Adult Gastroenterology Training Program

Career Planning and Counseling

The mission of our Residency Program is to help each individual Resident achieve their personal career goals and to develop a foundation for a rewarding career in Gastroenterology.

Career planning is performed throughout the residency training. Broad career goals are first identified when applicants are interviewed for admission, and are reviewed upon entry to the Gastroenterology Training Program by the Program Director. Where feasible, career expectations are incorporated into the individual’s objectives for residency and considered when choosing elective rotations. Career expectations are reviewed formally at semi-annual meetings between each Resident and the Program Director, and especially at the end of the first year. This allows the Program Director time to council individual Residents based on their interests (including discussion of various fellowships) and allows the Program Director to adjust the annual rotation schedules as necessary. In addition, career counselling is performed on an informal basis during each rotation. The program maintains flexibility in scheduling rotations, and provides elective experience in the Second Year to meet all career planning choices. Each Resident’s career plans are also discussed when the Residency Program Committee and regional faculty meet to review resident performance.

A formal mentorship program is in place. Each Resident is assigned a Mentor upon entry to the Program. The Mentor is expected to know the resident well, and to be in a position to offer personal insight into his / her aspirations and concerns. One responsibility of the Mentor is to provide career counselling. Where possible, Mentors are selected to match the resident’s career interests. However, the Mentor is also expected to direct the resident to others for advice in areas outside his / her expertise. If a Resident has expressed an interest in an academic career, the Research Supervisor becomes another important source of counselling.

A Resident Career Night is held every 2 years to develop Second Year Residents’ understanding of how their education can be put into practice. First Year Residents are also invited to attend. Practicing gastroenterologists from the community and also from academic centres are invited to offer advice, guidance and support, and answer residents’ questions based on real-life experience. The seminar is designed to expose the Residents to career options and information. Topics covered include: hospital medicine, how to set up private outpatient clinics and endoscopy units, life after residency and fellowship, job search, networking, and what to look for in an employment contract.

In addition, the following centralized resources are available to all residents:

  1. Canadian Medical Association (CMA) Practice Management Curriculum Seminar – A full-day of interactive seminars on Practice Management are offered by the Postgraduate Medical Education Office and the Practice Solutions, a subsidiary of the Canadian Medical Association to senior specialty residents (PGY 5) and their significant others regarding negotiations, financial management, setting up a practice, incorporation and related topics. The seminars address the key challenges residents will face in setting up their practice, such as contract negotiation, financial wellness, and practice management. Residents are relieved of all service responsibilities to attend these seminars.
  2. Practice Ontario is a new career-planning service for McMaster University Postgraduate Medical Residents who want to explore practice opportunities across Ontario that match personal and professional interests. This initiative is a joint venture between McMaster’s Faculty of Medicine Postgraduate Medical Education Office and HealthForce Ontario Marketing and Recruitment Agency (HFO MRA). HFO MRA is an agency of the provincial Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. Practice U is an online resource that provides practical, career-focused information sourced from experts throughout Ontario’s healthcare sector. McMaster postgraduate trainees can connect with a personal career advisor called Community Partnership Coordinator (CPC) from HFO MRA to explore locum and permanent practice opportunities throughout Ontario – from urban to rural settings. Each CPC is a regional expert with a wide network of professional connections in Ontario’s health-care sector. The CPC can also assist with resume preparation and arrange visits to, and interviews with, potential employers. These services are free and offered either by phone, email, or face-to-face consultation.
  3. HealthForceOntario Job Database HFOJobs is a recruitment tool launched by the HFO MRA. It provides physicians in training and in practice with up-to-date information on employment opportunities (locum and permanent positions) available in Ontario. Communities and health care organizations and employers within these communities can register to create and manage customized websites to advertise and market job opportunities and to provide community information to physicians and their families. The HFOJobs Portal for Physicians allows Residents to search and view current practice and educational opportunities and community information as well as build their CV and set job alerts.
  4. PAIRO Resident Placement Program (PRPP). After a confidential interview with PAIRO and Community Development Officers (CDOs), the Resident will be provided with a list of potential communities that will suit the Resident’s needs and goals, along with the appropriate contact information. Spouses / partners are also invited to attend.
  5. COMPASS is an electronic newsletter designed for Residents making their transition to practice. This newsletter provides Residents with important information on health care in Ontario, career-planning tips for making a smooth transition from residency to practice, links to HFO  MRA, as well as training and learning opportunities.
  6. Human Solutions – Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP) offers a broad range of services to Residents and their family members. Plan Smart Services are designed to provide life balance solutions. These services include consultation with a specialist, as well as a package of valuable support and resource material. Among the many services provided, Human Solutions offers complete career planning services and career development counselling to support Residents’ personal and professional career objectives through analysis of their interests, values and motivations. Feedback and coaching is provided and a plan is developed to assist Residents to take the steps toward defining and achieving their career aspirations.
  7. Health Professional Recruitment Tours (HPRT) - The HPRT is an annual job fair that provides an opportunity for residents to meet and make contacts with community representatives from underserviced areas across Ontario. The tour provides the chance for residents to talk with representatives from over 90 communities about their unique career and lifestyle offerings.

In summary, career planning and counselling is provided on an ongoing basis throughout the residency through the sources identified above.