Core Internal Medicine Residency Program

Welcome to the Core Internal Medicine Residency Program at the University of Alberta.

Interview/CaRMS Specific Information 

Check out the dates on the CANPREPP portal.

All interviews will be conducted virtually using Zoom as our interview platform.


Quick Links

CIM Google Site

Contact Us 

Dr. Thirza Carpenter
Internal Medicine Program Director

Doris Kurtz
Team Lead, Office of Medical Education

Kelly Bandla
Medical Education Program Coordinator
Core Internal Medicine, Administrative Services

Jennifer Aquin
Medical Education Program Coordinator
Core Internal Medicine, Administrative Services

Amanda Blouin
Medical Education Program Coordinator
Core Internal Medicine, Administrative Services


Portrait of Thirza Carpenter

Dr. Thirza Carpenter
Program Director

Welcome from the Internal Medicine Program Director

Core Internal Medicine in Canada is a three-year program which serves as a foundation for entering into a number of specialty training programs, including General Internal Medicine itself. The University of Alberta offers subspecialty training in Cardiology, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Geriatric Medicine, General Internal Medicine, Hematology, Infectious Diseases, Nephrology, Occupational Medicine, Medical Oncology, Pulmonary Medicine, and Rheumatology.

The Core program is designed to meet the educational needs of learners with diverse backgrounds and a wide range of career aspirations. Our primary mission is to inspire and support residents as they strive for excellence as medical experts, communicators, collaborators, managers, health advocates, scholars, and professionals. We understand that direct patient interactions with appropriate supervision is the most powerful setting for training, and aim to harness this in our academic program and assessment practices. We also want to foster safe learning environments, comprised of physicians and teams who model what we hope to teach. The overall goals of our program are structured around the CanMEDS roles, and provide annual anchors of progression in medical expertise from reporter to interpreter to manager to educator. We encourage research excellence during the second and third year of residency. We encourage all residents to develop their skills in teaching and provide opportunities for residents to nurture career paths in educational scholarship.

Residents in Core Internal Medicine are mentored, supervised and evaluated by over 200 faculty affiliated with the Department of Medicine representing five Edmonton teaching hospitals (University of Alberta, the Cross Cancer Institute, the Royal Alexandra, and the Grey Nuns.), and other community settings including St. Albert, Red Deer, Grande Prairie, and Yellowknife.

Nothing can replace the rich mixture of clinical practice, apprenticeship, skill acquisition and formal study that comprise the learning experience of residents. However, we also work diligently to ensure that all residents have every advantage of innovations in teaching (including simulation, podcasting, and tracking of clinical experience), and evaluation (including direct observation, structured feedback, mini-CEX, OSCE, Multisource feedback,). Patients, families, health care teams and supervising physicians also have high expectations of our residents in return. Provision of service is a fundamental part of the program. Residents who harness their experiences by regularly reflecting on their performance and seeking feedback gain the most out of these short three years. Expert clinical reasoning skills and judgment are the hallmark of a competent internist, and are the natural result of extensive patient contact and rich interactions with supervising staff physicians.

We also strive to be leaders in physician health and well-being. We endorse the philosophy that excellence in residency training and career depends on successful attention to physical and mental health and personal relationships. Amidst the rigors of residency training, the core program supports a number of social activities intended to encourage the physician and family health. I personally am committed to meet with our residents one-on-one regularly and at any time to help coach them through anything that might prevent them from deriving maximal benefit from the residency training experience. Sometimes, it will mean acting as an advocate for residents. At other times, it may mean discussing sensitive personal or learning issues which are recurring in their residency experience. Residents also may seek advice from the Learning Advocacy and Wellness Office, House Staff Well Being Committee, the Chief Resident(s), Medical Education Manager, or the Medical Education Program Assistants.

I am happy to meet one-on-one with anyone who is interested in learning more about our program.

Dr. Thirza Carpenter
Residency Program Director, Core Internal Medicine, University of Alberta

Our Program

We are a fully accredited program that follows the guidelines set out by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. 

Program Highlights


Dedicated program leadership - The program director has protected time and is well supported by many administrative staff.


Effective Resident Assessment Program - Formal annual practice orals and OSCEs, personalized feedback and a Resident Development Committee.


Program is logically designed with graduated responsibility, while also allowing for resident choice in their rotations and education.

The program is highly responsive to resident input.

Strong relationships between residents and staff.

The curriculum has been mapped in detail to Royal College objectives and is a leader in Competency by Design.

Residency at a Glance

Learn about each year of the program with an overview of each year.

  • CTU Junior x 3
  • Cardiology Ward Junior
  • Nephrology
  • Pulmonary
  • Hematology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Night Pool
  • Ambulatory Block
  • Selectives x 4
  • Vacation
  • ICU x2
  • CCU
  • GIM Consult Service
  • Night Pool
  • Ambulatory Block
  • CTU Senior
  • Rural GIM
  • MCT Rotation
  • Electives x 2
  • Selectives x 2
  • Vacation
  • CTU Senior x 2
  • GIM Consult/Service
  • Night Pool
  • GIM Community Selective
  • CTU Community Senior
  • Ambulatory Block
  • CanMEDS
  • Electives
  • Selectives x 5
  • Short Selective
  • Royal College Study Time
  • Vacation

Teaching Hospitals

We are a fully accredited program that follows the guidelines set out by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. 

