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Family Medicine

Welcome to the Family Medicine Residency Program - Red Deer at the University of Alberta.

 

Contact Us

Dr. Jack Bromley
Site Co-Director

Dr. Cayla Gilbert
Site Co-Director

Jessica Horvath
Site Administrator
rfmrd@ualberta.ca
403.314.6085


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Site Co-Director

Dr. Jack Bromley

 

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Site Co-Director

Dr. Cayla Gilbert

 

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Site Admin

Jessica Horvath

Our Program

Red Deer is a rural family medicine training stream within the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Alberta. We strongly believe that future rural physicians should train in the setting in which they will practice. The training program is rigorous and comprehensive with acute care rotations to challenge and build confident and competent family medicine practitioners. This community of 100,000 lies within the Edmonton - Calgary corridor, 150 km from both cities. The 390-bed Red Deer Regional Hospital has a full complement of specialists providing care to the roughly 300,000 residents of the region. Family physicians continue to have a key role within the hospital and act as the attending physician for half of all admissions. The city has a thriving recreational base, together with a complete range of cultural and educational activities. Rural family medicine rotations occur at our many rural teaching sites. These sites are generally in medium sized rural communities (5000 - 10000 people) with busy emergency rooms and active surgical and obstetrical programs. Some sites are within close range of the Red Deer home base but many residents choose to go to other more distant communities as far away as Whitehorse. For more information about everything the Red Deer area has to offer, visit the Tourism Red Deer website

You can also visit this site for more information specific to the municipality and healthcare services in Red Deer.

Program Highlights

Our small, decentralized program allows a focus on the individual's training requirements.
Advances in IT provide close links with fellow residents not only within the Red Deer site but with sister rural distributed streams (Grande Prairie and Yellowknife) as well as Edmonton.
The full academic and wellness resources of the University of Alberta Family Medicine program are available to all residents.


Residency at a Glance

Learn about each year of the program with an overview of each year.

PGY1
  • Rural Family Medicine - 16 weeks
  • General Surgery - 8 weeks
  • Electives - 7 weeks
  • Emergency Medicine - 4 weeks
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology - 4 weeks
  • Orthopedics - 4 weeks
  • Pediatrics - 4 weeks
  • Anesthesia - 2 weeks  
  • Geriatrics - 2 weeks  
  • Dermatology - 1 week

The first year of our program includes a mix of hospital based specialty rotations and an extended rural family medicine block. Specialty rotations are often shared with other FM residents and sometimes with fellowship residents from Edmonton or Calgary. Preceptor based learning ensures excellent access to clinical cases and individual teaching which is usually one-on-one. Because clinical services are not dependent on the presence of house staff, on-call is often from home and learning experiences are focused on education more than service.

The 16 week rural family medicine rotation may be scheduled at any time within the first year. This prolonged exposure ensures a true experience of comprehensive care and continuity of care with a limited panel of patients for whom the resident can start to feel truly responsible.

There is an additional 4 weeks of elective time that residents can use to tailor their learning to their individual needs & interests.

Residents are assigned a Faculty Advisor at the beginning of their first year. This will be one of the Site Co-Directors who will follow their progress and provide academic advice throughout the 2 years of training. In addition, residents are paired with a family doctor in the area who has volunteered to act as a mentor to that resident throughout their training.

PGY2
  • Rural Family Medicine - 16 weeks
  • Rural Family Medicine - 8 weeks
  • Internal Medicine - 8 weeks
  • Electives - 6 weeks
  • Emergency Medicine - 4 weeks
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology - 4 weeks
  • Psychiatry - 4 weeks
  • Palliative Care - 2 weeks

There are further specialty rotations in second year but the main thrust of PGY2 is to develop the resident as a rural family physician, building on the knowledge, skills and attitudes acquired in the first year. The key rotations are two additional rural family medicine blocks of 8 weeks and 16 weeks duration. These rotations provide further opportunities to experience comprehensive medicine and continuity of care in a rural setting.

There is an option to do the 8 week rural family medicine rotation at an international location.

Housing
Residents are responsible for their own housing in Red Deer. Funding is provided for housing for rotations outside of the regional home base of Red Deer. Accommodation at rural sites could be an apartment, trailer or a house. These accommodations are large enough for a couple and many are suitable for families. Some of the rural sites that are not used frequently may require other types of accommodations such as a bed and breakfast. The program also reimburses travel expenses for rural rotations and mandatory academics. Residents should not assume that their rural accommodations will accept pets.

Teaching Hospitals

A more detailed listing of the rural community teaching sites is available here: 

Rural & Regional Health at the U of A 

A detailed list of our learning sites is available here: 

Our Learning Sites

 

The family medicine program utlizes a number of different teaching hospitals and locations across Alberta. Residents have their home base in the regional city of Red Deer. Training in rural settings occupies 16 weeks of the first year and 24 weeks of the second year. Access to a vehicle is necessary during these rural rotations as public transport is minimal in rural Alberta.

