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University of Alberta - Urology - Edmonton

2022 R-1 Main Residency Match - first iteration
CMG Stream for CMG

Last approved on September 20, 2021

Approximate Quota:

 3 

Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria


Dr. Peter Metcalfe
Department of Surgery 
Northern Alberta Urology Centre 
2C3 WMC, 8440 112 St NW
Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2B7
(780) 407-5943
(780)-407-3867
Urology Residency Program
Division of Urology
Department of Surgery Website
Accredited Surgical Simulation Program

Program Contacts

Dr. Peter Metcalfe
Program Director
pmetcalf@ualberta.ca
780-407-3867

Tara Graham
Program Administrator
urolpg@ualberta.ca
(780) 407-5943


Important Information

Competence by Design (CBD)

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada has embarked upon an initiative to introduce competency-based medical education (CBME) in Canadian postgraduate specialty training and in professional practice in Canada.  This initiative, called Competence by Design (CBD), aims to enhance patient care by aligning medical education and lifelong learning with evolving patient needs.

CBD uses time as a resource rather than the basis for progression.  It is not anticipated that the duration of training will change for the majority of trainees. Residency programs are broken down into stages, and each stage compasses a series of entrustable professional activities (EPAs) and milestones based on required competencies. These EPAs and milestones create more targeted learning outcomes and involve more frequent, formative assessments within the clinical workplace to ensure residents are developing and receiving feedback on the skills they need.

Our program has successfully transitioned to CBD in accordance with the nationally coordinated schedule. Our program will continue to undergo the same rigorous accreditation processes as traditional programs. All CBD programs (and traditional programs) will continue to lead to Royal College approved certification. Certification for trainees in both CBD and traditional programs will include the completion of a Royal College examination; however, residents in CBD programs will also be assessed against specialty specific EPAs and milestones throughout their training. Within a CBD program, all EPAs (documented within an electronic portfolio), stage promotions and the Royal College examination must be successfully completed to achieve certification.

For more information, please contact cbd@royalcollege.ca


Return of Service

There are no return of service requirements at the University of Alberta.


General Instructions

Program application language: English


Supporting Documentation

Canadian citizenship
CaRMS partners with third-party organizations to verify your citizenship or permanent resident status. If your status is verified by one of these organizations, you will not need to provide citizenship documents in your application. If your citizenship status is not verified, you must provide one of the documents listed below.
Required
Submit one of the following documents to verify your Canadian citizenship:
• Canadian Birth Certificate or Act of Birth
• Certificate of Canadian Citizenship
• Confirmation of Permanent Residence in Canada
• Passport page showing Canadian Citizenship
• Canadian Permanent Resident Card (both sides of card)
• Record of Landing, clearly showing the date of landing in Canada

Canadian Permanent Resident card must be accompanied by Record of Landing, clearly showing the date of landing in Canada.

Language proficiency
Optional - will be reviewed
Submit one of the following documents to verify your language proficiency:
• IELTS

IMG and graduates of Canadian medical schools where instruction is not English (as identified by CPSA)  must meet English language requirements required by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta for licensure.  English Language Proficiency . 

Effective January 1, 2018, IELTS will be the only English language proficiency test accepted by CPSA.

Reference documents
Required
Number requested: 3

Three (3) letters of reference are required.

Additional documents
Required
Personal Letter 
Word count
Minimum : None
Maximum : None

Outline the reasons for choosing urology and why you would be a good fit for the University of Alberta.

Medical School Transcript 

Photo 
[Note: Photograph is used as memory aid only]

Medical Student Performance Record 

CASPer exam 

The CASPer Test

All applicants to the Urology Residency Program at the University of Alberta are required to complete an online assessment (CASPer) to assist with our selection process. Successful completion of CASPer is mandatory in order to maintain admission eligibility.

CASPer is an online test which assesses for non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics that we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program and will complement the other tools that we use for applicant screening. In implementing CASPer, we are trying to further enhance fairness and objectivity in our selection process. 

In order to take CASPer, you will be responsible for securing access to a computer with audio capabilities, a webcam, and a reliable internet connection on your selected test date. CASPer can be taken practically anywhere that you can satisfy the aforementioned requirements. No exceptions will be provided for applicants unable to take CASPer online due to being located at sites where internet is not dependable due to technical or political factors.

