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Fellowship and Areas of Focused Competence (AFC)

Learn more about Fellowships and Areas of Focused Competence (AFC) programs offered at uOttawa.

Fellowship program

A fellow is a postgraduate medical education learner undertaking post-certification training outside the specialty or subspecialty training requirements of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) or the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC). A fellowship cannot generally be credited toward national certification requirements.

Fellowships must:

  • have clearly defined written educational goals and objectives, as per the standards of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO)
  • be affiliated with an accredited residency training program with a designated fellowship director/supervisor
  • include formal periodic and final evaluations of performance (minimum of four per year)

Fellows will receive a certificate of completion of training upon confirmation of satisfactory completion by the fellowship director and supervisor. The term of a fellowship is generally a minimum of six months and can be renewed up to three years. Any additional period must be approved by the CPSO.

There is a three-year limit of licensure for all clinical fellowships. Please note that a clinical fellowship does not lead to any type of Canadian certification.

If admitted, all foreign clinical fellows must undergo a Pre Entry Assessment Program.

What is the AFC program?

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada defines an AFC program as: 

‘a highly specialized discipline of specialty medicine that addresses a legitimate societal need, but does not meet the Royal College criteria for a specialty, foundation program or subspecialty. Normally, AFC diplomas represent either a) supplemental competencies that enhance the practice of physicians in an existing discipline, or b) a highly specific and narrow scope of practice that does not meet the criteria of a subspecialty. In both scenarios, the AFC program does not prepare a physician for practice, but rather recognizes areas of supplemental or advanced training.’ 

Format of the diploma 

  • typically one-to-two years of additional, competency-based training
  • built upon training in a broader discipline
  • supported within the existing specialty committee of the primary discipline (unless one does not currently exist)
  • assessed through summative portfolio
  • training programs accredited by the Royal College (C Standards)
  • a separate annual dues fee and Maintenance of Certificate (MOC) requirements 

Candidates successfully completing all requirements of an approved AFC program will receive an added qualification known as a Diploma of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada or DRCPSC. Members with a DRCPSC will be known nationally and internationally as individuals who have sought to advance their knowledge and expertise with additional complementary skills and competencies. 

Please refer to the fellowship section for information on how to apply.