University Of Calgary Postgraduate Medicine

Enhanced Skills - Program Info - Care of the Elderly

Program Description

As the Canadian population ages, family physicians will encounter the mounting challenges of increasing social and medical complexity in our older patients. Get the skills you'll need to face this challenge head on. We are looking for passionate family physicians who want to increase their knowledge and clinical skills in caring for seniors in community, subacute and/or acute care settings. By completing an enhanced skills diploma in Care of the Elderly medicine, you'll gain confidence in caring for older patients across a spectrum of frailty in a number of different clinical and community settings.

The Cumming School of Medicine's Department of Family Medicine offers an accredited 12-month Care of the Elderly R3 diploma program to recent CCFP-certfied graduates. Those interested in applying to our COE program as return-from-practice candidates are encouraged to contact the program administration for further details on length of training and funding opportunities.

Our graduates have gone on to successful careers that include activities in medical education, leadership at local and provincial levels, scholarship, and both senior focused and general family medicine. However you intend to practice in the future, the COE R3 program can help you build a solid foundation in caring and advocating for other patients.


Our program seesk to graduate learners with competency in the following Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs):

  1. Manage the frail older adult in a variety of settings, such as the community, facility dwellings and acute care.
  2. Prevent, diagnose and manage geriatric syndromes.
  3. Comprehensively review medications to maximize benefits and minimize number of medications and adverse events.
  4. Engage in an interdisciplinary team approach to a patient's care.
  5. When facilitating a family meeting, effectively communicate with an older adult and or the substitute decision maker.
  6. Engage patients and their families in goals of care conversations & advanced care planning.
  7. Provide chronic pain, palliative and end of life care to an older adult.
  8. Recognize, assess and manage driving issues in an older adult.
  9. Educate professionals, patients, families, health care providers and others in the community on principles of geriatric care and aging related health care issues.
  10. Determine the decision-making capacity of an older adult.
  11. Assess and manage neurocognitive disorders in the older adult.

Program Overview

The program runs for 12 months, and includes learning in both acute care geriatric and community-based experiences. A modified rotation schedule for return-from-practice candidates is possible.

Core rotations include:

  • Acute care Geriatric consult service
  • Acute Geriatric Unit (AGU) at Rockyview General Hospital: in-patient geriatric assessment and rehabilitation program
  • Comprehensive Community Care (C3): community-based geriatric interdisciplinary primary care program
  • Community Palliative Care & Hospice
  • Geriatric Psychiatry
  • Rural Geriatric program (Lethbridge, AB)
  • Electives (options include wound care, falls clinic, movement disorder, etc.)

Longitudinal rotations: 

  • Specialized geriatrics consult clinic 
  • Long term care

There is a robust weekly academic half day program in collaboration with the Geriatric Internal Medicine training program. Extensive opportunities exist for participation in Geriatric Medicine divisional rounds, LTC journal club and teaching other learners such as R1 and R2 family medicine residents.

Program Requirements

  • Research:
    Residents are required to complete a scholarly project by the end of the program, and present at one of two resident research days.
  • Assessment:
    Coinciding with the curriculum transition towards competency based education, residents will be required to gather daily feedback from preceptors in the form of field notes, using the FMeCAP platform. In addition, preceptors will be responsible for filling out mid- and end-of-rotation ITERs.

Application Process

Applicants who have completed their CCFP certification within the past 12 months must apply through CaRMS. Please refer to the Prospective Enhanced Skills Applicants page for application information.

Return-from-practice applicants with at least 3 years' independent practice prior to their intended program start date will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Interested parties are invited to contact our pogram administrator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a brief letter of interest (max. 200 words).

  • Program Coordinator: Luz Bolo - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
  • Program Director: Dr. Carolyn Wong

Enhanced Skills Orientation

Please note, regardless of the Enhanced Skills Program start date, all Residents are required to attend the July orientation, which is a mandatory event.  The orientation is always scheduled for the first business day in July from 1-4pm.