Frequently Asked Questions

What are the program strengths?

The clinical training in the internal medicine residency program is considered one of its strongest points. Halifax serves as the tertiary and quaternary care centre for most of the Atlantic provinces, so there are an extensive variety of cases. You'll benefit from the breadth and depth of hands-on educational opportunities.

Our trainees are a close and supportive group who consistently develop excellent relationships with faculty members. The collegiality within the Department of Medicine provides you with an opportunity to get to know many faculty members well.

There's a strong commitment on the part of our program director, site director and education administration. Any questions or concerns are addressed carefully and quickly.

How much time is devoted to formal teaching?

Formal teaching is incorporated into all levels of the curriculum. Typically, academic activities include:

  • Academic Half Day
    • Junior foundation curriculum is run for PGY1 year on Tuesday afternoons (video broadcast to SJ)
    • Senior curriculum is run Thursday afternoons (video broadcast to SJ)
    • Based on a two-year curriculum covering general medicine, subspecialty, ethics and other medicine related topics. These cases are generally presented in a didactic format with interaction from the residents. The focus is on the clinical approach to a variety of internal medicine problems.
  • Department of Medicine Grand Rounds – Tuesday mornings
  • Summer Grand Rounds are presented by the PGY3 trainees. The presenter of the best summer grand rounds is recognized annually.
  • Resident Journal Club – monthly
  • Interesting Case Rounds – monthly
  • Medical Teaching Unit Noon Teaching – daily
  • Medical Teaching Unit Sign-In Rounds – daily
  • Medical Teaching Unit Morbidity and Mortality Rounds – monthly
  • Simulation Training
    • The program operates a simulation training program which is required for all residents. Residents participate in hands-on training in the simulation lab with experienced faculty members at least six times per academic year and in weekly training sessions during the ICU rotation.

Various other scheduled teaching activities occur in association with the specific rotations. For example, the Medical Teaching Unit has morning sign-in rounds, lunchtime teaching rounds and sessions on physical exam skills at the bedside.

What research opportunities can I expect?

As a PGY1 resident, you'll participate in a two-month research training course. This course will help you take a project idea to proposal and become familiar with the concepts and resources needed to complete the project. The Department of Medicine has a dedicated resident research director, committee and coordinator who will help you with research contacts and resources on an ongoing basis.

You have the opportunity to apply for a block of time dedicated to scholarly activity. You're encouraged to submit project abstracts for presentation at the Department of Medicine Research Day and other peer reviewed meetings. The Department of Medicine supports Dalhousie’s Clinician Investigator Program and has had residents complete the program in recent years.

If I choose internal medicine at Dalhousie, where will my training take place?

The residency training program has two application streams through the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS): one in Halifax, N.S. and one in Saint John, N.B. If you match to either location, you can expect to complete rotations as outlined in our curriculum in both cities. Accommodations are provided during your stay away from your home city for all mandatory rotations.

What is the call frequency and what are the call duties?

In the first year, you should expect to be on call one in four nights for most rotations, usually providing in-house ward coverage. This provides excellent clinical exposure and learning early in training. In the second year, you generally do four to six call shifts per rotation. In the third year, call drops to between two to five call shifts per rotation. This significant reduction in call duties is a reflection of the graded responsibility principle in the program.

What depth and breadth of clinical experience can I expect?

Overall, you can expect excellent depth and breadth of experience. The first year provides broad experience across the subspecialties and is predominantly inpatient. The second year includes a combination of inpatient and outpatient rotations. In third and fourth years of training, you assume more of a consultant role, including ambulatory care clinic rotations within the subspecialties.