Academic Half Day Curriculum

The Calgary IMRP Academic Half Day (AHD) occurs every Wednesday from 1pm-5pm throughout the year. This is protected time for resident learning during which residents are completely excused from clinical duties.

The curriculum is Royal College Objective based and organized by the Chief residents, with input from the resident body, Curriculum Committee, and Program Director. We have a wide variety of academic activities, aimed at covering the diverse range of skills expected of the modern Internist. Many AHD activities began as resident initiatives, and after success, have been formally integrated into the program!

Our Academic half day schedule is constantly updated through a central online platform called ‘Basecamp’, allowing real-time updates to a common schedule and dispersant of learning material.

Major elements of the AHD include:

Bootcamp

During the first 10 weeks of residency, we offer a “R1 Boot Camp” on Wednesday afternoons exclusively tailored to our PGY1 residents. This series incorporates both didactic lectures designed to assist our junior trainees in understanding core concepts in Internal Medicine, and also simulation-based workshops that facilitate early acquisition of practical clinical skills.  The Internal Medicine senior residents play a large role in facilitating these sessions, which makes Bootcamp an excellent opportunity for those interested in medical education later in their residency.

Lecture Series and Two-Year Rotating Curriculum

With the shift of the Internal Medicine Royal College Examination from the PGY4 to PGY3 year in 2019, the IMRP in Calgary adapted by protecting half-days for PGY3s to be used as dedicated exam study time. This also meant shifting our curriculum from a three to two-year rotating lecture series for PGY1s and PGY2s. Our curriculum includes a rich variety of topics that are directly linked to Internal Medicine Royal College Objectives. Lectures are taught by either staff physicians or sub-specialty fellows. In recent months, our lectures have been delivered via the Zoom platform to enable physical distancing.

Problem Based Learning (PBL)

What we call ‘PBL’ sessions are small group activities that run every month for an AHD and are focused on a particular subspecialty, rotating on an annual basis. These sessions pair a small number of residents with a fellow or staff preceptor, who challenge them to outline their approach to a high-yield subspecialty case, integrating differential diagnosis, clinical assessment including demonstration of physical exam skills, and management. These sessions are high yield for oral and OSCE exams.

Journal Club

Recognizing the importance of learning how to interpret novel evidence, our AHD includes monthly journal clubs, where residents present on landmark or practice changing trials and staff are encouraged to attend.

Simulation Sessions and formative OSCEs

Our AHD integrates many simulation activities through the year, organized in our world-class simulation facilities by certified simulation educators. Please see the separate website section outlining these in more detail. We help assess our trainees progress through both formative ‘Simulation OSCEs’ and more traditional OSCE exams on an annual basis.

Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) and Procedural Teaching

Our simulation facilities and wards also play host to POCUS and Procedural skills sessions through the year, particular in the fall and spring. POCUS-certified GIM staff members are keen to provide teaching to residents around this important skillset. Please also see the separate POCUS rotation section of this website for a description of additional learning opportunities available to residents.

Workshops and Small Group Sessions

Each year, our AHD plays host to special sessions and workshops around key topics for our residents’. Examples include Research Workshops and Preceptor ‘Speed dating’ sessions, ‘Serious Illness Conversations’ and Palliative Care small group sessions, our ‘Residents-as-Teachers’ series, Indigenous Health lectures, Legal and Ethics workshops, and much more.

Learning Resources

The Calgary IMRP provides residents with membership to the ‘NJEM Knowledge Plus’ resources, including a large bank of multiple-choice questions to aid subspecialty learning, and rotation-preparation material.

A Note on COVID

At the time of this update in September 2020, the COVID pandemic continues to impact in-person academic activities. Our AHD sessions, including lectures and small group sessions, have transitioned to virtual video-based formats and continue unabated. At present, we have continued to be able to provide small group simulation sessions, following Alberta Health and Calgary PGME Guidelines around permitted activities. This situation will understandably continue to evolve, however our focus on resident learning will continue!

Sample AHD 2019-20