Geriatric Medicine Program Highlights

The Division of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Alberta is a very collegial one that focuses on providing excellent academic, clinical and educational opportunities.

This 2 year subspeciality program in Geriatric medicine follows 3 years of core Internal Medicine training, and is approved by the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada.  Subspecialty trainees spend their 1st year learning the basics of geriatric medicine including assessment and management of acute and chronic illness presenting on older people, the comprehensive geriatric assessment, management of common geriatric syndromes and the medicolegal aspects of geriatric practice, working closely with the interdisciplinary team. This is accomplished by spending time in inpatient Acute Care of the Elderly units (ACE), consultative work in a hospital setting and in outpatient care. Consultative experience to remote communities through telehealth consultation is also available. 

In addition, in their 1st year, the subspecialty resident spends 2 months in Geriatric Psychiatry and Geriatric ambulatory clinics.  Exposure to seniors in an ambulatory setting also occurs throughout the 2 years of training. Additionally, one month each is spent in Stroke rehabilitation, Geriatric rehabilitation and in Long term care in the 1st year of training.

The 2nd year is geared to the resident’s interests and career goals with the option of selecting from a wide variety of elective opportunities including movement disorder clinics, continence clinics, rheumatology, dermatology, ophthalmology and outreach to name but a few.

A community outreach experience also occurs in the 2nd year and involves participation in home visits, day programs, a community hospital and potentially a rural setting with Geriatricians outwith Edmonton. During their 2nd year, the resident will have further exposure to the acutely ill older person in the ACE units and in inpatient consultations where a more independent role is expected such that the resident functions as a junior consultant.

The internist geriatricians have a wide variety of research interests including osteoporosis, falls, dementia, postural hypotension and urinary incontinence. The resident is expected, under supervision, to take a significant role in a research project during their training, leading to successful publication. Residents are encouraged to present their research findings at Resident Research Day & Geriatric Grand Rounds. In addition, the resident will participate in a quality improvement project during their training.

An academic half day is organized every Tuesday afternoon to provide structured educational activities. This includes Geriatric Grand Rounds and interactive sessions on selected geriatric syndromes. Journal club, Clinical skills teaching and presentations by the Geriatric Medicine resident, Care of the Elderly resident and rotating Internal Medicine residents are also given at this time. Administrative lectures encompassing many of the CanMEDS roles are provided during the residency.