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Who is eligible to participate?

An elective is available to University of Toronto students in a postgraduate medical program.

Electives are also available to visiting students from Canadian and non-Canadian medical schools who are fluent in English. For more information about the University of Toronto’s requirements and application process for visiting trainees, click here.

What can I expect to learn?

The elective will provide you with an opportunity to experience the provision of palliative care to patients diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.

Under the supervision of a palliative care physician, you will join an interdisciplinary team and play an active role in the day-to-day care of patients. You will explore your knowledge and skills in palliative and end-of-life care using a combination of:

  • formal didactic sessions
  • supervised participation in the provision of care
  • case-based methods
  • family and team conferences
  • situations of breaking bad news
  • discussions of advance care planning, ethical dilemmas and personal attitudes and beliefs in a safe environment, with a view to defining the impact of these attitudes and beliefs on decision-making.

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What are the objectives?

At the end of the elective, you will be able to effectively:

  1. Manage pain and other physical symptoms seen commonly in terminally ill patients in their home or in a hospital setting
  2. Identify and manage psychological issues for patients, as well as learn skills in working with families of dying patients
  3. Organize effectively home-care resources for terminally ill patients.

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Where does the teaching take place?

 This experience takes place in both our:


Are there specific days on which this elective takes place?

We encourage students to be available 4 days per week.

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How long is this elective?

Our elective experiences are 4 weeks in length.

Will I find this worthwhile?

Check out the testimonials from residents who have participated in a postgraduate elective with us by clicking here.  

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How do I get more information or enroll?

Email our Education Assistant.

Where can I go for advanced learning in palliative medicine?

If you are interested in enhanced skills training, check out the Conjoint Palliative Medicine Residency Program offered by the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto.  

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