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Keege T

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  1. In first year, there are a lot of "ACEs" - ambulatory clinic experiences. They basically send you to a random clinic, often for just a half-day (then you go somewhere else for the other half-day). Very few of these experiences are useful at all. Often the clinic doesn't even know you're coming. It's not enough time to learn any actual medicine, the preceptor just wants to get on with their clinic and feels burdened with yet another resident they'll never see again, and it's a lot of pointless travel and direction-seeking. They make you submit "field notes" - little feedback forms describing a learning experience from every half-day (!), which preceptors HATE to do because it's just ridiculous. It's awkward as hell asking a busy preceptor for this. I found they also do quite a poor job retaining good preceptors and dropping bad ones, despite collecting regular feedback from residents. There was a particularly bad preceptor at the Central Teaching Clinic, whom so many residents complained about, that he was finally "encouraged" to take a sabbatical for two years... but now he's back. Surprise. This is just one example. Also, they tend to just assume away precepetor problems by taking it as absolute truth that all preceptors are good, and any problem stems from resident factors. This is unhelpful, and has resulted in major problems for the few residents who were unlucky enough to have a difficult main preceptor, who mentors and evaluates you for the entire two years (people have had extreme problems switching, and have been asked to "work out" their issue with the preceptor, after the issue was apready escalated to program director). Returning to the first issue, because there is a relatively high proportion of just weaker preceptors in "home clinics" (academic teaching clinics where residents work 2-3 days a week for the entire two years), you just run out of things to learn from them. By the end of the second year, you could end up in a weird situation where you start being more competent than your preceptor at times, yet have to hold back, lest you get on their bad side, or even worse - get slapped with a professionalism issue. A significant proportion of residents were fortunate enough to avoid all of above issues. There are some home clinic preceptors who are excellent, and you could get lucky/be proactive and get quality rotations for the most part. But there's little recourse to help if you run into any problems, and a high chance you'd end up with many mediocre rotations and have a bad time in home clinic.
  2. This thread is a bit dated now, but to anyone cheching it out, - University of Calgary Family Medicine has only gotten worse in the past years. Terrible leadership, very unsupportive, micromanagement and not treating residents with respect, and a poor ratio of high vs low value learning experiences/ preceptors. They actually had 20 unmatched CARMs spots this year, which is a steady increase over the past few years, and definitely can't be explained away as a coincidence at this point. University of Alberta has a far more solid Family Medicine program at this point.
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