Educational observers

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.

There will be no direct patient care engagement during the course of an observership. The exchange of knowledge between our healthcare providers and observers will enhance learning and stimulate innovation.

Application requirements

Observerships can occur in any clinical and non-clinical discipline. Listed below are the requirements for each discipline.

  • Postgraduate medical trainees - For residents and fellows. Maximum of ten (10) working days.
  • Physicians - For physicians who have completed post-graduate training but are not licensed to practice medicine in Ontario. Maximum of twelve (12) months. 
    • NOTE: Physicians who have an independent practice license in Ontario are not eligible for physician observership and should apply for temporary privileges through the Office of Medical Professional Practice. 
  • Licensed/registered nurses - For nursing students associated with an academic or professional institution or licensed nurses. Maximum of twelve (12) months. 
  • Health professionals - For learners associated with an applied health profession education program or licensed health professionals. Maximum of twelve (12) months.
  • Non-clinical professionals - For PhDs, engineers, or other credential carrying individuals with postgraduate education or professional training indirectly related to the provision of healthcare. Maximum of twelve (12) months.

Observerships are not appropriate educational opportunities for medical students. Medical students should contact the University of Toronto Medical Electives Office at There is also more information on the University of Toronto website.

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.

With the exceptions of all students, residents and fellows, there is an administrative fee for all educational observerships.

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. 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.