Clinical Chemistry

Postdoctoral Training Program in Clinical Chemistry Overview

Program Length: Two years
Session Dates: July 1 – June 30
Program Structure: Series of hospital-based rotations as well as course work, tutorials and journal clubs
Evaluation Methods: Direct Observation and Oral Exams
Certification: Canadian Academy of Clinical Biochemistry (CACB), American Board of Clinical Chemistry (ABCC)
Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation in Clinical Chemistry  Website Links: and
Program Co-Directors:  Assoc. Prof. Vathany Kulasingam -, Assoc. Prof. Paul Yip -


Program Structure

The Postdoctoral Training Program in Clinical Chemistry (Diploma Program), established in 1968, is a program for PhD graduates in biochemistry and related sciences to train as clinical chemists. The two-year program includes training in hematology and microbiology, to allow graduates to function in core laboratory settings. Candidates will rotate through the clinical laboratories of several teaching hospitals affiliated with the University of Toronto. The program meets the training requirements necessary to sit the written and oral examinations for certification set by the Canadian Academy for Clinical Biochemistry.

Candidates will spend approximately half of their time in a hospital laboratory and they will meet with their hospital supervisor weekly to discuss their progress.

By the end of the first year, the candidate must have:

  • Completed the clinical chemistry laboratory rotation based on the Laboratory Training Manual
  • Demonstrated a comprehensive, practical and theoretical knowledge of all the important routine procedures carried out in a modern clinical chemistry laboratory
  • Demonstrated an understanding of the operation, trouble-shooting and ordinary maintenance of all laboratory equipment, including automated instruments
  • Undertaken analytical, clinical or quality assessment projects

By the end of the second year, the candidate must have:

  • Completed rotations through required hospital laboratories (paediatric chemistry laboratory, second general chemistry laboratory)
  • Undertaken teaching assignments in clinical biochemistry as requested by their supervisors
  • Undertaken more extensive analytical, clinical or quality assessment projects, with the aim of presentation or publication
  • Undertaken specialization or research
  • Completed rotations through required hospital laboratories (haematology, immunology, microbiology, pathology, molecular biology)

In all years, the candidates must have:

  • Completed required courses at a satisfactory academic level
  • Attended journal club and case presentation sessions
  • Attended seminars, conferences, rounds and lectures
  • Completed other required aspects of the Program


Assessment of Performance

  • Each of the core courses requires 70 per cent to pass
  • The Diploma is awarded on condition that all courses are passed, satisfactory evaluations from hospital supervisors are achieved, and participation in other aspects of the Program is acceptable
  • Candidates are required to sit a comprehensive oral examination at the end of each training year

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Applying to the Program

Eligibility Requirements

  • PhD in Biochemistry or a related science (eg, Biology, Chemistry, Immunology, Nutrition, Pharmacology, Physiology)
  • PhD defense must be completed before the session start date of July 1
  • Canadian citizen or status as landed immigrant
  • Good communication skills - written and verbal
  • A minimum of B+ in relevant courses and overall average during graduate studies
  • Please Note: Individuals may apply up to a maximum of three times to this program

Items which are considered

  • Strong background in chemistry or biochemistry with adequate background in the other disciplines
  • Third-year level course in physiology or equivalent
  • Research record, relevance to clinical chemistry
  • Relevant experience in clinical chemistry, hematology, microbiology, molecular biology
  • Commitment of candidate to the field of clinical chemistry

Application Procedure

Deadline: January 15

Information for Applicants:

If a candidate is selected by the Postdoctoral Training Committee for a Fellowship, the candidate will be required to submit a signed statement to the Chair, Postdoctoral Training Committee, that the Fellowship will be accepted if awarded. There is the requirement by the Ministry of Health to return service in Ontario on completion of training, subject to the availability of a position appropriate to the professional training that he/she will have received.

Instructions for Applying to the Program:

Please send the following documentation by email to

Documents required are:

  • Letter outlining your interest in the Program
  • Your curriculum vitae
  • Your official transcripts (BSc, MSc, PhD) *If you have not yet completed your PhD, please provide a letter from your primary supervisor indicating that you will recieve your degree by June 30th. During COVID, please ask that the transcript be sent to you directly and then please include them in your application package. Please keep the transcripts on file as we may request the hard copies at a later date.
  • Copies of degrees awarded
  • International degrees should be accompanied by an assessment from the Comparative Education Service, School of Continuing Studies, University of Toronto, or an equivalent assessment service
  • The completed referee forms and letters of reference from three referees (please have your referees send their assessments directly to Hard copies will not be accepted.

The deadline for the receipt of the completed application form, curriculum vitae, degrees, official transcripts, and letters of reference is January 15 of the year in which training is to start. Training begins on July 1.

Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

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Journal Club and Tutorial Schedules

See 2019/2020 Schedule