Residency Program

Residency in cardiac surgery for Canadian/U.S. citizens involves a 6-year program beginning after medical school. By the end of residency training, successful candidates are qualified to sit the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada fellowship examinations.

All interested Canadian/U.S. candidates must follow the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) application process. 

Applicants outside of Canada and the U.S. are invited to apply by post only, and with written documentation of sponsorship from their University or government. 

The Division of Cardiac Surgery is firmly committed to the principles of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. We strive to embrace the uniqueness of individuals and to have a Division that is representative of the population that we serve. Specifically, our Division is working to ensure the inclusion of women and under-represented minorities in our field.


The residency program is designed to fulfill the requirements of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada for Cardiac Surgery. The program extends over a six year period as follows: 

PGY 1 & 2: The first two years are exposure to the basics of surgery and involve exposure to various disciplines including cardiology, anaesthesia, heart failure, echocardiography, ICU care, cardiac catheterization, as well as general, thoracic, trauma, and vascular surgery. Additionally dedicated blocks in cardiac surgery occur in the first two years. Following completion of the two years of core training, the candidate is prepared to successfully complete the Principles of Surgery (POS) exam and to prepare the cardiac resident for training in subsequent years.

PGY 3 to 6: The period following core surgery is customized to strengthen the individual resident's aptitudes and interests. In keeping with the Royal College requirements the following rotations are required: vascular or thoracic surgery, 18 months as senior resident in adult cardiac surgery and 6 months in paediatric cardiac surgery. Rotations will be arranged at any of the five cardiac units during the four year program.

In addition, one year is set aside for "academic enrichment", typically taken in the 2nd or 3rd PGY year. This year allows the candidate to develop a special interest and expertise in an area of interest and can be extended to complete a graduate degree (MSc or PhD) especially through the renowned Department of Surgery Surgeon-Scientist Training Program. A specific area of interest in cardiac surgery may be arranged with faculty members within or outside the cardiac division.


Research training is available for residents interested in an academic career. We strongly encourage residents to pursue an M.Sc. or enter the Surgeon Scientist Program, leading towards a Ph.D. 


During the two core years, residents are expected to be involved in the series of core lectures leading to successful completion of the Principles of Surgery (POS) exam. There is a mandatory weekly cardiac seminar series for all of the university trainees and a quarterly city-wide seminar series for all cardiac trainees and faculty. There are also Visiting Professorships during the academic year which include a lecture at the hospital rounds and an educational afternoon with the cardiac trainees. Education rounds, seminars, research rounds and combined rounds with cardiology at each of the four cardiac units are available. Active participation by the resident is required. 

Residents in their senior years are expected to attend both national and international meetings including preparation and presentation of presentations and publications. Typically, our program has had residents present at international meetings throughout their years of training.

Selection Criteria

1. A superior academic record demonstrating special proficiency in subjects related to our specialty. 

2. Candidates should have a proven interest in our specialty, demonstrated by electives or other rotations in cardiothoracic surgery or related fields. 

3. Three references are required. Where possible, you are encouraged to obtain references from academic specialists in cardiothoracic surgery, attesting to your interest and proficiency in the specialty, as well as comments on exemplary interpersonal skills. 

4. Candidates with an interest and/or proven experience in research, either at the level of basic science or clinical research, are encouraged to apply. 

CaRMS Interviews are typically held in the month of February (see Events Calendar for exact date)


Dr. Bobby Yanagawa

Program Director, Division of Cardiac Surgery, University of Toronto
Assistant Professor, Division of Cardiac Surgery, St. Michael's Hospital
30 Bond Street, 8th Floor, Bond Wing
Toronto, ON M5B 1W8

Tel: (416) 864-5706
Fax: (416) 864-5031

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Contact Us

  • Chair: Dr. Terrence Yau
  • Divisional Program Administraton: Thanu Sabesan

Toronto General Hospital
200 Elizabeth St., 4NU-469
Toronto, On M5G 2C4
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