Dr. Shirley Tse

Program Director

Alyshia Ferdinand

Program Coordinator, Rheumatology Education Program
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Program Highlights

The Pediatric Rheumatology Residency Training Program at SickKids, University of Toronto, is a fully accredited program with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

The major goal of the University of Toronto training program in Pediatric Rheumatology is to develop academic Pediatric Rheumatologists who can provide expert consultative service to the medical community and who have the ability to pursue independent investigative careers. We wish to train individuals who are committed to this field and will act as spokespeople for the specialty in dealing with other physicians and public groups.

There is an experienced and dedicated teaching faculty of 10 full-time and part-time Rheumatologists with diverse clinical, educational and research interests. The clinical program is one of the largest in North America and provides Residents and Fellows with an extremely rich clinical experience and the opportunity to assess and manage the full spectrum of Paediatric Rheumatic Diseases. The trainee will have the opportunity to see patients in the in-patient, out-patient and daycare settings, ensuring a broad exposure to all forms of rheumatic disease and different therapeutic options in order to understand the disease course, management and clinical outcomes in children with rheumatic diseases.

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General Information

This residency program is for 2 years.

Program length of training does not exceed the Royal College or College of Family Physicians of Canada standard.


The overall mission of the Paediatric Rheumatology Program at the University of Toronto is to produce graduates who have all the skills and competencies required to function as consultants in Paediatric Rheumatology and to have the ability to readily embark on further postgraduate fellowship training if they wish to pursue this.

As of July 2019, the Pediatric Rheumatology Subspecialty Training Program has adopted the Royal College’s Competence By Design (CBD) curriculum. Under this new curriculum, trainees will have their educational experiences structured within a 2-year time period by stages:

  1. Transition to Discipline – 2 months
  2. Foundations of Discipline – 4 months
  3. Core of Discipline – 16 months
  4. Transition to Practice – 2 months

Promotion from one stage of training to another will be based on successful completion of a designated number of observations as relates to specific Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs), e.g., Recognizing rheumatologic emergencies and following up appropriately. Promotion will be a decision made by a Competency Committee as a collective. This committee will consist of members including a Chair, program director and clinicians from the specialty of training within and outside of the training program, at minimum. For more information on CBD, please visit:

Trainees are additionally expected to acquire and demonstrate competencies in all the CanMEDS (Canadian Medical Education for Specialists) roles developed and endorsed by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, recently revised in 2015. The CanMEDS framework includes the following physician roles: medical expert, communicator, collaborator, manager, health advocate, scholar and professional.

Trainees must demonstrate the knowledge, skills and attitudes related to gender, culture, and ethnicity pertinent to Rheumatology. In addition, trainees must demonstrate an ability to incorporate gender, cultural and ethnic perspectives into research methodology, data presentation and analysis.

The overall goals will be accomplished by establishing the relevant inpatient and ambulatory clinical experiences in addition to a complementary academic program that will facilitate the successful achievement of the competencies required. There will be a graded escalation of responsibility commensurate with the clinical resident/fellow’s level of training and competence.

The training program comprises 13 blocks each year with specific rotations at The Hospital for Sick Children as well as a rotation in the ambulatory clinics at the major Adult Rheumatology hospital sites (University Health Network, St Michael’s Hospital, and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre).

It is anticipated that training experiences within the CBD curriculum will be as follows:

First year: 7 clinical outpatient blocks, 3 clinical inpatient/consult blocks, 2 infusion and joint injection blocks, 1 elective block. 4 weeks vacation.

Second year: 6 clinical outpatient blocks, 2 clinical inpatient/consult blocks, 2 infusion and joint injection blocks, 1 elective, 1 research block, 1 Adult Rheumatology block. 4 weeks vacation.

The ambulatory program has approximately 5,000 patient visits per year. Trainees have the opportunity to spend six-month rotations in General Rheumatology clinics and at least 2-4 months in each of the subspecialty clinics: systemic lupus erythematosus, neonatal lupus, systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, spondyloarthritis, juvenile dermatomyositis, systemic vasculitis, Kawasaki Disease, autoinflammatory diseases and scleroderma/ morphea. Residents will also have their own rheumatology longitudinal clinic throughout their 2 year training period.

There is a comprehensive academic program which has recently been consolidated into an Academic Half Day held every Tuesday morning. This Half Day includes Pediatric Rheumatology Teaching Sessions (Core Curriculum and Subspecialty Rounds), Research Rounds, Journal Club, Pathology Rounds, Radiology Rounds, Quality Improvement Rounds, Morbidity and Mortality Rounds, Ethics Seminars, Immunology Rounds and CanMeds Rounds. Clinical dilemmas or clinical cases of interest are presented by the Resident or Fellow on service each week. In addition, there are weekly Radiology Rounds.

The program has a strong focus on research/scholarship and Residents or Fellows will participate in a scholarly project over their 2 year training period. Trainees are supported to pursue either basic science, clinical, translational, quality improvement or educational projects and to present their findings both locally at the Department of Pediatrics’ Research Day and the Rheumatology Research Day (Ogryzlo Day) and to submit an abstract for presentation at the American College of Rheumatology or Canadian Rheumatology Association conference. Additionally trainees in their second year will have the opportunity to engage in a quality improvement curriculum and to complete a rheumatology quality improvement project.  Trainees who wish to pursue independent, investigative research careers are encouraged to pursue an additional year or years of training.

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Salary Information

Post graduate salaries and benefits differ by province and are determined by two things: your training year, and the province you work in. See below the salaries and benefits for University of Toronto - Pediatric Rheumatology MOH - Toronto.
Effective October 4th, 2023 
Professional Leave
7 working days/year
Additional time off provided for writing any CND or US certification exam, leave includes the exam date and reasonable travel time to and from the exam site. Additional RCPSC & CFPC Certification Examination
Prep Time
  1. Subject to operational requirements and at the request of a resident, a resident will not be scheduled for call duties for a period up to fourteen days prior to a CFPC or RCPSC certification exam.
  2. Subject to operational requirements and at the request of a resident, a resident *will be granted up to seven consecutive days off during one of the four week*s preceding a CFPC or RCPSC certification exam.
Annual Vacation
4 weeks
Meal Allowance
Frequency of Calls
1 in 4 In-hospital, 1 in 3 home
Pregnancy Leave
17 weeks
Parental Leave
35 weeks, 37 weeks if resident did not take pregnancy leave
Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (SUB) Plan
Top-up to 84% 27 weeks for women who take pregnancy and parental leave; 12 weeks for parents on stand-alone parental leave.
Provincial Health Insurance
Extended Health Insurance
Provincial Dues (% of salary)
Dental Plan
85% paid for eligible expenses
CMPA Dues Paid
Under current arrangements, residents are rebated by Ministry of Health and Long Term Care for dues in excess of $300.
Long-Term Disability Insurance
Yes – 70% of salary, non-taxable.
Statutory and Floating Holidays
2 weeks leave with full pay and benefits;
10 stat days plus 1 personal floater.
Residents are entitled to at least 5 consecutive days off over the Christmas or New Year period, which accounts for 3 statutory holidays (Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day), and 2 weekend days.
Life Insurance
Yes, 2x salary
Salary and Benefit Continuance
A resident that can’t work due to illness or injury will have salary and benefits maintained for 6 months or until end of appointment (whichever occurs first)
Call Stipend
$127.60 in-hospital; $63.80 home call or qualifying shift on shift-based services.
Weekend premium:
$140.36 in-hospital; $70.18 home call or qualifying shift on shift-based services.
Updated October 4, 2023

Visit the PARO website.

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