Enhanced Skills Program: Global Health and Vulnerable Populations

The Global Health and Vulnerable Populations Program at the University of Toronto is a 52-week Residency Program designed to provide family physicians with the knowledge and the skills to address global health issues both locally and abroad. 

The objectives of the program are to enhance the skills and knowledge of Canadian family physicians in the areas relevant to global health to enable them to work more effectively in resource-poor settings in Canada and abroad and to foster the development of collaborative relationships to support primary health care in resource-poor settings locally, nationally and internationally. 

Program Director: Dr. Leila Makhani, MD, CFPC

List of Faculty Program Committee:

  • Dr. Katherine Rouleau
  • Dr. Praseedha Janakiram
  • Dr. Eileen Nicolle

Length of Program: One Year (52 Weeks) - Full Time

Program and Application Eligibility

Applicant must be a Canadian Citizen. Applicant must be currently enrolled as a PGY2 in a Canadian Family Medicine Residency at the time of application. N.B.: Those enrolled in a PGY3 Enhanced Skills Program at the time of application are NOT eligible to apply to another PGY3 Enhanced Skills position.

For funding eligibility, please see the main Enhanced Skills Program Admissions page.

Curriculum Competencies

The Global Health and Vulnerable Populations Residency Program adheres to CanMEDS-FM goals and objectives to achieve the following competencies:

  • Medical Expert
  • Communicator
  • Collaborator
  • Leader
  • Scholar
  • Health Advocate
  • Professional

For complete details, please read the goals and objectives.

See program curriculum map

Sample Rotation

The first 6 months of this program consists of selectives, which are determined by the resident based on their individual goals and objectives. Common selectives include: 

Residents can choose to have a half-day back in family medicine at the clinic of their choosing in order to maintain/enhance their general practice skills. Residents also devote part of their time towards acquiring competency in a language to enhance their 3-6 months practicum experience abroad.           

Prior to pandemic precautions, residents travelled to Brazil for the international component of the enhanced skills training. While in Brazil, residents would undertake a variety of activities including teaching, mentorship, and exposure to clinical work. They would also partake in activities related to public health/health systems and scholarly work depending on their interests. (Rio de Janeiro - Goals and ObjectivesSao Paulo - Goals and Objectives)

Residents also have the option of doing a TAAAC (Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration) FM rotation in Ethiopia. This experience has now been shifted to a virtual academic collaboration during pandemic precautions. During their TAAAC-FM experience, residents will develop familiarity with standards of care and expectations of family medicine as it pertains to the setting of Addis Ababa Ethiopia. They will work closely with Ethiopian colleagues at the family health centers and liaise with peers and faculty at Addis Ababa University (AAU). (TAAAC FM - Goals and Objectives)

Due to pandemic precautions, the international elective component has been modified and residents have the opportunity to engage with various DFCM international collaboration programs.

Residents are encouraged to devote time towards a scholarly activity while engaged in the program (Scholar Rotation Goals and Objectives). 

Unique Program Requirements

  • Attendance at the Family Medicine Forum
  • Attendance at the Besrour Global Health Conference if accepted
  • 2 Mentorship nights
  • 2 Journal clubs
  • Attendance at the Global Health Summer Primer in Toronto, as offered.
  • Presentation of scholarly work at one conference/seminar

Please refer to the Enhanced Skills Admissions page for more details on the application timeline and requirements.