Red Deer

This community of 100,000 lies within the Edmonton - Calgary corridor, 150 km from both cities. The 390-bed Red Deer Regional Hospital has a full complement of specialists providing care to the roughly 300,000 residents of the region. Family physicians continue to have a key role within the hospital and act as the attending physician for half of all admissions. The city has a thriving recreational base, together with a complete range of cultural and educational activities.

Rural Sites

Rural family medicine rotations occur at our many rural teaching sites. These sites are generally in medium sized rural communities (5000 - 10000 people) with busy emergency rooms and active surgical and obstetrical programs. Some sites are within close range of the Red Deer home base but many residents choose to go to other more distant communities as far away as Yellowknife.

Camrose - New!

Integrated 6 month block - 4 blocks of RFM, 1 block Obs & Gyn, 1 block Internal Medicine.
2020-2021 was the pilot year with this program and our first resident cannot stop praising how amazing the preceptors are there and how they feel more confident going into the remainder of their residency.


Frequently Asked Questions

Does Red Deer get a lot of acuity (ie trauma) even though it is not a tertiary care centre?
Yes absolutely. Red Deer is the regional hospital for all of the central zone. As a result of this, most acute patients will be brought from the surrounding rural hospitals. This is great for you as a learner because you are the one running the trauma rooms and performing the procedures.
Why is having fewer learners considered an advantage of the Red Deer program?
By having fewer other learners in the hospital and usually being the primary learner on a service, you get to work one on one with the staff. The staff usually tailors your experience to ensure that your personal learning objectives are met and allows you to do all the procedures. You are not standing behind any other learners when interesting cases come in. As a result, you will be more ready for independent practice when the time comes.
How much rural family med do you get and how does scheduling family medicine blocks work for Red Deer program?

10 month total

First year: one - 4 month block

Second year: one – 2 month block and one - 4 month block

Since Red Deer is one of the rural programs at the University of Alberta, we get first dibs on all rural sites so that we are able to pick the ones that best meet our learning objectives.

How does scheduling vacation in Red Deer work? Do you get a vacation block?
Red Deer does not have a vacation block which is great! We get to spread our 20 vacation and 4 flex days over the entire year instead of having all our time off in one month. There is quite a bit of flexibility for scheduling your time off as long as proper notice is given to the program admin. We also get conference, study, exam and education days.
What courses do you take in residency? What additional program days are offered?

PALS,ACLS, NRP, EDE, ALARM, CBT ect

 8-10 Academic Days a year

Weekly Friday morning rounds

Monthly Finding Meaning in Medicine and eSIMS

What is the best aspect of the program?
The support and responsiveness to feedback. Changes are made based on resident feedback and the program is amazing because of it.

Resident Testimonials

We asked our residents what they like about Red Deer, 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.

 

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What do you like about Red Deer:
I like that FM rotations are done in rural communities where we get more exposure to rural ED, obs, in patients.

What are the highlights of the program for you:
We are usually the only residents on rotation which gives us lots of opportunities for procedures and one-on-one teaching.

What is one piece of advice that you want to share with applicants about the interview process:
Just be genuine - it's easy to pick out people who are fake. And remember that the programs are interviewing you - they want the best possible people in their program, just like you want the best possible program for yourself.

– Dr. Brian Ficiur (R2, Red Deer)

 

Jeff Bennett

 

What do you like about Red Deer? 
Flexibility: especially during COVID, our program was able to adjust schedules, meetings, etc to make sure we were still learning and getting the opportunities we needed.

What are the highlights of the program for you:
The number of courses for rural residents really helps prepare us for rural medicine.

What is one piece of advice that you want to share with applicants about the interview process:
Prepare, but don’t memorize answers. It shows when people have prepared, and it’s nice to hear genuine responses rather than something that has been practiced multiple times. Also, get lighting/sound/internet optimized by practicing with others beforehand. Turn off your phone and alerts on your computer before the interview.

– Dr. Jeff Bennett (R2, Red Deer)

 

nicole roshko

What do you like about Red Deer:
I really love the Red Deer Family medicine program. Two years ago, I went into CaRMS looking for a program that would train me to be a competent rural family physician. Red Deer has delivered that and more. The program trains residents to be strong in clinical medicine, hospitalist, emergency medicine, geriatrics, pediatrics, palliative care and maternity care. Since we are the only program out of the Red Deer hospital, we are so lucky to have learning opportunities that other family medicine residents would not get in bigger centres. We get the chance to work one on one with staff and get the first shot at any procedure. If I had to go through CaRMS again, I would still pick Red Deer as my first choice because it truly is one of the best programs across the country.

What are the highlights of the program for you:

  1. Being the only learner on most services, working directly with the staff and always being first in line for ANY procedure (ie intubations, central lines, chest tubes)
  2. Getting to know most of the staff at the hospital and never being treated like "just another learner" 
  3. Weekly academic rounds
  4. Program directors and admin that REALLY REALLY REALLY care about us
  5. Flexible vacation that we can spread out throughout the year

What is one piece of advice that you want to share with applicants about the interview process:
Be your genuine, beautiful and wonderful self during the interviews. As interviewers, we LOVE hearing about you as a person because we are picking someone to join our Red Deer family.

– Dr. Nicole Roshko (R2, Red Deer)