Non-Academic Requirements

In addition to academic requirements, brief personal essays, autobiographical sketches, and references are used in assessing your non-academic qualifications.

Throughout the admissions process, we assess your non-academic attributes, activities and achievements in terms of the Faculty’s mission and values, as well as the MD Program competencies. Our aim is to select students who we believe will make the most empathetic and highly skilled physicians.

Specifically, we evaluate materials according to the following four clusters. These four clusters are based on the CanMEDS Framework that identifies and describes the abilities physicians require to effectively meet the health care needs of the people they serve.




maturity, reliability, perseverance and responsibility


communication, collaboration, teamwork, time management and leadership


advocacy, community service and social responsibility


academic standing, achievements in leadership, research and social responsibility as demonstrated by (but not limited to) awards, conference presentations, publications, and scholarships

Your ability to use the English language will be taken into consideration and you may be requested to submit additional information to supplement the application form.

Specific requirements 


Brief Personal Essays

You are required to submit two original brief personal essays, with each essay answering a specific question related to the Faculty’s mission and values. The Temerty Faculty of Medicine’s mission statement embodies social responsibility, and the Faculty’s values are reflective of this responsibility. Each brief personal essay must be 250 words or less (this word count does not include titles, references, or verifiers, if you choose to include these). We evaluate brief personal essays independently of all other materials submitted within your application.

The two questions for the 2024-2025 admissions cycle (2023-2024 academic year):

Question 1

The use of artificial intelligence is increasingly being used to replace or assist humans in our daily lives. The basis of artificial intelligence are the complex algorithms that drive the technology. In your opinion, what values, ethical and societal implications should be considered when developing such algorithms for assessing applicants to medical school?

Question 2

The Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva said: “it isn't that you need time to think, you need time to feel.”  How does this statement connect with your future career in the field of medicine?

We will perform random checks of your brief personal essays through a plagiarism detection tool. You will not be informed that your essay has been submitted for comparison. Essays submitted will be included as source documents in the reference database, where they will be used solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. If you do not consent to your essays being submitted through a plagiarism detection tool, you must  email by January 3, 2024. We will honour this request. 


Autobiographical sketch & statements

The autobiographical sketch (ABS) is a comprehensive list of your activities and achievements since age 16 which provide insight into who you are. These can include your:

  • employment
  • volunteer activities
  • extracurricular activities
  • awards and accomplishments
  • research, and,
  • other activities and achievements.

You are not required to have undertaken a specific number of activities or completed a set number of hours. There are also no specific activities that will give you an ‘edge’. We do not believe there is a specific medical student ‘profile’. We are looking for students:

  • with diverse backgrounds and interests
  • who are well-rounded
  • who are community-minded
  • who have gained skills and maturity from their experiences
  • who can demonstrate time management skills
  • who show evidence of the the attribute clusters in their activities

Please see the Ontario Medical School Application Service (OMSAS) Application Guide for more information on the ABS.

In addition, you are required to write and submit one ABS statement that discusses the following:

  • Write about an impactful experience from your Autobiographical Sketch that demonstrates your personal growth, character, and values. How did this experience prepare you for medical school?

Your ABS statement must be 500 words or less.  This word count does not include your activity title, references, or verifiers, if you choose to include these.

The ABS and the additional ABS statement will be evaluated as a whole. We evaluate ABS materials independently of all other materials submitted within your application.


In some cases, we may wish to verify additional information about activities that are described in either your brief personal essays or the ABS. Therefore, you must provide the name, address, and phone number of at least one contact person (verifier) for each activity. We perform random checks of applicants’ verifiers. Please notify your verifiers that they may be contacted by us. 

Note: Verifiers for ABS may or may not be the same as the verifiers you listed for your graduate studies or your references.

Let your verifiers know that they may be contacted by UME Enrolment Services.


You are required to arrange for three references to be sent to OMSAS as part of your application. Each reference includes a Confidential Assessment Form.

Note: You must not use family members, family friends, colleagues of family members, neighbours or someone who may be perceived as your peer as a referee, as we do not consider them to be objective. Letters written by a spiritual advisor are acceptable, provided the individual is not also a family member or close friend.

Applications from candidates with non-objective references will not be considered.

Referees may submit their confidential reference online. 

The deadline for receiving references is October 2nd, 2023. If OMSAS does not receive your reference by this date, your application to the University of Toronto’s MD Program will be incomplete and will not be considered. It is your responsibility to ensure that OMSAS receives your references by the deadline, so we advise you to confirm submission with all of your referees prior to the deadline.