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Dr. Adelle Atkinson
Associate Chair of Paediatrics, Education

Dr. Angela Punnett
Director, Undergraduate Medical Education

A. Pre-clerkship Curriculum in Paediatrics

1. Toronto Patient-Centered Integrated Curriculum (TOPIC)

This curriculum is comprised of five courses running over 72 weeks throughout the first two years of pre-clerkship. Paediatrics is introduced in Week 7 which covers topics including normal development, growth, nutrition, and several aspects of well-child care. Further learning on paediatric topics takes place in Weeks 57-59 of the curriculum with an emphasis on core pediatric problems, ranging from neonatology to adolescence. Paediatric complex care and transition to adult care are addressed in week 69. Content is delivered in interactive lectures, online cases, self-learning e-modules, and workshops. Longitudinal themes such as ethics, indigenous health, and others are incorporated into the weeks’ content.

2. Integrated Clinical Experience: Clinical Skills

This course provides an introduction to clinical skills and begins in the first year of the curriculum. In the first year, students have one session in paediatrics focussing on the paediatric and adolescent history and developmental milestones. In the second year, there are four sessions. Small groups of three to four students are assigned to one clinical preceptor for hands-on clinical skills teaching which takes place at the Hospital for Sick Children or in the private offices of community paediatricians. The newborn session takes place at Mount Sinai Hospital, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, or St. Michael’s Hospital.

3. Portfolio

The goal of this course is for students to reflect on their experience as first- and second-year medical students, and the resulting effects on their professional development. There is a guided self-assessment where students will compile their formal assessments and reflections, and develop an individualized learning plan related to these assessments to ensure they are staying on track, and receiving help where it is needed. This course runs all 4 years of the MD program.

For more information on the new Foundations Curriculum, please see:

B. Clerkship Curriculum in Paediatrics

1. Third Year Clerkship in Paediatrics

The orientation session of the Paediatrics course is devoted to an academic teaching program at The Hospital for Sick Children. During this rotation students are exposed to a combination of ambulatory and inpatient paediatrics. Students are either placed in a paediatric setting in a Community Hospital, at The Hospital for Sick Children in a combination of paediatric wards, or the Paediatric Emergency Department and ambulatory Paediatric clinics. Students complete Computer Assisted Learning in Pediatrics Cases (CLIPP) which offer comprehensive interactive cases that cover important core topics.

For additional information regarding course objectives and competencies please see:

2. Portfolio

The goal of this course is to promote greater professional self-awareness, as students enter the clinical world, specifically related to the six non-Medical Expert CanMEDS roles of Collaborator, Communicator, Manager, Health Advocate, Scholar, and Professional, using the specific skill of reflection. Paediatricians participate as Scholars and Junior Scholars in this course. This course runs all 4 years of the MD program.

3. Integrated Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)

The integrated OSCE (iOSCE) is a transcripted course which includes an Interim iOSCE and Final iOSCE. The Interim iOSCE is held after first 24 weeks of third year and includes six stations linked to the curriculum covered in the first 24 weeks of the year. The Final iOSCE is held after 48 weeks of third year and includes ten stations – six of which are linked to the 24 weeks of curriculum that a student has just completed, and four integrated stations reflecting the entire third-year curriculum.

4. Transition to Residency

The 14-week Transition to Residency (TTR) course occurs during the final 14 weeks of the MD Program, and is designed to bring together and build upon many of the concepts students have learned about functioning as doctors. The course has two main themes: understanding the health care needs individual members of diverse groups within the Canadian population, and learning to use the health care system to meet those needs. The course is comprised of two 'campus weeks' which contain both independent and classroom based learning activities, three selectives clinical placements over nine weeks, and the fusion period which brings the students back together for review of previously learned clinical material in preparation for the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part 1.

5. Electives

Approximately 2000 Canadian and foreign elective students are accommodated for all types of experiences in the Department of Paediatrics each year. All divisions offer elective opportunities. All elective applications are processed by the electives office in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

University of Toronto student electives

Visiting student electives