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

2022 R-1 Main Residency Match - first iteration
CMG Stream for CMG

Last approved on October 13, 2021

Summary of changes

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria

Dr. Barry Pakes
Dalla Lana School of Public Health 
Health Sciences Building, 5th Floor 
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. Lisa Chambers
Program Coordinator

Important Information

Please be aware the Ministry of Health has mandated all hospital and health care employers establish, implement and ensure compliance with a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.  The Ministry directives can be reviewed here. Residents matched to any Ontario residency program must ensure they are able to comply with the Ministry directive in order to start training July 1, 2022.  

It is important to understand this is an evolving issue. You are required to review Provincial, Hospital, University and Program information to ensure you are in continued compliance with directives.  

For prospective applicants looking for information on CaRMS requirements beyond the 2021 CaRMS cycle, please refer to Canada's Portal for Residency Program Promotion (CANPREPP) for more information.

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 one of the largest PHPM programs in Canada and are accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Supporting Documentation

Canadian citizenship
CaRMS partners with third-party organizations to verify your citizenship or permanent resident status. If your status is verified by one of these organizations, you will not need to provide citizenship documents in your application. If your citizenship status is not verified, you must provide one of the documents listed below.
Document must be notarized/certified
Submit one of the following documents to verify your Canadian 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)
• Canadian Citizenship Card (both sides of card)

Legal Status

Proof of valid current citizenship or permanent resident status must be provided by submitting one of the following verifications to CaRMS by the File Review Opening deadline. Failure to provide valid proof will result in your application being removed. No other forms of verification are acceptable:

  1. Notarized/certified photocopy of Birth Certificate/Act of Birth issued by an authority in Canada accompanied by photo ID (must be Canadian government-issued photo ID).
  2. Documents must be notarized/certified photocopies. Notarized/certified copies must not be older than two years from the application submission deadline; otherwise, a new notarized/certified copy is required.
  3. Confirmation of permanent residence must be accompanied by a photo ID (must be a Canadian government-issued photo ID).

CaRMS is partnering with third-party organizations to automate the verification of citizenship/legal status required by postgraduate offices for entry into residency. Third-party verification simplifies the process for applicants and programs. All applicants who do not receive third-party citizenship verification will be required to upload and assign an acceptable proof of citizenship document. Please see additional information here.

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, work ethic, 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. If possible one or more letters from a PHPM specialist and/or health professional with an understanding of the specialty of public health and preventive medicine is helpful but not required.

Additional documents
Medical Student Performance Record 

- Order from your Dean's office


[Note: Photograph is used as memory aid only]

Medical School Transcript 

- Applicants must request their medical school transcripts and have them sent to CaRMS as per their school policy.

Personal Letter 

- A personal letter is required (maximum word count of 1500) describing the reasons for pursuing a career in public health and preventive medicine and future contributions to the field. Candidates must address the minimum selection criteria listed below (please refer to Selection Criteria).

- Candidates must address their preparation/readiness for graduate education in epidemiology and biostatistics. This would include explicitly stating any biostatistics or equivalent courses taken and/or relevant experience.

- Any gaps in training should also be addressed in the personal letter (e.g., gap year in medical school, etc.)

- Candidates should describe their elective experience(s) in public health, including but not limited to where they completed the elective and what they learned from this experience. If candidates were unable to complete an elective in public health, they should describe where they had hoped to go and what their intended goals had been for their public health elective. Candidates who were not able to secure a public health elective should describe what steps they took to get a better understanding of PHPM in lieu of an elective.

- The PHPM Residency Program strives to optimize representation from under-represented groups in medicine. Priority populations as defined by the University of Toronto’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine are: Indigenous peoples of Canada (First Nations, Inuit, and Métis); people of African ancestry (racialized as Black); the economically disadvantaged.  If you self-identify as being from one of these groups, you are invited to indicate this in your letter (optional).

Custom Résumé / CV 

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


Undergraduate Transcript (Bachelor's Degree) 

- Undergraduate transcripts can be uploaded directly in your CaRMS Online account.

Optional - will be reviewed
Graduate Transcript (Master/PhD Degree) 

- If graduate studies have been previously undertaken, graduate transcripts for all postsecondary education MUST be uploaded directly in your CaRMS Online account.

CEGEP Transcript 

- For Quebec applicants, CEGEP transcripts MUST be uploaded directly in your CaRMS Online account.

