Dr. Iqbal Jaffer

Program Director

Andrea Howe

Senior Education Associate
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Canadian Medical Graduates

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Upcoming Events From
McMaster University
— Meet & Greet, Program Director or Assistant Program Director
McMaster Internal Medicine PD Meet and Greet
— Meet & Greet, Program Director or Assistant Program Director
McMaster Internal Medicine PD Meet and Greet
— Meet & Greet, Program Director or Assistant Program Director
McMaster Internal Medicine PD Meet and Greet
— Meet & Greet, Program Director or Assistant Program Director
McMaster Internal Medicine PD Meet and Greet
— Meet & Greet, Program Director or Assistant Program Director
McMaster Internal Medicine PD Meet and Greet

Program Highlights

For a glimpse of the McMaster Cardiac Surgery residency experience (the accounts are run by our residents), refer to:

Our training program prides itself in direct interactions between residents and attending staff. We are the busiest center in Ontario with an annual pump case volume of over 1700. The large volume provides significant clinical exposure for residents with no competition for OR time.
Our surgeons have expertise – and residents have great exposure to – aortic cases (including Bentalls, ascending aorta, hemi-arch, arch replacements +/- frozen elephant trunk), Ross procedure (our center is leading the Revival trial), minimally invasive surgeries (any valve or coronary bypass), off-pump CABG, structural heart disease (TAVI and Mitra-clip), etc.

Our residents follow an academic-surgical pathway. Residents are encouraged to consider their interests and all available options. In the past, residents have taken time to do PhD or Master’s in basic sciences, clinical epidemiology, knowledge translation, health research methodology, etc. While the enrichment year (taken in either 3rd or 4th year) provides dedicated time for research, additional academic productivity is a must throughout residency. We provide support to our residents with an established team of mentors and mentees via the in-house MiNION-CIA research group.

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General Information

This residency program is for 6 years.

Program length of training does not exceed the Royal College or College of Family Physicians of Canada standard.


Junior Years

The junior cardiac surgery rotation will expect the resident to learn to perform sternotomy, cannulate the patient for cardiopulmonary bypass, harvest conduits for coronary artery bypass such as the long saphenous vein and the left internal mammary artery. The resident will assume a gradually increasing role in performing parts of coronary artery bypass procedures.

The vascular surgery rotation will provide additional opportunity for the resident to perform arterial anastomoses. In addition, the resident will be exposed to management of conditions involving venous disorders and acute ischemia.

During thoracic surgery, the resident will learn to perform thoracotomy incisions and have the opportunity to perform bronchoscopy, mediastinoscopy, thoracoscopy, lung biopsy, apical bullectomy and tracheostomy. He/she will assist in pulmonary and esophageal resections.


Senior Years

The senior year in cardiac surgery will provide the resident with a large volume of cardiac surgery. Upon its completion, the resident will be capable of independently performing coronary artery bypass surgery and valve repair/replacement. He/she will have gained experience in “redo” surgery. There will be maximal resident exposure to procedures that are performed less frequently, such as those involving aortic root enlargement, aortic arch surgery, pericardial resection, emergency cases such as aortic dissections and ruptured VSD repair, and specialized cases such as mitral valve repair and pulmonary thromboendarterectomy.

The pediatric cardiac surgical rotation will occur at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. He/she will take part in a large number of different procedures, some palliative, some staged and some definitive.



Rotations during PGY-1 year include: Transition to Practice and Foundations of Discipline; adult cardiac surgery, vascular surgery, general surgery (trauma), cardiology rotations (Consults, Imaging, Echo, EP).



Rotations during PGY-2 year include: Foundations of Discipline; adult cardiac surgery, cardiac anaesthesia, ICU, cardiac catheterization, CCU.



The PGY-3 year is an academic enrichment year.



Rotations during PGY-4 year include: adult cardiac surgery, cardiac catheterization, thoracic surgery and vascular surgery.



Rotations during the PGY-5 year include: pediatric cardiac surgery, adult cardiac surgery and electives based on career goals (VAD, Cath, Peds).



The final training year is spent as senior resident in adult cardiac surgery.



The academic enrichment year (PGY-3) provides an opportunity for research. Additional involvement in research projects is required during residency training.



The cardiac surgery service has weekly teaching rounds – didactic or hands-on – on Friday mornings. Additionally, every Wednesday morning we host cardiac surgery grand rounds where residents are expected to present on a rotating basis. These rounds include – but are not limited to – mortality morbidity, ongoing research, newly published works, etc.

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Salary Information

Post graduate salaries and benefits differ by province and are determined by two things: your training year, and the province you work in. See below the salaries and benefits for McMaster University - Cardiac Surgery - Hamilton.
Effective October 4th, 2023 
Professional Leave
7 working days/year
Additional time off provided for writing any CND or US certification exam, leave includes the exam date and reasonable travel time to and from the exam site. Additional RCPSC & CFPC Certification Examination
Prep Time
  1. Subject to operational requirements and at the request of a resident, a resident will not be scheduled for call duties for a period up to fourteen days prior to a CFPC or RCPSC certification exam.
  2. Subject to operational requirements and at the request of a resident, a resident *will be granted up to seven consecutive days off during one of the four week*s preceding a CFPC or RCPSC certification exam.
Annual Vacation
4 weeks
Meal Allowance
Frequency of Calls
1 in 4 In-hospital, 1 in 3 home
Pregnancy Leave
17 weeks
Parental Leave
35 weeks, 37 weeks if resident did not take pregnancy leave
Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (SUB) Plan
Top-up to 84% 27 weeks for women who take pregnancy and parental leave; 12 weeks for parents on stand-alone parental leave.
Provincial Health Insurance
Extended Health Insurance
Provincial Dues (% of salary)
Dental Plan
85% paid for eligible expenses
CMPA Dues Paid
Under current arrangements, residents are rebated by Ministry of Health and Long Term Care for dues in excess of $300.
Long-Term Disability Insurance
Yes – 70% of salary, non-taxable.
Statutory and Floating Holidays
2 weeks leave with full pay and benefits;
10 stat days plus 1 personal floater.
Residents are entitled to at least 5 consecutive days off over the Christmas or New Year period, which accounts for 3 statutory holidays (Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day), and 2 weekend days.
Life Insurance
Yes, 2x salary
Salary and Benefit Continuance
A resident that can’t work due to illness or injury will have salary and benefits maintained for 6 months or until end of appointment (whichever occurs first)
Call Stipend
$127.60 in-hospital; $63.80 home call or qualifying shift on shift-based services.
Weekend premium:
$140.36 in-hospital; $70.18 home call or qualifying shift on shift-based services.
Updated October 4, 2023

Visit the PARO website.

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Explore Location

Hamilton cityscape
Hamilton is a Canadian port city on the western tip of Lake Ontario. The Niagara Escarpment, a huge, forested ridge known locally as “the mountain” and dotted with conservation areas and waterfalls, divides the city. The long-distance Bruce Trail runs along the escarpment. HMCS Haida, a naval warship on the city’s lakefront, and the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in the south, trace Canada’s military past.