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Education  >  Student Centre  >  Placements, Rotations & Observerships  >  Educational observership

Educational observership

General information

Observerships are formally arranged opportunities for clinicians to both acquire and share knowledge in carefully framed health care settings.

Observerships can be arranged across Sunnybrook's clinical areas in both direct and indirect patient care areas.

Observers are permitted to observe clinical interactions, procedures and participate in educational opportunities such as teaching rounds in their interested area.

Sunnybrook offers educational observership opportunities for Canadian citizen/ permanent resident and international learners.

There will be no direct patient care engagement during the course of an observership. For clarification, this also implies that the observer cannot scrub in the operating room.

The exchange of knowledge between our healthcare providers and observers will enhance learning and stimulate innovation.

Observership for Canadian residents/permanent residents

Please note: It is the observer's responsibility to connect with a supervisor in their program of interest. The supervisor is responsible for coordinating the observership application process.

Educational Observerships can occur in any clinical discipline. There are 2 categories of Educational Observers; please click to learn more:

  1. Student educational observers (High school, undergraduate and postgraduate, PhD)
  2. General and short-visit (Less than 1 day) educational observers (All health professions)

Observership for international learners

International learners who wish to do an observership must be fully funded for the duration of their observership.

The following documents are required to apply for an international observership at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre:

  1. Up-to-date curriculum vitae that includes the applicant’s educational/employment status, citizenship status and e-mail address.
  2. Undergraduate medical, nursing, healthcare professions, and non-clinical professional students must provide a letter of registration from their academic institution.

You will be required to attend an interview via Skype to assess your English language proficiency and we will contact you if you meet the requirements.

You will be contacted for additional information and to confirm the dates the department/division is able to accommodate you. After approval, you will be contacted to submit the following documentation via email:

  • Application form
  • Complete immunization record
  • Licensed/registered nurses, healthcare professions, and non-clinical professionals must provide:
    • Copy of license
    • Proof of an affiliation with a professional institution
  • Proof of letter of funding if sponsored by hospital/government/agencies

Please note that the fee will be applied based on the number of weeks requested. For more information regarding fees, please contact:

Once we receive your application, it may take a minimum 8 to 10 weeks to process. You will be contacted if there is any updated regarding your application via email. Please note that completing the application form does not guarantee your acceptance for the educational observership.

Observership process

All applications should be submitted to the Postgraduate Medical Education Office at The applications must be submitted 30 days before the start date of the observership if residing in Canada.

With the exceptions of students, residents and fellows, there is an administrative fee for all educational observerships. Observership fee can be only paid by cheque or money order. 

The Departments of Medical Education, Nursing Education, Health Professions and IPE/IPC (Interprofessional Education/Interprofessional Care), and the VP Education office does not routinely engage in finding supervisors.

More information

For more information and to apply for an observership, please contact Lisa Afrin at 416-480-6100 ext. 689646 or by email: