Prepare for a career in cardiovascular medicine

The Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta offers world-class training for the next generation of cardiovascular medical specialists. 

Clinical training

Join us to prepare for an exciting career in cardiac health. Clinical training opportunities in other cardiovascular areas can be found on the Cumming School of Medicine site.  

 

 

The Advanced Heart Failure Fellowship offers advanced training in the evaluation and multiple management strategies for patients with advanced heart failure.

This senior fellow will participate in in-patient and out-patient management of a wide spectrum of patients with advanced heart failure from initial diagnosis to consideration of high-risk cardiac surgery, cardiac transplantation, mechanical circulatory support, and end-of-life care. The program also focuses on co-management of post-operative cardiac transplant and mechanical support device patients. Additional time is devoted to continuity clinic experiences, including regular participation in the Cardiac Function Clinic, outpatient Cardiac Transplant Clinic, Endomyocardial Biopsy Surveillance post cardiac transplant, and ambulatory VAD Clinic.

All fellows will participate actively in the multiple ongoing research projects and will undertake at least one independent research project for presentation and publication.

The Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta's research program encompasses all aspects of cardiovascular physiology and disease including biophysics, pharmacology and molecular biology of cardiac cells and their role in arrhythmias and syncope, integrative physiology of the heart and cardiovascular system and mechanics, and excitation-contraction coupling of cardiac muscle in cardiac hypertrophy and congestive heart failure.

The Libin Institute also focuses on clinical studies of cardiovascular diseases, clinical trials and mechanistic studies of cardiovascular diseases, as well as knowledge translation. This is an excellent opportunity to develop advanced clinical and/or investigative skills in a rich environment with potential collaboration with a productive group of clinical and basic researchers.

Program Director: Dr. Brian Clarke

Interested applicants can be directed to Julie O'Keefe at julie.okeeffe@ucalgary.ca

Training in Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging (CMR) takes place in the Stephenson Cardiac Imaging Centre. The Stephenson CMR Centre, founded in 2005 and directed by Dr. Matthias Friedrich has evolved quickly into an internationally recognized institution for research and clinical application of CMR.

Due to the high acceptance rate among the local cardiologists, it has become one the five largest CMR centers in Northern America. The training program offers fellowships from one month to one year and follows the published guidelines for CMR training as stated by the SCMR (International Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance). This program is under the direction of Dr. James White. It has trained short- and long-term fellows from a variety of countries including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Germany and USA. To date, the Stephenson CMR Centre has trained more than 30 fellows.

The CMR Fellow will be:

  • provided with an opportunity to learn about indications, contraindications, limitations and the clinical usefulness of CMR studies in patients with cardiac and vascular diseases.
  • work closely with the primary CMR reader to choose the optimal imaging protocol
  • perform the CMR study and to prepare the report

All cases are reviewed by the staff of the Stephenson CMR Centre on a daily basis, including extensive discussion of CMR methods and diagnostic findings. During a typical month at the Stephenson CMR Centre, the Fellow will participate in over 120 CMR cases, including stress studies, viability assessment studies, flow and valvular studies and congenital heart diseases.

The Stephenson CMR Centre has several formal educational rounds including:

  • a weekly journal club
  • research rounds
  • case review sessions

Fellows staying for 12 months are expected to actively participate in CMR research after their initial three months of intensive clinical training.

To Apply

 Applications for CMR Fellowships must include:

  • Current Curriculum Vitae
  • Cover letter - stating intention, year(s) interested in applying, number of years, funding availability
  • Three letters of recommendation on institutional letterhead
  • Proper contact information including email address

Applications should be emailed to cmr.training@ucalgary.ca

Recommendation Letters Should Be Sent To:

Dr. James White
Director, CMR Training Program
Stephenson CMR Centre at Foothills Medical Centre
SSB, Suite 0700; 1403 29th Street NW
Calgary, AB T2N 2T9

Once accepted to the program, a PGME form needs to be filled out and sent to Post Grad Education along with your CV and signed acceptance letter. This is the process in obtaining appropriate Educational license through the Alberta College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Educational Activities

The CMR group is also involved in Departmental and Divisional educational activities.

