Information for Elective Supervisors

Roles, Responsibilities, and Resources

Our MD Program students undertake clinical electives at two points over the course of their undergraduate training:

  • May-June of their 3rd year (maximum two weeks; optional)
  • September-December (14 weeks) through the 4th year ELV 410Y course

Elective placements are arranged by students and the electives administrative team through an electronic platform called MedSIS. Objectives for each placement are set by the supervisor, ideally in dialogue with the student. Students receive written evaluations of their performance that are completed by U of T-affiliated physicians and submitted through MedSIS at the time of completion of each elective.

For supervisors of visiting students, the process for electives is similar, however, supervisors will be asked to complete evaluation forms associated with the students’ home institution, not U of T.

What are the objectives of the Electives course?

  1. To provide students with opportunities to gain experience in aspects of medicine beyond the core curriculum
  2. To develop knowledge and skills in greater depth in areas of medicine selected by students
  3. To provide students with opportunities for career exploration
  4. To develop skills in independent management of personal and professional obligations

Important Dates

Type Period Duration Registration Opens

Third Year Electives (Voluntary)

Rotations A, B & C: May 6-19, 2024
Rotations D, E & F: June 3-16, 2024

2 weeks only

February 15, 2024

Fourth Year Electives (Mandatory)

September – December 2024

14 weeks required

February 15, 2024


I’m interested. How do I start?  

You must be a University of Toronto faculty-appointed physician and be willing to provide outstanding clinical instruction, experience, and learning support to 3rd year and 4th year undergraduate medical students. To begin the process of securing a faculty appointment, please contact either your academic department’s business officer or, if you are affiliated with one of our academies, your academy director’s office.

If you are offering a new elective opportunity please contact the Electives Office to begin the review and approval process. Then, contact our MedSIS team in order to request access to our online evaluations platform.  

 Lastly, if after reviewing this primer you have questions concerning the electives supervisory role or electives process, please contact the U of T electives office (

What are my objectives and role as supervisor?  

Your overall objective as an electives supervisor is to help 3rd and 4th year U of T medical students, and if interested, visiting clerks from accredited medical schools across Canada and around the world. You will help them gain skills, knowledge, and confidence in their delivery of quality patient care.

Electives are used primarily for career development and exploration. It is a pivotal time in a student’s journey in the MD program as they finalize career interests and seek feedback, coaching and mentorship in achieving this goal. Many students will ask for a reference letter in support of their residency applications. Your role as an electives supervisor is one of teacher, facilitator, and advisor.

Creating an Effective Learning Environment 

Supervisors are expected to provide a supportive learning environment where all students feel welcome. The MD Program places the utmost importance on the safety and well being of students, including their ability to learn in an environment of professionalism, collegiality, civility and respect. All members of the MD Program have a joint responsibility to protect the integrity of the learning environment. 

Learning Objectives 

The specific learning objectives for each placement are determined by the supervisor, ideally in dialogue with your student. Performance indicators are in either the U of T electives evaluation forms or, in the case of visiting elective students, their home school’s evaluation form. The indicators on the forms will enable supervisors to help students identify appropriate elective objectives.


Faculty-appointed supervisors are required to complete an evaluation of U of T students during the final week of the placement. You will receive an automated notification through our online platform, MedSIS, containing a link to the student’s evaluation package. If you are new to MedSIS, you will need to request access at

The package consists of two forms - one clinical, one professional. For the student's clinical assessment, a minimum of “meet expectations” is required for them to pass the assessment. For their professionalism assessment, an evaluation of ‘2’ or lower on any single domain will prompt review by the course director.


As part of their professionalism requirements, students, whether UofT, or visiting, must demonstrate adequate attendance. In special circumstances, students may receive prior approval for absences from the MD program. Students are responsible to communicate this ahead of time to their supervisor. Should an unforeseen absence arise in urgent circumstances, students are responsible to communicate this to their supervisor and to report this to the MD Program. The MD Program’s guidelines concerning absences provides additional guidance for U of T students. Please notify the Electives Office as soon as possible should any unexpected absenteeism occur, or other professionalism concerns arise with regards to attendance.

