Transfusion Medicine 

Transfusion Medicine Area of Focused Competence (AFC) Program overview

Program length: One - two years
Session dates: July 1 – June 30
Program structure: Series of hospital and CBS based rotations
Evaluation methods: In-training assessments, training portfolio
Certification: Diploma of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

The AFC Diploma Program in Transfusion Medicine is based at the University of Toronto affiliated hospitals, as well as Canadian Blood Services.

Trainees with a background in Internal Medicine, Hematology, Pediatrics, Hematological Pathology, Anaesthesiology or General Pathology will develop the required skills and competencies to practice all aspects of Transfusion Medicine, including its foundations in the sciences and research

Program structure

The fellowship provides training in: 

  • the diagnostic and therapeutic aspects of immunohematology, apheresis, histocompatibility, and related molecular biology and biotechnology 
  • management of the medical laboratory and blood centre, including quality, safety and regulatory aspects 
  • ensuring the appropriate use of blood 
  • ensuring the adequacy of supply for the blood system 
  • supervising the provision of a safe and effective blood supply  
  • supervising the banking and provision of cell therapy products and human tissues for transplantation purposes  
  • engaging governments, other physicians and other health professionals in Transfusion Medicine 
  • advancing the discipline through basic scientific and clinically applied research  

Supported through: 

  • >120,000 whole blood donations, >6000 apheresis donations per year 
  • >350,000 blood products transfused per year 
  • >50,000 red cell antibody investigation cases per year 
  • >700 transfusion reaction investigations per year 
  • >400 bone marrow transplants  
  • >700 solid organ transplants per year 

How you are assessed

  • Complex transfusion cases 
  • Antibody lab reports 
  • In-training examinations (written, oral) 
  • Documented training assignments (consultation, quality projects etc.) 
  • Documented contribution to clinical and educational rounds/seminars 
  • Evidence of scholarly activity 

You will submit your completed training portfolio to the RCPSC for assessment and, if successful, will obtain a diploma in official recognition of your subspecialty training. 

Eligibility and how to apply

To be eligible, you must have Royal College certification in (or enrolment in a Royal College accredited residency program in these areas):

  • Internal Medicine
  • Hematology
  • Pediatrics
  • Hematological Pathology
  • Anesthesiology
  • General Pathology

You must be certified in your primary specialty in order to be eligible for the Royal College certification portfolio in Transfusion Medicine. 

Application process 

Application deadline for July start: September 1 of the prior year (for example, September 1, 2020 application deadline for July 2021 start date). 

To apply, follow the same process for Clinical and Research Fellowships.


Funding is supported by Canadian Blood Services. You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to be eligible for funding. 

Our graduates

All our trainees now work in centres across Canada. See below for what some of our graduates are doing now.

Name and designations Year completed training Now working in Transfusion Medicine in…
Heather VanderMeulen, MD, FRCPC, MSc 2023 Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON 
Catherine Dube, MD, FRCPC, DRPSC  2022 Hôpital Charles-Le Moyne, Centre désigné des activités transfusionnelles de la Montérégie, Greenfield Park, QC 
Affiliated with Université de Sherbrooke 
Bryan Tordon, MD, FRCPC, DRCPSC 2022 Alberta Precision Laboratories, University of Calgary
Rachel Jug, MB BCh BAO, DRCPSC 2021 University of Cincinnati Medical Center
Aditi Khandelwal, BSc Hons, MDCM, MSc, FRCPC, DRCPSC 2020 Canadian Blood Services, Unity Health-St. Michael's Hospital, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Matthew Yan MD FRCPC DRCPSC MSc 2018 Canadian Blood Services
Fraser Health Authority, British Columbia
Anne-Sophie Lemay, MD, FRCPC, DRCPSC 2016 Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec
Asim Alam, MD, FRCPC, DRCPSC 2014 Medical Director of Utilization Services, Canadian Blood Services, Toronto, ON