Gastroenterology

The Pediatric Gastroenterology Training Program at the Alberta Children’s Hospital is one of Canada’s longest established training programs in the specialty. Successful graduates from our program have secured academic positions throughout Canada and worldwide.

The section of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition accepts pediatric residents for one month clinical elective experiences. Residents are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Processing requirements for Electives:

Procedures for Residency Electives - Canadian Residents

Residents who are enrolled in training programs accredited by the RCPSC or CFPC can apply for electives at the University of Calgary as follows:

About 4-6 months before the desired start date the resident sends to the Program Director:

  1. An e-mail requesting the elective
  2. A letter from their home Program Director in support of the elective, indicating the following:​​
    • The resident is in good standing in their program and will be remunerated by their program during the elective.
    • Resident date of birth
    • Resident’s preferred e-mail address for future correspondence

At least 2 months before the start date of the elective, the Residency Training Program (in Calgary) sends to the PGME office the following documents:

  1. A letter from the Program Director outlining:
    • the length and kind of elective
    • the PGY level of the trainee
    • who will supervise the trainee
  2. The PGME Registration form completed by the trainee
  3. A letter from the resident’s home program in support of the elective

The PGME office will send to the trainee:

  1. A cover letter outlining further instructions regarding: Alberta Health Services – Medical Education Office (AHS-MEO) requirements to grant clinical access
  2. College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) registration procedures

The PGME office will inform both AHS-MEO and the CPSA of the upcoming elective. Their respective registration processes may take up to two months to complete, so the trainee should not delay starting the application.

TRAINEES ARE NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE ANY CONTACT WITH PATIENTS UNLESS THEY ARE
LICENSED BY THE COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS OF ALBERTA
(www.cpsa.ab.ca)

ALL TRAINEES MUST BE COVERED BY THE CANADIAN MEDICAL PROTECTIVE ASSOCIATION
(www.cmpa-acpm.ca)

An elective in Pediatric GI includes the following experiences:

  1. 1. Inpatient Wards:

    As a pediatric resident, you will be expected to perform initial consults and follow up on patients under our care. The most senior trainee on the ward rotation is in charge of carrying the “service” pager, managing the GI team, delegating consults, and ensuring all patients have been adequately followed up. Most of the time, a GI fellow will be in charge, however if there is no fellow on service, the pediatric resident may take this responsibility.

  2. 2. Outpatient GI Clinic

    You will be booked into approximately 2 weeks of clinics if your rotation is 4 weeks in length, and 1 week of clinics if your rotation is 3 weeks or less. Clinics occur on Mondays to Thursdays and are full day clinics. Our administrative assistant will distribute this schedule to you beforehand so you are aware of the expectations. We make every effort to accommodate multiple learners at varying stages of training in these finite clinic opportunities, and staff may alter clinic schedule if one or more learners are present, so it is imperative that you attend all scheduled clinics.

  3. 3. Endoscopy and Procedures:

    You are invited to observe endoscopy and other procedures in the Operating Room or the GI lab. Over the course of the elective, you may be exposed to gastroscopy, colonoscopy, therapeutic endoscopy and motility studies.

  4. 4. End of Rotation Presentation:

    You are asked to prepare a small ~30 minute presentation during academic half day near the end of your rotation. The topic is your choice, but it is best to choose a small, focused question that you may have encountered during your time on our service. If you have difficulties choosing a topic, the fellows and staff physicians are happy to discuss options.

  5. 5. Teaching:

    On Fridays from 8am to 12 pm, the GI Division has academic half day teaching. These mandatory teaching rounds are on a wide variety of topics and you will be notified of the schedule via email each week. You are encouraged to read about the topics beforehand to enhance your learning experience.

  6. 6. Call:

    You are not required to perform call, however if this interests you, please discuss it with the fellow or physician on call as this can be accommodated.

  7. 7. Objectives and Goals:

    Over the course of your rotation, the GI Division will familiarize you with common and some uncommon gastrointestinal, liver, nutritional, and metabolic diseases that occur in the pediatric patient. Please refer to the objectives for the GI rotation.

  8. 8. Research:

    Residents wishing to perform small clinical projects or prepare a case report for publication should not hesitate to approach a staff to discuss potential opportunities. Such projects could be performed throughout the year and need not be limited to the period of the rotation.

