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Pediatric Residency Program Overview

On this page: Course of Training | The HospitalApplying | Interview ProcessProfessional Responsibility | On-Call Duties | Teaching and Learning Environment | Policies | Assessments | CertificationsElectives for Medical Students | More Information for Residents

Usual Course of Training for the Resident Program

The Montreal Children's Hospital pediatric residency program is a 4-year program fully accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and by the Collège des Médecins du Québec. The first 3 years comprise the core curriculum and the subsequent 2 years offer residents opportunities in subspecialty pediatrics, general consultant pediatrics, or general academic pediatrics.

Residents admitted through the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) normally enter training in pediatrics directly from medical school. International Medical Graduates (from the Gulf States or other countries) normally have at least one year of training in pediatrics in their home country prior to entry into the program (this time is not counted towards their training in Canada).

For more details on the course of training throughout each year please visit Curriculum.

The Hospital

The Montreal Children's Hospital is a 178-bed tertiary care pediatric hospital that serves a large multicultural population. The Emergency Department is one of the busiest in Canada, with over 80,000 visits per year. Both medical and surgical cases are seen in the ED and residents rotate through both sectors. Approximately 8,000 children are admitted to the hospital each year, with 3,200 admissions to the medical teaching units or about 10 medical admissions/day. All pediatric subspecialties are represented at MCH. Neonatology rotations are offered on two other sites of traning: the Royal Victoria Hospital and the Jewish General Hospital.

The Application Process

Graduates of Canadian medical schools apply through the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS). Applicants are requested to submit three letters of reference, preferably with one from the pediatric medical school clerkship director, in addition to a personal statement and curriculum vitae. The Residency Selection Committee reviews applications and interviews are offered from mid-December through mid-January.

Graduates of American medical schools who are US citizens may apply through CaRMS or may apply directly to the program. In addition to CaRMS entry positions, qualified US applicants may be eligible for non-CaRMs positions. Interested US applicants are encouraged to contact the program director for more information.

International medical graduates should apply directly to the McGill University Faculty of Medicine.

The Interview Process

The interview process takes place at the Montreal Children's Hospital. Chief residents meet with all candidates on the day of the interview and present an overview of the program. There is ample time for candidates to have all of their questions answered. Each applicant is interviewed by 3 staff members and then are given a tour of the hospital by one of the current resident housestaff. The interview process takes approximately 3 hours.

Increasing Professional Responsibility

Graded responsibility is provided in all of the key Clinical Teaching Unit (CTU) areas of the program, which are discussed separately below:

General In-patient Pediatrics: Junior residents have a clearly defined role as team members on the wards. They follow their own patients, and as they gain experience, begin assuming a teaching and reviewing role with the medical students. They are never on call alone on the general inpatient wards. PGYII residents have their first taste of significant autonomous function during their nightfloat rotation. The senior residents (PGYIII) consolidate their leadership and team management skills during their CTU months. Finally, for residents in the Advanced Academic Pediatrics streams there is a junior attending rotation where residents function in a quasi-attending role with a clinical supervisor available for back up. Each of these roles has a set of specific educational objectives.

Medical Emergency: Similar to the general inpatient wards, there is a progression in roles with specific teaching as well for junior and senior residents in the emergency room. As their training increases, residents are expected to assume a greater responsibility for patient flow in the emergency room, as well as an aggressive involvement in the critical cases. There are specific objectives for the different levels of core pediatrics trainees. The advanced trainees function as junior attendings in the ER, with staff back up.

Neonatology: As residents progress through neonatology rotations they are expected to take on a greater supervisory role over the medical students and short cycle residents. Residents rotate through neonatology in each of the 3 core years have a substantial change in role at these different times.

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU): Due to the nature of the work in PICU the rotations in the PGYI and PGYII year involve increasing consolidation of knowledge, and thus graded responsibility based upon this, but residents do not function as team leaders in general in the PICU given the complexity of the patients there.

On-Call Duties of Residents

In compliance with the new collective agreement between the Quebec Medical Residents' Federation and the Ministry of Health and Social Services for the Province of Quebec, our program has moved to a universal nightfloat call coverage system as of July 2012.

