Educational Resources

Clerkship is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and challenging parts of medical school. OMSA has compiled resources for our students entering clerkship, including how to navigate the electives portal and an introduction to CaRMS. In collaboration with all Ontario schools, school-specific clerkship guides are now also available for all students. Please click on the category headings below to access the respective resources.

For more information on the guide or to contribute to future iterations, please contact

The OMSA Education Committee has prepared a list of valuable clerkship tips and tricks that will help you get through this challenging and exciting phase of medical school. Any feedback for improving the list is welcome; please contact

Click here to download the PDF version of the list.

The OMSA Education Committee has prepared a letter and a list of handy smartphone apps for medical students to use during clerkship. The majority of apps on the list are free and are available on both iOS and Android. OMSA has no conflicts of interest in recommending these apps. The recommendations are solely based on past students reporting benefit from using these apps during clerkship. Any feedback for improving the list is welcome; please contact

Click here to download the list of recommended apps.

The OMSA Education Committee has prepared a clerkship elective checklist for medical students to use for each external elective. It is a template where you can fill in all pertinent information about an elective, and it helps ensure that you have everything you need to do your best during the elective. Any feedback for improving the checklist is welcome; please contact

Click here to download the checklist.

You may download the school-specific clerkship guides using the links given below. The page numbers of the topics that may be of interest to students outside the respective schools are listed below for your reference. These documents may also give you some idea of what to expect at other schools during electives.

University of Toronto (Download):

  • Admission Notes – 10
  • Progress Notes – 13
  • Surgical OR Notes – 14
  • Procedure Notes – 14
  • Discharge Summary – 14
  • Dictating – 15
  • Writing Orders – 18

Western University (Download):

  • Admission Notes – 9
  • Progress Notes – 10
  • Discharge Dictation and Summary – 11
  • Writing Orders – 13

University of Ottawa (Download English/French):

  • Taking a History – 20
  • Admission Order – 26
  • Progress Notes – 28
  • Post-operative Notes – 29
  • Discharge Summaries – 30

NOSM (Download):

  • Initial Notes and Transfer Notes – 7
  • Physical Exam Charting – 11
  • Orders – 13
  • Operative Notes – 15
  • Delivery Notes – 15
  • Prescriptions – 16
  • Dictations – 18

McMaster University (Download):

  • Charting Basics – 11
  • Orders and Prescriptions – 11
  • Discharge Checklist – 13
  • Dictations – 14
  • Surgical Admission and Progress Notes – 33

Note: Queen’s University handbook is currently unavailable to OMSA for sharing

The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) is the academic partnership of Canada’s faculties of Medicine. The AFMC Portal is a bilingual centralized application service that organizes the visiting electives for all Canadian faculties of medicine. The centralized application system streamlines the process for students and includes a searchable database of visiting electives, payment process and confirmation tracking tools for elective coordinators at each school. The portal centralizes and makes available faculty-specific information on availabilities, timelines, and policies. There are 17 faculties of medicine utilizing the AFMC portal, these include:

Registration: There is a one-time fee of $250 for Canadian Students and $650 for International students that will be charged upon creation of an account. It is important to note that the fees charged by the faculty of medicine to cover the cost of the visiting elective are separate from this registration fee.

AFMC Portal Quick Links:

CaRMS stands for the Canadian Resident Matching Service. It is the independent national organization that provides transparent and objective application and matching serves for medical training in Canada. CaRMS oversees all residency matches including the Main residency match (R-1 match), Medicine Subspecialty Match (MSM), Family Medicine/Emergency Medicine Match (FM/EM match), Pediatric Subspecialty Match (PSM). Their website also include match rate statistics by discipline and universities. 

Timeline of the R-1 Match (specific dates are subject to change):

  • August: Registration begins
  • September: CaRMS online opens and applicants can begin their applications
  • October: Applicants can begin to select the programs they wish to apply to
  • November: CaRMS should recieve the Medical School Performance Record (MSPR) and transcripts
  • Late-November: Application and document assignment deadline; file review begins
  • Mid-January-February: National Interview Period
  • Mid-February: Rank order lists are due
  • Early March: Match Day!

