Update to phone lines at our Birchmount and General Hospitals: If calling through Birchmount main line (416-495-2400), add “7” when dialing an extension. If calling through General main line (416-438-2911), add “8” when dialing an extension.

Medical Education

Providing unique educational opportunities like no other hospital in Canada.

medical students standing in hallway
General Information

SHN is a community teaching hospital, nestled in one of the most diverse communities in Canada. We offer a unique setting for educational opportunities given our location, the patients and families we care for, and our regional and specialty programs. With a connected network of three hospitals and eight satellite sites, we are the third largest community teaching hospital provider in Ontario and affiliated with TAHSN (Toronto Academic Health Science Network).

Our bold vision at SHN is to be Canada’s leading community teaching hospital. For us, medical education is not just a strategic priority, it is an integral part of who we are. Building on our rich history that includes an affiliation with the University of Toronto dating back to the 1970s, medical education continues to grow every year at SHN.

SHN is home to more than 400 faculty-appointed physicians, who educate medical students, residents, and fellows — as well as midwife students, dental and physician assistant students. We also have the University of Toronto Family Medicine Residency Program that brings a dynamic group of learners to our hospitals each year.

Medical Education Opportunities

Medical Trainees

We are recognized for our one-to-one medical teaching, ensuring medical trainees get focused time and attention from their excellent preceptors. Our trainees value the opportunity we provide for hands-on teaching within a diverse community, where they can actively treat patients.

SHN offers clinical placements to medical trainees in a variety of areas. Preceptors accept trainees based on their availability, time and practice capabilities when contacted by UofT.

Please use the University preceptor catalog to find a preceptor. Once your preceptor is obtained and confirmed with UofT, the Medical Education Office will register you with the hospital. Trainees must register with the hospital prior to starting their rotation.

Medical students and residents who are not from the University of Toronto must register with UofT for their elective. Once confirmation from UofT is received, please contact SHN’s Medical Education office and we will register you before your rotation start. All trainees must register with the hospital prior to starting their rotation.

Midwife Students and Physician Assistants

SHN supports a number of Midwifery programs along with the UofT/NOMS physician assistant training program. Please contact your school to organize a rotation through SHN.

Contact us

If you are a medical student and have questions or want to learn more about medical education opportunities, email us at medicaleducation@shn.ca.


*Observerships are on hold until further notice due to SHN’s focus on our pandemic response.

Observerships are placements where the student ‘shadows or observes’ a physician’s practice with no involvement in care nor direct interaction with patients. Only current Medical students (both local and international) who are in good standing with their medical school may apply for an observership opportunity. Students interested in an observership must find, on their own, a physician willing to supervise them. We cannot provide physician names or information. Please do not show up to clinics looking for an observership.

Facts about SHN Observerships

  • Only current international students can apply
  • Students must be in good standing
  • Observerships are not open to IMGs (international medical graduates)
  • Maximum of four weeks in a 12-month period is allowed.
  • No part of any curriculum and no academic credit will be given
  • Observers are not covered by malpractice or Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB)
  • There is a fee for processing the observer application

For inquiries, please contact medicaleducation@shn.ca

Family Medicine Programs

Postgraduate Family Medicine Residency Program

SHN is a training site for the University of Toronto – Postgraduate Family Medicine Residency Program, which is a learner-centered program with both urban and rural preceptor experiences available. The program provides community-based experiences with an emphasis on real-world, hands-on clinical training, along with core academic teaching at the Scarborough site.

Each resident is matched with a community-based Family Medicine preceptor to meet their individual learning needs. All preceptors offer opportunities for residents to participate as a member of the primary health care team looking after populations with diverse health care requirements.

Residents receive training in hospital-based settings, including Obstetrics, Paediatrics, Internal Medicine and Subspecialties, General Surgery, Psychiatry, Palliative Care and Emergency Medicine. The two-year program leads to eligibility for certification by the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

Undergraduate Family Medicine Clerkship Program

SHN is a training site for the University of Toronto – Family Medicine Undergraduate Medical Education Program. Medical students in their third and fourth year of study are identified as clerks. The Family Medicine Undergraduate Program provides one-on-one clinical teaching with considerable hands-on opportunities in a community office setting. Students are assigned to a family medicine preceptor within the vicinity of our General and Birchmount hospitals.

All undergraduate students receive exposure to Family Medicine and may go on to choose this as their area of specialty upon graduation from medical school. A seminar series, consisting of three four-hour sessions is taught by family physicians and residents. The series is conducted for the students in cooperation with North York General Hospital, Sunnybrook Hospital and Michael Garron Hospital.

New or prospective learners, please contact:

Stacey McKeown
Program Assistant, Family Medicine Residency Program & Family Medicine Clerkship Program
416-431-8200 ext. 6591