Public Health &




Welcome to the Public Health and Preventive Medicine Residency Program at the University of Alberta.


    2 residents accepted each year. One Canadian and one International Resident. 


    Integrated education between Family Medicine and the Public Health & Preventative Health Programs.


    Program Graduates include current Chief medical officers of health for alberta and Saskatchewan. 

Interview/CaRMS Specific Information 

Interview Information
12/1/2020 Program Descriptions - First Iteration - CaRMS

Details regarding interview dates: Interviews will be held on March 1 and March 19, 2021. Interviews will be conducted online only (ZOOM, etc.).

March 16, 2021
March 17, 2021

Notification/Invitation: Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitationsdirectly to applicants selected for an interview.

Details regarding the interview process: The interview will be approximately 45 minutes. The interviewer is a panel consisting of the residency program director, associate residency program director, one or more preceptor(s) from the residency program, and a resident. The format of the interview includes a set of standardized questions, followed by an opportunity for you to ask questions that you may have about the program.

Who can we contact for more information or to set up electives?

Public Health and Preventive Medicine Program Coordinator
Tel: (780) 492-1366

Specifically, is there a list of residents whom we can call or email?

Chief Residents,
Ekua Amponsah Agyemang,
Samantha Cheuk

Residency Program commitee


MPH Programs
(School of Public Health)

Contact Us

Dr. Karen Lee
Redidency Program Director,
Public Health and Preventive Medicine 

Dr. Alex Doroshenko
Associate Program Director,
Public Health and Preventive Medicine 

Public Health and Preventive Medicine Program Coordinator
Phone: Office: 780-492-1366

5-30 University Terrace
8303-112 Street
Edmonton, AB T6G 2T4

Dr. Karen Lee
Residency Program Director

Dr. Alex Doroshenko
Associate Program Director

Residency Program Coordinator

Welcome to Our Program

Welcome to the Public Health and Preventive Medicine Residency Program in the Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, at the University of Alberta (U of A).

The purpose of this website is to provide you with information about a career path in Public Health and Preventive Medicine and to provide a resource for residency training in Public Health and Preventive Medicine. As each resident has unique needs and aspirations, we encourage you to consult widely so that you can make the most informed possible choice. Residents should refer to the University of Alberta website for information on facilities, registration, fees, etc. As with the other programs at U of A, the Public Health and Preventive Medicine program is part of the Canadian Residency Matching Service (CARMS) process. To access the C a R M S program please see their website.

What is Public Health and Preventive Medicine?

Public Health and Preventive Medicine deals with groups or populations, rather than individuals. Using population health knowledge and skills, the Public Health and Preventive Medicine specialist plays a role in the maintenance and improvement of the health and well-being of the community. This function is accomplished by evaluating the health needs of a population and developing, implementing and assessing programs that meet those needs. Recognition of specialty training in Public Health and Preventive Medicine by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) began in the mid 1970's and specialty certificates are conferred by a dozen programs in Canada.

What do Public Health and Preventive Medicine specialists do?

A specialist in Public Health and Preventive Medicine must be able to:

  1. Assess the health needs of the population by identifying the appropriate information or generating new information that recognizes the interactions of biological, behavioral, social and environmental factors that affect health.
  2. Recognize the strengths and weaknesses inherent in the various measurements of health and characteristics of society and understand the principles of the statistical methods required to summarize and analyze the information.
  3. Set priorities and develop programs to meet the health needs of the population.
  4. Implement programs taking into account the socioeconomic, educational, occupational and political factors that influence the distribution and use of health services. Such program implementation involves a knowledge of health care systems and the ability to take into account their limitations. In addition, it requires both interpersonal and organizational skills and a knowledge of systems theory and management processes.
  5. Develop skills in evaluating programs and in providing consultation to others involved in the planning, management or evaluation of health services.
  6. Maintain competence through continuing education and demonstrate ethical and professional responsibility.

Where do community specialists work?

