University of Toronto - Obstetrics and Gynecology - Toronto
Our program is committed to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (EDI). We seek to use the principles of EDI to inform work in our key focus areas of: Research, Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (QIPS), Global Health and Community Advocacy. Our residents are leaders and key participants in the academic life of our department as we pursue this work.
A supportive and nurturing learning environment that includes a robust Resident Wellness program embedded in all aspects of the residency program.
A diverse patient population and multiple training sites, providing a range of clinical situations and practice settings. Opportunities for training and mentorship with over 320 Obstetrics and Gynaeology faculty at both academic/downtown and community hospital sites.
A weekly Academic-Half Day (AHD) curriculum that includes reviews of essential topics led by both faculty and residents. PGY1 half days include a foundational surgical skills curriculum, designed for the acquisition of basic and advanced technical skills in obstetrics and gynaecology using bench models, trainers and computer simulation.
Integration with the RCPSC Surgical Foundations Program including a dedicated Surgical Skills Prep Camp, focus on Quality Improvement, a year-long seminar series, and preparation for the RCPSC Surgical Foundations exam in PGY2.
The Obstetrics and Gynaecology Program at the University of Toronto is committed to providing our residents with the best possible training experiences to ensure their development into outstanding physicians who will contribute to our society and the medical community as leaders, advocates, scholars and educators. The Residency Program is embedded within a department that actively seeks to promote Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. We seek to develop a community of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists that reflects the wide diversity of our community: the City of Toronto and Canada.
We strive to provide equal opportunities to all candidates who would like to become excellent Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. We welcome applications from people of all communities, including but not limited to racialized persons, persons of colour, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ2S persons, and others who may contribute to the diversification of ideas and perspectives.
What portion of residents end up doing a fellowship?
Numbers vary from year-to-year, but generally half of our graduates choose to pursue fellowship subspecialty training. The department organizes a yearly fellowship information night, for residents to learn about opportunities and network with faculty and staff in University of Toronto-affiliated programs. For those who choose a career in general Obstetrics and Gynaecology, there will also be opportunities connect with recent graduates working in both the academic/downtown and community settings.
What global health opportunities are there in the program?
Our Global Health Program is popular with residents. Many will choose to participate in the (Global Health Educational Initiative) offered through Postgraduate Medical Education, as well as our department’s Global Health Journal Club, facilitated by Dr. Rachel Spitzer. Most years, several residents choose to travel to the developing world for electives, often to our affiliated teaching hospital in Western Kenya (see Global Health Opportunities).
How does having fellows around impact on your learning as a resident in the Operating Room (OR)?
We have fellows in some subspecialty ORs, including Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS), urogynaecology, and gynaecologic oncology. Having fellows in the operating room adds to the learning. Staff are used to operating with trainees of all levels and balancing which parts of the case are done by which trainee. The fellows are often excellent teachers and a great resource to help break down concepts and make them more digestible.
Is there a sense of community in such a large program?
We make every effort to ensure residents feel welcome and supported. In the weeks leading up to PGY1, you will be paired with a near-peer mentor in PGY3-4 to help navigate the transition to residency. In the first two weeks of ObGyn, you will also participate in a boot camp with your cohort to prepare for clinical rotations. During PGY1, you will be paired with a faculty member and attend their obstetrics and/or gynaecology clinics twice per month — we have found this helps to develop a relationship with a staff member and a feeling of consistency in a year that involves many different rotations.
Residents tend to build particularly strong bonds with other residents in their cohort, as well as faculty and staff they work with regularly; however, between Academic Half Days every Tuesday and a myriad of events and department activities throughout the year, there are plenty of opportunities to get together as a group in formal and informal settings.
Do you need to have experience and/or an interest in research? How does the program support residents in pursuing research activities?
Candidates are not required to have a strong background in research; however, there are scholarly activity requirements to be completed during the residency program. Residents can pursue scholarly work in basic or clinical research, Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (QIPS), education and/or advocacy.
We understand that residents coming into the program will have varied experience in research. We have a robust curriculum including a dedicated faculty member to support residents in research, as well as comprehensive teaching in health research methodology, peer feedback through regular research proposal sessions, and a Clinical Epidemiology Journal Club to help hone your critical thinking skills. Residents are encouraged to present their work at national and international scientific conferences with financial support by the department.
For those with a particular interest in research, the (Clinician Investigator Program) is a fully funded two-year program (resident must apply and be accepted) leading to a Master’s degree or a PhD, which is normally undertaken between PGY3 and PGY5. There are also opportunities to fund residents who wish to pursue a master’s or PhD outside of the CIP program.