Host an MHI Practicum Student

Join us! Inviting Preceptor Applications Now

The practicum is the applied learning component of the Master of Health Informatics education.  From May to August, every MHI student participates in a full-time (600 hour/ 37.5 hours per week) professional practicum placement that counts for 20% of degree credits (2 FCE).

The practicum provides learners with the opportunity to build on MHI course learning and to employ related problem-solving skills. By the start of practicum, students will have completed more than 250 hours of in-class graduate instruction, in addition to workshops and projects.

Learn more:  Year One of the MHI Program
Contact us: Julia Zarb

Practicum Hiring Process

Please complete the Practicum Preceptor Interest Form 2019 – [fillable PDF], save and email to
MHI Program Assistant, ihpme.mhi.program@utoronto.ca:

  • A posting will be generated from this, and forwarded to the contact email for revision/approval.
  • The posting will be released to students via Quercus on the communicated date.
  • Applications will be collected by the Program Assistant and forwarded to the contact as a zip file.
  • All interview scheduling and offers are made directly with the student.

Interested in Being a Preceptor?

Being a mentor to an MHI practicum student brings many rewards. Our preceptors help to educate the next generation of health informaticians while also filling a variety of immediate project needs. Many graduates have been hired by preceptor organizations who have been impressed with the quality of thought and effort demonstrated by MHI students.

What is a practicum placement?
The practicum occurs betweem May and August each year, and requires 600 hours of work onsite (average of 35 hours per week). The practicum is based on four learning objectives, set together by the preceptor and student at the outset of the practicum term. The student is available to work on projects and processes underway in the organization, with the oversight of a preceptor who will report at two points on the progress against learning objectives.
Who are the MHI students?
MHI students are high-performing early to mid-career individuals. Entry to the program is highly competitive, and our students have demonstrated excellence via a variety of backgrounds:

  • Healthcare practitioners such as nurses, paramedics, pharmacisists and allied health professionals
  • Analysts and coordinators with business or healthcare experience
  • Computer and information technologists
What can a practicum student do for us?
 Students in typical practicum placements work areas such as:

  • Clinical project consulting and/or integration teams
  • Product design and engineering teams
  • Technical project analyst teams
  • Informatics adoption and transition teams

Practicum students have expertise and skills in areas such as: health information management, critical analysis, business intelligence, systems requirements, work processes, communications, business modeling and workflow analysis, evaluation, change management at point of care and knowledge management

Is my organization a good fit to host a practicum?
We work with organizations who have project needs in healthcare and information and communication technologies. Don’t hesitate to ask if there is a fit.

  • Hospitals
  • Health research organizations
  • Government and government agencies
  • Consulting firms
  • Planning bodies
  • Information and communication technology vendor organizations
  • Pharmaceutical firms
  • Medical device manufacturers
  • Integrated delivery systems
  • Community-based agencies
What does a preceptor do?
A preceptor oversees a practicum student on behalf of their organization. Students may work with other teams or managers, however the preceptor acts as a liaison with MHI:

  • Defines a practicum placement and related activities
  • Conducts formal interviews with prospective MHI student(s)
  • Negotiates  an achievable learning contract with the student and instructor (this is a straightforward,template-based process)
  • Establishes a supportive environment with the student, which will meet the general practicum objectives and individual learning objectives
  • Provides an appropriate workspace for the student (desk, computer, supplies, phone, etc.)
  • Meets with the student on a regular basis to assess progress and assign activities
  • Facilitates the student’s participation in the central activities of the organization wherever possible
  • Provides opportunities for the student to meet and discuss appropriate issues with key personnel
  • Completes the interim and final performance evaluations of the student, also a template-driven process
  • Resolves any potential problems with support of the course instructor
What assignments will I be asked to assist students with?
The students will be given a Guidelines package for the course. Below are the assignments preceptors will be asked to assist with:

  • Preceptor Agreement (completed by preceptor)
  • Learning Contract (completed by student, reviewed by preceptor)
  • Interim Performance Evaluation (completed by student and preceptor)
  • Final Performance Evaluation (completed by student and preceptor)
Is help available to define a practicum project for my organization?
Yes, we will work together to define a practicum placement. The first step is to discuss with course instructor Julia Zarb, and complete a placement profile. A posting will then be generated with instructions for how and when a student should apply.
How much are practicum students paid?
The placements encompass 600 hours of full-time work for students, which equates to 16 weeks at 37.5 hours per week from May to August.

  • The start and completion dates are negotiable with the MHI student directly, assuming the placement will be complete prior to start of fall term.
  • Financial compensation and employment status for the student is not a requirement of the practicum placement, however, it is understood that your organization may provide the student with a stipend in recognition of contributions.
  • The majority of placements are paid and the recommended stipend is $3,000 per month however the range is at times higher or lower.
  • Some placements are unpaid yet desirable opportunities to contribute within healthcare related settings.
  • The employment status or stipend amount is entirely at the discretion of the organization and method of payment is negotiated and confirmed with the student directly.
  • If the student is in an unpaid placement, a WSIB Letter of Agreement will be generated to ensure students  are covered for liability and WSIB through the University of Toronto.

Ready to learn more or get started?

Julia Zarb  is the course instructor and MHI Program Director. Connect with Julia to discuss becoming a preceptor and involving your department or organization in the process.

In the Words of Our Preceptors

As integral members of the team, MHI students bring a fresh perspective to the table. The students contribute ideas and solutions that are based in best practice, proven strategies and real-life scenarios.

Giuseppe Cammisa
Manager, Project Management Office
St. Michael’s Hospital

The MHI provides an excellent opportunity for graduates to bridge their clinical knowledge and skills with both education and hands-on experience in the dynamic health information technology environment provincially, nationally and internationally. Our intern integrated easily into our corporate environment, making significant contributions to our health system improvement projects. This very positive experience ensures that MHI graduates will be clearly on our recruiting radar in the future.

Edward McDonnell
Principal and Senior Consultant
MD+A Health Solutions

The students I have mentored from the MHI Program have been outstanding and have contributed significantly to the successful completion of a number of our IM/IT projects.

Jan Walker
VP Strategy, Innovation and CIO
West Park Healthcare Centre

The capstone project offers a fresh project lens to stakeholders by embracing a diversity of skills, knowledge and leadership to drive a unique clinical project outcome.
Andrew Schroën
Clinical Project Coordinator
Women’s College Hospital