Education & Training

The Department prides itself on offering outstanding education in a state-of-the-art training environment at all levels within the University, including undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral, residency, and clinical fellowships. 

 

Undergraduate Medical Education

Radiologists from the Department of Radiology provide instruction in the fundamentals of clinical radiologic imaging anatomy and image interpretation to medical students at the University of Calgary as part of the undergraduate medical education curriculum. This is accomplished through large classroom instruction integrated with core lectures, small group tutorials, development of supplementary materials such as podcasts and through mentorship programs. Two-week clerkship elective opportunities in Radiology are also offered at several hospital sites across the Calgary Zone for those students interested in additional exposure to diagnostic imaging or who are considering postgraduate training in Radiology.
 

Graduate and Postdoctoral Training

The Department of Radiology has had a major impact on the development of graduate science training in medical image science over the last two decades. Starting in 2001 when the first graduate course in medical imaging was offered, this effort has grown into four routinely offered graduate courses, a dedicated graduate specialization in Medical Imaging, as well as recently hosting a successful NSERC CREATE* program.

From its inception, the research effort of the Department of Radiology has involved the training, through research, of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. Our image scientists typically directly supervise between 2 to 8 trainees, often augmented in the summer by 1-3 summer students. Currently there are approximately 40 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, plus numerous undergraduate students conducting research in the Department. Our graduate training efforts are in full partnership with a number of graduate programs, primarily including Biomedical Engineering, Medical Science and Neurosciences. The Department hosts a vibrant Advanced Imaging Seminar Series weekly from September to June and each spring, it plays host to the Alberta Imaging Symposium, a research symposium that attracts over 150 attendees primarily from Alberta universities and medical imaging industry. 

Faculty members in Radiology routinely offer graduate courses under the MDSC 689 course family. These include:

•    MDSC 689.01 – Medical Imaging Techniques
•    MDSC 689.02 – Advanced MR Imaging
•    MDSC 689.03 – Advanced Medical Image Processing
•    MDSC 689.11 –Medical Imaging Applications

Two other graduate courses have been offered in the past decade – MDSC 689.04 – Advanced Molecular Imaging (twice) and MDSC 689.10 – Medical Imaging Theory (twice), and may be offered in the future.

The Medical Imaging Graduate Specialization (MEDI) is coordinated by the Department and is offered to MSc and PhD students in the Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Medical Sciences, Neurosciences, Psychology and Physics and Astronomy graduate programs. Each year, approximately 10-15 graduate trainees enrol in this program, primarily through Biomedical Engineering. To be awarded the specialization students must complete course work (MSc: MDSC 689.10 and one of MDSC 689.10 or 689.11; PhD: MSc course plus one additional Medical Imaging course), attend and present annually in the Advanced Imaging Seminar, and produce and successfully defend an appropriate thesis on a medical imaging topic.

From 2012-2018, the Department hosted a Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) program grant from NSERC. Our CREATE International and Industrial Imaging Training (I3T) Program was extremely successful in further enhancing the research training efforts within medical imaging. With NSERC funds, we were able to partially support, for 1-year periods, over 140 trainees – 15 undergraduates, 85 graduate students (both MSc and PhD) and 43 postdoctoral fellows. Additionally, the CREATE I3T program supported 21 trainees exchanges from Calgary and 4 international trainees exchanges to Calgary, three multi-day workshops, and a unique professional skills development program. 

Radiology Residency Training Program

The goal of the Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program at the University of Calgary is to prepare the next generation of physicians to become highly skilled clinical radiologists while also teaching the skills required to excel in research, education, and innovation in the field of diagnostic imaging. 

Each year the Diagnostic Radiology residency program at the University of Calgary accepts 5 incoming residents through the CaRMS match and currently there are 27 residents in training. Over the past 10 years the number of positions has remained fairly constant, fluctuating slightly from a minimum of 4 residents per year to a maximum of 6 residents per year to meet ongoing demands in the practice of Diagnostic Radiology and changes to the standards of training from the Royal College.

The University of Calgary Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program is a dynamic, resident driven program with state of the art facilities, subspecialty-trained staff and exposure to a wide spectrum of pathology. There are many specific features that draw exceptional candidates from across the country to train here in Calgary. First, the Diagnostic Radiology Visiting Professor program has been a huge success over the years. World-renowned experts in radiology and authors of the classic and innovative textbooks fundamental to radiology are invited 3-4 times per year to teach the residents over a two-day period.

