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Who is eligible to participate?

This clinical experience is available to University of Toronto medical students in Phase I and Phase II of their clerkship.

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 students, visit the University's website

What can I expect to learn?

This experience 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 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 discussions of 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 rotation, you will be able to effectively:

  • complete comprehensive palliative care assessments, including a history and physical examination appropriate to the patient(s) seen
  • participate in patient care effectively as one member of an interdisciplinary team
  • synthesize available information into a list of issues/problems, and suggested medical and non-medical approaches to management
  • apply intermediate-level knowledge about pain and symptom management in the care of individual patients
  • assess psychosocial and spiritual issues in end-of-life care at an intermediate level of competency
  • reflect on personal attitudes and beliefs in end-of-life care
  • demonstrate respect for cultural and religious factors in end-of-life care
  • discuss home care and other community resources employed in the care of the patient(s) seen
  • accept supervision and ongoing feedback in a professional manner
  • begin to address suffering in patients living with life-threatening illness.

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Where does the teaching take place?

This experience takes place in our:

  A combination of both settings is possible for a 4-week experience only.

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How long is it?

This experience can be 2, 3 or 4 weeks.

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Will I find this worthwhile?

Check out the testimonials from clerks who have participated in an undergraduate elective or rotation to find out what they thought about their experience.

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How do I get more information or enroll for this rotation/elective?

Email our Education Assistant.

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