Dr. Finlay McAlister


Department of Medicine

Division of General Internal Medicine
    Contact details are for academic matters only.

About Me

Personal Statement:

“The big payoff for me is the thought that my research might improve people’s health outcomes. I think anybody who does research wants the research to make an impact in the real world. I extend this to my teaching where I prefer to have a small group of learners with actual patients with real diseases and conditions.”

General internist and clinical researcher Dr. Finlay McAlister is a professor in the General Internal Medicine Division. He is widely recognized for his research on health outcomes, health services, hypertension and heart failure. He is an awarded educator whose contributions to learning range from improved physician guidelines for treating disease to one-on-one trainee teaching at patients’ bedsides.

Leadership and Collaborations:

Dr. McAlister is the lead for the Alberta Support for Patient Oriented Research (SPOR) Data Platform. He is past-president of the Canadian Society of Internal Medicine and past-chair, Outcomes Research Task Force for the Canadian Hypertension Education Program. He helped create national guidelines for hypertension treatment that are associated with high rates of hypertension control in Canada.


Dr. McAlister was awarded a 2015 Killam Annual Professorship by the University of Alberta for his contributions to educational excellence, research and the community.


Dr. McAlister spends 75 per cent of his time on health outcomes research. His focus is assessing interventions in care and in health services delivery and implementing ways to improve them.  He is a provincial leader in the use of large datasets in clinical research and patient-centred approaches to research and care. 

Dr. McAlister has published more than 450 peer-reviewed articles. 

Dr. McAlister has been widely recognized for his research with awards including: Merck Frosst/Aventis Chair in Patient Health Management, the Canadian Society of Internal Medicine Young Investigator Award, the Royal College Gold Medal in Research for Medicine from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Canada (2005), Senior Investigator Awards from the Canadian Society of Internal Medicine (2013) and Hypertension Canada (2013), and the Alberta Health Services Chair in Cardiovascular Outcomes Research (2012-2022).

Research Keywords

clinical epidemiology methodology, coronary artery disease, evidence-based medicine, heart failure, implementing evidence at the bedside, methodology of trials, Outcomes research in hypertension, perioperative care, systematic reviews