assessment (the Casper test, part of the Altus Suite), to assist with our selection process. Successful completion of Casper is mandatory in order to maintain admission eligibility.

More info.

Queen's Ophthalmology Questionnaire

Queen's Ophthalmology has developed a short one-page questionnaire to assist with the selection process. It is important to note that there are no "right" or "wrong" answers; the questionnaire is simply designed to help us learn more about applicants to our program. Completion of this questionnaire is mandatory in order to maintain admission eligibility. 

The goal of ‘CaRMS’ (or, the Canadian Residency Matching Service, the official application and matching service for medical training in Canada) is to match medical students to training programs using a computerized match algorithm based on the decisions made by both the applicants and the programs (rank order lists).

The goal of the CaRMS selection process for Queen’s Ophthalmology is to successfully match high quality medical students (as evidenced by their academic performance, scholarly activity, work-ethic, and interpersonal skills) who are genuinely interested in the field of ophthalmology, and in being a part of the Department of Ophthalmology at Queen’s. The working and learning environment at Queen’s is that of a small, tight-knit group working closely together. As such, each member’s contributions are important and valued. Our goal is to match applicants who will thrive in this environment.

There are two main hurdles in the Queen’s ophthalmology CaRMS selection process:

  • being shortlisted for an interview
  • being ranked on the final rank order list

In order to be shortlisted for an interview, the selection team reviews every aspect of a medical student’s CaRMS file. Areas we pay particular attention to include: academic record, research and scholarly activities, volunteer activities, letters of reference, and personal letter. The personal letter should give us insight in to who you are, your interest in ophthalmology and the Queen’s program, as well as your career aspirations.

After carefully reviewing each file, we have the very difficult task of paring down the long list of highly qualified applicants to 16–18 students for our interview shortlist. Although each individual applicant will have a very impressive file, we cannot interview every applicant. As such, we shortlist the students we feel have not only the qualifications, but also the qualities we believe will allow them to flourish in our program here at Queen’s. These students are then notified by email of their invitation for an interview on the predetermined date in March.

On the day of interviews, each candidate will have four 10-minute standardized interviews. These interviews generally explore the candidates’ interest in ophthalmology, Queen’s, as well as their interpersonal skills and other areas of interest. At the time of final ranking, all aspects of the applicant's file, coupled with their interview, are taken in to consideration.

Every year, most members of the Department (faculty and residents) are involved in reviewing applicant files to assist with selecting students for the interview shortlist.

 The interviewers consist of three to four teams of usually three departmental members. Generally, each team consists of two (2) faculty members and one (1) resident. Occasionally members of the Departmental support staff have assisted with interviews.

Input from all Departmental members is sought for the final rank order list.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our program is interested in training residents who are keen and able to receive instruction and learn, who have a genuine interest in providing high quality ophthalmic care during residency and in their future careers, who have excellent interpersonal skills such that they can work effectively in our tight-knit environment, and who are mature, introspective and self-reflective such that they are able to integrate and adapt all that they learn during residency in to their pre-existing scaffold. We are interested in residents who will actively contribute to the Program throughout their residency.

No, they do not.

While it is adviseable that at least one letter be from an ophthalmologist, we are keen to read letters from physicians from any specialty who know you well, and who can attest to your overall abilities and interpersonal skills, rather than from an ophthalmologist who has only spent a small amount of time with you during a short elective.

We want to get a sense of who you are: What motivates you in general and in ophthalmology? What makes you a good fit for a position in ophthalmology, and in particular Queen's ophthalmology? What you hope to achieve in a career in ophthalmology?...

The personal letter is an opportunity to give us insight in to who you are as a person, as well as information about you that we can't already glean from all of the documentation you have submitted as part of the application package.

Yes, we do. We want to ensure a future resident's success with microsurgery. Having excellent stereoacuity is an important asset when trying to perform delicate intraocular three-dimensional tasks like capsulorhexis and epiretinal membrane peeling.

We recommend that you upload up to three (3) abstracts/publications as PDFs. Uploading what you feel is your best work is advised. Of course you should list all of your research in the appropriate section and in your custom CV, including the citation, so that we can access it online at our discretion should we want to read more of your work

Get in touch

If you would like to learn more about the application procedure, please contact Shauna Vinkle, our postgraduate program assistant. 

To learn more about our program, please first have a look at our Digital Tour on the previous page.


All applicants applying to the ophthalmology program at the Queen’s University are required to complete the Casper Test (Altus Suite), to assist with our selection process for the 2021-2022 Application Cycle. 

Altus Suite is a standardized, two -part online assessment of non-cognitive skills, interpersonal characteristics, and personal values and priorities that we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program. Altus Suite will complement the other tools that we use for applicant review and evaluation. In implementing Altus Suite, we are trying to further enhance fairness and objectivity in our selection process.

Altus Suite consists of:

  • Casper: a 60-90 minute online situational judgment test (SJT) 

You will register for Altus Suite for Canadian Postgraduate Medical Education (CSP-20201 – Canadian Postgraduate Medical Education),

Access to create an account and for more information on important dates and requirements, and the Altus Suite assessments.