Useful Resources:

  • CaRMS provides all of the residency program descriptions on its website for easy access: Access Here
  • CFMS publishes a Match Book to help medical students plan their strategy by providing a greater understanding of the residency match process: Access Here

The OMSA Education Committee has prepared a CaRMS interview tour planner for medical students to help organize this stressful phase of medical school. It is a template where you can fill in the pertinent information about your interviews, and it helps ensure that you make efficient use of the interview period while avoiding accidental scheduling conflicts. Any feedback for improving the planner is welcome; please contact

Click here to download the planner.

Over the 2015-2016 academic year, OMSA and the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) worked together to create a toolkit for students wishing to develop Student-Led Clinics (SLC) at their schools. Originally led by Kaylynn Purdy (NOSM) and Noam Berlin (Toronto), the toolkit introduces evidence for the utility of student run clinics in terms of effectiveness of learning and patient care. Thirteen authors from across the country provide information on how to leverage funds, perform a needs assessment, and deal with wary administrations. The guide was updated over the 2016-2017 academic year by Brandon Chau (Schulich), and over the 2017-2018 academic year by Reed Gillanders (USask) and Braydon Connell (Dal).

You can download the 2018 SLC Toolkit by clicking here!


For more information on the guide or to contribute to future iterations please contact  or

Over the 2017-2018 academic year, OMSA Education Committee created a toolkit to help students wishing to undertake Quality Improvement (QI) projects at their medical schools or hospitals. You can download the 2018 QI Toolkit by clicking here!


This toolkit was originally compiled by Jasmine Multani (Toronto). A QI project is an initiative designed to study and improve the care for patients and healthcare professionals. This toolkit is meant as a guide to help with the initiation and development of a quality improvement project for medical students. It is an introductory resource to connect students to resources that have already been developed for the purpose of quality improvement in health care. It is important to recognize that there are many other helpful resources available to medical students in Ontario. We encourage you to reach out to faculty advisors for mentorship or guidance in your areas of research interest. For more information on the guide or to contribute to future iterations please contact

We at OMSA acknowledge that the road to getting into medical school is an arduous one! In particular, the admissions process can be especially challenging for individuals who come from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. We compiled this list of free medical school admissions resources to help those who may not have access to at-cost resources, recognizing that continued advocacy is required to address the inherently biased nature of medical school admissions.

Note: we have indicated any free resources that are affiliated with for-profit companies.

We hope to welcome you to the Ontario medical student community!

The OMSA Interest Group Database is a list of contacts for the various interest groups in the different Ontario medical schools. The contacts on this list can be used by the interest groups to connect with similar groups in other medical schools to share ideas and collaborate. You can find the school databases below!

For more information on the database or to contribute to future iterations please contact

The OMSA Medical Education Researchers Database is a list of contacts of researchers with a focus on medical education in the different Ontario medical schools. The contacts on this list can be used by the students to connect with researchers across Ontario to work on medical education research projects. You can download the database by clicking here!


For more information on the database or to contribute to future iterations please contact

We are very excited to announce the release of first iteration of “Insights into Physician Workforce Trends in Ontario”, a Health and Human Resources (HHR) guide presented to you by the OMSA Education Committee!

This HHR guide offers Ontario medical students an outline of the job market for future physicians in Ontario. Each specialty has a section dedicated to it, outlining program director comments and a job prospects summary. While the healthcare system can be unpredictable and constantly fluctuates, we hope the projections within this guide can serve as one of the many tools that will inform the decisions you make in the pursuit of your desired specialty. Get your copy of the 2019 HHR Guide by clicking here

For more information on the guide or to contribute to future iterations please contact

Access OMSA’s Anti-Racism Primer here. This document provides answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQs) with corresponding references relevant to anti-racism in medical education. We also provide additional resources that we believe are useful for informing medical students on the broader discussions of anti-racism.


Please circulate this document widely.