Faculty of Medicine

Faculty Regulations

Admission Requirements

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Applicants to the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine should ensure that they have also read the Office of Admissions' Information Brochure.

Eligibility for Admission

The number of positions is currently limited to 100. The number of positions may be increased slightly over the next several years due to a physician shortage. As a provincial university, the University of Calgary has a primary obligation to Canadian citizens residing in Alberta. Applications are invited from those students who are residents of other provinces, although priority will be given to residents of Alberta. The Faculty of Medicine has a policy on admission of candidates who are neither Canadian citizens nor landed immigrants. This policy is available on the WWW home page of the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine.

In selecting medical students, no consideration is given to the gender, race, religion, or socio-economic status of the applicant, nor to the vocation of his or her parent, guardian, or spouse.

Physical disabilities must not prevent the student, upon graduation, from communicating with patients, making observations, gathering and analyzing data necessary to arrive at medical judgements, and performing therapeutic interventions expected of a physician who has completed the educational program leading to an MD degree.

The University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine will not normally accept applications from students who have withdrawn, who have been required to withdraw, or who have been expelled from any school or college of medicine.

Educational Background

Students must have completed a minimum of two full years of university-level courses by the time of admission. (The Faculty of Medicine's definition of a full year is described in the Office of Admissions' Information Brochure. The brochure should be read in order to obtain the most factual information describing the requirements. The brochure is available on the University of Calgary web page.) Most, however, will have completed a baccalaureate degree before admission to the Faculty of Medicine. Exceptional and academically well-qualified students who wish to be considered for acceptance with only two years of university education may apply between their first and second year of university.

The Faculty of Medicine does not require that students undertake a formal premedical program. Rather, the courses recommended below are suggested as providing the necessary background for medical studies. As completion of these courses does not guarantee admission, students should ensure that courses chosen will satisfy the degree requirements of the undergraduate Faculty in which they are registered.

Recommended Courses

Applicants should satisfy the Admissions Committee that they are well prepared academically for entry into the Faculty of Medicine. Such preparation ordinarily will include a full university course in each of:

General chemistry
Organic chemistry
Psychology or sociology or anthropology
General biology
Mammalian physiology or comparative physiology
Calculus or statistics

University of Calgary students should consider the following courses:

Chemistry 201/203 (General Chemistry)
Chemistry 351/353 (Organic Chemistry)
Biochemistry 393/443 (Chemistry 351 is the prerequisite and 353 or 355 is the prerequisite or corequisite for Biochemistry 393.)
One of Psychology 205, Sociology 201, Anthropology 201
Two of English 231, 233, 235, 237, 239 or one of 202 or 240
Biology 231/233
Zoology 361/363 or 461/463 (Physiology) (Biology 331, and one of Chemistry 351 or Biochemistry 341 or 393 or 441 are prerequisites and either Chemistry 353 or 355 are prerequisites or corequisites for Zoology 461.)
Physics 211 (or 221)/223
Mathematics 249 or 251 or Statistics 211 or 213

The Admissions Committee will consider applications from students who have completed other educational or training programs (for example, honours in physical science, engineering, or the humanities). In the event that their applications are successful, such students are advised to satisfy specific knowledge deficits during the summer before admission, by means of conventional or special courses.

Admission/Registration Refusal

The University of Calgary reserves the right, the published regulations notwithstanding, to reject applicants for admission or registration in courses on the basis of their overall academic records even if they technically meet the entrance requirements, and on medical and other grounds.

Admission Procedures

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Admissions Committee

The Admissions Committee of the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine consists of representatives of the medical faculty, student physicians, the medical community, other disciplines, and the community at large. The Committee is charged with the selection of medical students on the basis of academic and non-academic qualifications. Approximately 180 Alberta applicants are invited for the final stage of the process, the on-site essay and the interview, on the basis of six criteria: post-secondary transcripts, Medical College Admission Test scores, a personal essay, employment history, extracurricular activities, and three letters of reference. Applications submitted by non-Albertans will be rank-ordered on the basis of an algorithm regression formula described on the website. The top ranked 100 candidates will be invited for interview.