Please go to www.takeCASPer.com to sign up for the Canadian Postgraduate Medical Education test (CSP20201) and reserve a test using a piece of government-issued photo ID. You will be provided with a limited number of testing dates and times. Please note that these are the only testing dates available for your CASPer test. There will be no additional tests scheduled. Please use an email address that you check regularly; there may be updates to the test schedule. The tests for the 2022 admission cycle will be open for registration in September 2021.

Please direct any inquiries on the test to support@takecasper.com. Alternatively, you may use the chat bubble in the bottom right hand corner of your screen on the takecasper.com website.

The CASPer test is comprised of 12 sections of video and written scenarios. Following each scenario, you will be required to answer a set of probing questions under a time contract. The test typically takes between 75-90 minutes to complete. Each response is graded by a different rater, giving a very robust and reliable view of personal and professional characteristics important to our program. No studying is required for CASPer, although you may want to familiarize yourself with the test structure at takeCASPer.com, and ensure you have a quiet environment to take the test.

CASPer test results are valid for one admissions cycle. Applicants who have already taken the test in previous years will therefore be expected to re-take it.


Review Process

Applications submitted after file review has opened on January 31, 2022


Supporting documents (excluding letters of reference) that arrive after file review has opened  on  January 31, 2022


Letters of reference that arrive after the unmasking date on January 31, 2022


The file review takes place with the oversight of the Residency Program Committee (RPC) each year. A CaRMS Review Sub-Committee reviews all candidates, then discussed and ranked. The top candidates that best match the program are then selected to be interviewed.


Interviews

Interviews for selected candidates will be conducted online again this year during the interview range of dates of February 28 to March 20, 2022. We will do our best to ensure we do not overlap with other institutions and/or coordinate our efforts with them to ensure you won't have competing dates. Last year we were able to participate in a virtual Urology Fair. We will do our best to participate again to ensure we're coordinated nationally.

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
The interview team consists of Faculty members, one resident, the Program Director and the Divisional Director who will conduct 15 minute standardized interviews. This interview is a mandatory component of the application process. Video conferencing will be the only option offered this year.


Selection Criteria

Applications are reviewed and scored based upon a standard set of criteria. From this application review, a "short list" of candidates is generated and these individuals are offered an interview.

The Ideal Candidate:

Our ideal candidate is an exceptional person who can build upon their personal foundation, develop through residency, and become an excellent urologist. We believe this requires a strong academic record, excellent work ethic, true love for urology, and life-experience.  From this core, we aim to develop the student into a dedicated, reliable, and effective member of our team.  

We believe that strong interpersonal skills and ability to work symbiotically in a team environment is essential. This is most likely demonstrated to us through extra-curricular activities, such as work experience, team sports, volunteerism, etc. Success in residency relies on teamwork, and it is an integral aspect of our program. 

We also value success and achievements outside of scholastic accomplishments, as we believe the efforts put forth, skills gained, and resiliency developed will contribute to success inside the hospital.  

We respect a well-rounded applicant and education. We are not concerned that a variety of clinical experiences will detract from an application, to the contrary, it should reinforce that Urology is the best choice for the student! Many of our best candidates (and faculty) “discovered” urology later in medical school and had minimal elective experience.  

Research and electives should be seen as tools for the student to develop their interest in Urology and demonstrate their skills (clinical, technical, and ability to work in a team). Although these are very common amongst competitive applicants, they are not essential.  

We are very proud of our program, and extremely proud of the people in it. We look forward to meeting the next cohort of our team, and the attributes they bring to make us even better.  

Program goals

The University of Alberta Urology Residency Program is a fully accredited surgical training program. The mission of the program is to ensure that each resident is provided with every opportunity to develop the academic, technical, professional, and inter-personal skills necessary to competently practice the discipline of urology within the accreditation standards mandated by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). Upon the completion of training, the graduating resident will:
● Acquire the personal aptitudes and communication skills necessary for effective patient-centered care.
● Practice medicine in a collaborative manner, recognizing that patient care is a shared responsibility amongst health care professionals.
● Practice medicine in an ethical and professional manner.
● Understand the limits of their own expertise and seek assistance from other health care professionals when necessary.

