PROGRAM PROFILE

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University of Toronto - Neurology - Toronto

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CONTACT INFORMATION

Program Director

Dr. David Chan (@UofTNeurologyPD)

CONTACT

Program Coordinator

Daniel Johnston

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HIGHLIGHTS
  1. Our program is incredibly diverse with representation from all neurological subspecialties, and trainees and staff from all over the world working out of more than five different hospitals. Check out video tours of three of the main teaching sites here:


  2. Residents have access to unique opportunities including NIRVE, Early Mentorship Program, Women in Neurology mentorship events and elective, Global Health Education Initiative and international neurology electives, etc.

  3. The University of Toronto offers even more unique opportunities including graduate degree programs in neuroscience, clinical epidemiology, medical education and health systems leadership, Clinician-Investigator and Clinician-Scientist programs, Co-Learning Curriculum in Quality Improvement, AI in medicine, and so much more.

  4. Toronto is an innovation and research hub, even as a resident you often work directly with international leaders in neurology and interdisciplinary fields.

  5. U of T Neurology is the country's largest neurology program giving you the chance to work with and train alongside some of Canada's brightest and most wonderful residents.


These are only a few! For a more comprehensive list, please visit the CaRMS website for our full program description. Please also have a look at this list of our program resources.



Toronto Highlights

  1. Toronto has the best and most diverse food scene in the country. With Summerlicious and Winterlicious you can try some of Canada's finest cuisine at accessible prices. If you are more of a street food fan, Toronto is also host to tons of festivals: Taste of Little Italy, Taste the Danforth, Taco Fest, Mac and Cheese Fest, etc.

  2. We The North! (Raptors, Leafs, Jays, TFC, Argonauts, Marlies, Rogers Cup, enough said)

  3. Theatre or music buff? Toronto gets Broadway's biggest shows and is a staple touring site for most international musicians. And don't forget the symphony, ballet, opera, Fringe, Shakespeare in High Park, and TIFF!

  4. Toronto is an international beacon of diversity and inclusivity. By some standards, it is considered the most diverse city in the world with Torontonians speaking over 180 different languages!

  5. Think you'll miss the outdoors? Think again! We've got High Park, Brickworks, Harbourfront, Scarborough Bluffs, and the Toronto Island (get the ice cream, you'll thank us later).


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GENERAL INFORMATION

** The University of Toronto Adult Neurology Residency Program fully recognizes the unprecedented challenges that are imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic on this year's CaRMS applicants, and that most applicants are not able to complete an elective with us and/or obtain letters of reference from neurologists. We will ensure that these elements will NOT be factored into the file review and applicant ranking processes. We will also put more emphasis on your CV, personal letter and MSPR to level out some of the inequalities introduced by the pandemic restrictions. **


There has never been a more exciting time to learn and practice neurology. The University of Toronto Adult Neurology Residency Program seeks all-round applicants who have a strong passion in pursuing a career as a neurologist in either community or academic practice, and who can contribute to the ongoing evolution of our program through educational, quality improvement and research endeavours. Our top commitment is to train future clinical neurologists with excellent clinical and patient care skills to serve our population for the prevention, diagnosis and management of with neurological diseases. We also aim to train future academic scientists, investigators and educators to advance our specialty. Our graduates are competent and devoted clinicians who serve a diverse patient population regardless of their race, ethnic or cultural origin, language, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, geography, mental or physical illness/disability, socioeconomic status and age.


We also seek applicants who are committed to contribute to the diverse background and interests of our current trainees, as well as a positive learning and working environment that enhance the well-being of oneself and colleagues, through a culture of collaborative learning, mutual respect and support. Resident wellness is a key priority of our program.


Communication and interpersonal skills are paramount to excellent neurologic care. We therefore value applicants who can demonstrate these skills in both patient care and interprofessionally.


We also look for applicants who are invested in our residency program. Our current residents give back to the program, the community, and the specialty at large. Examples include:


  • Improving neurology education for neurology and off-service residents, as well as medical students

  • Conducting quality improvement projects related to patient care and education

  • Participating in research in neurology or related disciplines

  • Advocating for marginalized patients and populations

  • Creating initiatives to improve our program's equity, diversity and inclusion

  • Supporting resident and physician wellness


In summary, our program seeks excellent communicators with diverse interests and backgrounds who will enrich our training program and the field of neurology for years to come.


All of the supporting documentation listed below must be provided by the applicants before their file can be considered for review. Applicants providing strong evidence of the following in their application file will be prioritized for further consideration: (a) excellent academic/clinical performance exemplifying all CanMEDS roles, (b) strong desire and motivation to pursue neurology as a career, supported by strong reference letters, a compelling personal statement, and ideally an elective in neurology, (c) demonstrated interest in scholarly activities, which can include anything from the history of neurology to quality improvement and education, and to clinical and basic science research, and (d) meaningful and sustained engagement in leadership and extracurricular activities.


For every residency position in our program, approximately five applicants will be interviewed. Successful applicants will have the opportunity to demonstrate at the interviews: (a) their interest in neurology and in our program, (b) their insight into current issues in the field of neurology, (c) their ability to reflect on experiences in their medical training to date, and (d) their skills related to various intrinsic CanMEDS roles.


Applicants will be selected based on their application file and interview performance, as well as how their overall ideas and values match with those of our program (general fit). The selection committee reserves the right to adjust final rankings by consensus to address issues of program priority and diversity.


FAQ

What are the strengths of the program?

Our biggest strength is our cohort of residents, who as a group are all kind, supportive, and eager to teach. They all bring their own strength to the program and enhance the residency training experience. They are also significantly involved in the continuous quality improvement of the program and the development of program curriculum. Multiple roles including co-chief residents, education representatives, wellness representative, social representatives, and resident leads in neuroanatomy, journal club and research are a few of the many ways residents can influence and be involved in the dynamics of the program.


Our major strengths also include collegiality, mutual respect, transparency and open communication among faculty and residents, and a positive and collaborative learning environment that fosters residents to thrive in their training and future careers. We also have a diverse group of faculty who works in a wide range of subspecialties.



Are there research opportunities?

Yes, and plenty. A completed research project is expected at the end of the fourth year of training. We also have the Faculty of Medicine Clinician-Investigator Program as well as the Department of Medicine Clinician-Scientist Training Program and the Clinician-Educator Training Program for residents who are gearing towards an academic career. A number of our residents have pursued advanced training, typically involves completing a Master or Doctoral degree, through these programs.


Residents are strongly encouraged to pursue research and other scholarly opportunities throughout their residency (e.g., case reports, poster presentation at conferences, etc.).



Do you foresee changes in this program?

Our program has a robust set of continuous quality improvement processes. As a result, there are always evolutionary changes to the program every year, based on dedicated time for resident feedback during our residency program committee meetings, our annual retreat, and changes mandated by PGME and the Royal College.


We are always looking to improve and adapt to the best practices in medical education. We have transitioned to Competency by Design this year and are currently undergoing Royal College accreditation. We are also open to any changes to enhance physician wellness and our program's equity and diversity.



What is the geographic reach of the program?

As we are a relatively large program, we cover the entire city. This is also one of our strengths as you will learn broad and varied aspects of neurology at the different sites. Surrounding communities also offer opportunities for community electives. Thanks to this layout our residents are very adaptable at moving from site to site and gain excellent exposure to academic and community neurology.