IM Subspecialities:

    Allergy and Immunology







    Infectious Diseases




Useful Links:

Core Internal Medicine


Internal medicine is one of the broadest disciplines of medicine one can pursue. Internists are active in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic adult diseases, especially in those patients who suffer from undifferentiated and multi-system diseases. As a career, internal medicine can lead prospective students down a path of care in hospitalized or ambulatory settings, community or academic practices and their role may involve teaching and research if desired. Due to the nature of internal medicine patients being often seriously ill or requiring complex investigation and intervention, most internal medicine work ends up being conducted in hospitals.

Internal medicine training can involve further subspecializiation into one of many subspeciality disciplines ranging from nephrology which primarily examines diseases of the kidney and genitourinary system to cardiology concerned with disease processes impacting the heart. The responsibilities and training in the subspecialities are unique and offer interesting and widely varying challenges in meeting the care and management of patients.

Below, you’ll find an outline of the typical trajectory a student embarks on when pursuing a career in general internal medicine, also known as GIM, or one of the subspeciality disciplines. We’ve also broken down data available publically in the 2014 National Physician survey regarding demographic statistics, work hours and typical responsibilities of internists in Canada. You’ll also find contact information of internal medicine programs available across Canada at the bottom of the page.

Residency Flow:

Adapted from: The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

The above flow chart represents the typical trajectory of an internal medicine specialist beginning after their high school education.

Most medical schools in Canada require completion of an undergraduate degree.

Internal Medicine’s core residency training of 3 years is applied to via CaRMs after medical school is completed. Residents then enter CaRMS a second time to match into subspeciality disciplines or continue on in general internal medicine (GIM). The minimum residency program length as it stands is 4 years for GIM (although this may be changing to 5 years) and the longest is 6 years (cardiology).

Residency programs are subject to change, and the college may at any time revise the requirements for the program. You can see full requirements at the Royal College’s website.


End goal: Interventional Cardiology

In the above example, a student interested in a career in interventional cardiolology must first complete the three years of foundational internal medicine training.

They then re-apply to CaRMS for general cardiology which takes 3 years to complete.

Once finished residency, they can then pursue additional training in interventional cardiology as a fellowship.

Gender Breakdown
295 responses (2014 National Survey Results)

Age Breakdown
295 responses (2014 National Survey Results)
Hours Breakdown
266 responses (2014 National Survey Results)

Activity Hours Worked (mean)
Direct patient care without a teaching component 20.94
Direct patient care with a teaching component 7.57
Teaching/ educating without direct patient care 2.17
Indirect patient care 5.39
Health facility committees 1.10
Administration 2.35
Research 1.95
Managing your practice 1.17
CME/ CPD (Continuing Professional Development) 3.26
Other actvities 1.18
Total Hours 47.07

Internal Medicine Residency Programs in Canada

University of British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia

Queen’s University
Kingston, Ontario

University of Calgary
Calgary, Alberta

University of Ottawa
Ottawa, Ontario

University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta

McGill University
Montréal, Quebec

University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Université de Montréal
Montréal, Quebec

University of Manitoba
Manitoba, Winnipeg

Université de Sherbrooke
Sherbrooke, Quebec

Northern Ontario School of Medicine
Thunder Bay, Ontario

Université Laval
Laval, Québec

Western University
London, Ontario

Dalhousie University
Halifax, Nova Scotia

McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario

Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John’s, Newfoundland

University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario

Page Author(s): John Haddad (2017)
© 2021 Internal Medicine Interest Group (IMIG) - Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry