Internal Medicine Residency

Dr. Paul O'Byrne

Dr. Paul O'Byrne is the Dean and Vice-President of the
Faculty of Health Sciences and is the former Chair,
Department of Medicine at McMaster University.

Welcome from the Dean

Welcome to the Internal Medicine Residency Training Program Web Page of the Department of Medicine and Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University. The three years that trainees spend as part of the Residency Training Program in the Department of Medicine will be the most exciting period in your career to date. It is my hope and expectation that the Department of Medicine will ensure that this remarkable opportunity is both enjoyable and sets our trainees on the path for your future career success.

The Core Residency Program in Medicine consists of three years where you will have an opportunity of working on our Clinical Teaching Units, which exist in three of the teaching hospitals in the city, as well as rotating through many of the Subspecialities that make up the Department. The fourth year of training will be either in General Internal Medicine or one of the subspecialties.

The Department of Medicine is the largest single Department in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University. There are more than 280 physicians working within the Department of Medicine. The Department provides more than one third of all of the under-graduate education teaching as well as more than 40% of the entire research funding for the Faculty. McMaster University Faculty of Health Sciences has been rightly recognized for it's innovation in both undergraduate and postgraduate education. The concept of problem-based learning in small group tutorials for undergraduate teaching began at McMaster, as a novel method for the education of medical students. These methods have now taken hold in many countries around the world and McMaster Faculty has led the way in developing these innovative learning opportunities. The whole concept of using the best available evidence in making decisions about managing patients, known as evidence-based medicine, was also largely developed by faculty members within the Department of Medicine at McMaster. These ideas have revolutionized the way in which we evaluate quality of evidence and make decisions based around information that is available. The Department is also extremely research focused. It contains some of the very best research groups in the world in research areas in Hematology and Thrombosis, Respirology, Gastroenterology and Cardiology, to name a few. This means that many of the Faculty within the Department of Medicine are actively involved in research efforts and are enthusiastic about sharing research ideas and opportunities with our residents. The Internal Medicine Training Program, under the very capable leadership of Dr. Lori Whitehead, has continued to receive full Accreditation by the Royal College.

Institutions participating in this Program

  • Hamilton Health Sciences
    • McMaster Division
    • Hamilton General Division
    • Juravinski Hospital Cancer Centre Division
  • St. Joseph's Hospital
  • Grand River Hospital, Kitchener

There is a continuing effort to ensure that the educational experience in the Clinical Teaching Units and specialized facilities and programs are of the highest calibre.

There are many formal educational opportunities made available during training. There is a protected Academic Half-Day every Wednesday afternoon which all our residents are expected to attend. There is a formal commitment by our staff that all clinical activities will be covered during Academic Half-Day and Educational Retreats to allow our trainees to benefit from them. In addition, Medical Grand Rounds are held at the major teaching hospitals across the city each week. These Medical Grand Rounds are excellent and are presented both by Faculty from the Department, but also frequently by visiting speakers. These rounds are usually very interactive and enjoyable. In addition, each of the major subspecialties has a city round each week. It is expected that Internal Medicine Residents will have an opportunity to formally present at these rounds which provides the chance to improve one's skills at presentation, as well as learning how to deal with challenges to your knowledge and ideas.

It is also an expectation during a resident's time at McMaster that he/she will participate in the education of undergraduate students. This is something that Residents will certainly find very rewarding. Students at McMaster are of the highest caliber and are eager to learn, particularly, around patient care issues at the bedside. Indeed, this is something that will be regarded as an important part of our residents' evaluation process.

The system of evaluation allows not only the resident being evaluated by the staff physicians they work with, but also an opportunity to evaluate the staff and the educational system that we have. It is very important to recognize how vital this evaluation is to ensure not only an improved experience for the trainees, but also those that follow. Trainees are encouraged to identify any problems that arise as quickly as possible and not leave these until the end of your formal training. Once problems are identified, they can usually be solved quickly and efficiently.

We are not only interested in the trainee's professional development but also believe it's extremely important that the trainee have an enjoyable social and recreational time in Hamilton. This is a wonderful city to live in and there are boundless opportunities for recreation. Be sure to speak to the residents who are a year or two ahead of you who have had the opportunity to explore the best places to go and the most enjoyable recreational activities in the region.

We are always available to discuss issues with our trainees and ensure that they not only have an enjoyable and educational experience at McMaster Faculty of Health Sciences, but also that they develop a career in the best possible way.