• CaRMS Prep Series

    The CFMS is proud to offer CMSC attendees our unique CaRMS preparatory series, back by popular demand! Hosted by Dr. Zachary Chuang, these sessions were a highlight at CMSC 2024 and CFMS SGM 2023. Based on exemplary feedback and attendance, these small group sessions have been transformed to a large group series, welcoming all medical students at CMSC. Each session will be MC’d by Dr. Chuang, alongside a small resident panel. This is a great opportunity to get to know some current residents and ask all your burning questions!

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    Session #1: Making Your CV Competitive

    Your curriculum vitae (CV) is the foundation of your CaRMS application. This session will go beyond the physical structure of your CV, with a strong focus on the content and the experiences needed to make your CV (and you) competitive for any residency program. The resident panelists will share their experiences in CV creation, self-reflection and discuss the key components that they believe helped make them competitive. It is never too early to start making yourself a competitive applicant!


    Join us for inspiration in leadership, research, community service and other extracurriculars that you can pursue to ensure you stand out!

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    Session #2: Perfecting Your Personal Statement

    If your CV is the foundation of your CaRMS application, your personal statement is the icing on the cake! The personal statement is often the deciding factor as to whether a candidate receives an interview or not. It requires a delicate balance of personal information, interest in the specialty/program, the sharing of patient experiences and often well-crafted answers to various essay prompts/requirements; sometimes within tight word counts!


    Join this session to hear how the resident panelists authored their personal statements, demonstrated commitment to their specialities, interest in specific programs and displayed their strengths as an applicant.

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    Session #3: Reference Letters and Interviews: Tips and Tricks

    Asking for reference letters can be one of the most intimidating parts of medical school. For many specialties and programs, especially smaller ones, reference letters can make or break even the strongest applicants. In this session, the residents will share their experiences asking for letters, give advice on how/when to ask for them and how maximize the impact of the letter on your candidacy. Part of this session will also be dedicated to briefly introducing you to the residency interview process and providing tips and tricks for some of the toughest questions out there.

  • Featured Resident Panelists

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    Dr. Zachary Chuang (Host)

    Undergrad: Medical Sciences at Western University

    Masters: Management of Applied Science at Western University

    Medical School: Schulich School of Medicine, Western University Residency: Anesthesiology at the University of Toronto


    Dr. Zachary Chuang is currently an Anesthesiology Resident (PGY1) at the University of Toronto. Throughout medical school, he was an engaged student leader who held various positions at local, provincial and national levels. In 2021-2022, he served as the Vice President Finance for the Ontario Medical Students Association (OMSA) where he spearheaded an overhaul of the grants marking process to increase transparency and incorporate a stronger focus on EDI. He simultaneously served as the National Officer of Services for the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) where he negotiated nearly a dozen corporate contracts including Hyundai Canada, UWorld, Osmosis, SketchyMed and AMBOSS. In 2022-2023, he served as VP Finance for the CFMS and received the inaugural CFMS President’s Award for his exemplary leadership, innovation and commitment to the Canadian medical student community. At convocation, he was inducted to the Schulich School of Medicine Honor Society and received the Meds Merrymakers of ’47 Award, at the recommendation of his peers for academic achievement and his contributions to fellowship, pride and loyalty at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. In his spare time, he is either at the gym, working on his Mustang or at all you can eat sushi.

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    Dr. Sukhmeet Singh Sachal

    Undergrad: Anatomy and Cell Biology at McGill University

    Masters: Master of Public Health at Western University

    Medical School: University of British Columbia

    Residency: Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Western University


    Dr. Sukhmeet Singh Sachal is an award-winning social entrepreneur, speaker, author, and health activist. As a new plastic and reconstructive surgery resident in Canada, he aspires to improve diversity and inclusion in healthcare. He founded the Sikh Health Foundation and co-founded Translations 4 Our Nations, two organizations that help improve health literacy through culturally effective health interventions. Dr. Sachal's work with his teams during the COVID-19 pandemic led to health authorities adopting more community-based campaigns to improve health and wellness. His work led him to speak at international stages hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Clinton Foundation, and One Young World. For his efforts, he has been recognized as one of Canada's Emerging Leaders.

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    Dr. Danielle Portnoy

    Undergrad: Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy, University of Alberta

    Medical School: University of Alberta

    Residency: HPM including Family Medicine, University of Alberta


    Dr. Danielle Portnoy is currently a Public Health and Preventive Medicine resident (PGY-1) at the University of Alberta. In medical school, Danielle was a co-representative for the "Family and Balance in Medicine" student group that is aimed at fostering wellness and support for medical students who are balancing family responsibilities while studying medicine. Danielle is also the founder of Seniors Advocacy Movement, an art therapy program for seniors residing in long term care facilities in the greater Edmonton area. When she's not working, Danielle is busy being a boy mom and travelling the world.

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    Dr. Montana Hackett

    Undergrad: Honours Specialization in Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences and Biochemistry at Western University

    Medical School: Western University

    Residency: Family Medicine at Queens University (Kingston Site)


    Dr. Montana Hackett is a current PGY1 in Family Medicine at Queen’s University. His medical school career was populated by engagement in leadership, serving as 1st year Class President, Medical Society President, CFMS Director of Government Affairs, and culminating last year as CFMS President. The majority of his focus prior to residency was on political advocacy around contraception, pharmacare, environmental protections, abortion access, Indigenous health, and more. His clinical interests include full scope family medicine, dermatology, and palliative care. In his spare time—with special shoutout to Family Medicine for the existence of spare time in residency—he is an avid painter, a lover of music, and is currently in the process of becoming a proficient salsa dancer. He also has a burning passion for spending money on travel that future staff physician Montana apparently will be able to afford and, who reportedly said quote: it's ok to go on that trip and not to worry."