Year Four Undergraduate Electives


    The DFCM Undergraduate Electives Program

    Fourth year students have a 12 week designated elective period (September to December). Each Elective lasts between four and six weeks. 

    The Department of Family and Community Medicine Undergraduate Electives Program provides experiences in urban, suburban and rural areas of Ontario. 

     The DFCM Electives Program is designed to:
    • Provide opportunities to explore Family and Community Medicine as a career
    • Allow students to gain experience in Family and Community Medicine beyond the core curriculum
    • Provide the student with the opportunity to study aspects of Family and Community Medicine in greater depth


    I am not considering Family Medicine as a career choice. Should I do an elective in it?

    Students must complete three disciplines as defined by the PGY1 entry level list before they graduate. These can be accomplished using both Elective and TTR/Selective blocks.


    Even if you do not think you are interested in Family Medicine as a career choice, completing an Elective in Family Medicine may be a good choice as it will provide a wide range of experiences and as such may be relevant to other specialties.

    How do I choose an Electives supervisor?

    There are a wide range of Family Medicine experiences listed in the online Electives catalogue. You will need to contact the supervisor directly to make arrangements to do an Elective with them. You may also arrange an Elective with a supervisor not listed in the catalogue. If you have a specific area of interest within Family Medicine, such as women’s health or ER, you can use the profiles of the preceptors listed in the electives catalogue to help identify a supervisor who includes this scope of practice in their work.

    Can I have access to Elective evaluations by other students in order to assist in the process of choosing an Elective?

    Due to confidentiality concerns, students do not have access to student Elective evaluations. Electives in Family Medicine are subject to periodic site visit review by the Family Medicine Electives Coordinator to ensure that they meet minimum standards and provide students with an optimal experience.

    Will I have to travel to do a Family Medicine elective?

    You do not have to travel to do a Family Medicine Elective but you may wish to in order to broaden your experience. The Family Medicine Electives offered in the catalogue cover a wide geographic area across Ontario but there are also many in Metro Toronto which are accessible by public transit.

    How do I Arrange Electives ?

  • Students are required to register their Electives online.
  • Approval for the elective must be given by the Electives Office through the online system.



    Do I need to do a Family Medicine elective at a teaching hospital to be seen as a good candidate for Family Medicine in the CaRMS match?

    No.  In fact, it will be looked upon favorably if you have a wide range of Family Medicine experiences which may include community and rural electives.

    How many Family Medicine Electives should I have if I want to apply for Family Medicine in the CaRMS match?

    There is no exact number of Electives that you need to apply for Family Medicine. There should be enough to demonstrate that you have a keen interest in the field but a wide range of experiences is also looked upon favorably. Ideally, having at least one Family Medicine Elective is important if you are applying for Family Medicine in the CaRMS match.

    Can a supervisor that I have worked with for two weeks during an elective write a strong reference letter for Family Medicine residency?

    In a two week elective you can still make a positive impression on your supervisor that will help them to write you a strong and supportive reference letter.

    How many letters from Family Physicians are Family Medicine residency programs expecting?

    There is no specific number of letters they are expecting. You should have at least one strong reference letter from a Family Physician.

    Informal Family Medicine Electives for Pre-Clerkship Students

    Are there informal Family Medicine electives for students before clerkship?

    There are informal Family Medicine experiences that you can book independently by finding a supervisor who agrees to take you for a shadowing experience.

    These experiences can be logged as Enriching Educational Experiences (EEEs) on the Portal.


    Visiting Students from Outside of the University of Toronto

    Please note the following policies for visiting students from outside of the University of Toronto:

    1. Visiting Elective students must register with the Faculty of Medicine for Elective experiences in Toronto. Further information is available from the Undergraduate Medical Education Electives Program website. Please refer to the pages for Canadian/US visiting students or international visiting students as applicable.
    2. The University of Toronto does not accept students for core clinical clerkship experiences from outside universities, given the large number of learners that we already accommodate in our system.


    DFCM Electives Contacts


    Amita Singwi, BEd, MD, CCFP, FCFP
    Undergraduate Electives Coordinator

    Undergraduate Electives Administrator
    500 University Avenue, 5th Floor, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 1V7
    Tel: 416-978-3214 | Fax: (416) 978-3912

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