University of Calgary Multiple Sclerosis Fellowships

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The University of Calgary Multiple Sclerosis Program offers one and two year fellowships to Canadian and Internationally (fully trained) neurologists. The program will be individualized to suit the career goals of the fellow but will include clinical work, participation in weekly MS Rounds and clinical case conferences (1 hour/ week), weekly MS Fellow rounds (2 hours/ week), quarterly MS Clinic management meetings (2 hours/ quarter), and weekly Department of Clinical Neurosciences Grand Rounds (2 hours/ week). Fellows will also participate in review and update of both patient education materials and clinical pathways (for example, review of DMT monitoring procedures) as this skill is considered part of their development as an MS sub-specialist. There is no weekend or on-call requirement.

The one-year program is otherwise primarily clinical (60-70%) but completion of a project for up to 20% of their time is encouraged. Alternatives to projects could be training to participate in clinical trials, including leading a clinical trial site. Clinical work includes participation in outpatient clinics and seeing inpatients with MS, CNS demyelinating diseases, and other suspected neuro-immunological conditions.

Two-year fellowships will have a major research focus, approximately 70% research for the 2-year period. Research could be lab-based or clinical.

Fellows will gain clinical experience in the MS Clinic which operates at 2 sites, Foothills Medical Centre and South Health Campus, as well as the Neuroimmunology Clinic (NIC) located at South Health Campus. There are approximately 5,000 people with MS and related demyelinating diseases (NMOSD, MOG, etc.) who are cared for in the MS Clinic. The NIC manages people with other CNS immune diseases including neuro-sarcoidosis, Bechet’s Disease, autoimmune encephalitis, and many very uncommon disorders.

The Calgary Clinics are multi-disciplinary. We have physicians, nurses, rehabilitation and mental health specialists. Between MS clinic and NIC there are 14 neurologists, 2 neuropsychiatrists, a physiatrist, a nurse practitioner, 9 nurses, and a team of rehabilitation and counseling specialists.

Research expertise spans basic science, neuroimaging, clinical trials, and epidemiology. Other opportunities, such as health services, health economics and health policy could be facilitated by partnering with other researchers in the University of Calgary.

There may be part time concurrent opportunities for a small component of time to be spent doing general neurology locum work for fellows who obtain practice permits to practice as neurologists in Alberta. This is limited to graduates of Canadian residencies.

Fellows must have the appropriate credentials to obtain an Educational Licence and be placed on the “Provisional Register Postgraduate Trainee” from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) (https://cpsa.ca/physicians/registration/apply-for-postgraduate-training-in-alberta/) and will be registered through the PGME office in the University of Calgary as a Postgraduate Fellow (https://cumming.ucalgary.ca/pgme/future-trainees). Note that you must have all your credentials source verified which the CPSA does via Physician Credentials Registry of Canada.

The Fellow must be able to communicate effectively in written and spoken English. The University of Calgary post-graduate medical education (PGME) office and the Alberta College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPSA) require proof that applicants who trained in a language other than English, have passed the IELTS exam (as per https://cpsa.ca/physicians/registration/english-language-proficiency/). We generally require International Medical Graduates (IMGs) to have passed this exam before we can consider an application. This exam applies to those who trained in French in Quebec.

International medical graduates who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents also require a Canadian work permit while they are employed as fellows. The PGME office and the University of Calgary will work with you, with us and with the Department of Clinical Neurosciences to get the paperwork in place. The above items take a minimum of 6 months, and all must be done prior to you coming to Calgary to begin your fellowship.

Funding for fellowship positions is limited.

  • Canadian trained residents/neurologists are eligible to apply for funding from the Canadian Network of MS clinics. https://cnmsc.ca/MSFellowship
  • We sometimes have funding for fellows who will focus 40% of their time on contributions to existing research programs while they learn specific clinical research skills. For example, to participate in clinical trials and learn to be a clinical trial site.
  • There are also funding opportunities for fellowships focussed on research when applicants are highly qualified to complete projects and are aiming for an academic career. MS Society of Canada postdoctoral fellowship awards.
  • MSIF's McDonald Fellowships may be possible https://www.msif.org/research/awards-grants-and-fellowships/mcdonald-fellowships/
  • We consider sponsored fellowships where salary funding is provided by the sponsoring country.
  • Self-funded fellowships are not permitted.

Fellowship training will be contingent on satisfactory performance, and a certificate will be issued at the completion of training if objectives are met. Internationally trained physicians will undergo a probationary assessment at 3 months for adequacy of clinical skills, and continuation of the Fellowship will require a satisfactory assessment.

To consider your application please send your resume with a cover letter which indicates the reasons you wish to undertake a fellowship, explain your 5-10 year goals, and indicate if you are interested in research training. Please attach 3 reference letters on institutional letterhead and copies of training certificates. If you have completed the IELTS please send your results.

Please direct enquiries to

Dr Luanne Metz
Professor, Department of Clinical Neurosciences
MS Fellowship Director
lmetz@ucalgary.ca
Telesa Gaskell
Administrative Assistant & Project Coordinator – MS Program
Assistant to Dr. Luanne Metz
Tel: 403-944-4241
telesa.gaskell@ucalgary.ca