Why Toronto? Two Residents Weigh In

Aug 30, 2017

Heather Evans, PGY-1, Internal Medicine

Heather EvansThe University of Toronto Internal Medicine Program was my first choice for residency. One of the first things that drew me to the program was the University’s world-renowned reputation in research. Though I completed medical school outside of Toronto, I pursued my undergraduate studies at U of T. During this time, I had the opportunity to complete projects in both basic science and clinical research through the university and local hospitals. These research opportunities included mentorship by physicians and scientists with outstanding international reputations. Clinical research is something I hope to integrate into my future career as a physician with an interest in academic medicine. The ‘Clinician Investigator Program’ offered at U of T provided a significant advantage which I saw as a unique opportunity.

My interest in the program was reinforced when I completed an elective at Mt. Sinai Hospital on the CTU. Upon starting my elective, I felt a strong sense of community. Staff, residents and medical students made me feel welcome and supported me to excel in a new environment. Allied health staff contributed significantly to my positive experience and exemplified patient-centered care. My experience at Mt. Sinai not only challenged me academically, but also put my communication skills to the test. The diverse patient population that Toronto offers allowed me to develop cultural competencies that reinforced my skills as an effective communicator. The continuity of care, and the supported independence I was given while at U of T, shaped an unsurpassed learning experience.

Growing up in Toronto, I know what a unique, diverse and livable city it is. Biking the Don Valley and waterfront trails, and catching free concerts at Harbourfront Centre were fond childhood memories that I looked forward to experiencing again.

Diversity, innovation, ground-breaking research and high-quality patient care, combined with a commitment to resident teaching; my experiences demonstrated that this is what the University of Toronto’s Internal Medicine Program had to offer.

Asfandyar Mufti, PGY-1, DermatologyAsfandyar Mufti

I was absolutely thrilled when I learned that I had matched to my first choice program and would be training in Toronto. During the CaRMS tour, I had the opportunity to visit universities across Canada and explore various programs. Each university had plenty of opportunities to offer incoming residents, however, by the end of my elective at U of T, I was absolutely convinced that Toronto is where I wanted to be.

What made Toronto dermatology stand out was the strong focus on resident teaching, mentorship and diverse patient population. The dermatology curriculum is extremely well organized here in Toronto. It is the only dermatology program in the country where live patient viewings and discussions are held on a weekly basis. This is an integral component of residency training which unfortunately many programs lack. Next, with its large population, training in Toronto allows for a unique opportunity to assess and provide care to a diverse group of patients with varying backgrounds. This feature trains clinicians who are well suited to serve Canada's diverse and rapidly growing population. Finally, many of the dermatology faculty members in Toronto and affiliated hospitals are leaders within the field. During my elective, it became clear that in addition to being remarkable clinicians, these leaders are all outstanding teachers and mentors. To have the opportunity and privilege to learn from physicians who continue to shape the way medicine is practiced is something that I value greatly!

It has been two months since residency started, and I can safely say that I could not be happier with my decision. Despite being an off-service resident during my first year, staff physicians and senior residents are enthusiastic and eager to teach. It is inspiring, to not only learn from the best, but to see the knowledge dissemination process in action!