University of Alberta - Diagnostic Radiology - Edmonton

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

Last approved on September 21, 2021

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria

Dr. Arlene Kanigan
Radiology & Diagnostic Imaging 
2A2.41 Walter C Mackenzie Health Sciences Centre  
8440 112 Street
Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2B7
(780) 407-6810
(780) 407-6176
Radiology & Diagnostic Imaging, University of Alberta

Program Contacts

Janet Dawson
Program Assistant

Dr. Arlene Kanigan
Program Director

Important Information

Competence by Design (CBD):

To contribute to the success of Canadian physicians and the delivery of high-quality patient care, 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 and empowering learners to more fully engage in their education process.


CBD will use 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 will be broken down into stages, and each stage will have a series of entrustable professional activities (EPAs) and milestones based on required competencies.  These EPAs and milestones will 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.

Programs will transition to CBD according to a nationally coordinated schedule.  All programs implementing CBD 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 throughout their training.  Within a CBD program, all EPAs (documented within an electronic portfolio) and the Royal College examination must be successfully completed to achieve certification.

The Diagnostic Radiology program is tentatively scheduled to start implementation as of 2022. 

For more information, please contact


CASPer Assessment:

All applicants to the Diagnostic Radiology 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 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.

Please go to 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 as of September 2021.

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

The CASPer test comprises 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, 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.



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.
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:

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
Number requested: 3

Three references are required. Additional letters will not be considered. Please consider your referees carefully and ensure they can attest to your clinical knowledge, interpersonal skills, work ethic, attitude and other qualities. Canadian references are encouraged. Letters from residents will not be accepted.

Additional documents
[Note: Photograph is used as memory aid only]

Medical School Transcript 

Medical Student Performance Record 

Personal Letter 

A personal letter must be submitted. Your personal letter should help us get to know you. It should also answer the following questions: - Why have you chosen to apply to diagnostic radiology? - What personal attributes do you possess that you believe are suitable for a career in diagnostic radiology? - What are your expectations of residency training and what aspects of our program appeal to you?

Undergraduate Transcript (Bachelor's Degree) 

Custom Résumé / CV 

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



  • March 7, 2022
  • March 8, 2022
  • March 9, 2022
Interviews will be held on March 7, 8 and 9, 2022 during the national interview period.

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
Personal interviews are required and are program initiated. Candidates selected for personal interviews will be contacted. All interviews for CaRMS 2022 will be through a virtual platform.  There will be no in-person interviews. Telephone interviews are not accepted. Each interview consists of 2-3 sessions (each approximately 20-30 minutes in length) with separate panels of radiologists and residents in the program. Each candidate will have the opportunity to meet with the program director. 

Selection Criteria

Candidates will be selected on the basis of individual merit. Applicants should demonstrate strong
interpersonal skills including the ability to effectively collaborate with others, written and verbal
communication skills, empathy and compassion, respect for others, and a positive attitude. The program is
seeking enthusiastic, hard-working and motivated applicants who function well in a team setting and exhibit
an aptitude for diagnostic imaging.



Program goals

The aim of the University of Alberta Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program is to teach residents the
knowledge, skills and attitudes required to function as a safe, competent and independent consultant in the
specialty of Diagnostic Radiology. This includes the abilities to supervise, advise on, perform and interpret
imaging procedures at a high standard, functioning as a capable consultant to referring family physicians
and specialists alike. Residents will obtain the interpretive, reasoning, communication, and technical skills
required of such a consultant. The importance of the team approach to the provision of imaging services will be emphasized throughout the residency. Residents will develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes relating to critical appraisal, research methodology, data presentation and analysis pertinent to Diagnostic
Radiology. They will also learn to practice radiology ethically and consistent with the obligations and
attitudes of a physician respectful and sensitive to culture, ethnicity and gender. 
Our program mandate is to support and foster radiology education, research, quality assurance and
continuing professional development. We seek to engender the same sense of responsibility in our residents towards the specialty at large, ensuring a healthy, thriving discipline that is responsive to the needs of the public and our clinical colleagues. To that end, we are committed to providing our residents with the expertise and resources necessary to achieve these goals.

