Medical Genetics

We provide Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) accredited residency training in Medical Genetics and Genomics, and Canadian College of Medical Geneticists (CCMG) fellowship training programs, including two clinical fellowships (Clinical Genetics and Clinical Biochemical Genetics/Metabolics).

  1. Resident Electives and Mandatory Rotations

    Residents and fellows from various RCPSC and, adult and surgical residency programs come through Clinical Genetics and/or Metabolics on elective, selective and outpatient clinics. We endeavor to meet learner needs if that is possible and there is availability. For some programs, there are specific rotation objectives that specify the type of experiences or subspecialty areas they should have exposure to (e.g. Pediatric, Prenatal, Cancer, Metabolics, etc.)

  2. Who To Contact

    Miss Brenda Gallagher

    Medical Genetics and Genomics Program Administrator
    E: brenda.gallagher@ahs.ca

    Dr. Rebecca Sparkes

    For a Metabolics elective, please contact the Metabolics Education Coordinator
    E: Rebecca.sparkes@ahs.ca

  3. Resources

    https://cumming.ucalgary.ca/gse/current-students/job-shadowingobserverships

    https://cumming.ucalgary.ca/pgme/future-trainees/canadian-medical-school-graduates/visiting-electives-and-observerships

    http://research4kids.ucalgary.ca/

    https://cumming.ucalgary.ca/departments/medical-genetics/home

  1. CCMG Fellowships

    Our Department of Medical Genetics is accredited by the Canadian College of Medical Genetics as a comprehensive centre for Clinical Genetics Service and Training. There are two clinical fellowships (Genetic and Genomic Diagnostics and, Biochemical Genetics).

    For more information regarding training requirements and eligibility, please refer to the CCMG website: https://www.ccmg-ccgm.org

  2. Clinical Genetics and Clinical Biochemical Genetics fellowships

    Contact: Dr. Rebecca Sparkes, Clinical and Metabolic Genetics

    Alberta Children’s Hospital 
    28 Oki Drive NW 
    Calgary, AB, Canada T3B 6A8

    Email: rebecca.sparkes@ahs.ca  

  3. Laboratory Genetics (Genetic and Genomic Diagnostics and Laboratory Biochemical Genetics)

    Contact: Dr. David Sinasac, Director, Biochemical Genetics Laboratory

    Alberta Children’s Hospital
    28 Oki Drive NW 
    Calgary, AB, Canada T3B 6A8

    Email: david.sinasac@ahs.ca

  1. Shadowing Opportunities for Junior Medical Students

    We provide shadowing opportunities to medical students. This consists of participation in up to two half-day outpatient clinics. Please contact the program director directly with potential dates and times, who will then coordinate any available shadowing opportunities. .

    Additional information:

    https://cumming.ucalgary.ca/mdprogram/current-students/clerkship

  2. MDCN 440 Electives

    At the Med440 information session held each year in April, students will receive information about available Med440 placements.  After this information session, interested students can contact the DEM Office of Elective and Off-Service Education by email Judy Mackay (cgyemergelectives@ahs.ca) in order to request pairing with an emergency medicine preceptor for either block 1 or block 2 of this course.

  3. Pre-clerkship Electives

    We accept medical students for a minimum two week pre-clerkship elective. This consists of inpatient consultation service and outpatient clinics. Please contact the program administrator (copy the program director) directly to enquire about availability.

  4. University of Calgary Clerkship Electives

    We accept Cumming School of Medicine students for clerkship electives in Clinical and Metabolic Genetics.

    This consists of inpatient consultation service and outpatient clinics that may include pediatrics, adult and prenatal clinics.

    Duration: 2(minimum) to 4 weeks

    Capacity: 1 to 2 trainees at one time

    How to arrange: Student must contact the program administrator with name, requested dates, year of training, and copy the email to the program director.

We accept medical students at the clerkship level enrolled in a Canadian medical school. The elective experience is as detailed above under U of C clerkship electives.

Duration: 2(minimum) to 4 weeks

Capacity: 1 to 2 trainees at one time

How to arrange:

Please do not contact individual faculty to arrange visiting electives.

Students must first contact the University of Calgary Visiting Elective office.  It is the student’s responsibility to fulfill all requirements as set out by the University of Calgary.

Student must then contact the Medical Genetics and Genomics program administrator with name, medical school, requested dates, and current year of training, and year of training at time of elective and copy the email to the program director.

For a Metabolics elective, please contact the Metabolics Education Coordinator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please Note:

  • Electives MUST be applied for no later than 10 weeks prior to the start date and no earlier than 7 months (30 weeks) for any specific elective. 
  • All required documents must be submitted by the clerk at the time of application for elective via the portal. Thus please download and complete the University of Calgary Immunization form prior to applying for electives in Calgary.
  • Students are NOT permitted to contact preceptors/departments/placement contacts without prior approval from the Visiting Elective Coordinator. 
  • All communication must be via email, any phone calls inquiries will be redirected to email.
  • Any requests for cancellation of an elective must be made prior to the EIGHT (8) week cancellation deadline. Cancellation requests MUST be submitted via the AFMC Student Portal; students MUST provide a detailed rationale for the request for the cancellation at that time. 
  • We request that electives are cancelled as early as possible to allow the departments enough time to fill cancelled spots with students who may be on their waiting lists. As per the National Electives Policy, if a student cancels an elective less than eight weeks prior to the start date, the home school will be notified in writing. Cancelling an elective at this point is deemed unprofessional. 

You can reach the Visiting Electives Program Coordinator via email at visiting@ucalgary.ca. Failure to follow any posted policies can be considered as a professionalism issue.

  1. Additional Information

    1. Email visiting@ucalgary.ca for the contact email for your preferred elective.
    2. Visiting Electives Coordinator will supply this information so that the student can communicate directly with the relevant department placement contact to request an elective.
    3. Once elective is confirmed by the department with an email confirmation, students will then apply via the portal. Students will be required to upload the confirmation email as one of the required documents.
    4. The Visiting Electives Coordinator will then review applications (only ones which have department confirmation) and send out the placement request via the portal for official confirmation of the elective.

    The University of Calgary has transitioned to use of the  AFMC Student Portal to process visiting elective applications. For more information about applying for elective opportunities, policies as well as student requirements, please click here (AFMC link) which will direct you to the University of Calgary institution profile on the portal.

  2. Additional Resources for Elective Students:

    Please go onto 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.

    Please review all of the criteria and guidelines for the University of Calgary described on the following link. Click here.

    If you meet the criteria, you may then contact the appropriate Program Contact (see resources).

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

  3. Resources

    https://cumming.ucalgary.ca/gse/current-students/job-shadowingobserverships

    http://cumming.ucalgary.ca/pgme/applicants/visiting-electives

    http://research4kids.ucalgary.ca/

    http://cumming.ucalgary.ca/departments/medical-genetics/home

We will consider international medical students. The University of Calgary only accepts students from Canadian & LCME accredited medical schools. Students from all other universities are NOT eligible for electives in Calgary. The only pathway for accredited medical training in Alberta are through the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine or University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry programs.  If you are not eligible you may still find an opportunity for a hands-off shadowing/observership experience with Alberta Health Services.

Job Shadowing is subject to the requirements of the Alberta Health Services' Job Shadowing Policy.

The elective experience is as detailed above under University of Calgary Clerkship Electives.

Duration: 2(minimum) to 4 weeks

Capacity: 1 to 2 trainees at one time

  1. How to Arrange

    • It is recommended to initiate the process as far in advance as possible (minimum 4 to 6 months).
    • Please do not contact individual faculty to arrange visiting electives.
    • Students must first contact the University of Calgary Visiting Elective office. It is the student’s responsibility to fulfill all requirements as set out by the University of Calgary for intentional medical student electives.
    • Students must then contact the Medical Genetics and Genomics program administrator with name, medical school, requested dates, and current year of training, and year of training at time of elective.
  2. Who to Contact

    • Medical Genetics and Genomics program administrator and copy the program director
    • For Metabolics elective, please contact the metabolics education coordinator.

    Resources

    http://cumming.ucalgary.ca/pgme/applicants/visiting-electives

  3. Research Opportunities

    There are often a variety of research opportunities for U of C medical students, such as through the Med 440 course, as well as for residents. If you wish to discuss various research opportunities that can include either clinical genetics research or laboratory based genetics research in Medical Genetics, please contact the physicians in the section directly to discuss opportunities. The individual interests of the faculty are listed on the Department Directory on this site and/or the ACHRI website.

This residency program is for 5 years.

Program length of training does not exceed the Royal College or College of Family Physicians of Canada standard.

Program Outline

The first two years of the program involve training in Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Obstetric/Maternal Fetal Medicine, and crisis counseling. The third year is focused on Clinical Metabolics and laboratory experience with rotations in Cytogenetics, Molecular Genetics, and Biochemical Genetics.  Clinical genetics exposure also starts in the third year with outreach clinics (Red Deer) and resident clinics. 

The core Clinical Genetics training during the fourth and fifth years of training is largely based at the Alberta Children's Hospital (ACH), with consultation services also provided to the four other acute care sites in Calgary. Adult and pediatric in-patients and out-patients with a wide rang of conditions are seen, including malformation syndromes and inherited metabolic disorders. The Hereditary Cancer Program provides counselling and testing for adults with personal and/or family histories of cancer. Other specialty clinics include Neurogenetics, Connective Tissue Disorders, Cardiovascular Genetics, and Ophthalmic Genetics. In addition, the Prenatal Genetics Clinic is nearby and closely affiliated with the Maternal Fetal Medicine service. Senior residents also attend outreach clinics in Lethbridge and Medicine Hat.

PGY-1
General and subspecialty Pediatrics rotations.

PGY-2
General and subspecialty Internal Medicine, crisis counseling and Maternal Fetal Medicine rotations.

PGY-3
Cytogenetics, Biochemical Genetics, Molecular Genetics, Clinical Metabolics, and Clinical Genetics.

PGY-4
Clinical Genetics.

PGY-5
Clinical Genetics, research and/or electives.

  1. Research

    Completion of a scholarly project is expected.  Many of the Medical Genetics faculty are actively involved in research. Guidance for the development of a research project is provided early in training by a research mentor as well as by Genetics faculty. Most genetics residents participate in a one month research course, coordinated for residents of various programs.

  2. Seminars & Rounds

    Educational opportunities include Medical Genetics Grand Rounds/Seminar series, weekly Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy Rounds, weekly Cytogenetics abnormal case reviews, monthly Molecular Genetics Review, weekly Dysmorphology case reviews, monthly Metabolics teaching, monthly Exome Rounds and monthly Journal Club.  The bulk of the core curriculum is covered in Core Month, which involves one month of protected teaching per year, in each of the five years.  Additional teaching time is protected for senior residents.

    Teaching is provided by the faculty in the Department of Medical Genetics and Genomics.  Their areas of expertise encompass all general and subspecialty aspects of Clinical Genetics, Biochemical Genetics, Molecular Genetics, Cytogenetics, Population Genetics, Teratology, among other topics.  In addition, teaching is also provided by colleagues from other specialties whose skills and qualifications are complimentary and relevant to Genetics.

    For more information, please refer to the CaRMS and RCPSC websites.