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Family medicine training in the Niagara region offers a diversity of sites from small town/ rural communities (Beamsville and Port Colborne) to more urban centres (St. Catharines, Welland and Niagara Falls).

Over the past few years, partnerships have developed between specialists and our training program with a culture of learning being well established. Moreover, being a fully integrated program, opportunities for immediate application in Family Practice settings of new found knowledge and experience from specialty rotations and electives is optimized while maximizing continuity of patient care.

Being a smaller site, we offer experiential learning many direct hands-on opportunities. The new St. Catharines site of the Niagara Health System opened in spring 2013, further enhancing the learning experience. Core rotations in palliative care, oncology, intensive care, surgery, hospitalist medicine and geriatrics are available in the Niagara region.

Our program emphasizes comprehensive training in family medicine throughout the Niagara region with a central academic home base at the McMaster Niagara Family Health Centre located in St. Catharines. At this home base, all residents participate in the Mental Health and Behavioural Science, and Inquiry programs.

With a regional campus of McMaster University’s Michael DeGroote School of Medicine in St. Catharines, undergraduate teaching opportunities are also available to interested residents. Special interests of the Niagara faculty include in-hospital and emergency work, obstetrics, palliative care, sports medicine, and women’s health.

“I was thrilled to match to the Niagara site of McMaster’s family medicine program and, so far, the experience has exceeded my expectations. I wanted an integrated program so that I could spend time every week in my family medicine clinic and be able to provide continuity of care to my patients, and a community-based site where I would have more direct time with staff preceptors on my in-hospital rotations. In one week, I can learn from an obstetrician how to do a perineal repair, provide diabetes counselling to my patient in my family medicine clinic, and, on the weekend, take my family on a hike along the Bruce Trail” – Amanda Lepp, PGY1

Communities in Niagara

Welland Community

The City of Welland, home of Welland McMaster Family Health Team, is a bilingual and truly historic canal city situated in the heart of the Niagara Peninsula.  In 2008, the city marked its 150th anniversary.  Visitors marvel at the natural beauty as they enjoy festivals, sporting events, and outdoor activities.  Known officially as the Rose City, Welland is home to over 350 acres of fine parks and has one of the finest rose gardens in the country.

Beamsville Community

Beamsville is a friendly and inviting town between the shores of Lake Ontario and the cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment, well known for its tender fruit production.  Several wineries are located in the area and the town.  Visit in the spring and take advantage of the amazing displays of fruity blossoms.

Port Colborne Community

The City of Port Colborne is a quiet community that has found the perfect balance of successful industrial and business sectors, beautiful and scenic residential areas, and a thriving festival and entertainment scene that includes live theatre, white sand beaches, restaurants and unique shopping in both heritage-filled areas and along the historic Welland Canal.

St. Catharines Community

St. Catharines is the most urban of the Niagara sites and the home of the McMaster Niagara Family Health Centre, the academic hub of the program.    It features a vibrant culture, outstanding beauty, world class rowing, Welland canal locks, historic Port Dalhousie and excellent recreation.  Downtown St. Catharines includes Market Square and the new Meridian Centre and First Ontario Performing Arts Centre.

Niagara-on-the-Lake Community

Niagara-on-the Lake’s many attractions include historic sites – Fort George and the Historical Society Museum, the Shaw Festival, the marina, heritage business district for shopping, golf courses, parks and beautiful farmland, agricultural markets and world famous wineries.  Take a carriage ride through the Old Town, or a jet boat up the Niagara River.  The town attracts thousands of visitors who stroll the old streets, enjoy the comforts of fine hotels or charming bed and breakfast inns, dine in restaurants and journey back in time to a more leisurely era.

Niagara Falls Community

Known for the falls and its tourist attractions, the City of Niagara Falls has a mixed population of 420,000 including geriatric, new families, migrant workers and chronic disease management.  It is a beautiful area with lots to do including hiking, biking and in-line skating on Niagara Parkway.  In addition to a scenic wine route, Niagara Falls also features burgeoning agriculture and farm-to-table cuisine.

Key Stats

  • Preceptors: 19
  • CMG CaRMS Positions: 7
  • IMG CaRMS Positions: 1
  • Teaching practice sites: 7


Dr. Karl Stobbe
Site Director

Laura Cousineau
Education Associate
905-378-5717 ext. 6411

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