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Candidates who match to the AIMG Program residency positions must undergo a period called Externship prior to being accepted as a resident. During this six or ten-week Externship period, externs participate in nine days of orientation sessions and four or eight weeks of assessment in a clinical setting, as stipulated in their written offer of a position from the AIMG Program.  The Externship Assessment is not intended as a training period – its sole purpose is to assess the extern’s capabilities and readiness to enter into residency training in Alberta.  It MUST be completed to the satisfaction of the Residency Program Director prior to final acceptance into residency training.
Externship Handbook
Extern Login
Note:  Access to be granted to Extern Login as needed.  Further information will be provided.

2023 Cycle

Phase 1: Externship Orientation

The AIMG Program provides a two-week orientation to the IMGs who have successfully matched to residency programs before they begin the clinical assessment component of Externship.  The goal of Orientation is to prepare externs for a successful entry into the Canadian medical environment by introducing them to medical practice in the context of the Alberta and Canadian healthcare system.

Externship Orientation focuses on common knowledge gaps of IMGs that have been identified through discussion with relevant residency programs, assessment gaps, review of current research, and input from previous externs.

All externs are expected to have a fundamental knowledge of medicine, clinical skills and patient care.  While Externship Orientation will include a few sessions on some crucial clinical skills where IMGs have identified gaps, the main focus is familiarization with expectations of patient care in the Canadian medical system.  The orientation curriculum is developed with consideration of the CanMEDS framework, "which identifies and describes the abilities physicians require to effectively meet the health care needs of the people they serve."

Phase 2: Clinical Externship Assessment Period

During the four or eight-week Clinical Externship Assessment Period with the residency program:

  • Externs are assigned supervised patient care clinical experiences by the residency program to which they have matched.  Placements will occur primarily in hospital and community facilities within the relevant University’s Alberta Health Services Zone, but may also occur in facilities within other Zones.
  • Externs are assigned to one or more physicians designated by the residency program who are responsible for the extern's assessments.
  • Assessors are required to complete program-specific assessment forms regarding the performance of the extern and are encouraged to review the assessments with the extern.
  • Externs are assessed in comparison to the competencies and Entrustable Professional Activities expected of a Canadian medical graduate.
  • Assessment forms are reviewed by the applicable Residency Program Director and are also viewable by the AIMG Program.
  • The Residency Program Director (or appointed representatives) determines, at his/her discretion, if the extern will be accepted into residency training at the PGY1 level.

At the end of the predetermined Externship Assessment Period, the applicable Residency Program Director reviews the extern’s assessments and authorizes the approval to commence postgraduate residency training for externs who have demonstrated competency equivalent to a graduating Canadian medical student.  If an extern does not successfully complete their Externship Assessment, they will not be accepted for residency training.  Unsuccessful externs can reapply as a candidate for match consideration through the AIMG Program in a subsequent year unless dismissed by the residency program because of an egregious breach of professional conduct.

The decision regarding an extern’s assessment and outcome is final.

Externs are required to sign an AIMG Program Externship Agreement indicating acceptance of all the following terms and conditions.

Throughout Externship:

  • Externs are not considered to be students, residents, or employees of the University of Calgary, the University of Alberta, or Alberta Health Services (AHS).
  • Externs may not engage in other clinically-related jobs that require a practice permit from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA).
  • Participation in the Externship Assessment Period is contingent on full attendance at and participation in the mandatory two-week Externship Orientation.
  • Externs are not eligible for membership in the Professional Association of Residents of Alberta (PARA).
  • Externs will not have Worker’s Compensation Board coverage through the AIMG Program, the relevant University, or AHS.
  • The AIMG Program may terminate the Externship at any time for any cause or reason it considers sufficient.

Externship Assessment in a clinical setting cannot begin until the requirements listed below are met:

  • Externs must be duly registered and in good standing with the CPSA.  Externs are responsible for payment of any associated application and registration fees.
  • Externs must have completed all requirements needed by AHS and been granted clinical access for the Externship Assessment Period, including but not limited to providing documentation of Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) insurance coverage, Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Search, and completing mandatory AHS online privacy training.  Externs are responsible for payment of any associated application and registration fees.

During the Externship Assessment Period:

  • The Residency Program determines clinical assignments/rotations for externs.  Placements will occur primarily in hospital and community facilities within the relevant University’s AHS Zone, but may also occur in facilities within other Zones.  The Program will also review and decide on any requests for delays to the start or during the Externship Assessment Period.
  • Externs are required to complete their clinical rotations as scheduled.
  • To be successful, externs are expected to perform clinical duties at a level comparable to that of a recent Canadian medical graduate.
  • Externs are expected to behave in a professional manner in keeping with the standards of medical practice in Canada and the CPSA Code of Conduct (http://www.cpsa.ca/cpsa-code-conduct).
  • The performance of day-to-day clinical duties are subject to the rules of medical staff conduct as determined by AHS and the CPSA.  Externs must comply with the general by-laws, medical staff by-laws, rules and regulations of the AHS Zone, institution or teaching location assigned.
  • A Residency Program Director (or designate) may decide at any time during the assessment period to dismiss an extern. This decision may be made for a variety of reasons including egregious unprofessional behaviour, unsafe clinical practice or breach of conduct rules by the extern. Dismissal would deem the extern unsuccessful and therefore the extern would not be accepted into residency.
  • Removal or suspension from the Register of the CPSA will result in automatic termination or suspension from the AIMG Program Externship.
  • Transfers to other programs are not permitted during Externship.
  • Externs must successfully complete their Externship in order to commence postgraduate residency training, as determined by the applicable Residency Program Director or designate.

The AIMG Program currently pays a monthly stipend of CAD$1,250 to each AIMG Program extern for each full month they participate in the Externship.  There is no extra stipend for being on call, nor is there any deduction to the stipend if externs are not on call.  Externs are not entitled to vacation time or pay during Externship.

Externs are not permitted to hold any other clinically-related employment that requires a practice permit from the CPSA.  Due to the short duration of the Externship, it is strongly recommended that externs do not participate in any employment during Externship due to varied call schedules and the high stakes related to the outcome of Externship.

NOTE:  Externs must arrange for their own transportation and accommodation during Externship.