Selection process goals

The goal of the selection process is to identify successful applicants who demonstrate the attributes needed
to acquire knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to eventually function as a safe, competent, and
independent consultant in the specialty of  Diagnostic Radiology.   These attributes include effective
communication, knowledge acquisition, problem-solving, and continuous learning skills. 
Successful applicants require above average visual learning ability as excellent visual detection and visual
memory skills are necessary for success in diagnostic imaging.  Applicants should have sufficient hand-eye
coordination and visual-spatial abilities to acquire the technical skills required to perform basic interventional diagnostic imaging procedures such as drainages and biopsies.  Applicants must be self-motivated to learn independently and exhibit good collaborative and interpersonal skills which will allow them to function well in a team.  Applicants should possess attitudes fostering respect, cooperation, patient-centered care.  The Program values applicants who demonstrate a high level of integrity and professionalism.

File review process

Review team composition : The file review team is comprised of selected members of the Residency Program Committee and CaRMS interview committee

Average number of applications received by our program in the last five years : 51 - 200
Average 80-100

Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 26 - 50 %

Evaluation criteria :
File component Criteria
CV Evaluated
Electives We will not evaluate this file component in 2022
Examinations We do not evaluate this file component.
Extra-curricular Evaluated
Leadership skills Evaluated
MSPRs Evaluated
Personal letters Evaluated
Reference documents Evaluated
Research/Publications Evaluated
Transcripts Evaluated

Elective criteria

Electives will not not be considered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on elective rotation scheduling.
Electives will not not be considered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on elective rotation scheduling.

Electives in Diagnostic Radiology are not required to apply to our Program.

Electives at the Universtiy of Alberta are not required to apply to our Program.

Interview process

Interview format :

We do not re-schedule interviews for applicants after we have completed the scheduling process.

Interview evaluation criteria :
Interview components Criteria
Collaboration skills Evaluated
Collegiality Evaluated
Communication skills Evaluated
Health advocacy Evaluated
Interest in the discipline Evaluated
Interest in the program Evaluated
Leadership skills Evaluated
Professionalism Evaluated
Scholarly activities Evaluated
Other interview component(s) The interview may contain an evaluation of visual detection and visual-spatial skills.

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

-Active, enthusiastic Residency Program Committee that includes diverse gender and ethnic representation. The RPC includes four resident representatives and is very receptive to resident-driven changes.  There are multiple staff representatives from all of the citywide sites as well as a dedicated RPC staff Wellness Representative to ensure resident wellness is considered in all program initiatives.

-Our program is committed to and is a recognized Leader in Resident Wellness including multiple academic publications focused on resident wellness. Multiple radiology resident representatives sit on the PGME Wellness Committee. Our response to COVID-19 included modifications to our program that emphasized resident safety and wellness by allowing residents to obtain up to 2 hours per day of credit for wellness-related activities.

-Our program is well prepared to administer a high-quality education despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and was recently recognized by the RSNA as having one of the top responses to the pandemic out of all diagnostic radiology programs in North America. Residents have access to a safe learning environment with adequate physical distancing and PPE while in the hospital. If necessary, our health care system facilitates home-based reporting which we are able to quickly pivot to based on individual or program needs.

-A resident-driven Social Committee hosts multiple events including annual golf tournaments, welcome/farewell events, resident social events, and more. Events have previously been sponsored by the faculty, the Alberta Society of Radiologists, funding from Post-Graduate Medical Education, and more. In more recent times, the Social Committee has focused on creating virtual resident events and works closely with our RPC Wellness representative to ensure optimal socialization in a safe environment.

-A strong emphasis on resident leadership is an integral component of our program. We are the only program in Canada to have had multiple former Resident Representatives on the CAR Board of Directors, including two current residents that are currently part of the RFS Executive Committee.

-Our teaching faculty is able to provide guidance based on their experience as current/former Executive Members of the Alberta Society of Radiologists and the Canadian Association of Radiologists. We also promote and support involvement in the Professional Association of Residents of Alberta. Many of our staff are also involved with committees writing guidelines or position statements and are able to involve residents in these efforts. Formalized mentoring is embedded within our program for all residents at all stages of training.

