Residency Program

Autoimmune and musculoskeletal problems are common presentations seen in general practice. Thus, it is essential that physicians have adequate instruction on the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic conditions. A residency in rheumatology gives you the opportunity to work alongside physicians in our division; and includes programming to train and prepare you for your future career in medicine. 

Our Rheumatology Residency Training Program is a two year, Royal College certified training program offered to rheumatology subspecialty residents who’ve been accepted through the annual Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS), as well as residents from other internal programs and external residents for their clinical rheumatology rotations. In 2019, the program transitioned from a two-year, time-based training program to a competency-based program, as per the Royal College Competency by Design guidelines.

The mission of the Rheumatology Residency Training Program is to provide training that will enable residents to become successful clinicians, educators and/or researchers. The program plays an important role in supporting the training and growth of medical professionals, and provides extensive experience in rheumatology outpatient, inpatient and emergency settings. We're proud to offer an innovative and patient-centered clinical learning environment is bolstered by personal mentoring from our faculty, helping to develop outstanding medical professionals and future leaders in the field. Residents are based at one of the following sites for each rheumatology rotation:

  1. Richmond Road Diagnostic and Treatment Centre / Foothills Medical Centre (RRDTC/FMC), or
  2. South Health Campus (SHC), or
  3. The Associate Clinic & Peter Lougheed Centre (PLC) for Community Rheumatology rotations.

Division faculty are also committed to helping students pursue broader scholarly, academic and research activities within the Cumming School of Medicine, and promote the exploration of additional professional areas of focus, whether it be research, quality improvement, advocacy, global health, medical education, medical administration and more.

Our Residency Program provides a thorough and rewarding experience in rheumatology. We invite you to contact us to learn more about our program. For interested applicants, information on the specific research interests of our faculty and opportunities for resident involvement can be found within faculty member biographies.

Program curriculum

The residency program is a 2-year program. The length of training does not exceed the College of Family Physicians of Canada or Royal College standard.

Clinical: The first 6 months are devoted to Rheumatology Outpatient Clinics and Inpatient Consultations in order to promote a solid knowledge base in Clinical Rheumatology.

The second 6 months of Residency includes the following:

  • Mandatory rotations:
    • Pediatric Rheumatology - Alberta Children's Hospital (1 month)
    • Community Rheumatology - in Calgary (1 month)
    • Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation – FMC (1 month)
    • Metabolic Bone Disease – RRDTC (horizontal)
  • Elective rotations: Residents choose electives in areas of interest. Examples include Research, Dermatology, Sports Medicine, Orthopedics (ambulatory), Plastic (Hand) Surgery, and Musculoskeletal Ultrasound.
  • Resident's Rheumatology Continuity Clinic (1⁄2 day per week): Clinics are supervised by Rheumatology Faculty members, but Residents are encouraged to assume progressively more responsibility for patient care over time as they follow their own patients longitudinally.

Research: In the first year, Residents select and begin a research project under the guidance of a preceptor.

The Resident can tailor the second year to enhance their experience in areas that will support their future career goals, whether that involves becoming an academic or community rheumatologist.

Clinical:

  • Resident's Rheumatology Continuity Clinic (1⁄2 day per week continues throughout the entire second year).
  • Senior Rheumatology Resident rotations enhance exposure to Clinical Rheumatology, and may include teaching of residents and medical students.
  • Rheumatology Inpatient Consultation rotation allows Residents to act as the Junior Consultant on-call during the PGY5 year to help prepare them to function as an independent consultant.
  • Elective rotations (as described under Year 1).

Research:

  • In the second year, Residents are expected to continue to be engaged in a clinical or basic research project in an area of their interest.
  • The amount of time spent doing research varies depending on the resident’s career goals and research project (a maximum of 6 months over 2 years is allowed by the Royal College Subspecialty Training Requirements).

Seminars and Rounds:

  • Residents are expected to attend weekly Academic Half Day teaching sessions on core topics relevant to the field of Rheumatology. Some sessions are shared with Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and Orthopedics residents, where appropriate.
  • Residents participate in weekly 2-hour Division of Rheumatology Rounds, which includes Rheumatology-Pathology Rounds. Journal Club will be held as part of rounds.
  • Rheumatology-Diagnostic Imaging rounds are held monthly.
  • The resident may attend one or more national or international Rheumatology meetings each year (e.g. Canadian Rheumatology Association; American College of Rheumatology; UBC Basic Skills Course; Harvard Review Course; National Rheumatology Resident’s Weekend; for which financial support is provided.

Evaluation

  • Residents are evaluated monthly, with formal in-training evaluations every 3 months.
  • Written examinations and OSCE’s are held at least twice yearly.

Rheumatology elective

Residents can apply to take part in a Rheumatology Elective. This elective provides the opportunity to gain real-world experience in the clinical setting - providing care to patients suffering from a range of rheumatic and auto-immune diseases. A significant portion of this elective takes place in an outpatient environment working closely with a practicing rheumatologist or resident. For more information, contact our program coordinator, Ellen Lee.

Non-University of Calgary Residents

Non-University of Calgary residents who are interested in completing electives in Calgary should reach out directly to Ellen Lee, program administrator, for information on available blocks. Please be aware that elective spots typically fill up quickly, and inquiries should be made well in advance. Residents must provide a letter from their home program confirming acceptance of the elective before the registration process can begin. Registration is initiated 2 months (not blocks) prior to the start of the month the elective is scheduled for.

Residency policies and guidelines

For those interested in residency training at the University of Calgary, policies and guidelines can be found on the Cumming School of Medicine’s Postgraduate Medical Education page. Rheumatology residents are students under the CSM/PGME Departments and employees of AHS.

Royal College training and Competency by Design

Information on sub-specialty training and Competency by Design can be found through the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) 

Residents are accepted to our training program through the annual medical sub-specialty CaRMS match, and information on our program is updated and published every July. Information about both the match and our program description can be found on the CaRMS Program Descriptions page.

Information for current Residents

For important information regarding your rotation, refer to the Rheumatology Rotation Orientation document.

Our division maintains a Dropbox folder for current Residents, which includes important information, documents, resources and more. To request access, email Ellen Lee, Residency Program Coordinator.

Student Services provides current students with access to support and resources to help maintain physical, mental, spiritual, academic and financial well-being.

Key contacts


Ellen Lee

Program Administrator, Residency Training Program
Division of Rheumatology - Education

Gary Morris

Director, Residency Program
Division of Rheumatology - Education

Steven Thomson

Program Chair, Competency By Design
Division of Rheumatology - Education