  9. 9. Evaluation:

    Our division is committed to providing you a timely evaluation. Two to three days before your last day of the rotation, please ask your preceptor if you can establish a time to review your evaluation. It is critical that you: 1) notify the physician that you are ending the rotation and set an appointment to discuss your evaluation 2) provide your preceptor with an evaluation (or on-line) form. The preceptor should also provide you with interim feedback. If s/he does not discuss a mid-way assessment, please ask for feedback.

Shadowing opportunities for junior medical students

Please contact the physician directly through Alberta Health Services email

  1. Med 440 Electives

    • Please contact physicians directly to arrange details of a potential elective. 
    • Email should include the following:
      • Dates and times in which you are interested.
      • Note that many doctors only have clinics on certain half-days of the week. Therefore, a 440 elective may not be feasible if the desired dates and time do not coincide with that clinician’s clinics.
    • Contact Education Administrator with confirmation of preceptor agreement as soon as possible. Education Administrator will assist student in fulfilling any hospital- based requirements prior to elective. See Resources for Education Contacts

    Non U of C Clerkship Electives

    Please review all of the criteria and guidelines for the University of Calgary described on the following link: http://www.ucalgary.ca/mdprogram/visitingelectives

    If you meet the criteria, you may then contact the appropriate Education Contact (see Resources)

    Once accepted you will need to proceed with the paperwork as described on the website listed above.

    Research Opportunities

    Clerks wishing to perform small clinical projects or prepare a case report for publication should not hesitate to approach a staff to discuss potential opportunities. Such projects could be performed throughout the year and need not be limited to the period of the rotation.

  2. Clinical Clerks and U of C Clerkship Electives

    The section of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition accepts third and fourth year medical students in their clinical clerkship for electives. It is strongly recommended that medical students have completed their core Pediatric rotation before their elective in Pediatric GI. Students are accepted on a first-come, first serve basis.

    Electives in Pediatric GI will consist of the following elements:

    Inpatient Wards

    As a clinical clerk, you will be expected to perform initial consults and follow up on patients under our care. The most senior trainee on the ward rotation (fellow or resident) is in charge of managing the GI team, delegating consults, and ensuring all patients have been adequately followed up. As a clerk, you will be assigned specific patients to follow and be expected to perform new consults.

    Outpatient GI clinic

    If your rotation is longer than 1 week, you are likely to be booked into four outpatient clinic days. Clinics occur on Mondays to Thursdays and are full day clinics. Our administrative assistant will distribute this schedule to you beforehand so you are aware of the expectation.

    Endoscopy and Procedures

    You are invited to observe endoscopy and other procedures in the Operating Room or the GI lab. Over the course of the elective, you may be exposed to gastroscopy, colonoscopy, and therapeutic endoscopy and motility studies.

    Teaching

    On Fridays from 8am to 12 pm, the GI Division has academic half day teaching. These mandatory teaching rounds are on a wide variety of topics and you will be notified of the schedule via email each week. You are encouraged to read about the topics beforehand to enhance your learning experience.

    Call

    As a clinical clerk, you are not required to perform call, however if this interests you, please discuss it with the fellow or physician on call.

    Objectives and Goals

    Over the course of your rotation, the GI Division will familiarize you with common and some uncommon gastrointestinal, liver, nutritional, and metabolic diseases that occur in the pediatric patient. It is recommended that you meet with your preceptor at the start of the rotation to discuss your objectives for the rotation.

    Canuc-Peds has an online list of curriculum objectives. In terms of medical expert content, clinical clerks are expected to have a systematic approach (including differential diagnosis, investigations and management) to each of these problems. The objectives primarily related to our section center around the following clinical presentations (and associated key conditions):

    • Neonatal Jaundice
    • Growth Problems 
    • Abdominal Pain 
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea

    Evaluation

    Our division is committed to providing you a timely evaluation. Two to three days before your last day of the rotation, please ask your preceptor if you can establish a time to review your evaluation. It is critical that you: 1) notify the physician that you are ending the rotation and set an appointment to discuss your evaluation 2) provide your preceptor with an evaluation (or on-line) form. The preceptor should also provide you with interim feedback. If s/he does not discuss a mid-way assessment, please ask for feedback.

    Once the elective is confirmed with the administrator, you will need to follow up with the UME (Undergraduate Medical Education) office for further instruction.
    Please go on to OSLER and locate the elective catalogue for a description of the program and Instructions on how to proceed. Please contact elective@ucalgary.ca with any other questions you may have.

    You may then contact the appropriate Education Contact (see Resources)

Subspecialty Training in Pediatric GI - Program Outline 

The Pediatric Gastroenterology Training Program at Alberta Children’s Hospital is one of Canada’s longest established training programs in the specialty. Successful graduates have secured academic positions throughout Canada and worldwide.

The Section of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition at University of Calgary offers either a three to four year academic/research residency or a two year clinical residency. The three or four-year program incorporates completion of a postgraduate degree or participation in a significant research project. Residents are guaranteed secured funding for two years of residency as per the Royal College requirements for Pediatric Gastroenterology. Residents wishing to complete an additional 1-2 years apply for competitive research funding through the Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI) or through the Clinician Investigator Program (CIP). Those individuals who wish to focus on a two year residency complete similar clinical training, but do not complete a postgraduate degree. Those in the two year program are also expected to complete a research project by the end of residency. 

Year 1 

During the first year, the major emphasis is on General Pediatric Gastroenterology and attaining endoscopy skills. The following is an example of a typical schedule for a first year subspecialty resident in our program (each block equals 4 weeks): 

  • 6 blocks Inpatient Pediatric Gastroenterology, Consultation Service and Endoscopy    
  • 4 blocks Outpatient Pediatric Gastroenterology,  Endoscopy and Research 
  • 1 block Research Methods Course or Elective 
  • 1 blocks Pediatric Nutrition and Intestinal Rehabilitation Rotation 
  • 1 block Vacation

Year 2/3 

In year 2 a typical schedule would be as follows: 

  • 4-5 blocks Inpatient Pediatric Gastroenterology, Consultation Service and Endoscopy 
  • 5-6 blocks Outpatient Pediatric Gastroenterology, Endoscopy and Research or Electives 
  • 1-2 blocks Pediatric Hepatology/Transplantation 
  • 1 block Vacation

Residents may also participate in electives in Gastrointestinal Motility, Metabolics, Clinical Nutrition, Pathology, and Adult Endoscopy or Gastroenterology.

A resident enrolled in a 3 year residency would have approximately the same clinical requirements as those in a 2 year program, but clinical activity would be distributed over 3 years, to allow for scholarly work such as research or postgraduate studies.

The subspecialty program in Pediatric Gastroenterology at the University of Calgary aims to individualize each trainee’s program according to their background and career goals, while maintaining standards and the requirements outlined by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

  1. Seminars and Rounds

    The section of Pediatric Gastroenterology is committed to residency education. Residents and staff attend and participate in Academic Half Day (AHD) every Friday morning. AHD includes journal club, liver transplantation rounds, radiology rounds, pathology rounds, single topic sessions, research presentations, and case-based learning. In addition, residents are encouraged to attend Pediatric Grand Rounds (weekly), CAG rounds (monthly) and relevant rounds within the Adult Gastroenterology training program or other subspecialties.

  2. Electives

    Click the link heading for Information on Electives.

  3. Vacation and Call

    Vacation

    Residents receive four weeks of holiday each year, which can be taken together, or divided into shorter periods. Residents are responsible for creating their own call and service schedule as a group.

    Call

    Call is taken from home and is 1 in 4 weeknights and weekends throughout the year. Residents create their own call schedule, which must comply with PARA guidelines.

  4. Residents' Clinic

    Beginning in the 1st year of the program, residents participate in a monthly half day longitudinal follow-up clinic under the supervision of one of the attending pediatric gastroenterologists. Residents continue to follow these patients through this clinic throughout their training.

  5. Research

    Research time is included within our program and clinical and/or basic research is expected. Residents are encouraged to present their research work at meetings. First year residents are provided the opportunity to participate in a one month resident research course that culminates in the development of a research question, and ultimately facilitates an ongoing project. The Research Director for our section also meets with residents to provide ideas and mentorship for research projects. Funding is available through PGME or ACHRI (Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute) to allow residents to present their results at a national or international conference.

     

Program Director
Dr. Gary Galante

Program Administrator
Ms. Pamela White