University of Alberta Hospital 

Royal Alexandra Hospital 

Grey Nuns Community Hospital

UAH and STARS helicopter


  • Cardiology
  • Endocrinology and Metabolism
  • Gastroenterology
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • General Internal Medicine
  • Hematology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Nephrology
  • Occupational Medicine
  • Medical Oncology
  • Pulmonary Medicine
  • Rheumatology

Frequently Asked Questions

What are you looking specifically in an impressive candidate?

Our program is seeking collegial applicants with clearly demonstrated strong interpersonal and team skills. We are looking for enthusiastic, well rounded applicants who have had a variety of experiences not only in Medicine but in the arts, team sports, and community service.

We want leaders and applicants with a true passion for Medicine as evidenced by an eclectic mix of electives which may include Obstetrics and Gynecology, Anesthesia, Rural Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine and/or its subspecialties, etc.

How is your residency program organized?
  • See our Residency at a Glance section
  • In addition to the first 3 years, we strongly support a PGY4 year within the Core Internal Medicine residency program.
  • For PGY4s wishing to complete a sub-specialty residency program, we offer all subspecialty  program except for Palliative Care and Allergy & Immunology. Further fellowship training after fifth year is also available depending on your area of interest – examples: Pulmonary Transplant fellowships, Interventional Cardiology, research, etc
  • Our focus is on providing a wide range of experiences for residents to prepare them for their future careers, whatever your path may be.
What is your residency program's orientation and focus?
  • We encourage and support scholarly work for those who wish to pursue it, while providing ample opportunity for rural community based training. Residents have also had the opportunity to participate in international health experiences.
  • We provide strong in-patient training in acute care medicine and many sub-specialties so that graduates are comfortable with critically ill patients.
  • We provide ambulatory care experiences in all three years of training so residents are prepared to provide care for patients in all care setting and can make an informed decision on their future career.
What is the availability of experiences in sub-specialty areas during training?
  • Excellent sub-specialty training with great teaching.
  • All sub-specialties are available at the U of A, with the exception of Clinical Pharmacology and Adult Genetics.
What is resident satisfaction?

Most residents are very happy with the program at U of A. Morale is high as our Program Director, Admin Team and Chief Residents actively support the residents and continually respond to resident feedback. It is definitely a program with a solid foundation, yet always seeking to make positive changes.

Are there sufficient elective opportunities during the training to explore your special interests?
Yes, residents get 2 months of elective time in 2nd year and 1 month in third year which can be used for almost any rotation, including travel to other Canadian provinces or overseas locations, as well as several months of selective time which can be used in any of the Internal Medicine sub-specialties.
What is the on-call schedule during each of the residency years?
  • Because of our Night Float and Night Pool system, 1 in 4 in house call (or less) is limited to Junior Medicine rotations, cardiology and critical care. Most other subspecialty rotations will have you complete 2-3 in house weekend call and a few late stays per rotation (hematology, GI, nephrology, respirology), or home call (ID, rheumatology, etc).
  • Night Pool: A 2 week weekday team overnight rotation which provides coverage for our core subspecialty services (hematology, GI, nephrology, respirology); PGY1-3 participate.
  • Night Float: A 2 week weekday overnight rotation which provides senior Medicine coverage; late PGY2/PGY3s participate.
What distinguishes the University of Alberta from other programs?
  • Very well structured with adequate supervision in the early years and graded responsibility in the more senior years.
  • Exceptional program director - willing to make changes and a true resident advocate.
  • Excellent teaching with morning and noon sessions and a well-structured academic half-day, with protected time for academic sessions.
  • Ample opportunity for rural selectives and electives and international electives.
  • Clinical teachers are beyond comparison!
  • Ample research opportunity and support for residents interested in research.
  • Exposure to transplant medicine; and a large catchment area makes for interesting and rare cases.
  • CBME fully implemented, with over 4000 EPAs completed in 2019/20.
  • Full accreditation with NO WEAKNESSES cited on our 2017 Royal College review. Next Royal College Review not until 2025.
  • This is one of the strongest Internal Medicine programs in the country
How competitive is it to get in, and then to succeed in your field?
  • In 2020, we accepted 27 Canadian PGY-1 residents per year, 3 Gulf State resident and 6 international medical graduates from Alberta (AIMG).
  • We have 300+ applications
Is there an active and/or required research in your residency program?
  • Some form of scholarly activity is strongly encouraged, but the form this takes is very flexible e.g. clinical or lab based research, quality improvement, medical education, ethics.  A one month research selective is also encouraged, and more time may be granted if it is applied for, and approved by the research committee.  Elective time may also be used for research.
What role does research play in your career?
  • Research plays a large role - (as much as 90% of your time), or a very minimal role, but internists must have a reasonable understanding of how to interpret the literature in order to keep up to date with their future practices

Resident Testimonials

We asked our residents what they like about Edmonton, their highlights of the program, and one piece of advice for applicants about the interview process. Here is what a few of them had to say.


