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