Care of the Elderly

Welcome to the Care of the Elderly Diploma Program at the University of Alberta.














Interview/CaRMS Specific Information 

See for interview dates and deadlines.

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.

The CoE program is suited for those who want to refine and extend their skills and increase their involvement in the care of the elderly in their practice. A successful applicant will be a physician with an interest in enhancing their skills, knowledge and experience in caring for older, often frail patients. The applicant may be at a variety of stages within their career, from just finishing the family medicine residency training to an experienced community family physician.

dr.lesley charlesi.jpg

Dr. Lesley Charles
Program Director

Welcome to Our Program

Our mission is to promote excellence in the care of the elderly through teaching at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate level, and through research and innovation, and the practice and promotion of best-practice clinical care.

Our program provides an academic home and support base for Care of the Elderly residents, who will graduate prepared to provide expertise and support in the care of the elderly to family physicians in a variety of settings throughout urban and rural Alberta. 

We are please to provide a core program offering a broad range of  experiences, including:

  • Inpatient Assessment (on an Inpatient Assessment Unit)
  • Rehabilitation (on a Rehabilitation Unit)
  • Consultative Geriatrics
  • Outpatient Clinics
  • Geriatric Psychiatry
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Continuing Care including Supportive Living
  • Home living and community care
  • Palliative Care
  • Research (through completion of a formalized research project)

The program is accredited by the College of Family Physicians of Canada and is offered in both a one-year and six months formats. The six month program is offered to rural physicians and physicians currently in practice who are returning to their area of practice.

We look forward to being a part of your healthcare career journey.

Entry into the COE program is contingent on successful completion of the Certification in the College of Family Physicians (CCFP)

We look forward to being a part of your healthcare career journey.

Dr. Lesley Charles 
Program Director

Our Program

The Care of the Elderly (CoE) is an Enhanced Skills Program accredited by The College of Family Physicians. The program is directed toward care of frail elderly in the context of care of seniors generally, and toward preventing frailty. The program is suited for those who want to refine and extend their skills and increase their involvement in the care of the elderly in their practice.

Program Highlights

The program is a part of the Department of Family Medicine's Division of Care of the Elderly

The program benefits from strong partnerships with other medical subspecialties and community-based organizations


Research opportunities are available through the Division of Care of the Elderly's robust research program

The program offers insight into innovative ways to deliver care to both rural and remote communities

Opportunities for teaching, as well as administration and program development are available and encouraged

Graduates of the program work in a complex, challenging, and fulfilling area of medicine

Residency at a Glance


There are two options of program length: one year and six months. The six month program is offered to  physicians currently in practice who are returning to their area of practice.

Program length of training does not exceed the Royal College or College of Family Physicians of Canada standard.

Funding + Additional Info 


To enhance the skills of family physicians in caring for older, often frail, patients. The program is directed by the Can-MEDS Family Medicine roles of: 

Health advocate, Scholar, Professional, FM expert, Manager, Communicator, Collaborator

Care of the Elderly Diploma Program Fact Sheet

Click here to download the Care of the Elderly Diploma Program fact sheet.

Program Supports


  • Weekly, bimonthly feedback is encouraged using CBAS and miniCEX evaluation forms
  • A mentor is assigned to each Resident upon entry in to the program as an additional support person
  • Quarterly RPC meetings are held, whereby all COE Residents and Competence Committee attend

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the six month and one year programs?

Both programs must meet the same competency, but each has a different application process:

  • Applying immediately following residency requires application through the CaRMS process.  
  • Applying following six to 12 months can be done via this application. 
Can I attend conferences such as Canadian Geriatrics Society Conference and Geriatric Medicine Conference?
Yes, this is strongly encouraged.

Resident Testimonials

We asked our residents what they like about Edmonton, their highlights of the program, and one piece of advice for applicants about the interview process. Here is what a few of them had to say.

aran yukseloglu

What are the highlights of the program for you? There is a strong sense of collegiality as well as a drive for knowledge and excellence rooted within the Care of the Elderly diploma program in University of Alberta. I was impressed by the continuous support and the training I received. Residents are encouraged to enhance their leadership and teaching skills throughout this fellowship. The attendings are extremely knowledgeable yet humble, caring and dedicated to ensuring that your learning objectives are fulfilled. The program director is very supportive and flexible to inclusion of rotations that would best address your professional goals, and the administrative assistance is exceptional at managing schedules even during the turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. I feel extremely privileged to be an alma mater of such a distinguished university and such an incredible program. It all passed too fast!

Nasim Khosrod (Year 1)


aran yukseloglu

What do you like about Edmonton: Having grown up in multiple cities across Canada, Edmonton is one of the most friendly cities I’ve lived in. The people here are down-to-earth and humble. There are amazing restaurants, patios, and annual festivals including the Folk Festival and the Fringe Festival. I live near the Legislature and River Valley, which is a beautiful inner city sprawling greenspace - perfect for running, biking, or walking your dog. The size of the city is great — it’s that perfect in-between size with awesome hospitals, schools, and amenities, but with not very much traffic and a relatively low cost of living. I recommend strongly considering Edmonton for your training!

What are the highlights of the program for you: I completed the 6 months Care of the Elderly Diploma. The program is extremely well planned to maximize your learning experiences through a combination of inpatient rotations and outpatient clinics. The weekly longitudinal outpatient Geriatric Clinic was a highlight for me as it allowed me to work closely with the same staff person each week and become very comfortable performing geriatric assessments for core geriatric presentations, My inpatient rotations at different hospital sites were another highlight. I was afforded the opportunity to manage admitted patients, lead team rounds, and teach medical students and junior residents with appropriate support from staff depending on your progression through the program. Finally, the support from our Program Director and Administrator was fantastic — they quickly rearranged some of the rotations that were impacted by COVID and did their absolute upmost to ensure I felt supported throughout my training.

What is one piece of advice that you want to share with applicants about the interview process: The advice “be yourself,” definitely holds true in this case. The program is looking for hard-working individuals who have a passion for caring for seniors. The interview is a chance for you to introduce yourself to the program and share your interests and goals —  don’t stress too much!

Elizabeth Williams (Recent graduate)