Medical College Admission Test

All applicants must write the Medical College Admission Test at the latest by the autumn of the year before that for which admission is sought. MCAT scores will then be available to the Admissions Committee when considering applications. Applicants should contact the MCAT Program Office (http://www.aamc.org.mcat/) for details about the test and should instruct the organization to forward the results to the Admissions Committee. Candidates for this test should be aware that application to write the MCAT must be made at least six weeks before the date of the examination.

Applicants to the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine should be aware also that the MCAT was revised in 1991. The results of previous examinations will not be considered.


Application forms for the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine are available on the website. Applicants should note that the Office of Admissions will not accept facsimile transmission copies of transcripts. Also, the work of the Committee is greatly facilitated if applications are submitted as early as possible before the deadlines noted below. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the file is complete and that all necessary forms, official transcripts, letters of reference, and application fee are received by the Office of Admissions by the deadline dates indicated.

Applicants can obtain an application from www.med.ucalgary.ca/admissions. Applications can only be submitted online. Completion of this requires listing courses taken and grades obtained; stating the date of writing and scores obtained on the MCAT (if available); writing an essay; briefly describing employment history (if any) and extracurricular activities. The deadline for receipt by the Office of Admissions of the online application, all official transcripts, official MCAT scores, three letters of reference and the application fee of $120.00 is November 1.

The Admissions Committee reviews all completed Albertan applications which have met the two absolute requirements to determine which applicants will be granted an interview. The two absolute requirements are the written MCAT and that the applicant must have completed the equivalent of at least two years of full-time university education by the time of admission to this medical school and must have achieved a minimum grade point average as described in the Office of Admissions' Information Brochure. A complete application contains all the information described in the Information Brochure.

Applicants will be notified in February whether or not they will be invited for an interview.

If applications are considered successful at this stage, candidates are invited to attend an interview at the University of Calgary in February or March. Applicants must attend at their own expense. Before the interview, candidates are required to write an on-site essay on a topic assigned by the Admissions Committee. After the writing of the on-site essay, an interview which lasts about one hour and is used to assess non-academic qualifications, is held.

Applicants will be notified of the Admissions Committee's decision by May 15. All applicants accepted into Medicine must forward a $100 deposit within 30 days of notification of admission. Failure to do so may result in the position being assigned to an applicant on the waiting list. Such deposits are applied to the first year's fees. An applicant who accepts a position but later rescinds his/her acceptance will forfeit the $100 deposit.

All medical students must commence a program of immunization before registration day. The Faculty of Medicine reserves the right to refuse admission to any candidate whose health is such as to indicate that medical studies could be prejudicial to his or her well-being.

Admission of Students by Transfer

The University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine will consider application by students for transfer only from other LCME-accredited medical schools and only under special circumstances. Approval of transfer will be based on evaluation of the candidate and his/her past performance and on the availability of positions. Because the first and second years of the three-year MD program at the University of Calgary are regarded as a continuum of course work, transfers will only be considered in the final or clerkship year.


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Medicine 302 Principles for Medicine Course
Medicine 305 Cardiovascular System
Medicine 307 Respiratory System
Medicine 308 Blood System
Medicine 310 Renal-Electrolyte System
Medicine 312 Musculoskeletal and Skin System
Medicine 313 Integrative I Course
Medicine 314 Endocrine Metabolic System
Medicine 320 Medical Skills
Medicine 340 Research Methods and Evidence Based Medicine
Medicine 402 Independent Learning
Medicine 408 Gastrointestinal System
Medicine 410 Neurosciences
Medicine 412 Human Development
Medicine 413 Integrative II Course
Medicine 414 Reproductive System
Medicine 420 Medical Skills
Medicine 426 The Mind
Medicine 440 Applied Evidence Based Medicine

Medicine 502 Family Medicine
Medicine 504 Internal Medicine
Medicine 506 Surgery
Medicine 508 Paediatrics
Medicine 510 Psychiatry
Medicine 512 Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Medicine 514 Clerkship Electives
Medicine 516 Anaesthesia
Medicine 520 Medical Skills

For course descriptions see section on Courses of Instruction.

