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What is the Toronto program like?

Guest lucky1

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What it the Toronto med school program like? Is it primarily lecture / exam, or problem based group work, or a combination? I can't find much of a description on their web site (maybe I am looking in the wrong place?)


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Guest cheech10

There is a curriculum website that you can browse at:


There are breakdowns of hours for the various courses. Overall, we get a mix of lectures, labs, small group tutorials/seminars, and PBL. A typical week would have about 15 hours of lecture, 4-6 hours of tutorial, 4-6 hours of PBL, and labs only during applicable subjects (eg. anatomy - but there are a LOT of labs in anatomy). In addition, there is a 4 hour a week community health course which is divided into lectures, community placements, and tutorials roughly equally, as well as a clinical skills course for 4 hours a week (2-3 hours in small groups, 1-2 hours on the wards seeing patients). There is quite a bit of variability in each week, and a lot among the various courses: STF has lots of labs, MNU has lots of tutorial, PBD has fewer hours overall, etc. Hope this helps, and check out the curriculum website above for more detailed info.

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Hey lucky,


Cheech did a great job summarizing the curriculum. I am still in the first phase of the program (5 weeks in--woo hoo!) but here is an idea of a normal week during anatomy:


Monday: 2 X 1 hour lecture, 2 X 2 hour lab

Tuesday: same, but one lab is devoted to "presentations" essentially teaching other people in your small lab group what you learned in the last 2 or 3 lab sessions

Wednesday: 1 hour lecture, 2 hour lab-group tutorial (like a PBL session) followed by another 2 hour lab period

Thursday: 1 hour lecture, 2 hour lab, 4 hours of community health (either in the community placement or divided into 3 lectures with lots of breaks)

Friday: 4 hour clinical skills at the hospital, 1 hour lecture, 2 hour lab


There is a lot more small group and problem-based learning than I thought. Our anatomy is pretty self-directed, meaning that we have instructions then go in the lab and do it. Our tutorial leader (a retired surgeon) is awesome and will answer any questions we have.


It seems like a lot, but the material is really interesting and the course load is definitely manageable. And every now and then we get an afternoon off--like today!



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