Welcome to Foundations and Introduction to Molly

Welcome to the FitzGerald Academy! We provide an outstanding learning environment for medical students of the University of Toronto. St. Michael’s is the anchor hospital of the FitzGerald Academy and we also have preclinical and clinical opportunities at St. Joseph’s Health Centre. It is our priority to support student clinical education by offering a diversity of experiences. We bring together amazing students and dedicated, compassionate teachers in a setting that is focused on providing the best clinical care to our patients. We believe that treating students with respect results in students learning how to treat patients well – with expertise, dignity and compassion.


– Dr. Molly Zirkle, MEd, FRCSC


Dr. Molly Zirkle graduated cum laude from Yale University School of Medicine.  She completed her residency at the Harvard Combined Otolaryngology Training Program in 2001.  She joined the medical staff at St. Michael’s Hospital and the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Toronto in 2007.  She is the Director of the FitzGerald Academy and the co-chair of the Student Experience Committee at St Michaels Hospital.
The Foundations Curriculum runs throughout the first two years of the MD program. There are three major dimensions to the Foundations Curriculum: courses, components, and themes. An important feature of the Foundations Curriculum is that each week has a full day that is unscheduled, and available for self-study, and special activities such as clinical skill development.


There are five courses in the Foundations Curriculum. Each course contains four components that run throughout. Longitudinal themes are interwoven throughout the entire curriculum. For more information on the new foundations curriculum please click here: http://foundations.md.utoronto.ca/


Student Absences

All Fitzgerald students must report absences for all activities that are scheduled assessments or mandatory learning activities.


Absences fall into three categories:


  • planned absences – prior knowledge of an anticipated absence requiring a request for approval from the MD Program to miss an activity/activities
  • unplanned absences – absence arises due to unforeseen and often emergent circumstances
  • leave of absence – constitutes an official, temporary withdrawal from studies, and is recorded on the student’s transcript


All of the forms can be filled outand submitted on the following website: http://www.md.utoronto.ca/school-absences

Enriching Educational Experience (EEE) + Mentorship/Career advice

Students must use the EEE Module in MedSIS to register all activities and access important information including:


  • supervisor-student guidelines
  • a searchable database to identify potential preceptors or areas of interest



http://md.utoronto.ca/sites/default/files/EEE Supervisor-Student Guidelines 24Aug2016.pdf

A note about Insurance

For further information, please refer to the MD Program WSIB Form PDF

Clothing Guidelines

For Clinical Skills courses (and anytime you will be seeing patients) you need to dress business casual. If you are shadowing in the OR you will need scrubs (see below for more information on how to get scrubs).


Please visit the hospital Cash Office (1 Donnelly Wing South: 8am-3:45pm, Monday to Friday) to pay a deposit for Labcoats ($15 each – 1 Labcoat maximum), and for Scrub Suits ($30 each – 2 Scrub Suit maximum). Payments can be made via cash, cheque, Visa, debt, MasterCard, or American Express. After you have made payment, please go to the Stores Department (B2-Carter Wing: 7:30 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday) to obtain your first set and to have your ID card programmed for exchange.


Scrub Vending Machines locations

1-Shuter outside the Emergency Administration Office
6-011 Cardinal Carter Wing South Perioperative Services locker rooms


The standard OR gowns are not leak-proof & you can request waterproof gowns (with a plastic liner) for your protection. This is very important if you will be working in a case where there is likely to be blood loss or other soilage.


Hospital Map

Hospital Map


Education Coordinators

Sonya Surbek

Education Coordinator, FitzGerald Academy


416-864-6060 ext. 77516

Lars Fonteyne

Education Coordinator, FitzGerald Academy



Aaron Calano

Education Coordinator


416-864-6060 x 77451

Wallace Dakwa

Systems Coordinator


416-864-6060 ext. 5700

Fitzgerald Events

Introduction to Fitz Reps

We have three student representatives from each class. Throughout the year the reps meet 3-4 times with Dr. Zirkle, Sonya and Lars. Reps act as a liaison between the class and the Academy. Reps provide the Academy with feedback and help organize events for students. If you are passionate about the Fitz Academy this is a great role for you!


