Electives provide students with the opportunity to explore career possibilities, to gain experience in aspects of medicine beyond the core curriculum, and to study subjects in greater depth. Electives enable you to further develop your knowledge, skills and attitudes in a clinical context.
University of Toronto MD students
Electives are an integral part of curriculum for fourth-year MD students. For more information about the electives course, refer to clerkship courses or consult the Academic Calendar. You can also find some general guidelines regarding the booking and registering of electives below.
For information regarding international placements (this includes research, electives and selectives), please review information through the Office of Global Health.
Visiting medical students
Visiting Canadian, US and international medical students should refer to electives for visiting students.
UofT Students - Booking electives at UofT
Students may start booking electives at UofT a year in advance using the registration system ROUTE on MedSIS. This system is made available to students in September of the third year of the UME curriculum.
Electives may be 2-4 weeks in duration. One week electives may be requested in exceptional circumstances and require review and approval by the Electives Director. To book a one week elective please refer to the following instructions and submit to the Electives Office.
In accordance with the AFMC guidelines for Electives, students are expected to complete Elective experiences in a minimum of three of the CaRMS first-level entry residency programs. The requirement for three disciplines may be achieved through any combination of Electives and the selective components of the Transition to Residency course.
For more information on CaRMS first-level entry programs, please visit the following site: www.carms.ca.
Guidelines for Elective Bookings at UofT
- The Electives Office makes every effort to keep Placement Contacts updated. However, departments may not notify the office in a timely manner when changes occur. As such, it is recommended that if students do not receive timely feedback on their elective requests, they should verify the Placement Contact information with the supervisor/preceptor or elective department in question. It is also requested that the Electives Office be notified of any discrepancy in order to ensure that the Placement Contact information can be corrected in the system.
- While the online registration system is open a year in advance, many departments will be unable to accept your requests this early due to numerous factors. For example, departments will have not yet been advised of needs for their core learners, supervisor schedules etc. In this scenario you may be asked to submit an application later on in the year.
- Once an elective has been confirmed, changes cannot be made online. This is due to a limitation in the current software. To mitigate this we ask that students personally contact departments through email to discuss any changes to the elective that are required. Once the placement contact has approved these changes the existing confirmed elective should be cancelled and a new elective request with the updated information may then be submitted.
UofT Students - Guidelines for Elective Cancellations at UofT
- Electives must be cancelled a minimum of 6 weeks prior to the start date of the elective. If this regulation is breached you will be cited for a minor professionalism lapse.
- When cancelling an elective, the student must ensure that it is cancelled through the online system. The student must also send a personal communication to the placement contact and supervisor to ensure that all parties are informed.
UofT Students - Booking Electives Outside of UofT
Other Canadian Schools
Students will book electives nationally using the AFMC Student Portal. In order to access the system students must register and pay a one time fee. All information required for registration and use of the system can be found on the website. Should students run into technical issues they must consult the AFMC Help Desk.
In general schools accept applications for electives from 9-4 months in advance of the elective start date. Students will need to consult the institutional profile of each school to learn the various policies and procedures for elective applications. These will vary from school to school.
Students must confirm acceptance of an elective within 7 days of being notified of the offer by a school. Students will not be able to double book confirmed electives.
Students must cancel electives a minimum of 6-8 weeks in advance. Please note there is variability in this policy from school to school. If the cancellation policy is breached, the Electives Office will be notified of a lapse in professionalism which will be reviewed by the Electives Director.
US and International Sites
Please contact the Electives Office for assistance in booking US and International electives. It is recommended that these applications are sought early on. Electives must be a minimum duration of 4 weeks. Students will be required to undergo pre-departure training.