Selection process goals

For the Urology Residency Program at the University of Alberta, the successful applicant(s) will demonstrate a strong work ethic and a true commitment to the Urology field.

Critical thinking is important for the successful applicant.

Strong interpersonal skills and a collaborative approach is vital for the successful applicant.

The ability to perform under pressure is a requirement for the successful applicant.

Strong visuo-spatial skills and fine motor skills are necessary for the successful applicant.

File review process

Review team composition : A sub-committee of the RPC has been chosen, including resident members, to review all applicant files. After the files are reviewed, a meeting is held to review and rank the applicants. The top contenders are offered interviews.

Average number of applications received by our program in the last five years : 0 - 50
We typically receive between 25 - 45 applications each year.

Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 51 - 75 %
We offer around 24 interviews per year. In 2021 we interviewed over 35 applicants.

Evaluation criteria :
File component Criteria
CV We will be reviewing your CV.
Electives Electives might not be possible.
Examinations We will be reviewing your academic achievements.
Extra-curricular Do you have interests outside of medicine that will aid in stress management in the future?
Leadership skills We're looking for demonstrated leadership skills through achievements and activities.
MSPRs We will be reviewing your MSPRs.
Personal letters We will be reviewing your personal letters.
Reference documents Three letters are required, preferably from Surgeons and/or Urologists.
Research/Publications Have you been active in pursuing research in the past that will aid your success in the future?
Transcripts We will be reviewing your transcripts.
Other file component(s) We will be reviewing your CASPer score

Elective criteria

Covid-19 restrictions have made it difficult for applicants to complete electives. This will be taken into consideration.

Interview process

Interview format :



We routinely accommodate requests to re-schedule interviews for applicants due to weather, technology failure or unforeseen circumstances.

Interview evaluation criteria :
Interview components Criteria
Collaboration skills We will be looking for demonstrated collaboration.
Collegiality We will be looking for demonstrated collegiality.
Communication skills We will be looking for effective communication skills.
Health advocacy We will be looking for examples of health advocacy.
Interest in the discipline We will be looking for genuine interest in the discipline.
Interest in the program We will be looking for genuine interest in the program.
Leadership skills We will be looking for the pursuit of and demonstrated leadership skills.
Professionalism We will be looking for professionalism.
Scholarly activities We will be looking for examples of scholarship.

Information gathered outside of CaRMS application

Specifically, we may consider:







Ranking process

The behavior(s) exhibited below during the interview process may prevent an applicant from being ranked by our program :
   
   
   


Program Highlights

Program Highlights

  • High clinical and surgical volume based on large catchment area (AB, BC, Sask, NWT, Yukon)
  • Provide expertise in general urology and all subspecialties of urology including urologic oncology, reconstructive urology, minimally invasive and robotic surgery (MIS), endourology (stone disease), female urology / pelvic floor medicine, andrology, infertility, pediatric urology, and renal transplantation
  • Dianne and Irve Kipnes Urology Centre (DIKUC): a state of the art institute where all adult urologist congregate to offer all facets of ambulatory care: clinic, cystoscopy, minor procedures, and ESWL
  • Incorporation of Technology: 2 da Vinci Si units that include: cryotherapy, green-light, etc and EPIC province wide electronic medical record 
  • Collegial atmosphere
  • Strong academic environment
  • Research opportunities: 3 independent discovery and translation research laboratories, multiple clinical research areas of expertise 
    Regional (prairie Urological Association), national, and international conference support, and an optional Clinician Investigator Program
  • Funding available to attend regional, national and international meetings
  • Elective opportunities

Why Choose the UofA Urology Residency Program

  • Center of excellence in reconstruction, endourology, uro-oncology, MIS and transplantation
  • Recognized leader in the use of laparoscopy, robotics, lasers, cryosurgery, radio frequency ablation and image‐guided therapy
  • Simulation training available including dry labs, animal labs and an endourology simulator
  • Established robotic surgery program with 2 robotic platforms in use since 2007
  • Spend time in the recently opened $40 million Northern Alberta Urology Centre (NAUC) with 32 exam rooms, 6 cystoscopy suites, 1 lithotripsy suite, 2 urodynamic suites, 4 minor procedure rooms and a 10 bay recovery room accommodating approximately 55,000 patient visits per year
  • Strong focus on basic science and clinical research in pediatric urology, reconstructive urology uro-oncology, photodynamic therapy and laser technology
  • Light rail transit connects the 2 main teaching sites (University and Royal Alexandra Hospitals)


Program Curriculum

This residency program is for 5 years.