Current Fitz Reps


Arjun Sithamparapillai: arjun.sithamparapillai@mail.utoronto.ca
Andrew Zikic: a.zikic@mail.utoronto.ca
Margaret Hess: maggie.hess@mail.utoronto.ca



Brittany Chow: brittany.chow@mail.utoronto.ca
Janis Chang: janis.chang@mail.utoronto.ca
Rawan Rumman: rawan.rumman@mail.utoronto.ca



Mazen El-Baba: mazen.elbaba@mail.utoronto.ca
Joseph Jamnik: joseph.jamnik@mail.utoronto.ca
Stacey Nguyen: stacy.nguyen@mail.utoronto.ca


Fitz Events Calendar

September 2021
September 2021
No events listed for this month. Use left and right arrows to view other months.


Fitz Student Blog


Welcome to Fitz blog! We encourage all Fitzies to participate in reading and creating entries for the blog! Your entries can be anything from cheap food recommendations, reflections on medical school, to course information tips, a place to post pictures from events, and anything else!



Common Problems

ID Badge Security Access stopped working

If you are no longer able to gain entry to spaces you had before, check the expiry date on your badge. If your ID badge is still valid, it could be that your white security access card has gone dormant or been expired by the system. Please call the Student Centre reception at ext. 5700 and make sure you have your white access card number handy (you will be asked to give the first 5 digits on the white card, not your picture ID).


Computer Access stopped working

Your account may go dormant if you have not logged in over a span of eight weeks or more. Call Help Desk (Help Desk x5751) to reset your password.


Locker Access

All Fitzgerald Academy students are given access to a locker on the second floor of the LKS for use from Year 1 until the end of 3rd year. If you have forgotten your locker number or locker combination, please contact Sonya Surbek or Lars Fonteyne and we will look it up for you. Please remember that at the end of your 3rd year you will be asked to clear out of your locker.


If you are missing any dates or supervisor information in MedSIS please contact Sonya Surbek or Lars Fonteyne. If you are having any trouble with your account please contact Frazer Howard fraz.howard@utoronto.ca


How do I book a room?

Rooms 221, 222, 223, 224, 229, 230, 231, 232 are exclusively for Fitzgerald students use. However, if they are all being used or you would like another study room in the LKS you can email Sonya Surbek or Lars Fonteyne. You can also come into the Student Centre and ask whoever is at the front desk to book a study room for you.

Mentorship and Career Advice

Academy Director – Molly Zirkle

Dr. Zirkle’s office door is always open. She is willing to give advice and guidance for any situation you may be facing. If you would like to set up a meeting with her you can contact Sonya Surbek or Dr. Zirkle directly.


Fitz Talks

Every Wednesday Night in October we offer events called “Fitz Talks”. This is open to all 2nd and 3rd year Fitz Academy students. We invite hospital staff and residents from all specialties to come and talk about how they were led to choose which discipline they are currently in and share insider tips on making the most of your electives.


Mentorship Program

We believe at the Fitz Academy that mentorship can have a powerful influence in a student’s life. If you are interested in being paired with a St. Michael’s staff or resident tutor to meet with 1-3 per year please contact Sonya Surbek or Lars Fonteyne.



Interprofessional Education Opportunities

We value everyone’s role as part of a collaborative team at St. Michael’s. To that end, we are committed to providing collaborative learning/IPE opportunities (learners from 2 or more perspectives learn with, from and about each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes) for all of our students.


For upcoming sessions please View Calendar


While there are many collaborative learning opportunities offered at St Michael’s open to all staff, students, physicians and volunteers, both the IPE Series and Student Café are (only) open to all students, from all programs and academic institutions while completing a clinical placement at the hospital.

These learning events are also accredited as red electives from the Centre for IPE/University of Toronto.

Resources for Clinical Instructors & Preceptors