The Public Health and Preventive Medicine specialist careers include:

  1. the practice of public health at a local, regional, provincial, national or international level;
  2. the planning and administration of health services in institutions or government;
  3. community-oriented clinical practice with an emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention;
  4. the assessment and control of occupational and environmental health problems;
  5. teaching; and
  6. research.

A list of Public Health and Preventive Medicine specialists and their work locations can be found through the National Specialist Society. The University of Alberta Public Health and Preventive Medicine program emphasizes the role of local public health officer and health administration.

Our Program

The University of Alberta Residency Program aims to focus on giving residents the practical experience they need to develop skills to work in all areas of public health and preventive medicine.

2021 Public Health and Preventative Medicine (PHPM) Resident Event
Program Highlights

A focus on the front-line practice of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.


Close/frequent contact with preceptors.


The program has training options with the Occupational Medicine residency program and the School of Public Health.


Wide range of available training options; flexibility to meet individual interests of residents.


Continual exposure to Public Health and Preventative Medicine through Academic Half Day, even during Family Medicine training.


4th and 5th year rotations include: Communical Disease Control, Provincial Lab, Infection Prevention and Control, Chronic Disease Prevention, Injury Prevention, Environemtal Public Health, Health Policy, First Nation & Inuit Health, Rural Public Health, and Senior Management.

Overview Video

Here from our Program Director, Assistant Program Director, and our Co-Chief Residents. They explain the profession of Public Health & Preventative Medicine, and the Residency Program here at the University of Alberta.


0:00 - 7:47 Dr. Karen Lee, Program Director 
7:47 - 9:40 Dr. Alexander Doroshenko, Assistant Program Director
9:40 - 11:35 Dr. Ekua Amponsah Agyemang, Co-Chief Resident
11:35 - 16:09 Dr. Samantha Cheuk, Co-Chief Resident

Residency at a Glance

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

PGY1 and PGY2

Emphasis in the first two years of the Public Health and Preventive Medicine residency is on solidifying clinical and decision making skills which may be obtained by rotations in internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, obstetrics and gynecology, surgery, family medicine or emergency medicine. Some residents may choose to complete the requirements for Family Medicine Certification at the University of Alberta. Selection of one of these is typically done at the time of interviewing for the program.

Clinical rotations

Infectious diseases
This clinical rotation allows the resident to manage a variety of infectious disease under the mentorship of an infectious disease specialist in the setting of hospital consultations and ambulatory care clinics.

This laboratory investigation allows the resident to participate in the routine collection, preparation, isolation and identification of microbiological specimens in a tertiary care/provincial laboratory under the guidance of a microbiologist.

Infection control
This clinical rotation allows residents to participate in nosocomial and community infection control practice (surveillance, isolation practices, quality control, outbreak investigation, contact investigations) within the setting of a tertiary care hospital or community setting.

Occupational medicine
This rotation gives the resident the opportunity to work with an occupational medicine physician.

Communicable Disease Control (CDC) (outbreaks, immunization, notifiable diseases methods, surveillance methods, infectious control)
This rotation provides the resident with a brief introduction to the content and methods of communicable disease control by moving the resident through various assignments with different CDC practitioners.

Environment (air, water, sewage, food, built environments, ICS training, inner city)
This rotation allows the resident to experience the various components of environmental health by spending time with environmental health officers and attending a series of site visits.

Travel medicine
This rotation provides the resident with a brief exposure to the prevention of disease in travelers.

STI clinic
This rotation provides the resident with experience in the diagnosis and treatment of STI within the setting of a STI clinic.

TB clinic
This rotation allows the resident to diagnose and treat patients referred to a provincial TB clinic for Northern Alberta. As well residents will be exposed to the methods of contact tracing and TB screening.

Clinical rotations in STD/HIV, tuberculosis, and international travel, provide an experiential focus for these important public health topics, plus an opportunity to examine how services are planned and delivered on a regional population basis.

Residents can apply to do their coursework at the University of Alberta's School of Public Health that leads to a Masters in Public Health (MPH). Information concerning the MPH program streams can be accessed at The PGY3 year includes protected time for both coursework and practicum as well as some clinical rotations.
PGY4 and PGY5

Clinical Rotations

Inner City Health
The rotation provides the resident with experience in dealing with the issues facing the urban disadvantaged population.

