Hi, I’m Maria.
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist / RDN
I have helped medical students, internationally trained physicians (ITPs) and international medical graduates (IMGs and CSAs) polish their CVs, personal statements and interview skills by providing constructive feedback and support. My clients are confident, professional and naturally capture the attention of selection committees.
Helping IMGs Since 2015
MEd. Educational and Counselling Psychology
University of Windsor
St. Clair College
OCELT (Ontario Certified
English Language Teacher)
ICTEAL (International Certificate in Teaching English as an Additional Language Abroad)
I started out volunteering with IELTS teaching for Canadian newcomer professionals at the public library in Windsor, Ontario, after working abroad for almost a decade. Eight out of ten participants were doctors and they all had the same goal — getting through the Canadian Residency Match System (CaRMS).
What struck me most was that in my city there wasn’t any organized help for internationally trained physicians and they were asking me for advice on what to do.
I had no clue!
I was experiencing similar challenges establishing my own professional credentials after working outside of Canada, as well as those of my Italian husband. It was maddening learning all about settlement in terms of what qualifies as “recognized” credentials or experience, and the additional systemic barriers for internationally trained professionals trying to work in Canada at their level of expertise.
The policies can make you feel invisible and unwelcomed.
The more I looked into licensing for physicians, the more complicated it became. I was frustrated with the inconsistency and lack of credible, specific advice available. I eventually got jobs working in government funded language programs and at the college teaching English for academic purposes. The more I heard my students’ stories and struggles, the more I realized how common these issues were and I wanted to help.
The dream of life in Canada seemed to be morphing into a nightmare for many.
In 2015, I started reviewing CVs, personal statements and helping with interviews for internationally trained physicians. Once my clients matched with their residency programs they moved to different provinces, but we kept in touch.
I moved to Montréal in 2017 to pursue my Master’s in Educational Psychology at McGill University. I continued working online with my clients helping them with small projects during residency. It wasn’t until I completed my Master’s that more requests popped into my inbox asking for help with CaRMS. The strange thing was that I did not foresee CaRMS prep as part of my future career. I simply did it to help a few friends get through the system. I had no idea of just how many internationally trained physicians and IMGs needed support.
Two significant events happened simultaneously that redirected my career plans — not having access to a family doctor and the first pandemic lockdown in Montréal.
I was still living in Montréal during the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada. I needed to see a specialist, but didn’t have a family doctor for the referral and was put on a waitlist for two years! I got fed up after being on the phone for hours trying to find medical service. I thought “I’ll just Google it.”
By the time I was finished with Dr. Google, I was convinced I was dying!
I shared the news with my friends (who were now licensed physicians) in other provinces. They were accustomed to working with limited resources in their countries of origin, so they are diagnostic experts. Our conversation went something like this:
Friend: Heck no. Maria, what’s your biggest worry right now?
Me: Aside from death?
Friend: Your iron is probably low. Eat some meat. So what else is going on? What are you concerned about?
Friend: Why don’t you help my assistant with CaRMS? You’re better at this than I am.
And like wildfire, one person told another and another, and it soon became a full time business.
By providing constructive feedback and support, I have helped medical students, internationally trained physicians (ITPs) and international medical graduates (IMGs and CSAs) polish their CVs, personal statements and interview skills so they capture the attention of selection committees. But, don’t take my word for it.
Here are just a few snippets of what CaRMS applicants just like you have been saying after working with me.
Oh my God I'm speechless. Thank you so much Maria. I matched into ophthalmology.
I just wanted to let you know that I matched (to my 1st choice Western)!!! I know that your help last year with my CV and personal letter and just your positive energy helped me to get to this point.
I just wanted to tell you that I matched to U of C FM. Thank you so much for your help.
I received good news! I matched in Ottawa!! Thrilled and excited about the next stage.
I've some amazing news to share. I matched into the University of Toronto!
I am happy to share that I matched to FM at McMaster! So happy and grateful for all your support. 🙂
So what’s the magic behind all this success?
Active listening, research and genuine concern for your well-being. I believe the happier and healthier physicians are, the better they can be at serving their patients and communities.
Spreading compassion in the world is rewarding and helps me sleep at night.
What makes my approach unique is that I combine my training in language, psychology, counselling, and education to provide customized feedback that is specific to your needs and goals. I get to know you, research best practices, maintain my professional development, and advocate for fairness in the selection process. I deliberately network with like-minded professionals who are working towards making high quality healthcare accessible, available, and a priority for everyone in Canada.