University of Toronto - Public Health and Preventive Medicine including Family Medicine - Toronto

2017 R-1 Main Residency Match - first iteration
CMG Stream for CMG

Last approved on August 31, 2016

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria

Dr. Barry Pakes
Dalla Lana School of Public Health 
5th floor, Health Sciences Building  
155 College Street
Toronto, Ontario, M5T 3M7
(416) 946-0952
Public Health & Preventive Medicine Residency Program - Website
Postgraduate Medical Education Website
Dalla Lana School of Public Health
Department of Family & Community Medicine

Program Contacts

Dr. Barry Pakes
Program Director

Dr. Onye Nnorom
Associate Program Director

Ms. Ezi Odozor
Program Coordinator

General Instructions

Program application language: English

Thank you for your interest in the Postgraduate Medical Education program in Public Health and Preventive Medicine (PHPM) at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, at the University of Toronto. We are the largest PHPM program in Canada and are accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

University of Toronto PHPM Residency Program Goals:

Our program graduates Public Health and Preventive Medicine specialists with the knowledge and skills needed to assess and manage health issues faced by communities and populations. The program will ensure that all graduates can make independent, evidence informed, community responsive, accountable and ethical decisions that maintain and improve health overall and reduce health inequities.

The program will prepare all trainees to be able to serve as local medical officers of health. However, recognizing the need for Public Health and Preventive Medicine specialists in many roles and the variety of career paths graduates may choose, the program will support trainees to gain clinical certification in Family Medicine and to have opportunities to enhance knowledge and skills in focus areas of research, education, environmental health, public health administration and global health.

The program will ensure that residents are provided with learning and assessment opportunities that meet Royal College, program and personal objectives. We support residents' self-direction and self-assessment as well as provide some flexibility in the demonstration of achievement of competency.

Supporting Documentation

Reference documents


Number requested: 3

At minimum, two letters of reference must be submitted. A maximum of 3 letters will be read. Referees are asked to specifically address the candidate's:

  1. Understanding of the specialty and field of public health and preventive medicine
  2. Motivation and preparation to train and practice in this field
  3. Intellectual capacity, problem solving ability, quantitative ability and academic achievement
  4. Communication and interpersonal skills
  5. Professionalism including maturity, conscientiousness, altruism, and respect
  6. Leadership capability
  7. Self-directed learning skills and insight


Note: Applicants should choose referees who can adequately describe their suitability for the program, as outlined above. Letters from public health practitioners/specialists are preferred.


Canadian Citizenship [Document must be notarized/certified]
Submit one of the following documents to verify your citizenship.

• Canadian Birth Certificate or Act of Birth
• Certificate of Canadian Citizenship
• Confirmation of Permanent Residence in Canada
• Passport page showing Canadian Citizenship
• Canadian Permanent Resident Card (both sides of card)
• Record of Landing, clearly showing the date of landing in Canada

Canadian Citizenship:

Proof of current citizenship or permanent resident status must be provided by submitting one of the following verifications to CaRMS by the Rank Order List deadline. (Photocopies acceptable). No other forms of verification are acceptable:

  1. Notarized photocopy of Birth Certificate issued by an authority in Canada with any photo ID, or
  2. Notarized photocopy of Canadian Passport, or
  3. Notarized photocopy of Canadian citizenship certificate, Record of Landing; or
  4. Notarized photocopy of Permanent Resident Card/Canadian Citizen Card – copies of both sides of card must be provided and legible.

Medical Student Performance Record 

- Order from your Dean's office


Photo  [Note: Photograph is used as memory aid only]

Medical School Transcript 

- Order from your Registrar


Personal Letter 

- A personal letter is required (maximum word count of 1000) describing the reasons for pursuing a career in public health and preventive medicine and future contributions to the field. Candidates must address their preparation for graduate education in epidemiology and biostatistics, and address the minimum selection criteria listed below (please refer to the seletion criteria section).


Custom Résumé / CV 

- Curriculum Vitae (please include activities, work, research, accomplishments and awards relevant to the selection criteria).


