Teaching Medical Students

Benefits of teaching medical students

In addition to the impact you will have as a teacher, becoming a preceptor at the University of Toronto comes with opportunities for professional growth. Some of the benefits you’ll enjoy include:

  • Faculty development opportunities including workshops to support your teaching (often MainPro credited)
  • Access to the U of T library and other U of T services
  • A potential stipend
  • Opportunities for networking with faculty across the Department


To be eligible to teach at DFCM, you must:

  • Be in good standing with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO)
  • Have your Canadian Certification in Family Medicine (CCFP) and/or be a member of the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC)
  • Either hold an existing faculty appointment or apply for one 

Read about the benefits of becoming a faculty member by visiting our DFCM Faculty resource page.


To apply to supervise the FMLE, Elective, and Transition to Residency students (below accordion links), please complete the following online new preceptor profile:

Apply now 

A staff member will be in touch after reviewing your completed form.

Types of opportunities

Family Medicine Longitudinal Experience

Are you a community-based family physician interested in getting started in teaching medical students? Or an existing teacher looking for a new opportunity?

Consider becoming a FMLE preceptor (teacher). 

The FMLE is a compulsory course for all second-year medical students at the University of Toronto. Students work one-on-one with a family physician in their community-based office for six half days. The experience is predominantly in person, although up to two of the sessions can be done virtually. Our course is very highly evaluated, particularly because of the tremendous role modeling and mentorship provided by our enthusiastic preceptors. 

Who am I teaching? Second-year medical students.

What's involved?

  • No extra space is needed. Your student can work alongside you in clinic.
  • Physicians in general family medicine practices or in specific practice areas can take students, although the majority of care must be general family medicine.
  • Your time commitment is six afternoons over a four-month period. The students have protected time for FMLE on select Monday afternoons and Thursday afternoons, but there is also some flexibility for Tuesday afternoons.
  • New teachers are welcome!  

Teaching requirements: No prior teaching experience is required – just a love of family medicine and an interest in sharing that with our eager learners. We provide a free Mainpro-accredited training night prior to each teaching block, along with a course syllabus and an opportunity to be matched with a senior FMLE mentor. 

View the FMLE Preceptor page for more information, including application details and testimonials. 


By the end of Family Medicine clerkship, the clinical clerk will demonstrate the foundation of knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for the practice of Family Medicine.

Who am I teaching? Third-year medical students

What's involved?

  • An extra room in your clinical space where a clinical clerk will be able to see patients independently.
  • Physicians in general Family Medicine practices or in specific practice areas can take students. If you are a main preceptor for a student, you must be practicing general Family Medicine.
  • Your time commitment will vary depending on if you decide to be a primary preceptor or not. As a primary preceptor you may have a clerk for 6 weeks, 5 days a week. As a secondary supervisor you may have the student a number of half days or more depending on the site you are affiliated with. This is very site dependant, and often flexible.

More about Clerkship


Elective opportunities play a key role in the MD curriculum at the University of Toronto as they help medical students to make decisions regarding their future careers in medicine. By providing students with an opportunity to work with you, you are helping to attract excellent individuals to our discipline. 

Who am I teaching? Fourth-year medical students 

What's involved?

  • An extra room in your clinical space where a clerk will be able to see patients independently.
  • Family Physicians practicing in general Family Medicine or specialized practice areas
  • Available for 9-10 half days per week for 2 weeks or more. Supervision can be shared between colleagues

We provide you with a Manual for Family Medicine Electives Supervisors which includes information about:

  • The curriculum
  • The objectives for Family Medicine Electives
  • How and what to teach
  • Practical tips for organization and time management
  • Resources available to DFCM faculty and
  • Recommended references on teaching.

Elective Selective Supervisor Manual

Email for more information: familymed.undergrad@utoronto.ca

Transition to Residency (Selectives)

The Transition to Residency (TTR) selective is a 14-week course at the end of the fourth year of medical school which is meant to bring together many of the concepts learned in MD training. The TTR will put these concepts into practice in “real world” settings where students get a chance to participate in the “real” work of physicians, all in preparation for their first year of residency. The selective differs from an elective in that electives generally are not aligned with a specific course or curriculum. 

Who am I teaching?  Fourth-year medical students

What's involved?

  • An extra room in your clinical space where a clerk will be able to see patients independently.
  • Family Physicians practicing in general Family Medicine or specialized practice areas
  • Available for 9-10 half days per week for 2 weeks or more between January and April. Supervision can be shared between colleagues

What do I teach? We encourage you to think of yourself as “coaching” the student towards being able to work independently, rather than “teaching” your content area. Of course, you’re welcome to teach the student anything you think is important about your content area. The key areas for these students are the “work skills” of being an independent resident - so there is less emphasis on knowledge and more on communication, collaboration, managing time/space/resources, advocating for individuals and groups, and being professional. Student evaluation is based on these domains. 

More about the TTR Course

Email for more information: familymed.undergrad@utoronto.ca