Master Teacher Program

 Drs. Ryan Clark and Jenna Tessolini.Master Teacher Program – Class of 2019

Teaching is one of the core missions of the Department of Medicine. The department is committed to provide high quality teaching for learners at all levels in a variety of settings. The ability of the department to achieve this goal depends on the recognition and support of its outstanding teachers, and the creation of opportunities to promote the development of excellence in teaching skills in the faculty.


The Master Teacher Program is a 2-year educational certificate course that is designed to meet the learning needs of each participant. Participating physicians attend the program one half-day per week. The program provides a core series of sessions and a practicum. The core series includes sessions on essential teaching topics, taught mainly by the program co-directors: small and large group teaching techniques, bedside teaching, assessing learner needs, fostering understanding and retention of knowledge, evaluation, feedback, teaching in difficult situations and others. Visiting professors as well as outstanding local experts also teach and facilitate some of these sessions. Participants may also elect to take additional relevant graduate courses offered at the University.

The practicum is conducted in small groups with participants having opportunities to practice their teaching and to receive feedback. The latter includes analysis of videotaped or in person teaching sessions and direct observation by peers. It is expected that the group will become a strong cohort that will promote individual growth and development of each member through feedback and interaction. Therefore, individuals participating in the program must make a full commitment to attend all sessions to support this process over the two-year duration of the course.

The program will lead to a "Certificate of Master Teacher" from the Department of Medicine.


The goal of the Master Teacher Program is to provide advanced training for clinician- teachers to enhance their teaching effectiveness. The program is designed for faculty members, clinical fellows, and clinical associates, who are working full-time and have major clinical and teaching responsibilities. Consideration for admission will also be given to senior postgraduate trainees in the penultimate year of their training program. The program will help physicians develop excellent teaching skills relevant to the clinical settings where they spend their professional time. Ultimately, the program will foster the careers of a cadre of strong Master Teachers who provide high quality teaching for our learners.


The program is a 2-year course that runs from September to Mid-May over the academic year. The requirements to fulfill the program include one half-day session per week (Wednesday afternoons are planned for the program cohort that begins in September 2020). Participants are expected to make a commitment to attend regularly (mandatory >80% attendance).

Year 1

Core Lecture Series - The core lecture series will be conducted every week for a total of approximately 12 sessions for 3.5 hours each meeting. The topics of the core series, adapted from the well-studied and validated Stanford Clinical Teaching series include: a series of microanalytic teaching techniques (learning climate, control of session, communication of goals, understanding and retention, evaluation, feedback, self-directed learning). Additional workshops on mentoring, small and large group teaching, teaching communication skills, equity and diversity, and other relevant topics in medical teaching will be provided. A medical education literature-based reading program will also be included.

Year 2

Practicum - The practicum includes sessions that follow or are interspersed with the core lecture series. Participants present their own work and receive feedback from the group members and facilitators. This includes opportunities to observe videotaped teaching sessions or direct observation of teaching (lectures, small group teaching, etc.).


Master Teacher Program participants must have “protected time” to participate in half-day sessions once a week for two years. Since financial/practice arrangements for individuals’ time commitments are highly variable, this should be discussed with the appropriate division director and/or physician-in-chief. The Department of Medicine will support the core series and practicum so there will be no tuition costs for active members of the department. For enrollees outside of the University of Toronto, Department of Medicine, an annual tuition will be charged. Further information can be obtained from the program director or program administrator.

The program is available to existing faculty members who have major clinical and teaching responsibilities, to clinical associates, to clinical fellows and final year program residents planning future careers as clinician-teachers. The following materials are required for an application:

  • Application form/checklist

  • Curriculum Vitae and teaching portfolio/teaching dossier of applicant

  • A letter from the applicant describing their present clinical and teaching responsibilities and future career plans. This must include an indication of their plans to commit the required time to the Master Teacher Program.

  • A letter of support from their division director and/or physician-in-chief. This letter should include a description of the applicant's present responsibilities for teaching, future role in the teaching program of the institution, and a clear commitment to support the applicant’s time to participate in the Master Teacher Program. The half day weekly should be protected time, and there should be a commitment to be able to continue for the full 2-year program.

MTP Application Form_2020 - 2021.pdf

Deadline for September 2020 start date is extended to August 4, 2020


Program Administrator:

Brianna Flockhart


Program Co-Directors:

Drs. Umberin Najeeb and Danny Panisko

The Program’s address and contacts:

Master Teacher Program, Department of Medicine
Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
C. David Naylor Building
6 Queen’s Park Crescent West, Third Floor
Toronto, ON M5S 3H2
Phone: 416-978-8383
Fax: 416-978-7230

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