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. 

Our members belong to numerous departments, such as Medicine, Emergency Medicine and Community Health Sciences. For information on clinical training opportunities in these areas, visit the Cumming School of Medicine site.  Link to CSM

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.  

 

 

This fellowship offers training in the evaluation and multiple management strategies for patients with advanced heart failure.

This senior fellow will participate in in-patient and outpatient 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'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 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. Kristin Lyons

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, an internationally recognized institution for research and clinical application of CMR. The training program offers fellowships from one month to one year and follows the published guidelines for CMR training as stated by the International Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance. This program is under the direction of Dr. James White.

What to expect: 

  • The 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 prepare 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

Emails applications to carrie.smart@ahs.ca

Send recommendation letter 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

This is a six-year Royal College-accredited training program. Residency begins following medical school. There is an opportunity to extend training to complete a Masters or PhD.

Contact

Program Director: Dr. Daniel Holloway, MD
Program Administrator: Selena Gill: Selena.Gill@albertahealthservices.ca
Tel: 403.944.2011
Fax: 403.283.0744

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. This prepares residents for Part II of the MCCQE exam and the Surgical Foundations Exam. 

Rotations provide a strong foundation in surgical skills and the objectives of training set out by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The program offers basic grounding in general surgery, intensive care, emergency and cardiology rotations such as echocardiography and heart failure.

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

Candidates can 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 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:

  • Six blocks of residency as a senior resident in Vascular Surgery
  • Six blocks of residency as a senior resident in Thoracic Surgery
  • Six blocks of residency as a senior resident in Paediatric Cardiac Surgery*
  • Eighteen 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 for Canadian/ US citizens

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.

Application process for International applicants - please follow the PGME application process.

  • Foreign applicants are invited to apply to the six-year training program, by post only, and with written documentation of sponsorship from their University or government.
  • International medical graduates must have their medical degree source verified prior to application.  

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

Contact
Dr. William Kent 
Program Administrator: Selena Gill: Selena.Gill@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.  

This Royal College-certified program provides residents the opportunity to pursue an MSc or PhD in a discipline related to their specialty or subspecialty training.

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 providing opportunities for case discussions and clinical scenarios where best practices are reviewed.

 

Trainees are exposed to a broad range of clinical cardiology experiences and are 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. The program combines a focus on the acquisition of skills and knowledge 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

This one-year clinical fellowship offers extensive experience in echocardiographic imaging and is suitable for physicians who have completed three years of core cardiology training in a recognized Canadian institution, or equivalent.

Four acute care hospitals are 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.

Applicants should submit a one-page statement of interest and two letters of reference to Dr. Colbert by June 30. Program applicants must 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. Jillian Colbert jillian.colbert@ahs.ca

Phone: 403.944.4524

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

Echo Lab Director: Dr. Nowell Fine

This program has existed for more than 20 years and offers research and training experience in managing heart rhythm disorders. Trainees are provided with a wide range and volume of electrophysiology problems and procedures. The EP staff are world renowned researchers.

This is a highly academic program and trainees are expected to be involved in at least one research project. Numerous research opportunities exist within the program, including clinical research projects involving either pacing or ICDs. Our experimental electrophysiology research program is extremely active.

Clinical training includes:

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

Program Details

  • Accommodates four to five trainees
  • Two year duration (EP lab for ablation procedures; Operating Room device implants/extractions, inpatient ward/consults, outpatient clinics, and research)
  • Four 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 
George.Veenhuyzen@albertahealthservices.ca
 

This program, offered by Foothills Interventional Cardiology Service (FICS), is internationally recognized for its excellence in physician training and draws applicants from around the world and has been in existence since 1983. The two-year fellowship with a research focus in the second year is the largest and most comprehensive interventional training program in Canada. 

The program is directed by Dr. Francois Charbonneau with the assistance of the FICS team. The program trains up to four fellows per year, taken from a pool of about 20 applicants who are reviewed on an annual basis. 

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 with fellows 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 training.

Applications for interventional fellowships must include:

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

Potential trainees who completed their medical degree outside of Canada or in a country where English is not a first and native language are required by the CPSA to provide proof of English language proficiency. 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) verifies trainees meet this requirement when framework documentation is submitted for approval. The minimum requirement is 24 for each component in either TOFEL IBT and/or ILETS. Without the ELT, trainees may only complete an observership rather than a fellowship. These are organized through Alberta Health Services. 

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 a work permit. PGME office will also provide next steps. 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 also be completed and submitted. Information on EICS and the EICS application can be found at ECFMG International Credentials Services (EICS).

Educational Activities

In addition to FICS-specific activities, the FICS group is involved in departmental and divisional educational activities. The group (MDs and RNs) is very involved in research and educational activities such as the TORCH and clinical epidemiology program. Members present their research at the local, national and international levels.

  • 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