FAQ: Family Medicine Program

How does the internal match work?

After matching to the Family Medicine Program at the University of Toronto, virtual Open House Sessions are held to provide more information about each hospital teaching site and as an opportunity to have additional questions about individual sites answered. Each newly matched resident will then complete a rank list of all hospital teaching sites in the stream to which they have matched. Most residents in the Canadian Medical Graduate – Greater Toronto Area match receive one of their top four choices. Electives can always be booked at different hospitals and clinics to ensure desired breadth and depth of experience is achieved.

Will I have an assured place at the site I desire most (e.g. Newmarket) or is there a chance I may end up in Barrie?

It is difficult to predict which site will be more popular in the internal match as the preferences for each cohort really depends on the preferences of those residents that match to the stream each year. In the Barrie or Newmarket stream internal match, there is space for each applicant to add comments. This will allow each applicant to explain the reasoning behind their choice.

What are the main differences between the hospital teaching sites?

There are 13 Family Medicine hospital teaching sites in the Greater Toronto Area Stream. The Barrie or Newmarket stream is a separate choice with residents selecting either site and residents in the Integrated Communities Stream matching to one of four mid-Ontario communities: Midland, Port Perry, Orillia or Orangeville. Each teaching hospital site has a slightly different curriculum with potential for different areas of focus that can be explored by residents. However, the requirements of the College of Family Physicians of Canada are adequately met at every site. You will learn more about the individual sites at a Virtual Resident Meet & Greet session to take place before your interview and by reading the information available on the Department of Family and Community website. For more information about the hospital teaching sites, you can contact the chief residents at the respective site who would be happy to help!

Is the program responsive to residents’ needs?

The U of T administrative staff welcomes any suggestions for program improvement. Resident participation runs primarily through FRAT (Family Residents Association of Toronto) which is an organizational council that acts as a link between administrative staff, program directors, and residents. It is comprised of chief residents, PGY1 reps, and committee members from all sites and streams. Residents also have the option of sitting on various committees, including the governing committee (FRAT Presidents sit on the Residency Program Committee) and PARO. The administrative bodies, from a resident perspective, are consistently responsive to resident needs and advocacy.

How much elective time does the program offer?

Each hospital teaching site varies with respect to the amount of time allotted to electives.  The minimum would be two or three months over the two years.  As well, many of the hospital teaching sites include selectives in the curriculum.  There is a diverse range of electives given the tremendous opportunities for clinical work in various specialties at UofT.

Is there formal teaching as part of the curriculum?

Hospital teaching sites offer a half day per week for formal teaching. This Academic Half-Day is considered protected teaching time, meaning that your attendance is expected regardless of your rotation.  Program directors from other specialties are aware of this protected and prioritized time and should allow you to attend. The lectures vary from week to week but always have a focus on topics important in primary care.  In addition to these academic half days Family Medicine residents from all teaching sites will come together every few months for a focused day of seminars and lectures at the Central Core Days. Additionally, all residents come together a few times each year for a curriculum in Practice Management.

What types of opportunities are available for a 3rd year of training?

The University of Toronto offers many high-quality 3rd year enhanced skills programs; including Women's Health, Emergency Medicine, Sport and Exercise Medicine, Low-risk Obstetrics, Care of the Elderly, Clinician Scholar, Addiction Medicine, Palliative Care and others. We continue to innovate and develop new programs such as our Global Health and Vulnerable Populations Enhanced Skills program. Please contact the Enhanced Skills coordinator at fammed.enhanced@utoronto.ca

Does my assigned teaching hospital site impact my PGY3 - Enhanced Skills opportunities?

No.  You do not need to be at a specific site in order to get into a competitive PGY3 - Enhanced Skills Program.

How are U of T family residents treated on off-service rotations?

The program directors at each site work hard to ensure that the Family Medicine residents are receiving the respect they deserve.  Overall, Family Medicine residents are treated very well on off-service rotations at U of T. Residents also have the opportunity to complete evaluations at the end of rotations as an opportunity to provide feedback.

What is call like? How often and how grueling?

The call schedule adheres to PARO guidelines and depends both on the hospital teaching site and the specific rotation. Residents will do no more than 1 in 4 in-hospital call or 1 in 3 home call.  Traditionally, rotations like internal medicine and general surgery have more rigorous call schedules, while other rotations allow for less frequent call.

How do I get verification of training?

The Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM) at the University of Toronto charges an administrative fee for the completion of forms and drafting of letters verifying dates and completion of Family Medicine training for trainees.

All verification of training requests must include the trainee’s authorization to release information.

Payment may be made via money order, cheque, or credit card authorizing appropriate payment for the service required.


Please note that requests for verification will only be processed once the appropriate fee and the signed authorization to release information by the physician have been received.

It takes up to 2 weeks to process a complete request.

On certain occasions the DFCM may have to forward certain verification of training requests to the appropriate teaching site for completion regarding trainee’s specific clinical performance.

This could cause the processing time to be delayed. If you have further questions, please e-mail dfcm.power@utoronto.ca or call 416-978-0098.

Letters and Verification Form Completion

  • Trainees who completed their residency over 5 years ago               $130
  • Trainees who completed their residency within the last 5 years      $55.00
  • Trainees currently enrolled at the University of Toronto                 no fee