Every service to which residents provide call has a corresponding attending physician on call, usually from home except in the medical emergency room, which always has an ER physician in house. Junior residents are always supervised by a more senior resident on the medical wards and by a fellow or staff physician in the intensive care units (perinatology, neonatology, and PICU). In general, the more senior fellows and/or attendings are always available or present if there are any significant clinical issues. Explicit feedback is provided to the nightfloat resident by the chief resident during the nightfloat rotation.

Environment for Teaching and Learning

The McGill University Pediatric Residency Program applies the standards set forth in the American Association of Medical Colleges Residents' Compact in assuring the highest possible standards for the environment for teaching, learning, and patient care. We hold residents, faculty, and the learning environment to these standards.
Resident Compact [.pdf]

The program and the program director have an explicit zero tolerance policy to harassment and intimidation in the residency education environment, and this is made clear to the new residents yearly. All residents have received a copy of the hospital's harassment policies and McGill universities harassment policies (as covered in the Student Rights and Responsibilities handbook from the University).

Residents need not tolerate intimidation and harassment and are invited to report any such occurrences immediately to the chief residents and/or the program director.
Please consult the following related weblinks:
Student and Resident Affairs

Residents are strongly encouraged to report incidents of harassment and intimidation in the workplace to the program director, or to the chief residents if they feel this to be the most comfortable way. The chairman of the department is fully supportive of a zero tolerance policy to harassment and intimidation in the program.

Policy on Harassment

McGill's Policy on Harassment can be viewed at McGill Post Graduate Medical Education from where you must first select Welcome to McGill Postgrad followed by Standards of Behaviour.

All core clinical rotations begin the day with patient care rounds. Sign-in rounds are moderated by the chief medical resident and revolve around the transfer of care from on-call residents to daytime residents. A brief clinical topic is presented each morning by the CMRs.

There is a minimum of 4 hours of weekly teaching sessions.
Protected Teaching Time: The curriculum is guided by a 3-year template; 3 hrs/wk
Chief of Service rounds: case-based CPCs, presented by residents; 1 hr/wk
Grand Rounds: 1 hr/wk

Other academic activities (weekly, unless specified)
Research Institute Rounds
Ambulatory Pediatric Rounds
Neonatal Rounds
ED Rounds
"Mock 99s"
Service-specific rounds: topics and journal clubs

For PGY-1s only:
Introductory Pediatric Seminar (summer lecture series)
Pediatric Advanced Life Support training
Neonatal Advanced Life Support Course

In-Training Assessments

Monthly Assessments: Resident performance is evaluated by rotation supervisors every month. Written and verbal feedback is provided at the end of every rotation.

ABP In-Training Exams: All residents write the American Board of Pediatrics In-Training Exam each summer. Exam scores are available in the fall. The ABP distributes mean scores for each year of training and internal mean scores are calculated each year.

OSCE: Residents participate in one Objective Structured Clinical Exam per year. These exams may use simulated patients or parents to test specific residency objectives. Feedback on performance is provided individually to residents on the day of the exam.

Observed H+Ps: Each resident is assigned to a staff person to complete an observed history and physical examination. Cases are appropriate to the level of training. Feedback is given immediately after. Each year, the resident is assigned to a different staff person.


Residents who have satisfactorily completed 3 years of pediatrics residency are eligible for the American Board of Pediatric Examinations.

Residents who will have completed 4 years of pediatrics residency within 54 months of commencing the program are eligible to write the Royal College Pediatric Exams. Of note, candidates for the Collège des Médecins du Québec certificates currently need to complete a fifth year of training in order to receive their certification.

Medical Student Electives

Medical students who are interested in clinical electives are welcome. It is highly recommended that a core pediatric clerkship be completed prior to scheduling the elective. Electives are open to non-McGill medical students in their final year only. Further information can be obtained at the Medicine web site.

More Information for Residents

Journals: Complimentary subscriptions to PREP and to Pediatrics and Child Health (the journal of the Canadian Pediatric Society)
Malpractice insurance: The Hospital Association provides malpractice insurance for all residents. No additional coverage is required
Vacations: 1 month of paid vacation is permitted per year as per the collective agreement of the FMRQ.
Conference leave: Up to 10 days of paid leave is permitted for attendance at approved medical conferences.