Endocrinology – Specialty Training Program

The specialty program in Endocrinology and Metabolism (E&M) at the University of Calgary enrolled its first resident in July 1981. In that era, two years of specialty education in E&M was recognized by conferring the designation “special competency” in this field. In 1985, when E&M became a specialty program accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC), the post-graduate educational program in E&M at the University of Calgary was approved and officially certified.

The main principle of our educational program is to respect the educational needs and career aspirations of the individual resident. We have a longstanding and close linkage with pediatric endocrinology. We offer a variety of elective rotations to meet individual preferences. Reflecting the predominantly outpatient nature of the practice of E&M, emphasis is placed on experience in ambulatory care. The hub for all of our educational and treatment outpatient programs is located in outpatient facilities at the Richmond Road Diagnostic & Treatment Centre (RRDTC). The Endocrine Testing Unit also located at RRDTC allows outpatient diagnostic testing of most problems in E&M. The RRDTC houses our busy and active Diabetes Education Centre, the Osteoporosis Centre and the Hypertension and Cholesterol program. The Foothills Medical Centre, Alberta Children’s Hospital, Rockyview General and Peter Lougheed Centre (PLC) Hospitals also have active outpatient programs including diabetes in pregnancy education and treatment clinics as well as thyroid cancer clinics at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre.

The inpatient hospital service is primarily at the Foothills Hospital and is almost entirely consultation-based. The majority of patients have tertiary and often challenging medical problems. The majority of classroom and bedside teaching for the University of Calgary undergraduate medical school takes place on the Foothills/Health Sciences Centre campus. The Endocrinology Resident has the principal roles of consultant and supervisor/teacher for junior residents and medical students.

Program Structure

Entry requires three core years in an Internal Medicine Program approved by the RCPSC. The usual program required to obtain certification by the RCPSC in E&M consists of two years. At least one year must be clinical, generally the first year. The second year may be comprised of various options, including combinations of further clinical investigation and basic research, and up to six months of more clinical training. Administration of the University of Calgary program is the responsibility of the Program Director who also chairs the Resident Training Committee; the RTC consists of appointed teaching faculty representing full time academic, major clinical and clinical appointments plus all the current residents in the program.

Research Opportunities

The Division of E&M is affiliated with the University of Calgary Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Group (DERG). This group is multi-disciplinary and thus brings together basic and clinical investigators from several departments. Researchers outside of the clinical division belong to this group who may be potential supervisors and co-supervisors. Thus, beyond clinical training, ample opportunities exist for research development. This can be initiated during the second year of the formal program. Selected trainees can extend their research through additional years and have the choice to combine this training with programs leading to MSc and PhD degrees, according to the requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies of the University of Calgary. One faculty member will be assigned to overview the trainee's research program. The RTC will review and evaluate the research in progress.

Travel to Conferences

Funds will be made available from the Division of E&M to attend at least one major specialty meeting a year. For any meeting at which the resident is presenting a paper, further funds may be made available. Important conferences include: the conjoint Canadian Diabetes Association/Canadian Society of Endocrinology & Metabolism annual meeting, the Endocrine Society Annual Scientific Meeting, the American Diabetes Association meeting and the Clinical Endocrinology Update organized by the Endocrine Society.

Evaluation of Residents and Faculty

Royal College In-Training Evaluation Reports (ITER) are discussed and completed by the program director after each rotation and reported to the Resident Training Committee. Rotation-specific evaluation forms for elective rotations are completed by the faculty and reported to the Resident Training Committee.

Appeals pertaining to evaluations should be addressed to the program director, except in the case where he or she is the object of complaint. In this case, the Division Head and the Resident Training Committee should deal with the appeal. Higher appeals against aspects of the educational program should be directed to the Associate Dean of Postgraduate Medical Education, University of Calgary. We also have a program ombuds selected from our allied program, Pediatric Endocrinology.

Residents are asked to complete an Evaluation Form for the Training Program and individual faculty participating in the Program. The Evaluation is discussed with and made available to the Program Director and Division Head. The regular meetings of the Resident Training Committee also provide a less formal mechanism for the resident to raise and discuss issues or problems regarding the training program. In addition, the Program Director and Division Head encourage "open door" access for the resident to discuss matters pertaining to the training experience.

Goals and Objectives of Training

Both general and rotation-specific goals & objectives are regularly updated. Each resident has a copy and all RTC members have approved these documents. Please refer to these documents for all the details.

Contact Us

Dr. Vicky Parkins, Program Director
Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism,
University of Calgary

c/o Bekah Bootsveld
Richmond Road Diagnostic & Treatment Centre
Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism
1820 Richmond Rd. SW
Calgary AB T2T 5C7

Phone: 403-955-8321
Fax: 403-955-8249
E-mail: rebekah.bootsveld@ahs.ca