All residents are excused from their clinical duties to attend. This allows the residents to be taught by experts and access the best radiology teachers and educators in the world. It also allows residents to connect with experts from major teaching centres, which has opened doors to highly competitive fellowships in the past. Over the past few years our residents have successfully obtained fellowships at Harvard University, Stanford University, the University of Washington, the Barrow Neurological Institute, University of Toronto, University of Ottawa, University of Calgary, University of Alberta, University of Halifax, among others. Second, the University of Calgary Diagnostic Radiology program is the only training program in the country to offer a Senior Resident Radiology Clinic in which a senior resident has the opportunity to work independently, as the only physician on site, in a community radiology clinic. This opportunity allows senior residents to gain confidence and independence as they transition to their role as a radiologist with appropriate staff back up available if needed. Additionally, this clinic allows for exposure to fundamental community radiology that is often a large component of a radiologists practice but may not be otherwise represented through training that typically occurs in tertiary referral hospitals. Innovations like the Senior Resident Radiology Clinic will be important components in the future as Diagnostic Radiology programs across Canada transition to Competency Based Medical Education. 

Participation in scholarly work is a mandatory component of radiology residency training at the University of Calgary. Each resident will undertake two projects during the course of their training. The first mandatory requirement is an audit project. This is fundamentally a quality assurance/improvement (QA/QI) exercise, but also serves as an introduction to research techniques, including data gathering, analysis, and presentation. This is typically presented at the end of the PGY2 year at the annual Department of Radiology Research Day, but presentation at a conference or publication is also encouraged if applicable. The second mandatory requirement is a formal investigative project, preferably hypothesis driven research, with the aim for publication in a refereed radiology journal or presentation at a major radiology conference in North America. This is also typically presented at the end of the PGY4 year at the annual Department of Radiology Research Day. Through close ties with our clinical counterparts in various subspecialty areas of Radiology and in collaboration with the Division of Imaging Science, there are many research opportunities available to trainees. Depending of their level of interest, many residents participate in multiple research projects during their training. The Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program and Post Graduate Medical Education Office assists with the costs of travel and accommodations for any resident that has had their work accepted for presentation at major conferences.

Clinical Fellowship Programs

Currently, the University of Calgary Radiology Fellowship program offers a broad spectrum of fellowship positions in almost all programs with the annual number of applications and enrollment increasing. Our fellows come from across the globe, currently split 1/3 : 2/3 between Canadian Medical Graduates and International Medical Graduates. The program underwent a recent amalgamation of administration with the residency program, which has led to uninform processes and policies with cross pollination and coordination of activities between multiple training levels. Fellows currently train at Foothills Medical Centre (including the Tom Baker Cancer Centre) and Alberta Children’s Hospital, providing a subspecialty practice environment and a breadth of scholarly activities and academic rounds within a given radiology subspecialty. Currently, only the Neuroradiology Fellowship program is RCPSC accredited. While the Neuroradiology program is the second largest in Canada and best known for a well-established research and training environment, the other programs are smaller and less well known outside of the region as many have only started within the last 5 years and do not have the same profile as an accredited program. 

In the future, the fellowship program will continue to develop formal curricula for each subspecialty area, further defining educational goals, objectives and evaluation methods. We will prioritize seeking RCPSC accreditation for our all programs as more radiology subspecialties become accredited by the Royal College. We will also strive to raise the profile of the non-accredited programs by encouraging and facilitating Faculty development, increasing research involvement and enhancing international exposure by way of publications, presentations, and web presence.

Through our Faculty’s commitment to education, continuously growing patient population, excellent infrastructure and well-trained fellows, who will serve as ambassadors for our programs, we have all of the ingredients to build one of the best radiology fellowship programs in Canada. 
The Department of Radiology currently offers the following clinical fellowship opportunities:

•    Abdominal/Body Imaging
•    Body Interventional
•    Cardiac and Thoracic Imaging
•    Diagnostic Neuroradiology*
•    Emergency Radiology
•    Interventional Neuroradiology
•    Musculoskeletal Imaging
•    Obstetrical/Fetal Imaging
•    Pediatric Radiology

* Fully accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada