McMaster University - Internal Medicine - Waterloo


Program Director

Dr. Lori Whitehead


Program Administrator

Michelle Lamontagne

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Small, close-knit program

With just 3 residents per year, our faculty to learner ratio and hands on opportunities for patient care and procedural skills are highly conducive to development of strong mentorships and clinical confidence


We are committed to involving residents in all major decisions affecting the nature of the program. We seek and act upon resident feedback in planning and enacting the educational growth and development of our campus.

Strong relationship with McMaster University’s Hamilton Campus

Waterloo Regional Campus residents have access to and participate in each and every highlight of the Hamilton campus, including our highly acclaimed annual international health elective in Uganda; numerous academic retreats and social events, and access to mentorship from world class research and academic faculty. WRC residents also participate in McMaster’s well-developed academic curriculum through a combination of video conferencing and locally hosted sessions

Clinical placements at a variety of hospital and clinic sites

Our residents have access to clinical training at a host of hospital sites, including four teaching hospitals in Hamilton, and multiple community hospital sites across the Waterloo-Wellington Region. Because of the regional nature of many of our clinical programs, residents are exposed to a wide variety of pathology from peripheral communities and a multitude of procedural opportunities. Consistently integrated ambulatory care experiences are also a key feature the Community Based Program.


Our residents have the opportunity to take three external electives anywhere in Canada during their core training years, approved by the program director. At least two occur before the start of PGY3; all occur before the PGY4 CaRMS match.

Royal College Examination Preparation

The McMaster Internal Medicine Program has taken proactive steps to prepare residents for the advancement of the Royal College Examination from the PGY4 to the PGY3 year. A PGY3 Exam Impact Committee was formed in 2018 resulting in over 10 program-related recommendations that have been implemented to ease transition. A few of the changes include reduction in call duties for PGY3's without imposing a call penalty on PGY2 residents; study group time built into the weekly PGY3 Academic Half Day (AHD) session with avoidance of call the night before AHD; a 14-week exam prep lecture series delivered by recently credentialed FRCPC subspecialty residents; program-paid subscription to NEJM Knowledge Plus, an extensive online question bank with adaptive learning for each resident; front-loading of the heaviest clinical blocks in the first two years of training; research curriculum and project timelines shifted forward to reduce demands during the home stretch. Written practice exams occur annually. The program organizes annual practice OSCEs for all core trainees.

It should be noted that Waterloo-based campus residents participate in each and every one of the preparation steps for the Royal College Examination at the Hamilton campus. Additionally, consistent examination preparation is conducted at the Waterloo campus with local faculty throughout PGY2 and PGY3.

Competency-Based Medical Education (CBME)

After several years of preparation including field testing and a soft launch, a full transition to CBME has occurred as of July 1, 2019. Resident representatives on CBME planning committees at both the program and postgraduate levels are champions who continue to partner with faculty educators in the process of change management. We are off to a good start!

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Applicants should carefully follow all CaRMS application guidelines and deadlines.