Resources

Objectives for Training in Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance

Cardiology Training Program Evaluation Report - Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance

The Cardiac Surgery Training program in Calgary is a 6-year Royal College-accredited training program.  Residency begins following medical school.  Some trainees also choose to extend their training in order to complete a Masters or a PhD during their clinical training.

Contact

Dr. William Kent, program director
Program Administrator: Christina Faulkner
Tel: (403) 944-2011
Fax: (403) 270-3715

Foothills Hospital
880, 1403 29th St NW
Calgary, AB T2N 2T9

Curriculum

We follow the specialty training requirements set by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons.

PGY 1-2
The first two years consist of core training and exposure to the basics of surgery and involve various disciplines. The two years are designed to prepare the resident for Part II of the MCCQE exam as well as the Surgical Foundations Exam. 

The rotations are designed to provide the cardiac resident a strong foundation in surgical skills as well as the objectives of training set out by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.  Basic grounding in general surgery, intensive care, emergency and cardiology rotations such as echocardiography and heart failure are offered.

PGY 3
Academic Enrichment year. This can be spent in clinical or basic science research or in a focused clinical area. It can take place within the University of Calgary or elsewhere at the request of the candidate and at the discretion of the program director and section head. 

This year allows the candidate to pursue a Masters or PhD or to develop a special interest and expertise in an area of interest.

PGY 4-6
The residents’ senior years are customized to strengthen the individual resident's skills and interests. The following rotations are required as per the objectives of training of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons:

  • 6 blocks of residency as a senior resident in Vascular Surgery
  • 6 blocks of residency as a senior resident in Thoracic Surgery
  • 6 blocks of residency as a senior resident in Paediatric Cardiac Surgery*
  • 18 blocks of residency as a  senior resident in Adult Cardiac Surgery 

*Paediatric Cardiac Surgery rotations take place at the University of Alberta

Apply for Cardiac Surgery Residency Training

Selection Criteria

Candidates should:

  • Demonstrate potential in acquiring surgical technical skills
  • Have a superior academic record demonstrating special proficiency in subjects related to our specialty.
  • Demonstrate interest in Cardiac Surgery with at least one rotation on a cardiac surgery service. Please provide a reference letter from a faculty member on that service.
  • Provide three references. Where possible, obtain references from academic specialists in cardiothoracic surgery, attesting to your interest and proficiency in the specialty, as well as comments on exemplary interpersonal skills.
  • Candidates with an interest and/or proven experience in research, either at the basic science or clinical research level, are also encouraged to apply.

Application Process

If you are a Canadian/ U.S. Citizen

Residency in cardiac surgery may be entered via two routes:

Both streams qualify successful candidates to sit the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada fellowship examinations.

If you are an International Applicant
Interested candidates, please follow the PGME application process.

Foreign applicants are invited to apply to the 6-year training program, by post only, and with written documentation of sponsorship from their University or government. All international medical graduates coming to Alberta to participate in postgraduate electives or training must have their medical degree source verified prior to application. Unfortunately, foreign applicants who do not have secured funding from their University or government cannot be considered for an interview at this time. 

For more information on Post Graduate Medical Education at the University of Calgary, visit the PGME website.

Contact

Dr. William Kent 
Program Administrator: Christina Faulkner: Christina.Faulkner@albertahealthservices.ca
Tel: (403) 944-2011
Fax: (403) 270-3715

Foothills Hospital
880, 1403 29th St NW
Calgary, AB T2N 2T9

Cardiac Surgery Research

The University of Calgary offers a Clinical Investigator Program (CIP). Residents are strongly supported in their academic pursuits.  

The Clinician Investigator Program is a Royal College-certified program that gives the resident the opportunity to pursue an MSc or PhD in a discipline related to their specialty or subspecialty training, as part of their residency.

