FitzGerald Academy

Introducing the FitzGerald Academy

About FitzGerald Academy

The FitzGerald Academy (Fitz) is comprised of an integrated network of hospitals and community agencies committed to excellence in undergraduate medical education, including:

  • St. Michael’s Hospital (main academic anchor hospital)
  • St. Joseph’s Health Centre
  • The Hospital for Sick Children
  • A variety of community agencies  

At Fitz, students receive outstanding education from committed teachers in a welcoming and supportive environment. Preclerkship students may be placed at St. Michael’s Hospital or St. Joseph’s Health Centre for clinical skills teaching.

Students walking at St. Mike's HospitalCurrently, student enrollment in Fitz is 54 students for first year. In total, Fitz registers over 700 preclerkship, clerkship and elective medical students per year.

About St. Michael’s Hospital

The home to most of the Fitz activities, St. Michael’s Hospital is situated in the heart of downtown Toronto. With a long and proud history of caring for some of the city’s most vulnerable populations, St. Michael’s Hospital has emerged as a world-renowned academic health science centre, providing round-the-clock care to 24,000 inpatients annually.

St. Michael’s Hospital is seen to be a leader in clinical care, education and research in heart disease, trauma and critical care, neurosurgery, arthritis and osteoporosis, minimally invasive surgery, diabetes, cancer surgery, general internal medicine and the care of the homeless and socially vulnerable populations. It is the designated adult trauma centre for downtown Toronto.


Opened in 2010, our state-of-the-art Student Centre and the new teaching facilities in the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre provide a welcoming environment for all students and educators to meet, learn and engage with each other. Students also have access to a full-service health sciences library, computing services, lockers and a student lounge.

St. Michael's Hospital is easily accessed by public transit and is within walking distance of the University of Toronto and other points within the downtown core, including the Toronto Eaton Centre.


The FitzGerald Academy is named after 2004 Canadian Medical Hall of Fame inductee John Gerald FitzGerald (1882-1940). FitzGerald was Canada’s public health visionary, responsible for the development and dissemination of free vaccines to every Canadian, the formation of Canada’s first School of Hygiene at the University of Toronto, and the establishment of Connaught Laboratories (previously a world leader in insulin production).

Academy Director

Dr. Molly Zirkle has a longstanding interest in education and simulation. From 2002 to 2005, she was on the staff at Harvard’s Center for Medical Simulation, creating simulation programs for airway management and simulation center training programs. She has also evaluated the use of task based simulators as assessment tools at Mt. Sinai’s Surgical Skills Centre. She was the undergraduate and postgraduate coordinator at St. Michael’s Hospital for the Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. She has been Director of the FitzGerald Academy since 2010. 

For more information about the FitzGerald Academy, visit the St. Michael’s Hospital website.

Contact information 

Molly Zirkle, Academy Director
Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre
209 Victoria Street, Suite 580
E-mail Dr. Molly Zirkle  

FitzGerald Academy Student Centre
Phone: 416-864-5700
E-mail the student centre

For additional Fitz contacts, please visit the St. Michael's Hospital website.