May 26, 2020

The FitzGerald Academy

Transition Blog
st michael's hospital

What makes the FitzGerald (Fitz) Academy unique? We ask our current students to share their experiences. 

What stood out for you at Fitz?

  1. Fitzgerald is a small academy (~50 students per year), allowing students to get to know each other well and feel supported by their fellow students and team.
  2. Students in Fitz learn at both St. Michael’s and St. Joseph's hospitals. St. Michael’s is a Level 1 Trauma Centre and provides tertiary and quaternary care in areas such as cardiovascular surgery, neurosurgery, inner city health, and therapeutic endoscopy. It employs excellent clinicians and offers learning opportunities for students in a huge variety of specialties.
  3. St. Joseph’s Healthcare Centre is our academy’s second hospital site. This hospital site offers students the opportunity to learn from physicians in a community hospital setting right from first year, allowing students to experience a different patient population and broaden their learning opportunities.
  4. St. Michael’s is home to the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre. Excellent researchers, educators, and clinicians at these institutions create and mobilize health care knowledge and offer unique learning opportunities for students.
  5. Having most of small-group sessions taking place at Li Ka Shing means that we are centrally located, but still a nice walk away from the main campus which gives us a break in the day to walk outdoors with our friends and stop for food along the way!

What makes Fitz special?

Fitz offers the perfect balance of a tight knit community of students, while also being centrally located at St. Michael’s Hospital/Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre. Our community hospital site at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Centre is also accessible via TTC. Between our two hospitals, students are able to experience so many aspects of medicine, such as transplant, trauma, community care--the list goes on!

Fitz Students Kathleen O and Roslyn M, 2T2

How do students feel learning at Fitz?

Fitz is such an amazing and supportive community to be a part of! It’s so great to be able to see a smaller subset of our classmates on a regular basis and to form close friendships with them. Since most of our CBL and other small group sessions take place at Li Ka Shing, we are able to walk to nearby coffee shops to study with friends or try new restaurants between classes. There are some amazing extra-curricular aspects of being a Fitzie, such as our annual Christmas Party and talent show! Through our “Fitz Fam” mentorship program, a small group of first year Fitz students are matched to a pair of second year Fitzies, which provides an opportunity to learn from our more senior colleagues and to develop friendships with them. Our leadership staff is extremely welcoming and approachable, and their friendly faces are seen on a daily basis at Li Ka Shing. The friends we made in Fitz will be our confidants and support systems through clerkship and beyond. We are grateful for the lifelong friends we met in this academy who have made medical school an amazing experience!

- Kathleen O and Roslyn M, 2T2