Selection Subcommittee

Terms of Reference


  • To select the best possible applicants for the Dalhousie Family Medicine Residency Program
  • To ensure that applicants to the Dalhousie Family Medicine Residency are ranked according to objective criteria
  • To ensure that the selection process is fair, unbiased and equitable to all applicants
  • To abide scrupulously by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Human Rights Legislation



  • Chair, Department of Family Medicine
  • One faculty representative from each site (Annapolis Valley, Fredericton, Halifax, Moncton, Saint John, Sydney, PEI, Saint John Integrated, South West Nova)
  • Resident representatives—one resident representative per site


  • Chair, Selection Subcommittee (except in the case of a tie vote)
  • Postgraduate Program Director
  • Medical Education Manager
  • Education Committee Secretary


Quorum will be 50 per cent of voting members plus one. If quorum is not achieved at the meeting, voting can occur electronically. Chair will vote only in case of a tie vote.

Meeting Schedule

  • One meeting in September to prepare for upcoming year
  • One meeting in October, if necessary, to review transfer applicants
  • One full-day meeting in February in Halifax, for rank-order list preparation
  • One meeting in March to prepare second-iteration rank-order list and/or to debrief the selection process
  • One meeting in April, if necessary, to review transfer applicants
  • Other meetings as necessary to deal with issues that arise

Reporting Responsibility

The Selection Subcommittee reports to the Department of Family Medicine Residency Training Committee.

Committee Responsibilities

The Committee develops and revises standardized forms for the file assessment and the interview process for the CaRMS applicants and for transfer applicants.

Selection of Chair

The chair of the committee will be appointed through the Office of the Chair, Department of Family Medicine on recommendations by representatives on the Committee and the postgraduate program director.

Summary of Selection Process

A rank list will be produced based on the combined paper, interview scores and Committee discussion.

The rank list produced by the Selection Subcommittee will be submitted for each site.

The rank list(s) as decided by the Selection Subcommittee will be final.

Prior to the Committee Meeting

CaRMS application files are paper assessed by a faculty member or resident using the standardized forms.

Interviews are conducted by faculty members and residents using the standardized interview forms.

Reviewers are invited to flag any file or interview form for further review by the Selection Subcommittee due to unusual or exceptional circumstances noted in the file or to uncertainty regarding scoring.

Reviewers are asked to indicate whether they would or they would not rank this applicant.

The paper assessment and interview are conducted by different individuals except in extenuating circumstances.

At the Selection Subcommittee Rank Order Meetings

The Selection Subcommittee reviews the process to date and confirms the planned process for the conduct of the meeting in each individual year.

Individual files for which review has been requested by the reviewer or ones that contain a “do not rank” recommendation from the reviewer are individually reviewed by a Selection Subcommittee member and the CaRMS file review score re-scored.

Each file is then presented by the second reviewer to the Committee outlining the issues present and a review of the overall file.

After consideration of all these factors the Committee makes a decision to

  1. Leave the file scored as is,
  2. Recalculate the overall score and position in the rank order list,
  3. Not rank the applicant based on the overall assessment of the file.

The Committee then reviews other files that are identified by Committee members due to discrepancies in paper and interview scores with the same possible outcomes as a result of the overall discussion and evaluation of the file.

Any file that has been evaluated under extenuating circumstances (e.g. paper assessments and interviews conducted by the same individual) will be reviewed.

The Committee establishes a trial cut score. The files immediately above and below the cut are then reviewed to see if it appropriately identifies the acceptable from the unacceptable candidates.

The cut is then re-established either higher or lower based on the review of these files and subsequent files above and below the cut until a satisfactory cut level is identified to the satisfaction of the Committee.

The Committee then reviews its process for issues of accuracy and fairness, revisits decisions where there is lack of consensus in the group until a final rank order is agreed upon.

The Selection Subcommittee process is described as rank ordering files based on the Committee’s overall consideration of all the factors included in the file.

Department of Family Medicine Education Program staff collates the scored interviews and file reviews producing and submitting to CaRMS a rank-ordered list.

Approved by RTC Committee February 6, 2014; Approved by Selection Sub-Committee October 2013
Source: R:\Family\Postgrad\AA - Main\Committees\Selection Sub Committee\Terms Of Reference\Selection Sub-Committee Terms Of Reference - Approved By Rtc Feb 2014.Docx