Can my referee send a reference letter before a match opens?

Applicants can request a letter of reference from a referee prior to the match opening. Applicants may want to consider this option while in electives or other training, as it gives the prospective applicant the opportunity to ask for a reference letter while still interacting with the doctor, before the system opens.

To request an early reference letter, follow the instructions below:

  1. Fill out the Early Letter of Reference Form (ELOR) and give it to your referee. The form can be found on our website, here:
  2. The letter of reference and the original form (ELOR) must be mailed to CaRMS prior to the match opening here:
    CaRMS - Document Centre
    171 Nepean Street, Suite 101
    Ottawa, ON
    K2P 0B4

  3. CaRMS will receive both documents by mail and will send you an email confirming that we are in possession of your letter and you will be asked to create a request for it in your CaRMS Online account when the match is open.

  4. Once the match is open and you have created the reference request in your CaRMS Online account, you are required to reply to the email and include the reference ID number provided once you have created the request online. Please note that your reference letter will not be uploaded into your account until you have sent us your reference ID number by e-mail at

The form for the following year's match will be made available at the start of the current match:

  • Medicine Subspecialty Match = Mid-July
  • R-1 Main Residency Match = Mid-September
  • Pediatric Subspecialty Match = Early-February
    NOTE: The Family Medicine/Emergency Medicine Match does not appear on the ELOR form because reference materials are built into the CaRMS Online system directly.


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