Undergraduate MD Program Details: Southlake Regional Health Centre

Southlake Family Medicine Teaching Unit

Type of Practice

High volume, office based outpatient Family Health Team and Family Medicine Teaching Unit.

Location of Practice

Located in the city of Newmarket, across the street from Southlake Regional Health Centre, the Southlake Academic Family Health Team and the Family Medicine Teaching Unit in total, take care of approximately 20,000 patients.

Special Features of Site

  • Small city community office with direct access to Regional Hospital
  • 1:1 preceptor: learner
  • Interprofessional model of care learning
  • Health equity across a diverse population residing within the region 
  • Able to participate in resident clinics and academic seminars

Mandatory Experience

Experience will coincide directly with preceptor’s type of clinical practice.

Clerkship Electives/Selectives

Clerks with a keen interest in other family medicine areas — i.e. emergency medicine, palliative, family medicine inpatient, etc., half days can be arranged to enhance family medicine experience.


Student 1 - "The Southlake Academic Family Health Team was a wonderful environment in which to be exposed to family medicine for the first time.

As a fairly rural community site, the patient population I was able to work with was diverse - in one day, it was not uncommon for me to perform a newborn assessment, see a child for a sport injury, and then follow-up a geriatric patient after their hip replacement surgery.

Likewise, I also had the opportunity of practicing many different skills, some of which are staple - such as preventative health counselling and musculoskeletal physical exams, and some of which are specialized. The Diabetes Education Centre located within the clinic, allowed me to learn to manage this chronic condition alongside specialized diabetes nurses and dieticians. The small day-surgical suite that operated there once per week gave me the chance to perform a wide variety of minor procedures including skin biopsies, wart removals and suturing, just to name a few.

As well, due to the small number of clerks at this location, there was abundant time for staff and residents to engage in targeted one-on-one teaching. The residents at Southlake were passionate about primary care and always excited to share their knowledge. Overall, I would say that the Southlake Academic Family Health Team is a great location to get a true experience of what a primary care practice could be."

Student 2 - "My family medicine core rotation at Southlake Regional Health Centre was unexpectedly, one of my favourite clerkship experiences. It was my very first rotation and initially, I was nervous about expectations as a new clerk as well as the lengthy commute time to an area I have never visited. However, my anxiety quickly dissolved when I met the people there.

The whole team at Southlake made me feel welcomed and valued. The allied health team and all the physicians at the clinic were interested in getting to know me as a person. My preceptor was an incredible clinician and wonderful teacher. I worked with her for the entire 6-week duration, which is rare in any clerkship rotation. The longitudinal student-teacher relationship allowed her to provide more personalized feedback and see me grow as a learner. Having her observe me in different patient encounters throughout the 6 weeks also provided rich material for a reference letter.

I was given a lot of autonomy in tailoring the experience to meet my goals. In addition to seeing patients in clinic, I was involved in minor dermatology procedures, home visits, and palliative care. I also had the opportunity to work closely with the social worker, dietician as well as residents who were all keen to teach. Being close to Southlake Hospital, medical students are welcome to request exposure to other specialties related to Family Medicine such as Emergency Medicine and low-risk Obstetrics.

From the patients I saw in clinic, I could tell that Newmarket is a very friendly community. My commute became peaceful moments when I could reflect on my experiences while catching the sunrise on the GO bus. The Department of Family & Community Medicine offers generous reimbursement for travel and accommodations to distant sites, which made this one of the most affordable clerkship rotations.

I would highly recommend Southlake Family Health Team to all clerks without hesitation!"

Student 3 - "My family medicine rotation at Southlake Regional Health Centre far exceeded my expectations! While Newmarket was a completely new environment for me, I felt at home from Day 1. All of the staff and residents were very supportive and would go out of their way to strengthen your knowledge. They were also very accommodating to your future goals and would find amazing opportunities that catered to your interests. For example, I am passionate about geriatric medicine and had countless opportunities to work with this patient population.

You will have a breadth of experiences, including minor procedures, immunizations, palliative care, house calls, resident teaching sessions, sexual health clinic, and the option to arrange a day with any other specialty. You will also have the opportunity to work with other healthcare providers on the family health team, such as the nurses, dietitians, social worker, and pharmacist. I initially had little interest in family and rural medicine, but am now strongly considering it as a future career.

For those of you who think Newmarket is too far, housing accommodations and travel reimbursements are available. You can literally live steps away from the hospital, or enjoy a traffic-free commute up the 400 or 404.

At Southlake, you will be provided with ample autonomy in providing patient care. On my very first day in Newmarket, I was seeing patients independently in the Urgent Care Clinic. I would definitely apply to this amazing opportunity if you would like greater responsibility and engagement during your family medicine rotation. By the end of this rotation, you'll be a much more confident and competent medical student."

Student 4 - "Completing my core family medicine rotation at the Southlake Family Medicine Teaching Unit was like discovering a hidden gem in the Greater Toronto Area. I was fortunate enough to be able to work with the diverse team of physicians and can attest that each preceptor was there to support my learning. Beyond the great team of preceptors, residents, allied health and support staff, the clinic is a pleasant and well-stocked environment with EMR access in every room. The FMTU's building itself is conveniently connected to the Southlake Regional Health Centre, making it easy to take part in enhanced areas of interest, for example in procedural skills and palliative medicine to name just a couple. I trust that any future medical student at Southlake will also have a great experience!"