Academic Curriculum

The University of Alberta Family Medicine Academic Program consists of a two-year longitudinal curriculum designed to complement the learning residents receive through their clinical rotations to ensure resident competency in family medicine upon graduation. The academic program is overseen by the Academic Planning Group, whose members include a diverse mix of residents and faculty members and is chaired by the Academic Coordinators and Program Director. 

The core of our academic program has three components:

  1. Foundations Course
  2. Monthly Academic Day
  3. Behavioral Medicine

Additionally, residents will have opportunity to obtain knowledge in different workshops throughout the year, including the Evidence Based Medicine workshop, Wilderness Medicine Retreat, Women’s Health workshop, Simulation Club and FREzER (our annual retreat in Jasper). They will also receive teaching at the quarterly Grand Rounds and locally at their Family Medicine sites.

Foundations Course

July 2017 will be the inaugural year for our two-day Foundations Course.  The overall goals of the Foundations Course are as follows:

  • Start building collegial relationships with their colleagues and the Department of Family Medicine
  • Start to build their own identity as Family Medicine physicians and build a connection to Family Medicine
  • Develop skills needed to operate as a Family Medicine Resident in Urban and Rural Settings Alberta (R1s and R2s)
  • Participate in workshops to learn procedural skills (R1s) and advanced Family Medicine skills (R2s)

The curriculum for the Foundations Course was built based on resident and faculty feedback and will cover the following:

  • Orientation for R1s
  • Emerging topics
  • MAID
  • Patient’s Medical Home
  • Opioid Prescribing
  • Key Family Medicine Skills for R1s
  • Periodic Health Exam
  • Forms
  • Advanced Care Planning
  • Documentation/Consultation Letters
  • Procedural skills workshops
  • Key skills for treating the acute patient
  • Approach to emergent scenarios
  • ECGs
  • Radiology
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy workshop for R2s
  • Team building and social time

Monthly Academic Day

The monthly academic day is broken down into 24 different topics over the two-year residency program.  Each day is composed of a small group interactive portion and a large group didactic learning portion.  Small group activities include Problem Based Small Group learning modules (McMaster modules), journal article reviews, ethics case reviews and practice exam questions.  The didactic lectures are intended to be family medicine focused presentations given by family physicians, specialists and other allied health professionals.   

Behavioural Medicine

The Behavioral Medicine is an umbrella that covers three facets of residency training:

  • Communication Skills
  • Mental Health Teaching
  • Resilience Training and Physician Wellness

Behavioral Medicine teaching spans the two-year residency program, and is covered in various ways as described in the table below.  Six Behavioral Medicine workshops are scheduled into the first year block-time rotation, which focus on teaching advanced communication skills.