The University of Ottawa is pleased to offer trainees the opportunity to design a PGY3 year tailored to specific community gaps or needs.  This application process requires more effort on the part of the resident, so potential applicants are encouraged to set-up a meeting with Enhanced Skills PGY3 Director well in advance of the application date.

The Self-Designed Program must be focused on the development of skills and experiences that will help the resident meet the health care needs of populations where there is a gap in medical care. Networking with MDs practicing in this area, community leaders, or organizations is helpful in defining community needs. Letters of support from these sources can be added to an application to assist in demonstrating need. Self-designed PGY3's are not aimed at extending the residents’ training for their own professional interest but rather directed towards a population need. It is also not meant to serve as a form of remediation, to build basic competencies or to replace or have a focus similar to a current well – established enhanced skills program.

With the support of the University of Ottawa, the residents will self design their additional months of training. The program is highly individualized to develop learning opportunities that meet the educational objectives of the resident, enhance their scope of practice and further develop competencies and skills sets responsive to the needs of the community in which the physician will practice.

The length of the overall program and the length of each rotation is generally negotiated between the program coordinator and the resident.

Below are the major constituents of a self-designed application:

  1. All regular components of a PGY3 application must be completed;
  2. A detailed letter outlining the proposed training, and rationale, including how the training fits with a community’s needs;
  3. A completed rotational schedule for the desired training period, with each block assigned to a particular rotation.  A schedule template is available in the How to Apply section;
  4. Email or written confirmation that each rotation is secured from future supervisors or relevant administrators associated with scheduling trainees;
  5. Learning Objectives completed for each block, in keeping with the Can Meds FM roles;
  6. Additional optional letters of support for your application from community leaders and/or organizations where applicable;
  7. Residents are strongly encouraged to find a faculty member who is willing to be a mentor during their year of study.  This mentor should have an academic appointment at the University of Ottawa;
  8. An evaluation plan for the year, including plans for evaluation of any horizontal activities; and,
  9. Proposed training periods are ideally 6-12 months in duration.


Example: Addiction Medicine

Choosing to tailor a self-designed program as a PGY3 in Addiction Medicine allows residents to develop skills and knowledge in the management of substance use disorders in the outpatient and inpatient settings. View a sample program outline.

Opportunity for Self Directed PGY3 Year in Addiction Medicine at the University of Ottawa

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