Frequently Asked Questions

ACADEMICS: Can I take first or second year courses in my third or fourth year?

You are expected to complete studies that correspond with your current year.  For example, if you are applying for admission while registered in the third year of undergraduate studies, you should have at least three third-year or higher courses in your program. If you are in the fourth year of your program, you should be enrolled in a majority of courses at the third- and fourth-year levels.  Please note that this is an expectation rather than a requirement.  It is recognized that at times, students take courses in lower years for various reasons, such as a change in program or to complete subjects of interest or prerequisites that did not fit the academic schedule previously.  If you have information about your academics you feel is important for the Admissions Committee to know, you may explain your individual circumstances using the Academic Explanations Essay within the OMSAS application.

ACADEMICS: Do you accept online degree-level courses and do they count toward the weighted GPA?

Online degree-level courses completed at accredited universities are acceptable in order to fulfill degree and prerequisite requirements.  Additionally, if the online course(s) is/are started and completed during the regular academic session from September-April they are eligible to contribute to course load to fulfill the course load requirements for the weighted GPA. 

ACADEMICS: I took a first year course as an “extra” course. My university will not count the mark in my GPA or the credit towards my degree requirements. How will it count in my application?

We do not use the GPA calculated by your university as we do our own calculations.  All marks from courses taken in the regular academic session will count in the GPA. If you have only four credits counting towards your degree because the fifth is an “extra,” it will still be assessed as a full course load in that session.

ACADEMICS: My university operates on a 30-credit system where a full course load is 28 credits or higher in the regular academic session. I took 28 credits but in OMSAS they are counted as 4.5 credits. Will I lose the weighting formula?

No. We review your university transcript and check the actual number of credits.

Additional weekly feedback quiz attempts

Students have access to two additional attempts of each weekly feedback quiz. These attempts are for learning purposes only and will not appear in the Learner Chart. Students will receive feedback reports in their ExamSoft accounts, showing the learning objectives attached to all questions and the question stems, after completing the quiz and after each subsequent attempt.

Are mastery exercises all weighted equally in Foundations Curriculum courses?

No, mastery exercises are weighted according to the amount of material (number of weeks of material) they cover in the first and second years.

Do I get the answers to the weekly feedback quiz and mastery exercise questions?

Students will not be provided with correct answers; however students will receive feedback about the topics (learning objectives) which they did not answer correctly. This decision was made based on the MD program Test Committee’s research on the best practices in student assessment in medical education and its recommendation against providing students with actual questions and answers.

The rationale behind this decision is to support the role of assessment as a tool for self-appraisal and not as an end unto itself.  The results of the assessment are meant to help students identify whether they have mastered the material they covered.  If they haven't, the expectation is that they return to the source material until they have a better grasp of the content.  The MD Program has created a bank of very high quality questions that are directed at assessing not just knowledge but comprehension and application.  This requires the use of a secure and well-mapped exam bank which precludes disseminating the questions and answers.  Students are reminded that copying and disseminating questions is against university regulations.

Do I get the results of the weekly feedback quiz right away?

Yes, you will be able to see your score as soon as you complete the quiz. Also, once your quiz has been uploaded you will receive a detailed feedback report in your ExamSoft account.

Does any documentation indicating lack of competence in an area of professionalism show up on the transcript for CaRMS?

Professionalism does not appear on a student’s transcript. If a student is required to complete remediation in professionalism by the Board of Examiners they would need to self-report this when asked specifically about professionalism. If the student’s remediation in professionalism is deemed as unsuccessful, it may be indicated on the Medical Student Performance Record (MSPR) as not meeting professionalism expectations. However, this decision would be made on a case by case basis.    

Does the program aim to flag a specific proportion of the class as below the standard and pass mark in Foundations?

The standards we use for the curriculum are not intended to increase the number of students who do not meet the standard; there is no norm referenced standard setting in the MD program (i.e., we do not aim to flag a certain portion of the class as below the standard after each Mastery Exercise (ME) or course). Instead, our pass marks are adjusted on a yearly basis based on the difficulty of the questions and ensuring that the assessments used in the program enable a determination if a student has met the required course objectives and competencies for MD training. It is possible all of the students will be above the pass mark for an ME despite the estimates of the judges. Additionally, quality control metrics are used to evaluate each ME and all assessments on a routine basis including item difficulties, appropriateness of questions for objectives, and overall validity.