Program length of training does not exceed the Royal College or College of Family Physicians of Canada standard.

.

Curriculum

The Urology Residency Program at the University of Alberta is five years in length.  The mission of this surgical program is to provide an individual with a firm knowledge base as well as the clinical and technical skills necessary to practice the discipline of urology.  Upon completion of this residency program, the trainee will have obtained the necessary prerequisites set by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) for certification in urology.

The strength of this program is the volume and variety of operative and non-operative cases to which the resident is exposed.  Expertise is provided in all disciplines of urology with emphasis on urologic oncology, laparoscopy and robotic surgery, stone disease/endourology, urodynamics and female urology, pediatric urology, BPH, erectile dysfunction and renal transplantation.  A practical exposure to urology is maintained within a strong academic environment.

The Division of Urology actively participates in clinical research as well as basic science research.  The University of Alberta has an accredited Clinician Investigator Program (CIP).  The urology resident has the opportunity to enter into this program or a surgeon scientist program if so desired.



PGY-1 & 2

The first year of the Urology Residency Program are part of the Surgical Foundations Program.  The objective of this first year is to give the resident a strong foundation in the basic principles of surgery.  During this time the resident will have amassed sufficient knowledge to successfully complete Part II of the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination and the Royal College Surgical Foundations Examination (SFE). 

This program is managed by the Surigcal Foundations Program Director in year 1. ATLS and PALS courses are completed during the PGY1 year and according to article 10.06 of the governing PARA agreement all residents shall be reimbursed by the Authority for 100% of the course fees incurred for successfully obtaining "Life Support" courses that are deemed necessary by his/her Program Director and have been approved by the Authority.  Courses required by our program are as follows:

  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
  • Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS)
  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)

 PGY1 consists of clinical rotations in:

  • Adult Urology (16 weeks)
  • General Surgery (12 weeks)
  • Pediatric Urology (4 weeks)
  • Nephrology Consults (4 weeks)
  • Emergency Medicine (4 weeks)
  • Selective (8 weeks) (Choose 2, 4 weeks each: diagnostic radiology, critical care medicine, internal medicine)
  • Vacation (4 weeks)

PGY2 is comprised of rotations in:

  • Adult Urology (20 weeks)
  • Vascular Surgery (12 weeks)
  • Pediatric Urology (8 weeks)
  • Intensive Care (12 weeks)
  • Vacation (4 weeks)

 

PGY-3 to 5

The final three years are spent on the clinical Urology services of the University of Alberta Hospital, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Misericordia Hospital, Stollery Children's Health Centre and the Northern Alberta Urology Centre (NAUC).  The main adult teaching units are the University of Alberta Hospital and the Royal Alexandra Hospital, and the NAUC.

Clinical rotations in Urology offer training in all aspects of adult and pediatric urology (urologic oncology, laparoscopy, stone disease/endourology, urodynamics and female urology, pediatric urology, BPH, and erectile dysfunction renal transplantation).  Responsibility is graduated; however, with a small program and a large clinical volume operative experience is gained early.

PGY3 is comprised of rotations in:

  • Pediatric Urology
  • Urologic Oncology
  • Renal Transplant
  • Female Urology
  • Endourology
  • Ambulatory Urology
  • General Urology
  • Andrology

 PGY4 is comprised of rotations in:

  • Pediatric Urology
  • Urologic Oncology
  • Renal Transplant
  • Female Urology
  • Endourology
  • Ambulatory Urology
  • General Urology
  • Andrology
  • Elective

 PGY5 is comprised of rotations in:

  • Pediatric Urology
  • Urologic Oncology
  • Renal Transplant
  • Female Urology
  • Endourology
  • Ambulatory Urology
  • General Urology
  • Andrology

During these rotations, the resident will be focusing on the specific educational objectives for those rotations.  However, s/he will still participate in all clinical activities taking place at the rotation site.