Other Document   - Transcripts for ALL postsecondary education

- Transcripts for ALL postsecondary education (including medical school) should be sent directly to CaRMS by the deadline. A completed application requires a personal letter, at least two reference letters but no more than three, a CV and transcripts covering ALL post-secondary education.

PLEASE NOTE: copies of all transcripts including medical school should be sent directly to CaRMS by the submission deadline.

Review Process

Applications submitted after file review has opened on November 22, 2016

Supporting documents (excluding letters of reference) that arrive after file review has opened  on  November 22, 2016

Letters of reference that arrive after the unmasking date on November 29, 2016



  • January 20, 2017
Interviews will be held on Friday, January 20, 2017.

Program will notify all applicants
  • All applicants will be notified by email to inform them whether or not they have been selected for an interview.


  • Applicants' files will be reviewed and scored on the basis of curriculum vitae, medical transcript, post-secondary academic transcripts, medical student performance record, reference letters and personal letter. 


  • The Program will contact applicants by email once files have been reviewed. Selected applicants are expected to attend interviews in person on the published date.


  • Each of the selected candidates will have two interviews. The interviews are conducted as a separate, independent process from the file review. Interviewers will not have access to candidate application material. Candidates will also have an opportunity to attend one of the program's academic half-day rounds, as well as an informal luncheon on interview day.

Selection Criteria

Candidates must demonstrate:

  • Excellent clinical skills to be admitted to, and successfully complete, the two year residency program in the Department of Family and Community Medicine* (DFCM) at the University of Toronto.
  • Excellent quantitative skills and academic achievement to be admitted to and successfully complete a Master's program involving community health, epidemiology, and biostatistics.
  • An understanding of the field of public health and preventive medicine, motivation to train and pursue a career in this field. 
  • Potential to contribute to the program and to have a future impact on the field. 
  • Very strong oral and written communications skills. 

Please note that the DFCM residency program is involved in our selection process, as the first two years of training in family medicine largely occur under the supervision of the DFCM, in partnership with the Public Health and Preventive Medicine residency program at the University of Toronto.  


We expect applicants to have completed at least one elective at a public health organization (local, provincial or federal).
We do not require applicants to have done onsite electives.

In addition to completing an elective at a public health organization, we also value diverse clinical elective experiences, including clinical electives with a population health focus (e.g. Aboriginal health, refugee health, homelessness, TB, HIV, etc). Canadian medical students who are interested in electives, please contact the Program Coordinator, Ms. Ezi Odozor. International medical graduates are not eligible for electives and, if interested, must individually arrange observerships, not through the program.

Program Highlights

Quick Facts

  • There are approximately 20-25 residents in our program at any given time and approximately 200 field and university-based faculty associated with the program. This is the largest Public Health and Preventive Medicine residency program in Canada, offering a rich and varied range of training opportunities.
  • Graduates from this program have the opportunity to earn CCFP, MPH and FRCPC qualifications.
  • Graduates from this program are in public health positions at local, provincial, federal and international public health agencies, in academic and research positions. Some residents choose to work in focused clinical areas such as addictions, immigrant health, global health and HIV.
  • Residents discuss their training with the Program Directors and the Residency Program Committee to tailor it to meet their personal learning objectives within the Royal College and program objectives framework.
  • Residents have done rotations in other accredited Public Health and Preventive Medicine residency programs as well as elective rotations in a variety of settings both within Canada and across the world.
  • PHPM is a recognized entry route for subspecialty training in Occupational Medicine by the RCPSC. Subspecialty Training in Occupational Medicine is a 2 year program; however, PHPM graduates may be provided up to 1 year of credit for training during the PHPM residency by the RCPSC. PHPM graduates with an interest Occupational Medicine may apply for the subspecialty residency program through CaRMS. For more details, please refer to the Occupational Medicine Residency Program description.

Program Curriculum

This residency program is for 5 year(s)

Program length of training does not exceed the Royal College or College of Family Physicians of Canada standard.