What do you like about Edmonton: Edmonton is super underrated! Sure the winters may be cold, but the summers are awesome. There are numerous festivals throughout the year. The river valley and its parks and trails are beautiful for walking, running, and biking. Edmonton is also a great place for foodies. There are several top notch award winning restaurants. I love exploring the restaurant and brewery scene in Edmonton. Finally, the people here are friendly and welcoming!

What are the highlights of the program for you: The biggest highlight of the program are the people you encounter. This includes your coresidents, senior residents/fellows, and staff/mentors. The program is a perfect size where it is not too large that you get to know people quite well and get to build relationships with them. Additionally, I love Connect Care, our EMR. It is becoming standardized in Edmonton and, soon enough, all of Alberta. Patient care is so much more efficient.

What is one piece of advice that you want to share with applicants about the interview process: Although it's easier said than done, don't stress too much. Your life will always take you to the place you are meant to be.

– Peter Wang


What do you like about Edmonton: Edmonton is an amazing city! The river valley is beautiful, and there is plenty of opportunity to get outside with Elk Island National Park close by and the Rocky Mountains a 4-hour drive away (great for a weekend trip!). The food and music scene in Edmonton is excellent and there a ton of festivals year-round.

What are the highlights of the program for you: The Core Internal Medicine program in Edmonton trains incredibly strong residents that are comfortable being independent early in their training. Staff and senior residents trust junior learners and give you the opportunity to make management decisions while still feeling supported. Lastly, the residents in this program are incredibly kind, hard-working, and supportive of each other. I feel lucky to get to train in this environment.

What is one piece of advice that you want to share with applicants about the interview process: Everyone says it, because it's true... relax and be yourself! You are an incredibly strong applicant who has worked very hard to get to this point, so show the program who you are and what you have to offer. Letting your personality shine through is so important and something that is often lost in the craziness of the application process.

– Jennifer Croden


What do you like about Edmonton: Having moved from Metro Vancouver 7 years ago, it was a rather seamless transition (except for the winter, but I quickly got used to it and now enjoy the sunny skies in winter!). It has the convenience of a busy city but easy access to suburban & nature. It has lots of food and entertainment options, including escape rooms, board games, sports centres, and bubble tea stores. In addition, the city is constantly improving itself; currently the LRT train system connects North-South, and the new LRT line will connect West-East; the 4 major hospitals should then all be accessible by train!

What are the highlights of the program for you: The program is very open to feedback and does its best to respond to those feedback in a timely manner (e.g. creation of a POCUS team). Further, we receive lots of support with various resident-led initiatives (e.g. Ice Cream Rounds for wellness, medical student teaching events, journal clubs, etc.). Also, our residents make our program amazing! They're not only great at medicine but are friendly & caring (e.g. we had a group of residents who volunteered to provide support to residents/families who were isolated during the COVID pandemic, organized socially distant events to welcome new residents, and baked cookies).

What is one piece of advice that you want to share with applicants about the interview process: Take a deep breath in, breathe out, and relax! While it is an interview, we truly want you to enjoy the process and get to know what our program has to offer. In particular, we have lots of opportunities for you to ask questions to staff & residents so write down your burning questions and ask away.

– Kevin Lee


What do you like about Edmonton: I like that Edmonton has both a small town and city feel, the people are warm and friendly, but it has all the amenities you need. I enjoy taking walks through our beautiful ravine in the summer, ice skating at Hawrelak Park in the winter and trying out new restaurants and activities throughout the year.

What are the highlights of the program for you: I enjoy the family-like feel of the residency cohort as well as program administrators and program director that are involved and personal. Our program has excellent faculty educators and it provides good specialty exposure.

What is one piece of advice that you want to share with applicants about the interview process: Similar to medical school, the purpose of this interview process is to ensure that we are a good fit for you as you are for us. My best advice is always stay true to yourself and showcase your character and personality through your answers. I find I need to relax right before an interview by jamming to my favourite feel good music to get me ready!

– Hamna Tariq


What do you like about Edmonton: The city of Edmonton has a number of great characteristics - don't let native Calgarians like me tell you otherwise! There are plenty of parks and a beautiful river valley to explore. There are plenty of recreational facilities for whatever sports or activities you may enjoy. Finally, as a consummate foodie, there is a pretty good restaurant scene in Edmonton that can cater to whatever taste you may have in mind.

What are the highlights of the program for you: There are several attributes that I want to highlight as strengths of our program. First, the residents are extremely nice and collegial. The medical culture is excellent and I have met some of my closest friends in residency. Second, the attending physicians are overall excellent: keen to teach, very supportive of residents, and fantastic mentors. Finally, the curriculum in Edmonton is very strong, with a fine balance of subspecialty and general medicine exposure throughout residency.

What is one piece of advice that you want to share with applicants about the interview process: Don't be too nervous! The interview process is very relaxed in Edmonton, with very approachable interviewers and residents. I have nothing but fond memories of my interview experience here.

– Jaye Platnich