Frequently Asked Questions for Candidates Applying for HMC Residency Programs for Academic Year 2020- 2021

HAMAD MEDICAL CORPORATION 

Medical Education Department

HMC Residency Eligibility, Selection & Matching Process

2021 Intake

Academic Year 2021 - 2022

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Updated April 2020



HMC Residency Eligibility, Selection, Matching Process and Admissions

Academic Year 2021-2022



  1. Can I submit a paper application?

     All applications must be submitted through the online application portal, https://hamad.smapply.io/. Please read the guidelines for completing the application process in Appendix (A).
  1. Who can apply for HMC Residency Training Programs? 

    Application is permitted for anyone who has met all of the listed eligibility criteria. All Candidates who are citizens of the Palestinian Territories and resident in West Bank or Gaza, should direct their application through the Amiri Palestinian Scholarship Program.
  1. I am a Qatari citizen or son/daughter of a Qatari mother. Are there different requirements for me to apply?

    You may apply through the same process. Any differential requirements will be noted in the application system as you complete your application. The deadline to apply, however, is the same as all other applicants.
  1. I am a graduate or expected graduate of Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar or Qatar University College of Medicine.  Are there different requirements for me to apply?

    You may apply through the same process. Any differential requirements will be noted in the application system as you complete your application. The deadline to apply, however, is the same as all other applicants.
  1. I have not completed an Internship Training Program. Am I eligible to apply? 

     For medical graduates who have done one year of postgraduate, hospital-based training in one or more major medical specialties, this may be considered equivalent to internship training. In this instance, please email us prior to initiating an application, for an evaluation of your specific circumstances.
  1. I am not in active clinical practice or have had a prior gap. Am I eligible to apply? 

    If you have been out of clinical practice for more than one (1) year at the time of application or you have had a practice gap of one year or greater at any time since internship completion, and cannot provide adequate justification for this, you are not eligible to apply.
  1. I have not completed the mandatory clinical or English language proficiency examinations, or, I expect that my score will arrive after the intake deadline. Am I eligible to apply? 

    Applicants must have completed the mandatory exams and be able to include evidence of achieving the required minimum score in their application, prior to the intake deadline. Failure to include this will deem the application incomplete and it will not be considered in the selection process.

    Applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the timeline for receiving test results for required clinical skills and English language competency exams.

    In addition:
  • Clinical exams: HMC will only accept results from the USMLE, IFOM, and MCC examinations for application to our residency programs. 
  • English language proficiency exams: Living in a country or holding citizenship of a country where English is the official language, or studying at a medical school where English is the language of instruction, does not exempt an applicant from taking the IELTS or TOEFL. The USMLE Step 2 CS component of spoken English does not replace IELTS or TOEFL. HMC will only accept IELTS or TOEFL results. Exam results must be valid at the time of application (e.g. verifiable on the examination website).  Expired results will not be considered valid. If your results will expire prior to February 2021, you should contact our office for early verification of your certificate.
  1. Do I need to be an Arabic speaker to apply?

    The language of instruction of our programs, and of HMC as a hospital system, is English. Some residency programs, however, may require competency in spoken Arabic language due to the nature of their work. This includes Psychiatry, Family Medicine, and Community Medicine.

    It is not required but is advisable for non-Arabic speakers to take a course in spoken Arabic if they have been matched, while waiting to start employment.
  1. What happens after I apply?
  • All applications are reviewed by the Medical Education Department against the listed eligibility criteria.
  • Eligible applications are forwarded to the relevant residency program to be reviewed by the program’s selection committee, for the applicant’s First Choice selection.
  • The program selection committee will shortlist suitable candidates for interviews and shortlisted applicants will be notified of the interview details by email. 
  • Interviews for overseas applicants will be conducted by teleconference or videoconference; local candidates will typically be invited for a personal interview.
  • Following interviews, each residency program will provide the Medical Education Department with a final list of matched candidates and a waiting list.
  • The results of the Residency Programs Matching process will be announced following approval by the Designated Institutional Official (DIO).
  • Waitlisted candidates may be contacted in the event that a residency program vacancy becomes available. In such cases, applications may undergo a secondary review by a Program Director.
  1. What do interviewers focus on?

    Interviewers look primarily at communication skills, reasoning, ethics and professionalism, English language competency, and understanding of the responsibilities and scope of the specialty of choice.

    Applicants should have a strong reason for selecting any residency program as a first choice. This should be clearly stated in the Letter of Intent for each program and candidates should be prepared to justify their choice during the interview.
  1. How can I check on the status of my application? 

    Throughout the application and selection process, applicants will receive email communications from the SMApply system, as well as from the Medical Education Department. You will receive messages:
  • If you have initiated but not completed an application.
  • To confirm that a complete application has been received and is under review.
  • If shortlisted by a program for interview.
  • If selected for conditional acceptance into a residency program.
  • If waitlisted for conditional acceptance into a residency program.
  • If your application has not been successful during this intake cycle.

    Applicants must not call or visit the Medical Education Department to follow up on the status of their application. Due to the volume of applicants, email inquiries regarding progress of individual applications will not be responded to.
  1. How will I know if I have been selected for admission to a residency program, following an interview?

    Applicants who successfully pass the interview and are matched to a program will receive a provisional program acceptance notification by e-mail. After acknowledging the provisional program acceptance through the SMApply system, matched candidates should wait to receive their Offer of Employment from HMC’s Human Resources (HR) Department, who will manage the recruitment process.

    Please note, matched candidates may need to wait for a period of several weeks to several months before receiving the Offer of Employment. During this period, they should not call or visit the Medical Education Department or HR to inquire about the status of their file, as it may negatively impact the recruitment process.
  1. I was not selected for interview for my First Choice, or, was not selected by my First Choice following an interview. Can I be considered for my Second Choice?

    Applicant’s files will only be seen by their Second Choice program if the program has not filled all their seats with First Choice applicants, and this process will be triggered automatically.

    Applicants must not contact Program Directors or the Medical Education Department asking for their applications to be transferred to their Second Choice and attempts to do so may be considered interference in the selection process. 
  1. I received notification that my application has not been selected for this year’s intake. What are my options? Will I be told why my application was not selected?

    Selection decisions are considered final and binding, and applicants do not have a right of appeal. Due to the volume of applicants, we are not able to provide feedback on individual selection decisions. Any attempts to question or influence the decision, including contact with Program Directors or Medical Education Department staff, may be considered interference and may impact a candidate’s ability to be considered for future intakes.

    If a candidate is eligible for selection in the following year, they are welcome to apply in the next intake.
  1. I was waitlisted by a program. What happens next?

    Those who have been waitlisted will be advanced for recruitment only if a selected candidate declines their offer. The Medical Education Department will contact the waitlisted candidate if this occurs.
  1. What is the recruitment process and how long will it take?

     The recruitment process is managed by HMC’s HR Department. This process may take anywhere between a few weeks to a few months; however, all matched candidates should be prepared to join the program on or before 1 July. In brief, the process includes:
  • Offer of Employment from Human Resources (Candidates must respond within the prescribed period set out in the offer)
  • Approvals by Qatar’s Ministry of Interior - CEID (Criminal Evidences and Information Department) and Ministry of Labour
  • Immigration process for issuing of Work Visa
  • Applicants should provide medical check-up clearance for Hepatitis B & C, TB, and HIV
  • Sign a work agreement with HMC’s Medical Education Department after credentialing of all certificates

    The HR Department will provide clear guidance to all candidates under recruitment regarding specific requirements, documents to be provided, and the timeline for recruitment.
  1. Can a resident transfer to another program after the match?
    This is not permitted.
  1. What are the salary and benefits provided to residents? 

    Residents are considered employees of HMC and are paid a monthly salary. They will start receiving salary from the date of signing the employment contract (which takes place after arrival in Qatar), with any annual increments based on HMC’s HR policies and procedures.

    Details of salary and benefits will be shared with applicants who have been shortlisted and invited for interview, as well as included in the Residents’ Terms and Conditions of Employment which will be attached to the employment contract.

    HMC is committed to equal opportunities, and the reliability, fairness, and transparency of the matching process.
  1. What are the Residency Programs sponsored by HMC and what are their duration? 

S/N

Program

ACGME International LLC Status

Duration of Training

Arab Board (months)

1

Internal Medicine

Accredited

48

2

General Surgery

Accredited

60

3

Pediatrics

Accredited

48

4

Obstetrics and Gynecology

Accredited

60

5

Emergency Medicine

Accredited

48

6

Family Medicine

Accredited

48

7

Diagnostic Radiology*

Accredited

48

8

Anesthesiology

Accredited

48

9

Otolaryngology

Accredited

60

10

Orthopedics

Accredited

60

11

Urology

Accredited

60

12

Psychiatry

Accredited

48

13

Ophthalmology*

Accredited

60

14

Cardiothoracic Surgery

Non-ACGME International LLC

72

15

Community Medicine

Non-ACGME International LLC

48

16

Neurosurgery

Non-ACGME International LLC

72

17

Anatomical Pathology

Non-ACGME International LLC

48

18

Neurology

Non-ACGME International LLC

48

19

Plastic Surgery

Non-ACGME International LLC

72

20

Dermatology

Non-ACGME International LLC

48


*Applicants selected for the Diagnostic Radiology and Ophthalmology residency programs will be admitted into the Transitional Year Program. The transitional year requires the resident to rotate across multiple areas, over a one year period, prior to beginning residency in the selected residency program.

  1. What is ACGME International LLC accreditation? 

     Fourteen (14) of HMC’s residency programs are accredited by the ACGME International LLC. Accreditation demonstrates that graduate medical education programs outside the United States meet established standards for Institutional, Foundational, and Advanced specialty education. The ACGME International LLC employs a comprehensive, peer-review process not only to evaluate, but also to improve and publicly recognize programs and sponsoring institutions in graduate medical education that meet – and often exceed – standards of educational quality (ACGME International LLC, http://www.acgme-i.org/Requirements-and-Process-Overview/What-is-Accreditation). 

    Accreditation is not certification. HMC does notcurrently offer American Board Certification and graduates will typically sit for Arab Board Certification Exams.