Seminars and Didactic Sessions

Academic half days consist of a seminar series and resident didactic lectures, evidence-based journal club, wet labs and visiting speakers. In collaboration with the department of surgery, academic half days also include:

  • Surgical Skills (PGY 1)
  • Surgical Foundations (PGY 2)
  • Critical Thinking (PGY 1)
  • CanMEDs (PGY 1-6) 

There are also weekly clinical multidisciplinary rounds which provide opportunities for case discussions and clinical scenarios where best practices are reviewed.

 

Trainees are exposed to a broad range of clinical cardiology experiences and will be well equipped for independent practice upon completion of the program.  

The University of Calgary offers a three year training program in Adult Cardiology funded by the Ministry of Health and fully accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. In accordance with the requirements for training in adult cardiology, the core program consists of 31 blocks of mandatory clinical rotations with an additional four elective and four research blocks. Trainees may be able to spend elective time at training sites outside of Calgary. 

A well-developed curriculum is supported by Academic Half Day sessions, daily educational rounds and formal bedside teaching of cardiovascular physical examination skills. A focus on the acquisition of skills and knowledge required of an excellent clinician is combined with teaching and evaluation of the CanMeds roles as outlined by the Royal College.

Research is a mandatory component of the program. A well-established infrastructure and extensive human resources facilitates the involvement of trainees in clinical and basic laboratory research projects. All residents are required to participate in the annual research competition at ACC Lake Louise beginning in the second year of the program.

Program Director: Dr. Katherine Kavanagh


Contact: Julie O'Keeffe  
403-220-3915   julie.okeeffe@ucalgary.ca
Fax: 403.984.0870

The fellowship program is designed to meet the educational needs of physicians who have completed three years of core cardiology training in a recognized Canadian institution, or equivalent.

This is a one-year clinical fellowship offers extensive experience in echocardiographic imaging. 

There are four acute care hospitals affiliated with the University of Calgary: Foothills Medical Centre, Peter Lougheed Hospital, Rockyview General Hospital and South Health Campus.

Foothills Medical Center (FMC) is a tertiary care facility and trauma center with a 20 bed Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. Patients with the highest acuity are typically managed at this site: there is a high volume of transthoracic and transesophageal studies at this hospital.  Echo-guided myocardial biopsies are carried out on a weekly schedule by the Heart Function Service. Echo-guided pericardiocenteses are frequently required for patients referred from the Tom Baker Cancer Center which is physically attached to FMC. Structural heart program performs TAVRs weekly. ASD and paravalvular leak devices are also performed. 

The Adult Congenital Heart Disease clinic is located at the Peter Lougheed Center. There is an outstanding opportunity to acquire skills in imaging this unique patient population. The two remaining sites offer experience in general echocardiography with a particular emphasis on stress studies.

Interested applicants should submit a one-page statement of interest and two letters of reference to Dr. Weeks by the June 30, 2019 deadline. Applicants to this program will be required to apply to the Arthur Child Foundation for financial assistance.  This scholarship provides full salary support for the duration of the fellowship. There is only space for one fellow each year.

Contact: Dr. Sarah Weeks sgweeks@ucalgary.ca

Phone: 403.944.2480

Address: Foothills Hospital, Department of Cardiac Sciences, 1403 29th St NW Calgary Alberta T2N 2T9

Echo Lab Director: Dr. Nowell Fine

The Electrophysiology Subspecialty Training Program offers research and training experience in the management of heart rhythm disorders. The 1.5 million catchment area provides trainees with a wide range and volume of electrophysiology problems and procedures. The training program has been existence for over 20 years and has trained physicians from Canada and all over the world.

The EP Staff are world renown researchers and have ongoing projects ranging from bench side research in electrophysiology to multicenter, international clinical trials. Our program is highly academic. Accordingly, it is expected that trainees would be involved in at least one research project. There are a number of research opportunities that include clinical research projects involving either pacing or ICDs.

As well, our experimental electrophysiology research program is extremely active ranging from molecular biology of ion channels to chronic monitoring in animals with hypertrophy or heart failure.