Academic Half-Day, Grand Rounds, and Journal Club

Friday mornings are allocated for the Division of Urology Grand Rounds and once a month for the Department of Surgery Grand Rounds. Each Thursday morning, from 8 AM to 12 PM, is protected time for the residents to attend the mandatory Academic Half Day which consists of a seminar series and an hour or so of allocated to resident research time.

The seminar series takes place throughout the year and is a didactic/book teaching series that is designed on a two-year rotating schedule with staff participation. The subject matter is based on the core urological textbook Walsh-Campbell's Urology. By the time a resident has completed the Urology Residency Program, they will have read this text at least twice, as a junior and then again as a senior resident. The second seminar is a series based on case discussions presented by various staff surgeons on a rotating topic list, affiliated with chapter reading. This helps to develop resident knowledge on urological principles, diagnosis and care.

Journal Club is held the first Monday of the month (from October to June). The chief resident will assign one to two articles selected from the Journal of Urology to each resident (with the exception of residents on out-of-city electives). Articles selected will include current and classical articles on pre-selected topics. Residents are given 5-10 minutes to presents on article(s) including an evaluation of the article's importance, study design, and validity of statistics and conclusions. All residents and staff are expected to attend.



Research

Basic science and clinical research is a strong focus of the Division of Urology at the University of Alberta. Currently, the Division is participating in a number of clinical trials both in urology and transplantation. The Division is also involved in wet bench research in the fields of pediatric urology, oncology, photodynamic therapy and laser technology. Residents are not required to participate in basic science research during their five clinical years of training.  However, there is an excellent opportunity for those wishing to pursue basic science research to obtain a PhD or MSc degree in experimental surgery through an established Clinician Investigatorship Program. This would require two years outside of, and in addition to, the five clinical years of Urology.

Residents are expected to participate in a clinical research project each year. This is usually in the area of clinical outcomes or quality assurance. This paper is presented at the annual Resident Research Day and often also at the Prairie Urological Association Meeting held in February/March each year. The resident is also expected to submit this paper for presentation at the Department of Surgery Research Day and as an abstract to a national and/or international meeting.



Quick Facts

  • Two blocks (consisting of 28 days each) of elective time is provided during the PGY4 year.  This can be completed at a facility outside of Edmonton after rotation-specific objectives for the elective have been reviewed and approved by the Residency Program Committee (RPC) in advance to the elective period.
  • Ratio of residents to faculty is roughly 1:2
  • The inpatient service load is approximately 12 to 15 patients at the University Hospital (including 3 patients at the Stollery Children's Hospital), 12 to 15 patients at the Royal Alexandra Hospital and 5 to 10 patients at the Misericordia Community Health Centre (short-stay unit). These estimates will vary from time to time.
  • No mandatory rural rotations are required as part of the residency program but can be optionally taken during the elective period in the PGY4 year.




Training Sites

Resources

  • Dianne and Irving Kipnes Centre for Urology, Kaye Edmonton Clinic, 140 University Ave, Edmonton, AB T6G 1Z1
  • University of Alberta Hospital (UAH), 8440 112 St NW, Edmonton, AB T6G 2B7
  • Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH), 10240 Kingsway NW, Edmonton, AB T5H 3V9
  • Misericordia Community Health Centre (MIS), 16940 87 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5R 4H5
  • Grey Nun's Hospital (GNH), 1100 Youville Dr W Northwest, Edmonton, AB T6L 5X8
  • Stollery Children's Health Centre, 8440 112 St NW, Edmonton, AB T6G 2B7
  • Cross Cancer Institute (CCI), 11560 University Ave, Edmonton, AB T6G 1Z2

Computer access is available through computer stations located in the resident lounges of each hospital. There is a Urology resident's room at the University of Alberta Hospital site, at the Kaye Edmonton Clinic site, and a call room with full computer access at Anderson Hall which is adjoined to the Royal Alexandra Hospital. Each is equipped with a computer with Internet access. Each resident is provided with an account on the University of Alberta server which allows them access to e-mail, electronic journals etc.

An endourology simulator, located at the University site, and laparoscopic dry labs located at the Centre for the Advancement of Surgery Education and Simulation (CASES), and resident offices (University Hospital site and Royal Alexandra hospital site) are available for resident use. Residents are encouraged to utilize these resources to assist them in developing and mastering the skills of cystoscopy, ureteroscopy, percutaneous renal access, and laparoscopic suturing skills.