Centre for Ambulatory Care Education (CACE)


At Women’s College Hospital, we aspire to creating and delivering the knowledge and skills needed in a complex health system, in an environment open to inquiry and personal growth. We strive for excellence in all our educational endeavours, and take pride in the many quality educational opportunities available here, such as those through the Centre for Ambulatory Care Education (CACE).

CACE activities include a fellowship program focused on ambulatory care education research, programs of research led by CACE Scientists, an educational mentorship program for educational researchers, workshops in best practices in ambulatory care, CACE rounds and consulting.

  • What We Do

    Our vision

    The Centre for Ambulatory Care Education (CACE) aims to improve the quality of ambulatory care through education by creating, evaluating and disseminating innovative learning tools, techniques and strategies.

    Our philosophy

    At the Centre for Ambulatory Care Education (CACE), we believe that innovation comes from collective thought, practice and effort. Our collaborative network of scientists, clinicians, educators and students work together to advance ambulatory care education. We foster integration collaboration of individuals and groups from a variety of backgrounds; moving beyond traditional boundaries of science, practice and training. In doing so we make room for new ideas and new solutions.

  • Who We Are
    Stella Ng, PhD, Reg.CASLPO, FAAA headshot

    Stella Ng, PhD, Reg.CASLPO, FAAA

    While practicing as a pediatric educational audiologist and working toward her PhD in Health Professional Education, Stella began to see the importance of studying and improving how health professionals learn to practice in response to people's everyday lives and needs, and within the constraints of imperfect systems. Every individual or family who sees a health professional has a complex life, and their care pathway may involve a complex intersection of social and cultural factors, community-based services, school-based services, home-based care, etc. CACE, with its focus on ambulatory care education, is the ideal centre at which to study the important interface of clinical care and the places and spaces of meaning to individuals. At CACE, Stella advances theories of reflection and practice-based knowledge and applies critically reflexive approaches to inquiry, uncovering social and structural influences on how people (can) practice. In so doing, she hopes to contribute useful thought leadership in the preparation of a resilient health workforce, able to provide quality care in the face of an ever-changing health care landscape.

    Cynthia Whitehead, MD, MScCH, PhD

    Cynthia Whitehead, MD, PhD, is an Education Scientist at CACE and the Director of the Wilson Centre. She is the former Vice-President, Education at Women’s College Hospital and is also Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. She obtained her MD from McMaster in 1987, and her PhD from the University of Toronto in 2011. She is an active staff member of the Family Health Team at Women’s College Hospital, former site Residency Program Director, Scientist at the Wilson Centre for Research in Education, Education Scientist at the Centre for Ambulatory Care Education and an AMS Phoenix Fellow. Dr Whitehead’s program of research focuses on deconstructing ‘truths’ of medical education to expand our understandings of possibilities for change. Some of Dr Whitehead’s specific content areas of research interest include globalization of medical education, outcomes-based education, interprofessional education, primary care education, education scholarship and the history of medical education. Dr Whitehead is involved in teaching, curriculum design, curricular evaluation and educational administration. Internationally, she has provided education consultations and worked collaboratively with educators in multiple countries in Asia, South America, North America and Europe.

    Sarah Wright, MBA, PhD headshot

    Sarah Wright, MBA, PhD

    Dr. Sarah Wright’s higher education began in upstate New York where she graduated from Union College with a BSc in Psychology in 2000 and completed her MBA in 2002. Her term abroad in York, England eventually led to an appointment at Newcastle University (UK) as a Psychometrician in the Faculty of Medical Sciences in 2004. In this role, Sarah served as a key advisor to the faculty’s assessment working group. Utilizing principles of educational measurement, Sarah made a significant contribution to the development of quality improvement strategies for medical student assessments in the undergraduate program. Sarah also completed a PhD investigating the validity of medical school admissions tools using both quantitative and qualitative methods. The investigation revealed that traditional admissions practices, such as personal statements favoured students who benefitted from cultural and social advantages; thus perpetuating the underrepresentation of particular social groups in medical schools. Her 9 years of experience as a psychometrician combined with her doctoral training have given her a unique insight into the challenges of applying theory to practice.

    Since arriving in Canada in 2013, Sarah has worked on a variety of projects related to admissions and assessment at the University of Toronto in the department of Undergraduate Medical Education. In August 2014, she was appointed as a Research Scientist for Toronto East General Hospital, where she is building a research program around community based medical education. At CACE, Sarah is committed to investigating issues related to social justice and understanding the ways in which systems, structures and policies can contribute to health inequalities. 

