Group photo of Master Teacher Program graduates

Master Teacher Program

Applications for 2022-2024 are no longer being considered.

The application process for the 2023-2025 cohort will open in late-May of 2023.

Teaching is one of the core missions of the Department of Medicine. The department is committed to providing 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 two-year instructional development certificate course designed for full time faculty members, clinical fellows including PGY5s, and clinical associates with major teaching responsibilities. Participating physicians attend the program one half-day per week. The program has run virtually for the past year and a half. We will continue to run a virtual program until pandemic restrictions allow for the resumption of face-to-face sessions.

The program provides a core series of sessions and a practicum. The core series includes sessions on essential teaching topics: 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 from Canada and the United States as well as outstanding local experts facilitate these sessions.

The practicum is conducted in small groups with participants having opportunities to practice their own teaching and receive feedback. 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 Completion of Master Teacher" from the Department of Medicine. Interested individuals may elect to take additional courses toward a degree program at the University.


The goal of the Master Teacher Program is to provide advanced training for clinician-teachers to enhance their teaching effectiveness. The program will help physicians develop excellent teaching skills relevant to their clinical settings where they spend their professional time. Ultimately, the program will foster the careers of a cadre of superb "master teachers" who provide the highest quality of teaching for our students.


  • The program is a two-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 planned for the cohort starting in September 2022). 
  • Participants are expected to make a commitment to attend regularly (mandatory >80% attendance).  

Year 1

Core seminar series - The core seminar series will meet every week for a total of at least 13 sessions; each session is about three hours in duration. The topics of the core series includes: a series of microanalytic teaching skills (learning climate, control of session, communication of goals, understanding and retention, evaluation, feedback, self-directed learning).  A further 13-week seminar series on mentoring, lecture techniques, small and large group teaching, teaching communication skills, and other medical teaching topics will be presented.  A reading program will be included.

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

Year 2

Ongoing workshops with the core group of participants - This is a continuation of the practicum started in the first year. Again, interspersed with practicum sessions, will be interactive teaching sessions on a wide variety of topics relevant to clinical teachers.

Scholarly Project Work - Approximately one quarter of curricular time in the second year will be devoted to project work. Each participant, either individually or as part of a small or large group, will work on the development of a teaching or educational deliverable that meets their own teaching needs. These projects will be of a calibre that will allow the participant to work towards presentation at a national education meeting or to publish in relevant literature.


Master Teacher Program participants must have “protected time” to participate in half-day sessions once a week for two years, from September to May. Since 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 co-directors or program administrator.


The following materials are required:

  • 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 protected 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. 

Program inquiries:

Christian Base, Master Teacher Program Administrator
Phone: 416-978-4499

Program Co-Directors:

Drs. Umberin Najeeb and Danny Panisko