McMaster University

McMaster University

Medical Oncology Residency Program

  • General
  • Prerequisites

  • Program
  • Facilities/
  • Program
  • How to Apply

  • Key

General Information

The Medical Oncology Program provides two years of training based at the Juravinski Cancer Centre (JCC), which is one of largest in North America. The JCC is also the coordination centre for a number of community outreach cancer clinics, which are integrated into the training program.

New for 2016: Residents entering Medical Oncology programs in July 2016 and beyond will experience competency-based training. To find out when other specialties and subspecialties are adopting CBD, please view the Phased Plan for CBD Implementation and the Proposed CBD Rollout Schedule.

To contribute to the success of Canadian physicians and the delivery of high-quality patient care, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada has embarked upon an initiative to introduce competency-based medical education (CBME) in Canadian postgraduate specialty training and in professional practice in Canada. This initiative, called Competence by Design (CBD), aims to enhance patient care by aligning medical education and lifelong learning with evolving patient needs and empowering learners to more fully engage in their education process. 

CBD will use time as a framework rather than the basis for progression. It is not anticipated that the duration of training will change for the majority of trainees. Residency programs will be broken down into stages, and each stage will have a series of milestones based on required competencies. These milestones will create more targeted learning outcomes and involve more frequent, formative assessments within the clinical workplace to ensure residents are developing and receiving feedback on the skills they need.

All programs implementing CBD will continue to undergo the same rigorous accreditation processes as traditional programs. All CBD programs (and traditional programs) will continue to lead to Royal College approved certification. Certification for trainees in both CBD and traditional programs will include the completion of a Royal College examination; however, residents in CBD programs will also be assessed against program milestones throughout their training. Within a CBD program, all milestones (documented within an electronic portfolio) and the Royal College examination must be successfully completed to achieve certification.  

For more information, please contact


Core training in Internal Medicine (3 years)

Program Highlights

The McMaster University Medical Oncology Training Program is a Royal College of Physician and Surgeons of Canada accredited program providing training in all aspects of the CanMEDs competencies in medical oncology. The program provides a wealth of clinical experience in a setting of one on one interaction between trainees and medical oncology staff. Highlights of the program include a comprehensive set of clinical, basic science and research rounds. In their first year of medical oncology residency training (PGY4), residents will take part in the Clinical Research Curriculum which teaches residents about general clinical research methods, pair them with a mentor to develop a research question, and lead to the development of a research protocol. In addition, the program has the senior resident-driven Summer Bread and Butter Rounds, which introduces new PGY4 residents to the basics of breast, colorectal and lung cancer with a triad of didactic session, journal clubs and a case-based session in each disease site. The JCC also has one of the largest clinical trials programs in the country and a very active Investigational New Drug (IND) program with opportunities for further fellowship training. Residents are exposed to a breadth of research opportunities spanning from phase I IND studies to large multicentre phase III trials. The medical oncology residency training program at McMaster also includes a unique comprehensive Molecular Oncology Rounds curriculum which takes place over 2 years. This allows residents to learn the basic science of oncology which is essential for Royal College Medical Oncology Board Examination preparation.

Residents also complete a one month palliative care rotation which may include exposure to the TASMU (Tertiary Acute Symptom Management Unit).There are also ample opportunities for selectives and electives in community oncology, gyne-oncology and surgical oncology. Residents are given 3 months of electives and 4 blocks of selectives and they are counselled on seeking elective or selective opportunities which will help them plan their future career. Career counselling takes place at regular meetings with the program director as well as our Faculty Chair, Division Head, and Fellowship Director.


The Juravinski Cancer Centre (JCC) is located in Hamilton, Ontario, and serves the population of LHIN4 — Hamilton Niagara, Haldimand, Brant, with an estimated population in 2010 of 1,431,685. It is estimated that 7,960 new incident cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2010, and that 3,320 cancer related deaths will occur.

The JCC accommodates over 80,000 clinic visits each year and 5,860 new cancer case referrals. A teaching staff of thirty-six provides education input into Medical and Radiation Oncology, as well as programs for Nursing, Radiation Technology and Medical Physics.

In addition to the activity taking place at the JCC outpatient facility, an additional 35,000 visits and 1,800 new cancer case referrals take place each year at the affiliated community outreach cancer clinics.

Program Curriculum

Rotations in the Medical Oncology Program

Rotation Duration
Medical Oncology 6 X 2 months 12 months
Radiation Oncology 2 months
Haematologic Oncology 2 months
Palliative Care 1 month
Selective clinics — choice of community oncology, ambulatory medical oncology clinics, surgical oncology, gyne-oncology and IND clinical trials 4 months
Elective 3 months

Objectives of the Medical Oncology Program

  • To meet the RCPSC CanMeds competencies in medical oncology.
  • To become knowledgeable in the diagnosis, assessment, and management of cancer in all of its stages, with particular emphasis on the systemic management of malignant disease and its complications.
  • To develop an understanding of the basic science of oncology and an appreciation of the interface between basic science and clinical oncology.
  • To develop skills in communication with the cancer patient and the family and to be able to provide continuing care for the patient with progressive illness and psychosocial problems.
  • To obtain experience in the interdisciplinary management of cancer patients, and the interaction with other health professionals.
  • To become familiar with cancer prevention programs, cancer screening, and the epidemiology of malignant disease.
  • To become familiar with the design, execution, and analysis of cancer clinical trials.



How to Apply

CaRMS has been engaged by the Departments of Medicine and the Postgraduate Deans of Medicine to operate the R-4 Medicine Subspecialty Match, beginning this year. Information regarding this Match comes from the schools, programs and provincial governments. R-4 Applicant and Program timetables are now available on the Carms website. To apply for subspecialty training at McMaster University, please refer to theCaRMS website for eligibility requirements and deadlines dates.

EXCEPTIONS ARE THE VISA TRAINEES WHO DO NOT APPLY THROUGH CaRMS, BUT APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE SCHOOL. Visa trainees are those individuals who are currently registered as a PGY3 Resident in a Canadian residency program and are sponsored by their government/agency and would like to be considered for a position at McMaster University. Please complete the McMaster application form, found on the Postgraduate website (Under Forms and Manuals), along with (list required program documents). Deadline for receipt of application is September 2nd.

Key Contacts

Program Director

Dr. Som Mukherjee
Department of Oncology, Division of Medical Oncology
McMaster University

Juravinski Cancer Centre
3rd Floor
699 Concession Street
Hamilton, Ontario L8V 5C2

T: 905-387-9711, Ext. 64605
F: 905-575-6326

Program Assistant

Maria Campagnolo
Program Assistant
Juravinski Cancer Centre
699 Concession Street
Hamilton, Ontario L8V 5C2
T: 905-387-9711, Ext. 64628
E:Maria Campagnolo

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