History

Students looking a photos of past graduating classes

The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine was founded as a school of medicine in 1843. It is uniquely positioned as the only medical school operating in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), which has a diverse population of more than six million people.

The MD program is delivered in partnership with 30+ affiliated clinical teaching sites, including nine fully affiliated hospitals and research institutes and four associate affiliated hospitals. Partnered with the Faculty of Medicine, these affiliated hospitals and research institutes comprise the Toronto Academic Health Science Network (TAHSN), one of the largest biomedical research, education, and clinical care networks in North America.

Included below are selected Faculty of Medicine milestones, with a specific focus on medical education.

1843 –School of Medicine is established at the U of T, one of a number of local medical colleges.

1887 –U of T Faculty of Medicine emerges as the single medical school in Toronto. The first Dean of Medicine, W. T Aikins, is appointed.

1910 – Flexner Report cites the U of T Faculty of Medicine (along with McGill) to be of the highest quality in Canada and among the best in North America.

1967 – Institute of Medical Science opens and enables academic physicians to supervise graduate (MSc and PhD) students.

1968 – Medical Sciences Building opens on the St. George Campus, providing new research and education facilities.

1984 – Bernard Langer, Professor and Chair of Surgery, establishes the Surgical-Scientist Program, with graduate research training for surgical residents. This was the forerunner of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Clinical Investigator Program.

1984 – Herbert Ho Ping Kong, Chief of Internal Medicine at the Toronto Western Hospital, establishes the first Clinical Teaching Units in Toronto, which continue to play a central role in general internal medicine teaching and learning.

1984 – Launch of the MD/PhD Program, the first in Canada.

1992 – Undergraduate Medical Education Academies established in the U of T’s fully-affiliated acute care hospitals. Building upon those initial partnerships, the academies emerge as hubs of infrastructure support for undergraduate medical education and clinical homes for medical students.

1992 – The MD Program curriculum is significantly restructured: clerkship is expanded to span the third and fourth years instead of Year 4 alone; problem-based learning is introduced into preclerkship (Years 2 & 3); clinical skills teaching is brought into first year; and a four-year longitudinal community health course is implemented.

1997 – The Wilson Centre for Research in Education is founded as a collaboration between the University Health Network and the Faculty of Medicine.

2002 – Centre for Faculty Development is founded as a collaboration between St. Michael’s Hospital and the Faculty of Medicine.

2005 – The Governing Council of U of T establishes the Policy for Clinical Faculty, which enables academic physicians to have full (continuing) appointment at the U of T.

2010 – The MD Program curriculum is significantly restructured: the core clerkship rotation schedule is revised to ensure all that students experience the core specialties and have the opportunity to complete the same number of elective weeks prior to the residency ranking process; two courses (Year 3 Transition to Clerkship and Year 4 Transition to Residency) are introduced to support students at key transition points along the medical education continuum; and a longitudinal Portfolio course designed to facilitate students’ professional development is introduced.

2011 – Mississauga Academy of Medicine opens, the first satellite campus of the Faculty of Medicine, in partnership with the University of Toronto Mississauga and Trillium Health Partners.

2012 – First cohort of students admitted to the MD Program through the Indigenous Student Application Program.

2016 – The MD Program curriculum is significantly restructured: a revised preclerkship (Years 1 & 2) curriculum, known as the Foundations Curriculum, is launched. Significant features include the integration of basic science, psychosocial concepts and clinical concepts; instructional principles that align education activities with the goal of preparing learners to becoming adaptive physicians; and the introduction of a programmatic assessment model that shifts the purpose of assessment from assessment of learning to assessment for learning.

2018 – First cohort of students admitted to the MD Program through the Black Student Application Program.