Aboriginal Health/Multicultural Health
The rotation provides the resident with experience in dealing with the contemporary aboriginal and multicultural health issues. 

Rural Public Health
This rotation provides the resident with experience in working in a rural public health setting.

Provincial Public Health
This rotation provides the resident with the experience of public health at the provincial level with mandates for notifiable disease collection, analysis and reporting; policy formation, inter and intra provincial communications, liaison with regional public health offices.

Environmental Health
The rotation provides the resident the opportunity to work in local and provincial department of public health environment and understand how to apply the knowledge acquired in the academic year.

Communicable Disease Control (CDC)
To understand how to assess and manage an environmental health issue. The rotation provides the resident with exposure in communicable disease control in local as well as provincial public health departments. The resident works with Medical Officers of Health, epidemiologists, public health nurses and environmental health officers in dealing with control of vaccine preventable diseases, enteric infections, bloodborne pathogens, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases, travel-related illnesses and others of public health significance.

Health Status Assessment and Reporting
During this rotation the resident works with staff that produce health status/health needs reports.

Health Promotion/Disease Prevention
During this rotation the resident works with preceptors to develop and implement a health promotion approach to community health issues(s).

Health Planning
This rotation gives the resident experience in program planning in a Zone (regional) health authority setting.

Risk Communication and Media Relations
This rotation provides the resident with the opportunity to apply the concepts learned in the academic course work.

Disaster/Emergency Response Planning
This rotation provides the resident with the experience in planning for mass casualty events including bioterrorism and pandemic influenza.

Health Policy/Advocacy
The rotation builds upon the health promotion rotation and provides more specific experiences in policy and advocacy.

Management of Public Health Programs
This rotation provides the resident with experience of "shadowing" a senior manager in a public health department.

Field Experience and Placement Sites

The Public Health and Preventive Medicine program at the University of Alberta offers a broad range of clinical, academic, and field experiences and placement sites, including:

Academic Half Days

Every Friday afternoon from 1:00-4:30pm. Our Academic Half Days include:

  • Guest speaker presentations
  • Resident presentations
  • Basic epidemiology and infectious diseases
  • Management
  • Journal Club
  • Mock Exams, practice questions and reviews

*Currently, all academic half days are via Zoom (virtual)

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some strengths about your specialty? What draws and keeps people in your specialty?

The focus on population health, prevention or early intervention in disease processes.

There are extensive opportunities to collaborate with other professionals and provide physician leadership in program and/or policy development and evaluation and research – every day is different! Opportunities for broad health impacts through programs and policies (eg. vaccination program that have prevented and eliminated diseases).

What are some common complaints about your specialty?

Direct patient care work can be limited, depending on the type of work chosen within the specialty.

Why did you choose your specialty?
  • Opportunity to be proactive and deal with preventing problems/disease.
  • Opportunity for large-scale health impacts across the population.
What types of clinical cases do you commonly see?

Although there are opportunities for direct patient work (e.g. in community clinics or specialized clinics i.e. STI, TB, Inner City medicine, Travel), the specialty is focused on dealing with the needs and problems in populations or groups of people. So instead of a stethescope and lab tests we are using population diagnostic tools such as epidemiology, to study trends and risk factors in diseases and instead of individual treatments,we provide programs and policies to improve population health outcomes.

Because a set of infectious diseases are reportable to Public health, we deal routinely with these diseases that are reportable (eg. TB, STIs, travel medicine, foodborne/waterborne illnesses), and environmental exposures; however, injuries and non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cardiac disease, cancers and smoking-, nutrition- and sedentary-related illnesses are also dealt with through a population-based approach (surveillance,disease prevention, health promotion).

