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


Program Director

Dr. Maura Ricketts


Program Administrator

André Purdy

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The Public Health and Preventive Medicine postgraduate program at the University of Ottawa offers the opportunity for residents to receive comprehensive public health and preventive medicine training while living and working in the beautiful city of Ottawa. Ottawa offers a mix of Public Health training opportunities that are unique to our region: Department of National Defence, Ottawa Public Health, Public Health Agency of Canada, among others.

Many recreational and cultural opportunities are available in Ottawa and surrounding areas, and residents are encouraged to take advantage of what this community has to offer in their pursuit of a healthy work-life balance.

Our educational program is carefully designed to provide residents with wonderful learning opportunities. We offer a variety of training opportunities in both official languages, in rural as well as urban settings. Our aim is to prepare residents to independently practice public health and preventive medicine at the local, regional, and national levels. Consequently, after training in the foundations of public health has been completed, residents will gradually assume increasing levels of responsibility, culminating in opportunities to act as a consultant and/or Associate Medical Officer of Health.

Training is based on a mixture of classes & seminars (academic training required by the Royal College), experience-based learning (rotations), resident co-directed collaborative learning (e.g. academic half-day) and self-directed learning that may include on-line training, directed reading, one-on-one coaching and journal clubs. The program is committed to tailoring training to the learning needs of the resident. Formative assessments are used to support reflective practice and help residents direct their learning.

Our program values self-reflection and personal growth. uOttawa provides residents with opportunities to learn about themselves through courses such as "Difficult Communications", "Residents as Leaders", and "Residents as Teachers". From PGY3 onwards, all uOttawa residents participate in annual or biannual 3600 assessments, which provide insight into the perception of your peers, supervisors and staff concerning your accomplishment of the core competencies of our profession and CanMEDS roles.

Additional training sessions, unique to our program include: the annual PHPM "Boot Camp" series that cover basics of how to thrive in the PH workplace and the "Essentials for PHPM Leadership" seminar series offered every second year. Additionally, UOttawa residents are encouraged to attend the National PHPM Review Course at Queen's, the cost of which can be covered by the program. UO residents are allocated funds to support them to attend conferences and special training.

Other special seminars include on-site training with professional media relations staff at the Eastern Ontario Health Unit or Ottawa Public Health, seminars at the Public Health Agency of Canada, and site visits to water treatment centres. Our program is flexible and responsive to learner needs, allowing residents to benefit from other opportunities as they arise. For example in 2019, a PGY5 participated in a National Emergency Response Table Top Exercise organized by the government of Canada; PGY2 PHPM Family Medicine trainee was excused from Family Medicine training in order to participate in PH response to measles outbreak; two PGY1 PHPM Family Medicine trainees were offered the opportunity to restructure their training to complete core PH training early in residency by participating in the pandemic response.

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Ontario Criteria of Eligibility

All candidates must meet the Ontario criteria of eligibility

MCCQE (Medical Council of Canada qualifying examination) Part 1 results:

Trainees will be required to disclose their MCCQE Part 1 examination results if taken, upon entry into any of the University of Ottawa's training programs. Please note that the MCCQE Part 1 is not a requirement to begin residency. The purpose of this disclosure is to allow for resources to be provided to the few residents who would benefit from extra support early in their residency in an effort to maximize their success.

Proof of MD transcripts:

See Supporting Documentation below.

General Instructions

Program application language: English

Our preferred method of communicating with all applicants is via email.

Extraneous documents are not needed and may lower the le assessment score

Failure to meet or provide proof of any of the stated requirements may result in an applicant’s file not being reviewed or removed from the Rank Order List.

About PHPM

Virtual Tour Video

Why PHPM? Ottawa PHPM Resident Reflections

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Placement of successful candidates

Applicants will be accepted into the residency program according to the norms of CaRMS. As soon as the match results are announced, we will contact successful candidates to assign residents to the clinical rotations and teaching sites. The residency training program reserves the right to determine placement according to the capacity of individual training sites.

Transportation to training sites

Residents are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to training sites. Because some of the training sites are rural health units, residents must have a valid driver’s license in Ontario & have access to an automobile.


All residents receive full access to the University of Ottawa library holdings. This includes electronic search engines, electronic indexes, and the electronic medical/health journals to which the university subscribes.

Residents have access to the Ottawa Hospital Medical Library and services. Ottawa Public Health Unit contracts its library service from The Ottawa Hospital.

Residents have access to Physician Health Services.

Master’s Degrees

PHPM residents do NOT have to complete a Master's Degree. However, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada requires that PHPM residents complete certain academic training. The Residency Program Committee determines the academic requirements as a whole, but for each resident, the specifics of training will be planned with the Academic Advisor in consultation with the Program Director (Program Director). Individualized recommendations for training will be made, if required. If the Academic Advisor advises the Program Director that the resident has completed the required training (as defined by the Residency Training Committee based on the Royal College requirements for PHPM Training Programs), you are not obliged to complete any further academic training. The Program Director at University of Ottawa will confirm these decisions in discussion with the resident.

Residents without a Master's degree are strongly supported by the program to complete a Master's because it is an advantage when applying for positions.

Maintenance of clinical competence after completing Family Medicine

Residents who are successful in their Family Medicine exams may apply for an independent license in the province of Ontario. Residents remain employees of the University of Ottawa, which is their first responsibility. When in possession of an independent license, residents may practice (and bill) as Family Medicine physicians on their own time ie when not working on rotation or on call.

The Program Director retains the authority to require that the resident maintain the standards of the training program, which may include requiring that an under-performing resident cease independent clinical practice. To date, this has not occurred within our program.

Residents may take the equivalent of ½ day per week to practice clinical medicine in an appropriate supervised PH setting such as an STD clinic, travel medicine, or serving disadvantaged populations. All the conditions for an elective rotation must be satisfied, including appropriate supervision, development of objectives of training, assessment and appropriate permissions from the program director, RTC and the supervisor for the substantive rotation within which the clinical rotation is nested.