Observerships/Authorized Guests FAQ


The Observerships Progr​​​​​am will no longer be issuing refunds after 4 months from the scheduled start date of a canceled observership. No refunds will be issued for Observerships with start dates in 2020 or one year from the date that payment was processed​. Please contact​ if you have any questions.​​​​​​​​​​​

What to do if I feel unwell during my observership?

If you have any of the following symptoms, you cannot come to UHN to work/observe:

  • ​A fever
  • Chills
  • Unexplained headache
  • Eye pain or pink eye
  • Decrease or loss of sense of taste or smell
  • A runny or stuffy nose, withouth another cause (such as allergies)
  • A sore throat, difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
  • New or worsening cough
  • Nausea/vomiting, diarrhea or stomach pain

DO NOT come to UHN. Self-isolate at home. Tell your UHN sponsor that you will not be coming in and contact the Observerships Office at UHN.

If you are at UHN and develop symptoms: Inform your UHN sponsor right away and you are required to leave the building immediately.

​What to do if I test postitive for COVID?

DO NOT come to UHN without direction from your healthcare provider. You are not permitted to be onsite until day 11 (10 full days) after testing positive.​

What is a Sponsor?

All Observers/Authorized Guests require a UHN Sponsor. The Sponsor is someone affiliated with UHN who is willing to take responsibility for the Observers/Authorized Guest learning objectives, behaviour and orientation to the organization. Sponsors can be clinical or surgical staff that provide learning opportunities in their respective fields.​

​​​​​​​How to request a Sponsor?

It is the observers responsibility to connect with a sponsor in their program of interest and then proceed with the application process. If you would like to pursue an observership at UHN but do not have a sponsor, please send a brief description of your objectives and an updated Curriculum Vitae to​. 

We will do our best to help facilitate a potential connection for you. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee that a connection will be made.

Observership Coordinator


​​​​Who is the Signing Authority?

The Signing Authority is the Senior Manager, Director or Chief to the Sponsor that will authenticate the Observership. The Signing Authority’s signature is required on the Observation/Authorized Guest Agreement.

​​​​How do I acquire signatures from my Sponsor Signing Authority if I am not from Toronto?

Print the forms and complete your sections in full and send the forms that require these signatures by email to your Sponsor. They will sign the form and email it back to you in order to submit your completed application package to the Observerships/Authorized Guest email​.

​​​​What is the difference between an Elective Student and an External Observer/Authorized Guest?

An elective student must be registered at the University of Toronto and is on clinical rotation at UHN. An external observer is a non-UHN medical learner or a non-UHN staff applying for a shadowing experience at UHN only. External observers do not have patient interaction, have no access to the hospital operating system and no unsupervised access to patient information.

Where do I process the payment?

Non-refundable application payment is processed through the online application. The application process will automatically prompt you to pay with your credit card. MasterCard and Visa are accepted.

​​​​I am a vendor, how do I acquire privileges to enter the Patient Care Areas?

Please visit V​endor section.

​​​​What is the likelihood that I will be connected to a Sponsor if I do not currently have one?

There is no guarantee that a connection with a Sponsor will be made. Coordinators will help to facilitate a connection where possible. It is the Candidate’s responsibility to make a connection with a Sponsor.

​​​​Is there any assistance in finding housing accommodations during my Observership?

It is the responsibility of the Observer/Authorized Guest to coordinate housing accommodations prior to their visit.

​​​​Will UHN provide assistance with visiting Visa requirements?


​​​​Will I receive a letter of recommendation or have an evaluation upon completion of my Observership?

No. It is the Sponsor’s decision to prepare an evaluation or letter of recommendation.

​​​​Will I receive a Certificate upon completion of my Observership?


​​​​What is an Affiliated Educational Institution?

If an Observer/Authorized Guest is currently enrolled in an academic institution with whom UHN has a signed Affiliation Agreement, they will be exempt from paying Observership/Authorized Guest fee.