Department of Medicine

Core Internal Medicine

Welcome from the Director, Postgraduate Medical Education

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, the Grey Nuns, and the Misericordia.), 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. Darryl Rolfson
Residency Program Director, Core Internal Medicine, University of Alberta