Program Curriculum Overview

Our 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 education 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 (urban sites only)
  2. Monthly Academic Day
  3. Behavioural 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.

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.


Click here for a list of general horizontals.



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 can increase if you successfully complete integrated options.

Common Electives for PGY2: 

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

*indicates most commonly requested


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
  • Continuing Care
  • Palliative Care
  • Anesthesia
  • Primary Care Hospital Team (PCHT) or Hospital Care Team (HCT)