Adult Gastroenterology Training Program

Design & Duration

The requirements of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada for training in adult gastroenterology are a minimum of 18 months in clinical activities and up to 6 months in research.  A trainee’s acceptance into the program implies a 2-year commitment.  A third year is optional, individualized and dependent on available external funding. Because of the recognized strength in basic and clinical gastrointestinal research at McMaster University, the Adult Gastroenterology Training Program has often attracted candidates who seek careers combining clinical practice with research. Thus, three months of research are offered in the first year of training. Up to 3 additional months of research are also available in the second year to trainees who demonstrate sufficient interest and productivity in their first-year experience. For other trainees, clinical electives are undertaken in lieu of a second research block.

Clinical rotations are located primarily at the McMaster, Juravinski and General Sites of Hamilton Health Sciences, and at St. Joseph’s Hospital. There is a Site Coordinator at each location to assist residents in optimising their experience.  Each location offers a unique experience.

The McMaster Site offers considerable experience in ambulatory care. The McMaster Site also houses the GI Clinical Investigation Unit and a Motility Laboratory, offering diagnostic breath testing, motility assessments of the upper and lower tracts, 24-hour pH-metry, and capsule endoscopy. Trainees gain exposure to gastrointestinal complications of pregnancy, given on-site specialized services in Maternal Medicine. With the Children’s Hospital on site, trainees can also interact with faculty and trainees in pediatric gastroenterology. The McMaster Site also has a large state-of the-art endoscopy unit, including interventional endoscopy, ERCP, and argon plasma coagulation. Endoscopic ultrasound is provided at the McMaster Site under the direction of Dr. Tse.

The Juravinski Site offers a busy inpatient service, with complex cases focused on inflammatory bowel diseases, motility disorders, liver diseases, and acid-peptic diseases. The Juravinski Site also houses the Cancer Centre, and offers exposure to gastrointestinal complications of malignancy. The gastroenterology service works closely with an active group of surgeons interested in colorectal disorders (Drs. Kelly, Stephen, Forbes) and pancreaticobiliary disorders (Drs. Marcaccio, Ruo, Tandan, Dath). The clinical service also interacts extensively with advanced interventional gastrointestinal radiologists (Drs. Vora, Midia). In addition, Drs. Marcaccio, Ruo, Tandan, Dath, Tse and Lumb manage a busy service in therapeutic biliary endoscopy.

The General Site offers a busy gastroenterology consultation service. Patients requiring admission under a gastroenterologist as most responsible physician are transferred to the Juravinski Site. With state-of-the-art facilities, the General Site is recognized as a regional centre of excellence in cardiovascular care, neurosciences, trauma and burn treatment. Trainees on consultation service gain exposure to gastrointestinal and nutritional complications of these complex medical conditions. A busy endoscopy unit is led by Drs. Lumb and Seaton.

The St. Joseph’s Site offers a busy clinical gastroenterology service with specialized interests in gastrointestinal motility and functional disorders. It also has a large endoscopy unit, including interventional endoscopy, ERCP, and argon plasma coagulation. As the hospital also provides regional and tertiary specialty services in respirology, rheumatology, nephrology and psychiatry, trainees gain exposure to gastrointestinal and nutritional aspects of behavioral, psychiatric and complex medical disorders. A large outpatient clinic allows the residents to experience not only in-patient consultation but also ambulatory care. With the regional thoracic and esophageal surgery program being based at St Joseph’s, and the availability of a comprehensive motility laboratory, the residents gain exposure to all aspects of esophageal disease. With the presence of the Brain Body Institute, with its unique imaging facilities (including PET and fMRI) and interest in gut brain interactions, the academic research mission of the Institute complements the educational opportunities offered by the clinical service.