Clinical Curriculum

Horizontal Programming

In order to emphasize the self-directed lifelong learning aspects of the specialty of Family Medicine, U of A has structured the PGY1 Family Medicine Blocktime of 24 weeks to include opportunities – both mandatory and elective – for the resident to integrate educational sessions throughout the clinical learning experience. Such horizontal integration is encouraged and supported in the rest of the Residency too, but it is anticipated that this semi-structured requirement of PGY1 Blocktime will inspire the individual continuation of similar Resident initiatives.

Elective Guidelines

Elective time, both block and horizontal, is prioritized for use to:

  • Satisfy unmet program objectives due to time lost to leaves, etc.
  • Complete remedial specifications.
  • Accomplish Integrated program objectives.
  • Add to personal skills.
  • Explore practice and personal geographic options.

Elective Time

Elective time can increase if you successfully complete integrated options. Common Elective Choices for PGY2 are:

  • Anesthesiology
  • Cardiology
  • Child Psychiatry
  • Dermatology*
  • Diabetic Metabolic Clinic
  • Emergency Medicine*
  • Hypnotherapy
  • ICU
  • Inner City Health
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology Ophthalmology*
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Radiology


A four-week Selective can be done instead of four weeks of Family Medicine in PGY2. A Selective is an experience which is not a core four-week rotation, but can be useful to expand on skills for a comprehensive scope of practice.

Selective Choices:

  • Advanced Obstetrics
  • ICU
  • Long Term Care
  • Primary Care Hospital Team (PCHT) or Hospital Care Team (HCT)
  • Palliative Care
  • Anesthesia

International and Other Global Health Electives must follow PGME and University of Alberta policies, must be arranged with guidance with of the DoFM and Global health initiative. They are all subject to review and approval of the Program Director.