Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many residents are there in your program?

We currently have 70 residents in the core program. We are anticipating recruiting 19 residents for the 2017-18 CaRMS Match.

2. What is the application process?

All applications are through CaRMS

3. Do you accept foreign medical graduates?

Yes. Each year approximately 4 of our residents have had their medical school training outside of Canada.

4. What are the strengths of your program?

I think Queens provides you with an excellent clinical training in internal medicine. KGH is a tertiary care hospital with a wide catchment area and a referral population of over 600,000 patients. Our residents see a great variety of medical problems throughout their training and all get significant 'hands-on' experience with critically ill patients. Nearly all acute medicine admissions come to the CTUs. In addition as we are a smaller sized program the residents and faculty get to know each other very well. There is a friendly and collegiate atmosphere which provides a positive learning environment

5. What is the call schedule like?

Call is heaviest in the PGY1 year. Residents on the CTU or cardiology services take approximately 1:4 call, mostly as emergency room call or cross covering wards at night. On subspecialty rotations this is usually 4-5 calls/block.

The PGY2/3 on CTU take 1:4 call but leave at 10:00 pm and hand over to the night float resident. The PGY2 on ICU or cardiology take is a traditional 1:4 overnight call but reduces to 2-3 calls a month on subspecialty rotations.

The PGY3s cover the DICU step down unit and provide in-house back-up for the junior residents. This call is 2-4 calls/block. If working a Cardiology block (e.g CCU or Consults) they take 1:4 Cardiology call.

PARO rules mean any resident who is on overnight call leaves by 10:00 am on their post-call day.

6. How much formal teaching is done?

The program provides several settings for formal teaching. Fixed weekly conferences include medical grand rounds and a departmental mortality and morbidity conference. Morning Report occurs daily at 7.45am where recent admissions are discussed. Core internal medicine rounds are once a week involving case presentations, patient safety rounds, resident ‘case of the month’ and lectures. Other days provide opportunities for residents to attend subspecialty conferences of their choice. Academic half days are Wednesday afternoons for ALL residents. In addition, a journal club is held 8-9 times during the academic year, during the evenings at a local restaurant.

7. Research opportunities?

Queens boasts an active research faculty and our residents are encouraged to participate in research projects with a mentor. Protected research time is available and residents are expected to participate in the annual resident research day at the end of the year

8. How do you evaluate the residents?

As we are a medium sized program we get to know all our residents very well. Formal evaluations are completed at the end of every rotation and individual observation of history taking, clinical exam and communication skills are expected. In addition, each resident will meet twice a year with the Program Director or Associate Program Director to discuss their evaluations and individual progress. We formally test medical knowledge with the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) In-Training Exam (ITE) annually. A Royal College like multi-OSCE station exam is also held every year. Junior residents participate in a 'nightmares' simulation series with their colleagues until they have achieved competence. A simulation series for senior residents is being developed. Senior residents also have to complete a Journal Club presentation prior to graduation. 

9. How much elective time do I get?

All residents are eligible for 4 electives over 3 years (1 in PGY1 year, 2 in PGY2 year and 1 in PGY3 year). These electives can be taken at Queens or at another institution. In addition residents are allocated a selective block in PGY3 year where they can select a particular rotation of interest which must be completed at Queens. These options allow significant flexbility in the residents schedule. Some residents have taken the opportunity to do electives abroad. Any selective or elective block can be used for research (up to a maximum of 3 blocks).

10. Future subspecialty training?

We provide subspecialty training in most of the major subspecialties (cardiology , critical care medicine , gastroenterology , general internal medicine , haematology , medical oncology , nephrology , palliative care , respirology , and rheumatology ). We have been very successful in placing our residents in the subspecialty of their choice, usually in the city of their choice. Whilst we cannot guarantee any resident a particular subspecialty position when you first join us, Queen’s residents are favourably viewed by our faculty and we do our best to make sure all residents are provided with the best career opportunities for their future. All residents are guaranteed 4 years of training in order to qualify and be prepared for the Royal College exams.

11. What other benefits are available to the residents?

Every year we encourage residents to attend a national meeting and educational stipends are available if research is being presented. The Postgraduate Medical Education Office also provides a subscription to UpToDate® for all residents for the duration of their training. Repeated code blue training sessions with varying scenarios are provided at our simulation centre, along with specific procedure based teaching in small groups. There are also a number of educational courses run by the post-graduate office here at Queens focusing on medical education and leadership skills and we encourage our senior residents to apply. Our interns have created a Queen's 'On Call' book available free to all core residents.

12. Resident morale?

Resident morale is high, and there is a very collegial and supportive atmosphere amongst the residents and faculty. The program organizes several social events throughout the year the highlight being a weekend retreat outside of Kingston (recent trips include Chateau Montebello, Blue Mountain, and Chateau Bromont). We also host an annual welcome BBQ, and an end of year 'Last Call Ball' at a Kingston Hotel where awards and prizes are presented, and the graduating residents are 'roasted' by the faculty.