Review Process

Applications submitted after file review has opened on January 31, 2022

Supporting documents (excluding letters of reference) that arrive after file review has opened  on  January 31, 2022

Letters of reference that arrive after the unmasking date on January 31, 2022



  • March 11, 2022
Virtual interview will be held on Friday, March 11, 2022.

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
  • 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 their curriculum vitae, medical transcript, post-secondary academic transcripts, medical student performance record, reference letters and personal letter. Applicants providing evidence of the aforementioned requirements in the CaRMS application file will be prioritized for further consideration.
  • The program will contact applicants by email once files have been reviewed. Selected applicants are expected to attend interviews by videoconference 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. On the day of the interview, candidates will have an opportunity to attend the program's academic half-day rounds, meet the program director, as well as informal ‘meet and greet’ time with PHPM residents.
  • Successful applicants will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the public health and preventive medicine specialty and reflect on their experiences in public health at the time of interviews.

Selection Criteria

Program goals

University of Toronto PHPM Residency Program Goals:

Our program seeks to graduate Public Health and Preventive Medicine (PHPM) 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 serve as local medical officers of health. However, recognizing the need for PHPM 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 focused areas such as research, education, health system leadership, and global health.

The program will ensure that residents are provided with learning and assessment opportunities that meet Royal College, program, and personal objectives.

Selection process goals

The PHPM residency program is looking for residents who are committed to clinical excellence, health equity, and improving population health. 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 population 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.

Candidates who rank highly on the above criteria through the file review will be considered for an interview. Final ranking will be based on the scores of their application (50%) and interview (50%). The selection committee reserves the right to adjust final rankings by consensus to address issues of program priority and diversity. 

*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.

File review process

Review team composition : The file review team consists of faculty and residents who individually assess applications. Please see the 'Supporting Documents' section for a description of required documents used during file review.

Average number of applications received by our program in the last five years : 0 - 50

Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 26 - 50 %

Evaluation criteria :
File component Criteria
CV Demonstrated interest and experience in PHPM practice (and/or research).
Electives We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted candidates’ opportunities to arrange and complete electives and would like to reassure you that a lack of elective activity in PHPM and/or Family Medicine this year will not negatively impact your application to our program.
Examinations No examinations are evaluated during the file review process.
Extra-curricular Please refer to CV section above.
Leadership skills Demonstrated leadership, collaboration and/or teamwork experience.
MSPRs Overall academic excellence.
Personal letters Demonstrates interest, knowledge, and motivation in PHPM.
Reference documents Demonstrates students' leadership, professionalism, motivation, and knowledge in PHPM as well as preparedness for the residency program.
Research/Publications Any previous research experience(s).
Transcripts Overall academic excellence and completion of a biostatistics course or equivalent.

Elective criteria

We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted candidates’ opportunities to arrange and complete electives and would like to reassure you that a lack of elective activity in PHPM and/or Family Medicine this year will not negatively impact your application to our program.
We do not require applicants to have done onsite electives.

We also value diverse clinical elective experiences, including clinical electives with a population health focus (e.g., Indigenous health, refugee health, homelessness, TB, HIV, etc.). For Canadian medical students who are interested in electives, please contact the Program Coordinator ( International medical student elective positions are determined by a lottery system administered through the UofT electives office, and not through the residency program.

The first two years of family medicine training are mandatory in the University of Toronto PHPM residency program. The Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM) also states on its CaRMS description page: “We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted candidates’ opportunities to arrange and complete electives and would like to reassure you that a lack of elective activity this year will not negatively impact your application to our program."

Interview process

Interview format :

We do not re-schedule interviews for applicants after we have completed the scheduling process.

Interview evaluation criteria :
Interview components Criteria
Collaboration skills Demonstrates experience collaborating with others.
Collegiality Interpersonal communication skills are expected but not formally evaluated.
Communication skills Demonstrates ability to communicate clearly.
Health advocacy Demonstrates awareness and promotion of health determinants.
Interest in the discipline Demonstrates interest and understanding of the discipline.
Interest in the program Demonstrates interest and understanding of the PHPM program at UofT.
Leadership skills Demonstrates leadership skills, experience and competency.
Professionalism Demonstrates professional and ethical conduct
Scholarly activities We do not evaluate this in the interview component; it is evaluated in the file review.

