2020 Cycle Externs: Please see this update from the AIMG Program regarding COVID-19

Candidates who match to the AIMG Program residency positions must undergo a period called Externship prior to being accepted as a resident. During this 10-week Externship period, Externs participate in 10 days of orientation sessions and eight weeks of assessment in a clinical setting, as stipulated in their written offer of a position from the AIMG Program. The Extern assessment phase 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 - revised due to COVID-19 -UPDATED May 6, 2020
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2020 Cycle

Phase 1: 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 residency program directors and preceptors, compilation of assessments from Clinical Externship and the AIMG’s Clinical Assessment Placements, 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, particularly the twelve Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) that define common expectations and competencies for graduating Canadian medical students.

Phase 2: Assessment Period

During the eight-week Extern 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 from the residency program who are responsible for assessing the Extern’s clinical competencies and readiness to enter into residency training.
  • Assessors are required to complete standardized assessment forms regarding the performance of the AIMG Program Extern and then review the assessments with the Extern.
  • Externs are assessed in comparison to the competencies and Entrustable Professional Activities of a graduating Canadian medical student.
  • Assessment forms, signed by the assessor and the Extern, are submitted to the applicable Residency Program Director and the AIMG Program office.

At the end of the eight-week Extern 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.  An Extern may not be successful in Externship and therefore would 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 Extern Agreement indicating acceptance of all of the following terms and conditions

Throughout Externship:
  • Externs are not considered to be students, residents or employees of the University of Calgary, University of Alberta or 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 Extern 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.
Extern assessment in a clinical setting cannot begin until the requirements listed below are met:
  • Externs must be duly licensed and in good standing with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA). Externs are responsible for payment of any associated application and registration fees.
  • Externs must have completed all requirements needed by Alberta Health Services (AHS) and been granted clinical access for the Extern 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 Extern 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 waivers/deferrals of the Extern 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 C$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 College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (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.