-Staff from various specialties and community practice are involved in formal mentorship teams with both residents and fellows. Upon acceptance to our program, each incoming PGY1 resident is also assigned two dedicated resident mentors to provide support and be available to ensure a smooth
transition into residency.

-Residents are provided fully funded on-line resources such as StatDx, RadPrimer and IMAIOS e- anatomy. Needs assessment surveys are conducted on an annual basis to ensure we are continually meeting the evolving learning needs of our residents and that our resources are optimally utilized. Funding for the American Institute for Radiologic Pathology (AIRP) course in Washington, D.C and one conference (major radiology meeting or review course) is provided for all residents. Resident research presentations at the provincial, national and international levels are currently funded by the Department.

-The clinical faculty consists of approximately 90 radiologists at the teaching hospitals and is composed of both subspecialty radiologists in all of the major disciplines (pediatric radiology, chest radiology, musculoskeletal radiology, neuroradiology, body imaging, vascular/interventional radiology, cardiac imaging, and nuclear medicine) and community radiologists.

-A huge referral base, including northern Alberta and parts of British Columbia, ensures a large volume of adult and pediatric cases with diverse pathology.  Residents are exposed to the full range of imaging modalities and techniques in all areas of medicine.

-Province-wide electronic healthcare record system (NetCare and ConnectCare) allowing patient information, lab results, operative reports and diagnostic imaging to be accessed from sites across Alberta and with remote access (e.g., through a mobile device or at home).

-All imaging at the major teaching hospitals and community hospitals is digital with a state-of-the-art Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) networked across all of these hospitals, and voice-recognition reporting systems in place at all sites. The PACS is integrated across Alberta.

-Excellent faculty to resident teaching ratio of approximately 3 staff per 1 resident. Multiple learners are essentially never assigned to one staff at a time.

-Nuclear Medicine and Diagnostic Radiology are integral parts of the same department. The Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program and Combined Nuclear Medicine/Radiology Program are closely affiliated. All of the nuclear medicine physicians are dual-certified in radiology, providing excellent teaching in a collegial environment. Resources include PET-CT at the University Hospital and SPECT-CT at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

-Four months of dedicated pediatric radiology training at the Stollery Children's Hospital and exposure to pediatric radiology at all sites throughout the residency.

-No more than 8-9 fellows in any given year, providing residents with ample opportunity to avail themselves of interesting cases and participate in procedures. The fellows have traditionally had a strong collegial relationship with the residents, providing teaching and support during their clinical

-Residents have ample opportunity to be involved in the teaching of junior colleagues, off-service residents, and medical students as much as they would like.

-Year-round academic half-day incorporating a two-year rotating block teaching curriculum, physics course and numerous other academic activities including CanMeds sessions, dedicated anatomy teaching with the Division of Anatomy and review sessions. Daily rounds are conducted by faculty at
the University site with weekly rounds at the RAH. Grand rounds are scheduled weekly at the University Hospital and Royal Alexandra Hospital. Journal Club and Visiting Professor Series take place year-round.

-Community clinic rotations for senior residents providing an excellent ambulatory and transition to practice experience.

-Six 1.5 and two 3 Tesla MRI units are currently in clinical use.  State-of-the-art CT scanners are installed at all sites.  New angiography/interventional suites are in place at the University Hospital, Royal Alexandra Hospital and the Grey Nuns Community Hospital. Individual computer workstations
are provided for all residents during their rotations at each teaching site.

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.


The program is based in the University of Alberta Hospital and the Royal Alexandra Hospital, in association with the Stollery Children's Hospital, the Cross Cancer Institute, Sturgeon Community Hospital, Strathcona Community Hospital and the Grey Nuns Community Hospital. The University of Alberta Hospital (incuding the Stollery Children's Hospital) and the Royal Alexandra Hospital are large quaternary/tertiary care hospitals serving a population in excess of 1 million people. Each hospital imaging department performs in excess of 200,000 examinations per year.