The program is designed to prepare Public Health and Preventive Medicine specialists with a comprehensive knowledge of the basic and applied academic disciplines of public health and preventive medicine and the skills to apply this knowledge to a broad range of community health settings such as public health practice, health services planning and administration, teaching and research, environmental health, and community-oriented clinical practice.

The Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) requires 5 years of post-MD training in Public Health and Preventive Medicine. This includes:

  • 1 to 2 years of clinical training.
  • A minimum of 1 academic year of course work in Public Health and Preventive Medicine.
  • A minimum of 1 year of Public Health and Preventive Medicine field placements.

The PHPM residency program at the University of Toronto is a 5-year program that includes the following:

PGY 1 & 2: Residents must complete 24 months of training within the Family Medicine Residency Program and are expected to obtain certification in family medicine (CCFP). This training provides residents with diverse clinical exposures to a variety of health problems and health system organizations relevant to the study of public health and preventive medicine, while at the same time preparing trainees for the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examinations, Part II. 

PGY-3: The majority of Toronto residents complete an MPH during the PGY-3 year. Residents interested in pursuing graduate opportunities outside of the University of Toronto are required to meet the 12 months expectation and ensure that the core of epidemiology, biostatistics, health services, health promotion and research methods are included at an appropriate level of depth and breadth. This must be approved by the Program Director.

Residents with prior graduate training in relevant fields have options to complete additional graduate work, additional field rotation electives or request credit through the Royal College to shorten training.

PGY 4 & 5: The 18 months of field training include: 3 months of communicable disease control; 3 months of environmental health; 3 months of health policy, systems and planning; 3 months of chronic disease, health promotion and injury prevention; a 6-month senior management & administration rotation and, at least 3 months of electives. Many residents have 18-24 months or more for field rotations depending on the length of their graduate training and previous experience.

  • Although there is no requirement to do rural rotations, for residents wishing to pursue rotations outside of Toronto, certain public health units are able to provide travel and housing stipends.
  • Access to a vehicle may be required for some rotations. 

*IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Effective July 1, 2008 all University of Toronto Residents entering PGY1 will be required to complete the web based PGCorEd core competency modules as part of their residency program certification. These modules provide the foundation for the non-Medical Expert roles for the Royal College of Physician and Surgeons of Canada Specialty Programs. Completion of these modules will be required before the end of the PGY2 year. Failure to complete the modules will delay processing of CCFP certification and may constitute professional misconduct.


All residents are expected to gain a reasonable understanding of research, including biostatistics and various research methodologies especially as they pertain to gaining sufficient skills in critical appraisal of the health/medical literature. In addition, residents who wish to gain further hands-on experience and expertise in the conduct of research will have a variety of opportunities to do so while in the program. 

Those with a special interest in research are encouraged to further their research expertise by completing the research focus of the MPH in epidemiology or other related disciplines, or through elective opportunities.



During clinical training, residents are encouraged to attend the program's academic half-days (Friday mornings) during family medicine block or as negotiated through longitudinal family medicine. Residents can attend in person or via teleconference.

In the senior years (PGY3-5), residents spend one half-day per week participating in the program's educational academic half-day. They are expected to play an active role as presenters and discussants. In addition to the academic program, residents are encouraged to attend conferences and seminars organized by public health organizations.

Training Sites


The Public Health and Preventive Medicine program of the University of Toronto provides a diverse range of public health and preventive medicine practical placement and academic experiences. These include:

  • Several affiliated urban, suburban and rural public health units (for example Toronto Public Health, Peel Public Health, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, Halton Regional Health Department and Durham Region Health Department).
  • Affiliated provincial sites such as Public Health Ontario.
  • Formal links with the Northern Ontario School of Medicine program sites.

All residents receive full access to the University of Toronto library holdings. This includes access to electronic search engines, electronic indexes, as well as the several hundred electronic medical/health journals to which the university subscribes.



Additional Information

Applicants who are interested in attending a Friday morning rounds (a standard part of the academic half-day) can contact the Program Coordinator.