The initial years of the curriculum may be considered a basic medical education, at the end of which the MD degree will be granted.

MD Curriculum

The Systems-Based curriculum upon which the University of Calgary Medical School was founded in 1970 has produced highly qualified physicians over its 30 years of existence. The current curriculum is based on clinical presentations and is built on the strengths of the previous Systems-Based curriculum by maintaining the same administrative structure. The Clinical Presentation Curriculum represents an integrated curriculum with basic sciences and clinical sciences introduced in a step wise-fashion as they relate to the clinical problem being addressed. The clinical objectives for each presentation contain a classification system, unique to the problem, to structure the knowledge required in a manner relevant to clinical problem solving. This clinical problem solving pathway or scheme becomes a student's reference structure to attach and later retrieve knowledge.

After the orientation program that outlines the nature of the educational experience to come, three courses start in the second week of medical school. The Principles for Medicine Course is the introductory course to the curriculum based on the five clinical presentations. Like courses to follow, it integrates basic science concepts with the clinical approach to problem solving. It introduces students to small group instruction and appropriate use of independent study time. Starting in the second week and running longitudinally throughout the first year are two additional courses - Medical Skills and Research Methods/Evidence Based Medicine. The former is responsible for teaching students communications skills, physical examination, ethics, culture health & illness and the importance of physician health & wellness. The latter course teaches clinical epidemiology, medical biostatistics, informatics, research methods, evidence based medicine and culminates with a student-generated research proposal.

Also starting in the second week is the Independent Study Program. It is not a course in the usual sense, but rather is time to set aside independent study secure from encroachment by scheduled curricular activities. It consists of 16 hours in each 44-hour week schedule. During this time, students are encouraged to enhance their knowledge of subjects and materials taught during the week, prepare for small groups, and do research as appropriate for their career development.

The first Body System course takes over from the Principles for Medicine course with 20 hours per week. The other Body System courses follow during the remainder of the first two years. Each system is responsible for teaching the approach to the clinical presentations assigned to the course. Basic and behavioural sciences most relevant to solving and managing the clinical problems are being taught in an integrative fashion. Beside sessions correlating real patient problems with knowledge learned in the course occur throughout the two years. Small group interactive problem solving sessions make up at least one third of the teaching time.

At the end of the first and second year, students participate in the Integrative Course where small groups of students work with a tutor and standardized patients (actors) to further improve their skills in interviewing, communication, physical examination, diagnosing, and patient management. During each three-week course, no structural classes are held, and students play a major role in self-directed learning.

Following the Research Methods/Evidence Based Medicine Course, students may utilize the skills learned in this program to pursue a research project in the second year and beyond. In the course Applied Evidence Based Medicine elective time (four hours per week) is available in the second year for this purpose or to provide the time for a student to explore, in depth, an area or areas of particular interest.

The third year is occupied by the Clinical Clerkship in which patients presenting with problems in many different areas of medicine will be encountered. The Clerkship is designed to give a wide range of opportunities for applying and augmenting the knowledge and skills obtained in the first two years, for working with a clinical team in a problem-solving environment, for cooperating with all those involved in the prevention and treatment of illness and for assuming gradually increasing responsibility for patient care. In the Clerkship, as in the whole of the curriculum, it will be clear that the physician can serve patients to the highest possible standards only if he/she continually acquires new knowledge and skills for as long as he/she practices medicine.

Leaders in Medicine Joint MD/PhD or MD/MSc Program: The Faculty of Medicine offers a joint degree program with the Faculty of Graduate Studies leading to an MD/MSc or MD/PhD degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cardiovascular and Respiratory Sciences, Community Health Sciences, Gastrointestinal Sciences, Medical Science, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, or Neuroscience. Information may be obtained under the Leaders in Medicine heading in the Faculty of Graduate Studies section of this calendar and in the sections describing the individual graduate programs. Supplementary application forms may be obtained from the Associate Dean (Graduate Sciences Education) in the Faculty of Medicine.