Briefly describe a typical day.
  • Consulting with physicians, nurses and other professionals on public health issues.
  • Responding to infectious disease outbreaks by working with a team of professionals investigating and working to control the outbreak.
  • Chairing meetings, such as on emergency planning and management.
  • Meeting with staff to plan for chronic disease prevention program
  • Clinical work.
  • Research / literature search / policy review.
  • Help lead the response to emerging public health threats.
What are the varieties of lifestyles within your field?
  • Very flexible and accommodates varying needs.
  • Primarily office hours in addition to on call taken from home.
Specifically, how able is your specialty to accommodate family life?
Most of the work is done during office hours on weekdays.
After hours call is taken from home, and most emergency issues can be dealt with from home by phone.
Opportunities for part-time work, including patient-care duties.
Range of incomes?
Most positions are salaried and include health benefit plans, vacation, pensions, etc.
Salary range: $200,000 to $400,000, depending on years of practice and position, plus benefits which are considered to be about 20% of salary.
Patient-care work would be added onto this base salary.
How do you see your discipline changing over the next decade?

Continued demand for Medical Officers of Health.

Over the next ten years, there will be more demand for public health and preventive medicine specialists to work in areas outside of traditional public health roles, for example in Primary Care Networks / Family Care Clinics, community clinics, or as medical administrators.

Emergency areas (infection control, emergency preparedness) will offer new career choices.

Increasing work in Chronic Disease Prevention and Healthy Built Environments to address high and growing burdens of non-communicable diseases.

Academic positions may also be available.

Residency Program Questions

What are you looking for specifically in an impressive candidate?
  • Self starter who is able to use or adapt current resources and shape them in order to meet a different needs.
  • Can consider issues form a broader perspective – system or population level.
  • Knows how to ask and answer question.
  • Demonstrates interest in specialty through his/her electives.
  • Thrives in muti-disciplinary environment.
What can a potential candidate do now in order to be an appealing applicant to your program?
  • Do one or more electives in public health and preventive medicine.
  • Do an elective in related disciplines, e.g. inner city health, travel medicine, TB clinic, STI, Indigenous health, etc.
  • Demonstrate an ability to work within a complicated organization.
  • Demonstrate leadership/managerial talent.
  • Demonstrate orientation to prevention and population health.
  • Volunteer with a community agency.
What is your residency program’s orientation and focus?
The focus of the rotations will be to give the residents as much "hands on" experience as possible while still maintaining an academic focus. For most rotations. the residents are expected to write a brief paper or complete a dedicated project while also participating actively in the day-to-day work at the rotation site.
What is the availability of experiences in subspecialty areas during training?

Subspecialties do not specifically exist in public health and preventive medicine. However, some rotations and electives can be shaped to help to increase focus on a resident's areas of interest. Additional training in Field Epidemiology may be available through Public Health Agency of Canada.

Note: Occupational Medicine is now a subspecialty residency program that can be applied to by those completing internal medicine or PHPM.

Are there sufficient elective opportunities during training to explore your special interests?
For residents with interest in additional electives the MPH Practicum Project can be streamlined to meet some rotation requirements to allow some additional elective time.
What is the on-call schedule during each year of residency?
During family medicine and clinical rotations, call will be in-house, following the practices of the specific rotation.
Public Health and Preventive Medicine call will normally commence in the PGY-3 year. Call is typically
home call, and conforms to PARA requirements.
What distinguishes the U of A program from other programs?
The program has a focus on practical application of public health and preventive medicine skills. There are opportunities for working with U of A program faculty with strong expertise in both communicable diseases and non-communicable disease prevention and control.
Residents are directly involved at an early stage in their career planning. This program is housed in the Division of Preventive Medicine, alongside Occupational Medicine. PHPM residents participate in
Occupational Medicine rotations (one of only two programs in Canada).
How competitive is it to get in, and then to succeed in your field?
Recently, there have been approximately 25 – 40 applicants for the two Public Health and Preventive
Medicine positions through CaRMS/AIMG. All graduates of the University of Alberta PHPM program have been successful in finding jobs utilizing their training.
What local, national or international conferences would be of benefit to candidates interested in your residency program?
  • Canadian Public Health Association annual meeting
  • American Public Health Association Conferences
  • Canadian Immunization Conference
  • Practice Management Institute courses through the CMA