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One Day Matters

Concerned by a trend for few applications for surgery residency positions across Canada and the belief that medical students need an earlier introduction to the OR, the Canadian Association of General Surgeons has developed a national initiative whereby first year medical students can spend one day in the OR.

The One Day Matters program was launched nationally in 2009 by Dr. Susan Reid and, by popular demand, repeated every year since then. The program matched first year medical students to both academic and community surgeons over the course of a one month period across Canada and included an orientation package, a scrub session, and a day in the Operating Room with their matched surgeon.

A review of the program indicates that the opportunity to spend one day in the OR, especially during the same month as their peers, has not only increased the impact on each student at each site but also increased the discussion of experiences among the students at the national level. Feedback has been very positive from both surgeons and medical students and it is anticipated that applications for surgery residency positions in two to three years time will support early indications of the program’s success.

In addition to matches in General Surgeons, this year students could also match in Orthopedics, Plastics, Otolaryngology, Thoracics, Vascular, Pediatrics, Cardiac and Neurosurgery.

For more information on the One Day Matters program at McMaster, email Katie Niblock (

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