Postgraduate Curriculum

At the completion of the three-year program and the awarding of the MD degree, it is anticipated that students will elect one of three pathways.

The Family Medicine Pathway: A two-year program is offered by the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine. This program provides preparation for the practice of the specialty of Family Medicine.

The Pathway in Other Specialties: Training leading to specialist qualifications in Internal Medicine, Paediatrics, Surgery, etc., presently requires a minimum of four years training.

The Medical Scientist Pathway: Medical students who have completed the three-year medical undergraduate curriculum and have been awarded the MD degree are encouraged to consider a career in Medical Research. Graduate degrees (MSc and/or PhD) can be obtained in the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Medical graduates are eligible to apply to the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research and other external granting agencies for competitive fellowship awards during their graduate research training.

Evaluation Procedures

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Attendance at lectures, laboratories, tutorials, small group sessions, and seminars is mandatory when patients are involved.

The educational program of the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine is directed toward problem solving. Accordingly, evaluations will be made on a multidisciplinary basis and will test the student's factual knowledge and his or her ability to utilize it to solve problems. Students whose performance is unsatisfactory will not be allowed to continue.

Responsibility for the development and execution of a comprehensive evaluation program has been delegated by the Faculty of Medicine to the Curriculum Committee.

The evaluation of student performance involves the collection of data concerning each student's knowledge, skills, and behaviour so that the student may periodically obtain realistic and accurate information on his or her performance, and so that instructors may gain some measure of the efficacy of their teaching and the school may certify that its graduates are professionally competent in every respect. Some evaluation procedures (whether examinations, role playing exercises, simulated patient problems or work with actual patients in the hospitals or physicians' offices) are designed solely to provide immediate feedback to the student and instructor on professional and personal growth. These are called learning evaluations, with student performance not recorded for promotion purposes. Others, called certifying evaluations, are exercises in which the performance of each student is evaluated against a defined minimally acceptable performance level. If a student falls below that level he/she must demonstrate, after completing a remedial program of instruction, that his/her performance has reached the acceptable level. Promotion from year to year of the course of studies is determined by the Student Academic Review Committee.

The evaluation of faculty performance has as its primary goal the development of a competent instructional staff who are individual in style.

Course and program evaluation involves collecting and summarizing information on the planning, execution and evaluation of each component of the curriculum.

Fees and Expenses

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The following fee structure is subject to change without notice.

The tuition and general fees per session for the Faculty of Medicine are as follows.

Tuition: $7619.50*

Students' Union:

· Full-time students

Operating/Building $4.50
Levy Funds $18.75

· Part-time students

Operating/Building $3.75

Levy Funds $15.75

Universal Bus Pass:

Full-time students $62.00

Campus Recreation Fee:
Full- and part-time students $28.50

Interuniversity Athletic Fee:
Full- and part-time students $39.50

Health Care Plan:

Full-time students $ 51.50

Dental Care Plan:

Full-time students $45.00

Tuition per full course: $2508.00*

Tuition per half course: $1254.00*

*Includes Program Differential Fee

Student Expenses

The following will be required during the course:

· Stethoscope about $200

· Ophthalmoscope about $500

· Sphygmomanometer about $150

Microscopes will be provided. Students should anticipate that books and supplies will cost about $2,000 for first year and $1,200 for each of the second and third years.

Students are advised not to purchase instruments until specific recommendations are made by the faculty.

Students should note that the tuition fee is for an 11-month period. Total expenses for a single student living away from home are approximately $7,500 per year, plus tuition, fees, books and supplies. Only limited financial assistance is available from the Faculty of Medicine. Students from outside Alberta are reminded that no Alberta government loans or grants are available to students who are neither Canadian citizens nor landed immigrants, and who have not spent at least 12 consecutive months in Alberta as a non-student. The intensive 11-month, three-year curriculum provides few, if any, opportunities for part-time employment. While the ability to finance a medical education is not a criterion for acceptance, before applying for admission students should review their financial situation and prepare themselves, as far as possible, to be self-supporting while in the MD program.