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Family Medicine

Each resident is assigned a Family Medicine supervisor who will function as their core FM preceptor and advisor for the duration of the training program.  Residents spend four blocks each year in this home-base setting, as well as one half-day back per week while on off-service rotations.  This model promotes continuity and resident responsibility for patient care within a supportive learning environment.

Learning in Family Medicine extends beyond comprehensive care in the office setting.  Long-term care, home visits, palliative care and obstetric and newborn care are also integrated into the Family Medicine rotation.

Given that family physicians provide care to patients in a variety of settings and that the rotational structure of this residency program requires regular travel, it is ESSENTIAL for all residents to have access to a car.

Care of the Hospitalized Adult

Care of the hospitalized adult is an important complement to Family Medicine in that it provides broad experience in disease and disability in adult patients. Two blocks in your first year are spent gaining general medicine experience in a clinical teaching hospital.  The resident has an opportunity to learn how to coordinate patient care around a wide variety of internal medicine problems.  Residents actively share responsibility for the assessment, management and discharge of patients.

Emergency Medicine

First year residents spend two blocks in the emergency room of a teaching hospital.  Each unit is staffed by emergency room physicians who are responsible for the resident’s education experience.  Although experiences may vary, all residents are given the responsibility and the necessary latitude for achieving broad goals – the development of comfort in acute care situations and the development of practical procedural skills.

Women’s Health and Obstetrics

First-year residents complete two blocks of OB in a labour and delivery environment that is complemented by early pregnancy and gynecology clinics and occurs in addition to the office OB exposure which occurs in the family practice or specialist setting.

Care of Children

Residents will experience pediatrics in a variety of settings during their residency training.  For example, residents will have exposure to:

  • Inpatient pediatrics, both common, short-stay problems as well as more complex care patients
  • Normal newborn level 2 nursey and attendance when required in labour and delivery
  • Outpatient emergency assessment and care

The pediatric experience overall provides excellent exposure to common problems of the neonate to adolescent patient.

An elective in ambulatory pediatrics is available in your second year.

Core Medicine/Surgery

Residents spend two blocks in a core medicine/surgery rotation in their second year.  Second year residents have the opportunity to tailor this rotation by choosing from a variety of options including hospital-based and/or outpatient experiences.

Care of the Elderly

Development of skills in the Care of the Elderly is integrated throughout residency in both FM and specialty settings.  This rotation is composed of both inpatient care working with geriatricians and outpatient experiences, and may include working in different long-term care facilities, specialized units or in patients’ homes.

Palliative Care

Palliative care competencies are integrated in a longitudinal fashion into core family medicine with the support of palliative care mentors.  Elective opportunities in inpatient, outpatient and community-based palliative care are also available.

Rural Family Medicine

All residents complete two blocks in a Rural Family Medicine rotation during their second year (in addition to their primary FM placement).  This rural/under-serviced community experience provides an opportunity for the resident to experience Family Medicine in a contrasting setting to their regular placement.  This rotation is available in a number of rural/under-serviced communities.

Second year residents interested in enhancing their rural training can apply to extend this placement to four blocks and spend only two blocks in their home-base practice.

In addition, rural electives are available in a number of specialties including Emergency Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Surgery.


The elective program has three components:

  • Horizontal electives of one half-day per week during the full-time Family Medicine rotations in both the first and second year. Horizontal electives are chosen by the resident and may be either academic or clinical.
  • One full-time elective in block format (four weeks) as a clinical experience in second year.
  • Two full-time electives equivalent to two blocks (eight weeks) in the second year. A great deal of flexibility is allowed here permitting residents to tailor their education experience to their future practice needs or to areas of academic interest.

We wish to support residents who have an interest in Global Health.  There is a process of approval for residents who want to arrange an out-of-province or international elective.  Residents will be required to demonstrate an educational rationale for this elective and will submit this request to the Site Director. Residents are responsible for their own funding for these rotations.





McMaster University Department of Family MedicineMichael G. DeGroote School of Medicine