Reporting to the Vice-Dean of Postgraduate Medical Education and the Chair of the Department, the Program Director at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine is responsible for the overall integrity of the residency or AFC fellowship program.

Qualifications and Expectations

The Program Director must:

  • Be a faculty member in good standing.
  • Possess strong leadership ability.
  • Possess ability to negotiate, mediate conflicts, advocate and resolve problems.
  • Possess strong communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Be able to interpret and apply policies and procedures; ensure proper follow up and reporting to appropriate senior leadership.
  • Be familiar with performance management methods and ensure that effective feedback is provided in a timely manner.
  • Demonstrate commitment to continuous learning.
  • Complete PULSE 360 evaluation tool within first year as a PD, and every 2 years thereafter.
  • Attend 1 professional development workshop targeted toward Program Directors offered through ICRE (free for new PDs), the CFPC or other approved training provider (PGME office to develop training offerings), within the first year of appointment.
  • Complete Crucial Conversations within the first 2 years of appointment.
  • Complete modules designed for PDs offered by the PGME Office through the CPD Office.
  • Attend and participate in Postgraduate Education Committee or AFC Fellowship Committee and other meetings as required.
  • Be up to date in best practices in postgraduate medical education.

Resource Requirements

In order to adequately perform the duties of this role, the Program Director must have:

  • Adequate protected time to carry out the responsibilities required.
  • The support of the Department Chair to ensure adequate resources are provided and that professional development opportunities are made available to the Program Director.
  • Appropriate support via Program Administrator (PA), and an Assistant or Associate PD, as required, depending on size of program.

Duties and Responsibilities:


  • Demonstrates knowledge of, and ensures adherence to, accreditation standards.
  • Complies with the guidelines as set out by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada or the College of Family Physicians of Canada to ensure the continued success and positive accreditation of the program.
  • Collaborates with the Department Chair and key faculty members to prepare for accreditation reviews and provides requisite material for this purpose.
  • Completes program reviews in a timely manner, which includes reviews of:
    • each component of the educational experience, to ensure quality and that the educational objectives are being met;
    • goals and objectives manual or operations manual;
    • optimal use of available resources and facilities;
    • the evaluation system for assessment of trainee performance in all domains based on the CanMEDS roles or the Four Principles of Family Medicine;
    • documentation required for accreditation;
    • opinions and concerns of the trainees as well as formal trainee evaluation of faculty, rotations and curriculum.
  • Participates actively in program reviews and prepares documentation as required for purpose of accreditation.


  • Forms and chairs the program’s Residency Program Committee (RPC) or Fellowship Program Committee (FPC) and directs the program such that it meets the general and specific standards of accreditation. This includes the selection and scheduling of rotations, curriculum, other educational activities and events and educational sites.
  • Conducts regular reviews of individual performance and provides assistance, remediation and extra educational activities for improvement as required.
  • Ensures trainees are aware of the appeal mechanism and upholds fairness in procedure, reasonable timely decision-making and transparency within the program.
  • Ensures all required tools to complete reviews, evaluations and feedback mechanisms are in place.
  • Ensures a clear and efficient process is in place to facilitate the timely completion of summative assessments and to provide effective and timely feedback to trainees..
  • Ensures a clear and efficient process is in place to facilitate the completion of low stakes assessments, preferably in the moment, but within 14 days observed assessment, to provide effectively and timely feedback to trainees. 

Implementation of Competence by Design (CBD) (applies to resident PDs only)

  • Leads the change to CBD, educates their faculty and residents about CBD, develops a new curriculum, sets-up a competence committee, and drives assessments.
  • Sits on the competence committee (CC) (cannot be the Chair). Brings context to a resident's portfolio, and can alert the CC of the resident's circumstances. Brings the CC recommendations to the RPC for ratification, and communicates feedback to the resident.

Development of Educational Plan and Objectives

  • Oversees and assists in the development of the curriculum plan for the program. 
  • Facilitates career planning and participates in training and development planning and implementation for trainees to ensure they have access to continuous professional development.
  • Ensures formal teaching events are organized, relevant and continuously updated.
  • Manages the program with a view towards increasing equity, diversity and inclusivity and upholding social accountability initiatives.

Wellness Advocate

  • Ensures that appropriate counseling services are made available to trainees and responds to their difficulties such as those related to stress, their wellbeing and learning challenges. Advocates for the wellbeing and development of the trainees, seeks assistance for remedial support from PGME such as the Wellness Office and other resources available.
  • Is aware of professionalism, wellness and accommodations policies and procedures.
  • Collaborates with the Director of Academic Support to create and follow remedial plans when required, in a timely manner.
  • Collaborates with the appropriate Faculty of Medicine leaders and Wellness leads to ensure a fair remedial process.

Recruitment and Selection

  • Leads, participates in, and ensures a fair and transparent trainee selection process.
  • Completes all selection processes with professionalism and ethical decision making. 
  • Plans and advocates for the growth of the program when indicated by workforce assessments and program quality and capacity.
  • Collaborates to meet the Faculty’s objective to increase internationalization.

Program Administrator Support

  • Provides support and guidance to the Program Administrator.
  • Provides constructive feedback for the purpose of effective performance management.
  • Encourages PAs to participate in assemblies, retreats, conferences, and courses to support professional development.
  • Provides clear direction to ensure goals and objectives of the program are met.


  • Has a working knowledge of policies and procedures within PGME and Post Graduate Council of Faculties of Medicine (as posted on the uOttawa PGME website).
  • Ensures compliance with PARO-OTH contract (applies to residents only).
  • Acts as a liaison between PGME Office and Department, and communicates pertinent information effectively.
  • Ensures trainees meet mandatory compliance requirements in time to start training.
  • Is aware of and upholds the faculty’s mission statement: To expand our global leadership in a dynamic environment through interdisciplinary innovation in education, research, health of populations, and patient-partnered care, in both official languages.

Appointment Process

  • The Program Director will be selected using processes put in place by the Department Chair; all appointments must be approved by the Vice-Dean of PGME.
  • The appointment will be for 3 years for Family Medicine, and for 5 years for all other programs, once renewable, provided that yearly evaluations are favourable.
Committee Date
Reviewed at PGEC September 7th, 2022
Final version approved September 7th, 2022 at PGEC
Final version approved September 7th, 2022 at PGEC
Pending approval