Enhanced Skills Program: Palliative Care Program

The Enhanced Skills Palliative Care at the University of Toronto is accredited by the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC). The overall goals of the program are:

  1. To provide physicians with added competency in the area of palliative care and prepare them to provide primary and consultant palliative care services; and
  2. To equip physicians with tools to become leaders within the palliative care field, on an education, research, clinical and/or administrative level.

Program Director:
Dr. Sarah Kawaguchi
Mount Sinai Hospital
Temmy Latner Centre
60 Murray Street, 4th Floor
Toronto ON  M5T 3L9
Phone: (416) 586-5133

Program Administrator: fammed.enhanced@utoronto.ca

Length of Program: 12 Months (52 weeks), Full-Time

Program and Application Eligibility

Family Medicine/Enhanced Skills Match:

  • Trainees currently enrolled in a CFPC accredited program, who hold a postgraduate education certificate of registration or equivalent in their province are eligible for the Match. 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.
    • Off-cycle applicants: PGY2 residents with completion dates between July 1 and December 31, 2023 are also eligible but must declare their completion date on the application form and request a late start.  You may only apply to the match one time.  While some programs are able to admit residents' off-cycle, others are not. Off-cycle applicants will remain eligible to apply to the following year's match recognizing that they may have obtained an independent practice license in the interim period.
  • Residents currently enrolled in ACGME accredited Family Medicine residency programs in the U.S. who are Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents may apply to the PGY3 FM Palliative Care Match if they meet the CFPC requirements outlined on the College of Family Physicians of Canada website. Further information is available on the CaRMS Provincial Eligibility site. Information regarding licensure requirements is available at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario site.

Not eligible to apply through CaRMS:

  • International Sponsored Visa Trainees: This program accepts sponsored trainee applicants* from countries with a training agreement with the University of Toronto Post MD Education Office. The University currently has training agreements in place with: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Sponsored Visa Trainees from these countries must apply directly through the Post MD Education Office. Our program is unable to consider applicants from countries where a training agreement is not currently in place.
    • *Selection determined by application program review and program capacity
  • Practicing Family Physicians are not eligible for the PGY3 FM Palliative Care Match but may access PGY3 FM Palliative Care training via the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care's Re-Entry program.  

Curriculum Competencies

The Palliative Care Enhanced Skills 12 Month Program adheres to the CanMEDS-FM goals and objectives to achieve the following competencies:

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

For complete details, please view the general educational objectives and competencies.

Sample Rotation

Our program includes 9.5 mandatory blocks:

Rotation Duration Potential Training Site
Inpatient Consultation Services 2 blocks Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, William Osler Health System
Home Palliative Care 2 blocks Mount Sinai Hospital - Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care (TLPCP)
Inpatient Palliative Care Unit 2 blocks University Health Network (Princess Margaret Hospital), Bridgepoint Active Healthcare, Baycrest Hospital, Toronto Grace Health Centre, Kensington Hospice
Medical + Radiation Oncology 1 block Princess Margaret Hospital
Psychosocial Oncology 1 block University Health Network (Princess Margaret Hospital), Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Community Hospital Service 1 block Southlake Regional Health Centre, Trillium Health Partners-Credit Valley Hospital & Mississauga Hospital, Toronto East General Hospital, North York General Hospital, St. Joseph's Health Centre
PEACH (Palliative Education and Care for the Homeless) 1 block Inner City Health Associates (ICHA)
Pediatric Palliative Care 0.5 block The Hospital for Sick Children

Elective Content of Training, program includes 2.5 blocks of elective rotations:

Rotation Duration Potential Training Site
Elective 2 blocks Negotiated individually, with approval of PD
Selective  0.5 block Must be in a clinical palliative care domain (e.g. geriatrics, CHF, ESRD, geriatrics, heart failure, renal failure etc.)

A longitudinal, four-month, half-day clinic is also a part of the program. This ambulatory clinic occurs at either the Odette Cancer Centre or Princess Margaret Hospital and allows residents the opportunity to see new consults, create a management plan and follow individuals over time. Trainees see patients independently and are also observed. Feedback is provided on clinical judgement and management plans, along with verbal and written communication skills.

Unique Program Requirements

The program has a strong academic component centered around protected half-day sessions on Thursday mornings. This includes weekly seminars on key topics, journal clubs, and complex case rounds. Trainees are responsible for presenting at one journal club and one complex case round during the year. In addition, we have a day-long communication workshop, and monthly national webinars on core topics. Residents are required to complete a scholarly project, which may have a research, education, or quality improvement focus. Finally, there is a longitudinal resident wellness curriculum.