What are the key building blocks of the electives process? 

1. Legal Requirements

Electives may only be undertaken at sites which are affiliated with the University of Toronto.  If you are not affiliated with U of T you will be required to sign a student placement agreement. This process can take several months to execute. To initiate the agreement signing process, stakeholders are asked to contact the Electives Office.

2. Elective Registration

Students request and register an elective through MedSIS (for U of T students). MedSIS automatically emails the site’s placement contact (administrator) or supervisor, requesting that they accept or decline the request. Placements that are not registered within this system cannot be recognized by the MD program. These placements will not be covered by malpractice nor credited with a course grade. In these cases, a professionalism citation will be sent to the student. In order to maintain a transparent, fair and equitable system, supervisors should not facilitate unofficial placements.

All elective placements must be processed and confirmed through MedSIS.

3. Policies

Below are some policies to keep in mind when supervising elective placements:

  • Pre-booked Electives:  Sites should not hold electives placements for students prior to the opening of electives registration.  All requests must go through MedSIS and should be processed in the order they were received.
  • Cancellations: Must be executed through MedSIS (U of T students)/the AFMC Student Portal (visiting students) no less than six weeks prior to the proposed start-date. All students must also inform their placement contact/supervisor in writing. Failure to comply may result in a professionalism citation unless an exceptional circumstance is identified. Please contact the Electives Office immediately if you believe a student to be in breach of this policy. If as a supervisor you must cancel an elective, please advise both the student and the Electives Office as soon as possible. Assistance in securing an alternate supervisor is greatly appreciated.
  • Teacher Evaluations: Students are required to submit confidential evaluations at the end of each elective placement. Students’ feedback supports the electives program quality assurance, faculty development programming, faculty performance reviews, and award nominations. Supervisors may access their Teaching Evaluation Scores (TES) directly through MedSIS. For assistance related to TES scores, kindly contact the MedSIS team.
  • Diversification: Electives in any single entry-level discipline may not exceed eight weeks in duration, as per the AFMC Elective Diversification Policy.  
  • One-Week Electives: In exceptional circumstances one week electives are considered. A formal request to, and approval by, the Electives Director is required.  
  • Research Electives: proposals are submitted to the Electives Director for review and approval; four week minimum and eight week maximum with no clinical involvement.  
  • Virtual Electives: Proposals must be submitted to the Electives Director for review and approval.  
  • Teacher Conduct and Professionalism: All supervisors should be aware of the various polices, statements and guidelines relevant to teacher conduct and professionalism.
  • Academic Regulations: All supervisors should be aware of the MD Program’s Academic Regulations which reference policies, statements and guidelines relevant to U of T medical students, information on student wellness and the learning environment and guidelines related to student mistreatment.

Questions concerning the policies listed above, can be directed to the Electives Office (electives.U of

Additional Faculty Resources

How Might I Strengthen My Teaching, Coaching, and Verbal Feedback Skills?

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Indigeneity, Accessibility (EDIIA): How Does EDIIA Impact My Supervision of Students?

Supervisors are expected to model respect for difference in all its forms, and to actively and explicitly advance the principles of respect and equity. Please review the Temerty Faculty of Medicine’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion page for additional information.

How do I help a student in need?


Electives supervisors are encouraged to direct students to the Office of Learner Affairs (OLA), which offers a variety of wellness-related supports, including confidential personal counselling, workshops, and regular seminars on well-being and resilience-related topics. Resources for Indigenous students are available through the Office of Indigenous Health, as well as through First Nation House – Indigenous Student Services. The MD Program’s Community of Support (COS) offers resources and mentorship to students who are Indigenous, Black, Filipino, economically disadvantaged, or who self-identify as being affected by either a visible or non-visible disability.


The Temerty Medicine Learner Mistreatment Guideline outlines specific steps that supervisors, faculty, and members of the MD Program learning community should take in order to support a student who may have experienced mistreatment. Students can discuss, disclose, or report by reaching out to designated MD Program leaders or by using the confidential, online disclosure form.


For feedback, questions, or concerns about the role of a supervisor or the electives process, contact the electives office at electives.U of