    CACE Scientists

    • Heather Carnahan, PhD (former CACE Director)
    • Dr. Arno Kumagai
    • Dr. Ayelet Kuper
    • David Rojas, PhD
    • Nancy McNaughton, PhD
    • Mahan Kulasegaram, PhD
    • Nicole Woods, PhD (form CACE Director)
    • Laura Dempster
    • Joyce Nyhof-Young
  • Fellowships

    CACE Fellowships

    The Centre for Ambulatory Care Education (CACE) Fellowship is intended to facilitate the development of the skills and expertise to engage in collaborative and/or independent scholarly work in health profession’s education as it relates to the ambulatory care setting. The fellowship is appropriate for both healthcare professionals as well as those with non-clinical backgrounds.  CACE Scientists have areas of expertise and scholarly excellence in both quantitative and qualitative methodologies and can address the following topic areas:

    • Acquisition of technical clinical skills
    • Program development and evaluation
    • Assessment of competence
    • Simulation
    • E-learning
    • Cognition and learning
    • Patient education
    • Standardized patients
    • CanMEDS competencies
    • Social organization
    • Social science approaches/perspectives
    • Reflective practice

    The CACE Fellowship is research focused with >50% of protected time for research activities and the remaining time can be dedicated to clinical work or other scholarly work such as research or teaching assistantships. The fellows who hold clinical duties are encouraged, but not required, to pursue a graduate degree (at the University of Toronto or elsewhere) and would do a major research project or thesis related to health professions education.  Only non-healthcare professionals are required to pursue a graduate degree in conjunction with the fellowship.

    There is an expectation of a scholarly project (or the thesis if the fellow is enrolled in a graduate program), with the minimum of a presentation at a scholarly meeting, and the submission of a paper to be published in a peer reviewed scholarly journal. These expectations will vary depending on the duration of the fellowship. The duration of the fellowship ranges from 6 months to 2 years and will be agreed upon by the fellow and supervisor prior to the start of the fellowship.

    What to Expect

    In addition to their scholarly project/independent research, CACE Fellows must also participate in a CACE/WCH Rounds and workshops including: CACE monthly research rounds and the Health Professions Education Roundtable (joint fellowship series offered by CACE and the Sick Kids Learning Institute).

    CACE Fellows may also select from a variety of in-house, as well as collaborative courses for additional structured learning. Examples are listed below:

    • WCRI rounds and workshops
    • The Wilson Centre fellowship and rounds series,
    • Ambulatory Care Education INTAPT certificate program.

    Any tuition or fees associated with these programs is the responsibility of the fellow.

  • Become a Fellow

    Application Process

    Step 1 - Please ensure you have the following documents ready:

    • Personal statement (1 page) which includes:
      • Learning objectives
      • Requested area of study and/or short proposal
      • Requested length and timing of the fellowship
    • Up-to-date curriculum vitae

    • Letter of support
      • For Healthcare Professionals: Applicants who are healthcare professionals must submit a letter of support from the head of their clinical unit indicating support of their application and a commitment to funding for the duration of the fellowship.
      • For Non-Healthcare Professionals: Non-healthcare professionals must concurrently pursue a graduate degree (Masters or PhD) at the University of Toronto or one of the Allied Hospitals or other academic institutions with recognized graduate programs, or be a Postdoctoral Fellow. A confirmation of acceptance into a graduate program may be required.

    Step 2 - Complete the application form (.pdf) and email it along with the required supplementary documents to:

    Jim Szabo
    Administrative Assistant 
    Phone: 416-323-6400 ext.3019

  • Events

    Events offered through CACE

    CACE Rounds

    Women’s College Hospital offers unique educational rounds with a particular focus on women’s health and ambulatory care. We are fully affiliated with the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine and many of our physicians, clinicians and nurses are cross-appointed there. Bi-monthly round topics feature speakers from various health disciples.

    CACE Journal Club

    Our journal club is an educational meeting in which a group of individuals discuss current articles, providing a forum for a collective effort to keep up with the literature. The monthly CACE Journal Club is an excellent way to keep current with new practices and clinical updates, while encouraging community building. The Journal Club is open to all interested participants.

    Read the latest issue of Connect, Women's College Hospital's weekly e-newsletter to see the most up-to-date locations and times. Staff can also view our Calendar of Events on the corporate intranet – username and password are required for access.

Fully affiliated with

A member of

Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario (CAHO)