Since my home province is Alberta, I think I’ll start this series here.

I have outlined the steps to apply for medical residency in a previous post. You can start by reading it HERE first.

You cannot apply for post-graduate medical residency in Alberta if you have not resided here for at least 6 months starting from the December 1st preceding your CaRMS application. I’ll go through the steps again quickly but this time, this is specific to Alberta residents.

1. Pass your Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE). The MCCEE will be phased out in November 2018.

2. Pass your Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part I (MCCQE1). You can apply to the AIMG program if you have written the MCCQE1 but you cannot take the exam if you do not eventually pass it.

3. Pass your IELTS. You cannot apply for the AIMG Program if you do not have at least a score of 7 in each component (writing, reading, listening and speaking).

4. Apply for your National Assessment Collaboration OSCE (NAC OSCE)

5. Verify your Alberta Residency. This can be done in different ways. One way is to provide a letter from your employer and another is to be an active member of the Alberta International Medical Graduates Association (AIMGA).

6. Apply for the Alberta International Medical Graduate (AIMG) Program and take the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI).

The AIMG program is utilized by the post-graduate resident programs in Alberta to further assess applicants’ personal qualities through the seven CanMEDS competencies. They conduct an examination called the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) once a year (usually in October) and it tests your ability to think quickly in complex situations. Although it is in an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) format, it is not really about medical knowledge but more about your character, ethics, communication and critical reasoning. The MMI doesn’t really have a pass mark as it is graded using the average scores of the exam takers and the standard deviations around this. I talked more about the MMI HERE but you can also read the official information on the AIMG website HERE.

medical osce

CanMEDs competencies are personal skills that every doctor practicing in Canada is expected to demonstrate. It was developed by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) and the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC). The seven competencies are Communication, Collaboration, Leadership, Health Advocacy, Medical Expert, Professionalism, and Scholar.

7. Your scores are sent to CaRMS and then you can then use them to apply for Alberta-based residency programs (University of Calgary and University of Alberta, Edmonton).Without taking the MMI, you cannot apply for a post-graduate program in Alberta.

8. You can also apply for residency programs in other provinces to increase your chances of getting accepted. However, you need to find out about province-specific assessments as these might be used to filter applicants, in addition to the usual NAC, MCCEE, MCCQE1, and IELTS.

9. Programs that like your application will send you an email inviting you for an interview.

10. After the interview, you will be placed on a ranking list and then you might be matched to one of the programs that interviewed you.

11. If you get matched, then this means you have been accepted to start your residency and you will proceed to the next step.

12. Pre-residency evaluation. In Alberta, this is called an ‘Externship’. It usually starts in mid-April, and it is a 10 week period starting with 10 days of orientation. During this period, you will be assessed while working in your respective residency programs, taking histories, performing clinical examinations, managing patients. Your supervisors/preceptors will also be looking to see if you can demonstrate the twelve Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs). You will be paid a stipend of $ 1,050 during this period and, you will also receive network access to patient records and parking privileges. When you pass this final hurdle, then you can start the actual residency! Read more about the Alberta Externship HERE.

In my next posts, I will discuss resources for Alberta IMGs as well as what the MMI is about.

If you have more questions, please leave a comment or send me an email at internationalphysiciantraining (@) gmail.com.

’til my next post……

*updated 23rd March 2018*

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