PGY-1: The first postgraduate year is a basic clinical training year. Residents rotate through surgery, internal medicine, emergency, pediatrics, pediatric emergency, obstetrics/gynecology, intensive care/coronary care and anatomical pathology with one block of elective time and one Neuro selective block. The year concludes with an introductory orientation to radiology, which includes a didactic lecture series in medical physics, anatomy sessions, tutorials to develop dictation skills, and training in the use of PACS.  A PGY-1 Introduction to Radiology curriculum is being developed which will be delivered as part of the academic half day.

PGY-2: The first 4 blocks are 4 week introductory rotations in Thoracic Radiology, Neuroradiology (CT), Body Imaging (CT), Fluoroscopy and Plain Film Radiology geared towards preparation for call. The first two months of call is senior-junior call with graduated call responsibilities for the PGY-2 resident.  Call is a night float system.  There is 24/7 in house staff radiologist coverage. The remainder of the year consists of rotations in emergency radiology, fluoroscopy, two months of ultrasound and additional blocks of Body Imaging, Neuroradiology and Pediatric Radiology.  PGY2 residents also have dedicated half-day teaching sessions in physics and anatomy, as well as an introduction to Ultrasound course.

PGY-3: This year consists of two 4-week rotations in Nuclear Medicine, Angio/Interventional and Ultrasound and 4 week blocks in MRI, Body CT, Head and Neck Imaging and Pediatric Radiology.  Physics sessions continue for the first half of the PGY3 year.

PGY-4: Core rotations include 4 week blocks in Breast Imaging, Oncologic Imaging, Obstetrical Ultrasound, an 8 week block of Thoracic Radiology (plain film studies including ICU examinations and Chest CT), Cardiac Imaging, Community CT and senior rotations in Neuroradiology (principally MR), Body Imaging and Musculoskeletal Radiology. This year also includes the AIRP course and one elective block.  Additional body MRI teaching sessions are also provided.

PGY-5: This year is designed with maximum flexibility for the resident, in order that time can be spent in areas of special interest and to review core areas in radiology. Most residents complete rotations in Interventional Ultrasound, MRI, Nuclear Medicine, Neuroradiology, Body Imaging, Musculoskeletal Radiology, Pediatric Radiology, Breast Imaging and Junior Staff rotations.  Residents are typically released from call responsibilities by January of their final year, in preparation for their Royal College examinations.  There is a block of dedicated exam preparation.  Multiple review sessions are provided in the months prior to the Royal College exams.


The department strongly supports and encourages research activity by the residents. Each resident is required to complete one research project during the course of the residency. This can range from a basic science project or a clinical research project. A quality improvement/audit or patient safety project is also required.  The projects are expected to be completed to the point where they are ready to be submitted for publication. A resident research supervisor helps residents select appropriate projects and helps coordinate staff mentors and supervisors.

The department has an annual Audit and Research Day, as a mandatory forum for residents to present their completed work (or work in progress). A one-week research methodology course is offered to the residents. Residents presenting at the provincial, national or international meetings are currently funded by the program.  Our residents have demonstrated success at the national level at the annual Resident Research competition held by the Canadian Association of Radiologists.

The program is designed to allow time for research during the clinical rotations. Each resident is given up to 20 days of research time during the residency to work on their project.


Rounds: Currently, all teaching sessions are virtual using Zoom due to the Covid pandemic.  Traditionally, daily morning teaching rounds, usually case-based, take place at the University site during the academic year. Noon teaching rounds occur at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. Thursday Grand Rounds are scheduled at both sites throughout the year. Grand Rounds are often linked to the Grey Nuns and Sturgeon Community Hospitals and the Cross Cancer Institute. Pediatric radiology-surgery rounds and quality assurance rounds are scheduled at regular intervals at Grand Rounds. Multi-disciplinary pulmonary rounds take place every Wednesday at noon at the University Hospital.  Multiple additional subspecialty rounds occur in various disciplines throughout the week that residents often attend when on rotation.

Block Teaching: This takes place during the academic half-day every Wednesday afternoon and consists of a rotating curriculum every two years with a series of lectures by both radiologists and clinical faculty in the major subspecialties including Neuroradiology, Musculoskeletal Radiology, Pediatric Radiology, Thoracic Radiology, Breast Imaging, Body Imaging, Nuclear Medicine and Angio/Interventional.  Currently by Zoom.