Clinical training includes:

  • standard and complex ablations
  • device procedures
  • lead extraction
  • inpatient and outpatient management

Program Details

  • We accommodate 4-5 trainees
  • Duration: 2 years (EP lab for ablation procedures; Operating Room device implants/extractions, inpatient ward/consults, outpatient clinics, and research)
  • 4 weeks of holidays per academic year
  • Along with cardiology rounds, there are weekly dedicated electrophysiology rounds focusing on major topics in electrophysiology and intra-cardiac electrograms

Contact Us:

Dr. George (Yorgo) Veenhuyzen
1403 29 St NW
Calgary, AB, Canada, T2N 2T9 
gveenhuy@ucalgary.ca

The Interventional Cardiology Fellowship Program offered by Foothills Interventional Cardiology Service (FICS) is recognized internationally for its excellence in physician training and draws applicants from all around the world. The program is a two-year fellowship with a research focus in the 2nd year.

This program is directed by Dr. Francois Charbonneau with the assistance of the FICS team. We are proud to provide the largest and most comprehensive Interventional training program in Canada. FICS has been training Interventional Fellows since 1983 with Dr. James Hansen as the first formal trainee. Since that time, FICS has trained up to four fellows per year. Approximately 20 applications are reviewed on an annual basis for consideration to our program. Our program has trained fellows from a various countries including Australia, Syria, Saudi Arabia, England, the United States of America, Norway, Germany, India, and Thailand. To date, FICS has trained more than 60 Fellows.

The Interventional Fellow will:

  • Be provided with an opportunity to acquire knowledge of the indications, contraindications, risks, limitations and complications associated with catheter-based interventions
  • Perform a minimum of 400 coronary interventions during his/her training
  • Work closely with all eight Interventionalists and gain expertise and knowledge with the primary focus on coronary artery disease

FICS has formal educational rounds every week where fellows are responsible for presenting journal articles, core topics, quality assurance, and interesting cases. All fellows are expected to participate in research and are assigned to various projects during their period of training.

How to Apply for an Interventional Cardiology Fellowship

  • Applications for Interventional Fellowships must include:
  • Current Curriculum Vitae (must have email address).
  • Cover letter - stating intention, year(s) interested in applying, number of years, funding availability
  • Three letters of recommendation on institutional letterhead

Any potential trainee who completed their medical degree outside of Canada or in a country where English is not a first and native language, is required by the CPSA to provide proof of English language proficiency. In order to ensure that trainees will be able to obtain a license from CPSA and begin their fellowship on time, Post Grad Medical Education office(PGME) is verifying that each trainee meets this requirement when framework documentation is submitted for approval. The minimum requirement is 24 for each component in either TOFEL IBT and/or ILETS.  The only other option without the ELT is to come and do an observership rather than a fellowship which is organized through AHS.

Applications should be emailed to selena.gill@albertahealthservices.ca

Please send recommendation letters to:

Dr. Francois Charbonneau
Program Director
Interventional Cardiology Training Program
Foothills Medical Centre
C807 1403 29th Street NW
Calgary, AB T2N 2T9

Once accepted to the program, Post Graduate Medical Education office will send you the official Letter of Offer so you can apply for work permit. PGME office will also send you communication what the next steps will be. This is the process in obtaining appropriate Educational license through the Alberta College of Physicians and Surgeons. Coverage with the CMPA (Canadian Medical Protection Association) is also required. If you are from out of country, the EICS form must be completed as well and sent. Information on EICS and the EICS application can be found at ECFMG International Credentials Services (EICS).

Educational Activities

The FICS group are involved in Departmental and Divisional educational activities in addition to FICS-specific activities. The group (MDs and RNs) are also very involved in research and educational activities such as the TORCH program, clinical epidemiology program and present their research at the local, national and international level.

Tuesday 8-9 am - Cardiology Grand Rounds

Tuesday 4-6 pm - FICS Rounds (core topics/guest speakers/journal club/quality assurance/interesting cases/research) organized by Dr. B. Har.

Thursday 8-9 am - Cardiology Journal Club

Friday 8-9 am - Revascularization Rounds