Information gathered outside of CaRMS application

Specifically, we may consider:

Ranking process

The behavior(s) exhibited below during the interview process may prevent an applicant from being ranked by our program :

Program Highlights

Quick Facts:

  • There are approximately 10-15 residents in our program at any given time and approximately 100 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 (or equivalent), and FRCPC qualifications.
  • Graduates from this program pursue careers in public health leadership positions at local, provincial, federal, and international public health agencies, government and non-governmental agencies. Others follow academic and research career paths, while others still choose to work in focused clinical areas such as addictions, immigrant health, and global health.
  • Residents iteratively discuss their training pathway with the Program Directors and the Residency Program Committee to tailor it to meet their personal learning objectives within the Royal College and program competencies framework.
  • Resident field rotations occur at sites affiliated with an accredited Public Health and Preventive Medicine residency program as well as through elective rotations in a variety of settings within Canada and internationally.
  • 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 in 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 years.

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 settings such as public health practice, health sector leadership, teaching and research, 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 2 semesters of academic work in Public Health and Preventive Medicine.
  • A minimum of 18 months 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 (26 blocks) 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 Examination Part II.

PGY-3: The majority of residents complete an MPH (or equivalent) 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 system, health policy, 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 can request credit through the Royal College to shorten training, or use the year of training to complete additional graduate work or field rotations.

PGY-4 & 5: Residents have 18-24 months or more for public health field rotations depending on the length of their graduate training and previous experience.

The 20 core blocks of field training include:

  • 2 blocks of Public Health Systems and Practice (PHSP)
  • 3 blocks of Communicable Disease Control (CD)
  • 3 blocks of Environmental Health (EH)
  • 3 blocks of Health Policy, Systems, Evaluation and Planning (HPSEP)
  • 3 blocks of Chronic Disease, Health Promotion and Injury Prevention (ChrDHPIP)
  • 6 blocks of Leadership, Management and Consolidation (LMC)

Residents typically book 6 blocks of electives during their PGY4-5 years.

Although there is no requirement to do rural public health 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.

* 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 become competent in research and scholarly activities, including various research methodologies relevant to public health and preventive medicine. This will be demonstrated in an academic project undertaken during PGY3-5. Residents who have interest in gaining additional research competencies and experience will have opportunities to engage in research electives and other work with faculty and colleagues. 


During clinical training (PGY1-2), residents are encouraged to attend the program's academic half-days (Friday mornings) when they are able to, during family medicine block or as negotiated through longitudinal family medicine programs. Residents can attend in person or via teleconference. The University of Toronto program rounds are attended by PHPM residents across the province and are an opportunity for learning and connecting with other PHPM residents within and outside U of T.

In the senior years (PGY3-5), residents are required to participate in the program's educational academic half-day. Academic half-day includes ‘topic of the week’, program rounds, and field notes components. Residents are expected to prepare for academic half day and actively participate 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 field rotation placement and academic experiences. These include:

  • Many affiliated urban, suburban, and rural public health units including: 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 and the Chief Medical Officer of Health Office at the Ontario Ministry of Health.
  • Other sites accredited by other PHPM programs such as the Public Health Agency of Canada, various Northern Ontario Health Units, or Provincial/Territorial sites such as Nunavut CMOH Office or BCCDC.

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

  1. Permanent Residents: Successful applicants who hold Permanent Resident status in Canada will be required to disclose their Country of Citizenship to the postgraduate medical education office in order to comply with current reporting requirements of the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities
  2. Matched applicants: CaRMS will provide their electronic data file to the matched university’s postgraduate education office. The postgraduate office will share the information as needed, but not limited to, the Ontario Physician Human Resource Data Centre, Canadian Post-MD Education Registry, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, the College of Family Physicians of Canada, the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada, the Professional Association of Residents of Ontario, teaching hospitals and other training sites, Touchstone Institute and the Ontario Ministry of Health.
  3. Changes: The Ontario Faculties of Medicine and Ontario Ministry of Health reserve the right to make changes to the information published on the CaRMS website pertaining to Ontario postgraduate training without prior notice.
  4. Failure to meet or provide proof of any of the stated requirements may result in the applicant file not being reviewed and removed.

Applicants who are interested in attending Friday morning rounds (a standard part of the academic half-day) should contact the Program Coordinator ( as well as the PHPM chief resident ( Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, rounds are only being offered virtually at this time.

Summary of changes

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