Welcome to the Residency Program


Dr. Paula Pearce“The purpose of a Geriatrician is to reproduce!” Dr. Karen Fruetel, Division Head 2007-2016
These seemingly strange words speak to the passion for education in the Division of Geriatric Medicine, and our commitment to the training of the next generation of Geriatricians. A large proportion of the faculty have pursued higher training in medical education, and are frequently recognized for teaching excellence by the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine.

The Geriatric Medicine Residency program is a two-year subspecialty program approved by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). The program is designed to develop skills across the CanMEDs domains and prepare residents for careers in clinical and academic Geriatric Medicine. In addition to developing strong clinical skills, diverse career paths amongst the faculty allow residents to pursue experiences in medical leadership, research, education and strategic planning. The program has the flexibility to be highly responsive to the needs of individual residents.

In line with the rest of the Geriatric Medicine Training Programs in the country, we launched Competency by Design in the 2019-2020 academic year. We completed a full pilot of CBD in the 2018-2019 academic year with considerable success. We learned a lot of valuable lessons that allowed us to prepare ourselves more fully for the change. The pilot resulted in changes to the structure of the program, innovative new rotations designed to meet EPA requirements (for example the new Falls, Fractures, Ambulation and Balance – FFAB – rotation), the creation of new stage-specific rotation-specific goals and objectives, targeted faculty development, and the creation of a Geriatrics Boot Camp. The work from our pilot was presented at the Canadian Geriatrics Society annual scientific meeting, and has been accepted for presentation at the RCPSC Program Evaluation Summit. The Division is highly supportive of this change, including supporting an educational retreat, allocating educational support roles, and allowing additional preceptor time for more direct observation of residents’ skills in their longitudinal fellows’ clinic.

Core rotations designed to meet the new RCPSC Training Experiences include ambulatory care (including the innovative new FFAB rotation), inpatient Geriatric consult service, Acute Geriatrics Unit, Day Hospital, Geriatric Psychiatry, Rehabilitation Medicine and Long Term Care. Residents will have a longitudinal Fellows’ Clinic throughout the 2 year program. A number of elective and selective experiences allow residents the opportunity to individually tailor their training, and include opportunities in specialized clinical services, research, medical leadership and education.

Residents are expected to complete a scholarly project in Geriatric Medicine, and there is strong research mentorship under Dr. David Hogan, Dr. Jayna Holroyd-Leduc and Dr. Zahra Goodarzi.

There is an active academic program comprising Boot Camp, the formal academic half day, Geriatric Medicine Division Rounds, Journal Club, Long Term Care Journal Club, Residents’ Retreat, and Resident Rounds. Attendance at national and international conferences is encouraged.

Residents are genuinely welcomed into the Division as junior colleagues, and are actively involved in Division social and professional events, from the collegial welcome reception through to the graduation party!!

Thank you for your interest in the University of Calgary for your Geriatrics residency training, and please learn more about us by exploring the website. I welcome any inquiries you may have.

– Dr. Paula Pearce



Amy Mahon recieving 2019 PGME Award for Service in Support of Residency Education-Subspecialty Programs

Amy Mahon (right) receiving 2019 PGME Award for Service in Support of Residency Education-Subspecialty Programs

Welcome to Geriatric Medicine in the beautiful city of Calgary! I have been involved in Residency Education for over a decade, and with the Geriatric Medicine program for nearly four years.

Working in Postgraduate Medical Education has been, in all respects, an enjoyable and rewarding career. I feel fortunate to be working in such a supportive and innovative program.

Calgary has been home for my entire life, and I feel blessed to be raising my children here. It is a fun and friendly city with lots to do, with the added bonus of being neighbours to the majestic Rockies.

-Amy Mahon



The Section of Geriatric Medicine is passionate about educating future and current physicians. Despite our relatively small size, the section provides Medical Education Leadership not only within our Section, but in the Department of Medicine and the Cumming School of Medicine. This includes:

  • UME Course Leadership. Erika Dempsey is the co-chair for Course V – Aging, Neurosciences and Special Senses course.
  • Paula Pearce, Karen Fruetel and Darren Burback sit on the Course V course Committee.
  • Paula Pearce and Karen Fruetel sit on the Integrative Course Committee.
  • Paula Pearce is our Program Director for the Geriatric Medicine Residency Training Program.
  • Darren Burback is the CBD Lead for the Department of Medicine.
  • Stacey Hall is an Associate Program Director in the Internal Medicine Residency Training Program.
  • Karen Fruetel is the chair of the Internal Medicine Residency Training Program Competence Committee.
  • Paula Pearce, Erika Dempsey, Emily Kwan and Darren Burback are members of the Internal Medicine Residency Training Program Competence Committee.
  • Heidi Schmaltz is the Section Lead for CPD and has provided leadership nationally as the chair of the CPD Committee of the Canadian Geriatrics Society.
  • Karen Fruetel is the Vice Chair of Education for the Department of Medicine.


Within the Undergraduate Medical Education (UME) program at the Cumming School of Medicine, four Section members are Master Teachers who commit significant time to teaching in the UME curriculum. All section members participate in clinical teaching in Geriatrics, including Course V.


The section has an active subspecialty training program in Geriatric Medicine, with three positions per year. We have close ties to other training programs including Care of the Elderly, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PMR), Geriatric Psychiatry and Palliative Care. We provide clinical rotations in Geriatric Medicine to a wide variety of training programs including Internal Medicine, PMR, Neurology, Family Medicine and Public Health. We also have elective students who come from a variety of other Canadian Medical Schools.


With respect to Continuing Professional Development (CPD), we organize the University of Calgary Annual Geriatric Update: Clinical Pearls conference for primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and other professionals interested in caring for older adults. Members regularly contribute presentations directed at best practice of older adults in a variety of settings including the Annual Therapeutics course and the multidisciplinary annual Shades of Grey conference, along with other CPD programs.

The practice of Geriatrics is multidisciplinary, and many members are active in educating not only physicians but other healthcare professionals. This includes participation in the Cumming School of Medicine Multidisciplinary Education committee, providing training opportunities for nurse practitioner education, and participation in multidisciplinary rounds and conferences such as Seniors Health Rounds.

For further information about our CPD events:
Please contact Erica Miller (, assistant to Dr. Heidi Schmaltz.