The Training Path

We currently have a 12 month schedule for each of the five years residents are in the program. This path allows for self-directed learning.

The program takes an integrated approach to training. The Royal College requires five years of post-graduate training which must include at a minimum:

  • 1 year of clinical training
  • 1 year of academic work in public health
  • 1 year of public health field placements.

All residents must fulfill the requirement for 12 months of academic work. This is often done through the Masters program in Health Research Methodology (HRM), however there is flexibility to look at relevant programs at other universities or at non-degree options. Usually alternative options must be pursued within commuting distance of Hamilton so as to maintain participation in other resident activities. Occasionally, credit may be granted for prior study as well.

The HRM program offers both thesis and non-thesis streams; the non-thesis approach is recommended by the program in order to facilitate meeting core Royal College objectives, though the thesis stream can be accomodated as well. Courses are taken in biostatistics, research and epidemiologic methods, health policy, and economic evaluation, among others.

Program Curriculum According to Stream:

Residents who choose McMaster’s program have a choice of two streams. They are:

Public Health and Preventative Medicine Curriculum

Excludes Family Medicine,
and has an intensified public health focus

PGY 1
PGY 2 and 3
PGY 4 and 5
This year focuses on basic clinical rotations and is largely hospital-based. One month of the PGY 1 year is spent on an Introduction to Public Health rotation in order to orient residents to the available community medicine resources in Hamilton and begin preparations for their academic work.Residents begin the coursework required for the Masters in Health Research Methodology (or alternative), along with junior field placements in Public Health.These years are spent finishing required academic coursework and in the more senior rotations in Public Health, culminating in the Royal College exams at the end of year five. Those undertaking the non-thesis option for the Masters should have completed the required courses by year four, while those pursuing the thesis option will have time to work on their thesis during years four and five.

For those not doing Family Medicine training, approximately 12 months of extra elective time will be available This time can be spent doing additional field placements or academic work. McMaster University offers options for additional training in occupational medicine and other areas of expertise.


Research

All residents are expected to gain a reasonable understanding of the principles of research, through both coursework and field placements. Residents who pursue the HRM program will be required to complete a Research Internship of 100 hours. Those who pursue the thesis option must fulfill the research requirements set out by the HRM program. Residents who wish to have more hands-on experience with research will find numerous opportunities throughout their training.


Academic Half-Days

Residents spend one half-day per week participating in the program's educational half-day back, which consists of seminars, journal club, field trips and resident work-in-progress sessions. Field trips include visits to facilities doing work in areas relevant to the public health and preventive medicine specialist. Also available to residents are a wealth of rounds and seminars in other departments within the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Public Health and Preventative Medicine Curriculum

Includes Family Medicine

PGY 1
PGY 2 and 3
PGY 4 and 5
This year focuses on the basic clinical rotations required by both the Royal College and Family Medicine, and is largely hospital-based. One month of the PGY 1 year is spent on an Introduction to Public Health rotation in order to orient residents to the available community medicine resources in Hamilton and begin preparations for their academic work.These years are spent completing the requirements for certification in Family Medicine, culminating in the examination at the end of year 3. As well, residents begin the coursework required for the Masters in Health Research Methodology (or alternative), along with junior field placements in Public Health.These years are spent finishing the required academic coursework and the more senior rotations in Public Health, culminating in the Royal College exams at the end of year five. Those undertaking the non-thesis option for the Masters should have completed the required courses by year four, while those pursuing the thesis option will have time to work on their thesis during years four and five.

Research

All residents are expected to gain a reasonable understanding of the principles of research, through both coursework and field placements. Residents who pursue the HRM program will be required to complete a Research Internship of 100 hours. Those who pursue the thesis option must fulfill the research requirements set out by the HRM program. Residents who wish to have more hands-on experience with research will find numerous opportunities throughout their training.


Academic Half-Days

Residents spend one half-day per week participating in the program's educational half-day back, which consists of seminars, journal club, field trips and resident work-in-progress sessions. Field trips include visits to facilities doing work in areas relevant to the public health and preventive medicine specialist. For those pursuing Family Medicine certification, during PGY-2 and 3 the residents attend the Family Medicine academic half-days in lieu of the Public Health and Preventive Medicine half-days. Also available to residents are a wealth of rounds and seminars in other departments within the Faculty of Health Sciences.