PGY5 Exam Preparation Course:  Sessions are scheduled from February through April.

Journal Club: Scheduled throughout the academic year.

Visiting Professor Series: Scheduled throughout the academic year. They usually consist of a noon presentation to the department, dinner presentation to the residents and radiologists from multiple sites and typically two teaching sessions with the residents.  Currently by Zoom.

Resident Retreat:  Annual two-day retreat with visiting professor, alternating between in-town and out-of-town locations.  Cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic.

Physics: A one-year course including web-based, self-directed modules.

Training/Careers Post Residency

The majority of our residents go on to fellowship training in Canada and the US. Our residents traditionally have had no difficulty in securing fellowship positions. The remainder of the residents choose to go directly into practice, either in Alberta or in other provinces.


All residents participate in Link Block for the University of Alberta Medical School, leading small group teaching sessions with medical students over a one week period.  Residents also have ample opportunity (and are expected) to teach medical students, off-service residents and junior radiology residents during their clinical rotations. Currently all teaching is by Zoom.


Electives outside the University of Alberta are allowed provided that the elective time is spent in an accredited institution and the elective has been approved by the Residency Program Committee. Rural electives in Alberta and British Columbia have been popular recently. An elective at an outside institution must fulfill the requirements of the Royal College, including formal evaluation of performance during the elective.  Electives are typically scheduled during the PGY4 and PGY5 years.

Training Sites


University of Alberta Hospital (UAH): 650+ bed quaternary care centre treating over 700,000 patients annually and a leading clinical, teaching and research hospital in Western Canada

Stollery Children's Hospital: referral centre for pediatric cardiac surgery in Western Canada and national leader in organ transplantation. Referral base of 1.7 million

Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH): features one of Canada's busiest emergency departments and one of the largest and longest serving hospitals in Edmonton

Cross Cancer Institute (CCI): one of the two major cancer centres in Alberta, situated near University campus

Grey Nuns Community Hospital (GNH): 267 bed large community hospital situated in southeast Edmonton providing a ful range of services

Sturgeon Community Hospital (SCH): 80 bed community hospital serving the community of St. Albert, at the northwest border of Edmonton

Strathcona Community Hospital:  Urgent care centre serving the community of Sherwood Park


A state-of-the-art PACS system networked across 5 hospitals (UAH, Stollery, RAH, GNH and SCH) is in place with individual reporting workstations at all sites for all residents while on their rotations. Internet access is available at all sites with access to on-line teaching resources funded by the program. Radiology libraries are situated at multiple sites and kept up-to-date with regards to journals and textbooks, including electronic and hard copy teaching file material at the two major teaching hospitals. Both the University Hospital and Royal Alexandra Hospital have resident study rooms with computer facilities with 24-hour access for the residents.


What is call like?

Call is completed using a night float model. A night float week consists of 7 straight nights of working from 11:00 PM to 8:00 AM beginning with a pre-call day on Friday and ending with a post call day the following Friday. Residents also complete evening shifts from 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM. PGY-2, 3, and 4 residents complete an Emergency Radiology block each year to complete a large portion of their call at once. This model has resulted in significant improvements in resident wellness and learning. 


How many fellows does your program usually have (ie how much hands-on experience do residents get)?

Our program typically has 2-3 Body fellows, 1-2 IR fellows, 1-2 MSK fellows, 1 Pediatric fellow, and 0-1 Neuro fellows. Residents get lots of hands-on experience with efforts made by our program to ensure residents and fellows are on differing schedules. Our large catchment area and access to myriad academic and community hospitals and clinics limits competition between residents and fellows while maximizing teaching and collaboration.


How much conference funding is available?

Guaranteed at least $2000 for international conference and $1000 for Canadian conference at least once when presenting. Additional requests will be considered on a case by case basis but are usually approved. Funding is available for audits, research projects, or educational exhibits.


Do I need to drive?

LRT/public transit is good enough to get to the vast majority of your rotations and academic sessions. The LRT (train) comes right to both the RAH and UAH and runs between the two major teaching sites; the GNH will be connected by 2022. There are some rotations at alternate sites which are more challenging to get to via transit; however, it is feasible.