MD Program Overview

Years One to Four in Family Medicine

Find out more about the unique aspects of studying family medicine in the MD Program at the University of Toronto. Further course information is available in the MD Program Student Handbook.

1. Family Medicine Observership (Year One): An immersive week

This optional experience is an immersion week in family medicine! Talk to family doctors in an intimate and informal setting to find out what it's really like to be a family physician. The Observership week includes speakers, clinical shadowing, clinical skills workshops and a rural health day. It takes place at the end of the academic year.

Some of the topics and exercises in the Observership week include:

  • Presentations on emergency medicine, obstetrics, women's health, global health, palliative care and more
  • Three half-days of clinical shadowing
  • A clinical skills workshop featuring opportunities to practice suturing, pelvic exams, injections, breast exams and other procedures under the direction of physicians/residents

Students will receive a listserv message through the Registrar’s office for details to sign up.

2. Family Medicine Longitudinal Experience (FMLE) (Year Two): Community-based family medicine training

Find out what it’s really like to be a family doctor! Experience clinical care in a community-based, primary care setting and witness the importance of generalism in family medicine. Taking place in your second year of the MD Program, the FMLE course lets you participate in the daily activities of a clinic while working closely with a physician.

Learn more about the FMLE Program

3. Core Clerkship (Year Three): Team-based clinical application in family medicine

With the basis of the Preclerkship & Foundations Curriculum under your belt, you’ll be ready to begin applying your knowledge in clinical settings as part of a health care team. During the family medicine Core Clerkship, you’ll join one of our 20 academic teaching units, or a community-based clinic, for six weeks of hands-on training as you learn to master patient care. The course will expose you to various comprehensive care models and an interprofessional environment. You will also participate in site-based seminars and e-modules to support and inform your work. 

4. Undergraduate Electives (Year Four): Explore your career options in family medicine

Move beyond the core MD Program curriculum to explore the intricacies and opportunities of family medicine in greater depth. In the fourth year of your studies, you will complete a minimum of 13 weeks of electives from September to December. These electives allow you gain experience and further develop your clinical skills. We provide options in urban, suburban, and rural areas of Ontario where you can learn more about your areas of passion or curiosity in preparation for further studies in family medicine.

5. Transition to Residency (Year Four): Preparing for postgraduate studies in family medicine

It’s the last months of your final year in the MD Program and residency is on the horizon. These 14 weeks in the Transition to Residency course are a time to practice the combination of your knowledge from the MD Program, in preparation for the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part 1. You’ll spend time in independent and classroom learning, clinical placements and finally reconvene with your classmates for review.